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Author Topic: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere  (Read 1360 times)

SissyBoyFloyd

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Part 1 - Largest length where you would have the least number of restrictions, including most scenic drives, RV parks, and national forests, and such?  I keep hearing 30' as some magical number, but am wondering if even shorter would get you into a lot places or onto many scenic drives a 30'er might not be allowed?  What are your personal experiences with size/length limitations?

Part 2 - Suggestions for MHs that would meet that length limitation, but still give you the Most Storage space for personal items, and if possible, not just Class As.
Pawnee,
Buffalo Hunter

OBX

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 02:43:51 PM »
30' would get you into most campgrounds in terms of length.  You may still get jammed up in cities, towns and tourist type parking lots.

Height is more of the challenge in terms of scenic drives.  Class B vans like Sprinters may just get in under many restrictions when you consider Northeastern parkways or low threshold places like Acadia NP.  You would want to be very cautious and use your specific vehicle as the reference and not some generic rule of thumb.

JudyJB

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 03:11:41 PM »
There is really no magic number of a length that will get you "anywhere."  I have a 32' Class C and have encountered pnly a handful of roads or campgrounds where I was too large.  That is over 5 years of full-timing. New York Parkways were one instance and there is a road in the Black Hills that goes through some very low tunnels.  That is about it.

If you want zero restrictions, a regular car or van would do that, but no storage or sleeping room! 

I will say that a Class A usually has more storage for the same length as a Class C because the chassis is usually higher and the underneath bins larger, but I won't guarantee that.  You just have to go out shopping and see for yourself.  Most online manufacturer sites will list the inside and outside storage for each model.  One important thing, however, is how accessible inside storage is.  Sometimes you really have to reach to get at something or a cabinet or drawer is not accessible with slides pulled in.

I assume you are full-timing because you ask about maximum storage, but really, how much stuff are you planning on bringing along???
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

blw2

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 03:19:19 PM »
I've had this same question in the back of my mind for some time now....
as I think about some day maybe setting up a toad...and also think about an eventual change to a class A when our kids move on...

Ours is 31 and change.  We call it a 31 but it's technically more like 32 ft I suppose. I've never measured it.
Anyway, there are some sites we can't get into, and I guess a few times now in state parks when sites of our size were NOT available...so in that sense there have been parks we can't get into.... but normally there's not much problem in my experience.

I also don't have problem fitting into the RV spaces at Cracker Barrel, for example
and find that I can usually just barely fit into a parking lot across two space "lengths" when the don't have the little curb bumper things at the head of the spaces.....but when doing this there are times I'm concerned about getting boxed in and maybe unable to make the swing to turn out if others park too near.
These are examples of when I watch folks in the larger motorhomes, especially with a TOAD.... or folks with super long TT's couple up to a long truck....not fit well and it makes me think that ours is about right....and it makes me question if I ever really want to get something set up as a toad.

I'd say that more than length though, it's height.  Not so much under bridges or tunnels, but tree branches in campgrounds or parking lots.  Stuff like that.  There might have been a few low bridges I've routed around, maybe, but not many if at all.  I have thought many times though, that I'm glad we are not in a taller class A at that moment.

And I'll add this, I look on with a bit of jealousy sometimes when I see these little sprinter van B's or even small C's (like maybe 22ft?) parked in a single parking space.  I think they look like great road trip vehicles for a single or couple....IF looking at them more like an upgraded van for road trips, rather than a full RV for living
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
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ArdraF

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 04:16:10 PM »
Brad, here's one advantage to having a toad with a larger motorhome.  If we're parking parallel to the curb in a large parking lot and are worried about some one hemming us in so we can't maneuver out of the space, we park the car in front of the motorhome and facing the curb.  That means we can back the car out and use its space to drive the motorhome out.

