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Old 05-14-2021, 03:46 PM   #1
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Camping Limitations of a 30-foot Airstream

We are debating the size of AS to purchase. Has anyone who owns a 30’ AS had trouble getting a site or been turned away from a camping area due to size?
TY in advance
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:02 PM   #2
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I had a. 31’ Sovereign and towed it about 80000 miles over 14 years. In all that time, we couldn’t find a site we could fit in twice.

However, that was before Covid-19 and the whole world buying RV’s. Competition for sites is much greater so…

It really is hard to say. Generally, newer campgrounds (or recently refurbished) tend to have a higher percentage of large sites.

You might get up on CampgroundReviews.Com and do a little reconnoitering of campgrounds in areas you are interested in.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:03 PM   #3
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There are national park campgrounds with 25 foot limits. North Rim of Grand Canyon is one. What you have to consider is how much smaller you are willing to go. Would you go to a 25 or a 23? I doubt if there are many campground limitations with a 30 that would accommodate a 27 or 28. You will have more of a tendency to drag the rear. I pull a 25. It is a nice size to tow.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
There are national park campgrounds with 25 foot limits. North Rim of Grand Canyon is one. What you have to consider is how much smaller you are willing to go. Would you go to a 25 or a 23? I doubt if there are many campground limitations with a 30 that would accommodate a 27 or 28. You will have more of a tendency to drag the rear. I pull a 25. It is a nice size to tow.


Actually we have a 27 and found while there are some sites that can’t take us most NP campgrounds have some that can including the North Rim we’ll be there in 2 weeks. It’s seems that 28 and under is more a limit in our experience.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:28 PM   #5
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Biggest issue I have had is not the size of the camping site itself. The campground roads are usually the culprit if you have problems. Adding to the difficulties are if the sites opposite from you have long tow vehicles which force them to park perpendicular to the site on the edge of the road, thus limiting your ability to swing your tow vehicle as you back into your site. I had one situation where I actually had to ask the person across the road if he could temporarily move his vehicle so I had adequate maneuvering room.

Last summer I had a owner at a site across from me come yelling at me as he ran out of his trailer. He thought I was going to hit his truck and I assured him I had enough space to maneuver. After I parked he came back out and moved his vehicle so it was parallel on the site with his trailer rather than being parked on the shoulder of the road.

Don't know if you have towed before but practice over time gets you better. Also if you are backing into a tight site, even with a spotter don't feel bad about getting out of your vehicle to assess your progress. Also don't forget Airstream's may be a little longer than their description. For example my 30' Classic is 30' 11". But a 31' Classic is also 30' 11".

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Old 05-14-2021, 06:47 PM   #6
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Camping Limitations of a 30-foot Airstream

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
There are national park campgrounds with 25 foot limits. North Rim of Grand Canyon is one. What you have to consider is how much smaller you are willing to go. Would you go to a 25 or a 23? I doubt if there are many campground limitations with a 30 that would accommodate a 27 or 28. You will have more of a tendency to drag the rear. I pull a 25. It is a nice size to tow.


Trailer village on the north rim accommodates larger rigs. I’ve stayed there in our 30’.

I have only maybe 100 nights camping in our 30’ and there was one instance where we booked a site in Oregon that we could not get into. Didn’t even try. Fortunately there was another site available that worked. Few!

You definitely roll the dice if you just show up somewhere without a reservation. Likely nothing available anyways these days - lots of demand for the great outdoors!

I use google maps (satellite view) and campsitepictures.com regularly when selecting a site... not just for entry/exit but also for privacy, shade vs sun, etc...

Our 25’ with shorter suv tow vehicle was a little more nimble.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:24 PM   #7
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https://www.campsitephotos.com/ is another website that you can use to look at individual sites at many campgrounds.

Even with our 25' some of the sites at Yellowstone NP can be a tight fit. Most of the sites were built many years ago. The RVs and the trees have grown over the years.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:55 PM   #8
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https://www.campsitephotos.com/ is another website that you can use to look at individual sites at many campgrounds.



Even with our 25' some of the sites at Yellowstone NP can be a tight fit. Most of the sites were built many years ago. The RVs and the trees have grown over the years.


You nailed it - campsitephotos.com is what I meant to type above
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:57 PM   #9
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Thank you!
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:04 PM   #10
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Here's the official max trailer length for all California state parks. Understand, even if the maximum length is, say 40', there may only be a few sites out of fifty so reservations are a really good idea.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/rvlength
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:56 PM   #11
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Let's talk facts here. Most NP campgrounds were build year ago when smaller trailers were the norm. Yes, you can find sites that will accomodate you but it is your responsibility to research. Given that camping has become a popular activity recently, reservations will be very important, especially in National Parks.



I have followed similar threads to this one and "usually" those with 30+ ft. trailers are quick to say they get in where they choose to camp. Upon further review what most of them are talking about are private sites, like the KOA parks.



I camped at Ohanapacosh, on Mt. Rainier. Yes, they had some (a few) large sites but most were smaller. The large ones were all taken and we got one that would work for my 25. It fit, but just barely. So, reservations are the key. Call and ask. Plan ahead and you will avoid big problems.
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Old 05-14-2021, 09:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath;
I have followed similar threads to this one and "usually" those with 30+ ft. trailers are quick to say they get in where they choose to camp. Upon further review what most of them are talking about are private sites, like KOA parks.

