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Author Topic: Size of pusher MH with Toad - Parking availability in National & State Parks  (Read 4142 times)

1PlasticMan1

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My wife and I are looking to purchase a pusher MH, a must is a king size bed.  From what I am researching on used units (5 years old or less), most MHs with king bed are 40 feet long or more.  We are concerned that this might curtail our ability to easily find a parking place in National or State Parks.  Would appreciate your thoughts.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 01:08:49 PM by 1PlasticMan1 »
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

yolo

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  • You Only Live Once
We have camped in quite a few State and National Parks in our 40' RVs.  You just have to research the sites before you sign up for the particular campground.  The prices can be quite low especially if you have a Golden Pass or Senior Pass for the US, COE etc parks.
Bill Bell -- SW Florida

2009 Coachmen FX21QB Towing 2009 Smart Car
2013 Thor Tuscany 40FX
2004 Winnebago Vectra 40AD

John Beard

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National and State Park Campgrounds were mostly built long before the 40' motor home was thought of. In my 32' Winnebago Aspect Class C I can fit in most camp grounds. I've watched a few 40' get into spaces that I thought were tight with a lot of maneuvering. You will be somewhat limited with a larger coach. It goes with the territory. I wouldn't let it be my deciding factor, as there are a lot of places you will fit into just nicely. 
John & Susan
2014 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2005 Jeep Wrangler X, Toad, a little modified
Northwest Las Vegas, NV

Tom and Margi

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The limiting factor is sometimes the roads within the campgrounds rather than the actual sites themselves.  Many are very narrow and twisty.

elliott-maine

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And the campground roads can me narrow making getting into sites difficult.

Elliott & Vicky and copilot Hanna, the GSD

2014 Redwood 36RE, Gen, king bed, other goodies
2013 RAM 3500 drw, 4wd, Aisin tranny
From the great state of Maine

Larry N.

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Quote
most MHs with king bed are 40 feet long or more.

But that's not gospel -- I had a 2010 Bounder, 34' gas, with the optional king bed. They're optional on a lot of rigs, but more likely on the larger ones.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

1PlasticMan1

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Yes, I have seen them, but they are few and far between.
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

ArdraF

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Quote
might curtail our ability to easily find a parking place in National or State Parks

Are you talking about parking sites in the campground or parking places at places like view points when you're sightseeing?  If the latter, some have long spaces for longer RVs but in crowded places it can be problematic.  On really busy days it might be problematic even for cars if the parking lots are small such as in older national parks.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

WILDEBILL308

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You will need to call ahead or search the websites to see if there are campsites you can fit into. This last summer I was in a lot of parks including Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore. Some have campgrounds for bigger RVs  some not so much. The Canyon was great because we got a space in the park RV park. they have shuttles that take you everywhere free. Other places you will need to find a campground and drive your towd. I felt sorry for those trying to get around in  45ft coaches because your ability to stop and look is limited, even small class C coaches. Especially for those who were driving rentals. I am shure the rental places say "just drive it like a car" Often it is hard to find a place to park my CRV or just pull over.
I was in over 40 rv parks and only found a couple that where hard to get around in. One was easy to get around but the shrubbery came right up to the edge of the narrow slab. Most were just fine.
Bottom line don't let size be a big deciding factor.
Bill
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 07:45:34 PM by WILDEBILL308 »
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

Kevin Means

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I truly wish it weren't so but yes, longer (and taller) RVs will be limited on the number of National Parks and other campgrounds they can get into - for all the reasons mentioned. We live in the San Diego area, we've got a 43 foot motorhome and here's what I discovered recently when I went looking for some campgrounds.

About six months ago I jumped in my Tahoe and took a drive up through the Cleveland Natl. Forrest to evaluate the campgrounds in the area for our ability to fit. After driving through every single campground, I determined that there were none that we could use (and I didn't see any other big rigs in them either). The roads to the campgrounds were usually adequate - a couple weren't but they were posted as such - but many of the roads inside the campgrounds had turns that were too tight with boulders and trees close to the road, there were low-hanging branches that would damage our solar panels and A/C covers and most of the campsites were simply too small for our rig. Virtually all of those campgrounds had been built years before the proliferation of big rigs.