Every time we talked about changing motorhomes we talked about size but it really doesn't matter much because your needs and wants also change over the years.  When we first started RVing we usually parked in places like state and national parks and were able to do so because we had smaller motorhomes.  Back then we were really limber and it didn't matter if we had to climb a ladder to get into bed.  But, the fact is, as we've grown older we like our creature comforts more and are just as happy to park elsewhere and drive the car to do our sightseeing.  We have fewer hassles while sightseeing because we're in the car and don't have to fight for limited parking and fewer hassles parking the motorhome in a nice long drive-though space in a commercial campground.  So, my advice is to do what suits you the most NOW and let the future unfold as it will.  We all tend to stress about things and most of the time it all works out just fine.

ArdraF
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beaverfever

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2017, 05:22:54 PM »
a lot depends on the driver, confidence and ability. where you point it the rest will follow but still needs common sense.

sunfighter

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 06:41:19 PM »
a lot depends on the driver, confidence and ability. where you point it the rest will follow but still needs common sense.

That's for sure. Even with a large rig, we do like to get off the beaten path. It is doable. ;D
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 07:15:29 PM »
I've put our 34' coach on several sites that were listed as 30 foot max. Some of those sites would have been very difficult to get a similar sized TT into though, so I suppose that was the reasoning behind the restriction.
Dutch
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2017, 08:21:50 PM »
That question is way out there. A spot a 20 year old 30 ft coach may fit in a new 30 ft coach may not. Most new coachs are much taller and wider than ones built 20 years ago.  My 95 Damon Challenger 30 ft coach sat much closer to the ground and the interior didn't have the height that my Dolphin does. I haven't measured my Dolphin yet but I know it is at least 1 1/2 foot taller and maybe 10" wider. My buddy has a 96 Storm and his coach is the same wheelbase as my old Challenger and it was 11" taller and 8" wider, So there is NO answer to a generic question like that. 

My 98 34 ft Daybreak had a 216" wheelbase, on a P32 chassis, 19.5 " wheels,  my 34 ft Dolphin has a 208" wheelbase, on a W22 chassis with 22.5 wheels. Can't even compare the two coachs. The Daybreak was much more stable in cross winds, because it sat closer to the ground and had a much more sloped nose, got much better fuel mileage too, but it didn't have the power this Dolphin does. Turning radius on the Dolphin is much better, so I can put it where I want it, most times on the first try. It doesn't scrape when backing in the drive like the Challenger, and the Daybreak did. Pros and cons for most coachs, and most like what THEY have.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 08:35:42 PM by Charlie 5320 »
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BinaryBob

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 08:39:44 PM »
Dude.... you need to just buy a motorhome and put these hypothetical, obtuse, unanswerable, and irrelevant questions to bed.
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Tom and Margi

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 09:39:19 PM »
Dude.... you need to just buy a motorhome and put these hypothetical, obtuse, unanswerable, and irrelevant questions to bed.

 :)) :)) :))

timjet

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2017, 05:24:53 AM »
Buy to your comfort level and you're desired floor plan. A 25 year old with a family may be comfortable in a 30 footer. Me and my wife at 66 yo are comfortable in our 40 footer. We have to plan ahead on places to park but would not use a 30 footer to go to a more scenic place and be cramped.

And if you want headaches and maintenance issues - buy new.
Tim
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UTTransplant

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Old Radios

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2017, 07:32:11 AM »
We went with a 27' as a lot of the NY State Park sites on the water we like have a 30' max limit.  Our 27' fits in a pull through parking lot space also when we travel although we often pull a trailer now with the motorcycles inside and canoes and kayaks on the top. That brings us up to 44' but we can usually unhook the trailer off to the side and still fit into the sites we like.
Be more concerned with a floor plan you can live with.
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SissyBoyFloyd

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2017, 10:56:36 PM »
That question is way out there. A spot a 20 year old 30 ft coach may fit in a new 30 ft coach may not. Most new coachs are much taller and wider than ones built 20 years ago. 

