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Author Topic: State and national park list of maximum RV length  (Read 899 times)

PattyRN

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State and national park list of maximum RV length
« on: October 02, 2017, 05:49:57 PM »
Is there some kind of comprehensive collection of all state and national parks and what their maximum allowable RV length is?

Tom

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 06:50:30 PM »
Are you talking about the parks in general, or their campgrounds? I'm not aware of a list of either, but a Google search turns up some answers.
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PattyRN

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 09:43:42 PM »
Campground areas in state and national parks.  I'm in another group and someone (who I think is paid) keeps telling people to buy some RV magazine that comes out yearly)  I don't know if that has the information I'm looking for in it or if you just have to check out each place. 

NY_Dutch

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 10:08:36 PM »
Length restrictions are usually site specific rather than park specific.
Dutch
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Tom

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 12:43:11 AM »
Some state parks, such as California, don't have sites longer than 30 feet, whereas Oregon state parks have sites that are 80 feet long.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 06:53:55 AM »
I suppose an "up to" list of the longest sites in parks would help narrow the choices down some, but that still won't tell you that a specific site that's available will only fit a 24' or shorter RV.
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Joezeppy

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 07:54:38 AM »
I don't think such a list/book exists. Here in NY, for example, some state parks can handle the biggest of big rigs while others have a 25' - 30' maximum throughout the park.
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UTTransplant

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2017, 07:58:39 AM »
Dutch is right about that restriction. We stopped by a California park near Lake Tahoe once. The website and AllStays said it had sites for our 28.5' (tongue to bumper) trailer. Luckily they had gate attendants who told us there was exactly one site where we would fit, and only one path through the park we wouldn't rub trees! No, we didn't stay there. We are right now in a county park in Iowa with 60' pads. Two days ago we were in a state park in Utah with 90' pads, though there are other parks with 30' max sites. There is no rhyme or reason for sizes.
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Tom

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2017, 08:32:22 AM »
Quote
... an "up to" list of the longest sites in parks ... won't tell you that a specific site that's available will only fit a 24' or shorter RV.

True, and I wasn't suggesting it would. But it would give us a clue that our 38 foot coach wouldn't fit (or be allowed) in a park with a 30 foot max limit.

Meanwhile, we've had CA park rangers suggest/allow our prior rig to 'overhang' several feet beyond the site pad, i.e. the rear wheels of the coach stayed on the gravel/blacktop pad, but the overhang behind the rear wheels was over the grass area. As a result, our "too long" coach was allowed into a "too small" site.

OTOH one time I did that with an SUV towing a boat that overhung the grass, a ranger wrote up an EIR. I wasn't asked to move or remove the boat, nor was anything said to me.

One time we were day-touring Oregon in our toad with some friends (RV travel companions) along for the ride. They'd insisted that we stay at a private campground because, based on their California experience, Oregon state parks wouldn't have sites long enough for their 44 foot coach or our 38 foot coach and our SUV toads. I drove into the first OR state park we came to, wound the window down and asked "how big are your sites?' The answer was "80 feet", and I heard no more about it from our friends.
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jsetti

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 08:55:36 AM »
Some times it is not the length of the site that matters but the road getting to the site may have tight turns that would make it nearly impossible for a longer RV to navigate.
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Bill N

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 09:10:37 AM »
We are right now in a county park in Iowa with 60' pads. Two days ago we were in a state park in Utah with 90' pads, though there are other parks with 30' max sites. There is no rhyme or reason for sizes.

I think age is one reason for the shorter sites.  As time has gone on the length of RVs has increased but the number of older parks has not been able to increase their pad sizes accordingly.  It pays to check first because even in some private campgrounds it can be a major problem.

