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Old 05-20-2013, 09:45 AM   #1
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Boondocking in a Classic 30?

Are there any folks that would share their experience off the beaten track with these larger trailers? Has the weight been an issue going off the paved roads?

Have there been access issues to the parks in the Western states?

We are contemplating instead of going from a two foot increment trailer size to the largest one and bypass one size in the "longer trailer" process.

While we like both the 30' International Serenity and the Classic 30, it appears the Classic has more storage and we like the tables by the sofa. The "open" bathroom is a small issue for my wife.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:53 AM   #2
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We have never had a problem, but we haven't been out west yet. I just asked my niece who is from Washington state about State and national parks out there. She does a lot of camping and said she didn't see why we should have a problem because she sees lots of "ginormous" motor homes and fifth wheels.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:14 AM   #3
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In general you will not have any problems unless you find a Forest Service Campground on a really remote location road. I can only think of one or two of them that I have been in which would not accommodate a 30' AS, and I boondock almost exclusively. Loop turning radius at the end of a leg of a FS campground sometimes can be tight, and you have to be a bit careful swinging wide, so the trailer will follow you around.

Most FS campgrounds, and virtually all State Park campgrounds will allow you good setups. Now, if you wish to really boondock with no campground at all, all bets are off, as any size rig can get into trouble just pulling off a dirt side road which turns out to have no turn around.

Again, I can think of almost no place I have been with my 20' that you could not go with a 30'. Now, one night after dark when pulling through a loop in a remote Montana FS campground I did have to ask a very drunk camper to move his truck which he had parked half way into the main loop road so I could get by him. Then when I found a spot for myself, backing into it after dark was an issue. Neither would have changed with a 30' though, same problems for either.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:35 PM   #4
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Are there any folks that would share their experience off the beaten track with these larger trailers? Has the weight been an issue going off the paved roads?
Width and ground clearance are the main limitations. In general I don't try to take my 30' into the back country because of ground clearance. It's one of the reasons I also have a truck camper.

Quote:
Have there been access issues to the parks in the Western states?
Can't help you there but in Minnesota and surrounding states we haven't had a problem.

Quote:
While we like both the 30' International Serenity and the Classic 30, it appears the Classic has more storage and we like the tables by the sofa. The "open" bathroom is a small issue for my wife.
The 31' classic is the same length, similar floorplan, and has the other style of bathroom, where the toilet and shower are on the same side and there's an aisle next to them so you can get to the bedroom without walking through. So see if you can find one of those.

The classic has a number of boondocking-friendly features that the international lacks. Among them, fluorescent lights that draw less power than the halogens, a bathroom sink that is of a size and shape that you can wash clothes, and a larger amount of usable, well-partitioned indoor storage.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:22 AM   #5
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Width and ground clearance are the main limitations. In general I don't try to take my 30' into the back country because of ground clearance. It's one of the reasons I also have a truck camper. Can't help you there but in Minnesota and surrounding states we haven't had a problem. The 31' classic is the same length, similar floorplan, and has the other style of bathroom, where the toilet and shower are on the same side and there's an aisle next to them so you can get to the bedroom without walking through. So see if you can find one of those. The classic has a number of boondocking-friendly features that the international lacks. Among them, fluorescent lights that draw less power than the halogens, a bathroom sink that is of a size and shape that you can wash clothes, and a larger amount of usable, well-partitioned indoor storage.
Re: Western States State Parks. When we picked up our new 31' Classic in Fairfield CA I spoke with another customer who said Sate CA parks only take trailers up to 25". His father was a Park Ranger for 30 years and he was buying a 25' so he could continue stays at CA State Parks.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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Most of the spaces we frequent would be VERY challenging for a 30' ... we are out West and have 54 days out so far this season boondocking (generator power / water carried on board) with one more weekend before we put Eddie into storage. As an NPS ranger, I saw many folks who really had their hands full with a 25 and can't imagine trying to shoehorn/maneuver/backup/turn around in a 30'. Great for luxury, but boondocking ... not so much !!!
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:27 PM   #7
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Boondocking vs. Off-Roading

We have done lots of boondocking in our Classic 30 since we got it three years ago, and before that our Sovereign 31. If you define Boondocking as camping without hookups.
We have found it easy to get in and out of state parks and BLM recreation areas in NM, AZ, and UT.

That said I would never take the Airstream backwoods camping over National Forest Service roads. As Jammer mentioned, the real issue is clearance, and the clearance is very limited with that overhang from rear axle to rear bumper on a 30' or 31'. But then I didn't take my 25' into the National Forests even though it had better clearance and smaller turn radius. I just didn't want to get it all scratched up by overhanging trees and bushes.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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I am gaining 0.45" more ground clearance with the 16" tire and wheel conversion.
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