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Old 01-10-2022, 10:48 AM   #1
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2022 25' Globetrotter
Richmond , Virginia
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Campgrounds Limited to 23' Airstream Trailers

What are the great campgrounds that you won't be able to camp in if you tow any airstream longer than a 23 feet? I know "many national forest" campgrounds are limited, but which ones? Which specific wonderful campgrounds will you miss out on if you go longer?
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Old 01-10-2022, 10:56 AM   #2
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We have traveled in 2 different 25' Airstreams and traveled tons miles, we have never had an issue with being too long. Some National Parks can be challenging but doable.
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Old 01-10-2022, 11:00 AM   #3
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Typically what I've seen is that some campgrounds limit the length of your rig (tow vehicle and trailer combined). The number that I see in the smaller campgrounds in Colorado tends to be 45 feet. Obviously the length of your tow vehicle is factored into this equation, so if you're towing with a long bed, crew cab pickup truck then you'll be more limited than somebody with a shorter tow vehicle. The 23FB trailers are 23'9" from bumper to coupler. My crew cab, short box truck combined with my 23-footer comes in around 43 feet in total length.

I've seen a few campgrounds that limit the length of the trailer to 25 feet or less, but they're not common.
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Old 01-10-2022, 11:07 AM   #4
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I know "it depends" isn't a satisfying answer, but it depends. We like to to Florida state parks. Tomoka is a great example. We can easily fit our 25' GT into spots listed as 20' or less. And then there are some we can't get into.
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Old 01-11-2022, 07:59 AM   #5
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We travel in a 27FB and have always found a spot. In Yellowstone we were rerouted to Mammoth from Indian Creek because we were too long but In Lizard Creek in the Tetons we just fit in a 22' slot utilizing the rear overhang. Some parks limit length because of the roads with either curves with close trees or deep ravines on roads that cause the tail to drag. We went to Jedediah Smith Redwoods SP with a 23' limit. After we got in and settled I came back to the ranger shack to get a tag and asked about the length limit. The ranger said "the person who instituted the limit has never camped and although the roads are really close to the redwoods, I watch the campers initial entry into the park and determine if they should stay by how they pilot their rig. If they look like newbies that will get into trouble, I politely suggest staying up the road at the RV resort."
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Old 01-11-2022, 08:09 AM   #6
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Hi

There are a lot of campsites out there that will fit a 20' and not fit a 23'. There are others that will fit an 18' and not a 20'. There are some we've camped in that will be tight with a 16'.

The question becomes: what sites are open when you go to make reservations? If you book late ( like less than 2 years early for some places ) the selection will be more limited. The bigger sites typically sell out first for the obvious reasons.

The more practical question becomes: where can you not go with this or that sized trailer? The answer to that one is a bit easier. There are a range of campgrounds and campsites everywhere. The simple answer is to be willing to drive an extra (maybe) 10 minutes to get to here or there.

Folks love to talk about the glories of this or that campground at this or that park. In reality they all have tradeoffs. A campground that was designed in 1931 is going to be a bit cramped by today's standards. The (apparently un-upgraded since then ....) facilities are going to be limited. There are no perfect answers and there *always* are tradeoffs.

Bob
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Old 01-11-2022, 08:44 AM   #7
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Klash, It is almost impossible to "know" unless you contact the campground. This is almost impossible when dealing with state and national parks. I can go on many websites and look at individual sites that mention the length of the spot. You can do this, but it isn't easy.
The bottom line, is the longer your trailer, the fewer sites will be available. Sure, you always hear that folks "have never had" any problems with their 30 footers. Look deeper and you will find that they have also been turned away, or sent to a different spot, or have had to get into a private RV park in order to find a site. We camped at Mt. Rainier once in our 21 ft SOB. Barely made it into the site. I could never get my 25FB in there. Oh yes, they did have a very few other large sites but they were already booked.

It will just take a little more planning on your part, especially if you are looking at a specific location.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:14 AM   #8
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I camped many times at an older campground in Colorado with my 23-footer, and only recently realized that their official limit is a 20-foot trailer. I never knew this, and the site has plenty of room for my 23FB.

If you really get into this, you get into the differences in nomenclature and branding from one manufacturer to the next. For example, my 23-footer is actually 23 feet, 9 inches in length. However, Airstream measures this from the bumper to the coupler. Some other brands only measure the living space in the trailer, so a 20-foot SOB trailer may be as long as 25 feet in total.

