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Old 12-05-2017, 08:29 PM   #1
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43' in National Parks - What are the favorites please?

We are now looking at a Newmar DS 4369, after starting with the 37' we steadily 'grew' to the 40' or 43' for many and well thought reasons. Have read all of the concerns with big RV's in national parks and want to know first hand which ones you liked best and felt comfortable navigating into. Haven't committed just yet, but plan to decide at the Tampa show.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Contender View Post
We are now looking at a Newmar DS 4369, after starting with the 37' we steadily 'grew' to the 40' or 43' for many and well thought reasons.

Have read all of the concerns with big RV's in national parks and want to know first hand which ones you liked best and felt comfortable navigating into.

Haven't committed just yet, but plan to decide at the Tampa show.
What is the question -

Will this help;

My top 10 would be the drive to and thru these places; my second 10 would be the destinations.

1. Yellowstone, Wyoming – coming from the south and leaving thru the Beartooth Pass this would include Dinosaur NP, Flaming Gorge and (7)The Grand Teton NP.

2. All of southern Utah – this drive would include Arches and Canyon land NP’s, RT 128 along the Colorado River, Capitol Reef NP, Escalante NM, Kodachrome Sp , Goblins SP, Zion, Bryce NP’s, with a drive around Lake Powell, and because we have time we’ll do the north rim of the (8)Grand Canyon. (Maybe add Page and Antelope Canyons)

3. The San Juan’s of Colorado, this would include Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, for the life of me I can’t understand how this area has been so left out of the National Park system other than it has so much private land (silver mines and coal), starting on Gunnison Reservoir we would go down to Lake city taking the Alpine loop over to Silverton (just the tow car and only if it’s tough and 4X4) leaving to Ouray then over to Telluride thru Dunton and Rico to Cortez slipping into Mesa Verde NP, then taking the Durango to Silverton RR before back tracking the Million Dollar high all the way back to Montrose and Black Canyon of the Gunnison, NP. While in Colorado I would try to time it so as to be able to do the drive again to Maroon Bells, starting in Leadville - Buena Vista area and going thru Independence Pass during the last week of September when the Aspen have turned. This is one of the last great Wild spots in the USA.

4. Asheville, NC - Biltmore - is the start of the next trip – heading to Lake Toxaway on RT 64, better have your driving gloves on and pray for light traffic, from there to Cashiers and Highland heading NW to Silva and the Pisgah National Forest getting on the Southernmost part of the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north till you're just worn out. (Might just catch a quick hike in Great Smoky Mountains NP). These are some of the most beautiful and wild mountains in the US. This is where they filmed the Last of the Mohicans.

5. Glacier NP – Going to the Sun Road, need I say more? Just driving anywhere around this park will give you a rush, just follow the rivers and stay by the lakes. If time is available I'd head on up into Canada to just see a little more.

6. Canyon de Chelly NM. Will always go by this spiritual place of the Navajo Indians usually coming from or going to the Grand Canyon going thru the four Mesas to Grand Canyon NP - Will not slight Page/Lake Powell - Monument Valley - Mexican Hat - and the COlorado River every time I can.

7. The Grand Teton NP. See number 1, it's only number seven because I got to see it when I did number 1. Cody - Thermopolis - Wind River Canyon and Shoshoni on the way in or out.

8. The Grand Canyon NP. See number 2 its only number eight because I saw it from the high side on the drive on number 2. May as well catch Sedona while in the area, maybe even Lake Meade.

9. Yosemite and Sequoia are this late only because I don’t like to drive in California and it is almost always crowded. PCH - San Simeon - Get me to the Sequoias and the Redwoods. Then I'd have to get out, just too crowded and too many people for me.

10. Three way tie for tenth -- Carlsbad, Olympic and Cascades NP’s these are always hard because my wife thinks they are so far from everything but trust me these are great drives and beautiful places that are well worth the drive.

Lot's more - at the Atlantic - Pacific - and Gulf coast Beaches and add the granddaughters and you've got even more fun. Might add DC - Williamsburg .....................

There you go - Might even look at the 45', no need to wait.

