Does Size matter?

by Valerie Otter
(Sidney, BC, Canada)

Q. Just looking to buy a motor home, so very pleased to have found this fantastic website. One of the many questions on our mind is, if all else was equal (which we know it is not), is there an optimum size of RV with regards being able to find scenic overnight RV sites? Suffering from two-foot-itis as we are, could we be in danger of buying a coach that limits us to parking side by side other coaches miles away from a view?

Randy and Valerie Otter

Marianne's Reply

A quick answer and maybe a bit obvious... The smaller the better as far as the number of places you can get into. High clearance is another factor. Truck campers probably do this best.

As far as access to the sites in my ebook guides is concerned, I've answered this in detail on another FAQ page here at:

Hope this helps.

Comments for Does Size matter?

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Apr 11, 2013
Smaller is better for us
by: Kel & Julie

We originally had a 26' travel trailer that was low to the ground that we owned for about ten years. After we wore it out and looked for a new unit we went with a 20' trailer that was also higher clearance. This unit allows us to get into more boondocking and backcountry areas, without losing any comfort.

Apr 11, 2013
Smaller is better!
by: Anonymous

Peter and I have been traveling joyfully for 10 years (as long as 3 months at a time) in a small truck camper.

The advantages:
- When we're not traveling, we have a pickup truck.
- High ground clearance and 4WD enable us to go where other vehicles cannot go.
- When we are in a city, we can park just about anywhere (assuming there's adequate overhead clearance).
- Maneuvering in traffic, parking lots, etc. is pretty easy.
- Limited storage space (so we don't collect stuff).
- Possibly better gas mileage (10-11mpg) than some of the big rigs.
- Lower "embodied energy" (i.e., less materials used in construction).
- Generally don't need hookups. We have a solar panel on the roof, that keeps the battery topped off. We can always find a truckstop to dump/fill tanks.

We're both short and slim (and accustomed to small city apartments), so the limited spaces are no problem for us.

The disadvantages:
- No comfy chairs; we sit either at the banquette or in bed.
- Very limited headroom in bed.
- Limited storage space (But is this really a bad thing? We've learned exactly what we need to be comfortable and happy, and it's a lot less that some people seem to think.)
- Limited tank capacities.
- It's not built to last. Peter has already invested a lot of time in fixing things on it. We have our fingers crossed that we can make it last. (Part of the problem is that it has a wooden frame that's rotting out in places, but we think that later models have lightweight metal frames.)

We've customized our camper with a lot of added features that make it comfortable for us:
- Tiny ventilation fan (because management of excess humidity is a constant).
- Interior alterations to cabinets, including a lightweight, handmade wooden spice rack inside a cabinet door, and metal baskets high up on doors, for small items.
- A bookshelf.
- Lots of sturdy hooks: in the WC (which we never use as a shower), around the back door, in the kitchen.
- Bags for laundry and recycling hanging in the WC.
- An empty bottle in the WC, where we keep waste water for flushing the commode, so we're not using fresh water or the pump to do that.
- A handpump at the sink, so we don't have to use the elec pump when we're off grid, and an under-counter water filter for when we are on AC. (We took out the original faucet set, as we don't use it at all.)
- Replaced the stupid plastic gadget in the sink drain with an old-fashioned rubber stopper and a tiny wire basket.
- A large ceramic tile fastened to the wall next to the stovetop, to protect the plastic wall surface.
- Blackout curtains.
- A crocheted "fruit hammock" that hangs over the banquette, that also holds loaves of bread.
- A safe bolted to the wall, which makes us feel more secure about leaving computers, money, jewelry, etc. in the camper when we're not there.
- Many other minor adaptations.

Now see what you started! You can see that I'm very enthusiastic about camper living. Have fun!

Apr 09, 2013
28' cutoff
by: Anonymous

Even with a big long 28-foot Class C w/ overhead we have been able to make it into most of the more remote BLM campsites with a little ingenuity and have never found ourselves stuck camping on concrete with the big Class As. Clearance is definitely a factor for really bumpy dirt roads, and when you get really long like ours then the swing matters too on curvy roads. Nonetheless, over two years of tromping through remote places we were surprised at the isolated beauties we were able to get into that had a shorter recommended length than ours. I think a 24-26 footer would have it made. And a truck with a slide-in could even handle the beaches.

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