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Old 10-04-2019, 03:53 AM   #1
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Trailer Lengths and the Provincial Parks

I have always had a shorter trailer so never really thought about this.

So when reserving at the Provincial Parks, do I consider the box length or the hitch length. So we're getting a new E19. The box size is 15'8", the length to the tongue is 19'. Can I book a campsite for 18' and under which there are plenty of and better sites, or do I need to book 18' to 32' which are rare and often in less desirable areas. In Algonquin Park Ontario, most of the prime lake front sites are 18' and under no services.

I have heard many people refer to their trailers by the box length and many manufactures like StarCraft model there trailers by box length. If I show up at the PP, will I be turned away or moved.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:31 AM   #2
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In general (not necessarily just provincial parks) I find that the sites are not so much limited by the length of the site itself but more how easy or hard it is to maneuver your rig into them. I have never been told that my trailer is too long unless you are someplace like the Chisos Basin in Big Bend where there are pretty knarly switchbacks to get there or like Zion where there is a tunnel to go through. Some ferries also limit total length or charge differently.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:06 AM   #3
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We made reservations for a Federal campgrounds in Florida . The reservation clerk said the site would easily accommodate our 17 ft Casita and she was correct sorta of !!
If we backed our trailer up so the trailer tires were touching the rear concrete bumper ,the hitch on our trailer was 3” off the edge of the road . We had to park our vehicle in a parking lot 2 1/2 blocks away .

Evidently some parks haven’t realized that a travel trailer requires a tow vehicle and a place to park it .
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:07 AM   #4
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I have never had any problem with either my 19 or 5.0TA finding camping spots in Provincial or State campgrounds. A few sites were a bit tight, or had close overhead branches, but there were plenty in each campground to use. I have yet to see any that are not negotiable to get in either, a few with tighter turns but that's it.

To be fair, I have not camped in Ontario yet though, maybe they are smaller there.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:33 AM   #5
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Though it’s rare, the only time I’ve been slightly hampered by a “short site” is when the park design has large log bumpers at the back of the site instead of a ground level concrete curb stop or similar stopper. Then you can’t “overhang” and the site length “is what it is”. Otherwise there’s usually some leeway and there’s no regulation that says you have to be “square” on the site if you need to gain some purchase. The 19 will fit about anywhere from my experience as it’s about the same length as a tow vehicle such as a pickup camper.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:54 PM   #6
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we had a bit of trouble at a camp site up by Mount Rainier it was on a narrow one way road and the site was slanted the opposite way so it was very difficult/impossible to back in- we had to turn around and drive the wrong way on the road so we could back into it. strange way to set up a camp site- but we were the biggest rig -most were tent campers.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:54 PM   #7
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I’d say about one loop in ten has some wrong way back ins. I’ve never been reprimanded by anyone for driving the wrong way to facilitate an easier back in. Not all Park designers are campers or park users. I can spot campgrounds designed by rookie and non camper Landscape Architects every time.
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:30 PM   #8
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I’d say about one loop in ten has some wrong way back ins. I’ve never been reprimanded by anyone for driving the wrong way to facilitate an easier back in. Not all Park designers are campers or park users. I can spot campgrounds designed by rookie and non camper Landscape Architects every time.
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We stay in Banff quite often while visiting my son who works in the Park. The Trailer Court campground on Tunnel Mountain in Banff National Park was definitely designed by someone with no knowledge of RV's. At least 1/2 of the full service campsites are setup with the services on the wrong side of the trailer and it is nearly impossible to get the sewer hookups to work with an Escape (pipes don't drain well uphill). I have resigned myself to just parking in a spot that doesn't have the sewer discharge pipe running beside my front door, and worry about dumping at the end of my stay.

