Jump to content

Should we get a 45 footer?


Viv and Denis

Recommended Posts

Still trying to decide what length to get for our full time RV experience. We see comments about the difficulty of finding rv parks and campgrounds that can accommodate anthing over 37 or 40 feet. Just how big of a problem is that? Are there enough options available throughout the country that we should always be able to find a place for a big rig?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can you give us more details on the style of rig? Class A, or 5th wheel?

And then if it's a 5th wheel, the type of truck you're going to pull with?

There are differences in turning radius in every setup.

Are you an experienced RV'er from the past that could back into any spot available, or a former truck driver that backed into 1000's of docks...?

Many campgrounds don't know what size rig or combination of vehicles can fit into what spot, they just remember the guy that couldn't get his 35' 5'er into a 60'spot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome, Viv and Dennis. The bigger the rig the fewer places you can park. That doesn't mean NO parking places, just that a 16' Bambi is going to fit more places than a 34' Excella. Same with a MH. A van conversion will fit more places than a Class C, which will fit more places than an IH45.

 

My suggestion is that, unless you are set on camping in a particular place, just find the coach that fits you best and don't worry about how many places it will or won't fit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kind of agree with David, but with a little bit of modification. You want to balance the size of RV with the budget limitations, your comfort level when driving it and the sort of places that you want to be able to stay. If you are dreaming of spending a lot of time in national forest campgrounds or really remote areas, those are not big rig friendly. If you expect to stay mostly in commercial RV parks, you can nearly always locate a park somewhere that the biggest of rigs will fit into and worst case you can always spend a night or two at Walmart. As long as you are comparing RVs of similar quality, the later they are the higher the price so for most of us that is also a factor to be considered. The majority of state parks that we have seen do not have a lot of sites that a 40' RV will fit into, but most commercial parks and many of the Corps of Engineer's parks do have at least some of them. Larger rigs generally need to stop earlier in the day because of the limited number of larger sites and they probably need to make reservations more frequently, but size is not an insurmountable problem. The most important thing to consider in selecting an RV for travel is what you and your spouse will be comfortable in and be satisfied with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alie and Jim, we are considering the Tiffin Allegro bus between 40 and 45 feet and will have a toad. Never done this before. We are renting a 35 ft diesel pusher to take out for this next week to get some practice time. Did RV boot camp so feel ready to hit the road next summer after the house sells.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have been in a 42 foot MH for almost two years FT. Here are some of the things I have observed. Many of the state parks on the east coast advertise 40 ft max. However in every case when we called for reservations they said they could accommodate our rig; and they did without issue. If the park states anything under 40 we don't even bother to call. Resorts and private parks seem to have bigger sites. They are a little (sometimes a lot) more expensive, we stay shorter in the expensive ones, longer in the cheap ones.

We're currently out west. State parks that can take a 40 foot or better RV are a bit more scarce so we rely on private parks more. We have not wanted to see a particular area and not found a CG that can take our coach. On this trip we have not been able to stay in a couple of areas as long as we would have liked but not because of our size, rather we need to make reservations a little further out than we have in the past. There seems to be a lot more RVs on the road. If we were in a 35 footer we could pop into many of the NFS sites in the many national forests out here in the north west. However a 35 foot coach would not fit our life style. Everything as some kind of cost.

A 42 foot coach seemed to us to be an ideal size. Lots of room, tag axle, and will still fit in parks that advertise 40 foot max.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have never had a problem finding a place to stop with our 45 foot coach. It does take a little more planning as many places, especially state parks, do not accomodate our coach. But then again, most state parks we have seen are so wooded our satelite can not get a signal. As FT, we found those little conveniences are important.

 

Also remember, during those long rainy days, even in a 45 footer you only have about 400 sq. ft. for the 2 of you. It can get hard to get any alone time. Now look at a smaller coach. It is even tighter. If you are going from a SB or apartment, unless you are in certain cities, there will be a culture shock when you first start your FT experience. Moving from a 1500 sq. ft. house to a 400 sq. ft. coach, and trying to find storage for all your stuff in that 400 sq. ft. can be a huge shock.

 

Take a look at our coach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a 40' DP, no slide, and prefer Federal and State parks. We have never yet been unable to get parked. We've been in a site twice now at Rice Lake State Park, MN, that is a bit tricky to get into, but with Jo Ann outside on the radio there are no problems. Once in there is plenty of room, fully shaded.