You sure hit on something there.  I was out looking at a couple MHs today and walked up behind several really big new Class As and was shocked.  I felt that I was looking up at a skyscraper, they were so huge from behind on ground level.  I am still shocked by the feeling it left me with.  I will really have to void my mind of that thought if I ever am driving one.  I definitely don't want to think about how big of a thing I am speeding down the road with.  Never realized how much bigger they have become.  Wow!
Pawnee,
Buffalo Hunter

Isaac-1

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2017, 01:52:22 AM »
Yeah, they do have a way of looking a LOT smaller in the promotional photos, this even holds true of the "small" 22-24 ft Sprinter based coaches.  Now my take on parking and fitting in spaces as the owner of a 28 ft class A (2002 Safari Trek 178 inch wheel base, P32 chassis 98.5 inches side wall to wall not counting mirrors / awnings, and 11'1" tall to top of air conditioner).  Height only matters when there are low hanging limbs, and the occasional low clearance underpass as no RV is going to fit through the drive through window at a fast food joint, at 11'1" I generally don't have to worry too much about limbs, which just means I get lulled into a false sense of security until I hit a small town that does not trim their trees.  Length is an issue depending on where you plan to travel, if you are looking at national parks, some state parks, etc. being under 30 ft helps.  We are going to Yellowstone next month, we made reservations about 7 months ago, and at that time we would have been out of luck if we were any longer as most nights we wanted to stay there only 30 ft spaces were left available.  Having said that you will always find places that don't allow RV's over 25 or even 23 feet, which I feel is a bit insane since my crew cab F-250 is 21 ft long.  For places outside campground length for smaller motorhomes is not really that big of issue, a standard full size parking space as found at most big box stores is going to be 9 ft wide and 22 ft long, so few motorhomes will fit in a single space, and most will fit in 2 spaces end to end.  The problem is getting in and out of those 2 spaces without intruding on too many others due to off tracking and tail swing when making corners.  Even with my relatively small class A I find I need to take up at least 4 parking spaces (2x2 grid)in a typical parking lot. If I try to squeeze into 2 spaces end to end, and someone parks next to me I would hit them pulling out if I could not pull straight forward. thanks to off tracking and tail swing, I would likely intrude into 2 parking spaces with tail swing on the outside of the turn, and 1 other with off tracking on the inside of the turn for a total of 5 parking spaces needed pull out of being parked in 2 spaces end to end, and even then it is hard to make a sharp enough turn in a typical big box store parking lot to clear the next row of parking spaces.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

KandT

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2017, 05:49:18 AM »
Dude.... you need to just buy a motorhome and put these hypothetical, obtuse, unanswerable, and irrelevant questions to bed.

Yes please buy one!  You will be fine.  I thought I had Analysis paralysis!
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JudyJB

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2017, 12:13:05 AM »
Adding a few feet to the end really does not make a big difference in driving.  Mostly, and I use the term lightly, the rear end follows the front end.  (There is something called "tail swing.")

I started out looking at 22-24' motorhomes, then decided that a corner bed was too hard to get into and out of, and I needed a real bed in the back I could walk around at least enough to make.  So I moved to 28' and then bought 32' and have never regretted it for a single second.  There is no magic number for finding camping spots.  I don't tow, so in nearly all state parks I have an extra 8-10 feet left over in my camping spot. 

I agree that they look HUGE, especially in a showroom.  Once you get used to driving one, and that happened fast for me, they shrink in your mind. I have gotten mine into and out of some very tight spaces. 

I will say that when my son dropped me off to pick my new motorhome up, I had never driven anything bigger than a mini-van.  My son was so terrified, he "followed" ahead of me, and I think it took him 3 or 4 years to get used to the idea of his mom driving such a big vehicle without crashing it somewhere.  (That first trip with him following was good payback for those times I rode with him when he was 16!) 

