Length questions and opinions

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Active member
Jul 10, 2011
Weston MO (for now)
So the wife and I are back to looking for our RV. We are also looking for a trailer to haul behind as well. What we are looking at is a 24' Stacker trailer to haul our 53 Bel Air and late 60's Scout as well as the motorcycle. From what I've read we are pretty much limited to 65' total. Now here is where I get a little confused...A tractor trailer hauling a 53' trailer with a sleeper on it has to be longer than 65' bumper to bumper. We were really wanting a 40-45' rv to go FT in when we went. We are both going to be working FT still when we start out FTing it so that's why we are gonna have 2 vehicles and the bike. I've read probably every website out there about total lengths and can't get a satisfactory answer. Also does it go by home state or state you are in at the time? I know some laws are home based and some are not so I'm just trying to get stuff sorted. I've asked this question on other forums and still wondering about answers so I thought I'd give you folks a shot.

A tractor trailer hauling a 53' trailer with a sleeper on it has to be longer than 65' bumper to bumper.

Actually, it probably does not exceed 65 ft, because the trailer overlaps the cab by several feet, making the effective length 65 or a bit less. In addition, overlength trip permits are available in most states and may be practical for commercial vehicles that need them. Usually not practical for an RV driver, since they typically are issued for a specific trip over a prescribed route, e.g.  between two truck distribution centers via an interstate

So, the 65 foot limit definitely applies. Whether any local or state law enforcement person will bother you about an overage on a non-commercial vehicle is a different question. I suspect in most places and circumstances they will NOT, but come the day when it causes a problem, e.g. causes a traffic tie-up because you can't negotiate a tight turn at an intersection, it gets noticed and likely results in a citation.

You must obey the highway operation rules in the state you are in.  Operating rules include speed limits, length and weight restrictions, towing laws, etc. Only your licenses (driver and vehicle) are valid across all states
Do I read this correct, you want to get an RV that will pull a trailer that is containing two cars and a motorcycle? That sure seems like you will be overloaded no matter what RV you get.

You probably are doing to be pushing a 10,000# towing limit, which is not really an issue on the bigger coaches. Mine in the 2013 model will pull 15,000#, currently it is 10,000#

I think a more significant issue could be the limitations you are placing on your parking opportunities. Finding extra long pull throughs may be a bit of an issue and then what do you do when you want to drop the trailer, even if you have room to drop it?

Just another consideration.

Something I have noted as we tour the mid-west.  Many with TT's or 5 th wheels also towing boats or trailers behind the main tow. Most seem to be within the state they reside in.  This is something I have not seen on the East Coast. (perhaps because more densely populated). Seems like accidents waiting to happen.  JMO
If you check the towing laws, I think the eastern states and some western states - CA for sure, impose strict conditions or they are not even allowed.  In MT you are allowed to pull a boat behind a 5th wheel but nothing else.
I will give you a little perspective from a person that pulls a 28 foot Stacker, (34 feet including the tongue) behind a 40 foot DP.  I mostly stay on either the Interstates or truck routes.

I have found RV parks that do have some longer sites.  Sometimes I do have to disconnect but it is worth it to me in order to have all the vehicles and options that I carry around.  I tend to stay a little longer at each destination and actually carry two 10 X 40 foot canopies that create a great outside area.

In regards to towing power, I have not had any problems.  I do slow down on hills, but no more so that the 18 wheelers.  I am not in a hurry usually and I am carrying my home with me.

I carry a Mustang convertable, a Jeep Commander, a golf cart and still have a workshop and a loft for storage.

Carefully measure all your vehicles.  24 feet was not quite long enough to include the golf cart and workshop.  Also there are pros and cons to getting the full 13 foot 6 inches height allowed.  I needed it for the large SUV on the bottom.  I would like to put a full solar array on the roof, but I am afraid a low bridge ot even a low branch would damage it.  You also cannot add a roof air conditioner but you can place a "Bard" cooling unit on the front wall above the tongue.

I almost forgot to mention the issue of length.  I have never been stopped for being over length.  Having said that I may get stopped tomorrow.  I am 74 feet long.  I would also add a little bit of practical information.  Never start down road or into a parking lot without having a good idea of how to get back out.  Also, it is much easier and safer to make left turns instead of right turns with the different tracking of the Stacker behing the Coach.

Seems like every trip to Florida from Ohio there are always a dozen or so 40-45ft rv's pulling a large trailer just like what Huey does down interstate 75. 

I would also bet that those big dp's pulling a huge and heavy trailer would still do better up hills vs my almost 40ft long gas rv pulling a jeep wrangler unlimited..... I am very close to 65 ft long.....

If it was me I would get the rv you want, and the trailer to haul all your toys.... And just go with it.  Like stated always pull into places with a exit plan prior to entry......

Not sure if it would make it any easier but you can also add one of the motorcycle lifts on the back of the dp.  Save you a few feet of trailer length however the bike would be out in the elements. 
Thanks for the input everyone. Huey you are just the person I hoped to find... someone doing what we are wanting to do. I think we will take the advice to get what we want and enjoy life! We found what we are leaning towards getting as far as a coach goes. We aren't sure yet because we haven't really got to do a lot of looking but we really like the Country Coach Veranda. Really like the idea of the raised patio. We love being outside and think this would be a really good option for us. Who knows tho we may end up wit something totally different when all is said and done. We've just started to look again so haven't seen many different cooaches yet.
The CC Veranda is a fairly rare model - CC went belly up shortly after it was introduced and I don't think all that many were made.

We have spent our last three summers at the Narrows Too campground near Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park. It's a "big rig" park in a tourist Mecca, so we see lots of impressive rigs here. Rarely does a week go by that someone does not pull in with a huge trailer in tow - there is one across the road from us right now, a 41 foot Phaeton with a 20+ foot stacker. Maybe 65 ft, but probably a bit more.  Last week I saw an Allegro Bus 43 footer with a trailer that had to be 24 ft or better. And I particularly recall one from last year, a 45 foot Prevost with a giant stacker trailer containing a vintage Mercedes roadster, a Toyota SUV and two motorcycles. Awesome rig! Had to be pushing 75 ft!
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