 

Kirk said more fully what I was alluding to. Figure out your "mission plan" before you start talking about specific coaches. Where will you stay? How many people? How many and what kinds of pets? Any health/mobility issues? What's your budget? How long will you stay in one place? All these and more will help you pick the right class of RV, and then the right coach within that class.

 

Speaking of budget, be sure to allow plenty for repairs/upgrades that will be needed. If you choose a MH be sure to join FMCA, if only for their tire discount. Most people find that tires age out before they wear out (replace them after 5-7 years), and the savings on even two 22.5 inch tires will more than pay for your dues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have full-timed for 16 years and public parks are always our first choice. We've honestly never had a problem with our 40' motorhome in national or state parks, national forests, COE, county or city parks. You just have to do your research. We also rarely made reservations. If private parks are your choice you will not have a problem. Best of luck with your choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our experience with a couple of 40ft DP's you shouldn't have many issues with most commercial parks. However public parks especially older state and national parks will be limited in what's available.

Two other issues we found were issues! A site may well be 50 foot long. But is it level enough to get a 40+ motorhome level. We've had plenty of state parks with long sites that were too far out of level to use our air leveling. The second issue is height. Again commercial parks are less of an issue but public parks love their trees. And trees have branches that love ac units! Say no more.

 

regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We traveled and lived in a 40 FT DP for 7 years, with no real problems. We are now in a 42 ft DP and so far no issues, other than it really likes 50AMP electricity.The energy manager will not allow you to cheat with a "Cheater" plug. Would not do to be on a 30 amp site in the summer, especially in the south, where we are now, or the southwest. You can manage 30 amp service in cold weather by using gas heat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, it is very hard to live with 30 A in summer in the south. Our 45 foot coach has 3 - 15 KW AC units and at times uses them all. With 30 A we have problem running one and 3 or 4 other appliances. 2 trips the pedestal.

 

Remember a 30 A plug supplies, 30 A whereas a 50 A plug supplies 50 A per leg or closer to 100 A total depending on the common leg and ground leg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talk about downsizing, we are selling a 3500 sf house with 3 car garage and 12x20 shed on 2.5 acres on a hillside with a magnificent view. We have so much stuff accumulated after 42 yrs of marriage and a life of international travel with souviners that are hard to part with. Some of our friends think we are nuts and sometimes I agree, but then there are those who would love to do the same thing. We have 1 year to get rid of everything, except those that we consider "notgetridables", and move those pieces we are keeping to storage until we have at least a good year on the road to see if we really like the lifestyle. Already, being in this rented 35 footer for less than 24 hours, I know I could never live in this limited space.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You will find that even a 45 foot coach with quad slides gives you less than 450 sq. ft. It is definitely a shock initially. If you are having that significant a problem with a 35 footer, you should definitely be looking at a 45 footer. You most likely will have to get a DP. I do not know of any 45 foot coaches that are gas powered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My advise is to store for a year or two. You just never know what your 'real' reaction to fulltiming will be until you have done it awhile. I've seen far too many folks who have followed their dream and that dream turned into a nightmare. Dreaming is great. It's what makes the world go around. But not everyone is suited to the RV lifestyle. One half of a partnership may love it one may not. Disposing of everything early on may come back to haunt you.

Yes I'm being negative but it happens too often. Take a year or two to test drive your dream and then make the hard choices. Storage is cheaper than replacement.

 

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I'm being negative but it happens too often. Take a year or two to test drive your dream and then make the hard choices. Storage is cheaper than replacement.

While I can't give you any hard numbers because I have not kept actual records, I feel quite safe in saying that of those who come here to talk about going out on the road in an RV for a permanent home, fewer than half are still around these forums a year or two later and most of those who leave the forums have left RVing as well. I'd bet no more than 30% of those who start planning for a fulltime lifestyle actually do so for 5 years or longer. If everyone who talks about living the fulltime life actually did so, these forums would be over run with posts and visitors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting Kirk......to the OP.....we aren't fulltimers but we do live in our MH for six months every year when we snowbird south for the winter. This year we are also doing a cross Canada trip so that adds another 3 months or so. To tell you the absolute truth...I dont think I could full time. We still have a house in Canada and after six months I am very glad to get home and stretch out a bit and have my own space again ( if you know what I mean) .

