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Old 03-01-2019, 11:37 PM   #1
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National park Trailer length restrictions

Ok, so I searched here and saw a few threads about this, but mostly the discussions kept circling back to what folks actual trailer lengths were vs the box lengths, and what kind of sites to reserve.

My question is more basic, and probably silly, but I wanted to ask it anyway. For the last 8 years we've been camping with a 2011 Ford Explorer and a 2011 R-pod 176. Our rig length was 34'. Never really had an issue fitting both the trailer, and the TV just about anywhere we went.

I now have a 157" wheel base 2011 F150, and are looking at a 245BHS or 248BHLE surveyor. Both campers are just under 30'. Having camped at Big Meadows, and other campgrounds in shannendoah many times, I know there is no way I'll fit my truck and the trailer in most of those sites, even if I take the trailer wheels to the "end" of the site. Last year, I did that with the R-pod and *barely* kept the nose of the truck out of the loop.

The question is, what do most of you folks with the longer trailers do? Back-in, unhitch and park the TV somewhere else? It seems like I would need to, in most, if not all cases. Mostly because the campgrounds we frequent are in state and national parks, many are older, and the sites are not long, nor are there many pull throughs available.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:59 AM   #2
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My 5th wheel is 38í, I back in unhitch and try to squeeze the truck on the site. Some times I have to block the driveway and park parallel with the road.
I also stop the trailer tires at the end of the pad. My trailer has 12 feet that hangs behind the tires. This only works if no trees are behind the pad.
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:09 AM   #3
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I donít think you will have a problem with the length you are taking about.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:30 PM   #4
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I donít think you will have a problem with the length you are taking about.
I suspect your correct, but was looking for others experiences. I went from tent camping, to an R-pod that we've had the last 8 years, this will be the first decent sized trailer I'll have had to park.
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:34 PM   #5
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I suspect you're correct, but was looking for others' experiences.
Your own experiences on the Parkway tell you there will be some places you can't go. Big Meadows is do-able but Lewis and Loft mountains and Matthews Arm campgrounds are problems. There are sites you can get on, but they are few in number and the first to go.
I call the ranger station and ask.
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:36 PM   #6
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Our trailer is 32' (29' box). In National Parks we can fit into a 30' site. Sometimes our truck can fit, other times we have to park it elsewhere. If there are 35' sites, we try and get those, but we never have not fit in a 30' site. Been to mostly western national parks.
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:55 PM   #7
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Our trailer is 32' (29' box). In National Parks we can fit into a 30' site. Sometimes our truck can fit, other times we have to park it elsewhere. If there are 35' sites, we try and get those, but we never have not fit in a 30' site. Been to mostly western national parks.
X2 you will have challenges from our experiences in the West with our 30'. A few parks won't let you in, others will not complain if you parallel park the TV as long as it's out of the road mostly, others will have a space for 'extra' vehicles. Good advice about calling ahead and having a plan B for the area.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:27 PM   #8
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dmdomokos has great insight. We stayed at 9 National Parks last summer here in the west and had no troubles with our 31 foot 5th wheel and pickup. When making reservations look carefully at the campground maps. Some pull through sites have very sharp turns in them which put a bite on your maneuvering in and out. Glacier NP is a good one for that as well as Crater Lake NP. We use Google Earth as well checking sites.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:47 PM   #9
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RVs up to 12′ in length fit in every national park campground in the United States, although there are a few campgrounds that don’t allow RVs at all and are tent only.
RVs up to 19′ in length fit in 98% of all national park service campgrounds.
RVs up to 25′ in length fit in 93% of all national park campgrounds
RVs up to 29′ in length fit in 84% of all national park campgrounds
RVs up to 32′ in length fit in 81% of all national park campgrounds
RVs up to 35′ in length fit in 73% of all national park campgrounds
RVs up to 37′ in length fit in 60% of all national park campgrounds
RVs up to 40′ in length fit in 53% of all national park campgrounds (Remember that many of the parks will only have a few sites this size, however. Book long in advance if reservations are available–otherwise you run the risk of not having a spot)
RVs up to 41′ in length fit in 7% of all national park campgrounds (Remember that many of the parks will only have a few sites this size, however. Book long in advance if reservations are available–otherwise you run the risk of not having a spot)
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Old 03-03-2019, 06:21 PM   #10
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So, are you saying that the length restrictions given for sites are not generally enforced as long as you aren't hanging out of the site? My 21 FBRS is 21'8" and I've been avoiding the 20 ft sites, even though they are often the most private sites.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:48 PM   #11
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Your own experiences on the Parkway tell you there will be some places you can't go. Big Meadows is do-able but Lewis and Loft mountains and Matthews Arm campgrounds are problems. There are sites you can get on, but they are few in number and the first to go.
I call the ranger station and ask.
Matthews arm for sure. That place is tight, and there are lots of trees. I don't remember loft mountain being bad, I had a pull through last time we were there and my grandparents (29' class C) were across from me and had enough room to park their tow behind in front of their camper. Basically, I recall the sites there being big. Maybe we my mom happened to book a couple of the larger ones without knowing. We visit that park once a year for a small family reunion, I just show up and take the site my folks book...but even the ones I drove by looked like there was room to pull the overhang trick.

I'm guessing the bigger issue is the loop? I know the biggest issue I had last trip was backing into my site in big meadows. The cut I had to make to get my r-pod in was a bastard, especially because the area was soaked and the ranger asked me to keep the tires on the pavement....took me 3 tries to get the cut right, and I usually have zero issues backing the pod, I've been doing it for 8 years now.

A little concerned about this longer trailer :-/, even though it checks all the other boxes for the family.
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