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Old 05-15-2006, 04:53 AM   #1
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Your favorite type of park/campground???

What is your favorite type of park or campground - state, KOA, independent, AS only...? What else is there? I don't even know. Why do you prefer that type?

Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:04 AM   #2
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After only twenty four months of Airstreaming, our favorites to date are state and national parks in VA, TX, TN, FLA, KY and CO. All afford more privacy than the privately owned campgrounds and most provide some conveniences. We enjoy having a few neighbors close by while maintaining some degree of privacy depending on the topography and landscape of various sites. Our favorite state parks so far have been in Florida and Virginia. VAJeep has turned us on to our first Airstream only park which we will try next month in VA. We're looking forward to that experience.
We feel that the private parks are fine for overnight stops on our way to a state park destination and utilize them in that manner for the most part.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:17 AM   #3
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I've only been to 3 GA. State parks, 3 TN. State parks and one private park with my trailer. I've been rather pleased with the parks in either state but the private park was too small, crowded with a small number of sites and very little to do. I'd vote for State Parks.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:45 AM   #4
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We prefer state/provincial parks in most cases as they tend to be the most focused on preserving the natural surroundings, facilities are typically very clean and the partiers migrate to the more commercial campgrounds. We also like the smaller, family run campgrounds where the owner/manager is as interested in their guests as the guests are in the area. You get to know a lot about an area when the local people take an interest in making sure you know the highlights and also the spots one probably should avoid. We have never stayed at an Airstream only campground so can't comment. We typically avoid KOA's whenever possible - for the most part not our style of camping.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:53 AM   #5
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State parks

Since I retired, I usually go to the state parks during the week and clear out Friday by 2PM time so that those still working can come in Friday for the weekend.

My favorites here in Texas are Inks Lake SP and Lost Maples State Natural Area although I go to Blanco SP the most. Blanco SP is quite close to home and it is the smallest state park in Texas, but it is within walking distance of all the restaurants and stores in the nice friendly farming-based town. We have had a Christmas forum rally at Blanco 3 straight years now in coincidence with the town parade and market days.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:37 AM   #6
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The state parks in Michigan are excellent, awesome locations, clean modern bathhouses and less expensive than the private parks. And they are always clean. Downsides are no pools typically and no store. Some people don't like that they typically don't have full hookups, just electricity, but we get by just fine.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:44 AM   #7
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County parks.

Never advertised, hard to find, CHEAP and almost always under used. We have found county parks with full facilities in the most scenic places. Usually County parks have good clean facilities and a small but dedicated staff. Here in the NW where state park stays are 20 - 25 dollars a night, county parks run (typically) half that. We recently stayed at one that came with a free bundle of firewood for every night registered!
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:00 AM   #8
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State Parks

we love the state parks and have yet to find a bad one. Each state has their special gems and are anxious to show off.
Recently we stayed at Top Of Georgia, an Airstream park and found the people to be very nice and welcoming, the facilities were top rate and the price could not be beat.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
County parks.

Never advertised, hard to find, CHEAP and almost always under used. We have found county parks with full facilities in the most scenic places. Usually County parks have good clean facilities and a small but dedicated staff. Here in the NW where state park stays are 20 - 25 dollars a night, county parks run (typically) half that. We recently stayed at one that came with a free bundle of firewood for every night registered!
Great tip! Didnt know there was such a critter. Is that a north west thing?
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:44 AM   #10
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Smile State, National, going to try county parks now for sure!

Nice thread idea! Of course its all a matter of personal preference! I'm sure there are lovely private parks and awful state parks.

We are sure to try county parks now, thanks Janet for the tip!

We love the state parks in Michigan as John mentioned, they are well maintained and lovely.

The national parks have not disappointed, I am amazed by the wonderful programs they offer and the beauty of our great country. Thank goodness those lands were set aside for future generations to enjoy!
I can see why folks would enjoy private parks, I guess its all just a matter of taste.

I like the idea of full hook ups, in fact we're staying at some state parks in MI and other states with full hook ups. But if its a trade off in beauty and privacy I'll boondock anytime without a generator/showers/etc. For example, the Smokies, the park is gorgeous, and the campsites are great without hookups, sometimes without restrooms. After all we have our Airstreams, its not really roughing it, right? There are many private campgrounds in the Smokies but you have a parking lot situation, high noise levels, little natural beauty, etc.
Just my 2 cents! Sure you'll make the right choice for you!
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Old 05-15-2006, 01:44 PM   #11
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Your favorite type of park/campground???

Thanks for the responses and insight. I am surprised at how consistent and strong is the preference for state parks. Though I have tent camped in state parks, I would have thought the commerecial parks would have fared better than they did with the RV crowd.

Ernie -
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:26 PM   #12
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Ernie,

good observation. Some private parks are very clean and neat, in fact too antiseptic, just fields with a utility pole. I have no use for those, because I live on wooded property with all kinds of wildlife loafing around eating everything (rabbits, bats, flying squirrels, foxes, neighborhood dogs). RV'ers might like them, but I consider myself a camping enthusiast, thank you! And like to spend more time outside of the camper than in. At the other end of the spectrum are the ones that are, well, kind of long in the tooth. The facilities are dated, not always clean, the grounds are weedy, and in general suffering from a lack of maintenance.

