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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > RV length and finding a campsite

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elkhornsun

Monterey

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Posted: 04/23/12 07:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was reviewing a 5 month travel plan that friends had put together to take with their 28' long motorhome. I wondered how many campgrounds they had to pass on as a result of their length as compared to the 21' length of my truck with its camper in place.

I did looked at 211 campgrounds in the eastern part of California surrounding Yosemite and Sequoia national parks as they were typical of the areas I like to stay at while traveling around. It is difficult to know when a site will take an RV up to 30 feet if that means at 50 of the 115 sites or at 5 of the 115 sites but ignoring that I tallied up the site information and then determined at what percentage of campgrounds people with different length RV's would even have a chance to find a space - and many are first come first serve and do not take reservations and there is nothing to prevent someone with a 16' camper van from taking a 35' space.

This is what I found:

16' RV - 211 campgrounds 100% of RV campground
21' RV - 180 campgrounds 85%
25' RV - 150 campgrounds 71%
30' RV - 138 campgrounds 65%
35' RV - 88 campgrounds 42%
40' RV - 64 campgrounds 30%
45' RV - 32 campgrounds 15%

With all the research one does on getting a RV vehicle the room at the campsite seldom is mentioned but to have a 40' RV and not even be able to consider 70% of the campsites in this area is something I would expect many new RV owners to not add to their purchase decision making matrix.

I wanted a short truck and camper for maneuverability on the back roads based on my past experiences but did not think for a moment about how the length would impact our ability to find a space at campground that do not take reservations or even limit which campgrounds into which we could take our RV regardless.

Jackthewonderdog

United States

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Posted: 04/23/12 08:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Must be a California thing, never had an issue with finding a 40 ft site across the country, State, Fed and private.

Delaine and Lindy

Linden Tn. (The View)

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Posted: 04/23/12 08:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't do the Cal. thing and I have never had a issue with length. I do no boon docking and use very few State parks.. We were 57' in length when towing with the Freightliner M2, we have since downsize it a Chevy 3500HD DRW's and don't know the exact length. Again I have never had a issue with length... Happy Trails....


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tonyandkaren

pennsylvania

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Posted: 04/23/12 08:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm always surprised at the number of people who say that they don't have trouble getting into campsites with large RVs. Even with our relatively small 25' class C there are times when we have to park so that our tail hangs out past the parking area to get off of the roadway. Most of the time those sites are in non-reservable forest campgrounds like you have noted.


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Pete_k

Stantonville Tn

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Posted: 04/23/12 08:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like one more good reason to stay out of the State of Ca. Shoot I have seen sites they say will only fit a 28ft camper and a 40ft fits on. And also was in a 24ft site that my Truck camper took up the whole pad. Guess they were meaning for 10 ft to hang off the back of the pad.
Pete


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MKish

SF

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Posted: 04/23/12 08:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eastern CA is mountains. Not little ones. Big ones. Don't need big parking spots because big RVs aren't going to make it up the squiggly unpaved road to get there anyway. Some of the campgrounds were built during the depression and predate any concept of large RVs. When you're poking camp sites between giant sequoias, you can't just retrofit them to pack in RVs when they were designed for tent campers.


The campgrounds out there are mostly federal so don't dis California for something the feds did.

(The roads more than the campsite size are why I'm replacing my trailer with a TC--I couldn't get my trailer half the places I wanted to in CA.)

Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Posted: 04/23/12 08:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You'd be amazed at the huge rigs I've seen in the backwoods of California. I got up one narrow rutted road with overhanging trees, and there were a couple of those bus-sized things. Maybe there was some back entrance that I hadn't found?


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Super_Dave

Sacramento, CA

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Posted: 04/23/12 08:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mkish, never discourage those willing to stay out of CA on their own. ;-)


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Searching_Ut

Utah

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Posted: 04/23/12 09:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We downsized for that very reason, and still find that in the Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado area where we do most of our camping, we often find we can't get in to some of the nicer to camp in campgrounds because our 23.7 foot TT is to big. That said, with the smaller size we can get in to most, and we can hit the nicer campgrounds in the national parks most of the time, and aren't stuck in the parking lot like wall to wall trailer parks like trailer village at the grand canyon, or fishing bridge in yellowstone etc.

path1

Wa State (wet side)

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Posted: 04/23/12 09:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All depends on where you like to "camp". We like to "camp" in places that my Class C (24 feet by tape measure not model number) has a hard time getting into. Or at the end of a logging road or next to "wild berry" picking spot. Then at times we like the "asphalt resort camp" to do laundry and recharge. Having a small Class C or what we call our "stand up class B" about the size of a camper has many advantages and draw backs. We’ve noticed that some campgrounds let’s say for example (30 ft max) and then after actually being there that maybe their smallest site but their biggest site would hold several 45 ft. It all depends on how they measure. There is one campground we go to that the road in is posted “No Trailers”. The first time there we couldn’t see why it says “No trailers” yes,the road is dirt but big one lane or 2 small lane, curvy and up and down hills etc. Bt nothing really big deal. We asked the Ranger when we ran across him making rounds later in day. He said OH it would take forever for some folks to back up, so it is just easier to post "no trailers" .
For your viewing pleasure a short youtube on size, so yes size matters. I'm sort of looking for an old camper to rebuild right now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfleLjZ3fd8&feature=player_embedded


1990 37 ft King of the road 5th wheel. Great carpentry, summer home
1997 33 ft Holiday Rambler, Never again will a new RV come into this family
2003 25 ft Majestic M/H, Old RV rental Best travel machine we've ever owned.

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