Too big for some camp grounds?

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.

ChinMusic

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Posts
113
Location
Rochester, IL
I've read on here in several places where bigger rigs cannot fit in certain CGs.  Is there a certain size of rig that limits where you can go?  Or is this really a non issue?

In other words is there a size that you wouldn't want to go over based on camp ground standards?
 

Wendy

Site Team
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
12,538
Location
Colorado
Depends on where you like to camp. We like to stay in NPS and Forest Service camps and they often have sites that fit RVs less than 30'. Often it's more of a turning and maneuverability problem than a site size problem....tight corners, small turn-arounds. Private campgrounds aren't as big an issue as far as size. We've chosen to stay below 30' with our RV so that we can camp in the places we enjoy staying.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,823
Most state parks in CA are limited in size - maybe 30'. State parks in OR on the other hand have sites up to 80'. National Forest campgrounds tend to have limited space. Many private campgrounds have limited site size also, but we haven't found too many problems with our 38' coach towing a Suburban. We specifically look for "big rigs welcome" in the campground listings and let them know on the phone what size we are before we pull in.
 

ChinMusic

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Posts
113
Location
Rochester, IL
Are you saying that once you go over 30' that you are a big rig?  Would there be much difference between were a 36' vs a 40'er could go?  I can't see going below 30'.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,823
ChinMusic said:
Are you saying that once you go over 30' that you are a big rig?

Not at all Cy. I'm just saying that 30' is (or used to be) the max length that CA state parks could accomodate. The definition of "big rig" seems to be vary quite a bit. There would certainly be places a 36' rig could go where a 40' rig couldn't.

First time around we allowed the possible CG size limits to influence the size of our rig, but second time around we didn't.
 

ChinMusic

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Posts
113
Location
Rochester, IL
Tom said:
]
First time around we allowed the possible CG size limits to influence the size of our rig, but second time around we didn't.

Since I have zero experience with RV CGs, or RVs for that matter, I really don't know where I'd like to park.  I tend to like more scenic secluded settings while DW is less rustic. I like to put a backpack on my back and disappear for a few days but that doesn't mean I wouldn't appreciate a nice/roomy Class A.  I'd hate to find myself regretting buying a 40 and finding out that there are many sweet sites shut out to me.
 

cheryl

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Posts
64
Some of the resort campgrounds are tight, have no limit but we are in a park in WA right now that is in the RPI system and it has been fun sitting out watching folks trying to get into these tight spaces.  We moved out car many times and assisted.  To previous boat owners it was almost like watching in an anchorage.  Some of the parks just pack them in and some parks allow some enjoying room as I call it.  We had 4 different folks next to us over a 5 day period and it was so close that the spotter was standing on our carpet to give directions.  Get a rig that will be comfortable, if it be 30' or 36'+, you will find some places you will not want to go.
We have a 37' class a and this year booked into a national park and had to call the ranger station and get the a ok from them before they would book us because the limit was 35'.  Cheryl
 

Wendy

Site Team
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
12,538
Location
Colorado
ChinMusic said:
Since I have zero experience with RV CGs, or RVs for that matter, I really don't know where I'd like to park.? I tend to like more scenic secluded settings while DW is less rustic. I like to put a backpack on my back and disappear for a few days but that doesn't mean I wouldn't appreciate a nice/roomy Class A.? I'd hate to find myself regretting buying a 40 and finding out that there are many sweet sites shut out to me.

If you have a towed, you can always go visit those scenic places. However, we're former backpackers (bad legs don't want us hiking with a pack anymore) and we like staying in many of the places that don't allow larger rigs. Best thing to do is borrow, rent, or visit at a dealer or show and look at lots of different rigs. You might decide that a 28-foot will work just fine for you or you might decide that you can't make do with anything less than 40'. And don't forget that slide-outs add a ton of space to even a small RV.

Above all, enjoy the search for the right rig and enjoy the travels.
 

Betty Brewer

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Posts
4,756
ChinMusic said:
I've read on here in several places where bigger rigs cannot fit in certain CGs.? Is there a certain size of rig that limits where you can go?? Or is this really a non issue?In other words is there a size that you wouldn't want to go over based on camp ground standards?

Hi Cy,

We have a 40 foot motorhome that turns like the Queen Mary.  We are careful when we enter a campground and call ahead if we fear it will be tight.  We use recommendations of those we know with big rigs. We have stayed at Forest Service campgrounds that had plenty of room.  We like to boon dock and have found many out of the way places off  rural roads sufficient for an overnight.  I'd say get the size rig you want to be in and the "camping" will follow.  We have been full time in this rig for 3 years and have always had a nice place to spend the night.  We do tow a car and  use it for sight seeing and shopping malls. Before this we had a 36 foot and  there are not too many places where that difference in length  made a difference. Get what you want and you will find places to stay!

