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Old 01-27-2014, 07:39 PM   #1
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Camper Length

My wife and I are about to begin looking for our next airstream, and are looking to go as long as 30'. Our previous size was a 20' front bed. We enjoyed the flexibility of always being able to get into campgrounds and sites that we wanted.
We are wondering what the experiences are of the folks that have the longer campers when it comes to getting sites in national parks and state parks.

And also getting back to more remote forest service campgrounds.

Thanks,
John
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:54 PM   #2
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Just spent ten days in a BLM campground where the roads were rough and the sites spread out. Last summer in Forest service land north of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon..the 27 Safari that we pull has always been a breeze to squeeze into the sites. Today we are north of Yuma and have a site that two motorhomes and a 5th wheel gave up on...again the 27 slipped around a tree and between two boulders. I am guessing that a 30 would have done just as well. The combination of maneuverability and lack of height seem to be the biggest advantages.
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
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I got my 27FB last year and have camped at state parks and a few remote forest service parks. So far okay. I do make reservations in advance so I know I can fit. Navigating around big trees in the campgrounds can be tricky. There are limits so planning ahead is smart.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:12 PM   #4
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RivetNV,
I have gotten into pretty much any NFS or NPS campground with a 33' fifth wheel, but they are built quite a bit higher, length was hardly ever a factor. The problem I see having this summer is the low ground clearance on Airstreams. Maybe someone can come back with experience here.
Tom J
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:40 PM   #5
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John, you will enjoy the 10 extra feet and probably have no issues fitting into a site. We find most sites themselves plenty long enough, just sometimes the trees are in the wrong place to make the necessary manuevers. In the rare case you can't fit, just pick another one.

Another John
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:46 PM   #6
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Turning radius has more to do with tow vehicle wheelbase length than trailer length.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
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We have drug our 34' all over the place. Yup, there are a bunch of sites in any specific camp that we don't fit into but so far there has always been one I can fit into.

IMHO, get the camper that you like, you will be able to find a site in the area.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:58 PM   #8
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I do not have the vast experience that many posters here have but I have concluded by reading on this and other RV forums that up to 27'-28' (under 30') seems to be able to go about anywhere. Past that and you start finding more limitations, fewer spots in state parks, etc. I know that my foray into looking through Florida parks via the website pretending to be various sized rigs just to identify spaces and get an idea of lengths, it is obvious that the majority of spots in the parks here fit up to 27' or so. Then the percentage of spots decreases rapidly with greater lengths. Other places may be different. Last year I drove into a private park and the front desk woman looked out and said, "oh what a little one that is, don't see many that small anymore," referring to my 25'. That local park seemingly caters mostly to motor homes as evidenced by my regular pass-by.

In other words, you can get what you want but the larger you go, the more you have to plan ahead to get a spot.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:10 AM   #9
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We went from a 20FC to the 25 Eddie because around here that is really the longest that is not restricted length wise in some of our favorite places to camp.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:52 AM   #10
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We have never had a problem fitting our 30 or the 28 before that into any campsite except at Hugh White State Park in Grenada. That park is old and built when most trailers were 20'.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:26 AM   #11
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We haven't done a lot of national parks with ours, but no problem at Big Meadows in Shenandoah NP.

However, I know some of the Maryland state parks can have some tight roads. We really struggled to get our trailer into one. Now, we had quite a few things working against us: It was dark and raining, and my wife and I haven't quite gotten to the level where she can guide me back, so I was backing up blindly and waiting for a "You're about to hit a tree!" warning. I suspect if we'd been in daylight we wouldn't have had nearly as much trouble.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:31 AM   #12
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We half-time in our 31' and have never had a problem. Challenges, yes, but never an outright defeat. I do use Google Earth whenever I can to reconnoiter.

Enjoy the journey,

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Old 02-17-2014, 09:13 AM   #13
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We traveled to National Parks throughout the U.S.A. and Canada with our 25 ft. AS and Dodge Diesel Ram. As people mentioned, there are some size restrictions in limited areas. Length of trailer PLUS truck turning radius is all important. We just moved up to a 27' AS and do not anticipate any problems. You may want to put your tow vehicle in front of a trailer that you are looking at, and look at the entire length from front bumper to rear trailer bumper. With our new AS 27' (actually measures 28' - don't know why), plus our truck measuring in at 21' feet gives us a 49' overall. That's quite a length. We contemplated a 30' AS (actually measures 31'), but when we hooked up and looked down the length, now totaling 52', we knew from all our National Park experiences that we could encounter difficulties with the 30 footer (Yellowstone Fishing Bridge campground and Red Woods National Park in CA come quickly to mind). It boils down to whatever makes you comfortable. Good luck.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:34 AM   #14
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We moved from a 28' International to a 30' Flying Cloud primarily due to the uncomfortable casual seating in the International. Last summer and fall we spent about sixteen weeks visiting over a dozen western NP's and found that we had no difficulty with parking in admittedly, sometimes tight parking spots. The only campground we moved from due to space and movement limitations was a KOA at Yellowstone.
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