As far as accessibility to small sites, my experience in most western Provincial and National Park site (in Canada and US) is that there is normally more than enough room for my Escape and tow vehicle to park. A few times, has been a bit tricky backing in, and like others I have had to on occasion drive in the wrong way. There has even been a time or two where the picnic table was on the wrong side of the trailer so I was forced to pull the tow vehicle first into a site and 4x4 my way out after unhitching.
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Old 10-04-2019, 04:59 PM   #9
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Site we stayed at near Campbell River was built for motohomes. They would park with front of the vehicle facing the water view.
I backed in, and so services were all on the "wrong" side.
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:07 PM   #10
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In a provincial park in Ontario where we camped one power pedestal served two sites. No problem. Just 75 feet from each camper through pure stand poison ivy. Once in a while in drive through I’m good with services on the wrong side. Sometimes the view is better the wrong way.
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:55 PM   #11
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Really my question was

Really my question was....

If I have a 19’ and I book a 18’ site and under, will they tell me my trailer is to big for the site.
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:19 PM   #12
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Really my question was....

If I have a 19’ and I book a 18’ site and under, will they tell me my trailer is to big for the site.
For the most part, No. I've only been one park (and I don't remember the name or where, but it was in the US) that had a set of lines drawn on the road & when you checked in they checked that your length was inside them.

As others have mentioned, ferries usually want exact measurements - I once had to jump up a size (and pay rate) for being 2" over.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:23 PM   #13
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Doug I would say no as well. I've found that sometimes there's a short site but still room for any Escape, but difficult to park tow in front of the trailer, but then they usually have a wide enough site to park alongside the trailer and still have lots of patio room.

I'm glad Dave mentioned the power posts in ON parks one for every two sites. I've had to park further forward in a site than planned to reach to pole even with two x 25 foot cords. But I'm sure you're aware of that.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fox hunt View Post
we had a bit of trouble at a camp site up by Mount Rainier it was on a narrow one way road and the site was slanted the opposite way so it was very difficult/impossible to back in- we had to turn around and drive the wrong way on the road so we could back into it.

...
In the Chisos Basin our campers frequently have to drive the wrong direction on our one-way loops. We tell them its OK, as long as they only drive one way.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:51 PM   #15
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I've seen the shared and wrong-side services in various types and locations of campgrounds. I haven't seen either in an Ontario provincial park, but I've only been in a few of those... it's certainly not a universal issue.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:56 PM   #16
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Doug I would say no as well. I've found that sometimes there's a short site but still room for any Escape, but difficult to park tow in front of the trailer, but then they usually have a wide enough site to park alongside the trailer and still have lots of patio room.

I'm glad Dave mentioned the power posts in ON parks one for every two sites. I've had to park further forward in a site than planned to reach to pole even with two x 25 foot cords. But I'm sure you're aware of that.
Yes, some power posts in the more private Ontario Parks sites are over 50’ from your trailer. This is the price paid for the nicer sites. Once my wife told me go find another 25’ cord, she didn’t want to go without the AC.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:49 AM   #17
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I'm new to RV camping so when I make the reservation I try to let them know I have a 17' trailer plus a pickup truck, overall length of 37'. Some campgrounds with online reservations will allow you to see a picture of the site by clicking on the site number. We found that was reassuring to see if there was adequate space for both, with or without unhooking the truck. We noticed in older parks the trees had a lot of damage from being rubbed by the bigger trailers. Probably not an issue for an Escape of any size.

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Old 10-09-2019, 02:58 PM   #18
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Only been doing this for 18 months, but many nights in our 21. US experience only. That being said, we have consistently gotten into parks whose websites say we are too long, or the park was full. Our secret? Call and ask the Rangers they know their parks!
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:08 PM   #19
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We did it at Rathtrevor and were not called out on it. Booked it, fit perfectly and had room leftover for the truck. Maybe we got lucky but worked for us.
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:25 PM   #20
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My buddy and I were recently at a Provincial Park in a 'single' site. We had his 19' and my 17' and two vehicles on site, with room to spare. We were able to manoeuvre the trailers so that the awnings faced one another.
I figure, it depends.
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