Pros and cons of going to 40ft.

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bmobleher

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Aug 8, 2019
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Have a choice between 2014 36ft. Winnibago Gas and a 2011 40 ft. Sports Coach Pusher.  Wife has heard friends complaining about difficulties getting sites and in and out of places like fuel stops.  Open to input about pros and cons.
 

Roy M

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May 31, 2017
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southern British Columbia
You will have to get used to the length and be aware of clearances. Most modern gas stations have plenty of room for larger vehicles but it might be problematic in smaller towns with older ones. We have one locally that I won't try to pull my 25' fiver through but the others are fine. Look for campgrounds with pull throughs. And be aware of the overhang when turning. I got clipped by a large box trailer yesterday, he was in too much of a hurry to wait for me to get out of the way. :mad:
 

Back2PA

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Jul 26, 2015
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Very little difference between a 36 & 40 as far as maneuvering in general. If you can drive one you can drive the other. Only very occasionally would you run across someplace that could take a 36 but not a 40. Exception: a couple of roads in CA (part of Highway 1 north of San Simeon for example) are limited to 40 or less, and having had a 38 footer on that section I can tell you it's a challenging drive with little margin for error in a few places. A 36 footer is still a lot on those roads, but easier.


That said, the 40 pusher will have a much longer wheelbase due to axle placement, so areas with narrow, tight corners would be more challenging. Balancing that is that the pusher has a sharper steering angle, which helps if you have room to swing the nose around.
 

zmotorsports

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Utah
Like already mentioned, not much difference between driving a 36' vs. a 40'.  Either way you just plan your fuel stops, rest area stops, groceries, etc. but it will be the same with either and no much trouble at all.  We went from a 30' gasser to a 38' diesel pusher then to a 40 footer and there was a bit of a difference between the 30' and the 38' but marginal and no real difference between the 38' DP and the 40' DP.  One thing that will be noticed however, is the distance between fuel stops on the 36' gas vs. the 40' diesel as I found I wasn't stopping for fuel nearly as much so the anticipation of where the next fuel stop was diminished to almost nil.

I also prefer the braking of the air brakes compared to the hydraulic but that's just me.  As far as camping spots, I have found that most that state a max. length of 35' I can still put my 40 footer into.  When we went from the 30' to the 38' we did however, change our destinations a bit and don't stay at state and/or National Park campgrounds as much as we used to but we don't miss that so you will maybe want to check yourself on that front.

Personally, I would take the chassis, brakes, ride and handling of the diesel over the gas but it will also depend on the type of RV'ing that you do.  If you travel a lot you may like the DP more, if it's on a decent chassis to begin with, but if you go to one place and stay a while and don't put many miles on you may find the gasser better suits your style as there will be a little less costly maintenance and upkeep compared to the diesel chassis.

Mike
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Others have addressed the site and driving differences (not much), but the diesel is soooo much easier to fuel. Just find any truck stop and you will be able to fit. No getting stuck in a car lane because someone parked in front of you while you were filling so you can?t maneuver. And those 100 gallon (or more) fuel tanks make stopping less of a chore as Mike said.
 

BinaryBob

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
What UTTransplant said....

Love my rig, but gassing takes a bit more organizational planning.  Most "convenience store" stations won't work for my 38' and tow. I usually need to find a travel plaza or truck stop, so I try to fill up with around a half tank left. I'm jealous of those large diesel lanes !
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Mar 11, 2005
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Camp Verde, AZ
Which floor plan do you like better?  No matter what the differences are between the G & D, if you don't like the floor plan or the DW doesn't like the kitchen you won't like the MH.
 

ArdraF

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Feb 12, 2006
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10,693
I think the biggest difference is the rear overhang.  Gas rigs tend to have longer overhangs because they're built on a different chassis with a shorter wheelbase.  Diesels tend to have a longer wheelbase and, therefore, less rear overhang.  We went from a 30' Class C to a 34' Class A DP to a 40' Class A DP.  With diesels we tend to use truck stops which are easier maneuvering.  As to campsites, sometimes it isn't the length of the campsite as much as the access road getting to it.  If it's a narrow road lined with a lot of trees, it can be challenging, but that was also the case with our smaller gas motorhomes.  We've been in a couple of places where the trees were close to the road with a lot of overhead branches, but that's the exception.  Older state and national parks may have shorter sites and smaller roads, but it's not usually a big deal.  Sorry, I don't know anything about either of the two motorhomes in which you've expressed interest.

ArdraF
 

billwild

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Dec 8, 2009
Posts
876
We loved our 40 footer and did not really have problems fueling up. I did get a fuel card for Pilot and used it often. Saved some money that way on diesel. Enjoyed the interior room as well. Also was great for towing our Honda CRV behind, did not even feel it back there.


Bill
 

grashley

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May 7, 2015
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Western Kentucky
UTTransplant said:
Others have addressed the site and driving differences (not much), but the diesel is soooo much easier to fuel. Just find any truck stop and you will be able to fit. No getting stuck in a car lane because someone parked in front of you while you were filling so you can?t maneuver. And those 100 gallon (or more) fuel tanks make stopping less of a chore as Mike said.
With the gas engine, you MUST use the car island unless they have an RV island with gas.  Getting in and out can be a challenge.  With the diesel, use the truck stop / truck lane with easy access.

Alaskansnowbirds said:
Which floor plan do you like better?  No matter what the differences are between the G & D, if you don't like the floor plan or the DW doesn't like the kitchen you won't like the MH.
Also very important!
 

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