The point is that we all are a little scared at first, but we all survive and get competent with a little experience.  Just go and buy what you want and then drive it. 
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

Mile High

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2017, 01:04:28 AM »
I consider the MH the Mother Ship so I keep her in orbit while I explore in my shuttle craft.  It was never my intent to buy a  MH that i can cram into those rare hideaway places I can do in a tent or truck camper, rather my intent was full use of comfort offered in 43.5 ft. :)
Brad and Dory
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Isaac-1

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2017, 01:15:04 AM »
Here is something to help with visualization of vehicle lengths,  and where vehicles can fit.  Using common delivery trucks like the ones used by Fed-Ex and UPS as reference as seen on residential streets all over the country.  Looking at the boxy wedge nosed Step Van style trucks, one size range larger than the sprinter / promaster van-chassis models, the smallest of which have an overall length of 24.5 ft, and the most common mid size step van delivery trucks measure in at 29.5 ft long, and the largest step van delivery trucks measure in at 32 ft of length overall.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Stephen S.

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2017, 11:26:22 AM »
I consider the MH the Mother Ship so I keep her in orbit while I explore in my shuttle craft.  It was never my intent to buy a  MH that i can cram into those rare hideaway places I can do in a tent or truck camper, rather my intent was full use of comfort offered in 43.5 ft. :)

This ^^ is my philosophy as well. Get into the area, then day trip, or side trip for a night or three.

I have both my VW toad and a dual-sport motorcycle for getting into smaller places. I kept my tent I had before the RV. Then with the canoe on top of the VW as well, there are very few places I can't get to and camp.
Stephen S.
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Isaac-1

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2017, 02:45:31 PM »
This question of base camp / explore vs travel and stop has a lot to do with your travel desires and available amount to time.   The base camp and explore model works good for those that have a lot of free time to travel  (full timers, snow birds, etc.)  For people that are limited by scheduled vacations and such the travel and stop model may work better.

For the base camp and explore model, the 45ft motorhome and TOAD exploration vehicle may work great as the 70 ft long combo is only on the road from base camp location to base camp location every couple of weeks on average.     

For people using the travel and stop method, length becomes more important.      This is part of the big appeal of class B's, being able to go just about anywhere, and being able to  park in a standard full size 9 x 22 ft parking space, the problem with class B's is they give up so much to fit into that standard parking space (limited cargo capacity, most have seats that convert to beds, limited tankage, and there is often a toilet in the shower)     Sure even B's have some limits, you are not going to pull up to a McDonalds drive thru, but you can get into the McDonalds  parking lot.  Speaking of which I was shocked to see someone pulling into my local 35+ year old McDonalds parking lot pulling a 5th wheel the other day, I have no idea how they parked, of course delivery trucks do it, but they don't care who they block in.      In my case I have a short 28 ft class A 29'6" inch bumper to bumper, with a 178 inch wheel base.   This is a compromise, on one hand I can't fit in a standard parking space, but on the  other I can stand in my bathroom with my arms out stretched and can't touch the opposing walls (full width rear bath).    What this means for the  travel and stop model is that I can usually pull in and stop at many points of interest (worlds largest ball of twine, ...), however it often means making a scouting pass by the parking lot, and giving some thought to parking access, but with a 178 inch wheel base, I can sometimes fit into a standard length parking space if I can let the back end overhang the curb.   
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 02:50:30 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Mile High

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2017, 05:16:26 PM »
This question of base camp / explore vs travel and stop has a lot to do with your travel desires and available amount to time.   The base camp and explore model works good for those that have a lot of free time to travel  (full timers, snow birds, etc.)  For people that are limited by scheduled vacations and such the travel and stop model may work better.

For the base camp and explore model, the 45ft motorhome and TOAD exploration vehicle may work great as the 70 ft long combo is only on the road from base camp location to base camp location every couple of weeks on average.     

I would have to disagree with your theory as I'm the one that brought up the base camp/explore concept and we are vacationers, not fulltimers or part timers.   I don't think it has to do with your time available, rather just how you approach your planning (and both ways are effective).  We just went to CA Redwoods and drove out there in travel and stop mode, then switched to base camp and explore using two base camps on the way - Benbow, CA and Crescent City Oregon.  We toured the heck out of CA and OR in the Jeep, then back home in travel and stop mode.  Overall trip was 12 days or so.

