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Old 04-22-2008, 06:48 AM   #1
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valletta , malta
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Can a 34' with tow be too big for Nat parks?

I am on the edge of commiting to a 34 foot airstream with a Chevy Suburban 2500 to pull it.

Is this outfit likely to prove too big as a touring rig? I intend to go right across the US will I find it a problem pulling into a town or even city without dropping the trailer first?

Do national parks sometimes restrict big trailers such as this one?

Your advice and experiences will be much appreciated

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Old 04-22-2008, 06:52 AM   #2
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Anyway you go, meaning the correct way, is going to be big with a 34 footer. A quad cab, extended cab, etc will all be the same or larger than the burb. Yes some places have restrictions, but then again, there are always work arounds. Heck some places can't even take on larger than a 30' and some larger than 28'.

To be honest though, having a 2500 Suburban myself, if it has the 8.1L great, but IMHO at 34' and mountain driving as it sounds like you'd be doing, you might consider a diesel something.

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Old 04-22-2008, 07:10 AM   #3
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Back in my foggy recesses I recall that some campgrounds in Yellowstone might give you access problems. I'm sure it will prompt better info if I throw that out there.

California state parks in general -- or many older state parks for that matter -- have access issue for longer trailers. That is easier to deal with with good online reservation systems these days.

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Old 04-22-2008, 07:10 AM   #4
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Hope everything works out for the 34 ft trailer cause they are awesome. I have enjoyed mine and now we have a 3 month old so the extra room will be even better. The only fault I have with the size of the trailer is some of the state parks do not have sites large enough but we usually work around that and choose the parks that do. Although the KOA,and other independent campgrounds usually have large sites to accomodate the newer rigs.
The 2500 Suburban should be an excellent touring tow vehicle. I use my wifes 1500 Suburban on the local or short trips and it does fine and I get the same fuel milage as I do with my diesel dually which is 10.2 to 10.8 towing.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:29 AM   #5
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To big?

Yes, and no. Many National Forest and National Park CGs have a range of sizes of sites in each CG. However, the larger you are, the more limited your choices and the more likely that you will not find a spot. Last summer in Yellowstone I had no trouble finding spots for my Trade Wind (although I probably couldn't get into 25% of the slots) and there were some 30+ers out there, but the number of sites that would take them were fewer by far.

Many people get around this by staying in commercial CGs, but thats not for me at all. I think as a practical matter, the length of vehicle beyond which you might start seeing issues is around 25ft or so. After that, in my opinion, you start hemorrhaging choice locations and risk ending up in a KOA. Hope this helps.

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Old 04-22-2008, 08:36 AM   #6
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You've received good advice so far. We have a 31' that we just pulled 9400 miles last summer throughout Alberta, British Columbia and each and every western state with very few issues without making a single reservation. A national park campground set among huge trees near Mt. Ranier was the only place we couldn't find a campsite that would accomodate us, but it will happen. You will love the way a 34' pulls. It actually has a lower hitch weight than the 31' and is very stable going down the road. Good luck in your decision.
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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We have towed a 34' Excella w good luck w both a 1995 and 1999 Suburban 2500, both w the 7.4 liter motor. Really enjoy the added space. Father in law tows his 34' Excella w a 2500 'burb too and his trailer is heavier due to his front kitchen floorplan.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:11 AM   #8
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You are getting great advice here. I pulled a 35 ft 5th wheel (before I upgraded to my Airstream) with a long wheelbase Ford Pickup. I had several instances where the length was an issue finding campsites. It was especially an issue in the national parks and some state parks.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:11 PM   #9
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hi valetta...

the only sure thing is that the folks with shorter units report the MOST size limitations about longer trailers....

i asked the same question 3 years ago and ONLY 1 owner of a 34 reported any issues anywhere.

it is true there are some famous parks in the redwoods of norcal and

some REALLY BUSY parks in HIGH TRAFFIC regions that have limitations...

but who really wants to camp in these rare, 100% occupied, paved and picked over 'national parks' anyway?

in 600 nights camping in the last 3 yrs, i've encountered ONE state park that would not fit the 34 porker...

infact i couldn't even get the truck alone into this park, it was wpa built for teardrops and model t size things...

keep in mind a/s includes the tongue as part of length, many other trailer brands do not.

many, many, many (all of them) sites that can "only" accomidate 30 ft, can hold a 34...

and 25 yrs with a long a/s moho, i only encoutered 3-4 size/access limited areas.

don't let the folks with pigmy trailers , fool ya!

buy the size YOU want and go camping!

i've been off in some very remote, supposedly hard to reach parks with all 58 feet.

drive slowly and learn to navigate narrow passages...

and when in doubt, drop the trailer nearby and scout the location by truck or bike...

with 10s of thousands of camping locations the rare limitations are easily optioned.

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Old 04-22-2008, 01:30 PM   #10
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We've had a few problems with our 30' from time to time (sites short, roads twisty), enough to make us wish we'd found a shorter rig. But, then, we also stay more or less off the most-beaten track.

But it could be worse. I just read a post over on from a person who has a class A pulling a 27 foot cargo trailer.

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Old 04-22-2008, 01:31 PM   #11
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It is not uncommon to see a 26 ft. limit listed for National Parks. However I have pulled my 34 for 13 years all across the US and Canada. While I have seen sites in some parks I could not use I have never been turned away.

The Marion National Forest in SC states a 26 ft. limit however the site are 175 ft long paved pull throughs. Go figure it just a government thing.

In the Grand Teton National Park they made me go to the generator section because of my length. I do not have a generator. They had a tent section, a trailer section, and a big rig, generator, section.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:34 PM   #12
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In most cases, I've found I can hang 9 ft. (30% of my 30' AS) over the site parking bumper. The bumpers are usually less than 6" high and clear easily in flat sites. Don't assume you'll clear -- measure!


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