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Old 09-23-2021, 11:02 PM   #1
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Upgrading from 34 feet to 40 feet, bringing a toad

Two questions here. I currently have a 34 foot pusher and while it is very spacious inside, I usually travel with 5 adults and the small bathroom/shower can be annoying. I also don't have a washer and would like to consider one. From what I can tell an increase in 6 feet (from 34 to 40 feet) would mainly be in the wheel base, the front and rear ends would be about the same size (though this depends on the model of course). I thoroughly enjoy driving my RV and have had absolutely no issues maneuvering into gas stations, through the city, etc. But I wonder if a 40 footer would start to cause problems. One thing I do like about a smaller pusher is it's maneuverability. I don't need a toad because (for the most part), I can go anywhere I need to with this thing. The other thing is I keep my motorhome in my backyard (not a driveway), and it there isn't a lot of room while backing it in (laneway is very small). I have a bit of extra room in the actual yard to accommodate a bit more length (probably could squeeze 6 feet end to end) but the issue is more getting it into the yard. So my question is how much less maneuverable is a 40 footer going to be compared to a 34? Will it be substantially noticeable?

The 2nd question is regarding a toad. With a 34 I've never needed one. But with a 40 I might have to considering bringing one along with me. I've heard a lot of people say to travel a lot with the rig itself (no toad) to get used to it. We sometimes camp off the grid wherever (rest areas, construction yards, parking lots, wherever we are allowed to), and I have to back up quite often. How long did you drive a class A without a toad before bringing one with you? Or did you jump right in?
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Old 09-24-2021, 04:13 AM   #2
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34 to 40 foot

I went from 34 ft gas to 41.5 long by 101 inches wide pusher. It was just a matter of getting used to and thinking before acting. Not having any problems but there are places that you will not be able go that a 34 will. I have a 1999 Safari Serengeti with a huge bathroom. I started with a toad and guess I will always have one. Made one trip without and that was enough. Before losing wife we enjoyed exploring back roads and areas a class A will not go. Safari gets a bit of bad press, but mine sits on 8 airbag chassis and once figuring out tire pressure handles great. Interior is all solid oak, no saw dust and glue. Monaco bought Safari and Beaver which was owned by Safari in about 2001, so do not know how quality is. There are complaints that Monaco coaches went down if so all probably did. Hope this helps and good luck. Hugh Brandon
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Old 09-24-2021, 04:25 AM   #3
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It's all a preference and how you're going to use it. I personally would not want to bring in the slide, raise the leveling jacks and disconnect all my utilities to make a short trip to get something, only to find that there is no parking available for a rig my size. Even something as small as a 30 footer will have difficulty getting a parking place in town. If you've ever broken down you will know how nice it is to have the toad that you can disconnect and drive.

However if you are comfortable with a shorter rig then there's no point of changing just to get a bigger shower or a washer. JMHO.
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Old 09-24-2021, 04:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkVader View Post
So my question is how much less maneuverable is a 40 footer going to be compared to a 34? Will it be substantially noticeable?

The 2nd question is regarding a toad. With a 34 I've never needed one. But with a 40 I might have to considering bringing one along with me. I've heard a lot of people say to travel a lot with the rig itself (no toad) to get used to it. We sometimes camp off the grid wherever (rest areas, construction yards, parking lots, wherever we are allowed to), and I have to back up quite often. How long did you drive a class A without a toad before bringing one with you? Or did you jump right in?
I have a 42-footer, and it is not very maneuverable. The wheelbase is 287 inches (24 feet). There are times I get off the Interstate for fuel, and realize I cant fill into the filling station (just cant make turn into station or get around pumps). I've gotten into trouble more than once - so I generally only fuel at truck stops. Fortunately the fuel tank is 150 gallons so I dont need to stop often.

I don't have a Toad, but I "carry" a motorcycle. I want/need a Toad. You don't want to drive a 40+ foot Coach to the grocery store. You don't want to break camp just to get some milk. The motorcycle covers most of this, but isn't so nice in the rain and doesn't carry a lot of groceries in the saddle bags. So I would definitely plan on getting a Toad.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:45 AM   #5
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I think you would find a huge difference in maneuvering a 40' compared to a 34'. Sounds like the yard parking would be a real problem.

I would definitely recommend a toad for the 40', with a braking system!
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:41 AM   #6
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I went from 30ft to 36ft to 38ft to 45ft and back to 38ft. I think 38-40ft is ideal
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:34 PM   #7
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Yeah I really like the layout of 38-40 footers. The other thing is that mine doesn't have any slides so finding enough space for the 5 of us to sleep is challenging. So I would want to upgrade also for that reason. But the cost will be substantial (unless I go with something older like I have now). Older ones are harder to find, and are not nearly as reliable as they have aged quite a bit. Really on the fence but I suppose I won't need to decide until early next year as I won't be doing much more camping this year.

