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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes  >  Class C

 > 24 feet versus 26' dilemma, have to decide fast

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mountaintraveler

mountains

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Posted: 12/17/22 05:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello! I'm a complete newbie to RVs.
I'm buying a motorhome to travel the country for a year or two.
I have no pets.
(I had extensively traveled America and camped all over for 20 years without an RV and I love tent camping)

I found that my favorite places (in National Forests and parks) allow 24 feet max motorhome max.
Sometimes even the road to the place has this length limit
(windy mountain roads).
Upon viewing 24' units I feel tehre's too little space to fulltime in for 1-2 years. I guess I feel the fatigue from my extensive tent camping and all the tiny houses I stayed in, as I've been a full time traveler for quite a while
26' seems like a very good compromise size-wise (ideally I'd want a 31 but this won't get me into placdes)
Gas mileage on those seems to be the same, prices too.
The problem is the size limits.

Do you think I can get away with 26' in 24' spaces?
I see some indications people had been doing it but not sure if it's for real.

Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 12/17/22 06:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the good chuckle! Yes, with my 45’ it’s harder to find sites, but not impossible. We mainly dry camp in public CGs during the summer without advanced reservations… been doing it this way for 20 years. Buy a 30’ and don’t worry about the extra length, it WILL NOT be a problem.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Sold 04 Dynasty to our son after 14 great years.
Upgraded with a 08 HR Navigator 45’...


MDKMDK

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Posted: 12/17/22 06:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm curious which places have a 24' length limit? If these are off road, back country NFS or BLM sites with narrow, winding, unpaved roads in/out, the length limit is probably to keep you from getting stuck, or damaging your vehicle or the flora.
Cruise America made up a list of more mainstream NPS park limits... it looks close (except Big Bend NP which will handle longer RVs).
https://www.cruiseamerica.com/rv-adventu........rv-lifestyle/national-park-rv-size-limit

Generally speaking, a 26 footer won't find many places that can't handle it.


Mike. Comments are anecdotal or personal opinions, and worth what you paid for them.
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mountaintraveler

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Posted: 12/17/22 07:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ivylog wrote:

Thanks for the good chuckle! Yes, with my 45’ it’s harder to find sites, but not impossible. We mainly dry camp in public CGs during the summer without advanced reservations… been doing it this way for 20 years. Buy a 30’ and don’t worry about the extra length, it WILL NOT be a problem.


30' will not to into places I need to be, definitely, it's very tight camping spots and loop-like road curves.
I'm picky about sites and places I go to.
My goal is not to simply live in RV out there, but also being able to get into the same places I had visited for years on my small car with my tent.

* This post was edited 12/17/22 07:10pm by mountaintraveler *

mountaintraveler

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Posted: 12/17/22 07:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MDKMDK wrote:

I'm curious which places have a 24' length limit? If these are off road, back country NFS or BLM sites with narrow, winding, unpaved roads in/out, the length limit is probably to keep you from getting stuck, or damaging your vehicle or the flora.
Cruise America made up a list of more mainstream NPS park limits... it looks close (except Big Bend NP which will handle longer RVs).
***Link Removed***

Generally speaking, a 26 footer won't find many places that can't handle it.


Wheeler Peak in Big Basin NP, both road and campground, 24'.
There're a lot more, where it's 19-20' or so limits in many campgrounds but I'm pretty sure 24' can go in because I've seen smallish class C there.
I'm not into mainstream parks in general, mostly go to remote locations in National Forests where the truck camper would be best, but for variety of reasons I can't chose a truck camper now.
I avoid National parks, too overrun, Big Bend is the only one I still like.

Also, if a place has a bigger parking spur - it's usually the one that's going to be already taken/hard to get, so I often camped where it wasn't too easy to park my 16' Toyota Camry, even. Best campsites got small spurs or clearings. (I'm not into camping out in the open shade-less flat areas and around other rigs)
Where I camp I mostly only ever see vans/class B or truck campers, occasionally/rarely a compact-looking class C. I can't tell the length by looking at them, though.
The question is if I can get away with 26' in those places.
Some more remote camps have no official limit, but rangers warned me that taking a motorhome was going to be risky thing, and said it better be "small" - said at your own risk, but couldn't tell me how many feet max.

I'd be upset if I couldn't get into a favorite or nice spot because of length and ended up somewhere crowded/noisy/smokey instead of a quiet private spot. I have asthma and have to look for isolated spots away from campfires.
It's easier in the desert but where there're woods the clearings are often small

* This post was edited 12/17/22 07:32pm by mountaintraveler *

time2roll

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Posted: 12/17/22 07:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mountaintraveler wrote:

Do you think I can get away with 26' in 24' spaces?
Mostly yes. My 26' trailer has fit in a 18 to 24' spot plenty of times. Never seen a tape measure come out.