Don't get me wrong... we love our coach and wouldn't trade it for a smaller one just so we could camp in more campgrounds, and there are several other campgrounds in the San Diego area that we can use, but there's no doubt that, when compared to smaller coaches, we're more limited in where we can camp. I think a 40 footer would do somewhat better but not if height was the limiting factor. I also think the part of the country you're in will impact the likelihood of encountering smaller campgrounds.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

1PlasticMan1

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Thank you all for your comments.  Obviously the best thing to do is find out before showing up.  Wanted to get a feel for how limited the parking would be for a 40' with toad.  Love the RV Forum, it is extremely helpful for someone just jumping into RVing.
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

WILDEBILL308

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Thank you all for your comments.  Obviously the best thing to do is find out before showing up.  Wanted to get a feel for how limited the parking would be for a 40' with toad.  Love the RV Forum, it is extremely helpful for someone just jumping into RVing.

What most people don't understand when they head out to a major National Park is how busy they are.  Hear is a quick list of 3 of the top destinations in the west. I used July as the month and it is one of the busiest mouths for travel.
Yosemite   19,672
Yellowstone 28,628
Grand Canyon 17,980 
Yes this is per day. Trust me I was in all three parks last summer. If you are going I recommend you start looking for a place to stay and try to get reservations NOW.
This is why I stay out side the park and drive the toad. You can see more and get around easier.
The one place you might get into if you try early enough is the RV park in the Grand Canyon park. You will want to use the shuttles(FREE)to get around as they go places you cant in your toad and they pick you up in the RV park.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

ArdraF

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The Good Sam Campground Directory lists thousands of public and private campgrounds.  With it you know the maximum size of vehicle that each campground can accommodate, whether the sites are grass or paved, and what other amenities the campground offers.  As others have mentioned, sometimes the site size is just fine for your RV but the problem is getting to the site because of narrow and twisty roads, overhanging branches, etc.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

1PlasticMan1

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Thanks again for your comments.  Most helpful. ;D
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

denimangle

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we will be hitting Yosemite , Yellowstone & the  Grand Canyon this summer booked out spot for the GC last year. But waited till last week to try & book Yellowstone will be staying outside the park  33' MH & toad no spaces left for out time frame in the RV park or the camp grounds... :( just passing through Yosemite  if going that way better book fast & keep your fingers crossed

WILDEBILL308

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we will be hitting Yosemite , Yellowstone & the  Grand Canyon this summer booked out spot for the GC last year. But waited till last week to try & book Yellowstone will be staying outside the park  33' MH & toad no spaces left for out time frame in the RV park or the camp grounds... :( just passing through Yosemite  if going that way better book fast & keep your fingers crossed
I was in all three parks this last summer. The RV Village in the Grand Canyon park is nice, don't mind the elk wandering through the campsites. You will like the FREE shuttle that comes into the RV Village and picks you up. You can go more places along the rim west than you can drive in your car.
We came in from the north entrance to Yellowstone  and stayed at Yellowstone's Edge RV Park south of Livingston 0n 89.
When heading into Yosemite I would come in from the west on 120. Yes you will have a big climb but better than from any other way.
WE stayed at Yosemite Lakes RV Resort 1191 Hardin Flat Rd Groveland, CA 95321. Not a great park but it is all about location. You are five miles from the entrance to the park. 
Don't forget Kings Canyon and The Sequoias are right next door to Yosemite. We stayed closer to Fresno for those parks. I don't want to try driving the motorhome through them.
If you have any questions just ask. Tell me your rout and I can offer subjections.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

showman

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Hi bill
Just saw your blog.  we are coming from Vancouver, Canada heading to Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon and down to the Gulf Coast. We are in a 38 ft Safari and towing a Smart Car.  Planning on being in Yosemite area around May 5 or 6.  Road opens on May 4.  We are likely not going to find a camp ground for our size rig inside the park at this late date as I hear everything books up.  Are we going to encounter any problems driving through the park, and how long does it take to get through and to an area where we can find available accommodations?
Thank you for your help.
George

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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I did not see this addressed previously, but please appreciate the fact that your most likely scenario is to unhook your towed vehicle before you enter small parks for some obvious reasons.

In that configuration, you only need to wiggle your 40 plus feet between the trees and can backup and re-position far more easily. It it not realistic (to me, anyway) to limit yourself to pull throughs, and many parks like Corps of Engineer parks often have a picture of the actual site. Google maps satellite views are helpful, but there's not substitute for personal inspection, that not being always possible.

Again, as mentioned, tight roads, branches, and turning radiuses are often more key than actual site depth.

We are currently in a Corps park, with narrow roads, lots of trees, tight turning radiuses, and angles less than 45 degrees. However, our worst issue was soft ground such that we were in mudholes if we could not stay on the pavement. A man has to know his limitations.

