CA State Parks and length limits

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Well-known member
Aug 25, 2009
We upgraded our trailer this year and are now over 30 feet (35' actually).  One of our favorite destinations (Calaveras Big Trees) only has spots for trailers up to 30 feet.  I know for a fact that we can keep our wheels on the pavement and hang the back of the trailer over the dirt on most of their sites and still fit within the paved space without our trailer getting near spilling into the road. 

The question is whether anyone has experience bringing a slightly larger trailer into a state park and using a spot or do they note the length and turn you away even if you have a reservation?  I'd hate to drive 3 hours and have to head home.
I second calling the park. I passed over a specific site at a NY State Park last year due to a 30' limit stated on the website (we're 32'). All the sites around it were ok up to 40'. Come to find out, it was just tree branches that limited this site. Backing in at a slight angle would have worked.
if they state a length it must be for a reason why question it . sorry but its a personal peave why people want to bend the rules to fit their needs
I don't think anyone is looking to break rules here. The OP had a valid question and the truth is that some parks are more restrictive with length rules than others. In my example above, my guess is the length restriction on that specific site was to avoid anyone backing into the tree and claiming the damage was the state's fault. The ten other 40' sites in that row actually had nothing but a green field for about 200' behind them but they had a 40' restriction nonetheless.

I have been in other parks, however, where 1' over the length restriction would have meant having the tongue of my TT in the road which would have been downright dangerous.
Not looking to break any rules.  The pads are only so long and they require you to have the trailer on the pad.  If I can park on the pad I am not sure why they would care, so I asked.  Seperately, I already emailed the park, but don't expect to hear back for a while.  Hoping they won't have issues with it since Big Trees is a wonderful place to camp.
Sometimes in CA state parks, particularly the older ones, length limits are imposed because of difficulties navigating the old, narrow roads within the park with newer, longer rigs..

One time when we asked about the length limit at a Cal state park, the ranger said they set the max length based on the shortest campsite. That way if the shortest spot was the only one available, campers couldn't say "but your max limit is xx !"
Living near San Diego, most of my camping is in California, and in my experience, Margi's explanation is what I've found to be the most correct - the park roads. I've seen several older campgrounds with campsites that could easily handle larger RVs than what was listed in park-literature, but the roads to those sites were very narrow and windy.

Tom and Margi said:
Sometimes in CA state parks, particularly the older ones, length limits are imposed because of difficulties navigating the old, narrow roads within the park with newer, longer rigs..


I've seen a couple of state parks exactly like this.....sign says "Trailers over 20' not recommended".  Driving the road, I understand why.  Anything longer wouldn't be able to make the hairpin turns.

Hopefully the park in question will respond. 
A number of years ago we stayed at Ocala Nat. Forest in Florida.  Getting into the site became one of those challenges not to be repeated soon.  After we got our 35' 5th wheel into the spot my wife was reading the info sheet that a host brought by and the site info stated that it was suitable for a 35' motorhome but NOT a 35' 5th wheel, DUH!!  It would have been nice to have had that information BEFORE I spent 20 minutes landing the thing.  Apparently the host figured it was worth the entertainment value of seeing if I could really do it, he said I was the first who had ever tried it by coming in the wrong way and he wanted to see if it would work.

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Latest member
Top Bottom