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Old 01-27-2020, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default Class B length

I am looking to purchase a class B but need advice on choosing an 18 vs 21ft. I am told that an 18ft will be allowed in state park tent sites ( or similiar) whereas a 21ft will be sent to the rv group parking. Is this really the case? City parking spaces seem to be limited to 18ft so is this really a issue? Ferries seem to have restrictions on more than 21 ft? Is this the case? Are there any other considerations other than the interior living space when deciding between an 18 or 21 ft? Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:03 AM   #2
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I am looking to purchase a class B but need advice on choosing an 18 vs 21ft. I am told that an 18ft will be allowed in state park tent sites ( or similiar) whereas a 21ft will be sent to the rv group parking. Is this really the case? City parking spaces seem to be limited to 18ft so is this really a issue? Ferries seem to have restrictions on more than 21 ft? Is this the case? Are there any other considerations other than the interior living space when deciding between an 18 or 21 ft? Thanks for the help!
Welcome to the forum Vango!

First, thank you for using feet as a measurement for those like me who are metrically challenged.

True 18 ft. models are rare with 19-20 ft. being the entry point for most b's. In any event, the discussion I've read here barely distinguishes between those lengths. It's when you get into the longer Sprinters (at nearly 24 ft.) that length enters the debate.

I've never inquired as to restrictions on "Tent" spots, but I'm just guessing you'll have no problem.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:27 AM   #3
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I agree with rowiebowie. My PW is 19.5' so it's on the smaller side.....but it's not 18'. I've never taken a ferry so I can't speak to that. We mostly camp in state or fed campgrounds. I always assume that if it says "tent only" that there is very limited pulloff/parking for the site and I just avoid them. Honestly, with sites that indicate RV/tent I doubt there's much difference between 18 and 21 in terms of the space you have.

And I've always wondered: If a site description says: RV/Camper up to 20'. What does that mean? My 19' RV isn't the same as a pickup truck pulling a 19' camper.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:32 AM   #4
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We have considered and stayed in tent sites when nothing else was available, but the sites are highly variable. Some have group parking with walkin to the sites of various distances, some have parking that is very unlevel and unsuited to a van that you stay in. Some even have rules about sleeping in the vehicle. We have a 20' Roadtrek Chevy 190. What you don't ever really want to do, in courtesy to tenters is run the engine for power or lights or the generator unless it is in a generators allowed tent site. We have never been asked how long we are, although they may look at the van.


Even an 18" van will be tough in the city, kind of like have an 18" pickup truck. Park at the end of blocks so you can't get parked in, etc. In the towns that have nose in parking, 18' would be an advantage to keep the back end from hanging out in traffic, although these days there are usually pickups that big there also. 24' would be out of the question there, I think.


Personally, I would look at what you need inside to decide, not length, if you are under 21'. An 18' B can be fine for a single traveler, but tough for two or more people. Smaller vans often have crosswise sleeping which for more than one person may be an issue. Front sleepers are often very good for single travelers.


Good luck in you hunt!
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:34 AM   #5
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Most modern crew cab pickups are as long as my 20 ft. Chevy Express. Some I think are even longer. Certainly wider when in "dually" configuration. Here in Texas (the land of pickups), I certainly don't consider by class b to be "big".
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:46 AM   #6
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I just reserved a campsite at Yellowstone and the back in sites were for 20ft or less. Anything longer needed to reserve a pull through site but I'll bet a 21ft would fit a back in site.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:49 AM   #7
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Thanks to all for the comments! I am guess I am referring to back in sites (rather than tent sites... learning the lingo) vs pull through sites. We are considering the Promaster at 20ft-10”. Seems like city parking will be difficult regardless and ferries are not so common. So the real issue is the state park access. Does a back in site at a state park limited to 20ft, refer to the trailer only or trailer plus vehicle? In our area it refers to the camper trailer only.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:59 AM   #8
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My reservation states "*Lg Tent and|or RV Site 20ft Total or Less. "
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:17 AM   #9
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One of my favorite sites is listed as 20' long. My 25' rv fits just fine, because the rear overhangs by a good 6'.