Betty
 

Smoky

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
Chin:

We just finished our first year of full timing in a 40 foot Class A.  Not once did we feel any disadvantage due to size.  Yes, there are some very nice camp grounds and parks that we cannot fit in.  But there is no shortage of places for a big rig.  We have no regrets at all in moving up from a 30 foot trailer to a 40 foot Class A.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Tom said:
Not at all Cy. I'm just saying that 30' is (or used to be) the max length that CA state parks could accomodate. The definition of "big rig" seems to be vary quite a bit. There would certainly be places a 36' rig could go where a 40' rig couldn't.

Make that mostly maximum 30".  The State's Palm Canyon CG at Anza Borrrego DSP takes some awfully big rigs in a few spots at least.
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
We have a 37' and have parked where some people would have trouble parking? a 29'.? Of course with our trailer in tow that's an entirely different situation.? ?You learn quickly where and when you can go. Much depends on the driver. I've been in some parks in "Fl where the couldn't believe I got in and out without tearing up anything.? ?Just go and enjoy while forgetting the worrying.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
ChinMusic said:
I've read on here in several places where bigger rigs cannot fit in certain CGs.? Is there a certain size of rig that limits where you can go?? Or is this really a non issue?

In other words is there a size that you wouldn't want to go over based on camp ground standards?

I got in here a bit late since my rig is 23'.    A forty footer is going to have trouble with public CGs with both side size and access road width and turning radius.    You are essentially restricted to commercial campgrounds and desert boondocking.    If you like to hike and backpack, you are going to find issues with CGs located near trail heads.  Damn few commercial CGs around those in my experience.

But then why guess, get a copy of Trailer Lifes Campground Directory.  They give prominent place to site and access restrictions. 
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,823
Carl Lundquist said:
Make that mostly maximum 30".

Nah, I meant 30', not 30". You're right about mostly though Carl  ;)
 

Smoky

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
Carl is correct about restrictions, but our point is that we have never felt restricted because there are plenty of places where big rigs can camp, including boondocking.

My advice would be decide on what kind of RV machine you want to live or travel in.  Whatever you pick, you will never run out of great places to stay.

Just don't let anyone talk you into traveling along Route 89A near Jerome Arizona!  ;D ;D
 

ChinMusic

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Posts
113
Location
Rochester, IL
Thanks for all the opinions.  From our visit to Pontiac RV my wife and I felt that a smaller RV (34'-36').  I actually felt the smaller models, with the dinette and couch opposing each other would work as well (30' to 32' range???).  I understand that the larger models have MUCH more basement storage and that this is something a newbie doesn't realize until it's too late.  I would expect for long outings the storage advantage is key.

Again thanks to all for their opinion but I do have something I need to mention.  It's not a big deal at all and is actually kind of funny to me.  In my signature I have the line "Live Fast, Cy Young".  It is a take off of "Live Fast, Die Young".  Cy Young is a famous baseball pitcher and since this isn't a baseball/sports forum that sneaks by some folks.  I'm heavily into baseball and use that sig in some other forums.  Since this is an RV forum some of you think my name is "Cy".  My name is Dave but I'm cool with being "Cy" as well..... :D

Dave  aka Chin, aka Cy
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,305
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I'd say get the size rig you want to be in and the "camping" will follow.

Excellent advice and succinct as well.

I don't think there is a discernable difference in site availability in the 36-40 foot range. And only a modest difference in the 31-35 foot range.  You have to get down to 30 feet or less before you really begin to notice much difference and then only if you want to get into back-country campgrounds or old parks that were designed when rigs were much smaller.

As for smaller motorhomes, here are some very nice 32-34 footers with 2-4 slides, so you can get pretty good space without a lot of length. On the  other hand, the width of a multi-slide unit can also restrict your choice of sites in some places.

The need for storage space is driven more by what you want to have with you for enjoyment than by the length of the journey.  Multiple lawn chairs, folding tables, BBQ grills & fireplaces, golf clubs, fishing gear, inflatable boats, bicycles, screen rooms, etc. take up a lot of space. Add in hobby equipment and tools and you've got quitea load, in both weight and volume.  You don't have to carry all that stuff, but the idea is too enjoy yourself rather than merely travel from point A to point B.
 
Top Bottom