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grlakessailor

22 foot TT or 26 foot TT?

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We are looking to buy our first camping trailer.  I am not worried about what I can tow, but I am worried that too large a trailer will limit the places we can camp.  We have found a 26 foot trailer that is perfect for us.  But we  have also found a 22 footer that would work, it would just not be as comfortable.  After a tent camping trip the past two weeks where we went to Acadia National Park, Camden State Park (ME) and High Point State Park (NJ), I am concerned that a 26 foot trailer may lock us out of some campgrounds.  What do you think?

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I pull a 33 foot tt and a 42 foot living quarters gooseneck horse trailer, I have parked the tt in many sights made for much smaller trailers. Some times I have had to unhitch and park cross ways in front. Go for the 26. The horse trailer can be harder but I have never been turned away because of size. I am a very confident parker and my wife is excellent at guiding. 

State parks are smaller than private ones most of the time.

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48 minutes ago, grlakessailor said:

We have found a 26 foot trailer that is perfect for us.  But we  have also found a 22 footer that would work, it would just not be as comfortable.

Not being as comfortable is a predictor of not enjoying your travels. I suggest you go for perfect.

Linda

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We used public parks all the time with our 40' motorhome and had no problems..... out west. However, we have done state parks and Corp of Engineer parks in the midwest and south east with no problem either.   I can tell you that a 26' trailer in the West would have no issues, whatsoever.  

Since you're in the east I suggest you look at the web sites of some favorite parks that you would go and see what size their sites are.

If you got the 22' I think you might be sorry since you like the 26' now.

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The longer you stay in a TT the more closed in you feel.  If you are happy with the 26' and you have no issues towing it, go for that.  We have a 27' TT and it works for us and never have an issue about getting in anywhere we want to stop.

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As one who traveles in a 20' travel trailer, I don't agree with all of the comments up to now but I do agree that a 26' trailer should not cause significant problems in finding a site as long as you parctice backing to be able to put it into fairly tight spaces. While there are parks that have only limited spaces for a 26' trailer, that will be mostly in the ease as sites tend to be larger an more available in the west but even when we were in New England with our 36' motorhome it was more common to be a problem getting into sies with larger RVs that was the length of sites. If you travel to the west, you will have little problem finding sites that are easily accessable.  

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A 26 ft TT may be barred from the rare National Park CG. Chiricahua has a 25ft limit IIRC, but that is unusual in my experience. You would start hitting more frequent problems at 30 ft. And to be honest, if the limit was 25 ft, I'd not let that stop me with my 26 ft. The limits aren't that exact and there are no RV length cops in the parks.

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As others have said, some parks and campgrounds have limited sites available to longer rigs.  The further east and northeast I have travelled is where I have run into that.  Seen it in older parks and campgrounds too in all areas of the USA.  Keep in mind besides tight sites, some park and campground roads are not friendly to larger rigs despite the park or campground stating they are "big rig friendly."  Tight turns in the park and trees in places that make turning and backing a challenge.  

 

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Thank you for all the great responses! We did some more research.  My wife found this chart that's says that many national parks have a limit of 35 or 40 feet combined, which I assume means tow vehicle and trailer.  So with a 17 foot truck even the 22 would be technically prohibited in some.  But I also checked the overall length of the two trailers. The overall length of the 22 is only 20 INCHES less than the 26!  I do not understand how this is possible, but that is what the specs say.  So bottom line is that it will make little difference if we go with the 26 instead of the 22, so we will go with the 26.

National-Park-Trailer-Length-Chart.pdf

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Glad you have made your choice.  When you get the TT, do measure it and write down those measurements.  Measure the length, width, and height.  Many RVers have learned that the posted measurements are not always accurate due to things such as ladders, vent covers, etc. being added by a previous owner or the dealership.

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38 minutes ago, grlakessailor said:

But I also checked the overall length of the two trailers. The overall length of the 22 is only 20 INCHES less than the 26!  I do not understand how this is possaible, but that is what the specs say. 

A great deal depends on how that particular company measures. Most do give a total length somewhere in the specs if you dig deep enough, but not all. Many use a length that is measured inside of the RV and so doesn't include the tongue or bumper assembly. 

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Don't put too much faith in those national park charts.