The state parks in Michigan are consistent: Nice setting, clean, well maintained. We're not usually going to get there and go, yuck. True story: I went and reserved four days at a private campground in the Upper Penisula of Michigan to go to Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks, etc.... I found a private campground with full hookups, since I didn't want to empty the blueboy every night. We got there and the campsite had no shade and no trees for several sites. We moved the next morning to a different site with a little more shade but still no privacy. It was a field just outside of town that had some trees growing up in it. No scenic view or anything of interest in the campground, and you just sat out in the grass. We went to the Falls the next day and almost died. The state park (which just had electric sites) had tons of sites available (this was the week right before labor day, everyone with kids are getting them ready for school) and several RIGHT on the river. If we hadn't already spread out all of our gear and left the blue tank at home, we'd have pulled chocks and parked there for the rest of our stay. I then vowed to never sacrifice a cool campground for full hookups ever again.

There ARE nice privates out there, with trees, things to do and are maintained nicely. This is a favorite of ours in Michigan. But I'll look for State Parks first from now on. The only thing they lack, in my opinion, is a pool.
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:50 PM   #13
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Twice a year we visit The Point RV Park, a county park on Emigrant Lake in Ashland Oregon to see the theater in town. For the purpose we are there, it's the perfect campground, even though it's just a big paved parking lot, which is normally my least favorite type of park. But it's on the lake, we enjoy watching the boaters (we like to get a spot with a view of the boat ramp, then sit back and enjoy the show) and the other campers, and I can fish a few steps from the trailer, close enough to hollar up to Dave to come look when I catch something

But normally, I would have to say our favorite parks have been state parks, county parks, and a few nice independants, including one on the Naches river in central WA where we were parked right on the river bank!

Here's one of our least favorite stops on our trip through E. WA, and one of our most favorite!
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:52 PM   #14
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Here's one of our least favorite stops on our trip through E. WA, and one of our most favorite!
Har!! I'm suprised they let you pull you Airstream in there! Most places that look like that have an age or length limit on campers.
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:58 PM   #15
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That was one of our first trips with the trailer, and I had never heard of age limits then, so we didn't even think about it. But the folks who ran the place were delighted to see our old trailer, and welcomed us in It was quite an experience being towered over by those behemoths! That one is just off I-5 in Centralia, WA.
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:00 PM   #16
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Our favorite Missouri state park continues to be Bennett Spring SP near Lebanon, MO-just off I 44. This trout fishing park has sites ranging from full service in the spring branch valley near the water (easy walk) to wooded partial service to primitive sites higher in the park grounds in heavily wooded areas. Non-campers also can choose from small 4-plex units to newer duplex or more rustic cabins for lodging. Even in the lower Full S section, you'll find good shade, tall trees. For more privacy of sites if you have the blue totes, you'd probably prefer the upper areas. This park has beautiful grounds, picnic areas, hiking, AND a pool for the kids and grownups. You'll find a camp store to take care of fishing/camp needs and a fine restaurant located in the original CCC-built lodge. Everyone enjoys the fish hatchery that is right in the park. Kids can feed the trout which creates quite a stir! This is a campground where I grew up vacationing, so you can see my prejudice in my recommendation for anyone staying in or passing through mid-Missouri. ~G PS, I think this would be a great site for a forum rally of some type.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Janet: Never advertised, hard to find, CHEAP and almost always under used. We have found county parks with full facilities in the most scenic places. Usually County parks have good clean facilities and a small but dedicated staff. Here in the NW where state park stays are 20 - 25 dollars a night, county parks run (typically) half that. We recently stayed at one that came with a free bundle of firewood for every night registered!
We love State and National Parks, and recently discovered a fantastic County Park south of Tucson. Everything that Janet said is true. Check my campground reviews for more info.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:38 PM   #18
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National Forest Service campgrounds are great... no hookups, but the surroundings are beautiful, and that's what we go camping for. They have limitations on RV length that vary by campground. Detailed information and reservations at: http://www.reserveusa.com/

The commercial places are too often crowded, dirty, ugly, and expensive. It amazes me that someone would buy a $250,000 diesel motorhome and stay in what amounts to a trailer park.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:02 PM   #19
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Well we always look to State and National Parks first off. But over many trips we have done it all. We have some private camprgrounds that may not be pretty but serve their purpose. We have been planning a 3 week trip to AZ a place we go often enough to have done just about every way down and back up. That said we plan on staying at just about every imaginable option. After several days at scenic campgrounds to make up time we will overnight at a Casino, Yes it's a big parking lot. But it's Hot in the desert so full hook ups, a movie theater and daycare at the Casino make a quick one night stay there easier.
That said our worst campground was Circus Circus in Las Vegas, huge hot parking lot. Our favorite Lone Pine, CA dirt roads, middle of nowhere, quiet. They collect cans to plant trees, Boondocking at it's best.
If I have one complaint about National and State Parks is size limit we have a big trailer and it limits us.
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:47 AM   #20
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Along these lines....

Hello all -

LOVE THIS THREAD!!!

Want to go to the Grand Canyon/ North Rim, Hoover Dam, S. Cal from ALBQ NM. Any recommendations for SP's, county parks or other along that route???

Thanks to a super group even if I don't get replies!

Axel
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