Probably not all the way to 90 degrees - I think at that point the truck & trailer would contact each other in a less than desirable way. Still, we've made some pretty tight turns backing up. So far the hitch has held up.
Actually, the Yellowstone reservations crew do operate from Yellowstone, not Denver, so some of them (probably many) have actually been to the CG. That said, it's quite large, so they probably don't have the exact layout, size & alignment of each campsite in their heads - that would take a savant! As others have said, they'll do the best they can, but can't guarantee a specific site.
DutchmenSport brings up a good point that folks new to PUPs may not think of - the work that goes into setting up, taking down, airing out, and loading. That was a main reason we ended up going to a hybrid and then to TTs. We really enjoyed our PUP (had it for 17 years!) but as we got older, we got tired of the toting and carrying it took to load it up every time we set up at a campsite and then again when we were putting down to leave.
Another thing to keep in mind is noise. Being basically glorified tents (no flaming please :) ), you will hear every noise outside the camper. If the CG is fairly empty, that's great - you'll hear the wind in the pines, the ocean waves, birds singing, etc. But with other campers around, you'll hear their talking, laughing, singing, etc. - ok until you're trying to sleep and the folks a site or two over have had a few too many and are talking LOUDLY.
Just something to think about.
Lurker, since you're working at Madison (I assume you'll be a camp host & have hookups??), getting there is a bit simpler than going in the north entrance - you will enter through the west entrance. (Good place to stay there, which may be open in April, should you need a spot the night before checking in for work, is Grizzly RV Park in "West" -aka West Yellowstone.) Best way to get to West is I-15 north to Idaho Falls, then US 20 northeast - goes all the way into the park through West. Madison is 14 miles east of the west entrance of the park.
Good suggestion to check tourism sites for each state, and even some of the regions (Adirondacks, Poconos, Mackinaw/Mackinac - incidentally, both spellings pronounced the same way - etc.) Definitely plan to spend a full day (at least) on Mackinac Island; it's a step back in time, and delightful. Ferries are available from both peninsulas of Michigan. (Another good CG for that area is Straits State Park, if you can get a site. Electric hookups only, to my knowledge, but nice, and some sites have a view of the Straits, though probably not of the island.)
We liked the Lake Placid/Whiteface Mt KOA for an Adirondacks base camp - very wooded & pretty, lots to do, and not far from Lake Placid (fun to visit the old Olympic sites there), Saranac Lake and other sites in the area. For the Poconos, one CG not far from there which is rather unique is Driftstone on the Delaware, a private CG with elec & water hookups. Some sites are ENORMOUS, many nicely shaded but plenty of headroom for larger rigs. Family owned. They maintain an old family graveyard in one corner of the CG. Some sites are right on the Delaware River, and you can go canoeing from there. Close to East Stroudsburg, Shawnee-on-Delaware, etc., and reasonably close to some of the better-known waterfalls (Bushkill, etc.) Popular with the locals.
Backing up to the earlier phases of your trip, driving the Great River Road can be interesting, and definitely not the "fast lane." We've driven portions of it in Illinois, Iowa & Wisconsin and enjoyed it. Illinois and Wisconsin both have some very nice state parks along that route, plus there are COE CGs and even a few county parks in Iowa to choose from. (Loved Thomson (COE) CG in Illinois, Miss. Palisades SP in IL, Willow River, Perrot and (our all-time favorite) Wyalusing SPs in WI.)
All I can say is, we visited the Airstream factory and the factory that built our last trailer, and the difference was quite striking. We were very impressed with how the Airstreams are built. As DownTheAvenue pointed out, they tend to last many, many years (as long as they are maintained properly, of course). And it's also true that they lack headroom and space, and probably tend to be a bit heavier, compared to most TTs of similar sizes.
Not sure you'd be happy towing a trailer with the 4Runner, judging from our experience towing with a midsize SUV (Ford Explorers, in our case). One thing you'd get with the Airstream or a Lance would be a bit of a lower profile, which would help. It's still going to be a tough haul.
Sabluka, those are the exact reasons we switched from a Class C to trailers (of various kinds) many years ago. Having to "uncamp" to go get groceries or firewood, or to go sightseeing, was a definite pain, and our rig wasn't big enough to pull a toad of any size. You're right on the money.
Trailers of course have their own drawbacks; hitching and unhitching can be a bit of a pain too (especially if you are doing it by yourself w/o a companion to help), and of course you have to stop & pull off the road if you want/need to access anything you keep in it while underway. We have been content with our decision, though; for us it has made more sense to pull a trailer.
As for economy, you may get better mileage (slightly) pulling a trailer with a truck or large SUV than you currently do driving a motorhome. Only slightly - and of course when you're using the TV (tow vehicle) for a daily driver, it will get worse mileage than a small car would. It's probably a wash.
Could be you are on a reservation site, and the window for making reservations is not long enough to fit your schedule. I've encountered that when looking at state park websites in Utah.
That said, I have noticed that the most recent Trailer Life/Woodalls/Good Sam directory (whatever they're calling it lately) tends to concentrate on private CGs and not state parks.
If you're working in April, I assume you will be working at Mammoth, which you will need to access through the north end of the park. I'd stay south as long as you can and head north on I-15; if the weather is mild enough you would probably be ok going via US 20 and 191 thru Bozeman, east to Livingston and down into the park from there. If it's still cold & snowy, stick to the interstates (I-15 and then east on I-90). Allow plenty of time in case weather holds you up for a few days. GOod luck and have a great season! :)
If we're only overnighting and have no plans to drive anywhere for groceries, sightseeing, etc., we will stay hitched up if there's room in the site. Otherwise we remove the bars and stow them in the truck.