Enjoy your time looking,

....

..

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Old 12-06-2017, 08:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Busskipper View Post
What is the question -

Will this help;

My top 10 would be the drive to and thru these places; my second 10 would be the destinations.

1. Yellowstone, Wyoming – coming from the south and leaving thru the Beartooth Pass this would include Dinosaur NP, Flaming Gorge and (7)The Grand Teton NP.

2. All of southern Utah – this drive would include Arches and Canyon land NP’s, RT 128 along the Colorado River, Capitol Reef NP, Escalante NM, Kodachrome Sp , Goblins SP, Zion, Bryce NP’s, with a drive around Lake Powell, and because we have time we’ll do the north rim of the (8)Grand Canyon. (Maybe add Page and Antelope Canyons)

3. The San Juan’s of Colorado, this would include Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP, for the life of me I can’t understand how this area has been so left out of the National Park system other than it has so much private land (silver mines and coal), starting on Gunnison Reservoir we would go down to Lake city taking the Alpine loop over to Silverton (just the tow car and only if it’s tough and 4X4) leaving to Ouray then over to Telluride thru Dunton and Rico to Cortez slipping into Mesa Verde NP, then taking the Durango to Silverton RR before back tracking the Million Dollar high all the way back to Montrose and Black Canyon of the Gunnison, NP. While in Colorado I would try to time it so as to be able to do the drive again to Maroon Bells, starting in Leadville - Buena Vista area and going thru Independence Pass during the last week of September when the Aspen have turned. This is one of the last great Wild spots in the USA.

4. Asheville, NC - Biltmore - is the start of the next trip – heading to Lake Toxaway on RT 64, better have your driving gloves on and pray for light traffic, from there to Cashiers and Highland heading NW to Silva and the Pisgah National Forest getting on the Southernmost part of the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north till you're just worn out. (Might just catch a quick hike in Great Smoky Mountains NP). These are some of the most beautiful and wild mountains in the US. This is where they filmed the Last of the Mohicans.

5. Glacier NP – Going to the Sun Road, need I say more? Just driving anywhere around this park will give you a rush, just follow the rivers and stay by the lakes. If time is available I'd head on up into Canada to just see a little more.

6. Canyon de Chelly NM. Will always go by this spiritual place of the Navajo Indians usually coming from or going to the Grand Canyon going thru the four Mesas to Grand Canyon NP - Will not slight Page/Lake Powell - Monument Valley - Mexican Hat - and the COlorado River every time I can.

7. The Grand Teton NP. See number 1, it's only number seven because I got to see it when I did number 1. Cody - Thermopolis - Wind River Canyon and Shoshoni on the way in or out.

8. The Grand Canyon NP. See number 2 its only number eight because I saw it from the high side on the drive on number 2. May as well catch Sedona while in the area, maybe even Lake Meade.

9. Yosemite and Sequoia are this late only because I don’t like to drive in California and it is almost always crowded. PCH - San Simeon - Get me to the Sequoias and the Redwoods. Then I'd have to get out, just too crowded and too many people for me.

10. Three way tie for tenth -- Carlsbad, Olympic and Cascades NP’s these are always hard because my wife thinks they are so far from everything but trust me these are great drives and beautiful places that are well worth the drive.

Lot's more - at the Atlantic - Pacific - and Gulf coast Beaches and add the granddaughters and you've got even more fun. Might add DC - Williamsburg .....................

There you go - Might even look at the 45', no need to wait.

Enjoy your time looking,

....

..

WOW!!!
Great and very detailed reply.
You may have just mapped out my first 5y. of travel !!!
Much appreciated -
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:26 AM   #4
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Me TOO,,,,WOW!
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:03 AM   #5
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WOW!!!
Great and very detailed reply.
You may have just mapped out my first 5y. of travel !!!
Much appreciated -
While you might be able to do this in only 5 years, it represents, in my case, well over 50 years.

Biggest problem I/We have is, we keep going back to these places, again and again, as they are just different every trip, and from every direction.