Bill
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scottydl

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 10:55:09 AM »
I'm in another group and someone (who I think is paid) keeps telling people to buy some RV magazine that comes out yearly

Hmm, you might get that at "other" RV groups.  ;)

With a few exceptions as mentioned above, it really is best to adopt a case-by-case (or call by call) basis for any part where you plan to stay... whether state/national park or private.  Even print books can be wrong, if a campground has upgraded or changed some of their sites since the last printing.  Or, just because a site of a certain length exists in a park doesn't mean it will still be available when you need it.  You'd have to call ahead or check online reservations to be sure.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 11:03:02 AM »
I agree a listing of the max permissible size for an entire park would be useful in narrowing down the choices. And I'll also admit that we have "squeezed" into sites where our coach was longer than the posted site length limit, although we've never been called on it. Sometimes the posted limit is due to the difficulty that a TT or 5'ver over that size plus the TV would have navigating the roads to and/or backing into the site, but our "non-bendy" shorter overall Class A made it with no problem.
Dutch
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PattyRN

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 12:26:31 PM »
I looked at the information regarding that RV guide or whatever it was that was touted but it didn't appear to have the information the person claimed it did.  Sounds like a project for me, to compile such a list.  A very long project.

AStravelers

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 05:46:56 PM »
I looked at the information regarding that RV guide or whatever it was that was touted but it didn't appear to have the information the person claimed it did.  Sounds like a project for me, to compile such a list.  A very long project.
What size is your RV? 

If you are 40' there are a lot fewer public parks you can get into than if you are 33'. 

Keep in mind, many public campgrounds don't measure your rig as you come in AND a lot of the published campsite lengths are the length of the gravel or paved parking pad.  Many times you can extend your rear bumper several feet past the end of the gravel or pavement.  Many times you can back up till your tires are on the parking pad and your bumper could be 10' back.

Any list really needs to list 3 things:
--  Measured length of the parking pad
--  Measure the space past the end of the parking pad and if there are obstacles to extending past the end, the height of the obstacles so we know if we have enough clearance to back over the obstacles.
--  Each site number listed separately.

An additional nice thing would be the ability to maneuver through the campground roads.

All in all a pretty daunting problem, compiling the list.  Which is probably why there isn't a list.

Many campground websites do list some of the campsite lengths.

I use Google Earth or Google Maps to view campgrounds from the satellite view.  Many times you can see the individual campsites to get a very good estimate to see if your RV will fit. 

 

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ArdraF

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2017, 07:25:18 PM »
That person may be talking about the Good Sam campground directory which includes thousands of both public and private campgrounds.  Each campground listing has a maximum site length so if no site can handle more than 30 feet then that's the length given.  But I don't know of any publication that lists "only" public campgrounds.  The campgrounds with smaller maximum lengths often are older and the sites were put in before our larger modern RVs.

Length limitations might not have anything at all to do with the actual site length but with the access road that might have a lot of trees with trunks so close to the road that maneuvering anything larger than 20- or 30-feet is quite difficult and liable to damage either the RV or the trees.  Another length limitation may be caused by something on the site such as a large tree right at the back middle of the site where you want to put your RV.  One campground we've used has cyclone fences between each site and that back fence severely limits how far back you can go!  We were put in a 40-foot site but the front end hung out into the road by almost a foot because our 40-foot motorhome really is 41 feet!

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gwcowgill

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2017, 07:35:39 PM »
We were in a state park campground in SC when looking at their online registration we found a lot of 20' sites but nothing big enough to handle our motor home so I called the number listed and found they did have some sites that would handle my coach. We really enjoyed our stay and the sight seeing was fantastic.
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cpaulsen

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2017, 05:57:47 AM »
And remember.....a lot of places including state parks....the listed length is the pad itself. So many people think that their 35' trailer or 5th wheel will fit into a site that says 40' .......then  they complain that their truck will not fit on the pad also so they have to park in an "extra vehicle" parking area. which they do not like to do.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2017, 07:07:15 AM »
It seems to me that this entire topic is much ado about a very minor concern. Most parks have room for most RVs, at least on some of their sites. Few campgrounds have any overall restriction, i.e. will not admit any rigs over a certain overall length, and those are usually well-noted in campground guides, their internet websites, and campground review websites. We've traveled all over the USA and Canada for 20+ years with Rvs from 25 to 40 ft and rarely encountered a size problem. Granted "rarely" is not zero and some were a tighter fit that we would prefer, but it was never a surprise. Campground guides do a decent job of describing site sizes and any restrictions, but RV owners do have to do some "due diligence" when they plan to travel into heavily wooded areas or mountain terrain. Contact the campground if in doubt.
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HappyWanderer

