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Old 10-25-2012, 02:28 AM   #29
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Like I said, Mather CG in Grand Canyon is newly designed and, looking at the map, has many more pull thru campsites then regular back ins. This is a campground that accommodates both RVs and tent campers. I think it represents an awareness about the changing types of campers using NPs.

The do have a separate campground with full hookups but much smaller sites. It's more like a KOA without the yurts.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:13 AM   #30
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The problem with National Parks is the guy who grabs a premium spot for his Prius and a pup tent that has a 50' parking area. Thus, leaving you to shoehorn a trailer and TV into a 20' spot or leave.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:34 AM   #31
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Quote:
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The problem with National Parks is the guy who grabs a premium spot for his Prius and a pup tent that has a 50' parking area. Thus, leaving you to shoehorn a trailer and TV into a 20' spot or leave.
Does the Prius party have less right to be there than a TT unit?
Suggest to leave for destination earlier to arrive earlier ... or look for other alternatives outside the parks. I can't tell you how many times folks in big "elite" rigs complained to me about the smaller "campers" taking all of the good spots! I was only a seasonal ranger; so, it wore off quickly. Frustrating, I know ... but just saying ... YMMV
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:51 AM   #32
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My Interstate is only 23 feet long, not counting a cargo tray on the hitch receiver, and I don't have a toad, so out of consideration for my fellow campers, I try to find the smallest available campsite wherever I go, and save the bigger sites for people with bigger rigs.

Haven't stayed at a National Park yet, but by selecting the smaller spots at the state parks and CoE campgrounds I have been to so far, there has seldom been a lack of availability except on busy holiday weekends.

I don't always take the smallest spot, though, if said smallest spot has zero tree cover, or is right next to the entrance gate where everyone coming and going provides a disturbance (made that mistake only once). But all other things being equal, what on earth would I use the extra space for if I occupied a bigger one?
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:30 AM   #33
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I do recognize the Prius/put tent's right to a campsite, so it just makes the game a bit more challenging to find space for 45' of trailer and truck.

In Yosemite's Upper Pines campground, for instance, there are maybe a dozen spots out of about 200 that will comfortably hold us and let us drop our awning. There are a couple dozen more that we could shoehorn ourselves into.

My strategy, now that I've walked the campground and looked at nearly all the spots, is to keep a spreadsheet handy of the yes/no/maybe status of each site when I'm making reservations.

Or maybe we'll just pack the pup tent into the Prius...
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:50 PM   #34
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Does the Prius party have less right to be there than a TT unit?
No, it's usually first come, first serve...but

I DO try to avoid parking right next to someone else if there is space.
I DO try to respect tenters with my generator.
I DO leave the big pull through for the "elite" motor homes if other space is available.

It's just common courtesy and awareness of ones surroundings.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:15 PM   #35
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Some of the redwoods parks have stated limits around 25 feet and the spots are tough to get into. They clearly we re designed for car camping years ago. (at right angles to loop roads).

I guess they are unwilling to cut down those pesky big trees to facilitate easy parking.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:54 PM   #36
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With our solar panels, we wouldn't mind if a few trees went missing.

Tree removal is a bit of an issue in Yosemite. Prior to European-American occupation, the valley was managed with regular burns by the indigenous people. This kept the trees to a minimum and made both game and enemies easier to spot. The absence of any fires in the valley in the past hundred years increases the fuel load and the possibility of a catastrophic fire.

I remember the open vistas in the valley when I was a child, half a century ago. Now many panoramic views are blocked by trees that wouldn't have been there several hundred years ago.

But visitors might be turned off by the sound of chain saws or the smoke of a controlled burn. It will be interesting to see what happens, and if any more space will open up in those campsites.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:00 PM   #37
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Attached find a useful document detailing the capacities of the upper pines campsites in Yosemite valley... I've not been able to find a version of this for the other two major areas in the valley but I would be surprised if it does not exist.

I just spoke with a ranger at the phone number in the document who was not aware of this document (it is 13 years old) - and he said that it could be out of date.

I said I thought it would be great to bring this document up to date, he said no way, he didn't want to publish pad measurements and he directed me to recreation.gov for the official list of site capacities.
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File Type: pdf Upper_Pines_site_descriptions.pdf (878.1 KB, 91 views)
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:15 PM   #38
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And here is some more detail on the current draft future development plan for Yosemite valley vis a vis RVs and trailers... Note this could be implemented next year, in 30 years or never - so it's far from a done deal.

Parking

* Overnight visitors would still be able to drive into Yosemite Valley and park at their lodging or campsite.

* Day visitors to Yosemite Valley would park at the 550-space day- visitor parking area in Yosemite Village or would use an out-of-Valley parking area and take a shuttle bus into the Valley during the busiest seasons.

* Shuttle bus service would be expanded in the east Valley and new service would be provided in the west Valley.

* Until all shuttle buses become accessible, visitors with disabilities would be able to drive into Yosemite Valley.

Lodging

* Some lodging would be removed or relocated from highly valued natural resource areas, such as meadows and riparian areas.

* Yosemite Lodge motel units that are in the floodplain would be removed and the area restored to natural conditions.

* Emphasis would be placed on retaining and/or rebuilding traditional national park accommodations.

* Housekeeping Camp would have 100 units, which would be set back at least 150 feet from the Merced River.

* Curry Village would retain rustic tent cabins and cabins without baths in order to maintain the area's historic character. Some tent cabins in the rockfall zone would be removed.

Camping

* Campgrounds would be redesigned to include more varied camping experiences, including tent camping, RV camping, walk-in campsites with parking nearby, and walk-to campsites with no associated parking.

* Some campsites would have utility hook-ups, thus reducing noise from generators.

* Shower facilities would be built in some campgrounds.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:41 AM   #39
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Has anyone had a problem with a 25 or 27 foot tailer being too long for some of the National Parks out west. We seen somewhere there was a maximum limit for some of the parks.

Stan
I just returned from 7 nights in Yosemite - stayed in Upper Pines campground, sites 79 & 84. I have a 2012 27FB and was able to park my F150 supercrew (shortbox) at each of the sites (not in overflow). I did park the truck perpendicular to the trailer; no problems at all.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:40 AM   #40
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Thanks burnsdl - thats good to know... we've been wanting to visit Yosemite again since we got our 27FB!

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Old 10-26-2012, 10:43 AM   #41
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I think what they need to do is change their fee structure, so RV / Trailer sites cost more than tent sites - to discourage that Prius owner or backpacker from taking one of the scarce RV sites. Or even better, restrict it so you can only camp in an RV spot if you've got an RV / trailer.

It's absolutely frustrating to see this in action at Yosemite - last year we were trying to stay in Tuolumne Meadows, which is half reserved and half first come first serve and there were multiple cases of pup tents in the RV / trailer spaces. RV spots are super scarce up there - there are like 300 tent spots and only about 10 RV spots - and we were turned away - even though there were plenty of tent sites open.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:21 PM   #42
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I would love to have designated RV spots. They already have some designated "tent only" spots. The majority of campers at Upper Pines last weekend were RVs, so it's unlikely that empty RV spots would keep tents from being able to camp. Some sites could remain either/or.

I would think it would be nicer for the tents to have the RVs in a separate area. When I've been tent camping, I'm always dismayed when an RV with a generator takes the spot next to me.

Mount Rainier National Park has a "no generators" loop. It doesn't keep all the RVs out - we parked there because we have solar and we prefer the peace - but it helps to encourage the tents to cluster and leave the RV spaces for the RVs.
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