I haven't found people are all that picky about class B length, although i tend to avoid tent only sites... I figure the tenters have enough problems without my rv being there.
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:58 AM   #10
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When asked my Roadtrek 210 RV length, when there is a campground length restriction, I just round it off to 20-ft. The only time that didn't work was at Glacier National Park where they had 2 lines 20-ft apart at the entrance station. It was a good thing too, as it was better to take the shuttle up the mountain than driving my vehicle. I have never had a problem fitting my rig into sites labelled for 20-ft max vehicles.
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:08 AM   #11
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We have to take a ferry every time we travel and the limit is more about height than our 24 foot length. We have to stay in the open center and not down the low ceiling sides. Since we are over 22 we also can’t book online or use our resident discount and the ferry company still can’t tell us why except that “.the computer won’t take it”.
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Old 01-28-2020, 04:13 PM   #12
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We have to take a ferry every time we travel and the limit is more about height than our 24 foot length. We have to stay in the open center and not down the low ceiling sides. Since we are over 22 we also canít book online or use our resident discount and the ferry company still canít tell us why except that ď.the computer wonít take itĒ.
That sucks. It's probably a lot more money to ride commercially. I would probably get a pop top camper, but that's me. I would rather waste $20k getting a different camper so I could be cheap riding the fairy.
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Old 01-28-2020, 04:26 PM   #13
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... I would rather waste $20k getting a different camper so I could be cheap riding the fairy[sic].
Isn’t that the essence of Class B living in a nutshell?
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:11 PM   #14
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We are considering the Promaster at 20ft-10Ē. Seems like city parking will be difficult regardless and ferries are not so common. So the real issue is the state park access. Does a back in site at a state park limited to 20ft, refer to the trailer only or trailer plus vehicle?
We have a ProMaster custom conversion, 20'-10" plus a grill guard in front and a ladder and jerry can in back, so actually more like 22' long. We camp in smaller back-in "tent" sites all the time (just spent two weeks doing that at Anastasia Island State Park in Florida). If they ask, we stretch the truth a little (shrink it actually) and say it's 20'. Nobody ever measures and not once has a camp site actually been too small.

We've parked on the street half a block off the Plaza in downtown Santa Fe NM, and directly across from the Hot Springs National Park bathhouse in downtown Hot Springs AK, and one space away from the food trailers at the Seaside FL amphitheater during the insanity of New Year's Eve. Really just about anywhere we try to park, we can park. The relatively short length plus the turning radius makes it easy, which is one of the main reasons we decided to go with a Promaster (interior width and plumb walls being some of the others).
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:14 PM   #15
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Hello,
I just thought I would share our experience with you. We have a Pleasure-Way Lexor that measures just under 21’. In almost 4 years of road tripping across the US and Canada, we have never had an issue of not being allowed into any campground. Either there is a spot for your length, or there isn’t- public or private.

I can tell you that we had the same questions you did, as this was our very first RV. Most limits we have encountered are at the 24’ or 30’ size so we knew we wanted to stay below those.

We have taken our RV on the ferries in Canada and Washington. No issues related to length as they simply charge by the foot.

I think the bigger consideration is your day-to-day comfort. I can’t tell you how glad we are that we didn’t choose a few feet smaller because of fear of not getting a site in a State or National Park, and we have been to MANY. It hasn’t been a problem and those few feet make a world of difference, for us.

Regarding parking in a “normal” parking space... we do everything to avoid that. Some people say they do it, some people actually do it, and we can technically fit into some, however, parking a towering 20-something foot rig among the other cars can be tight and is something we don’t even do with our daily car. We simply park further out and walk.

Some things we have found as new RV’ers is to always try to choose the back-in spot over a pull-thru, and to choose farthest from tent areas and bathrooms. We have found that people often don’t respect space and will cut through your spot, even over your hookups, to get from point A to point B (bathrooms) in the straightest line possible. There is stuff you’ll just learn as you go.

Good luck in your decision making. We have no regrets with ours.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:16 PM   #16
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About ferries, a class b will be charged only one space on the ferry to Alaska, if I recall correctly. Even though we did not get our used b for that purpose, it's good to know for the bucket list trip we are planning.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:19 PM   #17
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Our is a Xplorer 230 which is 20 foot. We camp in tent section even at Disney's Fort Wilderness. Never, had a problem with length.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:21 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by peteco View Post
When asked my Roadtrek 210 RV length, when there is a campground length restriction, I just round it off to 20-ft. The only time that didn't work was at Glacier National Park where they had 2 lines 20-ft apart at the entrance station.
Maximum combined vehicle length for Going to the Sun Road in Glacier is actually 21ft. But you are correct they have become quite strict about making sure each vehicle fits within those two lines 21 ft apart. Max width is 8ft including mirrors.

https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gtsrinfo.htm

Fortunately any Promaster based Class B and the shorter Sprinter 144 units should fit.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:33 PM   #19
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Our older PW is 20’8” and we have not had a problem in 20’ campsites, ferries and most parking spots or lots. There are pickup trucks that are longer than us. National Parks seem to consider 21’ or there abouts a car/van rather than a RV.
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:02 PM   #20
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We have a 22' Roadtrek (MB SPrinter). Agree with CarolMerrell that campgrounds either have space or not. Additionally, often tent areas are really tent-ONLY areas whether state, national or private. Tenters don't want generator noise, vehicle doors being open/closed etc. I have no problem with back-in sites, just have to unhitch the TOAD first. Never been forced to pay for a pull thru if I didn't want one. I will take one if I am in transit and want to keep the TOAD hooked up. We usually use WalMart, Cracker Barrel or Harvest Hosts for single overnights enroute. As for parking spaces elsewhere (if no TOAD) 22' is tough and we usually need a double space. I don't think 18 would be much easier. I would not opt for 18 just because I thought it might be able to be parallel parked in a city. We had early expectations of driving around our destinations with the RV but is just isn't realistic so we got a subaru forester TOAD. We once had a ford Clubwagon that was almost 18' so I guess it's doable. But with less all around visibility and more width RV's are a bigger challenge.

One plus is the RT is always a conversation starter wherever we take it. Folks love it.
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