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Old 05-04-2018, 01:39 PM   #1
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Towed vehicles and National Park length limits

I've read conflicting information about length limitations in National Parks. Many places say the relevent length is RV + toad, which would cause a 32' RV with a toad to come in over 40', which many parks can't handle. And many places say that 35' is a common maximum length.

Can't you just unhook the toad and drive it in separately, and perhaps park it in a lot or on the side of the road nearby. Or do they frown on that?

We were thinking of getting something in the 30-34' range and towing a vehicle, but now we're having second thoughts about getting into the parks.

What is your experience?
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:34 PM   #2
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My experience is they expect you to fit within the site, whether you are pulling a toad or a trailer. Depending on the park they might be able to accommodate a few over length visitors but certainly not everyone. I would imagine parking on the side of the road would be frowned upon. It would be best to contact the park and ask them what their policies are for oversized rigs.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:55 PM   #3
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I'm still a little confused by the rule of fitting totally onto a campsite. While at a national park in Yellowstone, there was maybe 40-50 parking spots all along the main road thru the campground (Madison), BUT, no one was allowed to park were car or truck there over night. I don't understand why. It didn't effect me. But towing my 26' trailer + truck I had about 1" to spare if I wanted to have my awning down. My one front tire of my truck was off the edge of the asphalt, but was not touching the grass. There was a 1/2" "space".

The park VIP's checked to make sure it was not touching any soil...Every morning they looked at the same tire. I could have backed up enough towards the trailer tongue, but then I would not have been able to walk around the trailer.
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Old 05-04-2018, 02:57 PM   #4
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My RV is only 29' but with the jeep in tow, I am well over 40' and I have not had any problems, I can usually fit the toad in the space but sometimes I am parking it from side to side. so that it will fit. A lot depends on the equipment you have and what you are towing. I always unhook before entering the site anyway unless I have a pull thru.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:29 PM   #5
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We easily fit in many national parks with our 40' motorhome towing the Jeep. Each park is different and there's no 'one' rule on RV size.

We fit in Yellowstone in Mammoth, Madison and Bridge Bay campgrounds - all without reservations. We fit in Grand Teton - Colter Bay and Gros Ventre campgrounds without reservations. We've stayed in Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Big Bend. No, you won't fit in every campground or on any site but you'll have plenty of options.


Also, with a towed car most of the time, since it was so small, we could angle it onto the parking space. Not, so with a truck. No, you won't be able to park the car along the campground roads and the restroom area spaces are mainly for short-term parking for occupants or the handicapped.

We also fit in many, many national forest campgrounds, Corp of Engineers, state parks, county and city parks. We boondocked on public lands.

You'll hear comments by others who have a small RV who claim a big rig won't fit. That's only an opinion. That's not gospel.

Get the RV you will be comfortable in and don't dwell on it. If you don't fit there are plenty of places just outside the parks that you will. It's not the end of the world.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:34 PM   #6
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is the OP referring to 'driving' thru National parks, or 'parking' there? it seemed to me that the question was one of driving thru national parks with a vehicle in tow, not whether they would 'fit' at the campgrounds.... but I'm probably wrong, as my wife says...


but, If i'm on the right track, then yes, 'some', or better yet a 'few' may have certain areas that have maximum length requirements - Glacier National at the St Mary's entrance come to mind. At the entrance gate, you'll see signs limiting RV's to a maximum of 25', due to very tight turns and tight lanes on the 'Going to the Sun' road, some 16 miles ahead into the park. It doesn't mean you can't proceed past the gate if you are longer, but you'll have to have a reservation at one of the two(?) campgrounds several miles up the road - but that's as far as your RV can go, but of course, your toad is good to keep going!


I would say not to worry about length for your RV - especially if you're in the 34' to 38' range, you'll still fit in most every campground, that's IF you can get reservations!
Sometimes it's not the length of the campground sites that's the issue, but more of 'maneuvering' into and thru the campground with curves, trees, and other RVs and vehicles sometimes not always well off the roadway. Most sites are designed for a length that takes into consideration either a 'tow' vehicle, for trailers and fifth wheels, and a 'toad' behind a motorhome.

We've seen many National and State park campgrounds, and have seen most any and every size and length motorhome and rv combination you would see most anywhere else.
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