Every once in a while I see a couple in there Class B with lawn chairs out and the awning checking out a nice view in a spot my 43.5 ft would never fit and that is really cool, but I also remember trying to find places to park our 1 ton dually we had when we had a 5th wheel,  especially in some of these national park parking lots, and I don't miss that either.   
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 05:18:13 PM by Mile High »
Brad and Dory
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ducnut

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2017, 04:28:04 PM »
After shopping dealerships, I looked at how much coach I felt like driving and could afford to operate. Then, instead of looking at how much I could take, I looked at how little I could take and still be comfortable wherever I went. I drive a semi for a living and have to plan for everything, including being excluded from many parking options. I didn't want the same challenges for my motorhome. I ended up with a bit less than 25' of Class C that allows me to operate much like a large van. I can pirate park about anywhere, park in any restaurant/grocery store/etc, and didn't give up any truly necessary amenities. Good luck with your search!

JFN

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2017, 05:26:53 PM »
Impossible to recommend a unit that will get into anywhere. We don't have anywhere data .
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rls7201

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2017, 06:23:17 PM »
We drive a 33' Bounder with decals under the drivers widow that says 30W. So far the attendants have always assumed our Bounder is 30' long. Never been declined a space any where.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 06:26:37 PM by rls7201 »
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Larry N.

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2017, 06:43:16 PM »
We drive a 33' Bounder with decals under the drivers widow that says 30W. So far the attendants have always assumed our Bounder is 30' long. Never been declined a space any where.

Did the driver die, Rich?  :o ::) ;D
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rls7201

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2017, 11:08:45 AM »
Quote from: rls7201 on July 19, 2017, 06:23:17 pm
We drive a 33' Bounder with decals under the drivers widow that says 30W. So far the attendants have always assumed our Bounder is 30' long. Never been declined a space any where.

Did the driver die, Rich?  :o ::) ;D

I guess I'm a little (or a lot) dense in the AM............I don't follow your thought process. I'm sure there is some humor in you comment but you leave me with a ? HELLLLLLLLLLLLP! :-[ :-[ :-[
Richard  & Michele Shields
& Eg the Bounder Cat
Gladstone, MO
95 Bounder 32H F53
460/528 stroker

Larry N.

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2017, 11:13:14 AM »
Sorry, Rich.

Quote
decals under the drivers widow

 8) ::) ;D
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

SissyBoyFloyd

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2017, 12:08:33 PM »
Quote from: rls7201 on July 19, 2017, 06:23:17 pm

I guess I'm a little (or a lot) dense in the AM............I don't follow your thought process. I'm sure there is some humor in you comment but you leave me with a ? HELLLLLLLLLLLLP! :-[ :-[ :-[


It was put under the widow, instead of over the widow.  They would have to roll the widow up to see it if it was put under the widow instead of over.  And some of those widows are very heavy.
Pawnee,
Buffalo Hunter

rls7201

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2017, 02:27:59 PM »
Sorry, Rich.

 8) ::) ;D

HE HE...........Good catch. The wife and I looked for a long time and missed my spelling mistake. Thanks.
Richard  & Michele Shields
& Eg the Bounder Cat
Gladstone, MO
95 Bounder 32H F53
460/528 stroker

muskoka guy

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Re: Two Part ? - Largest size MH that would still get you into Anywhere
« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2017, 09:46:36 AM »
I think it comes down to what kind of camping you are planning on doing. If you park most of the time, more living space is too valuable to give up just so you can park in the odd campground. I am on my second 38ft class A, and going any smaller would not be an option for me. You camp far more than you drive. Thats why very few motorhomes have huge miles on them. Unless you are specifically planning on camping at national parks, bigger is better. Pull a toad and explore from a central location. Much less headache than trying to drive an rv around to sight see, only to return to find someone has stolen your campsite at the national park.

 

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