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Old 06-07-2016, 02:19 AM   #1
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National Parks & Reservations for Larger Airstream trailers.

Hi,

We are shopping for our first Airstream. Our salesperson has told us that any model that is not a 30 will not have a problem fitting into a site designed for a 25' trailer.

Most National and State Parks RV sites have a 25' site limit, with fewer sites for larger rigs.

We are very interested in a International Signature 28.

Should we believe that a Signature 28 will be "just fine and dandy" for our stays at National & State Parks, or is this just Sales Speak?

Looking forward to our Riveting Adventure.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:07 AM   #2
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You need to include the length of your tow vehicle. You may not have room to park to the side.
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:40 AM   #3
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We have a 27 ft FB ( which is really 28 ft long) and our preferred places to camp are national parks, state parks and national forest sites. We camp a lot and I can count on one hand the number of times we've been unable to camp where we wanted to due to size. We have reserved 25 ft sites on occasion during the years crossing our fingers that we'd fit and we've never had a problem doing that. Not to say that we never will, but so far so good.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:18 AM   #4
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There is no more than two feet difference between 25, 26, 27, and 28 foot late model Airstreams, the length includes the bumper and hitch coupler. Compare that to many other travel trailers where the stated length is of the body only.

You will do fine with a 28. The longer your tow vehicle wheelbase, the more difficult it is to maneuver into a tight spot. That may be more important.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:31 AM   #5
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Good to hear at it would really suck to have the 28' Pendleton not fit into spots its commemorating!

Anyone ever just get two sites just in case, side by side? One for the TT and one for the TV?
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:44 AM   #6
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I pull a 25. I think I could put a 28 in almost everyplace we have camped with the 25. Get the size you are comfortable with. If it will hold a 25 it will likely hold a 28. Just tell them it is a 25 when you make the reservation. Maybe just don't get there in the dark or too late to deal with a fitness problem. That said, I like the 25' a lot for traveling. For the 2 of us, the 28 does not seem to offer a lot more of anything that we need.
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Old 06-07-2016, 07:46 AM   #7
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I tow a 34' triaxle. There has been one place in 5 years or 200000 miles that we couldn't fit and that was due to a "by the book" park ranger! I have been able to fit our 34' everywhere with a little patience!
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:53 AM   #8
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The 25 ft rule is an old Bureaucratic regulation. The Marion National park north of Charleston has that reg. but the site are 175 ft long asphalt pull thoughts. My 34 fter has never been refused at any National Park.
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:25 AM   #9
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I've got a site reserved at Many Glacier campsite in August for my 25fb that states 20ft length yet the driveway length showing is 55ft. Most sites on recreation.gov indicate trailer length but never include total driveway length, Many Glacier is the exception. Hope I chose well for Many Glacier as the reserved sites for my open reserve window moved fast. The photos of the site show my 25fb should fit as well as the tow vehicle. I've been to plenty of federal campsites where my 25fb just fit. A 27/28 or 30 would've stuck out into the road. The main issue with my floor plan is the rear door. If the door was in the front I could back the rear of the trailer out over the back end of the site.

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Old 06-07-2016, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCTX View Post
You need to include the length of your tow vehicle. You may not have room to park to the side.
.
No, the tow vehicle size/length is not included in the trailer length requirement/recommendation. If it were, then you'd only be able to tow a 5-7' trailer if the site was a 25'... You are correct that sometimes one can't park either to the side or in front of your trailer (only had that happen once but we had a '67 22' Safari then). That park provided parking for vehicles in a separate location.

My experience with state & federal parks has been similar to AtomicNo13's... Biggest (surmountable), problem we've had in some parks has been narrow roads with tight corners... just had to take it slow.
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:59 AM   #11
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If you want to spend a lot of time in the parks in the western US, know that your 28' trailer will be an issue for visiting some places. A salesperson telling you otherwise wants to make a sale and likely doesn't have personal experience trying to make reservations in national parks for a longer trailer or showing up without reservations during busier times. Many parks have a limited number of sites that will accommodate larger vehicles and they are often the first to get snapped up when a reservation window opens.

A few feet can make a difference in old campgrounds with very narrow roads, tight spots, and a lot of trees. While our trailer length (25FB) is not a big deal for probably 75% of the national and state parks we have visited, it has been an issue for some other parks in the western US (Yosemite NP, Redwoods NP, Olympic NP, Yellowstone NP, and some state parks along the Oregon coast).

If you are super-confident about your parking abilities, you might be able to get away with booking spots smaller than your trailer length but in some places, that decision could turn out to be a big problem (especially if the campground is pretty full and you have a vehicle that is bigger than what can be accommodated in most of their spots).

We have reserved four spots that were right at our total length (Yosemite, Oregon Coast, Zion, and Redwoods) and we had trouble getting into all four, with Yosemite being an especially gigantic mess because trees across the road made maneuvering impossible. Looking at a campground map and site length doesn't tell you the full story of road drop-offs, trees in the way, and other obstacles that make it hard for a longer vehicle to get in a site. So, if you get a 28' trailer and book a site that is too small, expect the possibility of being turned away because you just will not fit.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:03 PM   #12
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You need a backup place to go if turn away, we did 4 National Park last summer in the west and two of them came out and measure our rig for total length, front bumper of truck to rear bumper
of AS.

I was told that they are doing TOTAL length of town vehicle and TT, as too many people are not giving them the right information.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:14 PM   #13
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We have a 27 ft. FC (28 actual length). We normally try to reserve National Park sites on the first day reservations are accepted - usually 6 months prior to our desired arrival. You can go to the website or call. Website is best as the premium sites get taken extremely quickly. First get a campground map (online) and select several sites that you would like. Call or website on the first day and first hour of reservations and watch the site disappear. You have to work quickly. We usually try for sites that are 30 to 35 feet for the extra space (comfort). Many of the parks not only have maps but actual pictures of the sites - example: Rocky Mountain National Park. We reserved for our August 3 arrival this year on Feb. 3. We didn't get our first 2 preferences, but got #3. Grand Tetons was kind of a crapshoot this year. We requested our favorite site but weren't guaranteed it. Yellowstone at Fishing Bridge there really aren't any good sites to reserve - they're all cramped, but if you want hook-ups you have to go there. None of the other campgrounds have hook-ups. If you are going to Parks Canada, like Banff, there is usually 4 months prior to start reservations. All the sites at Banff Tunnel Road Trailer Court Campground are HUGE and all pull thru, and full hook-ups. They have pictures of all sites online. Best wishes and safe journeys.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:21 PM   #14
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People might give them the right information if they would ask the right question.

But when they list 25' as the maximum length it sure sounds like they are talking about the trailer length.

The only place I have been asked for a total length of rig was on the ferries. But maybe I am just behind the times.

At some point you can just go to a commercial campground if you cannot fit into the park.
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