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Old 12-02-2022, 09:49 AM   #1
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California State Parks and Motorhome length

Hello All,

My family and I moved from central Canada to California back in 2019 and due to life events, we haven't had a chance to explore the state parks with our motorhome yet. We currently own a 32' gasser class A (bought in 2008) that we used a lot in Canada and the NE US.

My question is mostly around the 35' max length that most parks appear to have. Since our current motorhome is getting old, I am looking at getting a new one and some of the units that I'm looking at are just over 35' (but still less than 36'). Considering we have not explored California at all, I would hate to get something that eliminates all/most of the state parks. I know the park won't measure the MH, but I'd hate to get somewhere and not be able to fit.

Having said all that, I'm looking for feedback from people that have units around the 34-36 foot range and if you use state parks in California or neighbouring states. Thoughts and opinions welcome.

Thanks in advance,
CaliCanuck
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Old 12-02-2022, 11:02 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!!

Be aware that you need to reserve 6 months in advance to reserve a campsite in a California state park https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1023 and they are expensive $50-75 per night without full hookups plus a dump fee...........for that reason we camp in private campgrounds that cost the same with full hook ups and in Thousand Trails and Resort Park International campgrounds for $0 - $10 per night.

https://www.california.com/guide-cal...y%20of%20shade.
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Old 12-03-2022, 01:13 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link. The 6 month reservation thing is similar to Canada and upstate NY (where we spent a lot of time camping). For the last few years before moving, we almost exclusively booked non-service sites in NY state parks (waterfront sites). I'll also take a look at the private campgrounds, just want to make sure we're not taking away options by going over 35'.
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Old 01-03-2023, 03:23 PM   #4
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Our coach is 36 feet 8 inches. Although the listed max length at Morro Bay State Park is 35 feet. We fit in the space just fine, which was all that the ranger was concerned about. We had the same experience and result at two Oregon State Parks.
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Old 01-03-2023, 11:28 PM   #5
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Here's a list of campsite length limits for California State Parks. I don't know how accurate it is.

During our travels we found public parks in all states to not give accurate descriptions of their sites. Some parks stated that our 40' MH would not fit but we easily fit. Note that not all sites are the same so you'll be taking your chances if you reserve before seeing the site. We just camped without reservations and always had a few back up places in mind if our first choice didn't work. However, the past couple years most of the parks seem to want you to make reservations.

Public parks are always our first choice and there's more than state parks. There are national forest, national parks, Corp of Engineer, county and city parks so don't limit yourself to state parks. I will say that California is the hardest state for big rig camping in their state parks. We didn't have issues in other states.

Get the RV that you will be comfortable using. There are always places to stay.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/rvlength
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Old 01-18-2023, 06:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CaliCanuck View Post
Having said all that, I'm looking for feedback from people that have units around the 34-36 foot range and if you use state parks in California or neighbouring states. Thoughts and opinions welcome.
Thanks in advance, CaliCanuck

We have camped in many California state parks in our 40' motorhome. Mostly using Google Sat view and their built in measure tool to determine what sites we can fit in. And what someone else said, its a bear to get a reservation. Usually requiring a 6 months to the day reservation. And be ready to click on a site just prior to it opening. They go in the first minute or so. -Bill
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Old 01-19-2023, 03:26 PM   #7
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If you have the opportunity to visit a park in advance you can see the dimensions because the as listed in the above link aren't always accurate. For example San Clemente State Beach notes 30 foot maximum but the middle pull thrus are up to 80 feet in length.
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Old 01-19-2023, 04:30 PM   #8
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If you have the opportunity to visit a park in advance you can see the dimensions because the as listed in the above link aren't always accurate. For example San Clemente State Beach notes 30 foot maximum but the middle pull thrus are up to 80 feet in length.
So true.... those types of references are just for general info and approximate sizes. You need to be there in person or Google view may help.

If there was ever a chance of us returning to parks with limited big sizes we always walked the park and made notes of which sites we'd fit. (I have a 300+ document of campgrounds we've been and possibilities.) )
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Old 01-20-2023, 12:26 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forum!!

Be aware that you need to reserve 6 months in advance to reserve a campsite in a California state park https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1023 and they are expensive $50-75 per night without full hookups plus a dump fee...........for that reason we camp in private campgrounds that cost the same with full hook ups and in Thousand Trails and Resort Park International campgrounds for $0 - $10 per night.

https://www.california.com/guide-cal...y%20of%20shade.
Huuuuuuh??

According to this website, CA state parks for the most part aren't anywhere near $50-75 per night:

https://www.california.com/guide-cal...y%20of%20shade
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Old 01-20-2023, 03:04 AM   #10
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We missed our shorter RV's after moving to our 40 footer. Our plans were to full time which we are so that was a compromise.

But until going full time getting that 40 footer into the places we loved to go became impossible in many cases.

We love the small camprgrounds around the Sierras for example and had difficult times getting our 30 footer into.

Our C's took us to some wonderful boondocking places in Calif.

So going large has some serious draw backs along the coast of Calif for sure. There are roads that limit your length to 40 feet and if you go over 40 feet you need a Non-Commercial B license.

We enjoyed all of our RV's including two TT's.

We are born and raised in Northern Ca. Traveling the backgroads of Calif was wonderful and we do miss it.
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Old 01-20-2023, 09:41 AM   #11
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So going large has some serious draw backs along the coast of Calif for sure. There are roads that limit your length to 40 feet and if you go over 40 feet you need a Non-Commercial B license. .

Maps showing roads with 40' motorhome restrictions. https://dot.ca.gov/-/media/dot-media...p-d11-a11y.pdf
I have personally driven on one of those restricted routes with my 40' towing, it was almost impossible to stay in your own lane around all the hairpin turns on that road.



With a "California Drivers License" you cannot drive a motorhome longer than 40' unless you have that NC Class B license.



Each state has their own laws for drivers licenses, if your states drivers license allows you to drive 45' motorhomes then you are also allowed to drive them in CA.
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Old 01-23-2023, 07:31 PM   #12
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We just returned from Morro Bay, biked through the state park there, but stayed at El Chorro Regional park with FHU for $40/night. There were plenty of spaces that would accommodate 35’ in both parks. There might have been 10 rigs at ECRP, but it was the weekend of the atmospheric river (and Morro Bay Bird Festival, which was damp, but still great!), so some may have cancelled their trips. We had fun!
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