Remember Robin Williams’ mid-2000s family road trip comedy flick, RV? What a great movie that was to watch! In it, the Munro clan (with a dad played by Robin Williams – RIP) hits the open road in a rented RV.
It’s 2020, and RVs are now bigger and better than ever. So before you visit the national parks of your choice, make sure your RV falls within the RV length guidelines at the parks you’re going to.
What’s the Ideal Length of an RV for Visiting National Parks?
If you’re not sure of the ideal length for national parks, you’ll want to choose an RV between 25 and 30 feet long. Most national parks will accommodate RVs between those lengths. Almost 98% of National Park campgrounds can accommodate RVs up to 19 feet long. You will still have a large number of options if your RV is up to 25 feet since more than 90% of parks permit that length. On average, national parks will allow RVs with a maximum length of 27 feet.
How to Measure the Length of Your RV?
If your RV’s on the shorter side, you might want to take the manufacturer’s measurement of its length and add a few feet to that number. That way, you play it safe and give your vehicle some extra maneuvering space. And while we would like to say the number in the manufacturer’s model number is always 100% accurate, it is not. For example take the Puma 23-RBFQ . This model number seems to read: “23-foot Rear Bunk (or bath) Front Queen.” However, this RV actually is 28 feet long so the 23 doesn’t make much sense, but you could also think of it as a way to “sort” the product line from smallest to biggest with length as an approximation. In other words – if you want to know the exterior length of your RV (for sure) get a tape measure out and measure it yourself. The same goes for the height of your RV. And be sure when you measure the height of your RV you consider any vents on the roof, or possibly the air conditioner, as those might not be visible from the side or the cab.
You will also want to call the park you’re visiting to confirm availability of the sites’ lengths, widths, and other information directly from someone who’s current on the park’s situation. For example, many parks have a limited number of ‘pull through’ sites, so if you’re a novice RVer and prefer pull-through parking you’ll want to call ahead.
Which National Parks Should You Visit?
Why not take in the stunning views of the Grand Canyon? The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona has breathtaking, bucket list-scenery. It draws visitors the world over, and it can fit RVs up to 30 feet at two campgrounds (30 feet including your vehicle and RV at one of the campgrounds). One campground can even accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long.
Yosemite National Park, another world-famous destination, allows RVs at nine campgrounds. One campground permits rigs as long as 40 feet. Other campgrounds can handle RVs up to 35 feet long, and one campground only takes RVs with a maximum of 27-feet.
Or consider touring the picturesque Acadia National Park in Maine. This spotless park has no restrictions whatsoever on RV length at any of its campgrounds, so have at it.
Another world-renowned destination is Yellowstone National Park, which spans across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Home of the iconic Old Faithful geyser, bears, bison, and wolves (oh my!), Yellowstone is a national treasure. It’s great for your RV, too, with many of its campgrounds making space for 40- and 50-foot-long recreational vehicles.
What Are the RV Length Restrictions at Other National Parks?
Check out the maximum RV lengths permitted at some of America’s other most well-known national parks:
- Denali National Park (AK): 40 feet
- Everglades National Park (FL): 45 feet
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (TN): 40 feet for RVs, 35 feet for trailers
- Mount Rainier National Park (WA): 35 feet for RVs, 27 feet for trailers
- Rocky Mountain National Park (CO): 40 feet
How Do You Decide to Rent or Purchase an RV?
Now that you know all about RV length restrictions, you’re ready to get one of your own to go enjoy all the beautiful natural scenery that America has to offer.
Consult our “Why Renting an RV is a Smart Choice” blog to figure out if renting or buying is better for your family. Or browse our vast selection of RVs to find the RV that’s the right length (and price) for you and your family.