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dowdyl

40' Diesel Pusher vs Smaller 33' Diesel Pusher

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Its a matter of preference. If you need more room go with the larger. If parking in some campgrounds which has a length restriction and that is important go with the shorter one. Some of the federal campground have a 30 foot limit. Most commercial campgrounds will accommodate up to 45 foot.

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There generally significant handling and ride penalties associated with a DP shorter than about 36'.

Steering geometry and driver's position pretty much dictates front overhang. Length of driveshaft, transmission, engine and sometimes even the CAC and radiator dictate rear overhang. That means to turn a 40' coach into a 33' coach, virtually all the difference is taken out of the wheelbase.

Short wheelbase to overall length coaches do not handle as well as that same coach in a longer model.

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If you want a king sized bed, you are much more likely to get one in a 40 footer than a 33 footer!

There's an in between size that provides a King bed: The Winnebago Journey Xpress or Itasca Medridian V Class.

Both 34/35 feet available starting in 2010

PHESPE

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If there is better handling because of the length over 33' I sure can't see it/feel it or experience it.

I owned a Alpine 32, a Journey 39f (40') and currently own an Itasca Medirian V Class 34'

The Medrian handles as well as the 40 Journey, The Alpine 32 foot handled better than any other MH I ever owned - and that's 9 of them since 1972

There many factors that play into it other than addition to length. The OP asked about length - I think an appropriate reply would have mentioned that length alone is not a good measure.

PHSPE

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As I suggested above: Short wheelbase to overall length coaches do not handle as well as that same coach in a longer model.

Clearly, engineering such as Gary Jones put in the Alpine chassis can compensate for a short wheelbase/OL. I completely agree.

All suspensions, weight distribution, etc are NOT equal.

Another example of a shorter, good handling coach is the Foretravel 34'. 8 outboard air bags, 8 shocks, etc DO help overcome it's short wheelbase/OL.

BTW, here is another topic covering a lot of the same ground: http://community.fmca.com/topic/3608-are-30-diesel-pushers-too-short-for-a-good-ride/

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I have owned 42', 40' and have downsized to a 36'. The 42' had a tag axle for the added weight and the other two units had single drive axle. Everyone of these units handled differently. The way you are going to use the motorhome plays an important role in what size you may need.

If I were full time I would probably lean toward a 40', but since we are not full time we chose a smaller unit. That is not to say this smaller unit would not work if I were fulltime. Regardless of what size unit you buy give careful consideration to the engine size. It is my opinion that there are many motorhomes out there with marginal sized engines. I had one and that engine worked overtime once I got into hilly terrain. This resulted in poor fuel economy and performance. The 36' I currently have has a 400hp ISL engine and has great performance and surprisingly great fuel mileage. This is due to an ideal weigh to power ratio.

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I went from a 33' gas V-10 to a 40' diesel pusher, 2 years ago. The diesel is an Itasca Horizon 2009 with ISL 8.9 Cummins engine and Maxxum Chassis by Freightliner. The larger unit handles better overall and in tight spots, better than the gas 33' Damon Daybreak. Also the engine is 425hp, but the torque is I think 1250lbs. Going across the USA from MD to Alberta, Canada in the summer of 2010, we got better mileage going up speed grades at 35- 40 mph, than cruising down the interstates. Torque is the most imporant thing for the engine and a generous turning radius is very helpful. We have a 60 degree turning and it really helped me manuever in many a tight spot. He have 18k on the unit and it runs fine and is a dream to drive. We wanted to buy a 36' diesel but couldn't find a layout we liked and got a better price on this larger unit with the exact layout we wanted. We pull a tow dolly to pull our 2011 Toyota Prius, so over mileage is 7 mpg with the RV and 45-50mpg with the Prius, so our fleet average is not to bad. Mark from Rockville, MD

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After driving a one of the new 2013 Palazzo 34' diesel pushers (http://palazzorv.com) a few days ago on a delivery, I have to say it had a fantastic ride. It was also very quiet for a diesel motorhome. But I have to warn you that the air brakes on small diesel motorhomes like 33' or 34' foot work very very well... :) It was a Cummins 300HP ISB / 660lbs.ft. and it had plenty of giddy-up.

marksheinkopf, I'm just learning all this and I noticed to said "60 degree turning radius", I believe you had intended to state "60 degree wheel cut". Wheel Cut is the amount the wheel can turn and the turning radius is effected measurement and by the motorhomes wheelbase. I believe a modern day motorhome chassis ranges from a 50° up to about 60°. Most Freightliner Diesel Chassis are 55° with a few with the ZF Independent Front Suspension increasing to a 60° wheel cut. Does this sound about right?

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Jtraveler,

Did you get into any heavy side wind driving? With the shorter wheelbase DP's (that one is 208") that tends to be an issue.

Also, did you drive far enough to check MPG?

Thanks.

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The delivery was from Thor RV in Elkhart, IN to Lazy Days in Tampa Florida, so just under 1,200 miles with nothing noticeable as far as wind goes. I'll have to check my logs and I could tell you the mileage this coach was achieving.

I would image the lower profile (this coach was under 12' tall) and a good center of balance would also contribute to the more stable ride. I noticed the motorhomes tanks are place in the center of the coach rather than off-set. I can agree several of the small to mid-sized gas motorhomes have been effected (more that I think they should have) by stronger cross winds.

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Everything else being equal a longer wheelbase vehicle of any type, car, truck, motor home will handle more "easily" on a freeway. What I mean by "easily" is that hour after hour of driving will tend to be less work on the longer wheelbase chassis. Of course there are variations depending on how a coach is engineered. The bottom line is how it feels to you when you are driving. If you like the handling and are happy, then your set. When I was shopping 2 1/2 years ago I found 40-42' coaches to be a "sweat spot" and drove several that handled well. I would recommend you go for the longer coach.

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It is all in how you will use the coach. If 99% of your useage is while parked, how it handles on the road is incidental. If you go more days than you are stopped, road handling will be more important than the layout. IMHO, if $ is not the issue, go for the longer coach, it will please in both departments.

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I think the floorplan is fantastic, dispenses with many of the shortcomings inherent to the last decade's offerings, ie watching TV underway. Wonder about the low torque/lb ratio. I mean, we have 30% more power in our Fleetwood and I judge it as marginal.

But, an interesting design that could impact the Class A scene. I look forward to reading more about owners' experience with this model.

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There are pros and cons for each length. Consideration must be given for how the coach is used, the owner's needs and tastes. Compromise will probably be necessary in order to completely meet an owner's expectations and method of use.

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It is all in how you will use the coach. If 99% of your useage is while parked, how it handles on the road is incidental. If you go more days than you are stopped, road handling will be more important than the layout. IMHO, if $ is not the issue, go for the longer coach, it will please in both departments.

Agree, however, if 99% of my useage would be parked...I'd have kept my 5th wheel:)

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We are looking for a 32ft Country Coach, older one 2000 to 2003 with the big engine. We want to pull our race trailer behind it. We have a 36' Windsor 1999 330hp. Our reason for a shorter coach is the length on the highway ( coach +trailer). And our garage we park in has space constraints. So if anyone out there knows where we can get one of those short coaches let us know.

Phil and DeeDee

Clinton, Michigan

clintonmotor@yahoo.com

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I've had small medium and large. I have a 35 foot MH and for me it is the right fit. I expect to stay within the 33 to 36 foot range. Cheaper to purchase, better fuel milage, can get into more sites, easer to drive though gas stations, cheaper on ferries and the list goes on and on. Just my opinion.

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