96 inches of separation

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Masque

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As some of you may know, over this Eastern side of the pond we've a MH/RV width limit of 2.55m (100.39370078740158inces </pedant mode>), that's causing all sorts of wailing and gnashing of teeth as the local licencing bureaucracy grinds into its best facsimile of fevered activity  ::) over the import of US RVs . . which means that if you're holding your breath awaiting any sort of official decision . . you're already dead.

So in the meantime and after much trawling of the RV forums I learn that there is almost as much discussion over there about the 102" standard that seems to have been adopted as normal by most US manufacturers which theoretically restricts many drivers to a very limited part of the US road network.

What's bugging me is with the advent of ubiquitous, reliable slide-out systems and CAD design to give them structural integrity why haven't the manufacturers reverted to the more user friendly base width of 96 inches that was once the norm? Maybe time for some out of the box thinking for future RV design 'cos even some of our smallest MHs over here can carry a motor scooter and enough outside furniture for a serious pool party and still get into the tight spots that we've inherited from the Roman road builder's horses butt measurement rules.

Anyway, off on my own track I'm looking at 96" diesel pushers which kinda limits me 'cos trying to get info from the manufacturers as to when they moved their model ranges up to 102 inch has resulted in zilch response from all of them, so as far as I can figure I'm looking at a 91/94 Pace Arrow DP for my first bus. can anyone point me to a definitive list of older RV widths to widen my search?

Cheers, John
 

Tom

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Hi John,

It must be really frustrating trying to get anywhere with DVLA over this issue. What I haven't read the answer to is how the UK-based dealers of U.S. coaches are able to get them registered.

Masque said:
....the 102" standard that seems to have been adopted as normal by most US manufacturers which theoretically restricts many drivers to a very limited part of the US road network.

I note you said "theoretically". I honestly don't know which, if any, states have a 96" width restriction. But I doubt it would prevent drivers of 102" width vehicles from using those roads. In practice, we haven't found any roads we can't get the coach down. On our local levy roads with narrow bridges, we just wait until nothing is coming the other way and take all the space we need before crossing the bridges.

...... why haven't the manufacturers reverted to the more user friendly base width of 96 inches ...

Good question and the answer is probably more of a marketing one that a technical one. e.g. for a given slideout depth, a 96" coach would have less aisle width when closed than a 102" coach. Or, for a given closed aisle depth, a 96" coach would have a smaller slideout. It's amazing what marketing folks can make out of that 6" difference.

.....can anyone point me to a definitive list of older RV widths to widen my search?

Sorry, I can't help but, if/when you find it, that would be a very useful list for others following in your footsteps.
 

Masque

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Hi Tom. from some of the threads I gather that the 102" RVs are supposedly restricted to Interstates and the major arterial roads and not to be used on the minor routes,  though seemingly this is habitually ignored by both owner and law enforcement.
Seriously though, you don't see a lot of innovative space design in the US rigs, obviously I know little of the build quality but from reading, there are some people more satisfied than others  ;) with their respective wheels. Hence my thought to go with the early 90s Pace Arrow. I really like the American Dream and Beaver rigs from the same period but as far as I can tell they're all 'wide body'. C'est la vie  :-\ John
 

Jim Dick

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John,

We have a 2000 American Dream. We have been in every state except Alaska, North Dakota, and, of course, Hawaii. Still waiting for that bridge. ;D I have only come across one road which was clearly marked "no vehicle over 8' allowed". I don't believe anyone would be stopped for traveling on any road but if there was an accident in which you were involved then they probably would measure the coach and assess blame.
 

Tom

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Masque said:
...I gather that the 102" RVs are supposedly restricted to Interstates and the major arterial roads and not to be used on the minor routes....

Doesn't sound right to me John. We haven't driven anywhere near as far as Jim, but we've crossed the U.S., north and south and have driven around eastern Canada without seeing such a restriction. OTOH you may be confusing this issue with the "over 40 feet long" restriction that California has.
 

Masque

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Tom, dang! now I have to go and check my reading, I'll get back to you on that.  :)
 

Ken & Sheila

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Masque,

For many years Monaco made coaches for export that were still 96" width. I believe they still do.

ken
 

Tom

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Ken & Sheila said:
...Monaco made coaches for export that were still 96" width.

I learn something new every day. Thanks Ken.

BTW I suspect that John is wishing/planning to come to the U.S. and buy a coach for much less than it would cost in the UK, keep it here for a period of time, then ship it back to the UK. When it arrives it has to be registered over there, but they're refusing to register imported vehicles over 100.3" wide.
 