I might add that you also think a little/lot about your Toad - 4x4 is really a good idea - just opens up even more to see and do. BUT, remember to make it Comfortable and something the DW enjoys, as it will only be in the wilds a little of it time (Oh but those are the times) and generally on the highway, so that fact, needs to be high on your list. Will you be able to get all who travel with you in the Vehicle?

Last thing to keep in mind is where will you go? What do you Enjoy? Do you Hike? Photograph? or just drive through? Do you enjoy Crowds? Or are you into being Alone? Will this just be Two of you? Or will there possibly be some Smaller Feet in your Future (Kids or GrandKids) Where will they sleep?

Just so many questions - Have you been able to understand how you might enjoy this new lifestyle? Just so many questions that need to be considered before you make the decision.

Couple of web sites to look over that might help.

Stan Parker's photo album just makes it easy to locate many of the opportunities available - Stan Parker's Photo Galleries at pbase.com

These photo's of the Aspen just make me want to go back every year - https://lynn.smugmug.com/Travel/Colo...pens/i-tsVRkXg

This Family did it all in three weeks every year - 19 summers of RV road trip travels across the USA and Canada | Lolo's Extreme Cross Country RV Trips

If you think BIGGER is the only answer, this might just mess with your Head - Look, Mom, We're Camping!

Best of Luck, hope this helps as this is just the beginning!!!!!!!!!

....

..

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Old 12-06-2017, 02:18 PM   #6
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Don't forget the Black Hills of South Dakota. You can see Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, the towns of Keystone, Hill City and Custer as well as Spearfish Canyon, Sturgis and Deadwood in the north hills. Nearby is the Badlands to the east and Devils Tower to the west.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:25 PM   #7
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WOW!!!
Great and very detailed reply.
You may have just mapped out my first 5y. of travel !!!
Much appreciated -
That's a nice list, but does it answer your question?

Were you wondering what national parks would have campgrounds that would accommodate a 43' motorhome? There weren't any campgrounds mentioned.

Or are you just wanting to navigate the national parks themselves? The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier has a vehicle length limit of something like 21 feet.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:36 PM   #8
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I think Oatmeal is closer to answering the OP's question. About navigating to/in national parks w/ a 43' MH. I'll shy away from generalizations but for specifics, I think you'll need to check each park, for campground access and road restrictions. Now that we have a 40' MH, my first question is; will a big rig fit?
Its a big country, sometimes its easiest to park outside a NP and use toad for day trips. Yosemite, for one, does have a few campsites for 40'+, just have to check recreation.gov for individual campsite length.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:36 PM   #9
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Thanks to "Busskipper" for the Awesome list.
I have encountered some that were not Big Rig Friendly. For instance Great Basin National Park advertises 50' spots but my 40' rig would have had a lot of pin stripes on the paint had I taken the rig in. It always pays to check the site out in the toad first.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:57 PM   #10
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That's a nice list, but does it answer your question?

Were you wondering what national parks would have campgrounds that would accommodate a 43' motorhome? There weren't any campgrounds mentioned.

Or are you just wanting to navigate the national parks themselves? The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier has a vehicle length limit of something like 21 feet.
Maybe a little bit of both? First choice right now is DS 43, but appreciate any advice on how this may limit my access to NP's and adjacent campgrounds (in the east, more than the west I seem to read) compared to a 40 (have pretty much ruled out the 37 in favor of the much touted tag axle). Will tow a Grand Cherokee 4x4. It appears that the class A market is expanding a bit into the 40+ models, and I realize these were rare when most NP were layouts developed 30+ yrs. ago. Are the RV accommodations you find preferably in & around NP's generally adequate? Found them to be fairly restrictive for units larger than our 32' rental in a recent trip to Zion 2 months ago. As an example, my old 31' fishing boat will be welcome at any common 20-25' dock. If i had a 37-40'boat it would not fit, and therefore limit my options. Do any seasoned 43-45'owners feel limited by size and wish you had a 40' or smaller instead? Thanks in advance for your advice and experiences shared !! - Newmar newbie
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:08 PM   #11
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That's a nice list, but does it answer your question?

