LETTER TO THE EDITOR
My wife and I are planning on RVing full time when I retire. We are inclined on purchasing a 5’er but have not yet decided on the length. We don’t want to feel cramped but neither do we want to be largely excluded from national and state parks due to our length.
Individuals write about RV lengths and I never seem to know if they are referring to hitch to bumper length or to model or floorspace length. One person has indicated that a 30-foot floorspace RV showing a 30-model sticker near the RV door, actually being slightly less than 35 feet hitch to bumper, will be readily admitted to most parks. Others seem to indicate that the RV needs to be 30 feet hitch to bumper or more like a 26-model unit.
We, very definitely, don’t want to disqualify ourselves at national and state parks by being too long. Any guidance you may be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. —Gerry Christman
The longer your rig, the fewer places you can squeeze into, whether it be a public campground, like those in national and state parks, or in more primitive forest service campgrounds.
It almost never comes down to whether a few inches or even a couple of feet become a deal breaker. I’ve never seen a ranger pull out a tape measure to determine if a particular rig would fit. A 30-foot fifth wheel is not all that big anymore, so you should fit in most places. That said, sometimes an RV park or campground may be able to easily accept a 30-foot rig and its tow vehicle, but perhaps only in a few of its many campsites. So you’re out of luck if those are full and you want to stay. If your rig is actually 35 feet, then that would probably over time cost you a few camping opportunities than if you had a 30-footer.
Get out your tape measure before buying the rig or later to be sure you know exactly how long it is. It could make a difference. And always be certain when requesting a reservation that the park has a site that will accommodate you. —Chuck