do you tell the true length..... of trailer?

Discussion in 'Reservation Systems' started by Mofonator, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Mofonator

    Mofonator New Member

    Jul 9, 2018
    Sorry, still a teenager at heart.

    When you look for sites online, is it save to assume you use the pull out length of the trailer, or do you use the box +hitch? Do you count the slideout if you PUP has one?
  2. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Use the full length, or you might get there and it won't fit.

    Actually it kind of depends on the site... if you can hang a bunk over the back side of the pad, for example. But if you don't know... use the full length. They're not trying to create an exclusive club, they're trying to make sure you fit.
    Mofonator likes this.
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    If its a popup I always just put down 20 feet. If the sites are smaller than that you don't want to be there anyway. Avoid tents sites they are usually on top of each other or walk ins.
    Mofonator likes this.
  4. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    Anchorage, AK
    I was actually wondering the same thing for TT. I often wonder if I should list the bumper to hitch length (my default) or the box length, or the combined TV + TT length (in case there is a problem backing up a total rig of a certain length, like narrow driveways). I usually just give the hitch to bumper length, but for a PUP I used to list my total popped out length just in case I couldn't overhang the bunk.
  5. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    With the NFS sites in WV, A walk-in, you cant get a trailer to the site. The tent sites have plenty of room between them, The limiting factor to a trailer is FS roads.
  6. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2013
    I only lie when it benefits me in some way........ [8D]

    Like to the facility that charges me by the foot for indoor winter storage.
    neighbormike and J Starsky like this.
  7. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    I was actually wondering the same thing for TT. I often wonder if I should list the bumper to hitch length (my default) or the box length, or the combined TV + TT length (in case there is a problem backing up a total rig of a certain length, like narrow driveways). I usually just give the hitch to bumper length,
    Hitch to bumper is the correct way to do it.
  8. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Like others said it's usually the full opened length , but if you are aware there are no obstacles behind the camper past the parking pad I omit that bunk and only measure from the tire to the front bunk. Every campground is different. One campground the length of the site also included the tow vehicle. I didn't realize that at the time but luckily was able to angle the car to fit. I have never had a site too narrow except once. I only just narrowly fit.

    Attached Files:

  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I use the full length. For the popup, that was front edge to back edge. For the TT, nose of coupler to back of spare tire.
    With the 2nd popup, we knew we could squeeze it in some smaller sites, but being able to extend the bunk over rocks or other barriers at the end of the parking area is not always a given.
    We know our lengths, and can usually gauge from campsite listings and photos ( has a good number of campgrounds). For KOA, I learned to list actual length +2', since they seem to often assign sites by length. I think we'll do the same for any other place that assigns sites. I like to be able to have separation between the TV and camper when unhooked. (With the 4 Runner and popups, there were a couple of times I had problems opening the back gate and clearing the bunk end.)
  10. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2018
    As mentioned, it is often the road that constrains the max length not the actual site.

    Normally you state the length of hitch to bumper. With a pop up, I would add the length of the beds to that as you must be able to open it. For a TT with slide, if it's a rear slide, I would add it in to be sure.

    Here in the Sierras, you can have trees surrounding the pad to the point you can not extend past the pad. If you don't account for a slide, you can be stuck if the space isn't that big. tends to have pad lengths listed for sites. My clipper is 21ft, so I know I can fit easily in anything 24ft or longer. Shorter than that and I check photos, satelite, etc., to see if there is a weird angle to the site that might force me out into the road to park.

    My trip with the FnR, I got a 20ft site. The FnR is about 15ft hitch to bumper. I had to park my SUV at an angle in front of the FnR to keep it from sticking out into the road. The pad had trees on either side, so it was too tight to park them side by side. The way the road curved right at my site made it a tight fit for the trucks camped further in - so by parking the SUV at an angle, I left a bit of pad empty at the front so the trucks could turn without having to back up. Sometimes, you just don't see that type of thing until you get there.
  11. cam_1100

    cam_1100 Member

    May 10, 2018
    Rochester, MN
    LOL! We did this earlier this year. Reserved a site online and they asked for the length of our camper to show which sites were available. For some reason, I wasn't thinking and put in the length listed on the sticker for towing purposes which is the collapsed length. Got to the site and realized we would be sticking out in the road with the beds extended. Luckily, it was a grass site (no pad) so we were able to angle the PUP into the site and it worked out just fine.

