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The Long & Short of RV Length: How to Avoid RV Travel Troubles

What is the right RV length? There are as many ways to answer that question as there are people and types of RVs! What is “right” for a single person in their 20s isn’t the same as what’s “right” for a couple who is planning to retire and travel the country, nor is it the same as what’s “right” for a family of six with school-age children.

When choosing an RV there are many things to think about, and RV length is one thing you don’t want to overlook. Let’s look at different RV lengths, what you may want to consider when purchasing an RV, and how your RV length can affect your camping destination decisions.

What Are Average RV Lengths?

The length of your RV depends on a lot of things such as how many people it will sleep. Different types, makes and models all have varying length. The average length for the main types of RVs is:

Smaller RVs, like expandables and toy haulers, come in shorter lengths. In almost any case, these smaller types won’t run into RV length issues in any area where RVs are allowed.

How Does RV Length Affect You?

When you are deciding on the right RV for your needs, you should take into consideration things like length, size and weight. There will be some factors such as sleeping arrangements and desired amenities that play into your decision. But keep in mind that RV length can play a role in all types of RV living situations.

When you’ve considered all the things you want in an RV, one of the things that come into play when deciding on your RV length is where you can keep it stored. Another thing that RV length affects is ease of towing and maneuverability. A few feet may not seem like that much when you are looking at all the amenities you can add on the inside of your potential RV, but it sure makes a big difference when you are looking through the rear-view mirrors at the outside of that RV trying to back it into a campsite!

Most importantly, RV length can determine whether it will be safe – or even possible – to tow through some campsites and areas, such as those with sharp turns or limited turning radius.

Are Campgrounds Designed for All Types of RVs?

The short answer is: No. The longer answer is that it varies greatly based on several factors. In general, campgrounds are perfectly fine for almost all RVs. Campsites will be open areas with plenty of space to accommodate campers with all different RV lengths. The more modern and updated the campground, the more likely it is that longer RV lengths will be easily accommodated.

Things become a little trickier when you encounter campgrounds with a lot of changes in elevation, tightly-packed trees or other hazards. These are a lot more challenging for longer RVs to maneuver. Length limits are sometimes set based on maneuverability in such close quarters, although length limits are not always just due to difficulty traveling through certain campsites. Oftentimes campgrounds will have hard limits on size to prevent overlapping camping space. This may seem frustrating, but understand that the motivation is to ensure that everyone in the campground feels like they have enough “elbow room” at their campsite.

Should I Go to a Campsite Even If My Trailer is Too Long?

No, if your trailer is over the limit, don’t go. RV length limits aren’t recommendations, they are limits. Should you ignore the RV length limit, the best case scenario will be a campground and campsite that will be difficult to traverse. Unfortunately, endangering yourself and others is the more likely and worst case scenario.

Amusement parks have height limits on many of the rides, “Riders must be 48” tall to ride the Super Duper Whirly Wheel.” Restrictions such as this may be an inconvenience – especially if you are 46” tall and really want to experience the Whirly Wheel!  However, we understand that no matter how inconvenient, the restrictions are there for the safety and enjoyment of the riders. In much the same way, RV length limits are set at some campgrounds for the safety and enjoyment of the campers.

Remember, campsites don’t set arbitrary limits – especially public lands. They want visitors to come often to enjoy their parks and woodlands. If length limits are needed to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the campers who camp there, then they are set for a reason. If campers feel their experience was cramped or dangerous, they won’t return, and that’s bad business for the campground.

How Do I Find Campgrounds that Accommodate My Trailer?

Before taking any major RV camping trips, do your research. There are plenty of websites that can provide the information you need to make informed camping destination decisions. Most federal and state lands have up-to-date websites with all the information you could need.

Private campgrounds should also have information available online. However, this information will vary as each campground is run differently. If information on RV length isn’t available online, call park services to check. Don’t just assume that if nothing is posted there are no limits. It is always worth the few minutes for a phone call versus hours of driving only to discover your RV length isn’t allowed.

Keeping all these tips in mind can help you decide what RV length is right for you and how the size of your RV will affect the camping adventures you plan.

Contact RV Wholesale Superstore

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871

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