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Old 02-04-2016, 01:13 PM   #1
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"Oversize" motorhome in a camping site

We have a Berkshire 34QS, which is a 35' 7" long motorhome. When I go to book into RV parks, I often see length restrictions that technically prevent me from using a site. But, there is often a lot of information about the site that it is much bigger. For example, it may be listed as 60' long, or I may look at the satellite maps of the site and see units that must be 40' long fitting comfortably into that site.

Right now, I'm booking into Bronte Provincial Park in Ontario and see that the only 50 amp service is in sites restricted to 32' and less, but the satellite photos and published site sizes show that bigger units can fit in.

I am wondering what the length restrictions are really intended to achieve, when the sites are much longer. Perhaps they are limiting their liability if you can't turn a big rig into a site that they rate for shorter rigs. But, motorhomes (especially Freightliner chassis DPs with a 55° wheel cut) can turn more sharply and compactly than travel trailers, so are these restrictions really for trailers rather than motorhomes? For example, we have a 27' trailer in our back yard parking pad, and it usually takes me 2 or 3 tries before I can turn the corner from the alley and get the trailer into it. But, I backed my 35' Berk into it on the first try without a spotter. (Sadly, I have to do some landscaping to lengthen the pad before I can store the Berk in it.)

So, I am asking for experiences regarding the following questions:

1. Have you every parked in a site that is rated as being shorter than your rig, and been hassled or denied entry by the campsite management, even though you didn't overhang the road and fitted on their gravel pad?

2. If so, what was the campsite? It would be more helpful if we know the category of the site, such as US or Canadian National Park, State Park, Provincial Park, KOA or whatever.

3. Have you had trouble backing into a "smaller" site than the length of your unit? If so, let us know how much too small, and whether you had a motorhome, 5th wheel or travel trailer.

– Gordon Sick
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:22 PM   #2
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I've parked my 36' toy hauler in sites rated as low as 30'. This was in state parks that I had previously been to and scouted which sites I knew I could use.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:51 PM   #3
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Our fifth wheel is 37'4". The last state park we stayed at limited the site we got to 35'. I have not measured, but I believe they measure the length from the concrete stop at the back of the site to the front. When we backed into the spot, our trailer tires were about a foot from the stopper and we had the truck in front with about a foot to spare. But about 10 feet hung over the back stopper. Jerry.


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Old 02-04-2016, 04:01 PM   #4
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Any reason why you wouldn't call Bronte Provincial Park in Ontario directly?
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:07 PM   #5
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Some parks assume worse case which would be a TT or 5er and tow vehicle. if you had a 35ft 5er and a long bed dually you might not fit in the site. In Maryland State park regulations state that unit and tow vehicle must fit in the site. You can not park along the circle/road. This ia also the case for a MH with toad.
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:10 PM   #6
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When we book we always give tt length and have never been turned away. Also give power requirement but can always use 30 amp if 50 not available. Later RJD
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:13 PM   #7
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Yellowstone national park sites that are reserve able are measured from truck bumper to trailer bumper. The reservations clearly state that you must fit/ be under the measurement
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:14 PM   #8
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Our seasonal private ownership campground limits the size due to issues with the campgrounds infrastructure, renters only. The way the sites are configured to the roads, can make it very difficult for the larger RV’s to back into (width of road and narrowness/angles of the sites).Drivers of the larger RV’s, unfamiliar with the campground roads, turns etc., have also caused damage to sites and property, just getting to their site.That being said, the size limit still allows for up to 40 ft.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonsick View Post
We have a Berkshire 34QS, which is a 35' 7" long motorhome. When I go to book into RV parks, I often see length restrictions that technically prevent me from using a site. But, there is often a lot of information about the site that it is much bigger. For example, it may be listed as 60' long, or I may look at the satellite maps of the site and see units that must be 40' long fitting comfortably into that site.

Right now, I'm booking into Bronte Provincial Park in Ontario and see that the only 50 amp service is in sites restricted to 32' and less, but the satellite photos and published site sizes show that bigger units can fit in.
Hi Gord

I have been to Bronte and camped in site 114. This site is at the outside of a turn so backing in is no issue.

I have a F550 Crew cab with an 8 foot bed so the whole rig is 51 feet long. I can assure you that you will fit in this site. My truck and trailer are off the road while still hooked up.

The water/dump is to the left of the entry building so you need to do a go around to fill up.

You will need more than 50 feet of cord to get power as the post is near the road. My plug in is at the roadside rear so I could not be any further away.

Good Luck and safe travels.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:32 AM   #10
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gordonsick If you are wanting 50 amp service you may want to double check that , I have only ever seen 30 amp service at a provincial park, I may be wrong but ask to be sure.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:33 AM   #11
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I can't speak directly about Bronte, but, am a routine user of many of other Ontario Provincial Parks. I have seen in the past, instances where a site may indicate a certain size, example max 18', yet when I've looked at the site it would easily accommodate a unit of 25'.

