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Old 05-30-2018, 04:49 AM   #1
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St. Louis , Missouri
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Do 30' or 33' Classics Limit Camping

Hello all... I have been a forum observer/learner for a while. My wife and I are dreaming/planning on jumping into a Classic and TV in the next couple years. We are at odds over the 30 or 33.. she likes the bathroom in the 33... I like the panoramic view from the 30... but that is another thread...

I am wondering if any of you have found that that the overall length of the trailer+TV has been an issue with accessing places you want to camp.

I have read threads where people have gone from a shorter AS to a 30 or 33. I do not recall people going from 30 or 33 to a shorter one.

Any thoughts/comments would be appreciated.


No trailer
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:39 AM   #2
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Jupiter , Florida
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The overall length could be a factor. Where do you want to camp?
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:51 AM   #3
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2015 30' Classic
Saint Augustine , Florida
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length of trailer

we tend to camp at commercial RV parks, state parks and the like. We have been RV ing for just about a yr and have not yet done any dry camping. We go away about once a month and that, very often will encompass staying overnight on the way to, or back from somewhere; so the number of campgrounds that we have stayed in is in the double digits, despite being only 1 yr. That being said, I have not found any place that we have stayed ( or wanted to stay) that gave us any grief(or regulations against) about our length.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:52 AM   #4
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Callao , Virginia
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We have a 30' Classic with a Chevy, crew cab dually and 8' bed. So far so good on the camp grounds we have visited. Couldn't enter Baxter State Park in Maine with the dually, it's to big. Also you might be challenged when stopping for fuel or eats off the beaten path. Which means no drive trough windows
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:10 AM   #5
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Oswego , Illinois
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I have never had an issue. I think about the only problem with trailer length is in some of the very first National parks built....mostly out west. Fueling, State Parks, and private parks have never been a problem at all. You'll begin to think "big" as you look at a fuel station and quickly recognize the ones and brands which are too small or OK.

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:59 AM   #6
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Burlington , Ontario
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We had our Classic 30 for ten years - initially I had no problems with it in terms of site configuration, but as the years went by found more of a preference for state and provincial parks rather than commercial parks where we would always try for a pull through site.

Having said that - we also did successfully get the trailer into quite a few nice state parks.

You'd think that with practice my skills at backing into tight sites would improve, but for some reason in recent years I was finding it more of a challenge - perhaps it was that I was trying to get into tighter and tighter sites! Not sure.

In any event, I have to say that it was one of the reasons why we traded our truck and trailer in last week on a Pleasure Way Class B camper van to be delivered in September.

Always pros and cons but I think - and hope - it works out for us!

Years ago we camped in a VW Westfalia so we have some idea what is in store for us!

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:16 AM   #7
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Size is absolutely an issue. When tent camping 100% of campsites are available to you, even the walk-ins. Towing a small trailer, like a pop-up, most campsites, say 75%, are available except the very tiny, the very unlevel, and walk-ins. With my 27FB Airstream, only the larger sites and fairly level sites might be useable. In some campgrounds this might be just 20% of the campground.

The longer the trailer the more difficult it may become to drive through campgrounds around sharp turns without scraping trees or boulders. A few times I've had to pass on a usable site because the location of adjacent trees and boulders made it impossible to back in with hitting the trailer or truck.

I see it as a statistical matter. The larger longer the trailer the probability of fewer useable campsites available only goes up.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:40 AM   #8
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
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Our experience with our 27fb (really 28’ long) has been different than those above my post. We came out of a 39’+ motorhome flat towing an suv, so we have felt “little” these past almost 5 years with our Pete.

We almost always seem to be one of the smallest rigs in most state parks and small private parks we stay in. Compared to the 4 slide 40’ 5th wheels we often encounter anyway...... . I can’t imagine “camping” in something like that.

We go to any park we fancy in the Southeast without a far at least (haven’t been out West yet - someday).

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:55 AM   #9
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your question, the answer is yes and no. It will depend on what camping style you will pursue. We are somewhat experienced Airstreamers (12 years/1,900 nights of camping), and we have found that the tight campsites are most often found in the state and national parks and national forests. We have a 25FB and have been able to get into most campsites, but we have found some that are too tight for us. On some occasions, we have been able to get the Airstream tucked in, but it has been very tight to park the tow vehicle. Commercial campgrounds have never been a problem as most are set-up to handle big motor homes.

We would love to have a 33 Classic, but we feel that the additional seven feet of Airstream just wouldn't be conducive to our camping style.

