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  #1  
Old 10-01-2010, 11:37 AM
modhatter
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Default Campground costs and amenities

[Edit - This is the second half of a good post by modhatter. The first half discussed memory foam toppers, and is found here.

http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...ad.php?t=10839.

Bill]

One other question I'm curious about. As cost is a factor for us, and I want this unit for long halls from southern Florida to Arizona to Colorado and back, I don't want to have to stop at expensive RV parks every night on route. Are there many parks available with just electrical hook up (as opposed to total dry boon docking) at a reasonable cost? What kind of cost? Do they usually require reservations way in advance (instead of being able to wing it as you go)

Are they usually far off the main highways when your trying to get somewhere using the major highway system? It is certainly worth it to me to drive out of my way a bit to find a pretty more natural setting to spend the night at, as opposed to some of the RV (full service) places I have seen. Better scenery as well as cost savings. I know we would have to break up our trip and stay at a FS RV park to dump and fill up our water supply and recharge battery etc, but I thought we could limit that to maybe every third night for that purpose.

Now please, no meanies lecturing me that if I am concerned with costs, I shouldn't be an RV'er. If I could afford it, I would have a regular class A vehicle, but I can't so I am trying to come up with a purchase that I can afford and still be able to enjoy the RV experience and the outdoors (as well as take our 2 dogs with us), and yes I am too old and decrepit for tenting. Just want to see some stuff before I check out here and trying to make a good decision, so any pre-advice is welcomed.
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2010, 01:09 PM
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ShrimpBurrito ShrimpBurrito is offline
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Yes, there are plenty of low cost campgrounds to stay in. State parks and federal camping areas (i.e. National Forest & BLM, primarily, and most BLM areas are in the west) are typically less expensive than private places. We've stayed in several National Forest & BLM areas that are even free, but they like more of these federal lands, there are no hookups of any kind. And generally, these areas are NOT close to interstates. But these are the areas I usually strive for, since they are generally much more scenic and less crowded. An exception is National Parks -- they are usually a zoo.

I've found this book to be occasionally helpful (there is an east coast version, too):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0937877492

We've traveled all around the country, and in our experience, sites can range from $0 to $100 (yes, at a campground), but I'd say the average is more like $20-$35/night, including water and electric. Many parks have electric only hookups, sometimes in addition to water & electric, and they cost less. Some campgrounds will let you dry camp (i.e. no hookups) on their property for a reduced rate....maybe $15, but they won't advertise it since most people don't do it. But there's no harm in asking.

Dave
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:49 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter View Post
As cost is a factor for us, and I want this unit for long halls from southern Florida to Arizona to Colorado and back, I don't want to have to stop at expensive RV parks every night on route. Are there many parks available with just electrical hook up (as opposed to total dry boon docking) at a reasonable cost? What kind of cost? Do they usually require reservations way in advance (instead of being able to wing it as you go)

Are they usually far off the main highways when your trying to get somewhere using the major highway system? It is certainly worth it to me to drive out of my way a bit to find a pretty more natural setting to spend the night at, as opposed to some of the RV (full service) places I have seen. Better scenery as well as cost savings. I know we would have to break up our trip and stay at a FS RV park to dump and fill up our water supply and recharge battery etc, but I thought we could limit that to maybe every third night for that purpose.
There are two answers. To address your question, you need to decide on a night-by-night basis what kind of amenities you want. My experience is this. My wife and I make the long haul from Maine to Colorado to Arizona every fall, and back again in the spring. During this long haul, we do a few hundred miles each day, and at the end of the day, we want the comfort and ease of full hookups. Scenery doesn't matter much because we are mostly going to eat and sleep - we arn't going to stay to admire the campground or the scenery. We find campgrounds by using the Big Book of Campgrounds (Good Sam publishes one, Woodall's publishes the other, both about $12.) About an hour before we are ready to stop, we figure out where we will be, find a campground in the book, and call ahead. I don't think we've ever been stranded - Good Sam and KOA seem to be everywhere. And yes, full hookup campgrounds cost a few bucks more, but one always seems to be available near an Interstate, so that is where we end up staying. At the end of a long day, it just doesn't seem worthwhile to drive an extra 45 minutes (at 14 mpg) to save a few bucks, and to stay a scenic campground where we won't notice the scenery.

On the other hand, when we camp from our base in Maine (summer) or Arizona (winter), we want an experience that is very different from the long-haul experience. We do leisurely trips to State Parks, National Parks, BLM campgrounds, etc. We will be parked in the same place for several days, we want pretty, and we want quiet. Hookups are much less important. And costs are lower.

Quote:
Now please, no meanies lecturing me that if I am concerned with costs, I shouldn't be an RV'er.
No one here will say that! Many of us are retired and on fixed incomes, and costs are important. In my particular case, you will find many of my posts admitting flat out that "I am cheap!" So welcome to the club, and enjoy whatever you decide to do.

Hope this helps.

Bill
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2010, 05:40 PM
RogerR
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If you want to save on campsites look to local parks, state and federal campgrounds. They are usually cheaper but are often full. In most of the commercial camps the cost difference from electric only to full is nominal.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:02 PM
P and B
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To save money, always use your toilet to its best advantage. At most campsites, water and electric are substantially cheaper than "full hookups". You can usually make it two to three days before you have to dump your tanks. Totes help with the gray and black water for extended stays. I always wished that TM would integrate a good tote into their design but others have done admirable jobs. If you do a search on Totes, I'm sure you'll get some good design input.

Happy "glamping".

Phil
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2010, 08:11 PM
scrubjaysnest scrubjaysnest is offline
 
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Federal CG's are usually cheaper then Sate Parks, State Parks are usually cheaper then private. There are two web sites that list free or campgrounds for less then $10. freecampgrounds.com and freecampsites.net I would use caution with these though as sometimes the information isn't correct. For those of us that are old enough the Interagency Pass, Golden Age, is a big savings. Some state parks will give the same discount for the Golden age but most do not. Some state parks will give Good Sam members a discount. Some state parks give veteran discounts.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2010, 10:42 AM
edweidig
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Also a membership in PassPort America will pay for itself in two or three overnight stays. I've use it for several years now and saved a bundle. Half price in over 1000 campgrounds, sometimes with certain conditions, (two night stay, not available on certain weekends etc.), but mostly available. I buy my membership for three years at a time saving even more.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:08 AM
Barb&Tim Barb&Tim is offline
 
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We joined Passport America this year, $44 -1 yr -- used it twice already, saved $75 so far. Yes, there are restrictions, but so far for us it has worked out well.

Before joining, I would advise anyone considering this to go to the Passport America website and look through the campground listings for areas that you are interested in. You can see what is available and what the restrictions are for each campground.

May not be for everyone!

Tim
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