What’s the Best RV Size for National Park Campgrounds?
There are so many reasons to adore our national parks. They feature some of the most iconic landscapes, incredible hiking trails, astonishing natural wonders, and lots of diverse wildlife. These locations are at the top of most bucket lists.
However, because our national parks have been around for so long, many of them are just not able to accommodate some of the bigger, more contemporary RVs that visit them. While maximum length for trailers and motorhomes vary between parks, the average permitted length is around 27 feet long. This includes driving through and around the park as well as accessing and parking in various parking lots and campgrounds.
This cuts out some of the more rugged parks or those with smaller campgrounds or narrow roads, bridges, or tunnels. Some examples of these are the Zion-Mount Carmel tunnel in Zion National Park, and some of the curvier roads in Smoky Mountains National Park. Some parks such as Congaree National Park in South Carolina don’t even allow any RVs in their campgrounds.
Top Rated Big Rig National Park Campgrounds in the USA
There are still many national park campgrounds where big rigs can easily drive, park, and camp. Below are 10 of our favorites where larger RVs either have their own sections or can be accommodated anywhere within the park. It is good to keep in mind that most national park campgrounds may not have full hookups or even electrical hookups, so be prepared to dry camp.
Before visiting any national park campground, check ahead with the park for available big rig sites as well as hookups. In addition, ask about maximum length and any road restrictions, height restrictions, and obstacles such as large trees or sharp curves. Use an RV-safe GPS like the RV LIFE App and check RV LIFE Campgrounds to learn whether or not a campground will be able to accommodate your RV.
1. Furnace Creek Campground
As the largest national park in the Lower 48, Death Valley has plenty of room for the big guys. Not only are the main roads easy to maneuver, but the campgrounds are as well.
Furnace Creek is the only campground run by the National Park Service in Death Valley to accept reservations. Once you are there, the sites are large, paved, and have access to electrical hookups and dump stations. Some of the sites are also ADA compliant.
2. Gulpha Gorge Campground
Located in beautiful central Arkansas, this campground in Hot Springs National Park has what a lot of other national parks don’t: full hookups. Gulpha Gorge also accepts RV lengths up to 60 feet.
Tucked into a lush forest, the sites also have water, picnic tables, and grills. While the park does have bathrooms, they do not have showers, so make sure yours is ready to go.
3. Trailer Village RV Park
This stunning Grand Canyon campground is the only RV campground in the National Park with full hookups. Located close to the South Rim, the park is open year-round with paved pull-through sites that can fit RVs up to 50 feet long.
4. Sentinel Campground
Located next to the Cedar Grove Visitor Center, Sentinel Campground in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park is happy to accommodate RVs up to a whopping 82 feet in length.
Most of the sites will fit rigs around 30 feet, but the park will be able to move you to a larger site if they are available. The park has no hookups or dump stations, but it is close to the refreshing Kings River.
5. Mathews Arm Campground
With 166 sites, Mathews Arm Campground has plenty of places to park in Shenandoah National Park. In addition, many of their RV sites can fit rigs up to 55 feet in length.
The campground does have electrical hookups and a dump station. The campground is also conveniently located near its namesake hike for waterfalls and wildlife.
6. Cedar Pass Campground
Located under the big skies of South Dakota, Cedar Pass Campground in Badlands National Park has 96 roomy sites for all sizes of RVs. The maximum length is 40 feet and pull-through sites are available.
While the sites do not have full hookups, there is both 50 and 30 amp electrical at some sites and an on-site dump station.
7. Colter Bay RV Park
Not to be confused with the nearby Colter Bay Campground in Grand Teton National Park, this portion of the campground caters to RVs with full hookups and sites for RVs up to 45 feet in length.
The Colter Bay Village RV Park has both pull-through and back-in sites as well as 20, 30, and 50 amp connections. This place is also amenity-heavy with stores, restaurants, a marina, and laundry services.
8. Flamingo Campground
Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park looks more like an RV resort rather than a national park campground.
Not only are there 65 sites specifically for RVs, but the campground also has ECO tents, restaurants, tour boats, and access to Florida Bay. Pull-through sites and some electrical hookups are available as well as a dump station.
9. Madison Campground
Yellowstone, the oldest park in the country, is very accepting of larger RVs. Normally, Fishing Bridge Campground on Yellowstone Lake would be a good choice for this list, but as of summer of 2021, it is temporarily closed. This opens up Madison Campground on the west side of the park for larger RVs.
Be sure to make a reservation far in advance for this popular campground. The sites do not have any kind of hookups, but they do accept RVs up to 40 feet in length.
10. Mazama Village
Tucked just below the amazing Crater Lake in Southern Oregon, Mazama Village has over 200 sites for all sizes of RVs. Many of the loops feature large pull-through and back-in sites as well as great views over Annie Creek Canyon.
Some of the sites have electrical hookups and some are accessible. Sites are assigned upon arrival, so call ahead to let the office know your RV’s length and get to your site as early as possible.
Check out the video below from Camper Report for more information on the best RV length for fitting in national park campgrounds:
Find more big rig campgrounds
For help mapping out your route for your next RV getaway, look no further than RV LIFE Trip Wizard. This online planning tool makes it easy to plan an RV-safe route in your big rig. It can also locate interesting sites along the way, all according to your travel preferences. Get RV LIFE Trip Wizard with its accompanying RV LIFE App, and start planning your adventure today!
Christina is a writer and designer who has written about camping, tiny houses, and alternative living since 2008. She recently traded in her teardrop trailer for a 13-foot fiberglass trailer from 1982.