Over time, lots of researching, talking to park rangers (not always reliable - "oh, yeah, sure you can get in there..."), and getting recommendations is your best bet. Your parking skills will improve over time, so use a little extra room until you are really comfortable in a small space with a big piece of gear.

The key to parking in small spaces is good on the ground direction. I hand direct Christi everywhere we go and she is extremely skilled. Not trading paint with inanimate objects is the skill you want to master.

You can do this!

Kim

Kim & Christi Bertram
SKP 106183
FMCA 420913
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2012 Thor Damon Tuscany 42RQ
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel
Wanderlust RV Park, Eureka Springs, AR

WILDEBILL308

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Hi bill
Just saw your blog.  we are coming from Vancouver, Canada heading to Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon and down to the Gulf Coast. We are in a 38 ft Safari and towing a Smart Car.  Planning on being in Yosemite area around May 5 or 6.  Road opens on May 4.  We are likely not going to find a camp ground for our size rig inside the park at this late date as I hear everything books up.  Are we going to encounter any problems driving through the park, and how long does it take to get through and to an area where we can find available accommodations?
Thank you for your help.
George
What road are you taking south I-5 or the 101?  What road do you plan on taking going East to the canyon?
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

1PlasticMan1

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"The key to parking in small spaces is good on the ground direction. I hand direct Christi everywhere we go and she is extremely skilled. Not trading paint with inanimate objects is the skill you want to master."

I keep encouraging my wife to consider being a driver on occassion, not only to relieve me, but in case of an emergency when I am not capable, she will need to take over.  So think Kim's comments are very encouraging, and think the last sentence is priceless!
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Plastic Man,

Christi has driven since Day One, five years ago, and is the designated parking person. I flew small planes for many years and parking in small spaces with the aid of a ground handler came naturally. We use the same signals used on the parking ramp. I have had to shoo off more than one parking ranger because Christi won't move without my signals.

The co-driving experience came in extremely handy last year when I was incapacitated with a coughing malady that would render me temporarily unconscious.

You would be well advised to at least get your wife some minimum skills in a large open area in case some unforeseen event should occur. You just never know!

Kim
Kim & Christi Bertram
SKP 106183
FMCA 420913
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2012 Thor Damon Tuscany 42RQ
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel
Wanderlust RV Park, Eureka Springs, AR

ArdraF

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Quote
I keep encouraging my wife to consider being a driver on occassion, not only to relieve me, but in case of an emergency when I am not capable, she will need to take over.  So think Kim's comments are very encouraging, and think the last sentence is priceless!

Every spouse should know how to drive the RV.  You simply never know when it will be a necessity and she/he should be prepared ahead of time!  When we started RVing Jerry said I would have to drive too because he wasn't going to do all the driving.  Guess who would do all the driving except "he" gets bored looking at the scenery!  ;)  I love driving our motorhome!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

JudyJB

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Just a warning that the actual "parking" places (not camping places) for big vehicles in national parks and other places are usually easy to find in scenic pull-offs and visitor centers most of the year.

BUT in summer, these places often get taken up by cars (grrrrr!) so they may not exist if you are just driving through and want to stop somewhere to enjoy something for a few minutes or want to run into a visitor center. 
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

1PlasticMan1

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Thanks, Kim & ArdraF, appreciate your comments.  Kim - making sure that my wife, Chris, reads your blog as well as others.  Hoping she will enjoy driving.
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

WILDEBILL308

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Just a warning that the actual "parking" places (not camping places) for big vehicles in national parks and other places are usually easy to find in scenic pull-offs and visitor centers most of the year.

BUT in summer, these places often get taken up by cars (grrrrr!) so they may not exist if you are just driving through and want to stop somewhere to enjoy something for a few minutes or want to run into a visitor center.
Last summer I was in several  parks. My best recommendation is stay out side the park and drive your toad. I found many places that I couldn't find a parking place for my toad. Yes there are places marked for bigger vehicles but are few and usually full.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

showman

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Hi Bill
We are already camped at the Shamrock RV park in Springfield OR. Tomorrow we were planning on heading down south on I-5, then taking hiway 89 to meet up with I-395 at Susanville and from there to Lake Tahoe.  We may stay two nights there then head down to Yosemite.
Would we want to stay outside the park and use our Smart Car to drive in and see Yosemite?
How long should we plan on driving around the park? We have pets and dont really want to take them with us in the smart car :)
George

WILDEBILL308

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I  do recommend staying outside the park. Call and get your reservations now. Only you know how long your pets can hold it.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

 

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