Frustrating, to be sure. I'm sure it depends on the dealership. We sold one of our past rigs on consignment, and though it took a while (about 5 months, IIRC) it worked out well for us. We did use a dealer we knew - we had taken that rig to him for service for several years - and being a fairly small dealership, I'm sure he was somewhat motivated to get it off the lot. The bigger ones, perhaps not so much. I also suspect the commission on a consigned unit is WAY less than on a new or even 2-year-old unused rig. Good luck!
Army11Bravo, that's great that you were able to get reservations. I hope you have a wonderful trip - and that you find some great state parks enroute as well.
Just a caveat about Fishing Bridge - if your site on paper looks like it will fit your RV, you may still have an adventure backing into it. That happened to us last year; we had reserved a site that on paper was big enough for our rig, but trees and an electrical power panel alongside the (narrow) CG road made backing into our site rather difficult. We did succeed, with the help of a few fellow RVers, but it was tough. Just FYI. Fishing Bridge sites are TIGHT; don't expect a lot of CG atmosphere. But you sure can't beat the location, very central to the park. And you might get lucky and have a buffalo or coyote walk by your site some morning or evening. :)
No clue on the cheese shops (though even small towns in Wisconsin often have a cheese shop or factory) but WI SPs are superb. Most have electric sites - often 1/2 or more of the CG. You will need advance reservations for weekends in SPs, I think - many of them are very popular, and their booking window is 11 months in advance - so don't delay!
There is a cheese factory in the little central WI town of Knowlton (guess how we found that out!), near Marshfield. SPs not terribly far away that have some nice sites could include Council Grounds SP (gorgeous & heavily wooded) or Rib Mountain (not sure if they have electric sites).
For sightseeing you can't beat Door County, but it will be VERY popular. Best SPs there for a B: Peninsula or Potawatomi. One of our favorites is Point Beach State Forest - nice wooded CG, beachfront on Lake Michigan, and lots to see in the area, with some ship/boating museums in Two Rivers, and a good base camp for the southern part of Door County too.
Though we are not selling ours, you might check into some of the lighter-weight Rockwood/Flagstaff twins (Forest River products). We like ours (26-27') - comfortable enough, good size, our truck pulls it wonderfully. GVWR is about 6500 lbs, ideal weight for a 1/2 ton, IMO.
Definitely make reservations NOW! You will do a lot of driving anyway, and for a week, I'd recommend staying in no more than 2 CGs, as it takes about 1/2 day to change sites (including driving between the CGs.) As others have pointed out, Fishing Bridge is the only CG inside the park with any hookups at all. If you will need them, you will need to camp there or at a CG outside the park. Fishing Bridge is booked through Xanterra, the lodging concessioner for the park; I believe they also manage reservations for the NPS CGs that take them (Madison, Bridge Bay, Grant Village, Canyon).
For camping outside the park, I'd recommend Grizzly RV in West Yellowstone. It's the closest to the park, very clean & nice, and takes reservations. It's also slightly less expensive than the KOA (less shade, though, I think) and is walkable to town. It's been our preference for several years now. We tried Fishing Bridge last fall and, though the location was unbeatable, the sites are TIGHT. It's really cheek-to-jowl and not all that pleasant, IMO.
If you're spending a week in Yellowstone, why not spend a day or two of that time in the Tetons? They're right next door (literally about 5 miles between them) and the pass for one park is good for both. You may want to consider a couple nights in GTNP as well, and again if you need hookups, Colter Bay RV Park would be your best bet. I believe the NPS CGs for GTNP are not reservable - haven't checked into that, so I may be wrong.
There are several private CGs outside Glacier which are decent. Depending what kind of campsite you like, you have quite a choice, especially on the more forested west side. We stayed at the KOAs on both west & east sides; liked the west side one better, but we were disappointed that many of the trees had been removed (we were told they did that a couple years ago in order to accommodate the larger rigs.) Mountain Meadows is more wooded, we noticed (driving by). The east side of the park is much less forested than the west side, due to climatic conditions locally, so most CGs there will be in the open. The picture of the St Mary KOA is an accurate representation and a good example of what the east side of the park looks like.
I would recommend spending at least 2-3 days on each side of the park, if your schedule allows it. Consider taking the all-day Red Bus tour too - saves you the driving and gives you a good feel for what you might want to spend some time doing along Going to the Sun Road. Then you can go back to those areas (WITHOUT the RV) on a different day.
As far as reservations go, definitely make them - even for the CGs outside the park - well in advance. Glacier is not a terribly big park, and the vehicle-accessible area of it is quite small, but it gets about 2/3 of the visitors that much-bigger Yellowstone does. (Traffic is comparably bad because of that.) Glacier is awesome (and I don't use that word lightly) - well worth the trip. Bring along your passports and spend a day visiting next-door Waterton Lakes NP in Alberta, too. (Best accomplished from the east side.)
If you like lakes, you might look into the Great Lakes. As Dutchmen Sport said, Wisconsin has some wonderful state parks, a few of which are on Lake Michigan. They are very popular, so you might be a bit late finding a site (reservable 11 months in advance) but try Kohler-Andrae State Park or Point Beach State Forest. Both very nice wooded/partially wooded campgrounds with electric hookups at many sites. Both are just across a dune or two from the beach. Point Beach has some good sightseeing in the area - some ships and boats (a submarine) to tour, and close to Door County for a day trip.
Another good state park is Indiana Dunes SP near Michigan City, Indiana. It's also on Lake Michigan, and has a view from the beach of downtown Chicago. You can take a commuter train from very close to the park into the city for sightseeing if you wish, or just hang out in the campground and on the beach there. Nice park, electric sites for the most part. Again, very popular - reserve early! Next door to a national lakeshore, with trails you can hike, etc.