We volunteered at Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park & we assigned campsites for incoming reservations for the day.  They had a chart by which we assigned sites.  It didn't take long to run out of available sites for a 35-40' RV + tow/towed vehicle.  We had walked the campground many times and saw a lot of long sites and suggested to the rangers that we make a new chart going by measurements.  Since we had a 40' motorhome and previously a 33' 5th wheel we knew what kind of space was need for a long RV.  The rangers.... and we ..... were amazed at how many big sites were there that weren't on the assigning chart.  Naturally, we made the new chart which worked perfectly.  No one assigned to the new big sites came back and said they couldn't fit.

With our 40' motorhome and car we easily fit in these national parks: Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Grand Canyon, Big Bend.... and more.  We have fit in hundreds of other public parks - state, national forest, Corp of Engineers, county and city.

I just cringe when people say you won't fit.  No, you won't fit in every site but you will find in a good amount - even if you read the charts and they say you won't.  If you don't fit there is usually a good selection of campgrounds or RV parks just outside the national parks to use.  Get the RV that will be comfortable for you.  

Here is a good site for actually looking at site photos.  This is for Madison campground in Yellowstone and yes, we fit in it!  In Yellowstone we also have use Mammoth and Bridge Bay campgrounds - no reservations in any of them.  There are always cancellations.

https://www.campsitephotos.com/campground/wy/madison/

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go with the 26 footer. 

i have a little 25 footer. ( table slide) have lived in it. and it will get tight. and i live alone. with two -more- of you there will be no room to move around in a smaller unit.

and under 30 foot fiver can in many places a same size bumper pull can not.

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My suggestion is to close the size that you are comfortable with.  While the larger the trailer, the more likely you will get shut out of a site, particularly at National Parks, mosts of the time you will be able to fit either a 22' or 26' trailer. 

There really is no trailer too small - I know a few couples that full time in 13' Scamps, and many more that spend months on the road in 16' & 17' fiberglass trailers.  

I spend between 6 - 8 months on the road. While I'm currently solo in a 21' Escape (and fiberglass trailers do their length measurements from rear bumper to the front of the hitch), I had no problem living in a 17' trailer.  The move to a 21 was so I could add an oven!

Edited by vermilye

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Honestly we downsized from a 35 ft fifth wheel to a 30 ft TT this year. We spent 8 weeks on the road this summer in that TT and never felt confined. I do know that feeling tho when we had a Trailmanor TT and before that a popup. But we had a pack of kids with us who are on their own now. We just don't hang around inside the camper that much. We take a rest day now and then, to get the laundry done and catch up on maintenance. Or just lollygag around. But we have lots of room outside the camper. But most of the time we are out and about exploring.

YMMV of course and I guess some folks have a lower tolerance than we do.

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13 hours ago, vermilye said:

There really is no trailer too small - I know a few couples that full time in 13' Scamps, and many more that spend months on the road in 16' & 17' fiberglass trailers.  

The two of us have spent as long as 5 consecutive months in our 19' Sportsman. 

Edited by Kirk W

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I am not sure when the change started, but now a 22' can be anywhere from 22' (which is unusual except for a couple manufacturers) to 27' for the "entire" length of the trailer.  I have not yet figured out the 5' as usually the add-on is 3' to 4'.  One really needs to look at the manufacturers' websites very carefully to actually see what the length is, then you have internal width and external width too.  Always check their math too!

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Unless you plan to RV in the East the West was never a problem for us. We never RV'd over to the East coast as we were both AF Brats and been all over as well as me spending my teen years in the 60s in Stamford CT, 40 miles from the city. Been stationed all over in my 27 years and even lived in Bogota Colombia S.A. and Miami. We've lived and had my uncle and cousins in Boca Raton and now in a little town just west of Ft Lauderdale. So we weren't up for the expense and congestion to RV full-time in the East, north and south, where we'd already lived.

One thing not mentioned is that all the national parks we've visited had a commercial campground or three right outside their gates. We traveled with a 36' HitchHiker fifth wheel towed by a 1ton Dodge Ram diesel dually long bed truck, overall length about 60' overall length and several times took an outside campground that was more bang for the buck than the limited facilities in the park. Then we were just a couple of minutes from the park most times. We also used military FamCamps, Canadian provincial parks, and even a lodge once which was just a small parking lot. Even if you get the smaller TT, do check just outside of the park because we've found ourselves revisiting many areas we loved and knew where to stay. Once retired it took me a year to relax and enjoy what I previously thought of as wasting time checking out every area for at least a day. Be happy, you can always sell your first and get another.

Safe Travels!

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