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Old 09-01-2014, 10:54 AM   #1
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National Parks in a 30' Classic Limited

My wife and I are shopping for our first Airstream and are considering a used 30' Classic Limited because of the extra space it offers.

We are a bit concerned about the length and camping in National Parks which are our preference. Driving on two lane back roads is another concern.

Should we be concerned about finding places to stay with enough length? We are really only considering 25' + trailers anyway. We are towing with a Lexus LX570 which is about 16' long.

Thank you.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:04 AM   #2
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We just got back from Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado - we didn't camp there, but drove through and saw some big fifth wheels camped there. We've also stayed at Hotsprings National Park in Ark and saw some big buses in their campground. Don't know about other National Parks.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:16 AM   #3
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No problem in Nickerson ( Cape Cod ) state park with my Excella 29'. But the number of suitables spaces may be a bit limited . As for back road : no problem.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:28 AM   #4
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In ten years and 55000 miles in county, state and national parks, we have been unable to fit in a campground exactly once.

You have to remember that with a towed RV, you have an articulated vehicle so, unlike a class "a", it is usually pretty easy to get into a given site. Your rear axle is also way ahead of your rear bumper so overhanging the back of a given site is often do-able.

Every now and then, you may have to park your tv somewhere nearby but that is rarely the case and hardly a problem.

Enjoy the journey,

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Old 09-01-2014, 11:45 AM   #5
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We have camped throughout the rocky mountains and southwest with our 30' Flying Cloud and Suburban combination and in those instances where we stayed at a NP, we had no difficulty with a site.

This was not your question, but you might want check the gw of the Classic you are looking at against the capacity of your Lexus.
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:50 AM   #6
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We've been to several of the SW campgrounds at national parks and monuments with our 30' AS. We've run into issues a couple of times.

The Grand Canyon south rim has two campgrounds, Trailer Village run by concessionaire and Mather run by the NPS. Mather would have been very tight for our rig. We stayed at Trailer Village.

Navajo National Monument has a campground that has only a few sites that will fit our rig; the rest are way too small. No reservations possible, so it's a bit of a roll of the dice.

The campgrounds at Colorado National Monument and at Canyonlands looked pretty darned small, probably problematic for our rig. Arches looked pretty small, too, but there were probably a few sites that might work. Capitol Reef looked doable, though you need to use the overhang to make it work.

All I can remember at the moment!


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Old 09-01-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack46 View Post
We have camped throughout the rocky mountains and southwest with our 30' Flying Cloud and Suburban combination and in those instances where we stayed at a NP, we had no difficulty with a site.

This was not your question, but you might want check the gw of the Classic you are looking at against the capacity of your Lexus.
Thanks for all the great answers so far. This forum is amazing.

Our LX570 is rated for 8500# towing and 850# HW. The 30' Classic limited we are looking at is 8700# gross and 730# HW. Borderline but it should work out. The engine and tranny are the same as the Tundra.

Ideally we would want one of the 27FB models but they are very hard to find used.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:12 PM   #8
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We camped at Crater Lake NP a couple of weeks ago and they had very few sites that would accommodate our trailer - maybe a couple that would accommodate something longer. Some of the older CCC campgrounds, Chiricahua National Monument for example, pretty much limit things to 25' - or less.

Not what you asked really, but I really like NFS and BLM campgrounds and we have found that our 25 footer was the upper limit on several occasions.

Have fun!

John
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:23 PM   #9
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Mtnracer - Welcome to the aluminum addiction. Don't run away from a 30 because of a few older parks. There are always places to camp nearby which will take your rig. We love the "livability" of our 30, and many agree with us. After 42 states and 2 provinces in four years, we've never been left homeless, and like you we LOVE the National Parks and related areas. We use All-Stays Camp and RV app on our iOS mobiles to find great places to camp. One final thought - I, too, thought I could keep by small truck and pull the 30. That turned out to be wishful thinking. Linda and I love our Lexus cars, and have had many, but in talking to the dealer about pulling with an LX, he flat said, "No Way" to me. Check it out carefully.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:06 PM   #10
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I have a 25'. I've only had it a year, so not a lot of experience yet. I also have a 13' Scamp that I've had for 13 years. I have had the Scamp in some sites in Colorado where nothing larger would fix. But there are usually larger sites at the campground.

Some comments on individual campgrounds:
--Colorado National Monument: scoped it out a few weeks ago. Some sites would fit a 25, some not. Some would even fit a 30.
--Great Sand Dunes: camped there with the Scamp last week. Made a list of sites that would fit the 25. Maybe 1/4 or 1/2. Some sites are back-in sites that are angled the wrong way (and the campground loops are one-way only), so backing can be a real challenge. Some sites don't even have room for the Scamp plus our (small) tow vehicle.
--Canyonlands Needles District (Squaw Flat): Web site says max RV length 28 feet.
--Big Bend (Chisos Basin): Web site says "Trailers over 20' and RV's over 24' are not recommended due to narrow, winding road to the Basin and small campsites at this campground."
--Great Basin (Wheeler Peak): Web site says the road "...is closed to single vehicles or trailers in excess of 24 feet in length."

Some of these parks have other campgrounds that can handle larger trailers.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:36 PM   #11
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This is the body on frame Lexus 570 with the very capable Toyota Tundra 5.7 V8 and transmission. Many tow 30's with this engine/transmission. The wheelbase is much shorter than a Tundra so a high quality hitch properly set up is needed.

The advantage of the relatively short wheelbase Lexus will be maneuverability. This is more important than trailer length when making tight turns. You will be able to make short turns into campsites that long wheelbase pickups cannot.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:15 AM   #12
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Thanks again for the additional replies. The LX570 is definitely borderline when it comes to towing a 30. A ProPride is probably in our future. We really would prefer a 27FB model because of the lower hitch weight and overall lower weight. These seem to be very hard to find used at a decent price.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
This is the body on frame Lexus 570 with the very capable Toyota Tundra 5.7 V8 and transmission. Many tow 30's with this engine/transmission. The wheelbase is much shorter than a Tundra so a high quality hitch properly set up is needed.

The advantage of the relatively short wheelbase Lexus will be maneuverability. This is more important than trailer length when making tight turns. You will be able to make short turns into campsites that long wheelbase pickups cannot.
This is a great point. The turning radius of my ML500 is 38' which makes it very maneuverable. By comparison I think a F150 is 50'+.

John
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:24 AM   #14
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The ProPride will add a good bit of direct hitch weight. When we added the PP and 2 additional AGM batteries our 27FB' tongue weight went to 998 pounds. Just a consideration...


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