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MDKMDK

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Posted: 12/17/22 08:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mountaintraveler wrote:

MDKMDK wrote:

I'm curious which places have a 24' length limit? If these are off road, back country NFS or BLM sites with narrow, winding, unpaved roads in/out, the length limit is probably to keep you from getting stuck, or damaging your vehicle or the flora.
Cruise America made up a list of more mainstream NPS park limits... it looks close (except Big Bend NP which will handle longer RVs).
***Link Removed***

Generally speaking, a 26 footer won't find many places that can't handle it.


Wheeler Peak in Big Basin NP, both road and campground, 24'.
There're a lot more, where it's 19-20' or so limits in many campgrounds but I'm pretty sure 24' can go in because I've seen smallish class C there.
I'm not into mainstream parks in general, mostly go to remote locations in National Forests where the truck camper would be best, but for variety of reasons I can't chose a truck camper now.
I avoid National parks, too overrun, Big Bend is the only one I still like.

Also, if a place has a bigger parking spur - it's usually the one that's going to be already taken/hard to get, so I often camped where it wasn't too easy to park my 16' Toyota Camry, even. Best campsites got small spurs or clearings. (I'm not into camping out in the open shade-less flat areas and around other rigs)
Where I camp I mostly only ever see vans/class B or truck campers, occasionally/rarely a compact-looking class C. I can't tell the length by looking at them, though.
The question is if I can get away with 26' in those places.
Some more remote camps have no official limit, but rangers warned me that taking a motorhome was going to be risky thing, and said it better be "small" - said at your own risk, but couldn't tell me how many feet max.

I'd be upset if I couldn't get into a favorite or nice spot because of length and ended up somewhere crowded/noisy/smokey instead of a quiet private spot. I have asthma and have to look for isolated spots away from campfires.
It's easier in the desert but where there're woods the clearings are often small


In that case, I guess you'll have to compromise with something, whether it's accepting a shorter length rv, or finding places a 26 footer will fit, that you can stay at with your health issues. RVing is almost always some sort of a compromise. Good luck.

Grit dog

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Posted: 12/17/22 09:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the length “limit” you’re targeting is due to actual physical access limitations rather than mainstream public campground “rules” then I would think a Class C would be VERY limiting due to the long rear overhang poor departure angle and lowish ground clearance.
In other words I could hypothetically take your Corolla more places than a 25’ long Moho. Realistically as well.
Everything RV related is a compromise.
If you don’t like the lack of space in a 24’ then you may not like a TC but I don’t see either being limiting for one person to full time and explore in.
However if exploring is the priority like it appears, then a dually pickup with a 10’ ish single or double slide out camper on it will check the “exploring” box much better. Greater ground clearance, much better departure angle if you get the right camper, lots of extra storage if you get a crew cab and the ability to live in the camper for an extended period off the truck and have a passenger vehicle for getting out without folding up camp anytime you want or need to go somewhere.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 12/18/22 12:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As you are particular about the campgrounds where you will stay, I suggest going with the 24ft and buy a popup gazebo that you can put up for extra living space.

Here in Northern California, the foothills and desert areas you can usually fit a 26ft in a 24ft foot space as there are rarely trees, etc preventing you from backing in further. During the winter, these are often nice places to stay as there is no snow and few campers.

In the Sierras, you will have a much harder time trying to fit a 26ft in a 24ft space. the campgrounds that fit your description the best don't fit larger than 20ft and are first come first serve. The next closest (my usual category) will have boulders and/or trees directly behind the parking pad so you cannot back further into the site to fit. Some of the 24ft sites will barely fit a 24ft rig - the front end will be within a foot of the road. And most of my favorite campgrounds in the Sierras don't have any longer sites, the rest at most have 3 or 4 sites for over 24ft and those go very fast.


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Bumpyroad

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Posted: 12/18/22 05:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ivylog wrote:

Thanks for the good chuckle! Yes, with my 45’ it’s harder to find sites, but not impossible. We mainly dry camp in public CGs during the summer without advanced reservations… been doing it this way for 20 years. Buy a 30’ and don’t worry about the extra length, it WILL NOT be a problem.


I used to consider 30 ft to be a b@stard length. too long to be short, too short to be long. maybe that makes it be a perfect length?

bumpy





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