The unit I have now is big but definitely not as tall or wide as the newer pushers and so it's been a dream getting it around. But the bathroom and lack of sleeping space, as well as no washer, is challenging at times. Mainly the first two.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:43 PM   #8
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Also look for "Wheel Cut" or how much the front wheel can turn. Some older coach have only 55 degrees where as newer or coaches with independent front suspensions have more wheel cut like 65 degrees. More wheel cut means small turning circle.


As far as a Toad, I would not be without one. There are places that were you can take a motorhome but it is just a pain like many national parks where even finding a parking spot for a car can be difficult.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:45 PM   #9
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One good reason for a Tode in California. The tow trucks, with Covid, are not allowed to have any passengers. At least that was last year. A friend almost did not take his Tode and he needed a tow. He lost the coolant and was over heating. The driver told him he was lucky. He would have had to leave him on the side of the two lane road in the middle of nowhere. No exceptions.
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:39 PM   #10
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I have a pretty spacious driveway once you get to the top and into the garage. The driveway is about 240’ long. The problem is the slight turn and incline at the top. I can only fit about 160” of wheelbase around the turn at the top. I could accommodate 45ft once up there, but it would need a short wheelbase. I currently have a 32’ Tiffin Breeze DP. She has a 152” wheelbase and it’s tight getting her between the curbs up top.
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:49 PM   #11
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I am not sure anyone can answer this for you because we do not travel the same way you do. There are some truths. Bigger is less maneuverable. There are fewer available spots for bigger.

For the way we (2 adults) travel, we are going to leave our big rig (45' DP) on our lot in FL and that will be our winter home. During the summer, we are going to travel in a 31' Travel Trailer. Our hope is that the new rig will provide us the ultimate flexibility, be more fuel-efficient, and be more reliable. If it is not comfortable enough, we will sell the TT and try something else (maybe a small-ish 5th wheel).

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Old 09-25-2021, 12:18 PM   #12
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Some more input on traveling with a Toad. NO I repeat, NO backing up with a Toad, unless it is on a flatbed.
And along that note, I would recommend finding a 4 wheel flat Toad. The thing to remember here is to NOT believe the dealer. Read the Owners Manual, it will tell you if it can be towed (TOAD) 4 wheel flat.
Now some will argue about the 4 wheel flat thing verses dolly, or flat bed.
Here is my .01 worth. No dolly or trailer to have to find some place to store when traveling or storing. Also not having to spend the time hooking up the trailer or dolly, then loading the Toad onto it and hooking it up. That's 2 hookups vice 1 and no extra storage.
But that's just me.
Yes, going to 38-42 feet will be completely different than 36'. Rear end swing will be completely different and so will turning circle due to change in wheel base. You will need more room to turn and have to watch the rear end and the inside tire for clearing obstacles.
Now add in the Toad or dolly/trailer. Practice Practice Practice and Patience.
But going to a bath and a half or 2 full baths will do you and 5 adults good, along with 2-3 slideouts.
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Old 09-25-2021, 01:54 PM   #13
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Hoping to find a good deal on a 38 or 40 footer for next season. Slides are going to help a lot. All of us in the RV is a bit challenging sometimes, especially when dry camping. It's just going to be a lot of money to shell out.

The toad is kind of intimidating. I am very used to being able to back up to clear a corner in a gas station or something like that. To be honest, I see so many people flat towing, and I just don't get how it's doable. Seems impossible to avoid a situation where I would have to back up (in front of traffic, other cars, etc.).
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Old 09-25-2021, 02:32 PM   #14
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Hoping to find a good deal on a 38 or 40 footer for next season. Slides are going to help a lot. All of us in the RV is a bit challenging sometimes, especially when dry camping. It's just going to be a lot of money to shell out.

The toad is kind of intimidating. I am very used to being able to back up to clear a corner in a gas station or something like that. To be honest, I see so many people flat towing, and I just don't get how it's doable. Seems impossible to avoid a situation where I would have to back up (in front of traffic, other cars, etc.).
It just takes a little "Plan Ahead" technique to avoid the need to backup. Use the truck islands at truck stops for plenty of room. In 25 years of operating a DP, only once did I get to a place where I had to unhook the toad and turn around. That would have been avoided if I had seen the Dead End sign. At some point you had to adapt to your current rig from a car or truck. Towing a toad is just another easy step in the learning curve.
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