 

And we are also thinking about doing some world travelling for a few winters. So to me an RV is not in my life plans for the indefinite future.

 

But that is me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Viv and Dennis I've just seen way too many dreams vanish. I would rather be negative and make folks think before they burn their bridges.

I met one couple in a campground in an 'almost' new motorhome. Seems some folks purchased it, drove 1700 miles and argued and bickered and decided to quit 'their' dream. The folks that I was talking to got a bargain at some one's expense. It does happen.

 

We would be fulltiming too only 'other' commitments/circumstances made it impossible. Luckily we had kept all our 'stuff' and were able to return to 'normal' life. :(

 

regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say, we are one of the couple who have been FT for about 2 1/2 years, and are now building a home in Ocala, Florida. We did anticipate a lifetime of FT, but have found we miss many of the things a stick built home provides. We are in the process of selling both our 45 foot coach and out beautiful lot in Silver Springs. We do anticipate buying a smaller coach at some point to take smaller trips on a PT basis. In our case we have found the space available, even in our 45 foot coach is just too confining for our needs. Everyone has to see what it's like for them.

 

If anyone is interested we have ads for both our items listed in these forums. Take a look. PM me for a link if you cannot find them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe one of the reasons some don't keep full timing is during the 1st few years they're hitting all the hot spots, then they ask themselves...now what? Usually the vacation mode doesn't let them slow down & smell the roses. They probably run into the same problem when they leave the road & build a home....now what? I'm not one to sit in a rocking chair on the front porch for a couple years, then start slowly rocking. I've always been a planner. What am I going to be doing in the next 5yrs.? Too many places to be seen, and things to do, to end up saying..."We should have done that when we had the chance." I'm going to do my damnest not to have any more regrets than the ones I already have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our 5th wheel is 40 feet and 4 slides. Our truck is a F-350 ,CC,LB diesel. Truck and Rv we are 55 feet long. You will be restricted in where you can park but you will find plenty of places you can. It has never deterred us or prevented us from being in the area wanted to be in. We were undecided in full timing or not and after 1 year on the road we decided that long timing better suited us. I agree with the "test drive".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Viv and Dennis, I was one of those people that to much stuff but down sized over a few years. I had a 3500 sq ft home, 2 car garage and barn of over 2500 sq ft that still let at least one pickup set outside. My wife passed suddenly after 44 years and it took me about two years to my girls to take or me to haul the few things they wanted. In the mean time I had bought a small Class C which worked great for one person. Worked great but than there began a need for a second person. I upsized to the 37 foot FW that my first wife and I liked, had an auction and property was sold. The Fifth Wheel has been my home the past year with a small rental about 1400 miles from where we winter. One problem with the present FW is the Closet is small so I have another FW on order with a walk-in closet.

Now we are in Upper Michigan where larger RV spaces are harder to find like there are 26 foot spaces available with utilities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're getting a bit off topic here but!! Many folks start their home work with the RV. Which type and how big etc etc etc. But the physical RV is 'only' a small part of RVing. RVing is a lifestyle. The RV is just a tool that is used in pursuit of that lifestyle. The sad fact is that many couple are simply not suited to the RVing lifestyle. Their 'problems' have little to do with the actual RV. If you are not compatible then the relatively small space in an RV will test your relationship big time. RVing situations are a constant issue. Issues that don't arise in a sticks and bricks are often a challenge. A challenge that some can't cope with.

 

Always have a plan B. Always.

 

regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many folks start their home work with the RV. Which type and how big etc etc etc. But the physical RV is 'only' a small part of RVing. RVing is a lifestyle. The RV is just a tool that is used in pursuit of that lifestyle. The sad fact is that many couple are simply not suited to the RVing lifestyle. Their 'problems' have little to do with the actual RV. If you are not compatible then the relatively small space in an RV will test your relationship big time.

Even if you truly enjoy being together and have most of the same tastes, if one has strong ties to "home" then RVing can become challenging. Dave and I enjoyed our time on the road and we enjoy being together but his extended community didn't move with us and that became the obstacle to continued full-timing. It can be hard to know before you go what it is you might miss back home.

 

Linda Sand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

Dish For My RV.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...