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Old 10-12-2012, 09:34 AM   #15
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Simplest thing would be just to check out the parks you want to visit first on the internet, any restrictions should be listed there.

Our trailer is 31' length and there are certainly many parks that we unfortunately cannot get into - but many have both wooded areas with narrow twisty roads but also some open field areas.

One thing I like too is that some parks show plans of their site layout on line (some even have individual photos of each site). That can be ver helpful in trying to select a site to reserve on line that may be easier to get into.

For example I often try to pick a site on a 90 degree sharp turn in the campground road so I can drive past and easily back straight in. Or, a site across from a tee junction so I can make the turn then back straight it.

As well, you can often see from the layout if sites are angled to the road which makes access easier, or if they are ninety degrees to the road which can cause real problems with a long trailer and tow vehicle and a narrow road!

I would have bought a shorter trailer if I could have found one with the layout we wanted but had to go to 31' to get our choice of layouts. It hasn't worked out too badly for us.


Brian
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:38 AM   #16
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Yes, we did end up camping near Natural Bridges in one of the BLM overflow sites, as the NPS campground was full by 11:00 am. Not the big RV parking area they directed us to-- it was not well signed, and was down a nasty piece of dirt road. We found a great *free* site in one of the tent-camping areas nearby! We were followed a while later by a big motor home towing a jeep, and they had no difficulties with the road or site options for the overflow tent-camping area, either.

Wingeezer, if your unit has a bed that allows both members of a couple to get out of bed on their own sides (I believe this is the "north-south" plan) a separate shower compartment, and/or adequate cooking facilities, I am jealous! The Bambi, like a sub-compact car, does have its shortcomings as well as advantages.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
Wingeezer, if your unit has a bed that allows both members of a couple to get out of bed on their own sides (I believe this is the "north-south" plan) a separate shower compartment, and/or adequate cooking facilities, I am jealous! The Bambi, like a sub-compact car, does have its shortcomings as well as advantages.

Yes, that is the layout that we have - it becomes increasingly important the older you get and need to get up during the night! Not that I'm old of course!

The other advantage think - according to my good lady wife - is that it is easier to make the bed! Our last trailer (non AS) had twin beds where one side was tight against the wall and she foumnd it difficult making up those beds and I suppose the same would be the case with a double or queen bed where one side was against a wall.

In the end everything is a compromise, I still would like to have had a considerably shorter trailer, but the extra space is nice and perhaps once you get used to it would be tough to give up.

Brian.
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:58 AM   #18
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Neither a 25 or a 27 is going to be long enough to cause much trouble. Sure, there will be individual spots and campgrounds where you will not be able to fit. But we have been lucky enough to cover a lot of miles in the last 4 years with our 25' and have never had a problem getting it into enough spots and campgrounds. And I have never seen a campground measure a trailer. If I had a 27 I would just call it a 25 and go forth.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:11 AM   #19
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Grand Canyon

We just got back from visiting Mather Campground in Grand Canyon NP. Mather has no hookups, but has MANY newly-paved pull thru campsites. Their posted limit is 30'; I think due to some sharp road turns rather than camp site limitations.

Caution, they have generator-allowed and no-generator loops. Ask the ranger when checking in.

It's a beatiful camp ground. They have a new dump station.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #20
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We just stayed in Upper Pines in Yosemite in site 46. It just barely fit our 25' TradeWind and our 20' F250. We had to back up so that the axles were just beyond the curb at the end of the pad and we cleared a tree on one side by 8" and our door swung within 8" of a tree on the other side. It was tight, but possible.

If anyone has any specific info about sites in Upper Pines that can fit their trailer, or any info that adds more detail to the sketchy details that can be gotten off the reservation info, I'd love to have more information.

We want to go back, but I don't want to get there and find we don't fit. I'd rather not have to park the truck in overflow in the trailhead lot, although that's always an option.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:58 PM   #21
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Interestingly enough, I happen to have a copy of the current edition of the National Park Service "Park Road Standards." It dates back to 1984, and hasn't been updated since. They have a "design" trailer shown on one of the diagrams. The design trailer is a tandem-axle 30-foot travel trailer, 8 feet wide, where the rear overhang is 10 feet from the rear axle to the rear bumper. Overall length of the towing vehicle/trailer combination is 49 feet, from the towing vehicle's front bumper to the trailer's rear bumper. No consideration in the Park Road Standards for Class A motorhomes with a toad, no consideration for 5th wheel trailers.

But that's just the roads. There is no corresponding document that guides the design of campgrounds and campsites, except in the case of handicapped-accessible campsites, that have to meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines for outdoor spaces.

