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View Full Version : Size Matters (The Challanges)


jwe648
07-29-2010, 04:05 PM
My New Quest is to figure out the size of my Next Newell.. We want to travel across the country and most all the states from Maine to Alaska and Canada and don't want to be confined to just the Interstates. So the Question. What challanges do you face with the Size restrictions of your coach.. The 45's look like a beast anywhere except the Major Highways would the 38' or 41' be a better all around length? The 102" sure looks roomy but is the 96" better.. Share your experiences.. The good, bad & scary...

fulltiming
07-29-2010, 04:52 PM
If you want to travel to the largest number of locations on the widest selections of roads, get the smallest coach you can live with, period. Technically/legally there are a number of parks, roads, states, etc that have max lengths, although many are not enforced. California limits access on many/most non-interstate roads to coaches 40' or less. Would I drive my coach up California 1 north of the Hearst Castle? Nope. Enjoyed it in a 35' coach but the turns are too sharp to make in a 43'+ coach without taking a chunk of the oncoming traffic's lane.

There are still some states that have a 96" width limit except on interstates where federal laws trump state law. Will you get stopped? Probably not. However, all of the Series 2000 coaches (beginning in 1990) and most of the post 1986 coached are 102" wide. Does it make a difference on the space inside? You bet is does, much more than you would imagine. Does it make a difference driving on a narrow winding road? It could. I rubbed a guard rail on a narrow bridge with an on-coming dually pickup and have little nicks in my wheel flares and got to buy a new Alcoa front hub cap (very pricey). Would 6" have made a difference? Oh yeah!! But that is the only close call I have had in 7 years of driving 102" wide coaches.

Length can keep you out of some parks and the LONG wheel base on a larger Newell (mine is only 43'6") without the steerable tag can make getting in and out of tight areas a real pucker event.

All that said, there is a SIGNIFICANT different in the inside space and bay storage between a 38' and a 45'. I have driven Tom's 38' and it is extremely maneuverable compared to my coach. Would Georgia want to go back to living in a shorter coach? Uh, NO!! Would I be willing to consider a 38' it I were only using mine for occasional weekend and vacation trips? You bet!

prairieschooner
07-29-2010, 05:05 PM
We live in our '82 for about 6 months during the winter (when the white stuff sticks). We like to use back roads and go to state parks so even our 38' is sometimes an issue, I just lie about the length and hope that I can squeeze it in. We have taken route 1 north of the castle and it always makes me pucker but it is doable. Originally I wanted a 35' or smaller but wouldn't trade our '82 now.
Having said this, we lived on a wooden sailboat for 13 years and know how to use space. Tricia lives by her rules that if she brings something on-board she takes something off. I am always emptying bays to see what is in there and putting back only what I feel is needed.
I like our 6V92 but I did need to learn how to drive when going over passes towing. That may be something else that you should consider, what you plan on towing and the proper power plant for that.

chockwald
07-29-2010, 07:17 PM
There are times when I wish I had a couple of extra feet, but most of the time we are very, very happy with our 36' Newell. We've taken it into Yosemite, and down HWY 1 from Monterey to San Luis Obispo. A longer coach would have made those drives much more interesting. I love driving secondary roads. Tom and I drove secondary roads all the way from La Hacienda RV Resort near Austin, TX almost to Ft. Stockton, TX where we picked up I-10.....much more enjoyable than the Interstate. This past November we took secondary roads all the way from Spokane, WA to I-5 near Mt. Vernon, WA. Some of the most enjoyable driving I have done.

jwe648
07-30-2010, 02:22 AM
The one thing I like about our 35' is it will go most anywhere and with the width I haven't hit any of the millions of newly stimulated construction markers around AZ.. they have a very short tape here when measuring lane width. What I do need is more basement storage space and think the length will give me that.. My basement storage is pretty slim.. interior is great. I am also concerned about the post regarding bottoming out .. we tend to wander the back roads.. So it may be that the 45' is too much.. We hope to go to Alaska someday and visit my old hauts.. ( anybody do dirt roads?) So it seems that 38' to 42' may be the answer.. I understand that there are some over all length issues also..?

folivier
07-30-2010, 03:27 AM
Let me say that my 39 footer (no tag) is about perfect for us. I have plenty of basement storage that isn't even being used (maybe I could rent you some?). A slide or 2 would be nice but we don't have a problem not having any. One of the best things about a coach is if it's not nice outside- move!
We've only run into 1 state park that was very tight, actually the problem was the dip while pulling out of the spot. We've seen quite a few campgrounds that would be pretty tight for a 45'. While I'd love to have a series 60 with 6 speed, etc. the old 8v92 runs great, just needs a little more maintenance and care. And the price jump is pretty significant.
The only problem with a coach under 40' is that Newell didn't make enough of them.
I'm sure some of the guys with 45 footers will chime in. I'd be interested in hearing their experiences.

zcasa
07-30-2010, 02:26 PM
We had a 42'9" tag Newell for five years. Only once did I try an ill advised uturn on a road without the necessary real estate. We had to block the highway during rush hour to unhook and back up. I found that in Montana the folks wave with only one finger. Amazing the differences in friendly gestures between the States. If we had to do our experience all over again, we would have purchased a shorter Newell for reasons already stated above. While we took our share of backroads and no shoulder roads etc, we never had any other issues. The crow bar came in handy, though, to pry my hands off of the steering wheel several times upon arriving at our destination. So as Michael stated, it really is a matter of how one intends to travel and where. Once we were on a no shoulder road in TX and orange signs started showing up in the distance. The signs read "Pavement ends ahead". No place to turn around and ten miles to back up, we unhooked and went straight ahead with a damn the torpedos attitude. The mud stuck to the Coach and for three miles I thought this was going to be it. But, we got through it by staying in the ruts and were able to clean the Coach. That was the scariest time that we had.

