In last week's post I wrote about whether the maximum size stated for a national park campground meant that anything over that length would not be permitted to camp. My answer was that if you could fit into a space, even if you were larger than their maximum length, you could still camp in that space.
A few commenters stated that they had been asked upon entry what size they were, and one even had their length measured. I contacted the National Park Service and asked the following question:
"I post on four blogs, teach RV classes and seminars, and write for RV
publications on camping on public lands. I have always taught that RV
campground length limitations stated in a National Park or Monument's
description indicated the length of RV that MOST sites could accommodate,
but that if you could fit your rig into one of the larger sites without
overhanging or obstructing, it was OK. Several commenters to my recent blog
wrote that they were being turned away at entry because they were over
size, even though there were some sites in the campground that would
accommodate them. What is the current policy toward length and does it
apply to all parks and monuments? Thank you."
I received the following reply:
"It is best to check with individual parks to see what length trailer they
can accomodate. It is up to the individual park.
From the NPS website : http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/e-mail/trailers.htm"
The link produced the following information:
"Maximum Trailer Lengths
"Maximum lengths for trailers, campers and motorhomes vary from park to park. The average maximum length permitted is 27 ft, but some parks can accommodate up to 40 feet in length. Some parks may have electrical hookups and dump stations. You should check with your favorite parks for their specific maximum lengths and available facilities so you won't be disappointed when you arrive.
"Please note the following is prohibited: Operating motorized equipment or machinery such as a electric generating plant, motor vehicle, audio device in a manner that exceeds a noise level of 60 decibels at 50 feet; or if below that level nevertheless; makes noise which is unreasonable considering the nature and purpose of the actor's conduct, location, time of day or night, purpose for which the area was established, impact on park users, and other factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances."
So they didn't quite answer my question. Without saying so, it appears that it may be up to the park supervisor's discretion. Therefore, if you do have a large rig and are over the stated maximum size, your options would be:
- Avoid camping in the park and find a private RV resort or forest service boondocking campsite close by.
- Plan on entering the park mid-week, early to mid-morning, and drive in to see if you can find a suitable campsite, before it gets crowded and you are cut off at the entry and asked your length.
If you have experiences directly related to length acceptance, please comment with your personal findings.