In general, campsites are considered necessary evils that detract from the "real" purpose of a National Park, which is the preservation of wilderness areas. Every road and every campsite is an encroachment of civilization into wilderness. Which is one reason why so many of their sites are primitive, meant for boondocking.

The real kicker in all of this is that NPS campsites are probably designed by people who have never been camping; that's the Government way. If they see a "design" vehicle in their guidebook that's 49 feet long, they probably think that 50 feet is long enough for any campsite parking.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:03 PM   #22
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I applaud the preservation goals of the national parks. I love having more space for hiking and don't mind tight camping quarters as a tradeoff.

Most of the spots in Upper Pines seem to have been designed for cars and tents. That's how I remember camping there as a kid 50 years ago. Now that I'm getting creaky, I'm willing to shoehorn a 25' trailer into a tent spot, if I can just find the spots that will fit it. Even driving around the corners in the camping loops requires all of our attention.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:17 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post

The real kicker in all of this is that NPS campsites are probably designed by people who have never been camping; that's the Government way. If they see a "design" vehicle in their guidebook that's 49 feet long, they probably think that 50 feet is long enough for any campsite parking.
I would guess that almost all of Yosemite's campgrounds date from many years before Class A motorhomes or 45 foot truck & trailer combos.

While talking with one of the senior park rangers, he mentioned that they're considering providing electric service as a way of dealing with generator use, since this is the cause of complaints due to the fumes and noise they create. The large bold lettered sign describing generator hours at the campground entrance, and worried question by a ranger at checkin was obviously an attempt to deal with this. There are lots of people camping in tents right next to RVs w/ generators...

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:53 PM   #24
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Glacier NP used to have painted lines on the roadway (by the entrance stations) marking max length of TV + TT IIRC.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:10 AM   #25
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Protagonist said "In general, campsites are considered necessary evils that detract from the "real" purpose of a National Park, which is the preservation of wilderness areas. Every road and every campsite is an encroachment of civilization into wilderness. Which is one reason why so many of their sites are primitive, meant for boondocking."

Actually, there are designated wilderness areas that do not allow any motorized or mechanized machines. It talks an act of congress (literally) to land a helicopter in a wilderness area or to even use a chainsaw to clear trails. These are usually USFS properties.

Don't forget that the vast majority of these USFS and NPS campgrounds were designed and configured long before the crew cab pickups, Class A motorhomes and slide outs were SOP for RV'ers.

I'm more concerned by campers that are to cheap to pay the USFS/NPS fees and boondock on federal land near developed campgrounds. In fact, a lot of USFS offices have banned dispersed camping.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:10 AM   #26
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That would be so awesome if Yosemite would put electrical outlets in the valley. I'm not sure I believe it, but it would be fabulous nonetheless - it gets to 100 degrees plus in the valley in the summer and would be great to have shore power for the AC.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:58 PM   #27
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We love the National Parks!! But....

I agree that some NPS campground designers do not appear to have gone camping-- at least not with an RV. The Bay Bridge CG at Yellowstone is nice enough, and within walking distance of the marina. Trouble is, the entire CG appears to have been recently repaved, yet many of the sites are not level. To the point where, last June when we camped there with some friends, they couldn't get their motorhome level enough to run their fridge, even with risers under the downhill tires. Then the people across from us in a motorhome had parking that was parallel to the loop road, and nearly overlaping it. I thought they took an awful chance with their pot smoke wafting across the road, being so close and all. The Fishing Bridge CG with RV plug-ins packs in RVs more closely than any urban RV park we've visited. Good luck if your neighbours have slide-outs.

But some of the CGs do seem to be nicely designed, so that you can back in in a sort-of straight line.

The real problem we find with NPS CGs is just that they really tend to fill up early, at least at times we've visited. With no overflow camping in the park, it can be a long drive to the next reasonable place to camp. [See the Chaco Canyon thread!] In the Moab (Arches/Canyonlands) area, our go-to campground is the Horsethief Campground run by the BLM, near Deadhorse Point SP.

The main trailer restrictions seem to be on roads, like Going-to-the-Sun in Glacier. And a fee charged for most RVs (including Bambi!) going through the Zion Tunnel.

Zion, BTW has electrical hookups at their Watchman CG.

Off to Death Valley & Lake Mead in Feb./March, and would love any insights on camping there. We do have a reservation @ Furnace Creek.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #28
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The real kicker in all of this is that NPS campsites are probably designed by people who have never been camping; that's the Government way. If they see a "design" vehicle in their guidebook that's 49 feet long, they probably think that 50 feet is long enough for any campsite parking.[/QUOTE]

ALSO - Many, if not most of the NPS campgrounds were constructed by the CCC or WPA at a time when vehicles and campers were much smaller.
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