We started out looking at 28' figuring we'd be doing a lot of boondocking in the local mountains, by the time we had a floor plan we both liked and towing abilities I needed we were at the 36-38'+ range ending up with a 37 footer.
My first experience driving a class A was leaving a small town in PA at rush hour for a 2100 mile trip home. These things are just darn easy to drive, before this it was a truck camper with 16' car hauler attached. I'm glad we didn't go any bigger however, with a 252" wheelbase it's about all it can do to get into our driveway off of a narrow dirt county road but that long wheelbase makes for a dream to drive.
As others have said, floor plan first and keep the wife happy. I showed my wife probably 50+ motor homes online before she found one she liked everything about and I liked mechanically.
Good luck in your hunt.
'99 Alpine 36SDS/8.3 ISC 330 Cummins
'05 Lance 845
'06 Super duty SC/SB 6.0
Upgrades include: StabilLoads, Air Bags & Timbrens,Swaybars
Usually towing an '01 Wrangler, lifted/locked on 35"s or a mildly built '98 Cherokee on 33"s (only one locker)
Before we booght the rv we have we looked at many with many different floor plans and lengths. We bought a 35 ft class A with three slides. One slide in the living room and two in the bedroom. We have not found any place that they did not have numorous sites that we could fit in. The main reason we bought the one we have was the floor plan is what we wanted. If your not happy with the floor plan it won't matter what the length you purchase.
I just went from a 36'trailer with a extended cab pickup to a 35' MH with two slides. The layout is great and with the extra storage in the outside bins I have plenty of room. The shorter the better as long as the configuration works for you. Don't forget, you may want to tow a car along with you and that adds to your overall length.
We’re now almost sure we’ll buy a Monaco Knight and are looking at the 36 PFT. We also really like the 40 DFT rear bath model, but with a bumper to bumper length of 41.5 feet, this seems like waaaay too long for a first MH.
There are just the 3 of us: me, husband and 5 year old daughter with no other kids coming, ever! We usually take off, camp for 2-7 nights at the same spot and return home.
To each their own but if your just Camping not Full Timing than smaller is better, but thats me, I prefer to enjoy the out doors, take my boat and spend time on the lake, or drive my 26ft class A to the beach parking lot, do U turns in 2 lane roads, camp in tiny spots, drive the back roads, etc, etc, also not to mention easier to change flats, usally cheaper to repair, can park at my house and cost sooo much less to buy..
My 2 cents, over 32ft full timing, 32ft or less for camping..
I enjoy the camping experience, not sitting in a Taj Ma Hall of a RV while camping..
I was a bit intimidated the first time I got behind the wheel of a >35' class A but it felt no different than the 26' (not including cab) moving truck I helped a friend drive across the country years ago. Actually, the RVs had a much nicer ride. Go test drive the big rigs. But remember that >40' will require a class B license in CA (the location listed in your profile).
If you’ve purchased, did you wish you had gone bigger? Smaller? Is your coach just right?
In a word, bigger. We started with a 40' class A a few years ago. The we upgraded to another in the same range with a little more room. Now we have a 43' coach. It was a little intimidating at first, but it can be done. My wife doesn't drive, so it was up to me and I had zero experience. The biggest thing I'd driven was an F-150 Super Crew 4x4.
For us, more space and a good floor plan are the most important things. Bigger (generally) is better for us. I think we've found our sweet spot now. The 43' coach is very easy to drive.
Progression for us:
-21' travel trailer,used very little
-28' Class C, used very little
-34' Class A gasser, 70k great miles
-39' Class A pusher, only about 10k miles so far
I have noticed very little difference in the 34' and 39' except the difference between a gasser and a diesel. No problem at all with sites at RV parks. Don't be afraid of the extra length - it's not scary.
Discovery 39S Tin Teepee
Honda CR-V Toad
Jeep Cherokee Toad
Enrolled member of the Comanche Tribe
Bichon Frise bear killers:
Lord Shonefeld von Reginald-Friese IV.
Lady Annabelle von Lichenstein-Friese III.