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2017, 10:36:25 AM »
Right now we're in a Rhode Island state park on a site listed as 25 foot maximum. Somehow our motorhome shrinks to 25 feet when we cross the state line, then magically expands again on the ride home.   :)
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Sun2Retire

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2017, 11:40:42 AM »
Right now we're in a Rhode Island state park on a site listed as 25 foot maximum. Somehow our motorhome shrinks to 25 feet when we cross the state line, then magically expands again on the ride home.   :)


Weird. I thought ours was the only one that did that  ;)


At 38', generally if I see a restriction noted in the 20s I figure we wouldn't fit. But anywhere in 30s and we "shrink to fit"  ;D  As Gary stated, a bit snug sometimes but has always worked. I've seen many public campgrounds that show a 35' limit online but the limit is clearly outdated and more a function of not updating the reservation web site.
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Kevin Means

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2017, 12:49:55 PM »
To a large degree, this is an area-specific issue. Rarely do I hear people east of the mountains out here in the west say they have trouble getting their big rig to a campground, or finding a suitable campsite - even if it's listed as being too short. "Allowable length" and what will actually fit are often two different things, as others have said, and sometimes you just have to go take a look at the place to determine if your rig will fit.

The OP never said what kind of RV they had, how long it was or which State Parks they were most interested in (presumably that means they're interested in all of them) but if they're considering Southern California State Parks, size is a real consideration. We're not even allowed to drive on some of the State Routes that lead to many State Parks, and there aren't any alternative routes. The switchback mountain roads are simply too sharp for our coach.

When we had a 32 foot coach, we camped in several different State Parks, all over the Cleveland National Forrest. Now, however, we fit into virtually none of those campgrounds. That's not because a website somewhere says we can't fit, it's because the roads in the campgrounds have turns that are too sharp for our coach, with rocky outcroppings and trees that we can't get around, and we're physically too long for the campsites anyway. The longest are 36 feet, but there are only a few of those. We were able to get our 32 footer into 30 foot sites, but there's no way our 43 foot coach would fit, if we could even get to them.

There are a few State Parks on the beach we can get into, but just as many we can't get into, for the same reasons. There are nine San Diego County parks, and we've camped in seven of them in our 32 foot coach. Now we can fit in only two of them, and in one of those, there are only two sites that we can physically fit into.

Like I said, this may not be as big of a problem in other parts of the country, but it's a real issue out here.

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Utclmjmpr

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2017, 07:38:38 PM »
Reserve America and recreation.gov are very specific about length on there websites.>>>Dan
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Sun2Retire

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2017, 01:00:00 AM »
Kevin's comments are interesting, as I've considered what coach I'd get next (with the lottery winnings). I'd love to have the smoother ride (and space) offered by the longer coaches but as I think of the places I tend to like, many times I'm pushing the limit at 38' (and I have the foliage "pin striping" to prove it  ::) .) Examples include both Plaskett Creek and Jalama Beach. In the case of Plaskett, the park sits on a length restricted section of Highway 1 (plus we barely fit in the park even though many of the sites list length limits at 40'+.). While Jalama isn't on a length restricted road, it would be impossible to get a 43-45 footer into the spaces. As it was, when we showed up (with our reservation for an upper level spot snagged at midnight 6 months prior), the ranger commented, "this should be interesting".