I would go through the effort of calling the campground direct.
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
Any reason why you wouldn't call Bronte Provincial Park in Ontario directly?
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:51 PM   #13
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Hi Gord

I have been to Bronte and camped in site 114. This site is at the outside of a turn so backing in is no issue.

I have a F550 Crew cab with an 8 foot bed so the whole rig is 51 feet long. I can assure you that you will fit in this site. My truck and trailer are off the road while still hooked up.

The water/dump is to the left of the entry building so you need to do a go around to fill up.

You will need more than 50 feet of cord to get power as the post is near the road. My plug in is at the roadside rear so I could not be any further away.

Good Luck and safe travels.
Thanks. I looked at Apple Maps and Google Streetview and concluded that this is probably the best site in the park. My power is only halfway back and I can park the car elsewhere if I need to go forward. I do have almost 50 feet of 50 amp cord.

You've confirmed that it is a good choice. Great.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:01 PM   #14
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When we book we always give tt length and have never been turned away. Also give power requirement but can always use 30 amp if 50 not available. Later RJD
RJD,

Thanks for the suggestion. I did call Bronte Park and they say that the RV lengths are guidelines only. If you can fit it in, you are legal and they don't measure. I really don't know how they chose the rated lengths, since looking with Google Streetview and Apple maps shows that some of the sites rated as small are at least as useable as the ones that are rated as large. And, their published lengths also indicate that RVs will fit.

BTW, looking at Apple Maps and Streetview did alert me to a low-hanging tree branch that would make an otherwise excellent site a problem. So, it is worth checking if you can.

Another interesting point that I asked them about is that I noticed that some sites were rated at 30 Amps, even though they shared a post with a site rated at 50 Amps. The Bronte Park people insisted that the amperages are as stated, so the 30s are 30 and the 50s are 50. One thing that does diminish the credibility of that claim, however, is that the person spoke of watts, not amps, even though I kept saying amps. I guess it is hard to hire electrical engineers or physicists to answer phones at a provincial park.

I'm inclined to believe that sites rated at 50 amps are really 50 amps, because this provincial park is not shaded and in an urban area midway between Toronto and Hamilton. They probably learned that a lot of people need to use 2 ACs because Toronto is uncomfortably hot in summer, as Canadian cities go.

–Gordon
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:02 PM   #15
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We too have camped at Bronte and remember it as flat agricultural land that has been let grow up. It is a newer park so is much more open than some of the older parks built in tent only days. We camped with a group at an antique car club meet and all had no trouble getting our camping equipment and car haulers into and out of the park. We camped at Driftwood PP in a site recommend for trailers less than 18'. Our 29' motorhome had lots of room. We use our beautiful Ontario Provincial Parks almost exclusively and have never been measured. Enjoy your visit. Lots to see and do in the area.
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:09 PM   #16
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Alberta Provincial and Canada National parks don't check length

Thanks to all the posts, we are building up a nice list of experiences for various jurisdictions.

So, I should tell you of my experience in the sites I frequent.

Kananaskis Country (Alberta Provincial Parks) plus Mt Kidd RV park in K-country
– Does not check length. Usually, you pre-book and just drive into your site. If you were blocking a road, you would probably have a problem.

Banff and Lake Louise (National Parks in Canada)
– You check in at a booth (after pre-registering online), but they don't measure your rig. I've seen a big rig with a tag axle jutting out into the road. He was there for a while, so I'm not sure if he met anything more severe than the glares of the other campers with smaller units.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:03 PM   #17
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Bronte isn't a park where any personnel will nitpick things that aren't an issue. If your unit fits, nobody will care. I walk my dogs there several days a weeks and camp a few times a year, it's a "chill" place as long as you're respectful of others.
One note, if you have a small or medium sized dog, keep him close...the coyotes there are very bold...
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:26 PM   #18
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Every place is different a call should answer questions......... my guess is the measure small because there are many inexperienced campers out there the need more room to maneuver.

Last fall saw a guy with a bumper pull camper that could not make it into pull through site. He backed up and into a super nice motor home. Broke the windshield and did some front end damage to the motorhome. The camper disappeared over night........

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Old 02-08-2016, 12:00 PM   #19
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gordonsick If you are wanting 50 amp service you may want to double check that , I have only ever seen 30 amp service at a provincial park, I may be wrong but ask to be sure.
There is a 50 amp post at site 114.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:04 PM   #20
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gordonsick If you are wanting 50 amp service you may want to double check that , I have only ever seen 30 amp service at a provincial park, I may be wrong but ask to be sure.
Inverhuron has many 50 amp sites.
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