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Author Topic: Recommended length of a Motorhome  (Read 8636 times)

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Recommended length of a Motorhome
« on: July 25, 2007, 05:37:06 PM »
After searching the library and the forum I didn't find an answer to my question: What is the recommended external length of a Motorhome in the USA?
I learned that the external width should be under 102" due to some restrictions. But what about the recommended length? Maybe it varies from state to state, maybe there are restrictions as for the width.
If I didn't search right the library: please forgive me  :)
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

Tom

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 05:39:45 PM »
Mike,

The overall restriction is 65 feet, including the towed vehicle. California has some restrictions specific to motorhomes over 40 feet.

Recommended length would be influenced by where you wish to take the motorhome.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Shayne

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 05:51:48 PM »
Most people start small and work their way up to larger units.  Most of the units people look at once they have had a unit is 40ft.  Some unit are up to over 60ft.  RV on line has 1 advertised right not at 58ft.  Previously they had 1 at 68ft. It's all up to you. I for a long time between MH and trailer was 65ft, but have since shortened. My 1st MH was 19ft. JMO
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Ron

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 05:54:38 PM »
Personally I would not want to go more than 40 Ft.  However there are MH as long as 45 ft.  I'll stick with 40 myself.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 09:58:34 PM by Ron »
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

ArdraF

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 09:53:43 PM »
Ron, I think you meant to say you would NOT want more than 40 feet.  Correct?

ArdraF
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Ron

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 09:59:17 PM »
Ron, I think you meant to say you would NOT want more than 40 feet.  Correct?

ArdraF

Correct and corrected.  Thanks Ardra.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

ArdraF

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 10:04:00 PM »
Mike,

I agree with the 40 foot maximum.  Once you get longer than that, it gets harder to get into campground sites.  Of course, there are length limitations in places like some state parks for example.  There are places where you could fit in a site okay, but the trees might be so close to the road within the campground that you wouldn't be able to make it around them to your site.   And in many national and state parks, driving a large motorhome means you might not be able to find parking in viewpoints. That's why most of us have tow cars - so we can get around at destinations without hassles.

All that said, most motorhomes in the U.S. are no longer than 45 feet.  When considering what you want to drive, it comes down to personal choice.  We know people who love their 45 footers in spite of restrictions in some places.  We also know other people who had 40 footers and downsized to smaller motorhomes because they weren't comfortable driving a larger one or what I've heard the most, "It was just too much."  And, as previously mentioned, the states each have their own combined length limitations.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 02:19:51 AM »
Thank you for your answers. That were my thoughts, had that "40 ft border" in mind. Why should I miss California because of 5 feet too much in length? Why should I miss some viewpoints or other places due to the length of the motorhome?
@Tom: You wrote "California has some restrictions specific to motorhomes over 40 feet." That is without a towed vehicle?
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

Tom

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2007, 07:22:11 AM »
Quote
Why should I miss some viewpoints or other places due to the length of the motorhome?

Mike, it's not necessarily the "viewpoints"; It's physically impossible to get a motorhome that long into some campgrounds, either because the individual campsites are too small or because of obstruction by many trees in close proximity on the roads into the campground.

Quote
That is without a towed vehicle?

Yes. For more info, see Carl's message on this subject. Also see this page from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 07:38:02 AM by Tom »
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Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2007, 08:29:33 AM »
Great link, Tom - a lot of information.
Thanks!
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

Marsha/CA

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2007, 11:01:37 AM »
Mike,

I know you are looking for info regarding length of a motorhome.  But here are my 2cents. 

I would take a shorter ie 35'-38' coach with more slides.  We have a single slide 35' and can get into a lot of places including state and federal parks.  Some of the state and federal parks have a 35' length limitation, so we just fit.  Instead of lenth, I would opt for more slides than more feet.   The slides would make you feel like you have more room; but would keep you shorter so you could navigate more easily.

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2007, 12:49:11 PM »
Marsha,
the first US-Motorhome wife and I stepped in was a 30 or 31 ft Allegro. It seemed to be huge compared to European RVs.
I agree with your statement about slide outs. They make a RV much spacious. The Allegro above had two slides. So the "living room" looks like a room not like a corridor where two people have to pull in the stomach passing each other.

