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Old 07-31-2015, 09:21 AM   #1
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Punta Gorda , Florida
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State park trailer length restrictions

Greetings all,

We are searching (daily) for a used Airstream that we will use starting next Summer. Mainly concentrating on the 25'-28' lengths. Searching all the different online sites, it's pretty obvious that the 30' and longer trailers are more abundant and many times significantly cheaper than the shorter lengths. We're new to Airstreams, but we're guessing a couple of the reasons (not counting they are more of a handful to tow) might be (1) a larger $$$$ more expensive TV is needed and (2) length restrictions in many state parks throughout the country. Are we correct...or are there some other obvious reasons we're missing? And what is the norm when it comes to length restrictions in most parks? We plan on avoiding the parks with row after row of 5th wheels. We prefer remote and/or off the grid type settings, if that makes sense.

Thanks to all who answer...the forum is great for newbies.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:59 AM   #2
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You are pretty much on the right track. The bigger the Airstream, the nicer it is once you get it set up. The cost is that it is more difficult to get it there.

The big trailers are more difficult to maneuver, not only in campgrounds, but in gas stations and Wal-Mart parking lots.

As far as state and national park campsites go, most will handle our 25 footer, but a larger Airstream might have issues.

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Old 07-31-2015, 10:15 AM   #3
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The answer varies from state-to-state, and park-to-park. However, in all cases the smaller trailers will have more choices.

Here is a link to California State Parks limits: Maximum Trailer and RV Lengths
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:26 AM   #4
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We didn't see a problem on the east coast, but here on the west coast, more and more things we come across have limits. We have friends who have a 34ft 5th wheel and are downsizing because they have run into issues at the national parks and simply don't want to stay in 54$ a night RV Parks.
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:59 AM   #5
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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You won't have any trouble in Florida. I had a 28' and now have a 30'. I've never had a problem getting into state parks, national parks, Forest Service parks, or Corps of Engineers parks.
I don't know that the bigger trailers are any harder to tow. I've towed from 10' up to 36'. Sometimes the longer trailers are easier to handle, especially when backing.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:06 PM   #6
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Ottawa , Ontario
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We have towed a 23, 28 and now a 31.7 AS. With a Henley hitch none presented a problem and found no issuesfinding accommodation. As for parking, it is a question of experience but not rocket science. In all it with the comfort.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:30 PM   #7
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The shorter the trailer the more options you will have with state and national parks. I’ve seen restrictions as low as 24ft, and wonder if my 25FB (really closer to 26ft) trailer would be allowed in. The 25FB was the largest trailer I considered because of length restrictions in parks.
Don’t forget storage. A larger trailer may require a more expensive spot.
Does all of this contribute to the value of the larger trailers being lower than the mid size trailers? I’m not sure, but I agree with your observation that there definitely seem to be more of the larger trailers for sale.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:41 PM   #8
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I have a 25' Airstream and have found at multiple campgrounds (Yosemite, Calif State, etc.) that after trying for a 25' space, with no luck, if I request a 24' often times something is available. My logic is, if a 24' will fit, I can make a 25' fit. So, I've now just settled in on my searches indicating I need a 24' or larger. I've never had anyone question the length of my trailer when I check in.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:43 PM   #9
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As an owner of a 31ft Sovereign who hasn't ventured out with it, I'm subscribing.
When you say longer trailers are a problem, are you referring to finding parking in the parks or are you talking about being able to drive through the parks?

For example Glacier National Park doesn't allow any trailers on the Going To The Sun Road, but their trailer camp sites looked like they would be sufficiently large for my AS.

When we get road bound, we plan on going West before East, but eventually will need to know about both coasts.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:56 PM   #10
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I just returned from my annual 5k trip out west to WY and ID. I like to mix up some boon docking and full hookups in further out small RV parks. I have been doing so for 19 years in a 21' Excella Classic wide. This year I did it in a 2016 25FC RB twin (200 watts of solar of course). As someone else mentioned the 25 is closer to 26' overall. Especially in ID, not really any regulatory restrictions on length (ID does not like rules) but what ever you can muster. I would say about 50% of the places I stayed 27' would be stretching the limits for maneuverability (really 28' long). Many places my hitch stuck out a little. Overall 25-27' you are good 98% of the time. Going over 27' and remote western mountain roads, terrain and camp sites you will be handicapped. But we all like what we like, no one is wrong or more right in their length decisions or preferences. Just enjoy what you have and deal with it!

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Old 07-31-2015, 01:17 PM   #11
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There is also the ability to overhang off the parking pad if there are no obstructions, rocks, fence, trees. Just have to keep tires on the pad.
"Chip Tank" is in Redcrest Ca.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:23 PM   #12
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State park trailer length restrictions

We have a 28ft and have never had a problem.The have been no handicaps as mentioned above.

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Old 07-31-2015, 01:36 PM   #13
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Currently have 34', used to have 30' There is a difference! Old Civilian Corps parks can be problematic. Who would have thought something this big would have ever been manufactured? Corps of Engineer parks are newer, never had an issue there, see lots of big rigs in them (full timers)
Took the 34' to Canadian Maritimes from SW Fla in summer ot 2013. If I go again will have 30' or less. I'm 6'4", small is not comfortable for me. Ideal would be 28' probably if I could test one out for my comfort level if I were to go back up north. In the south the 34' is fine.

Negotiating fuel stops and shopping is not something to be haphazardly driven into towing anything. Check your destination out and choose your battle before entering.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:45 PM   #14
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You can go online and get length restrictions for most NF campgrounds. A 25' Safari is much easier to put into a NF spot with a Grand Cherokee than it is with a crew cab with an 8' bed.
If you don't go first class, your heirs will!
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:44 PM   #15
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The same can be said about the Provincial Parks in Canada. 25' is just about the max limit; even then one may have to do some tight maneuvering.
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:16 PM   #16
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Stone Mountain , Georgia
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Many trailer coach manufacturers list a length that is only the body of the coach, not considering the bumper or A of the hitch platform. The campers then describe their length as such to any park attendants.

I'm thinking my 29' AS needs to be remeasured for coach only length. At the end of the day you don't want to put a rock, tree or other obstacle into the banana peal or side of your AS.

In Glacier Park we have pre driven the campgrounds before we attempt to enter them; Rising Sun would be a disaster for longer ASs. St. Mary campground would be a piece of cake. Length does matter, and how adept the driver is at maneuvering tight spaces and backing up is a large factor.

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Old 07-31-2015, 08:25 PM   #17
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Texas has quite the range of length availability in the state parks. Trouble is the reservation system will get you a space but not a specific site. So the earlier you get there the better your options. Some older parks just were not designed for super long trailers back in the day when they first opened so some sites can seem pretty tiny. Also, tent campers will nab an RV spot wanting the power and water hook ups. Can be a challenge but luckily we have been able to get our 25 footer and crew cab TV in just about every site we have gone to here in Texas and out west.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:22 PM   #18
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There have been challenges, but our 34 always landed...
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:24 PM   #19
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We can usually fit anywhere a tent can fit! I suggest smaller. We usually can get a spot any time one is open.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:35 PM   #20
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No problems in TX state parks with our 29' Excella.
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