Is a motorhome over 40 feet too big?

Is a motorhome over 40 feet too big?


In this six-minute video, David and Brenda Bott discuss the challenges of traveling with a 45-foot motorhome. Are there roads they cannot travel? How do they know if there are low bridges ahead that would prevent them from passing through? The Botts answer these questions and many more.



2 thoughts on “Is a motorhome over 40 feet too big?

  1. Brenda

    For reasons too numerous for this space, our personal response to that question is YES. We just recently downsized from a large MH to a much smaller fifth, although we also considered the new compact motorhomes.

    That type of decision has a lot to do with how and why you camp in the first place and the living space you are accustomed to. If your permanent residence has a large square footage with multiple living spaces, then a larger rig is probably less of an adjustment than a smaller one. For someone living in a condominium., the smaller rig may seem just right. If you are a weekend camper vs. spending 9 months of the year on the road, then your needs are also different.

    Consider this: Do you like challenges (the “are we going to make it?” moments when size/weight of rig vs. size of obstacle ahead may not be compatible)? Is it a nuisance every time you have to unhook the TOAD so you can turn around? (Have you ever mistakenly found yourself in the middle of a residential area where you have had to knock on doors and ask people to move their cars so you can maneuver out? Not the ideal way to meet new people!)

    While it is true that we always got out of those messes, and that we always found someplace to stay, it is also true that often those experiences were stressful (not laughable moments) and that suitable size sites were further than we would have liked to drive that day (we have a reasonable miles-per-day quota so we are always well rested and able to spend time in the area). We also noticed the campgrounds with super sites were often more expensive than the “average” size campgrounds.

    Bottom line: we like a relaxed travel experience and what are “fun challenges” for some are just added stress for others.

    There was also the guilt trip that we were using more fuel to haul around space and stuff that we were not fully utilizing: two sofas that we seldom sat on; a large kitchen for someone who does not like to cook, preferring to grill outside, eat local produce (often raw) or visit the local watering holes; and convertible bedding space for a couple with no pets or grandchildren. I don’t believe we ever filled up all of the underbelly compartments.

    As is often the case, there are two sides to any question and the reasons for NOT having the larger RV are as numerous as those for having them. I could probably do another six minutes or more supporting the YES side of this question. Any RVer will tell you that the choice of type/size of RV is personal and depends largely on camping personality and travel goals. While it is usually not possible to change rigs based on the requirements of your each trip, many of our fellow RVers have had a variety of campers in their lives and they change as lifestyle and needs change.

    We generally found the same principle applied to our RV as to our home. Since being retired, we really liked the idea of simplifying and downsizing, meaning less stuff. It is amazing when we downsized the RV how much “stuff” we pulled out and realized we never or seldom used.

    Would we ever go back to a BIG rig? Maybe, and only if we were planning on being at locations for months at a time, were primarily workcamping, or decided to become snowbirds. Even then, it would likely be an under-40 unit.

  2. marty chambers

    I have read that some states require the operator of any RV over 40 feet long must have an upgraded driver’s license to travel in their state. I have never looked into the matter because I don’t own or have any plans to get one. But it would be nice to know if this is true

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