Jump to content

NPS Max Lengths


JimmyP58

Recommended Posts

Hello, I'm a newbie still feeling my way around the site, and my question has probably been asked a thousand times, my apologies. Is there a way to learn what National Parks will NOT accept a 5W/TT that is 37 feet in length? Can anyone point me the right direction to learn this information? I would be particularly interested in the Western parks, the Dakotas units, the Smokies, Cuyahoga Valley, Shenandoah, Acadia, and Congaree.

Apologies and thanks in advance for asking a question that I know must already be out there.

 

JP in Texas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can tell you of some national parks where our 40' motorhome and vehicle did fit:  Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Badlands, Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon - North Rim and South Rim, Big Bend, Death Valley, Rocky Mountain.  You would probably have more difficulty in the eastern parks rather than the western parks.

Full-timed for 16 Years
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Motorhome
and 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th Wheel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Escapee forums! It is great having you join us here and please don't worry about asking a question that may have been previously answered. While that does sometimes happen, some answers do change and since new folks join from time to time there may well be others who are not familiar with the answers so discussions of such things are not really a bad thing. 

7 hours ago, JimmyP58 said:

Is there a way to learn what National Parks will NOT accept a 5W/TT that is 37 feet in length?

In my experience, I have never seen any national park that measured the RVs as they come in and I can't think of any state or other federal parks that do so either. The length restrictions for those campgrounds that have one are usually listed with the campground information if there is one and you could contact the parks before going if you are concerned. In all cases that I have experienced, the length limits are given to advise the campers of the lengths that an average driver can safely get into the campground due to road conditions, or get into the campsites. Some campgrounds also list the length of the sites so that you can know what you are dealing with before you arrive. Many parks to require you to get all of the RV and tow vehicles off of the roads and frequently you are not permitted to park on the grass. Sometimes the length limits are there because the park roads are very narrow, there may be rocks and trees that overhang the edge of the roads and similar things that make it difficult to get into the campsites, but never have I seen any park refuse entry based upon size. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

...I have never seen any national park that measured the RVs as they come in... 

The one exception to this that I can think of is Zion National Park. Entering from the East they restrict both the height and length, due to a tunnel not anything to do with campgrounds.

Individual campgrounds like Tower and Lewis Lake in Yellowstone and the campground in Natural Bridges National Monument list length limits in the parks' websites. As mentioned most state and federal parks require that all vehicles fit/stay on the designated parking pad. Sites that are listed on the recreation.gov website often list the pad size. The Reserve America website used by many state park systems also often contains a lot of information about site and pad size. You need to consider both the length and the width of the pad as a 37' trailer can fit in a shorter length site if the tow vehicle can be parked next to it than if the tow vehicle must be parked in front of the trailer. If the trailer has more than one slide and especially if they are on both sides, the width of the pad and how close and the relative position of  obstructions like trees can determine whether a specific trailer can fit on a specific site. 

You did not mention National Forests, but the Forest Camping Website lists a lot of information including RV pad size for the National Forest campgrounds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to clarify Zion restrictions.... it's not in the campground as we easily fit with our 40'... it's for the east tunnel entrance however there is another eastern way to get to Zion starting at Fredonia, AZ and also a way in from the west.  If you plan to go to Zion, get on its web site and read all about the Zion Tunnel.  Each national park has a great web site giving campground information, road information, things to do, special Alerts, etc.  Check them out.

Full-timed for 16 Years
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Motorhome
and 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th Wheel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes searching on the individual NP website will give some insight. For instance, this is from the Rocky Mountain NP Camping FAQ:

Do you have limits on RV or trailer length?
Yes.
Aspenglen: 30 feet
Glacier Basin: 35 feet
Longs Peak: Tents only
Moraine Park: 40 feet
Timber Creek: 30 feet

So while Rocky Mountain NP can handle a 37' fifth wheel, you will be limited to Moraine Park, and even then I'd guess that only about 5% of the sites there will accommodate you. Our previous fifth-wheel was a "30 foot" model that was actually about 32' long. We made sure to reserve one of the appropriate sites at Moraine Park each of the many years that we visited. Most of the sites wouldn't take even our 30' trailer. 

We did spend a couple of weeks at Timber Creek, and we just fit into one of their larger sites, including the tow vehicle. And while I was never actually measured, I was specifically asked for length information when checking in at both Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone. 