For this reason, I tend to view these limits more as general guidelines.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:25 AM   #9
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It's all a crap shoot. There's a lot of misinformation on the websites of national, state and forest campgrounds. If you want to camp in a particular park, you often will need to do the research. Look at google maps, peruse many of the camp site locator and review websites. Many reservation websites may have length limits so you may have to list a 25' or 27' trailer as a 24' in order to be accepted....and hope that you will fit. Unfortunately (or fortunately), a lot of CG's are going to reservation only. Very frustrating to find a Prius with pup tent in a 60' long site.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:55 AM   #10
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We have yet to experience a Park that can’t accommodate us, previously a 23’ owner, now 25’. We have, on the flip side, experienced rejection previously for being UNDER 25’.
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Old 01-11-2022, 09:59 AM   #11
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31’ Classic…no problems anywhere
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:11 AM   #12
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Here is an excerpt from the nps website regarding RV sites in Yosemite:

"Maximum RV/trailer lengths: In Yosemite Valley, the maximum RV length is 40 feet and maximum trailer length is 35 feet, however, only a total of 8 sites of this size are available (six sites in Lower Pines and two in North Pines, which are open spring through fall). Many more sites exist in Yosemite Valley and elsewhere in Yosemite that can take RVs up to 35 feet or trailers up to 24 feet.

RV length and trailer length are not the same! Please note that many campsites have different maximum lengths for RVs and trailers. This is because many of the campsites are back-in sites with limited turning radius. We do not enforce the length limits as long as the RV or trailer can fit on the parking pad in the site. However, if you reserve a site for equipment other than what you bring, and the site can't accommodate your RV or trailer, we will not be able to find a different campsite for you."
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:12 AM   #13
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Tims Ford SP in TN.

25-ft site, allegedly.

25-ft AS that is actually a little longer (which I didn't know at the time).

Trailer wheels touched the small curb. The rear-end of the trailer was hanging over the edge. Anything longer would have jutted out into the road. The ground below the door was about a foot below grade.

We put a sign on the inside of the door that read "Mind the Gap".
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:13 AM   #14
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the view from the little guy

previous posts about always finding a spot may be true, but the obvious is the smaller you are the more spots you will find. In California especially, spots are tiny. Yes, almost all campgrounds have something to fit the larger rigs, but it's like a pyramid- the larger you are the fewer choices you have. We have a fc19', & many are the times I think we should go bigger. But when we get to a spot that fits us neatly & wouldn't something bigger, I tell my husband to remind me of this the next time I wish for trading up. Being able to go into the smaller spots (& not having to depend on hookups) provides many more opportunities and spontaneity. We have everything we need- a complete bathroom, a designated bed, a full kitchen, a library, a bar, entertainment center, seating, fully functional plumbing, heating & air conditioning. The lack of indoor room is more than made up for by the great places we go to. We also have a Coleman screen room that doubles our living space. Part of our entertainment of an afternoon is watching big rigs try to fit in a campsite!
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Old 01-11-2022, 10:25 AM   #15
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I was recently denied a reservation at an RV resort because my 23 is 3 inches shy of 24 ft.
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Old 01-11-2022, 11:33 AM   #16
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I've found that when you start looking at trailers above 23', most state and national parks will have a few campsites that can fit, but you have to work much harder to get them as they reserve almost immediately and you will be spending an inordinate amount of time scouring park websites and sites like campgroundphotos.com, Campendium or Google Maps to determine if you can really fit.

Not to mention the gnawing anxiety of heading out on a trip and not being 100% sure your campsite will work. Doesn't make Dad look good in front of the kids!

I know a lot of folks on this forum like to go with bigger rigs, which is great, to each his own. My feeling is that trailers are meant to get us in the outdoors. If you can make a good campfire and have a comfortable camp chair and a good book you are not going to care so much about having an extra couple of feet on your trailer.
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Old 01-11-2022, 02:24 PM   #17
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bcheever, I think you're right. We found that many of the older CGs on western public lands had a range of campsite sizes but the long ones filled up first with bigger rigs. We've decided to stay small precisely to get into shorter sites. The view is a lot better when one isn't hemmed-in by big 5th wheels and motor homes.
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Old 01-11-2022, 04:11 PM   #18
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It is my experience that many campgrounds that list a max length do not take into account the trailer's ability to be unhitched from the tow vehicle with the tow vehicle parked either beside the trailer or perpendicular to it at the front. I have a 26 foot trailer and have not had any problems finding a spot where I can pick it out when I have arrived reasonably early in the day.
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Old 01-12-2022, 07:23 AM   #19
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Hi

Much of what we do is here in the east. We pretty much never ever stay at a commercial campground ( two times in 5 years and both out west ). We run into a lot of campgrounds that list one flat "site length" for every single site. Get there and some are 2X that length and an (unlucky) few are half that length. Just how they deal with that .... who knows.

So far we've never been turned away and never had a site we could not fit in with a 30' Classic.

Bob
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Old 01-12-2022, 05:34 PM   #20
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Smaller Airstream issues

Very surprised that smaller Airstreams had issues finding a place to land. Never knew this was an issue. Sorry to hear that you’re having this problem.
We own a 25FT FBT International serenity. We have never encountered an Issue finding a beautiful spot to land in any of our national parks .

Safe travels. Plan some amazing adventures for 2022.
Happy new year Airstream Friends..
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The Silver Buffalo
See you down the road Neighbors.
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