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Old 09-14-2023, 07:53 PM   #1
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Question about Joshua Tree NP campsites

The individual campsites at campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park list a maximum length for RVs, e.g. 35 feet. But I don't know how this applies to a trailer + tow vehicle. My combination of Escape 21 and Tacoma is 39 feet, one inch. Am I too long for the site that lists the maximum as 35 feet? I was unable to contact anyone at the park to give me the answer so I thought someone here might know.
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Old 09-14-2023, 08:10 PM   #2
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To me the sites would be too small. We have a Escape 19 and I think it would be a tough squeeze and for most sites impossible. The sites seem to be better suited to mini motor homes like the Mercedes Sprinter etc. I did see some trailers but they were more of the tear drop style or very small trailers. We ended up camping outside of the park and just did day trips in
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Old 09-14-2023, 08:20 PM   #3
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It depends on the site. There are a few that would take both your truck & trailer, but most won't. I fit my 21 in site 77 along with a Tacoma, and there were a couple of other sites, particularly those that were "bump outs" on the road that both would fit.
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Old 09-14-2023, 08:46 PM   #4
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Also which campground are you looking at? If its Black Rock Canyon then you are probably ok. But the rest of the campgrounds in Joshua Tree have pretty tight roads and sites. It can be done, but not easily. Also I have to say that I used to love Black Rock because it has great hiking opportunities and bathrooms. But it is so neglected. The roads are unbelievably potholed and rough. Considering that people go there from around the world because it is a National Park, it is truly an embarrassment.
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Old 09-14-2023, 08:52 PM   #5
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We stayed a couple years ago at Jumbo Rocks campground. We were in a 28 foot Retro and had plenty of room for our trailer and tow vehicle (Ford Expedition). It was a carve out site along the road, but then opened up to a very roomy and private campsite. We were in site 86. Not all the sites will accommodate larger trailers though. Best to check the "Allowable Vehicle/Driveway Details" to see how big it is. It was one of the best camping experiences I've ever had (just be sure to take plenty of water).
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Old 09-14-2023, 09:33 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the info. I was considering the Black Rock campground. In the end I may just take a day trip from Quartzsite. All I want to do is photograph a few Joshua trees.
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Old 09-14-2023, 09:34 PM   #7
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Jon- which campground was this?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
It depends on the site. There are a few that would take both your truck & trailer, but most won't. I fit my 21 in site 77 along with a Tacoma, and there were a couple of other sites, particularly those that were "bump outs" on the road that both would fit.
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Old 09-15-2023, 12:10 AM   #8
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Stayed there 7 nights in December, 2015, chili-cold at night but almost no other people there - Cottonwood Campground, Site B23. The campground is way down at the south end of the park, but close to I-10 and big T&A truckstop, showers, etc, and a nice drive from there to Salton Sea, Slab City!, and Anza-Borrego S.P.

Look at the campground map on the recreation.gov web site side-by-side with Google Maps or Earth to assess the relative sizes of various sites. Site B23 fit our E19 and 4Runner (36' LOA) just fine head-to-tail, and if you can snag one of the wide-spot-in-the-road sites you should be good; back-ins are short but maybe can squeeze in and park side-by-side.

Fav hike (right from the site!) was the Lost Palms Oasis trail.
Fav drive was Pinkham / Thermal Canyon road.

Happy Snapping!
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Old 09-15-2023, 09:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Jon- which campground was this?
Jumbo Rocks

Site 77. More Jumbo Rocks photos on the next few pages.
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Old 09-15-2023, 10:54 AM   #10
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Driving through back in 2018 there was no trailer room at Joshua for us so after a few hours we left and camped at Quartzsite. But I don't remember if this was on Pinto Basin Road.
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Old 09-15-2023, 12:37 PM   #11
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For those that may not know the recreation.gov site allows you to filter sites based on type of equipment, specific length, pull-through, etc. After clicking on a particular site they also have helpful notes with specifics. Clicking on Allowable Vehicle/Driveway Details will indicate if it is a double driveway and how many vehicles are allowed, etc. Not always perfect but generally good enough to plan around. The 35' limit would typically be for a single vehicle (i.e. motorhome). With a trailer you just unhitch and park next to the trailer or crossways across the front of the trailer. Assuming the tow vehicle has a decent turning radius you can squeeze an Escape into some pretty tight places. There are plenty of sites in Black Rock that would fit the combination in question.
https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232473
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Old 09-15-2023, 05:34 PM   #12
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The 5.0 at Jumbo Rocks. Great campground. We went for the Perseid Meteor shower.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:40 AM   #13
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Mike,
Friends and I spent a couple of night at Joshua Tree "Black Rock CG - Sites 46 & 47.
Aug 2nd and 3rd. Plenty of room for a combined 39' setup.

Enjoy
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Old 09-17-2023, 01:29 PM   #14
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You can also boondock on BLM land outside the south entrance. The camp sites fill up, but we've never had a problem on that BLM land. Far more spacious than the camp sites inside the park, but of course the road conditions are not as nice. I had to use 4WD Low to get out of a sand trap there once.

Also, as to the original question, most campsites anywhere have seperate room for one vehicle. Thus a site advertised as 25' fits the Escape 21 just fine once unhitched and the tow vehicle parked alongside. In that case of a 35' site, you can unhitch and park your truck sideways in front of it.
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Old 09-17-2023, 03:41 PM   #15
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I'm a big fan of this website, I use it to scope out individual sites within campgrounds, often with the goal of deciding whether I'll fit OK: https://www.campsitephotos.com/
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Old 09-20-2023, 01:57 PM   #16
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Another option

The reply noting the National Park service website is spot on. I use the site exclusively for more fully detailed descriptions of individual camping sites. Another option for Joshua Tree which we discovered last spring is merely to use the BLM dispersed camping available just outside the southeast entrance to the Park. Actually drove around there on our departure. Its free, reasonably level and perfect for anyone concerned about lot size, since there are no lots, just open space. Ive used BLM lands just outside of various NP entrances and am never disappointed. Especially good for less crowded NPs that dont have long backups at entrances.
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Old 09-20-2023, 07:03 PM   #17
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I made reservations for a week at Black Rock cg, site #41. Photos show Joshua trees right in the campsite. This appeals to a lazy photographer. If for some reason I can't fit in I'll find something outside the park, go up to Death Valley, or go back to Quartzsite.
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