What is up with all these 30' and < site restrictions?

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by JohnWI, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. JohnWI

    JohnWI Member

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    Being here at pop up central, perhaps you can shine a light on this.

    We finally pulled the trigger on our ntu pup and stayed at the small end of the range, a standard 10' box to pull with our miniV. Seems like SO many pups are 10' plus a storage box or 12' and then some. I truly fretted getting one on the smaller side since so many people talk up "get it as large as you can pull/store, etc."

    So now I'm trying to find a site/reservation and I see this 30' rule. My miniV, a hitch and the pup will be 31' or there about. I'm almost certain that when camping as a kid our 10' box and station wagon (or big boat of a sedan) wouldn't have been any shorter.

    Knowing how many larger pups are out there, I'm a bit dumbfounded that they have a 30' rule. Where do you guys camp at with your moderately larger pups? Yellowstone only has what I think are a small number of sites for 40'ers.

    So am I likely to get kicked out? Do they really measure you up or is it just a "keep it in your site" kind of rule?
     
  2. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    Most of the time I see these restrictions for the actual trailer, not the entire rig. Popups have the added advantage of being able to cantilever the rear bunk over the end of the pad/parking bumper. As long as you can fit into your site, and aren't clearly violating the terms, nobody's going to care (in my experience/opinion).
     
  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on the specific campground. Some of them were built before the age of huge RVs. One of the ones we camp in Arizona has a 24' (IIRC) limit due to paved stream crossings in the campground.
    Our 8' Coleman pup was about 17' when opened. In a back-in site, that had the advantage of being able to extend out of the parking area into the main part of the site, in most of them anyway. Huge rocks as a barrier prevented that in a couple. Our TV also was 17', so we were 34' if we touched the front bunk wall while parked. Our 17' TT is about 19' with the A-frame, so we've only added a couple of feet with that, and another 2' with our truck, which is about 19'.
    We have found that some of the site limitations are sort of an approximate and some are based on RVs. For instance, in an arc-shaped pull-through site we've used, an RV would not be able to park, but we managed because we had the pivot point of the hitch coupler. A site in Colorado that we have used with ground tents, both popups and now the TT is listed as 45' length limit. There's enough space for another vehicle to park in front of our TT and TV. The campsite we had last year at North Rim/Grand Canyon has a vehicle length limit of 21'.
    Follow this for the photo, haven't figured out how to add one, yet: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kitphantom/28759791704/in/datetaken-public/
    [​IMG]
    We have reservations in Grant at Yellowstone in August, we have not camped there before. We reserved a 40'+ site (or whatever that designation is).
    If we can, we use the photos on the reservation site and/or campsitephotos.com to pic sites. For the AZ Spring and Quad-State Rallies, I had to reserve back-in sites. I tried to pick ones that looked wide enough to maneuver in, since I haven't backed the TT solo in 2-1/2 years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I found it depends on the campground. One campground has a parking pad Which is 30' and driveway was separate. There have been sites that 30' is the total length of site +driveway. I rely a lot on photos, if any, or call them up. The 30' site may work if the site is wide. I've had to park my car on an angle to fit into one site, but it worked. In my experience as long as most of your tires are on the pad and you are not interfering with traffic they don't freak out. No experience with Yellowstone so can't comment on their site limits.
     
  5. kudzu

    kudzu Active Member

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    Am basically echoing what's already been said. In my experience, the length is usually for the trailer. In some cases you have to unhitch & park the TV next to the trailer. Sometimes the reviews for a location can shed light on the situation. Looking at pictures, either on the campground website or satellite image, can also be quite helpful. If you see a Class A of 5th wheel in a site then it is extremely likely your van & trailer will fit.

    At a few campgrounds we've stayed at there was length restrictions on each piece of "equipment" in your rig. The reason was not based on the size of the site. It was the roads that lead to &/or from the site. A 30 ft motorhome may not make it around a particular curve, but my 19 ft van pulling my 16 ft trailer were fine.

