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Thread: The seemingly infamous 40 foot mark....

  1. #1
    overpolished
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    The seemingly infamous 40 foot mark....

    Hi All,

    I have heard many folks take about keeping your 5th wheel under 40 feet to ensure you can get into the most parks while having a good length to get the stuff you want. I have also been told that the "Model" numbers 369, 379, 385 are put on the coach so that you can claim you are 36'9". 37'9" or just under 38.5'. What is your real life experience with this? A couple of rigs that are in the running for us from GD are just more than 40' 379FL and 385TH. Thank you for your feedback!

  2. #2
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    I understand that model designations are NOT lengths but more closely the interior square footage.

    As for the magic 40 foot, if you can get 35 in, you can get 40 in. In some parks, getting 20 feet in is a problem. Of course you mileage may vary on what you are comfortable trying to maneuver.
    Lostincanada and Jahna
    AKA Derek and Tatjana plus our pups Shadow and Nani
    2012 Ram 2500
    2015 Reflection 337 #814
    Hailing from Southern Ontario Canada

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor thompsons 369rl's Avatar
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    In my experience, the model number may or may not relate to actual length or square footage. I ignore them now and go straight to the spec sheet for the REAL numbers. Our 369RL is just shy of 39 ft long (over all) and we seldom have issues finding a park that can take us. Some parks just can't handle those 40+ ft rigs and many have limited spaces for the larger rigs (35 and larger). I guess it's the price you pay for having the comfort and space of a luxury rig. I can live with it
    Andy & Julie
    Gig Harbor, Wa
    2014 Solitude 369RL S/N 104
    2012 F350 SWR 4x4 CC 6.7 Diesel

  4. #4
    Site Sponsor ACDW-Ottawa's Avatar
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    We always tell the park ours is 39ft long. No sense in trying to deny our length as most parks think our trailer is 45ft long due to the wide high-boy design and then were put in the field or pull-thus instead of the nicer treed spots.

    My experience is that it depends on where you go. In popular vacation areas or where large RV's are popular, there are more parks that can accommodate the larger rigs approaching 40ft or larger. Newer parks can usually accommodate large rigs whereas the older parks are less likely to accommodate them since they were built when RV's were smaller. Also in some parks, I found that 35ft seems to be the magic number to get the nicer spots with trees or by the water.
    Aaron & Donna
    2014 Solitude 369RLS #1067
    2010 Dodge RAM 3500 SLT Mega-Cab 4x4 SRW 6.7L Cummins Diesel
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    YAKUPS® Vertical Kayak Rack and Custom Lippert 2" Receiver; Sailun S637ST tires; WeBoost Cell Phone Booster.

  5. #5
    overpolished
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    Thanks all for the replies. I appreciate it. I was trying to get a sense if the parks are fairly exact when it comes to length restrictions. It sounds like it depends. 2 of 3 of the rigs we are considering (368RD, 379FL, 385TH) are over the 40 foot mark. I am just trying to figure out if that matters where we are headed. Again thanks for the info.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mtpocket's Avatar
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    I wish we would have went shorter but was over ruled. We have dragged the back bumper a few times already. We have had to request a site change due to not being able to make a corner without going way off road at a steep angle. I believe shorter would make life easier and wouldn't miss a couple of feet off the back. The storage loss is not enough to make a difference to me. State parks around here tend to have smaller sites and 30 amp but are upgrading the electric in places. I find them pretty accurate on the site descriptions. Private older parks can be a little optimistic about what you can fit where. I also like the truck parked in the same campsite as the camper. Places are getting more strict about parking on the grass. If you park the truck away from the camper it can become a good place for kids to lean bikes against or anything in the bed seems to become community property.
    Chris and Debbie
    St. Charles County, MO
    2007 Dodge Ram Cummins DRW
    2015 369RL Solitude

  7. #7
    BBJonbo
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    We recently downsized to a 303RLS from a 39' fiver. Although we downsized what a major upgrade the GD was. The reasons we downsized is too many of the ocean front state parks on the west coast couldn't accommodate our 39'. Even sites that booked us in a beautifully treed site would swap us out before we arrived and put us in open, ugly overflow. With no where near to change to they had us captive.

    We wanted to be 32' or less but the 303RLS ended up being the perfect layout for us. Hopefully the small extra length won't be an issue. We are looking forward to being able to get into more of our desired campgrounds which many are older parks with limited or no capacity for big rigs. We absolutely love our 303 and as stated it wasn't a downgrade at all and don't missed the extra space that our 39' had. All the lost space was in the bedroom, bathroom and main storage compartment. Actually I do miss the storage capacity but we adapted and what we have in the 303 will suffice. It likely depends on where you want to camp and for us it is the older state parks that were built long before anyone imaged units as large as they are getting now.

    With regards to model numbers and length, at the RV show this year I noticed many units where the model number differed from the overall length by more than 5' and in on instance just shy of 10'. Model numbers seem to have less to do with length. Take the 303 for example, it is 33' 4" at the outer most points. GD states it is 32' 8". Neither length has anything to do with the 303 model number.

  8. #8
    overpolished
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    Thanks for your replies. The internal turmoil continues... a good problem to have I guess!

  9. #9
    Site Team WhittleBurner's Avatar
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    On a tt the length is measured from the ball to and including the rear bumper. So I would imagine for a 5er it would be from the pin to the rear bumper.
    Marcy & Gary
    2014 Grand Design - Reflection 303RLS
    2015 GMC Denali 3500 Duramax Longbed SRW
    2003 F350 - retired
    Michigan
    We're in trouble now, the dog are bloggin'!
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  10. #10
    Aeromech
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    Our 369RL is right at 39' from pin to bumper and 40'6" from tip of nose cap to bumper. So add about 1.5' to published lengths.

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