You’re probably right. I certainly look to locations I know will accommodate my full TV + longer airstream. So less disappointment so to speak.

I admit, KOA has worked on numerous occasions because we know is easy and predictable (when traveling).
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Old 05-14-2021, 11:47 PM   #13
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Yes. We had a 30' Classic and encountered campgrounds we could not access or reserve due to size limitations. Even some campgrounds that ostensibly would accommodate a 30 footer were a real b*tch to negotiate. We gave up a few comforts by switching to a 25 footer (there are always tradeoffs) but overall the smaller trailer works much better for us and our style of camping. TEHO.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:39 AM   #14
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Hi

How many places could we *not* go in roughly 18 months of on the road camping time? None. There always was an answer to the "where to park" question.

How many places did we get to and be turned away? None.

How many places where "interesting" to get into? Probably < 5%

How many sites were longer than the description / locator said? > 60% (some 2X longer ...)

How many sites were shorter than the description said? none that we camped in

When we where out at Yellowstone, the longest site in the park that was reservable in the months ahead of the trip was for a < 20' trailer. Looking at those sites once we got there ... yikes ...

Our answer was to stay outside the park. You still see everything and it all works. You also are much closer to "support" ( = shopping, fuel, restaurants, beer ....).

It's not just the size of the trailer that matters here. A small TV also is part of the deal for small sites. Something like a 2 door Jeep and a Hiker (a brand of trailer ...) is *far* more small site compatible than most "real" trailers. Indeed, a small vehicle and a 8' x 8' tent is what many sites are really set up for.

Could changing times impact all this? Sure they could. Will they make it harder for *all* trailer lengths? That would be my bet.

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Old 05-15-2021, 10:15 AM   #15
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We have a 30" Flying Cloud. Have had no issues with small camp sites. If one looks a too tight we drive past & find a bigger one.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbiomomaz View Post
We are debating the size of AS to purchase. Has anyone who owns a 30’ AS had trouble getting a site or been turned away from a camping area due to size?
TY in advance
31’ Classic...coast to coast ..never any problems
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Old 05-15-2021, 12:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Tbiomomaz View Post
We are debating the size of AS to purchase. Has anyone who owns a 30’ AS had trouble getting a site or been turned away from a camping area due to size?
TY in advance
No problem. There are a very few state parks with dry camping (such as around Pecos, NM) that have trailer limits under 30 feet.
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Old 05-15-2021, 01:20 PM   #18
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30' FC here. Have never been turned away. We've only had trouble once getting into a NFS campsite in CO. However, that was more due to slope than overall length (back of trailer bottomed out on us). Lift kit installed over the winter should fix that issue. The MI state parks can be a challenge backing in because they all have the pad at 90 degrees to the one-lane, one-way road. They were obviously designed by someone who's never towed a trailer.

Contrary to what some others have assumed above, we mostly stay in state parks, National Parks (when we can get a reservation) & NFS campgrounds. We will do private RV parks when en-route for an over-nighter or if the public campgrounds are full. Spouse always wants to know ahead of time where we're staying, so we've never done the first-come first-serve NP campgrounds.

For us, the 30' AS is a downsize from our previous 38' 5er that we full-timed in. That beast was pretty much a no-go for most National Parks and state park sites were limited. One of our goals when we bought our AS was to be at 30' or less to get into more National and State Parks. At 30'-11", we almost got there.

Here are some stats on NP campsites:
https://camperreport.com/best-rv-len...ational-parks/
https://rvshare.com/blog/national-pa...length-limits/
According to the first article, at 32' you fit into 84% of NP campgrounds.

Tow vehicle also matters. Our short bed crew cab RAM 2500 has a decent turning radius. The long-bed crew cab dually we towed the 5er with had a huge turning radius which made backing into sites much more difficult.
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Old 05-15-2021, 06:43 PM   #19
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Size Limitations

Off 395 in California, a route you want to take some time in your camping live, there are any number of sites with size limitations, particularly up the east flank of the Sierras. The answer: VERY early reservations for your length of trailer. Our FC30RB (which is 31 feet long stem-to-stern) found comfortable berths along our chosen route one year ago.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:32 PM   #20
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It really depends on how you want to travel, if you like full hookups and want to stay in commercial lots I doubt your will have any issues. If you are like us and want to stay in National Parks, especially older ones then you might want to reconsider. Ours in only 23 feet, we tow it with a big Ram Hemi 5.7L, and at our size we can fit in most places - but not all. Big Bend has a lovely camp site at Chisos Basin, but even ours were too big for it. North Cascades is another place with tight sites. We can manage a week with no hookups, and we like our rear bed layout. We have travelled East to California, north to the Okenagan and North Cascades, south to Big Bend and North East all around the Gaspe in Quebec and to the Maritimes. The size really worked for us, fits on the ferries too. Weather permitting we mostly spend time outside - we support that classic saying, cocktails for 6, dinner for 4 and sleeps 2. We could accommodate a 3rd person or 2 kids, but the space would be tight.
Think about how you plan to use it and choose accordingly.
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