The question that you need to ask yourself is what do we want to do and where do we want to go with our Airstream?

Best wishes in pursuit of your Aistream dream.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:11 AM   #10
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Newport , Pennsylvania
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Do 30 or 33 classic limit camping

Not in my opinion

I had a 30 foot and went too a 33 no issues.

Most campgrounds will handle either. if not they are probably old or dumpy anyhow.

many times in my 45 foot motorhome I would register as a 40 foot.

I have never been measured once

Keep in mind most campgrounds get deliveries by tractors and trailers. Big is Better
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:25 AM   #11
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1996 30' Limited
1990 34.5' Airstream 345
santa rosa , California
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The airstream is probably the least obtrusive and smallest trailer on the market because they usually don’t have slides there a lower profile and compared to the plastic trailers you’ll be the most popular one in the campground. It can be easily towed with a half ton or three-quarter ton without Dooleys so if you Unhook your truck I can’t believe you’d ever have a problem. However airstreams are for camping wihere the big plastic trailers or motorhomes with slide outs are more for clamping that is to say the large ones really impress your banker or neighborhood, more than anyone else.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:32 AM   #12
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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I certainly will not dispute that a tent will fit more places than any Airstream. For that matter a small pair of tents will fit better than one large tent. A very small tent is easier to carry 10 miles into a site than a somewhat more spacious tent. Size does matter, even with tents.

Since you aren't tent camping and are way away from popup sized trailers, none of that really matters a whole lot. The only rational comparison would be the 30 to the 33 ( which is not a 3 foot difference .... look at the specs ...) or maybe to a 27 or 28 (again check the real lengths).

Everything in the comparison group are wide body trailers. If you are in an "every inch counts" squeeze, that could matter. Since they are all the same, it's not a factor in the decision.

Weight wise, yes, they are getting heavier as you go up the list. Is there some bridge somewhere that a thousand pounds will rule you out on? I'm sure there is. The vast majority of the bridges out there are quite happy with a normal TV and a 33' Classic. Weight wise the 30 and 33 are pretty close. So again, not a massive deciding factor.

Length is obviously a difference in these trailers. There are always going to be specific sites you will rule out of with a longer trailer. We have put ours into places where the next site over was 18' long. There is no standard on this stuff. National Parks / Provincial Parks tend to be tight. That's even true with a tent. At least out here in the east, we have not had much trouble finding sites for a 30' Classic. I would say that everyplace we have been would have worked with the slightly longer 33'.

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Old 05-30-2018, 09:45 AM   #13
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Port Dover , ON Canada
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Best RV Lengths for National Parks

For example, my 25' AS combined with the tow vehicle is 40 feet, so my rig will only fit in 53% of National Parks Campgrouns. YMMV

From Jim at Camperreport:

"All of the numbers included here are the COMBINED lengths of the tow vehicle and the trailer/fifth wheel, or the motorhome and the towed vehicle. So you need to add the length of the RV and the vehicle together.

Also, keep in mind that RV companies often fudge the numbers on the length of their RVs. Get out a tape measure and actually measure your RV to know–it’s probably longer than what the manufacturer advertised.

Here are the averages:
  • RVs up to 12′ in length fit in every national park campground in the United States, although there are a few campgrounds that don’t allow RVs at all and are tent only.
  • RVs up to 19′ in length fit in 98% of all national park service campgrounds.
  • RVs up to 25′ in length fit in 93% of all national park campgrounds
  • RVs up to 29′ in length fit in 84% of all national park campgrounds
  • RVs up to 32′ in length fit in 81% of all national park campgrounds
  • RVs up to 35′ in length fit in 73% of all national park campgrounds
  • RVs up to 37′ in length fit in 60% of all national park campgrounds
  • RVs up to 40′ in length fit in 53% of all national park campgrounds (Remember that many of the parks will only have a few sites this size, however. Book long in advance if reservations are available–otherwise you run the risk of not having a spot)
  • RVs up to 41′ in length fit in 7% of all national park campgrounds (Remember that many of the parks will only have a few sites this size, however. Book long in advance if reservations are available–otherwise you run the risk of not having a spot)"

Note: This is a summary of the combined rig lengths that will be able to use National Parks. The percentages are NOT the percentage of sites per park that may be available, e.g. a particular park may only have a handful of sites that will accommodate the longer rigs.
Ray B.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:48 AM   #14
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After towing 28-30 foot travel trailers for 22 years, I've not had issues where I lamented the length of my trailer. I can attest that I have been in situations when backing in, I've had some tight clearances. Typically it's just a matter of practice, and I remember back with my first travel trailer which was 21', I used to go to business parking lots that were closed on Sunday, and practiced my backing techniques using tall plastic waste cans with brooms stuck in them. Once you learn the technique, it transfers to any length trailer.