@ all
All my questions are based upon my dream to travel your country for a few months. Repeatedly. Not now and not this year. But one day. I want to be prepared to do that step. So I ask - and I appreciate that you answer me.
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

Tom

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2007, 12:54:35 PM »
Mike, it's good to do some advanced planning. However, be advised that things can and do change, so be sure to update the information as you get closer to the time.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2007, 03:58:15 PM »
Right Tom, but it's fun and a pleasure to plan that long  :)
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

Tom

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2007, 05:36:31 PM »
I agree Mike and you know you can always get answers from the folks here in the RV Forum.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Shayne

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2007, 07:39:29 PM »
Mike I hope you've had an opportunity to read the threads by Scottdl in his search for an RV on a period of months.  It could give you some valuable tips.  Just a thought.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2007, 07:03:18 AM »
Shayne, thanks for the hint; I did read the thread again. I am very interested in those reports. They are very useful for me.

Back to the "recommended length" of a Motorhome. I found a site (not official) with the size limits in every state. Most of the states have the 45' restriction. California is listed with 45' too, but with the remark "Some exceptions or restrictions" - like Tom said. When I have the time to travel your country, I don't want to stay at the border of one state because of the length. OK, I can live with 40'.

Looking at the width. Most states allow Motorhomes with 8,5'. But some states like Arizona or Oregon are listed with 8' maximum width with the remark "8,5' on certain federal road systems". 8' seems to be very small. What about Monaco? The factory is located in Oregon but the smallest Motorhome has a external width of 100.5" or 8,375'. You buy your Monaco - and may not drive from the factory site?  ???

Another question (sorry, it's all new to me...): Does the size limits of one state apply only to the registration in that state or to the driving of the Motorhome in that state too?
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

Wendy

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2007, 10:25:10 AM »
Our Winnebago is over 8' wide. I think just about all Class As made now are over 8' wide. We've driven all over Oregon and Arizona on all kinds of roads and never had a problem. Of course, that's not to say that some law enforcement officer couldn't tell us we were in violation or if we were in an accident, the finger being pointed at us as it being our fault because we were over the width limit. But I think it's just that the laws haven't caught up with the RV industry. Shoot, if they banned all the RVs over 8' in width from Arizona, the population would drop in half and their tourism industry would go belly up.

Wendy
Angel Peak Nat Rec Area, New Mexico
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
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ArdraF

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2007, 06:43:14 PM »
Quote
Does the size limits of one state apply only to the registration in that state or to the driving of the Motorhome in that state too?

Mike, the size limits pertain primarily to driving.  There are roads and tunnels for example that are a "tight squeeze" and wider vehicles can't drive them easily, especially on curves.  An example is parts of California route 1 along the ocean.  There are some sections that you really don't want to drive in a motorhome.  Too many curves, dropoffs, narrow lanes, etc.  In Utah the east-west road in Zion National Park has both length and height limits because the tunnels are old and it is physically impossible for some vehicles to drive through them, even down the middle of the tunnel which is what RVs of 40 feet or less do for a fee because they have to stop traffic in the opposite direction.

As to registration, that appears not to be relevant.  When California started enforcing their old "no RVs over 40 feet" law everyone said, but you've been registering 45 footers for years.  The state doesn't care what length the vehicle is when it comes to registration, as long as they get their fees.  :o  I've never heard of any state refusing to register a vehicle, but you can be ticketed for driving one that a highway patrol person deems to be unsafe such as too long for a narrow curvy road.  Much of it is common sense.  When you see truck restrictions, that's often a clue that you should follow the truck rules.  An example is weight limits on some bridges.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Carl L

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2007, 09:40:24 PM »
Quote
Much of it is common sense.  When you see truck restrictions, that's often a clue that you should follow the truck rules.  An example is weight limits on some bridges.

And kingpin to axle length restrictions that you see on a lot of mountain and hill country roads.   
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Mike (ex-f-221)

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2007, 07:30:26 AM »
Thanks for your answers. I learned a lot.

1. You are not a criminal driving a "2-in-to-long-RV"
2. Common sense is to be switched on
3. The communication between eyes and brain is essential
Mike Muellner
Bremerhaven, Germany

Carl L

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Re: Recommended length of a Motorhome
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2007, 12:42:18 PM »
And

4.  Read those yellow signs along side the highway.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

 

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