Were you wondering what national parks would have campgrounds that would accommodate a 43' motorhome? There weren't any campgrounds mentioned.

Or are you just wanting to navigate the national parks themselves? The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier has a vehicle length limit of something like 21 feet.
Have read all of the concerns with big RV's in national parks and want to know first hand which ones you liked best and felt comfortable navigating into. ?

Being the question - I Guess? - I listed the ones I liked BEST - then explained that My top 10 would be the drive to and thru these places;

So did I miss the part about Camp Grounds? must have not showed up on the East Coast on my internet

In my 50 years I only remember a hand full of CampGrounds, so if that is the Question, I'd have to Pass, BUT I've done all that is listed in my reply, in one RV or another, so I guess I have a hard time understanding what I missed.

And Yes, I've done the Going to the Sun Road in a Class A - BUT - before it was restricted to 21' - Did it in an Old 78' GMC 28' Class A - over and back and yes I did notice it was tight Again the rest of the park is available and once you park the Coach you can do it all in the Toad.

While many feel that if the larger spots are hard to come by they must not exist - that's just not the case - with a little persistence and imagination you can always find a spot, IMHO.

So if I misspoke I'm sorry and if you need a campsite or have suggestions for them, have at it, I was just trying to post an answer to the Question as I understood it.

JMHO,

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Old 12-07-2017, 06:50 PM   #12
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Every extra foot of length, even down in the 25' range, will mean fewer campsites you'll fit in, and the choices become fewer as you move up, but I see a real difference kicking in between 35 and 40 feet.

Once you get up to 40', I don't think there's a stark difference in what's available for that and what's available for a 43' or even 45' moho.

For the record, Zion isn't considered a place that's not suitable for big rigs, yet your observation was that it would be restrictive for units over the 32' one you were in.

If your goal is to visit national parks, the smaller the better. But if you're committed to big, and can accept that you'll be much less likely to be in the park and will have to be commuting, then I wouldn't eliminate 43' from consideration in favor of 40', but be aware that every foot will matter to a certain extent.

And you're likely not to be able to park your toad in your space. We pull a sports car as a toad, and often have to park it perpendicular to the RV at the front of the space, sometimes letting the passenger out first because it'll be too close to open that door. It can be tucked in there, but probably not a Grand Cherokee. Like here; we're as far back in the site as possible, and the car's tires are just barely on the pavement; you'd think in a place as wide open as this size wouldn't be an issue, but you'd be wrong:



As for the east coast, things are much tighter there, and more crowded. I would have to say that touring in a big rig up there is not fun; it's do-able, but it's more difficult than in the wide open west. Not only space-wise, but crowding-wise--they have a short season, and many sites are booked for the whole season, which means that campground with 200 sites on its website may actually have only a few actually available, and your options will definitely be limited by your size. But I think sites for 40-footers are rare enough that it's not a hard cut-off at that point, so it might not be much worse if you're at 43 or 45. But it'll be bad. And if height comes with length, then watch out, because places there are more like campgrounds than RV parks, with trees. And 50-amp sites are less plentiful up there.

Bottom line: Is there a difference in availability of sites between a 40' and 43' moho? Yes, but probably not enough to tilt the decision in favor of a 40' if you want the 43'. But be aware that you're looking at the marginal reduction in sites from 40' to 43', and the big reduction has taken place before that point. And if you want to focus on national parks, neither is a great choice. For that purpose, smaller will always be better than bigger, and you just have to weigh what you want in an RV vs. how important fitting into national parks is to you.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:21 PM   #13
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According to camperreport.com, RV's up to 41' will fit into 7% of National Park Campgrounds. If you're planning to stay in the park, you've pretty much bought your way out of the system with a 43'. Most parks have a limit of 35' or less.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:21 PM   #14
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According to camperreport.com, RV's up to 41' will fit into 7% of National Park Campgrounds.
Did they mean that only 7% of national park campgrounds have ANY spaces for RVs up to 41 feet, or does it mean that 7% of all campsites in national parks will hold RVs up to 41 feet?
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