as far as finding a campground that wouldn't fit a 31 footer, I have yet to find a place where I had to turn away because my 35 footer wouldn't fit. Doesn't mean I won't come across a place where it won't fit, just that I haven't as of yet. If I do, there will be another down the road where I will fit and didn't use the length as a reason to be concerned about my purchase.
I've camped in many FS sites. When my lil' popup is set up, it's 25' long. Add the length of the truck and we need 43'. Haven't had too many problems finding that length. Rarely have I had to park the truck other than right in front, and usually there's several feet between the truck and trailer. I also like to be well away from the roadway. Granted, the back bunk can and sometimes does stick out behind the vehicle pad, but I usually try to keep the main box within the pad so my stabilizers are down on the hard(er) surface. Once in a while the nose of the truck parks along side of the front bunk if necessary without violating the vehicle pad width. In short, there may be some sites within a CG that 31' won't fit, but from my experience that's well into the minority.
2004 Toyota Tundra SR5 (V8, 4WD, TP, TRD)
2005 Fleetwod Allegance with axle flip
Honeywell 2000i Generator
Me, DW, DS, DD, Dog & Camping Kitty
I was researching the camp sites around Yosemite and Sequoia in eastern California and there was a definite cutoff at 30' or smaller as compared to 35' and longer in terms of the choices available.
Friends bought a 28' a couple years ago and for them the length has not been a concern. If I was interested in a 31' I would want to understand what the extra 3' got me on the inside. If it doubles the storage space that would be great. If it means a bigger shower and bath area then it may not be nearly as worthwhile.
Go with teh smallest you can stand. Our TT is 35' in length in total and we are limited to where we can put it, then we have to park the supercrew truck as well. Add about another 15' to the total length. 31' won't be an issue for you driving otherwise.
What is advertised as a 31 footer may be longer in overall length. My 28A is actually 30 1/2 feet long. Often the advertised length is the length of the house and the chassis sticks out in front. If you put a bike rack on the back it is even longer.
Class C, 2004/5 Four Winds Dutchman Express 28A, Chevy chassis
2010 Subaru Impreza Sedan
Camped in 45 states, 7 Provinces and 1 Territory
We have had RVs since 1969 and have never had a problem with length. We haven't been to Calif. with an RV but there is a lot more of the country than the left coast. For us it has been the same as when we had boats. If it was only 2-3 feet longer it would be great. 38' works for us.
2003 Newmar Mountain Aire, Workhorse W22, 2008 Saturn Vue, Falcon 5250, & US Gear Unified Tow Brake
I go to very small campgrounds/ narrow roads.
Still snow here up in the mountains. When it clears and the campgrounds are open, I plan to talk to the campground host and get his/her opinion.
There are a few FS Campgrounds that are very restrictive anywhere from 24' to 28'. But most will allow you to at least try. Our 5er is 31' I can get it may places. We even stay in the A loop of the Norris Campground at Yellowstone. If we ever get rid of this unit we will look for a 32 motorhome. Anything longer does restrict your ability to many campsites.
Have a great time.
Mike & Dava
2007 Sierra Classic 2500 HD Duramax/Allison 4X4 Crewcab, Super Springs
2005 Carriage Compass 30RLS, MOR/ryde suspension & Pinbox, Onan 3600LP
Huskey 16K EZ Roller, DigiTrac
A caution on longer Class C's. We looked at several '03 to '06 31-footers mainly on the Ford E450 chassis. They scared me silly just looking at the rear overhang. We took a short test ride in one and stopped at a State Patrol weight station, which are often closed but have the scale displays on.
I weight front and rear axles separately and was amazed when I compared the rear axle load to its limit load. With half a tank of gas, no fresh water, empty waste tanks, no camping gear and just the two of us, there was only 150 pounds capacity remaining.
I also had misgivings about the side loads that a toad would impose on the tail (and the loads on the toad front end) with as much swing-out as it was going to have.
We decided those things weren't for us and we found our signature rig. Not long afterwards, I was at Costco gassing up our minivan. There was one of those long Class Cs at the pumps, paassenger's side next to the island. When he pulled out and swung left across to the exit lane, there was an almighty bang as the back corner of the rig hit the last gas pump on the island and knocked it over. Luckily no gas spilled, but the MH was pretty beat up.
Frank Damp, DW - Eileen
'02 Georgetown 325, F53, V-10, bought used in 2010 at 13,000 miles.
Dogs - 2 Labs again, both yellow males, both 9 yrs old and both adopted.