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Old 08-01-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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National State parks and Provincial Park size limits.

I've been following RV forums and studying a lot about RV's for about 6 months and just recently I read something about size limits in State & Provincial Parks. I would think at this time that most of my camping would be done there. That may change when we get out on the road for real, but, for now it would be a deal breaker if we were turned down at a prov or state park for "too bigness". Can someone confirm the size limits for me, (if there is such a thing). Thanks so much for any light that can be shed on this for us . fixer.

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Old 08-01-2014, 05:12 PM   #2
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We spend most all of our time in State Parks. Most 35' sites have room for a 35' RV along with the tow vehicle. There have been only a few we could not fit in. We always have our dolly, Accord and 40' MH on a 40 ' site. Most 45' RVs could fit the same sites with the same add ons. I have never tried to fit all that stuff on a 30' site, but some of those will fit also.

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Old 08-01-2014, 05:18 PM   #3
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I don't know about provincial (Canadian?) parks, but I have been RV camping for over 10 years, first in a camper trailer and now in a Class A (30'). I have had no problems finding sites for my size in state or nat'l parks. I don't think there is any "published" size guide for any state or for national parks; each park has their own size restrictions. Also, be aware of height limits if you like shady sites. I just started planning a trip from FL to the West Coast and have had no size problems. When you go over about 35', you will probably find sites, but from what I hear, you could have problems navigating the internal campground roads for access to the camping site; not impossible, but requiring driving skills for getting to the site and backing into the site. Some of the older parks were not designed for today's larger rigs. That was a major factor in my decision to stay at 30' because we really like state/nat'l park campgrounds over commercial campgrounds. If you are looking at trailers, factor in the length of trailer + TV for navigating. Others may have different experiences, but I had some tight situations with a 27' trailer + almost 20' TV.
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Old 08-01-2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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We are 40', actual measured at 40' 10". We have a tag, and IFS. The tag moves the drive wheels up about 3', allowing a very tight turning radius. You do have to watch out for the back end swing out.

We're on the Southern leg of a trip to Alaska, and have spent many great nights in the Alaskan Recreation Campgrounds, BLM Parks, Yukon/BC/Alberta Provincial Parks. We also have stayed in many Canadian and US National Parks, and probably 14 different State Parks.

Yes, some campgrounds are either access wise not good for us, or site wise. We just move on down the road and plan accordingly.

One other tip. Many times I've called and talked to the staff of a specific park that has 36', or XX', an under. And asked if they felt it was OK for me to come in and take a look after explaining my good turning ability. They sometimes say not to bother as it is the access roads and trees that are the real limit. But, many times I've been in parks that the Websites say are too small site wise for us, and found a site that I could get into. Many times by just backing and letting my rear end hang over the back end of the site.

Not saying you won't have a problem with a larger rig, but it sure is not a show stopper if that is the kind of rig you feel you want.

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Old 08-01-2014, 06:25 PM   #5
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One site you can go to is Reviews of RV Parks and Campgrounds - RV Park Reviews they give reviews on mostly commercial parks but you can also find some reviews on state and federal parks in the US. Also if you go to recreation.gov you can look at many federal CGs and they will tell you what size the sites are. Sometimes you must take those with a grain to pound of salt. The site maybe long enough but it may not be anywhere close to flat. We have a 36' Class A and I often have to spend a considerable amount of time on the computer trying to find sites that we will fit in.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick response guys. I'm gathering that there is no actual restriction for length so that's very good news. It's more about warning the RVer that there may not be a site big enough or accessible, because of their driving skills. I also gather that one needs to research the parks and get the opinions of others. There is obviously no substitute for experience. More stuff to learn, but I guess that's part of the adventure.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:48 PM   #7
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National State parks and Provincial Park size limits.

There are some true restrictions on length, like some parks limit the length due to tight turns or other road issues. There are some NP, etc that don't even allow RV's, and only allow tents, etc.

One example would be Custer NP. If you try to take an RV through that park road, you will have an issue due to very small tunnels through the rocks. What we do in those situations is find a base to park elsewhere, then use our towed vehicle to tour the parks.

I use the Allstays app on my iPhone and iPad, which lists the restrictions and makes it very easy without spending a lot of time.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:50 PM   #8
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I'm currently in a 41' mh with a lift and motorcycle on the back. Over all, about 46'. Sitting in a 60' pull though in Colter Bay park in Grand Teton NP.
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by FixerCQI View Post
Thanks for the quick response guys. I'm gathering that there is no actual restriction for length so that's very good news. It's more about warning the RVer that there may not be a site big enough or accessible, because of their driving skills. I also gather that one needs to research the parks and get the opinions of others. There is obviously no substitute for experience. More stuff to learn, but I guess that's part of the adventure.
The only true length restriction I am aware of is the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. The length limit is 21' and the maximum width is 8".

Anything longer or wider necessitates you going into the oncoming lane to clear overhanging rocks on some on the sharp corners. People don't like someone coming around the corner in their lane because there's no place for them to go except over the cliff.

Many state parks have "recommended maximum lengths" for similar reasons. It also enables you to back into campsites without running into trees on the other side of the road.

If you go to reserveamerica.com and type in the length of your motorhome or tow vehicle and trailer combination they will only show sites that your combination will fit. If you are looking for a specific site in a specific park you can bring up the park and click on the sites. Each site will display the maximum length it can handle.
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:06 AM   #10
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US State & Federal Park Stats

I gathered some statistics on all of the US state parks and about 50% of the sites are at least 40 feet.

I'm working on Federal park stats, and for the 30 states I've surveyed, about 50% of these sites are also at least 40 feet.
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Old 08-02-2014, 01:00 AM   #11
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I won't speak for all of Canada but living in the west, I will talk about BC Provincial Parks and a few of the National Parks in my neck of the woods.

Many of the most popular park campgrounds in BC are older. Many were built before the era of Prevost 45' rolling palaces. While some upgrading has been done here and there, the magic number for most of the provincial parks is around 34 to 35'. After that, the choices and availability dwindle quickly. If a campground has 50 sites for example, you might find 5-10 that can do better than a 35 footer and in some cases one or two of those will be reserved for handicapped use. With a reservation system in place in the more popular BC parks, your chances of finding a free spot for a larger rig in high season gets pretty low unless you are prepared to book it in late March or Early April when the booking system becomes active. It is a bit crazy making sometimes. There are parks close to where I live that I haven't been able to get into because all the spots that I can fit in are virtually booked all summer with a free day here and there. And like many, I'm not prepared to say in March that I will be there Aug 5 to 15. Too many things can happen in between. In most cases, "serviced" parks have 30 amp and water. No sewer on site, just a dump for the campground.

National parks are a bit different. In the case of Banff and Jasper, there are private enterprises that work within the Park system or just outside. These typically have more sites for big rigs. Again, the popularity of these areas make doing research a must. Fortunately, there are many good websites to help you do just this kind of thing.

In general, bigger rigs are a little scarcer on the ground north of the 48th and as such, I don't believe that many of our parks have felt much pressure to cater to the larger vehicles (40' and above). With park budgets being what they are, many parks seem to have higher priorities for their all too little cash.

What I can say with some certainty is that before July and after Aug, you can be more spontaneous. However, the weather can be highly variable, fair and sunny or wet and miserable, or both. The farther north you go, the easier it gets as well but the weather can be crueler and for longer. Many places start to wind down much of their operations by the end of Sept and by Mid Oct, many campgrounds may be closed leaving one within a larger park open for shoulder season users.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:43 AM   #12
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Again my thanks for all the sites to explore. I wonder what people did before web forums. I probably would not get into RVing at all without this short cut to info. Robert

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