JohnSandyWhite

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::) The problem arises when the DVLA decide to measure it with or without Awnings included in the measurements. Each DVLA interprets the rules/regulations differently.  ::)
 

Masque

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Yup, I plan on visiting my roots and fulfill a personal promise to get in some decent skiing on those scattered mountains in the Rockies. So a big well insulated coach will carry me, and the odd friend that pops over to join me, through the Winter then store it for the Summer while I head to Chile and New Zealand and pick it up on the way back to Europe. So far the only 96" diesel, really serious winter usable RV I've found that's in my price range is the Pace Arrow. I like the Triple Es but they carry a serious price. With the Arrow I really only need to get the windows replaced with dual pane units.

But if others know better, I'd be delighted to hear from them.
 

Tom

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JohnSandyWhite said:
The problem arises when the DVLA decide to measure it with or without Awnings included.....

Ah yes, thanks for the reminder John.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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So far the only 96" diesel, really serious winter usable RV I've found that's in my price range is the Pace Arrow. I like the Triple Es but they carry a serious price. With the Arrow I really only need to get the windows replaced with dual pane units.

You are talking about older used motorhomes?  Pace hasn't made a diesel model since about 1993. And most newer Pace Arrows have dual pane glass standard. 

I'm surprised that you see a significant price difference in Pace versus equivalent Triple E models. Are you perhaps comparing a diesel Triple E to a gas Pace Arrow?  Triple E manufactures several ranges of motorhomes, whereas Pace Arrow is just one of Fleetwood's ranges (its their top of the line gas model).
 

Masque

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Hi Gary,

I'm looking at diesel pushers in the 50-60K$ range, partly because of their weight over the driving wheels in winter conditions and with mountain roads being fairly twisty and none too smooth I want the structural rigidity that the big chassis will give the coachwork, and finally you can get parts and repair for Cat and Cummins engines pretty much anywhere in the World Then there's the width issue for me as I'd like to bring it over here for those terrible Alpine winters that make sliding down mountains so much fun. Of course few of you will have had the pleasure of French holiday apartments, a 30' RV with no slides has more sq footage and is far preferable and probably smells better than 1960's kermit plumbing  :-\ So I'm limited to the early 90's for RV models that were made just before the sizes went up to 8? feet

Looking through the sales sites, the few Triple E's I've found in narrow body have kept their values high all these older DPs keep their values well and look to have a good build quality. If I start looking too far back in time I lose the heated tanks, storage and insulation values  that will be essential for survival.

I have visions of heading North in November with thousands of you guys on the Southbound waving and thinking 'where the hell's that idiot going'  ;D but falling gracefully or in my case disgracefully, down mountains is a hard habit to break . . . unlike my bones.

cheers, John
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Masque said:
I'm looking at diesel pushers in the 50-60K$ range, partly because of their weight over the driving wheels in winter conditions and with mountain roads being fairly twisty and none too smooth I want the structural rigidity that the big chassis will give the coachwork, and finally you can get parts and repair for Cat and Cummins engines pretty much anywhere in the World Then there's the width issue for me as I'd like to bring it over here for those terrible Alpine winters that make sliding down mountains so much fun. Of course few of you will have had the pleasure of French holiday apartments, a 30' RV with no slides has more sq footage and is far preferable and probably smells better than 1960's kermit plumbing  :-\ So I'm limited to the early 90's for RV models that were made just before the sizes went up to 8? feet .......

cheers, John

John,

Have you looked at any converted buses? Most of them are 96" wide. Check out Bus Nuts  There are other web sites this is just the one I know about.
 

Tom

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Don,

I hadn't thought about a bus conversion. Anyone know what fuel consumption these things get? Remember that fuel is very expensive in the UK, which is where John is planning on (eventually) taking his new rig.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Tom said:
Don,

I hadn't thought about a bus conversion. Anyone know what fuel consumption these things get? Remember that fuel is very expensive in the UK, which is where John is planning on (eventually) taking his new rig.

Don't know Tom. We never kept track of fuel mileage at Westours. Maybe Jerry Ray would have an idea.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom said:
Don,

I hadn't thought about a bus conversion. Anyone know what fuel consumption these things get? Remember that fuel is very expensive in the UK, which is where John is planning on (eventually) taking his new rig.

Tom,

I doubt it would be any better than the 7.5mpg I'm getting with the Dream!!! :) Terry Nathan might know but he hasn't been around lately.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom said:
I suspect you're right Jim.

Tom,

Pat saw a bumper sticker a couple of years ago that said. "8mpg, not good for a car but not bad for a house". I try to keep this in mind each time I fill up. :)
 

fredethomas

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I'd be very leery about trying to replace the windows with dual pane.  We tried that on a brand new motorhome at a dealers show, and the engineers at the factory refused to even listen to the VP of the company about it.  Told him they would never be able to get a tight enough seal again, as when first manufactured. 

As for 96" spaced motorhomes, I think they went to 102" sometime around 1994, 1995, as we bought a 94 Bounder new and I'm almost positive they came out with the wide body the next year.

Daisy in Fred's space.....
 

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