    When in doubt, give them a call.
     
  6. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Rule of thumb is they are talking about how long your trailer is in camping mode..
     
  7. XKPin

    XKPin There's no situation so bad it can't be made worse

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    Snow is right for most NP sites. However, Yellowstone is a little bit more particular. Bear in mind that Yellowstone camping is managed by a privately owned concessionaire called Xanterra.
    I shared JohnWI's concerns. Since my summer plans involved an 8 day vacation in Yellowstone I chose Grant Village CG because they had larger length sites available. I had to plan months in advance and I didn't want to get kicked out of Yellowstone on a technicality. So I wrote Yellowstone and they confirmed that the site limit was in fact the length of the tow vehicle and the length of the expanded vehicle combined. Check their website: http://www.yellowstonepark.com/rv-tips/: "RV Size Really Matters. Know the length of your truck in addition to the length of your trailer when fully open. If you arrive at the campground/RV Park with equipment that differs from your reservation specs, campground staff will not be able to accommodate you." When you make your reservations they ask for the combined travel length of your tow and pup.
    Don't beat the messenger :(. I changed my location to ensure my I would not be booted from the park. Grant Village can accommodate up to 40-footers.
    I'm sure the Rangers are not monsters there, and would probably let a few feet slip by, but I'm a sceptic and it's served me well over the years. They might have let 100-campers slide ahead of me, but if anyone can get caught, it will be me! A Yellowstone vacation is something too important to screw up upon arrival. In another thread I posted the entire letter sent to me by the park officials.
    On the positive side, your 10-footer will fit in most any park if a site is available.
    That's my story, and actually theirs too, and I'm sticking to it.
     
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  8. XKPin

    XKPin There's no situation so bad it can't be made worse

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    NOTE: Yellowstone talks about choosing a back in site, but Yellowstone assigns you a site upon arrival. Pull through sites are more critical. You might want to copy this letter in case you need a little wiggle room at your site. Here is letter I received from the National Park Service in Yellowstone:

    "When a site says RV 30 feet or less that means total length, bumper to bumper, tow vehicle and trailer included. As previously mentioned your tow vehicle and camper must fit on the provided parking area, people couldn't park their vehicle off the parking pad to make it fit in the available space.
    Since you have a pop-up IF there's overhang off the back of the camper and you have a back in campsite then you should measure from the front bumper of your tow vehicle through the back of the wheels on the pop up. If your tow vehicle and pop-up will fit in that 30 foot space before you fold out the camper but then doesn't when you open up the camper then you need a 40 foot space.
    A straight up tow vehicle and trailer combination that is 34 feet long does not fit into a 30 foot RV space. However if your pop-up is of the type that it will overhang off the back of the space once it's opened up and you can fit in the provided 30 feet of parking then a 30 foot spot would work.
    If you have booked a 40 foot space you could just keep it and not have to worry about it.
    I have copied both the campground manager and reservations staff with Xanterra Parks and Resorts. Your advance reservation is with them so if they need to weigh in further then they can. What I've told you about fitting into a 30 foot space with your tow vehicle and pop-up would apply to National Park Service managed first come first served campgrounds, and I assume that as long as your tow vehicle and camper fit in the available parking space, without sticking out into the campground road or being parked off the parking pad and onto the camp site then you could camp in a 30 foot space with your tow vehicle and pop-up.
    "

    Matt Nagel
    National Park Service
    Visitor Services Office
    PO Box 168
    Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
    307 344 2109
     
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  9. mrobuck

    mrobuck New Member

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    Camped in Yellowstone last year with our PuP and had the same concerns. What XPin states is correct. I will add that Madison Campground can accommodate bigger sizes as well, but you'll want to call them to reserve. Last year we originally booked Grant online as Madison showed as sold out, but when my wife called directly (with our questions) they had a number of sites available at Madison that could handle our size. (I prefer Madison due it's more central location in the park)
     
  10. XKPin

    XKPin There's no situation so bad it can't be made worse

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    Thanks for the support mrobuck! Anyone planning a year for the vacation-of-lifetime should cover all the bases. Calling the park and getting the story from the horse's mouth (Mr Ed?) sounds like the best approach!
     