My advice would be to do some research before you arrive and get reservations for an appropriate length site when available. Just showing up at a National Park with a 37' fifth wheel is not going to work in many cases. 

Mark & Teri

2021 Grand Designs Imagine 2500RL, 2019 Ford F-350

Mark & Teri's Travels

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a 31 foot 5th wheel that I bought after retirement. My previous RV was a tent camper.

After a few years I parked it in Arizona and now use a 19 foot Casita. It just was a royal pain dragging that large of a rig around and making sure I had a place to land for the night. With the Casita I just go and don't worry.

That said, it sounds like you already have the 37 footer. The advice you got is all good and if your a great driver like 2gypsies you will have access to more sites. 

The good news is almost all NPS roads are paved. So that will not be a issue in most cases. The campground roads will be tight and difficult to negotiate in almost all cases, so being a good "truck" driver makes a huge difference. It might be worth to take a RV driving class before starting your travels.

Arrive early. Most campgrounds will have only have a few sites that your rig will fit into. You need plan B or reservations. 

Here is a "typical" NPS campground. Notice that by mid-October this was the ONLY campground open in Grand Teton National Park. Excuse my rant on the NPS, but look at the pictures of the campground and spurs. 

http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2015/11/usbackroad-destination-signal-mountain.html

They are your National Parks....you will just need a bit of planning to use them with a 37 foot 5th wheel.

Vladimr Steblina

Retired Forester...exploring the public lands.

usbackroads.blogspot.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, 2gypsies said:

...Just to clarify Zion restrictions.... it's not in the campground as we easily fit with our 40'... it's for the east tunnel entrance...

I thought that was what I said 

Quote

The one exception to this that I can think of is Zion National Park. Entering from the East they restrict both the height and length, due to a tunnel not anything to do with campgrounds

To clarify the clarification:

1 hour ago, 2gypsies said:

...there is another eastern way to get to Zion starting at Fredonia, AZ and also a way in from the west...

There is only one East Entrance to Zion and it is on UT-9 (which I believe is the only road that runs through the park) and leads to the restricted tunnel. From Fredonia; AZ-389 to UT-59 to UT-9 North/East at Hurricane will take you to the Park's main entrance which is on the South side of the Park. From Northeast of Zion, one could also take either UT-20 or UT-14 (depending on mountain driving skills) from US-89 to I-15 South and go from I-15 to the main entrance to the park.

Yes, the main entrance can also be reached from the West as can the Kolob Canyons section of the park. There are no roads through the park between Kolob Canyons and the main or East entrances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Length is a bit meaningless. Do they mean length of rig or length of site? We found that a 40ft didn't mean you could put a 40ft motorhome on it. Was it wide enough to also hold our toad? (Tow vehicle if you are towing). Was it a 40ft site suitable for a mountain goat because of excessive slope? Was it wide enough for slides? Were the trees trimmed so you could back into that 60ft long site. Hang on. Back in? Er some folks can't back up.

My point being is that use given lengths as a 'general guide' only. Better still go and have a look at the site before committing to it.

We loved public parks but most were built before the big rigs were popular.

regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We generally found that in the National Parks the trees were trimmed and the campsites were fairly level.  With a trailer we rarely had to put more than 2-3" of blocks under the tires usually 1-2" or less.

National Forest campsites are a little more iffy, but usually OK.  Really great NF CG info here.

A lot of places list the length of the campsite.  However many, but by no means all the time, you can back the tires toward the rear of the paved or gravel parking area and let the rear hang out the back.  BUT sometimes there is a tree or a rock keeping you from doing this. 

Yep, some people don't know how to back up.  Practice really helps.  Go to a large empty parking lot near your home and practice.  Practice parking in between the lines.  Practice back in a straight line. 

When you do go to the campgrounds, take your time backing up.  Get out and look several times if need be while you are backing in. 

With practice, it is not as scary as some would make it out.  

Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G 
2020 Chevy Colorado Toad
San Antonio, TX

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that leveling a 40 ft motorhome is way different to a 40 ft 5th wheel or 40ft tt. 5th wheels and tt's have their wheels in the center but a motorhome has a longer wheel base. Different pivot points. So it's harder to level a motorhome on the same site.

regards

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

RVers Online University

mywaggle.com

campgroundviews.com

RV Destinations

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...