David

afrench45
07-30-2010, 04:22 PM
I've had 3 40' coaches. Two had a tag, and one didn't. The one thing I loved about the coach without a tag was it was so easy to whip in and out of anywhere. Now, it wasn't a Newell, so my comparison may not be relevant. In my 40' Prevost I'm not sure I raised the tag once because it still turned sharp. However my 45' Newell is a different story! The coach has such a long wheel base that it is hard to turn! I've never gotten into trouble, but usually have about 1" between me and the curb turning in my neighborhood where there are medians. I've only been to one state park and it is just as easy as any other resort to maneuver in. The back roads are tight sometime, but that's what the jakes for! One of my biggest problems is height. When I purchased my coach they told me how tall I was but I forgot! Anyone know??? If I were going to buy another coach, without hesitation I'd buy another 45' because the room is very generous. But a steering tag axel may be nice :)

encantotom
07-30-2010, 04:51 PM
hi Jimmy,

you are welcome to come drive my coach again and take her out to get a feel now that you have driven yours more. i think the bottoming out is something we all have. i have scrapped bottom on the rear bumper area and the front bumper area in hilly or concave spots. just have to be careful and go slow like we all know

for me, if my coach was any longer i wouldn't fit in the driveway and be able to get darlenes car in and out. i already block 3 of the 4 car garages...

but i would love to have another couple of feet, but for my use the 38 foot is just fine. we spent the summer going up and down the west coast and it drove and fit just fine everywhere. only places i had trouble is where anyone would and that was in a terraced rv park.

later

tom

jwe648
07-30-2010, 06:26 PM
we'll do both your & mine.. As you know I have some challange in getting around my water feature and backing up a very long curved driveway up hilll.. So I need the ability to turn and maybe raise it up for the incline. I have about 1" clearance now when I start up. Since I have no neighbors I drive off the pavement on the circle to line up.. I want longer but sounds like the tag would be a limiting factor. What is the longest Newell without a tag?

encantotom
07-30-2010, 06:35 PM
i have not seen anything longer than a 39 foot in the 1990 and up series 2000. i looked at several 40 foot no tag axle newell's that were late 80's, so i know they existed.

michael is the fountain of all knowledge on this.

tom

chockwald
07-30-2010, 07:39 PM
The longest I have seen is Forrest's at 39'....don't know of any 40's that don't have tags.

rheavn
08-01-2010, 10:48 PM
Jimmy & Brenda,
I never try to tell someone what is right for them. On the other hand I have owned five coaches that were 23 ft to the present 45 ft. Over the 30 years of ownership my usage has also changed. Each coach fulfilled my needs for the period I owned them. Each time I changed coaches, the next one was bigger and I always used the same process for buying my next coach that may work for you. Once I decided I wanted or needed a bigger coach I would continue to use my present coach with the thought of whether a bigger coach would negatively impact what I was doing or wanted to do. This process took two years of thought this time. The process helped me weigh the issues with fore thought & each time we made the right decision. My problem now is there isn't any bigger to be had. I may have to alter my process to include "goodies".

Just a thought.....................

jwe648
08-01-2010, 11:39 PM
Thanks Steve.. I actually like the 35', the 38' would be better for storage and 40 probally the max.. some one said there were only 6 ~ 40' footers after made 92' all tag??? Of course being a guy.. all the toys would be great. However, the change has to suit both.. so.. in that dept newer is better.. I think there may be some doubt (heaven forbid) in my restoration abilities on the ole' 74 (she watched me..oops!).. We'll bide our time for the right move..

There is one bigger for sale in El Paso.. a 47' Newell .. not sure where you could use that..

Jimmy & Brenda,
I never try to tell someone what is right for them. On the other hand I have owned five coaches that were 23 ft to the present 45 ft. Over the 30 years of ownership my usage has also changed. Each coach fulfilled my needs for the period I owned them. Each time I changed coaches, the next one was bigger and I always used the same process for buying my next coach that may work for you. Once I decided I wanted or needed a bigger coach I would continue to use my present coach with the thought of whether a bigger coach would negatively impact what I was doing or wanted to do. This process took two years of thought this time. The process helped me weigh the issues with fore thought & each time we made the right decision. My problem now is there isn't any bigger to be had. I may have to alter my process to include "goodies".

Just a thought.....................

rheavn
08-02-2010, 02:05 AM
Thanks for the tip on the 47 footer..................there's still something to dream for!

Wally Arntzen
08-02-2010, 03:04 AM
I went from a 36' 78 coach to a 40' 88 and if I get another one it will be a 45'. I agree with Steve the bigger the better. I only know of one person that went smaller after owning a 45' and he is now concidering getting another 45' Prevost. He had two 45' Prevost and went to a 40' two years ago and now has said he wants to get back to the 45.

wallyarntzen
08-11-2010, 03:27 PM
On the bottoming out issue. When ever I come to an area that looks like a dip or a crown I raise the coach to the maximun height right away and I have never dragged the bottom or the rear end on anything. I have had some areas that I knew that I could make it and rerouted myself around it. I followed another guy with a Newell into the desert at Quartsite a couple of years ago and he got hung up going through a swale without raising the coach and I went through right next to him with mine raised with no problem.

encantotom
08-11-2010, 03:31 PM
Wally, that is because you are the "Master" newell driver. probably have more miles than anyone else on the site in a newell.

tom