View Full Version : Bigger or Smaller, That is the Question

02-04-2007, 10:14 AM
My wife and I are ready to make the move to Full-Time RVing. We are doing our research and narrowing down the list of rigs we are considering for our new life style. However, we are struggling with the size issue. We have looked that many postings on this forum, and others. But, we still not sure! Maybe some of you could help.

We enjoy a life style that includes a lot of outdoor activities. We hike, we bike, we have a big dog, and the idea of canoeing on lakes and rivers appeals to use as well. Over the past two years we have enjoyed visiting State and National parks; and National forests. We do stop at private camp grounds too, but not as much as the aforementioned facilities.

So, with some potential restrictions on size, how big can we go?

If you have any experience with 5th Wheels in the 31 to 37 foot range and have stayed in State and National Parks we would like to hear from you. How did your rig fit in? Could you get in? And, did you ever get turned away?

Thanks, Paul & Ada

02-04-2007, 10:37 AM
I think you will find that a large rig (34' or larger) will limit you in many parks. Many of them were designed for smaller camping size (15' to 30') size rigs. Height will also be a consideration in parks in a forest. Getting up to 12' tall might have your rig bashing through tree branches.

Park camping and fulltiming can go together but you'll be in the rig for a long time. If you feel cramped or limited on what you can take with you it will diminish the experience as well. If you plan on boondocking (dry camping) you'll also have to consider water, grey and black tank capacity particularly if the park has no hookups convenient to the camp ground space and you want to spend more than a couple days there.

Most fulltimers go for larger rigs since that will be their home rather than a camper. You need to examine what you want and the limitations that might be applied to your home depending on what you choose. Keep in mind the empty rig "looks" pretty large when you walk through it. Try to imagine what it would be like after you load your "stuff" in it. The average full timing couple adds about 3,000 lbs of "stuff" to their rig so don't short yourself on cargo capacity. You'll be surprised how fast the weight adds up. Don't figure the empty weight on the sticker is accurate either. Few if any manufacturers weigh each rig as it leaves the factory. Take the unit to a truck stop scale and weigh it to get the real weight. Then subtract the real empty weight from the max (GVW) of the unit to know what it can carry.

Fulltimeng involves really living in the unit. If you won't be comfortable, you won't be happy. Try to pick the unit that will give you the most benefit for the majority of the time you will be using it.

02-04-2007, 03:05 PM
Once I had a close washer there was no way I could go with out and that limited me to at lest a 32'. If it does'nt have a W/D option I would say it was almost too small for full timing. Up to 33' would get you into most parks. I have to pick with a 36' that is actualy bigger but do find COE and NF parks to stay at.