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Old 06-15-2016, 04:11 PM   #1
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Length of Class A at State and National Parks

We are looking for a new RV, currently (this seems to be changing weekly) the decision is between a 38 and 41 foot length. We know that one this large will limit some national and state parks. Will that three foot difference make that many parks closed to us? Or at those 2 lengths would it be a case of "six of one, half a dozen of another"?
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:26 PM   #2
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Length

I'm not sure of other states but Maryland only has two state parks that hold the larger class A's Deep Creek State Park has two 50 foot sites and Point Lookout in southern MD. We did run in to a height problem in Texas but not a length problem. Our RV is 13'4" tall low limbs
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Old 06-15-2016, 05:09 PM   #3
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IMO it is 6 and half. Much of the issue will be with any trees and the height if they are above the roadway and the width of the roadway. A 41k with tag will likely turn as well as a 38. Once the tag is dumped the wheelbase of both could be very similar.
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:45 PM   #4
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where I had a problem was even though they allowed, the sites that you would be able to fit in were always taken, and one time I got my coach in and the place filled up... with the guy parked infront I couldn't get out... he turned out to be a nice guy.. and moved to ley me out...
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:56 PM   #5
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I've always found this article interesting...

10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Fulltime RVing… – Wheeling It

She has a 40-footer and mostly stay in public campgrounds, and expresses a desire for smaller.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:14 PM   #6
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38' vs 41'. If one fits so will the other, practically speaking. IMHO.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:31 PM   #7
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In our experience around the country - 'it depends' - we've been in great state and national parks/forests with wonderful access - and some, not so much. Each park is different from size of spaces to the turning radius of the roads and care of the overhead foliage.

We chose our rig knowing there would be some limits - but haven't regretted at all the trade-offs. More and more of the parks have accurate descriptions of site lengths and pictures and various apps provide some detail and first-hand experiences.

A well-known secret (but don't tell anyone): when the space description says '38 feet' and you have a 43 tag - you'll fit...

Safe travels...
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:34 AM   #8
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Old 06-16-2016, 01:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Lizards View Post
We are looking for a new RV, currently (this seems to be changing weekly) the decision is between a 38 and 41 foot length. We know that one this large will limit some national and state parks. Will that three foot difference make that many parks closed to us? Or at those 2 lengths would it be a case of "six of one, half a dozen of another"?
When I've encountered size restrictions it's usually been below 38ft. I've been to some places where a rig that large simply couldn't access the campgrounds. In those situations we just stay at a campground outside of the park anyway. I find the private campgrounds near the larger parks to be preferable anyhow.
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:16 AM   #10
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While size might preclude us from some state parks (in GA) it's usually the lack of sewer access on site that determines where we camp with 4 kids and actively lifestyle producing lots of grey and blk water.

I doubt the 3' of difference in 38' vs 41' would be an issue.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:08 PM   #11
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We have a 40' and prefer to stay in state, corp of engineer or military parks...have only gone to a couple of commercial campgrounds in 4 years - with the last year or so full-timing, so we have stayed in a bunch.

A few of the campgrounds we have looked at do have a size limit, and we have been precluded from staying at a few older state and corp of engineer parks, but overall I would say if 38 would fit, then that same campground will also be able to handle a 41, so I don't think that is an issue.

We have noticed a few (very few) parks limit the size to 40', but I don't think there were enough of those to bother worrying about. Almost all our travel to date has been in the southeast US...FL to TX. There is no doubt that trying to get a 40 footer into an older corp of engineer park can be tricky, but you will usually know ahead of time if you even want to try.

If you favor commercial campgrounds, I don't think you will have any trouble at all. They usually are newer and work to accommodate paying customers!
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:23 PM   #12
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Thank you all for your thoughts and comments on this. The search continues.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:45 AM   #13
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If your travels take you west, be aware that California vehicle code defines any motorhome longer than 40 feet bumper-to-bumper (measured, not model number) to be "overlength" and therefore restricted.

The primary restriction applies to highways and roads other than Interstates, a 40+ coach should not travel more than 1 miles, and then only to reach fuel, food or lodging. California DMV has a web page explaining the restrictions. Here's an article about it with links:
http://rv.advisor.com/story/motorhom...ly-does-matter

Also note that the mountain roads (California is more mountainous than not) are often posted with maximum length signs, due to tight turns. The signs are intended to warn truck drivers, even though they can usually back up to work through a tight turn, while a motorhome towing a car can't back up so can really get messed up. Therefore, don't zoom pass these signs without investigating.

The second 40-ft coach restriction involves driver license. California residents must get an onerous Class B license which involves medical exams, written and driving tests, etc. The owner of a new 40+ rig who doesn't already have the license must somehow get the coach to DMV for the test without actually driving it. Also, a resident of another state with special license requirements (there are a few) must comply with that while driving in California.

I've asked CHP and they definitely enforce the 40-ft laws. I've had motorhome makers and reputable dealers (including yesterday) affirm that there are under-40 coaches made especially for California. I owned a Monaco "38 model" DP that was 39'10" just for California, the non-California "40 model" was a foot or so longer with a slightly bigger bedroom.

Aside from California restricting 40+ motorhomes, California state and federal parks tend to be old, built when an RV was a 20-ft trailer, so many are tight or impossible. I was not accepted in my 39-ft coach, but also at times with my 34-ft coach, it just depends, but shorter rigs always have more opportunities. My compromise is to park the coach where I can fit, then drive my towed car, sometimes 50 miles away from the sights I want to visit. Oh well....

PS: While my "large" motorhomes of 34 to 39 feet don't fit many California State Parks, I've never had a problem at Arizona State Parks, other than low tree branches.
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Old 06-17-2016, 06:57 PM   #14
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Well I guess we were probable traveling illegal 2 years ago. For 3 weeks we were only on the interstate a total of 50 miles
I can say that we encountered many CHP as well as other LEO who showed no interest in our model 38 ( obviously 40ft actual) MH
Guess it ewas must dumb luck.
So how do you obtain a map that is supposedly published
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