RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-27-2006, 10:55 PM   #1
Rivet Master
CanoeStream's Avatar

2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Trailer length & state park campsites

It has often been mentioned that state park, state forest & national forest sites have shorter campsite slots than a commercial campground. Thus trailer lengths of 24-25 feet are said to be a compromise maximum for fitting into more public campgrounds. Online reservation systems may not always list a site's parking length; then the phone reservation services might have lengths. Unless I call far in advance we often pick from sites that might be 42' combined length for trailer & tow vehicle. I am speaking of sites with electric hookups. While walking loops we'll see maybe 3 or 4 sites that could take a 28' trailer in a 60-unit campground. Length restrictions seem to be looser with park campgrounds that have fewer trees. These pictures were taken at Savanna Portage State Park in north-central Minnesota; this is an old style park with campsites relatively close together.

This last weekend we had a 40' site and the attached pictures show us squeezed in there. My Safari is 25' 11" and the truck is 19' long. The first picture shows the parked truck in relation to the road. The second shows how I had to overlap the truck to fit. I could have put the trailer about 2' farther into the site but the large oak seen to the left of the panoramic photo would have prevented me from opening the awning.

Mentions of this subject often bring responses about park campgrounds where 19' or 22' would be most appropriate. I have seen short campsites like that but in our area they are usually mixed with sites in the low to mid 40' range. Loops without electric are definitely tuned to smaller trailers & pop-ups. It is harder to find electric hookups in state/nat'l forests in our area; the sites are shorter and frequently have lower overhanging branches.

Parks do have some sites for longer trailers but you'd better do your homework far in advance for weekends or popular destinations. Can others please post what they have tended to find? Comments on National Parks would be especially appropriate. Thank you!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Savanna Portage tight fit.jpg
Views:	256
Size:	71.5 KB
ID:	23969   Click image for larger version

Name:	State Park campsite.jpg
Views:	328
Size:	187.1 KB
ID:	23970  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Savanna Portage campsite pano.jpg
Views:	331
Size:	128.6 KB
ID:	23973  

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 12:31 AM   #2
Rivet Master
bhayden's Avatar
1978 24' Argosy 24
Woodinville , Washington
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 682
Images: 10
In Washington State the website information is sketch at best. With out personally surveying the campground it's impossible to know. For one thing they don't really distinguish between MH parking an trailer parking. They list small medium and large but when you look at the length designation it jumps from like 18' to 45' so what the heck happened to "medium". The costs for camping are as high or higher than comercial camp grounds. So why stay at the State Parks? Well, they seem to have a monopoly on things like ocean front property for one! It's a bit frustrating that with the prime spots they have the facilities don't justify the cost but then they do provide benifits to the general public (i.e. non RV owners) that commercial camp grounds are not required to provide.
bhayden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 12:34 AM   #3
Rivet Master
CaddyGrn's Avatar
1963 16' Bambi
1962 22' Safari
Yreka , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,936
If I recall, Yosemite National Park has a variety of lengths of sites for camping in the "valley". When you make your reservation a requirement is given for the size of your trailer. They only show sites "open" that are as large or larger than what you tell them you need. I think Yellowstone might do that as well. But then, I haven't been to a National Park where there were hookups and such that I recall. Just getting a larger trailer backed into some of the spots could be tricky...

I remember camping last year at Great Basin National Park (Utah/Nevada) and we had trouble finding a spot big enough to accommodate our teardrop trailer! There were larger trailers, but the sites for smaller units were more interesting.

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
CaddyGrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 01:20 AM   #4
Rivet Master
redeagle313's Avatar
Currently Looking...
NE , Indiana
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 619
Images: 7
Indiana State Parks reservation system does an excellent job of letting you know how long all of the sights are. We have camped at several parks in Indiana and have never been in a too short space yet.