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  11. ST Dog

    ST Dog Member

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    So as long as all the wheels are on the pad. Of course you probably want the rear stabilizers on teh pad too, but not absolutely required based on that letter. And the whole rear bunk can hang off the pad. Also have to account for where the front bunk ends v/s the end of the tongue.
    (a front twin or full size bunk may not be longer than the tongue)

    Definitely worth setting up and measuring a few things. FWIW, I have to do just that with the camper I just got.
     
  12. JohnWI

    JohnWI Member

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    Well that sounds kind of stupid. I think perhaps measuring from the bumper would make a lot more sense and still allows the back bed to overhang.

    So what happens when you back in and can't get your bumper over the log at the end of the driveway if you are using his advice and measuring to the back of the wheels?

    Realistically I'm 6" or maaaaybe 1.5' at the absolute most over the 30' limit. Or am I? Crap, now I'm reconsidering since my front queen bunk probably protrudes over the hitch where it could require removal from the miniV. Of course we would normally separate it but that's not do to space issues.

    It's good to hear that they go by what you say instead of standing out there with a measuring tape. At least until they patrol the roads.

    Maybe I should change the title to "Who's camped with their 10' pup at YS with a minivan in a 30' space?" So many "what if's."
     
  13. XKPin

    XKPin There's no situation so bad it can't be made worse

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    Believe me. . . . I can understand! This is the second letter I had requested for information. The first response was so convoluted there are no words to describe whatever it was they were describing! That's why I also offered their web site. I have an 8-foot pup but a 32-footer total travel length. I reserved a 40-foot site to cover all the angles since I could not select the site beforehand. --- for me??? I don't like the idea of taking a larger space than I needed, but I'd hate to be without a site even more if I didn't. Gotta love that bureocratic speak [SNZ]. My recommendation - supersize!
     
  14. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

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    "here" it refers to your actual open length of the trailer. Most camp grounds that do this have wooden and twisty roads and shorter sites, I could put my 12 foot box pop up in a 20 foot site since I could back it in there, but a 25 TT would not fit even though they are same length open.

    I guess it a campground specifically says "total length of rig" then you better adhere. I've been in 30' sites where my truck had to be parked crossways to the trailer, or beside to keep it off the roadway.
     
  15. michaeltdyer

    michaeltdyer Member

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    We had a back in site at Bridge Bay in Yellowstone and basically you could back your wheels to the end of the cement pad and let the back hang over so we had plenty of room. We did find the sites there were somewhat close together and the strictly enforce the rules about not leaving anything out that might attract bears. We had to pack up food and such after every meal and put it in the back of the vehicle. Our neighbor's kids left some food out and they got a ticket.
     
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  16. JohnWI

    JohnWI Member

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    Michael, that's where we have a 30' spot reserved. May I ask how big your pup and TV are compared to mine? I think we're at 30.5' and realistically 31' with a hitch.
    Even more concerned after just popping up in the garage and remembering that the front bunk hangs even more over the hitch area!
     
  17. michaeltdyer

    michaeltdyer Member

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    My trailer is 16' end to end unfolded, and I was towing with a Ford Explorer. I had to pull the Explorer up to the back of the trailer, but it fit.
     
  18. MsMac

    MsMac Well-Known Member

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    Our PUP/truck combo is about 32 feet or so when the PUP is opened. FWIW, we had space to spare in our 30' pull-through spot at Grant Village at Yellowstone (and there were quite a few larger rigs than ours in similar spots).

    Oh, and if it's meaningful for this conversation or comparison, the site we had was I 283.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  19. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    I saw a car totaled by these types of fools in California. Car destroyed and on top of that they got a ticket!!!
     

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