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Old 11-26-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
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Length Limitations at Campgrounds

First the question then the background...

When a campground publishes the size limits for a site do they tend to enforce it? Specifically, they say a site is for RV's up to 36' in length and you have a 40'. Is this always, mostly or sometimes enforced?

We are taking our time to purchase a DP and we live in Colorado. There are lots of great parks and campgrounds that don't have sites larger than 35' in length. We are OK with buying a 35' coach but our options are greatly reduced over a 38 or 40' unit. Anyone have experience that they wish to share in taking a larger coach into campgrounds that have smaller sites?


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Old 11-26-2012, 10:32 AM   #2
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I have never run into that problem with my 44' but have not camped all over the place. I have been known to say mine is 42' just to aviod eyebrows being raised.

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
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I know here in south dakota with the state parks they just say what the length is. It is my choice if I can really fit. However if I dont fit I loose the first night stays money.

I do believe that most campgrounds will measure a little short. So if they say 35' it may be 38', plus if you look at campground sites. They may have it where you can back up and let the backend hang over onto the grass(if you have grass behind the site).
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:48 AM   #4
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Hi MandG-Fun,
The length limitation is not only for the site, but for the ability to manuver the CG roads and enter/exit the site. Trees create a lot of work for RV body shops. The decision for you is which is the most important; where you RV or what you RV in. For me, I purchased the coach that met my requirements. I RV where the coach is welcome.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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Well said Gary
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:54 AM   #6
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Last summer, we went to arches national park. I didn't camp in the park, as the website said the max rv length was something like 30 feet!
But I did drive the jeep up to the campground and talked to the host, and he drove me around in his golfcart, and showed me like 8 sites where a 40 foot 4 slide DP would fit. I noted them on my brochure, and someday...

You cannot really go by the reservation websites.

If you can find a real phone number, and actually talk to the camp host or ranger out at the campground, you may find a solution.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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I have a 36 ft Class A and I pull a 16 ft dual wheen trailer filled with Harleys...I have caused some issues in the past..

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Old 11-26-2012, 12:09 PM   #8
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Length "limits" are really just a be-warned thing...a "don't blame us if you're too big to get in/around" red flag. And as noted above, since one's been warned, if the rig doesn't fit on arrival, one's likely to lose some/all of site fees.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:14 PM   #9
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So anyone with an over 40' unit? What situations has that caused you?
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:43 PM   #10
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It works both ways. I went to a CG this summer that said I should be able to fit a 45' MH in the slot we selected for our 39' MH. WELL...Yes BARELY got my 39' in there. There was a tree across the road to this back in site that was right in the way and I had to make a lot of strange moves to work around it with 2 friendly spotters. The other spots around me weren't so tight.

If I had a DP with a longer wheel base it would have been even tougher. Getting out of there was a bit of a challenge because once I got back to the road I had to go around a loop that was rather tight. Then...backtracking a bit, coming off of the main park road onto the road leading to my spot I had to drive between 3 trees that were in the shape of a V on a curve. That was tight also and a longer WB would have also challenged me.

So...it does take a little scouting out. We didn't have a toad to pre-drive the route into the park and then to the spot. I have learned from this that when we get our toad that we will unhook it just before we get to a new CG and scout ahead first.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:53 PM   #11
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As others have said, you can't put a 40' motorhome in a 36' space. However, if the issue is maneuvering, a 40' DP will go where no 36' gasser will dare to tread... so in the end it's pretty variable in most cases.

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Old 11-26-2012, 05:05 PM   #12
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In Ohio we have camped at State Parks that don't check our RV length with the site we reserved. We have camped several times at Cedar Point in Sandusky which by the way is one of the greatest vacations our family has taken. However, every year I put the length of our RV on our website reservation and every year they try to stick us in a spot we don't fit. There are either trees preventing us from getting the appropriate angle to get in or just too short. I always wondered why they ask our length if they aren't going to consider it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #13
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Hi Glenn,

As Gary said, maneuvering is just one of the aspects of having a larger/longer coach. When I call for reservations i always ask, or tell, them that I have a 40 foot MH. Many a time I have been thanked for telling them that and they have accommodated me with a little larger site than they had planned on giving me. On several occasions maneuvering through the trees was a challenge, but I made it. Many times parking the toad was horizontally in front of the MH as there just was no room to nose or back in for parking.

When it comes to many state and federal parks one has to remember when the park was first constructed. Campers at that time were 20+/- feet, so a 36 foot space was more than enough for a trailer and a tow vehicle. Some of the state and federal parks have remodeled and can accommodate the larger MH's.

So where do you want to stay? What do you want to stay in for comfort?

Happy trails.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:45 PM   #14
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Our only negative experience was with Reserve America. I think they are a nation wide orgination that a lot of parks use for reservations. Since they are not really familiar with the parks, they can easily put you in a site you can't get in. We told them our coach was 39.5 ft long. They put us in a site that we could not get completely into on a curve. It was for a 38 foot model. For this rally there were no other sites available, so we jammed into it as best we could. During our stay someone bumped into the front of our coach damaging the bra, and scratching the paint. From them on, we always tell them we are a 42 footer. Haven't had a problem since. The other thing we do is find a local number for a park where we plan to stay. Calling them will usually get you the site number that you can fit into easily. We then reserve only those sites. I would think you can call the parks in CO. you plan to visit, or check their website and find out if you would have a problem with a 38-40 footer.

Good luck

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