    So yes...use the fully extended length!!
  12. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Oh yeah, ain't that the truth. Picture of one site looked like a nice open site with a hill on one side, I get there and find the camping pad is up on top of a steep curved hill with gullys on both sides and a tight angle at the top to the actual camp pad. To top it off the utilities was directly behind the hill where you had to angle the camper. The utilities pole was obviously crashed in a few times judging by the scuff marks. Made hooking back up very difficult as the camper was at a 45 degree angle vrs the car. Not to mention the car was on the hill. Once at the top it was a good site, but glad I didn't show up at night.
  13. MsMac

    MsMac Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Most of our camping is at FCFS sites in the national forests, or in places where the difference of a couple of feet is not going to make a difference. However, we were a bit perplexed when we went to make reservations at Yellowstone (I think it was....). They asked for the length of the rig (including tow vehicle). That part I get, as the truck needs to be parked somewhere. However, when we put in our total length, including the truck and the PUP fully extended, we only got the option for "extra large" sites. That just didn't seem right, considering that there are tons of rigs larger than ours, so we called the campground to check. We found out that the reason we were getting only the option of the XL sites was because most of the sites were the U-shaped pull-throughs that would not necessarily accommodate a TT of the same size as our extended PUP. The person told us that yes, we would be fine going with the smaller site. I guess the upshot of this is that it pays to speak to someone in person who knows the layout of the CG, if possible.
  14. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Active Member

    Nov 26, 2013
    Hey - that looks like the Md rally at Little Bennett!
    that is a really a narrow site, our site was not nearly that narrow - but this loop seemed to have all the picnic tables in the back and not on the pad. not a fan of that kind of table setup but it turned out well for the rally.

    to the original question, I use the set up length - that way I know i will fit (unless i have been there before and know i can hang the back bed out off the site)
  15. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    That's the place. I wasn't a fan of the parking pad at all and the picnic table was set too far back.
    It worked really well though for the gathering as we were able to get everyone plus the rain shelters in. It's a good campground though and the niece had fun. I would just be staying at another site next time.
  16. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2018
    This is atually funny, as I was confused also, when I booked my fist site I called just for this reason. When the reservations were done it was different then what I asked for. The trip is up coming so we will see. The person on the phone tried to talk me out of the sewar hook up. I asked for a premium site and didn't get one on the emailed confirmation. I hope the site will be big enough, as that's why I called to begin with. I still never got my answer as to what I should be listing for the length, all i got is you have a pop up, ok, whell you dont need this or that......I should have just book the biggest site they had, and not worry about it. Imagian a little pup surrounded by giant rv's!
    neighbormike likes this.
  17. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

    Sep 10, 2017
    Ferndale MI
    I've done that before. Had the biggest site for my aliner, was surrounded by a 30 something 5'er and a 40 something motor home. Both were more than 20 ft longer.
    happybooker1 likes this.
  18. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    The arc-shaped or U-shaped sites seem to have the max length listed for RVs. For pups and TT, the pivot point of the hitch makes them (often) usable. Our 8' Coleman Cobalt was 17' when opened, the TV was 17', so our total length was 34', plus any separation we needed between TV and pup. The Retro is 19', from coupler nose to spare tire; our current TV is about 19' too. One of our favorite campsites in Mather CG at Grand Canyon is listed as 27' max length. We've used it with both the Cobalt and our current TT/TV combination. We have to use care when we pull in, but it works. OTOH, there are a couple of sites we used with the first, tiny pup (6' box, 1 bunk end, so it was something like 12 or 13'open) that we could not use with the Cobalt or TT.
  19. MsMac

    MsMac Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    In this particular case (Grant Village CG, loop I), we were able to fit our PUP in perfectly. (We are a little over 16 feet from coupler to back bumper closed up.) The PUP is over 23 feet when open, and yes, there is no way that a TT that size would have been able to fit in the site- the turn is just too tight for a rig that long. I'd say that the max would probably be about 20, though that would probably be pushing it.

    My partner just reminded me of another issue with that site. Since it was on the left side of the one-way roadway, if we were to pull straight in, the door would have been facing the roadway instead of the actual campsite. So, we had to pull through, make the sharp right, back up and pull in from the "wrong side". There is no way that a rig that was much longer would be able to do that without leaving the road.

    The issue that we found is that the reservation site (at least at that point) did not make any distinction between tent trailer and other types of trailers. The reality is that the U-shaped sites there are big enough to accommodate a trailer our size (23 plus feet) and probably a full-size truck at each end. It's the getting in that's the issue. If we had blindly followed what the reservation system was spitting out to us, we would have ended up in a site fit for a very large trailer or mobile home. And that's the only point I've been trying to make here. If speaking to a real, live person is an option, it's probably a good one to take if there is a question about whether one's rig can or cannot fit in a particular site.
  20. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2018
    There are definitely a lot of considerations. I've been lucky so far i that I have fit well in every spot I've gotten. This last site, I had stayed at previously and was able to fit a larger TT and SUV in it. It's been several years and I'm not sure I could have fit those in this time. So, even if you've fit before, won't mean you'll fit next time. Trees grow, boulders get moved, pads deteriorate, etc.

Share This Page