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Old 08-26-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
Blaine , Washington
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RV Length & campsite specs

Newbie question here:

When I look at the specifications on-line for certain campsites, I have noticed they sometimes use "trailer length" but sometimes they use other terminology (ie, "total vehicle length" or RV length).

We have a 25 ft. Tradewind and a Toyota Tundra. When it says "total vehicle length," does it mean both together?

Here's what prompted my question:
Crater Lake Lodges, by Xanterra Parks & Resorts - Mazama Village Campground
Their 2 options include:
RV Site; Up to 28-feet Total Vehicle Length
or
RV Site; up to 50-feet Total Vehicle Length

Or, another thing prompting this question: in the Washington State Parks brochure they have a grid that shows columns labeled "RV Lengths" (ie, up to 32, 33-44, 45 and up) and another column labeled Maximum Site length.

Ok... don't want to lose my main question in the details...
What is the lingo for when they're just listing the Trailer Length
and what is the lingo for truck + trailer
?

Thanks... at least 45ft and Up of thanks...
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by By the Bay View Post
Newbie question here:

When I look at the specifications on-line for certain campsites, I have noticed they sometimes use "trailer length" but sometimes they use other terminology (ie, "total vehicle length" or RV length).

We have a 25 ft. Tradewind and a Toyota Tundra. When it says "total vehicle length," does it mean both together?

Here's what prompted my question:
Crater Lake Lodges, by Xanterra Parks & Resorts - Mazama Village Campground
Their 2 options include:
RV Site; Up to 28-feet Total Vehicle Length
or
RV Site; up to 50-feet Total Vehicle Length

Or, another thing prompting this question: in the Washington State Parks brochure they have a grid that shows columns labeled "RV Lengths" (ie, up to 32, 33-44, 45 and up) and another column labeled Maximum Site length.

Ok... don't want to lose my main question in the details...
What is the lingo for when they're just listing the Trailer Length
and what is the lingo for truck + trailer
?

Thanks... at least 45ft and Up of thanks...
In the Yosemite NP web site they say RV length for Motorhomes and trailer length for trailer.This is with out the TV.It said they differ because of turning room to back into the site.The web site also said they do not enforce length as long as you can get in staying on the pad.
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:07 PM   #3
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We experienced somewhat the same at Zion NP. So they put us into a site that would have swallowed a couple of Airstreams and tow vehicles. It was almost embarrassing (but we did enjoy the privacy).

The one place where we do have to be careful is at Navajo National Monument, where the campground is first-come, first-served (and free!). There are exactly two sites that will fit us in. Lucky for us, we've been able to park in the same site on all three visits. Not that it wasn't a tight fit, but we manage and don't hang out in the road.


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Old 08-26-2009, 08:27 PM   #4
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After 30000 miles and about 240 nights on the road we have discovered that site measurement is generally conservative in the public (county/state/federal) parks. If they say it will take a 30' trailer, it will probably take a 34'. Many private parks are just the opposite and we have been assigned sites that were about 2" larger on all sides than our Sovereign. Ergo we avoid private campgrounds if at all possible.

Although technically 31', we always say 30' as that seems to be a magic cutoff for a lot of individual sites. We have, on a handful of occasions, had to park our TV in overflow as it wouldn't fit in the site (notably John Pennekamp SP in Key Largo).

We use RVparkreviews.com a lot as the posters are not shy about discussing site size. Haven't been steered wrong yet but you do need to "read between the lines".

mike
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:54 PM   #5
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This is an excellent topic, and we have found (as previously mentioned here) that there's a big difference between what the site will handle vs. what is posted. Usually, it will take more than posted at state parks.

We now use Google Earth quite a bit to evaluate sites. You can get a sense of turning radius and, if other RV/Trailers are visible, you can get a sense of what they'll fit.

My favorite was at Steamboat Lakes SP. A friend came up a few days after us with a 40' MoHo and Toad. The site next to us was empty, and had a "30' max" criteria, but I knew it would take his MoHo if he disconnected the Toad.

So the very-strange-died-hair ranger at the desk asked what his vehicle size was. He said 40-feet, and she immediately looked at him skeptically. I kicked him behind the counter and said "no, Adam, that's with your toad attached. Without it, you're only 30-feet". He catches on, and goes along. She gives him the site.

No problem fitting into the site.

However, having said that, if you try to book into anything in Yellowstone, they're wise to that ploy and will ask you very specific details about your brand/length of trailer and TV.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:24 PM   #6
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Great tips and ideas (never thought of using Google Earth for that use! Brilliant! What a brainiac you are!)

Great to know about State Parks being conservative in their size spec.

But when they say "total vehicle length" does it mean trailer *plus* truck, though? What is the lingo?
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by By the Bay View Post
Great tips and ideas (never thought of using Google Earth for that use! Brilliant! What a brainiac you are!)

Great to know about State Parks being conservative in their size spec.

But when they say "total vehicle length" does it mean trailer *plus* truck, though? What is the lingo?
your trailer no tv
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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airstreams are measured tow ball to rear bumper so your trailer is really shorter than the total length
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:32 AM   #9
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This summer we were checking out a Calif SP in the Sierra's a few miles from our camp..

.the crafty old guy at the check-in shack told us he measures ALL rigs to make sure they conform to the camp's limits - he had lines painted on the drive so he could tell if you're rig would fit or not!

It was an older campground with tight turns, and they were tired of rigs getting hung up and causing problems - can't really blame them, I guess!
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:54 PM   #10
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It's a crap shoot for sure. As stated in the previous post, I always use Google Earth to check out a site ahead of time. Of course if it's a wooded site GE doesn't help much.

I have found that the CA state parks generally are overly cautious about posting their vehicle limits, a site maximum length to them is one vehicle length, but 2 vehicles will fit. For example if the site max is 28', and my trailer is 28' I will generally fit, even though my combined length is 52'. I may have to park the TV sideways in order to do so.

Most USFS sites are generally a combined length (clincher...some are not), so I may not fit in a 40' site, although I can usually make it work.

Another thing to keep in mind is overhang. Sites are generally measured by driveway length, but if there are no obstructions such as rocks or trees, I can gain about an extra 10' by backing the tires up to the tire stop and letting the rear of the trailer hang over in the site.

Generally, if you can get your trailer into the site, most places have a spot to park your TV if you have to...although I have never had to.
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:31 PM   #11
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Yosemite...Jimmini has it right

Last summer we took our 19' Bambi to Yosemite and stayed at Upper Pines, campsite 214. It spec'd out at: Driveway-36 feet. Max vehicle length-27 feet.

Max trailer length-18 feet.

They did tell me that "your trailer will probably fit." When we got there...it did fit---like a glove. They had the lengths just right. In fact in order to make Bambi and Max (the tow vehicle) fit. I needed to disconnect and squeeze the T.V. up to the side of the hitch. It is a nice site. It even has a small creek behind it. (BTW, Max is a Ford Expedition).

Randy
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