Thursday, January 8, 2009

40 or 42? Pros and Cons

A new Tiffin 42 foot Class A motorhome is financially out of our reach, but a used one (2007 or later) may be a possibility.
We thought a 40' length was right for us, but we saw some 42' models we may be able to afford.

So what's the difference? Why would we get a 42' instead of a 40'? What are the Pros and Cons?

42' Pros
  • Stability of the ride (especially in cross-winds and when tractor/trailers pass) is improved
  • Easier and a better drive than the 40'
  • Tag axle makes turns easier, almost impossible to overload
  • More interior living space and interior storage
  • Weight distribution on chassis is better
  • Hydra Hot (unlimited hot water) is standard equipment
  • 10,00 generator is standard equipment
  • Quite a few 40' owners who got a 42' wish they had started with a 42'
  • Even though the hitch is still limited to 10,000 pounds, (1,000 tongue weight), you can tow anything there without having to worry about overloading the axle.
  • Three ducted AC units have 33% more cooling capacity over the 40'
  • Three AC units help with redundancy in case one of the ACs go down
42' Cons
  • Price: could be $30,000 (or more) for the same 40' model
  • Heavier and larger than a 40'
  • Gas mileage not as good
  • Less access to RV spaces in older state parks and campgrounds
  • Higher maintenance costs with extra set of tires, maintanence, wiring, air pressure systems, etc
  • Possibly less storage space underneath
  • Because of the tag axle lever-effect, some weight is transferred to the front axle, therefore getting the front axle close to it weight limit.
  • May need to have larger tires
  • More expensive tolls, (may have to pay for the extra axle)
We have some time but it's something to think about.


  1. I would start with a 40' but make sure it is a tiffin!

  2. Good luck in choosing. Just get on the road so we can all meet on the front porch. Then it wont matter what your in...LOL

    Joe and Sherri

  3. Remember that going over 40' puts you in a different legal category in California and some eastern states.

    A 42' in California is prohibited from some of the nicest roads, such as the coast highway (highway 1), some of the Sierra passes, and many backroads in the more rural counties.

    In some eastern states, you will be limited to the truck routes, which is also true for any rig over 96" wide, irrespective of length.


    ps We had a great visit with you over dinner this evening.

  4. Randy, went to your site through Sean's Oddysey site. Interesting post about the scammer selling a motorhome.