We recently traveled to South Dakota, and on the way to our destination we stayed at a state park in SD (Vermilion Lake) and one in Minnesota (Myre Big Island) and at both we were able to select from sights (with electric) that were 45' or longer.
Hi Yo Silver, Away II?
looking for our next AS
AIR 7185
redeagle313 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 03:45 AM   #5
Rivet Master
rseagle's Avatar
2004 22' International CCD
Spotsylvania , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 663
Images: 33
Hey, that looks like the campsite I'm going to this weekend! Oh, but I'm in Virginia.
2004 22' CCD
1997 F-150
AIR# 4749
ex WBCCI# 1430
rseagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 06:36 AM   #6
Rivet Master
ZoominC6's Avatar
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Colleyville , TX
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,535

Originally Posted by rseagle
Hey, that looks like the campsite I'm going to this weekend! Oh, but I'm in Virginia.
Hey there Bob. Where are you camping in the Commonwealth this weekend? We're moving to VA two weeks from tomorrow and can't wait. The state parks are awesome and always allow for TV parking when stating trailer length accomodations. Our AS is currently at Highland Haven Airstream Park.
Happy Trails
In dog years, I'm dead!
ZoominC6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 08:50 AM   #7
jcanavera's Avatar

2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,629
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Most of the state park sites in Missouri are accessable via the Missouri Department of Natural Resources web site. Site pictures and lengths are also available. With my trailer being 31' long, I've not had a problem in Missouri or at the Corp of Engineer's parks that are present on many of the lakes in Missouri and Illinois.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 10:58 AM   #8
crazylev's Avatar
2004 19' International CCD
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 991
Images: 10
One option that I have thought about but have not done because our unit is only 19', is to park the tow vehicle elsewhere.

I've noticed that some, not all, parks offer overflow parking. If I had a longer trailer I might consider getting anything needed from the TV and park in one of those areas.

Personally, I wouldn't mind occasionally looking out the front wrap-around windows to ponder nature, or the campers fighting accross the way. Our view is always the butt-end of our tow vehicle, but I don't mind staring at the back of my Eurovan. That's what got me thinkin'...

Sometimes I wish I were living in the stone age. Then I would know I'm the smartest person in the world.
crazylev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 11:00 AM   #9
We can tow it!
tin sista's Avatar
1996 28' Excella
Where the water tastes like wine , Michigan
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,625
Images: 82
Thumbs up Great thread idea!

We've had great luck at National parks like Shenandoah, Ocracoke (Hatteras National Seashore), The Smokies, and others. Sure we can't fit in all the sites, but there are many lovely ones that work for a 28' trailer. Bob you are so right about doing your homework and getting reservations! We prefer to keep the tow vehicle with us, but if we have to park it elsewhere we will--so far haven't had to do that most online res systems describe it well, trouble is when you don't have good descriptions or no site specific reservations...
Nice to read all the great info!! Michigan's state park campsite info on line is pretty accurate. There are some really cool places that we are too big for in MI, but overall it works. Our 28' trailer has been great for most state and national parks.
The hardest things are not always listed on the websites, for example on the reserveusa.com we've noticed that the grade of the campsite isn't always accurate so any size trailer might be a problem. I mean when the driveway is too steep for a trailer, you can see deep gouges on the pavement, etc.

We've also noticed that the hardest part for our size trailer isn't always the campsite itself, but the tight turns in the campground I can think of two places that illustrate this point, one being Hungry Mother State Park in Va the other Kanawa State Forest in West Virginia. Still it worked out. I'm lucky hubby is the main driver for the tricky stuff !
Steph in MI Air# 6996-
I Hockeytown USA!!
tin sista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 01:15 PM   #10
Rivet Master
rseagle's Avatar
2004 22' International CCD
Spotsylvania , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 663
Images: 33
Originally Posted by ZoominC6
Hey there Bob. Where are you camping in the Commonwealth this weekend?
We're going to Cave Mountain Lake in the Jefferson National Forest. It's about an hour north of Roanoke off I-81 near Natural Bridge.

After a week there, we're heading to Galax for the 71st Annual Old Time Fiddler's Convention and WBCCI Special Event Rally.
2004 22' CCD
1997 F-150
AIR# 4749
ex WBCCI# 1430
rseagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 01:19 PM   #11
Rivet Master
sovereignrwe's Avatar
1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Lake Wlmo , Minnesota
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
In Minnesota the length restriction is defined as measured from the front of the tow vehicle to the end of the trailer.

