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Old 02-21-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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Camper too long????????

I now have a camper 31.5 ft long and am looking at a Forest River 34.8 ft. long. Question is there seems to be a lot of campers that length but is it that much harder to deal with? I know lot of sites you can not fit these longer units in espically on the east coast and national campgrounds. Are people not aware of this or does everyone like the luxury of bigger campers? I have seen campers at red light that just barely make the turn.
I will retire this fall and don't want to get a camper too long to use. What is a good length camper?
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:13 AM   #2
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We only have a 23footer with no slide. The Wife and I have often talked about our next one later on when other kiddo arrives and they get too big. When we bought ours we peeked into the bigger 5th wheels. I'm not so sure we would go much bigger than 28-30. Reason being is we like to CAMP more than RV Resort camp sort to speak. With a smaller RV you can fit in better spots often closer to water, or by river, etc. A lot of campgrounds we've been to pretty much allocate the bigger 5th wheels and trailers off to the side while the smaller ones get to be close to the action. It's up to you. As far as driving, i don't think you'll see much difference between 31.5 - 35 feet.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
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It sort of depends on what you want. My fiver actually measures just a bit over 37 feet. I can still get into many NF campgrounds. I just have to be aware of the campground and know what sites I can fit into. One of my favorite became off limits after last year. Trees growing and leaning more make it nearly impossible to get into some places without damage. as for backing into sites? I really don't see a heck of a lot of difference.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
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Until the older CG upgrade there sites we will always have a problem with the longer units. I have been in some sites where it is hard to get the slides out because the sites are so narrow. Most CG owners what sites will handle the longer and wider units.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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Our V-Lite is 34 1/2ft and as of yet had no issues. We always book ahead and make sure the CG we are booking at has facilities for us. We even one weekend showed up at a provincial CG and they found us a spot without much trouble.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:54 AM   #6
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That is a hard question to answer because everyone has different criteria and there will be a lot of opinions. It really depends on how you want to use your trailer (and especially where). We purposefully went with a 25ft trailer because we do a lot of National Forest Service campground camping. Roads are difficult and tight. Campgrounds are small. Many NFS roads recommend a 25ft limit. We also do 2 to 3 thousand mile trips pulling the trailer and didn't want to be max'ed on towing capacity. But that's just us. Your type of camping and "wants" might be totally different. I guess I'm just trying to give you some things to consider in making your decision. Good luck!

P.S. Our Surveyor is only 8.5' tall at the roofline so this is a plus for storage and also for clearance in primitive areas.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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Several things happen as the length of a camper goes up.
On the negative side:
1) Maneuverability goes down. Think getting onto lots, parking lots, gas stations, street intersections (especially in urban areas), scenic byways, etc.
2) Availability of sites (lots) decreases.
3) Tow vehicle requirements increase and, likely, so do fuel costs.
4) Maintenance time and effort increase. Think washing, waxing and keeping the inside in order.
On the plus side:
1) Storage volume goes up, but not necessarily weight carrying capacity.
2) More furniture / larger appliances
3) Generally, more slideouts are available / more living space.

I make the assumption that you plan to travel, what with retirement looming on the horizon. The question is how you will balance the length equation so as to meet your needs? My view? Think shorter for short campground stays and frequent moves, especially if you will be driving on secondary roads or through urban areas. Longer campers may be better suited for long stays at campgrounds that are near interstates.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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No problems if you stay aware - worth the extra room.

We picked up our 3002 Windjammer last August and have been in 5 campgrounds since then - 2 private and 3 state parks. Haven't had any problems at all, but I keep a close eye on the back of the trailer. Our previous trailers were 24', 30', and 26'. Now, with 34'+, we love the roomy feel and would not go back. When traveling, we are now more likely to eat at a rest area or park, rather than a fast food joint, because it's easier in and out. We did encounter some steep and sharp switchbacks at Norris Dam State Park in Tennessee. Looked bad, but was actually a breeze. Most on-line state reservation systems ask you for the length before they present your campsite choices, so there's no risk there. I'd say go for it!
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimurrrw View Post
I make the assumption that you plan to travel, what with retirement looming on the horizon. The question is how you will balance the length equation so as to meet your needs? My view? Think shorter for short campground stays and frequent moves, especially if you will be driving on secondary roads or through urban areas. Longer campers may be better suited for long stays at campgrounds that are near interstates.
Very nicely stated!
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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i can tell you that not many Calif. state park campgrounds can take a trailer that length.
same goes for some national parks, like Yosemite. but Yellowstone would be no problem, lots of sites in the park can accommodate that size.

a lot depends on the state or national parks you want to visit.
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