Saturday, December 2, 2023


Size matters! Best size RVs for RVing in national parks

By Cheri Sicard
In the video below, the team from Camper Report discusses an important topic that many new RVers may be unaware of. When it comes to RVing in national parks and state parks, size matters!

Our ambitious host, Jim, made a spreadsheet from state and national parks around the country to determine what the best length RV would be for someone who primarily wants to stay in these kinds of campgrounds.

Here’s what he discovered as to RVing in national parks and campsite size:

  • 12 feet—these would be ultra-small vans or trailers, no issues anywhere!
  • 19 feet—with an RV of this size, you will fit in 98% of all national park campgrounds.
  • 25 feet—will fit in 93% of national park campsites.
  • 29 feet—will fit in 84% of campsites.
  • 32 feet—will fit in 81% of the campsites.
  • 35 feet—will only qualify for 73% of all national park campsites.
  • 40 feet—RV will drop down to only 43% of all campsites.
  • Bump that up to 41 feet and you will only fit in about 7% of national park campsites

I actually found those stats higher than I expected. Although our host explains that these limits are combined lengths. In other words, if you drive a motorhome with a toad, your limit will be their combined lengths. Or if you tow, it is the length of the tow vehicle and the trailer or 5th wheel. You may get lucky and have space to park in front or on the side of the RV, but this is not always the case.

The team at Camper Report put together a list of popular national parks and their length limits. Access that here.



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Neal Davis (@guest_256634)
1 month ago

Thank you, Cheri!

Gerry C (@guest_256374)
1 month ago

But, also important, most NP roads with switch back roads have a 25′ length limit and no towing.

Tina W (@guest_256342)
1 month ago

It’s not just the size limit possibly available. It’s how many sites you might not be able to use in any particular park based on length. E.g., only 10% of the sites in any particular park are over X length.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_256332)
1 month ago

Fortunately, I didn’t buy my trailer based on National Park size limits. When my wife retired we did the customary western National Park tour (Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Antelope Canyon). We didn’t stay IN any of those parks. We stayed in nearby RV parks and drove in to visit the various National Parks. Worked out fine. No reservation hassles and no size limits. That was over ten years ago and I wouldn’t attempt that again. We HAVE stayed in Death Valley NP several times and there were absolutely no problems there. Oh, and we tow a 30′ travel trailer behind a long bed crew cab F-350.

Bill Byerly (@guest_256352)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

That is what we still do with our class A and toad. Stay in the RV parks outside the NP’s and visit all the sights and sounds in the tow behind.

wanderer (@guest_256315)
1 month ago

Good information!

Bill Byerly (@guest_256353)
1 month ago
Reply to  wanderer

Yes it is.

Tom (@guest_256298)
1 month ago

For most of the State Parks in Florida, 30 ft is the limit. Anything bigger is restricted by the size of the RV site.
I’m 28’8″ and fit just fine.

Mike Ogryzek (@guest_256341)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom


Mike Ogryzek (@guest_256345)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom

We live in Fla. and have RV’d all around the state. Prior fiver was 37 ft. Present fiver is 41 ft. I have never had a problem with state parks which we use often. We have also traveled around the country 47 out of 48 states in the lower 48. We have used state parks in many of these states no problem.

Bob Walter (@guest_256296)
1 month ago

12 feet? Not even a minivan is 12 feet. @@

Bob P (@guest_256320)
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob Walter

That doesn’t matter when writing about something you know little about, I believe that’s called poetic license.

KellyR (@guest_256375)
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob Walter

Our first TT was a 12 footer.

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