Crazylev brings up a good question. Is this true nationwide? Crazylev's plan of parking the tow vehicle elsewhere might make it harder to measure, but would not make him legal in Minnesota.
72 Sovereign: L couch, mid-twin, rear-bath
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it"
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." - Yogi Berra

sovereignrwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 03:34 PM   #12
Rivet Master
1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,451
Blog Entries: 13
My two cents, 2 1/2 months in to a 6 month Airstream Expedition and I have found:

Florida State Parks and Pennsylvania State Parks underestimate what can fit where -- we had sites with a stated maximum of 30' that would have easily swallowed up a 34'.

Virginia Parks are pretty much dead on -- if it says 30', better be 30' or less.

New York State Parks are pretty tight and the interior roads are a challenge.

Canadian National Parks (at least Fundy) assigned us a site that was huge! Had our 31' Sovereign, the Titan and still could have put up a Cirque de Soleil tent. Most of the sites we saw in biking around were similiarly "super-sized".

Have found the Trailer Life Guide to be pretty accurate as to what fits where in commercial parks.

On an unrelated note: we have found that with gas costing what it does, we haven't needed reservations anywhere (except 4th July Weekend) -- we just show up around 2:00 pm or so and no problems...

n2916s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 04:02 PM   #13
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
Minnie's Mate's Avatar
2006 30' Safari
Orlando , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,693
Images: 7
Originally Posted by tin sista
We've also noticed that the hardest part for our size trailer isn't always the campsite itself, but the tight turns in the campground I can think of two places that illustrate this point, one being Hungry Mother State Park in Va the other Kanawa State Forest in West Virginia. Still it worked out. I'm lucky hubby is the main driver for the tricky stuff !
Ditto @ Ft. Wilderness at Disney World!
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
Family of Disney Fanatics
WBCCI# 4821
Minnie's Mate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 05:08 PM   #14
Rivet Master
Chaplain Kent's Avatar
1994 30' Excella
Currently Looking...
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,935
So many of the states are going to the Reserve America system. We have it here in Wisconsin they are putting it in Kentucky, it's in Florida and all National Parks, and Army Corp CampGrounds. I not certain how many other states have it now but there is a lot. The operators are somewhere in Canada and obviously can not know every state's parks. The states supply a list of sites for each campground along with restrictions as to length, level, shade, tent only etc. we have situations here in Wisconsin with sites large enough for our motor home but they are designated tent only and we can not reserve the site. The opposite can and does happen fortunately never to us. Sadly with Reserve America there is no way to check with the park.
Chaplain Kent
Forest River Forester 2501TS
Chaplain Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 06:31 PM   #15
Site Team
azflycaster's Avatar

2002 25' Safari
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 14,169
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
We have Reserve America for the National forests here in Arizona and have used it twice and both times the sites were not as listed. The latest one happened last weekend. The site was listed as a 40' back in driveway setup. It was a wide spot in the road ment for tent campers to park. The hosts at the campground appologised for the problem, but stated that they have send corrections to RA everal times. Camping for 3 days was $42, RA fee for the booking was $9 or almost 20% of the total. The good news is that the site worked well for us and we were parked near our friends.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	site.JPG
Views:	137
Size:	107.0 KB
ID:	23985  


Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
azflycaster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2006, 08:04 PM   #16
4 Rivet Member
campcollector's Avatar
2003 19' Bambi
Lincoln City , Oregon
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 316
Images: 21
Site lengths

Working for State Parks in Oregon we rate the site lengths from loop road to the bumper stop. This usually results in the site being the right size, if the trailer is hanging over the concrete stop in the back of the site you can fit in a larger unit. Every year we do whats called a park profile, we take a truck and long equipment trailer and check the difficulting of backing in to campsites, this helps us determine how large a truck and trailer combination can negotiate the turn and "not" repeat "not" hit things like trees, water spigots and other vehicles yet folks still find a way .

