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Old 11-27-2019, 11:25 AM   #1
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California State Parks and 40' rule

This has probably been covered but my search terms failed me.

How persnickety are the rangers about 40' max? I've stuffed my past 35' coach into a 18' site. Yes it was tight

We are considering a 41',43 and 45 Class A floorplans and do generally prefer state park space over resort amenities. Don't need full hook ups either. Just need to be able to drive in the gate and stuff myself into whatever spot will fit me.

But I've seen multiple statements on "max xx' length" and such. A) do they enforce it? and B) is it real or just an old rule that doesn't make sense?
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:35 PM   #2
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It isn't necessarily the length of the pad, sometimes it is because it is impossible to navigate the park and or back into the site with a longer rig.
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:49 PM   #3
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Ew....persnickety...I haven't heard that word in long time. Kewl.

I'll just put it this way...being FTers, and at 35' 3", there has been many, many times I've said to my husband, "boy, I'm sure glad we don't have a bigger rig. We would of never gotten in there".

Also getting around inside assorted parks and CG's being really long, can be a real problem. Tight turns, tree branches, roadside boulders and other obstacles, let alone having enough room to maneuver to get into a site can be a real hassle.

IMO...having an big/huge RV is one of those rare times in life that being bigger is not always better.
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:20 AM   #4
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Regarding enforcement, from personal experience with the few California State parks that weíve been in, in my opinion the rangers are mostly interested that your coach does not extend into the general driving area once situated in your spot. We have a 36í 8Ē DP and have always fit in the 35í max spots. The tire stopís that they put at the rear of the site are probably okay for gassers, but for a DP, I donít like them under the motor or transmission when airing down. Some of those tire stops are quite tall. I generally muscle those things back several feet so they are not under my coach.

I agree with others that sometimes the ďturnsĒ getting to your space are the issue, but not so much from my observation. What I am seeing more of recently is that low hanging branches are more of an issue in some parks. Perhaps budget dollars have been diverted away from those that trim the branches.

About overall length for your next purchase, if you prefer to stay inside the state and local parks, IMHO your camping choices would be much greater staying at 40í or less than if you move up to the 43í or 45í size. Admittedly, Iíve not tried taking a 45í into a State or National park, so I might be just mistaken.
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:57 AM   #5
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We currently pull a 2015 Grand Design 305RE. The total length of the trailer being 38'. We have camped in CA fairly often, with the majority of stays being in commercial parks. The main reason being that we can't fit into the majority sites of the state parks. We would rather stay in state parks, but in CA, we don't fit. Also, as mentioned above, the overhead clearance in many parks does not allow a 13'6" vehicle to fit.

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Old 11-28-2019, 10:05 PM   #6
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One of the big reasons we bailed out of our 45í Monaco was the fact that quite often we could not get into state or national parks. We usually ended up in a RV park or ďresortĒ near where we wanted to be. Big Bend comes to mind. Prior to that we had a 40í and to be honest we wished we hadnít gone bigger. We now have a 37í fifth wheel and there are still CGís that we canít use. Eventually we will park this and get another class c to visit those areas. YMMV. Good luck with your decision-itís different for all of us.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:04 PM   #7
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When we had a 31 ft class C we would regularly stay at San Clemente SP which we enjoyed greatly. I contacted the ranger station and informed them that I had a 37.5 ft class A and wondered if we could camp in the 38 ft spot though their site says 35 foot maximum rv length. They wrote back that as long as it fit it was acceptable. I'll be trying it next summer. BTW, don't forget you must make reservations 6 months in advance to get a spot.
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