Yeah, it's easy to ask for the pull through sites, but quite honestly the best sites I have ever had were all back in's. So learn the technique, and if you are backing in pull at least a car length past the site you are backing into. You will find the process much easier.

I can always tell you the folks who are going to have problems by watching where the rear of the trailer is relative to the site that they are backing into. If the rear of the trailer prior to the back in is at the edge of the site (relative to the road), the process will be long and involved. The further past the site you drive (within reason), the easier the back in is.

The difference between the 30 and 33' units will be what I call the pivot point. That's the point at which you know its time to start the trailer turning in the back in process. When I went from my 27' Safari to the 30' Classic, I learned to start the pivot or turn of the trailers rear end, a few feet sooner.

Those backing skills come into play when you have to adjust for narrow campground roads, trees close to roads, and folks camped across the road from your site who won't or can't park their vehicles within their site.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56 S/OS#15
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:50 AM   #15
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Greeneville , Tennessee
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Size has an impact on campground choices. We had two 25 footers in the past years. Since we went to the 30' we haven't noticed any impact because we just don't camp in tight campgrounds.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:20 AM   #16
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Jackson , Mississippi
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We have a 2002 30’ Classic with a slide, and while we’ve had some tight squeezes into spots, we’ve never had a problem actually finding a spot. Having said that, there have been a couple of times in super tight places where we’ve parked the Airstream, then unhooked so we could move the TV into the space better (i.e. out of the road). We’ve also never had a problem getting in/out gas stations, and we’d never do drive-thru anyway: we usually just park around back and go in, or get it to go and eat in the Airstream while parked (depending on how the kids are doing).
I do agree with other commenters—the longer the rig, the fewer spots you’ll find available. We love our 30’ with the slide, though. It’s like having the space of a 34’ without actually being that long. It’s perfect for our family of 6.
Slide Out Society #72

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Old 05-30-2018, 10:34 AM   #17
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Chatham , Virginia
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We have had a 31 for 5 years now and stay at State, National and County parks. Takes some getting used to but have never had parking issues. If I could get the wife in a smaller one..... doubtful. We like the comfort of the big silver pickle.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:01 PM   #18
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Phoenix , Arizona
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Welcome to the Forums. We have a 30' with a slide out and do not find it to be a hindrance in our travels. We travel with friends who have 34's.

It seems that older parks (those built in the '30s and '40s) have a length limit. We can find a park around those parks that has enough room for us. We have camped at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and fit fine.

My wife and I have no desire to get a smaller trailer. This one serves our needs perfectly.

Happy travels.
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Old 05-30-2018, 12:20 PM   #19
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1966 26' Overlander
1981 31' Excella Limited
1964 22' Safari
Ramona , California
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I have a 26 footer and 31 footer. There are a few places like Yosemite where the 31 would not work well if it were permitted. So if you were comparing a 30 to a 25-26 footer yes it might come into play. For us in most places either trailer would fit but we might not have enough room in a back in space for the truck with the 31 and remotely park it. I suspect the choice between the 30 vs the 33 will have minimal impact on your options.
1966 Overlander, 1981 Excella II, 1964 Safari (for sale)
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:39 PM   #20
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2016 30' International
1957 18' Wanderer
Everywhere , Everywhere
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Will you fit?

We are living full time in a 30 footer and and have not really felt that your choices were limited. Go for comfort. There are so many parks and RV resorts out there that are now catering to the Big Boxes you see everywhere. New airstreams look small and puny compared to these behemoths. Currently we are camped in New Jersey, about 60 miles from Manhattan, in a park called Mahlon-Dickenson Reservation (county park) with an assortment of site sizes offered. Back - in site, with room enough for our long truck (8 foot bed) and the trailer. It's not that hard to find a park that accommodates your size rig. We use the Allstays App. Easy to use. The information there will tell you if you're too big for the park. Even if your rig is too big for some of the National Parks, there are usually places to stay nearby that will accommodate you. We camped at Big Bend, Organ Pipe, Canyon de Chelly, and many other state and county facilities. You might think about adding solar to your rig, so you can boondock wherever you go..... has proven invaluable to us. Cheers, and happy trails!
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