So we tend to undersize our sites to avoid problems. However since most campgrounds were built when RV's were smaller (16-22ft) most sites can't accomidate the larger trailers. Nowadays you add in tip outs and it really makes it difficult to keep utility boxes and water spigots from being knocked over. If you can book ahead of time get the site big enough for your entire rig and then some.
"No good dent goes unpunished."
campcollector is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2006, 03:29 PM   #17
Rivet Master
davidz71's Avatar
1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,252
Images: 23
When I reserve a site for Cheatham Dam Lock A near Ashland City, TN., I go through www.researveusa.com. Each site is listed with max length of rv and whether the site is double width or not. The site I am on near the end of August is listed for an RV no longer than 30', one of my friends is to my left on a site for no longer than 34' and another friend may be on my other side in a site for no longer than 20'. The decreasing size is due to sites converging together and ending at a big parking lot for the boat ramp. Some of the sites farther up the road are listed for 40' or over. I've seen long diesel pushers that still had plenty of space left over on their site.

Many of the sites at Tims Ford State Park near Tullahoma, TN. are very short. Last year I parked my 25' Sovereign with rear bumper slightly hanging over the back of the site and my 2500hd would have been slightly into the road if I didn't unhook. I could have run the trailer back another 5' but was going to unhook for the 4 day outing anyway. I worked for 2 of the days but left the trailer for my older kids and wife to use during the day. One site I saw could only have fit a small popup or Casita size trailer (which I think is a really neat setup after seeing one several weeks ago).

AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
davidz71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 08:16 PM   #18
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
New York , New York
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 5
Yellowstone Park

My husband and I just purchased a 25ft FB Safari. Our first voyage will be in a week to Yellowstone. We bought the trailer to camp with our two little girls since we quickly figured out that dry camping can be pretty tough with babies. Anyway, I have ended up doing a LOT of planning for Yellowstone. Frankly, the trailer is far too large to fit and about 90% of the spots in Yellowstone. I have even questioned if buying it was the best idea, but I think I am over that now! Yellowstone has two kinds of campgrounds. One managed by Xanterra and the other by the National Park Service. Yellowstone has extremely strict guidelines for length...they incorporate car and trailer and they do not let you cheat. They told us they would kick us out if we are over the length. In the campgrounds managed by the National Park Service in Yellowstone we do not qualify for most of the camp sites. If we do, there are usually only two to three spaces at a particular site that we fit. Since these are first come, first serve this makes us nervous. We don't want to get to a campsite and not have a spot and have to keep driving! Just in case, we have booked sites through Xanterra at two different camp sites. Xanterra manages the big camp sites which are less picturesque and offer more services. We actually only qualify for a few spots in most of those camp sites except for the Fishing Bridge which is specifically for RV's and is a concrete parking lot. The spots we booked don't sound like the prettiest, but at least we have a reservation. I did enough research that I was able to request specific sites or loops. When I could get a National Park Service ranger on the phone some of them had some really helpful information about specific campgrounds. I recommend you call if you have a number and some time. We also booked a few days at a RV park in Gardiner, MT which is supposed to be nice. We will see. Since this is our maiden voyage we are trying to keep our expectations low and just flow with things since so much of this will be new. Wish us luck. Carhart
carhart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 09:30 PM   #19
Rivet Master
CanoeStream's Avatar

2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Good report -- thanks!

Gen Disarray posted today asking folks to post in the campground reviews. Is this the only link? Rodney, do you know? I'll have to look into what seems to be product reviews invading the campground review area -- I would contemplate moving some of those reviews.

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2007, 09:33 PM   #20
Rivet Master
Tarheel's Avatar
2001 34' Limited S/O
Moyock , North Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,010
Images: 21
Virginia has a limit of 30' this is to make you call ahead. If you call a head and make a reservation you can park a 34'. We have never been turned away, but they do request that you call.
Keep the shiny side up.
WBCCI # 348
Past Region 3 President
Past President Tidewater Unit 111
Rick Bell in "Silverbell"
Tarheel is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
two tiny orange lights on left front side trailer overlander Lights - Interior & Exterior 25 12-03-2008 08:50 PM
Cherokee Land Airstream Park Pahaska On The Road... 1 01-31-2005 02:03 PM
Pechanga RV Park pjtaia On The Road... 2 09-18-2002 11:45 PM
Towing Regulations by State InsideOut Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 2 09-16-2002 08:35 AM
Bent Trailer Door Argosy74 Doors & Locks 3 09-03-2002 09:31 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.