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Old 01-24-2017, 05:46 AM   #1
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Default Access to Nat'l Parks

I have done some reading that suggests that the US National Parks limit access to larger sized RV's, such as Class A and Class C vehicles.

Is this true? Is it limited to just the parking areas, or throughout the parks? Is that restriction in place in all the parks?

Interested in a Class B or B+, but have never travelled with an RV before and would like to be able to tour the parks when we retire.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 01-24-2017, 06:57 AM   #2
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.

For some parks, there is a parking area for larger vehicles, which is usually near the gate. Smaller vehicles can travel deeper into the park.

Some trails are narrow and unpaved; you would not want to take a ClassC up there, let alone a ClassA.
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Old 01-24-2017, 05:42 PM   #3
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I’ve never been yet to a National Park with vehicle size restriction at the entrance, it is usually a common sight for large tour buses getting in and out the parks with no problem…but most parks have limited parking for oversized vehicles, so that is a problem, also maneuvering a class A RV on narrow roads inside the park could be a nightmare. I’ve seen someone tried to drive to Racetrack Playa at Death Valley in their class-C RV and he did not make it that far.

There are roads inside the parks that are restricted or not recommended for RV’s and some roads have vehicle-length restrictions, like the “going –to-the-sun road” at Glacier NP, etc. I have driven my short sprinter RT Agile on some of the vehicle-length restricted roads without any issues.
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Old 01-24-2017, 08:39 PM   #4
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What people are referring to is the campgrounds. Generally speaking, they max out at 36 feet, but some have reported that there are still sites big enough for the 40 footers at many of the parks. The 45 foot crowd (yes they get that big) are pretty much out of luck and need to go to commercial parks and drive over in their tow cars.

Speaking from experience, I've not had issues in the past with length - it's almost always the height. Most of the most beautiful parks have trees near the roadway and the branches hang down low. When you are 12'-13' tall, it can be quite nerve wracking, not to mention trying to negotiate curves when you have a hind end that swings wide when you turn the wheel.

A B can fit in anywhere, can use a tent site sometimes, or an over-flow area with no services. Many park in a regular parking spot in the non-camping areas so they can enjoy their own bathroom, ability to make a meal or change clothes. It can be really convenient.
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for the information. So a Class B can go pretty much anywhere a car can go within the parks, and could even park overnight in a regular lot if necessary.

True for a B+ like the larger Pleasureways, too?

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:37 AM   #6
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I would say yes for the Pleasure-Way's, because they're only 4 inches wider on each side compared to their B vans. That's not a huge difference. But every park is different so you may encounter difficulties somewhere.
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Old 01-25-2017, 08:40 AM   #7
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Here's the info from the National Park Service on RV lengths:
https://www.nps.gov/search/?utf8=%25...&commit=Search

The info for the California State Parks is here:
Maximum Trailer and RV Lengths
That list is sorted by the park's name. I've attached a list that's sorted by maximum RV length. There's a link to each park in the list.

In some of the parks I've visited the problem isn't the length of the campsites, it's the curves in the road to get to the campsites. Long RVs just can't negotiate hairpin turns on one lane roads.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf California Parks by Length.pdf (86.4 KB, 8 views)
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Old 01-25-2017, 01:38 PM   #8
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Great info. Thanks SG! Have some homework to do.

Steve
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Old 01-25-2017, 02:44 PM   #9
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Being able to maneuver in and around heavy traffic, and those Parks have it, and the various cities you may want to visit, the B will allow this easily. It drives like a car, but you have your home right there with you. Often times you cannot pull in to some shopping centers and enjoy shopping, etc. Oh, we don't need to talk the big difference in gas mileages. Ron
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