Do you give correct RV length when making reservations

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Oct 22, 2017
I tow a 44 ft toy hauler with a F350. When making reservations at a state park there were no pull thru sites available for units over 40 ft. For my 5er I really only need about 38 ft of space to park. I would like to get one of those 40 ft spots, but wonder if the campground people might pull out a tape measure when I show up.

Mike & Nancy White
Waco, TX ...for now
At Mather Campground at the Grand Canyon there are lines painted in front of the registration office that you must fit in between. I am sure there are others like that but none I can recall.
So much depends on the campsite specifics. Is it only 40? long or do they assume a 40? unit and a vehicle in front? Is the limit due to interior turns? Also, are you going to empty the toys before pulling in? You could take your chances and say you are 40? as long as you are willing to lose the site if it doesn?t work out. We more frequently needed to say we were longer than actual to get a comfortable site.
It depends on the park. Our motorhome shrinks to 25 feet for one week every year, because that's what's listed for our favorite site at a Rhode Island state park. Of course, we've been going there for a dozen years so we know the park well.
You likely can jockey around and make the truck and trailer (unhitched) fit on a 38 foot site just fine.  Do you really think that is a rule and not just a guideline to help you chose a site.  If it is a campground rule I don't think I would try to cheat it unless you had somewhere else to go.  If it was just showing you the size of the site online I would say I was 38 feet so the computer would accept my reservation.  All state parks we have been to don't care what size you are as long as you fit and can have all wheels off the grass.  some don't care if you park the tow vehicle on the grass.  At one National Park we saw a pop-up take a short tent site and hang back of the pop-up out over the grass.  They just made him move forward on mowing day so they could cut the grass.

We have the opposite problem.  We say we are a little longer than we are at one park so we can get the site we want.  If you are up to a certain length you have to take a site with a green post.  Over that length you have to take a red site.  We say we are a little longer so we can reserve a red site.  Been there for years and nobody ever asks our length at the park.  Why not call the park and discuss it with them.

I have seen little pop-ups in first come, first served 65 foot pull-through sites while shorter sites were available and big rigs were be turned away.  That is the one that the parks should take issue with.
At times we can fudge a few feet when getting into a RV site. Some sites are measured from a bumper placed at the back of a site that your tires are stopped at. But if the site is clear other than that, the overhang of your rig can go over the parking bumper allowing much more room in the site.  That is not always possible though, so knowing the campground is important.

As mentioned already, sometimes it's the campground roads that determine the length of the RV that can navigate  the turns inside the park. With a motor home sometimes I can back into a site that a similar towable can't just because of the added length of the tow vehicle. So as you can see, this is a "maybe" type of answer. 
  Depends on the parkand who is on duty at the time, ours is 37.5 ft but I always tell them it is 35. At one park in the Keys I was told to park our jeep in the lot because it would not fit in the spot we reserved. Well not only did it fit but we were far enough back you couldnt see it until you cam up on the lot
  Another time in a Ga state park we were assigned a spot by color, the color on you dash card corresponded to the color on the stake in front of the lot. No one explained that part, instead when we asked they "just pick any spot that it fits in". We did but of course they had it marked for a much smaller RV. Later that week they came back and measured all the lots and changed the colors so as to better represent the correct sizes.
Off topic, but curious about which RI CG is the favored.  When we lived in RI it was the Charlestown Breachway.
PancakeBill said:
Off topic, but curious about which RI CG is the favored.  When we lived in RI it was the Charlestown Breachway.
Fishermans Memorial. We're partial to Loop 4, due to the privacy of the sites.
My favorite campsite in the whole country is located at Goodell Campground in North Cascades National Park, site #18. It is almost a private site and the campground is usually empty. I camped in the site a few times in my class B without issue. Then one year my girlfriend bought a 39 foot DP and her cousin lived about 50 miles from NCNP so we decided to go visit. I didn't think the DP would fit so I emailed the NCNP and asked them the size limit on site #18 . They responded that the limit was 32 feet. So when we arrived there I parked out on the main road and walked into the site. I measured the site and checked out the roads and saw no problem so I went in and spent a week at the site. We had no toad so I drove in and out of the campground every day. No problems at all. What an amazing site it is. There is a path leading from the site to a beach on the river that is about 50 feet long. I would take some chairs and my camera and sit on the beach and watch the wildlife go by. Plenty of ducks, cormorants and the occasional bald eagle would pick a fish out of the river in front of us. It was like being in my own private National Park. And it was only $5 per night.  ;D


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Im with the ones who fudge on the long side. Im 38' but always say Im 40'. I figure if a 40footer can get in there, I shouldnt have a problem. That extra 2 feet makes a difference. There have been some sites where I would not have been able to get into had I actually been a couple feet longer. Not due to the length of the site specifically, but trying to maneuver into the site from a narrow road in a crowded tight campground
I go with advertised model number length, in my case 28 ft even though it is 29'5" bumper to bumper
When in doubt, call the park.  That simple.  Just say you are 41 ft, can you get into a 40 ft spot.  They'll either laugh and say, heck yes, you could be 50 ft and be ok, or they will say. NO, we measure.  It's not worth sweating it to arrive and get rejected.  That said, I have fudged many times because I never know if they mean TV + TT, or just TT. 
It depends on the site and the roads to it.  Our motorhome is specified as a 40-footer, however it's really 41 feet 6 inches when actually measured.  At one place we went to our site that could handle 40 feet.  The problem was a chain link fence that went between the sites at the rear.  We were almost touching the fence in back and hung out into the road in front almost a foot.  We had to move to a premium site which was larger.  At another place in a state campground the site was quite large and we would have fit nicely except for the huge boulder directly behind our rear bumper.  We fit, but just barely.  That's one reason the length might be important.  Then there are the access roads.  Some older campgrounds in particular have a lot of trees along curved roads.  On more than one occasion we've had a problem navigating around on narrow roads to reach our site.  When the campgrounds were new the trees were small and navigating among them probably was easy but, as the trees grew larger trunks they filled in the space between the tree and the road.

It's always a good idea to give the correct length and ask questions.  Of course there was one state campground in the east where we were told we were too long (30 feet at the time) but the fellow said he knew of an empty one that we probably could fit into - and we did.  So it also can depend on the person giving the answer!

And, by the way, if you need to get on a ferry, they usually have lines painted on the road where you pay because they need precise measurements when lining up the vehicles within the ferry.  We were surprised that our 30-foot Lazy Daze really was 30 feet!

A politician would likely say...."When in doubt about something... lie in your favor".
I fudge my 23 ft. bumper-to-bumper Class A up to 29 ft. when making a reservation.  Otherwise, more likely than not, I'll be given the most oddball, smallest lot in the park.

I wouldn't mind so much but the parks usually refuse to reduce their price to compensate for the smaller space.  A space only suitable for a 23 ft. RV should cost about half as much as a space that can accommodate a 46 ft. RV, no?  ;)
You are looking at the marina model,  Only charging by the foot, but usually they are putting boats end to end on a long dock, so it makes more sense.  In some parks the longer sites are considered premium and are charged more, same with a pull thru vs. a back-in site. 


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