I think each type of camper has their own type of desired campsite and setting. For us that means nothing over 40'. For others that means the comfort and space of something bigger, or something much smaller that allows access to those true out of the way places. For each I think you learn a sense of where you'll fit and where you won't, in many cases using any printed limitations more as a reference.
Scott
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Joezeppy

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2017, 08:12:54 AM »
Scott, since money will be no object, just get one of each!  8)
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Sun2Retire

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2017, 10:04:18 AM »
Scott, since money will be no object, just get one of each!  8)


LOL 😂


Excellent point. Anyone have the number for Prevost handy?  ;)
Scott
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Kevin Means

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2017, 11:15:06 AM »
Scott, funny you'd mention Jalama Beach. We were just looking at that place online. We have some friends who go there in their 40 foot coach, and they say they disconnect their toad so she can drive ahead of him with a radio, relaying any oncoming traffic to him in the RV, because the miles-long access road is so narrow and twisty. We were thinking of giving that a try, but now I hear you saying that you don't think a 43 foot coach would fit in any of the sites. Is that correct?

Kev
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 11:18:15 AM by Kevin Means »
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PattyRN

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2017, 06:24:23 PM »
No, I didn't mention what we have because we are still determining that depending on what I found out about getting into state and national parks.  I would prefer a 40+ft rig but not if that means we can't enjoy public parks.  We are not looking at just one area of the country, but all.  We'll, except for North Dakota. 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 03:49:57 PM by PattyRN »

Sun2Retire

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Re: State and national park list of maximum RV length
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2017, 09:02:04 PM »
Scott, funny you'd mention Jalama Beach. We were just looking at that place online. We have some friends who go there in their 40 foot coach, and they say they disconnect their toad so she can drive ahead of him with a radio, relaying any oncoming traffic to him in the RV, because the miles-long access road is so narrow and twisty. We were thinking of giving that a try, but now I hear you saying that you don't think a 43 foot coach would fit in any of the sites. Is that correct?

Kevin,

We stayed on the upper level (site 117) which provides the best views but is the farthermost from the beach. I chose 117 because I knew we would hang out into the road and this way we wouldn't be blocking anyone. There are two turns (blue arrows) climbing to the top level which were full lock steering for me to negotiate. While it may be theoretically possible to get your rig to the top you wouldn't be able to maneuver it in to the site, it took a lot of back and forth for me to get in to 117. No other site could be used as you would essentially close the road to others. In the picture we are pulled forward as far as we can go and the dirt where the Cherokee is sitting actually rises somewhat which caused dragging of the mud guard.

I did see a couple of large rigs down around sites 53-56ish I think. Since you'd pull straight in there wouldn't be too much maneuvering. The non-hookup sites (1-51) allow RVs and the sites may be long enough, but making the turn might be challenging. As you can see from the arial it appears there is about a 15' wide road (my guess based on the sites being about 50' long). Whether you could make the swing is the issue. And I'm sorry but we never walked over towards the partial hookup sites (80-97) so don't really remember the situation with them.

Regarding the road from Lompoc, unless you're timid about narrow roads you'll have no trouble. Yes it's narrow in spots, with some tight turns, but you'll be fine. I pulled our toad (Cherokee) with no issues, and I'd still tow the current toad (Ram 1500). I actually had fun driving it, but others may not like it. Depends on which camp you're in I guess. With 5' more rig you may want to consider dropping the toad; I didn't want to because I didn't want my SO to miss the views out the “big window“ - very nice along the way (typically CA rolling hills and oaks) then the ocean dramatically comes in to view.

I realize this isn't a concrete answer but I hope this helps a little. My guess is there are some sites you could squeeze into, but others not. Did your friends tell you which site they were in?

No cell service, doubt a booster would help. Wifi was spotty but usable, a booster here might actually help as connecting seemed to be the issue. Beautiful beaches, but there are tar balls and the oil company responsible has apparently ceased cleanup. Walk-able but you have to watch your step a little.

BTW, gotta get a Jalama Burger - when's the last time you ate one that had a trademark hanging on the wall?  ;D

(I added three sunset pictures to "prime the pump"  ;) )
« Last Edit: October 08, 2017, 09:24:52 PM by Sun2Retire »
Scott
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 3810, Spartan, Cat C7 350 "OURVEE"
Eezrv TPMS, VMSpc, 800W Solar
2002 Dodge RAM 1500 Quad Cab "RTOAD"
Stowmaster towbar & Brakemaster

 

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