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Old 05-06-2016, 11:15 AM   #15
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We are part-timers/sometimers.
Cost per night has crept up to about $22 average.
We stay mostly at state parks and corps of engineers parks with occasional stays at a forest service park or a privately owned park.
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Old 05-06-2016, 03:10 PM   #16
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I spent 10 days on the road going from Barrie Ontario to Berwick Louisiana from Dec 28 to Jan 6 for $130.00 . 1st and 2nd night was free at CanAm in London and at Airstream Jackson Center OH 3 nights at Elizabethtown KY $22.per night one night in AL $20 and 4 nights in Mystic Springs Airstream only park FL $11 per night, I thought it was a good deal to have all hookups as well.
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Old 05-06-2016, 04:59 PM   #17
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In our experience, the nightly cost of camping varies all over the map, from $0.00 to over $100.00!!!

Weekly and monthly rates can reduce your cost significantly with decent places out west during prime winter season generally costing between $750 and $1,000/month; Florida monthly rates during the season range from $1,000 up to $2,500!!! Off season rates in both locations can be a lot less.

As far as nightly rates are concerned, we find that public campgrounds (i.e., city, county, state and federal) tend to range from around $10 per night up to the low $30 range with most in the $20's. Usually the higher prices reflect full hook up sites (or in California where even a site with no hook ups can run $50/night.) California, Oregon, Washington State and public campgrounds east of the Mississippi River tend to be higher than in other parts of the country. The Golden Age Pass (62 year old plus) and the Federal Interagency Pass (available to everyone for $80/year) are worthwhile as they will get you a 50% discount at most federal campgrounds.

Casinos are all priced over the place, some are free, some charge a nominal amount ($15 or less) and others charge private campground prices.

Nightly rates at private campgrounds are generally higher than at publicly owned campgrounds (of course these sites nearly always come with full hookups.) We find that nightly rates in private campgrounds tend to be around $40 to $50 (with much higher rates in Florida during the peak season and in certain special situations such as in downtown New Orleans.) Sometimes we will run into a private campground with rates in the $30's.

Walmarts, Cracker Barrel and other similar retailers that allow overnight parking but do expect some form of patronage of their respective businesses.

Boondocking in the desert or other permitted location is generally free.

We've spent over 90% of our time in publicly owned campgrounds or boondocking over the past nine months and are finding that our average camping cost has been around $500/month.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:05 AM   #18
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A real newbe here! Been a popup guy for years but finally got a 19' Bambie. Curious about protocol for the nights at Wally World and Cracker Barrel. Obviously you ask for permission but being a bit timid, what do you say?
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K3ors View Post
A real newbe here! Been a popup guy for years but finally got a 19' Bambie. Curious about protocol for the nights at Wally World and Cracker Barrel. Obviously you ask for permission but being a bit timid, what do you say?
"Excuse me, it is OK for me to park overnight in your parking lot?"

It helps if you see others already there. If not, you would be breaking new ground. A trail blazer!

Also, watch this video. I found it very informative.

https://youtu.be/sVvScIscBdo
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:53 AM   #20
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We are not full timers but we spend 3 months in the southern states, mostly Florida, in the winter. State parks are in the mid to upper $20s but some states offer senior discounts with conditions (if you are a resident of the state or if your state will reciprocate with their residents on a discount).

We've stayed at Cracker Barrel and Wal-Mart. The wife can sleep through a hurricane but I was a nervous Nellie, especially at Wal-Mart. So now we just use a smart phone app or Google search to find a CG. Cracker Barrel is better but do a Google search on staying at any store, restaurant etc. There's a lot of information available.

Federal CGs vary from the pits to heaven but the price is low and with a Senior Pass you pay only half. We've come across some city/county CGs that are very nice and reasonable (cash or check, no cards) and some that were the pits.

We set a limit on what we will pay, highest is mid 20s. We've paid as low as $10 for Federal, $9-15 for city/county parks. I divide our trips into ~300 mile legs and make a reservation for the night before we set out. I have searched for a spot at the end of the day and didn't like what we found. We don't like using our AS bathroom and rely on facilities. We were in Arkansas and checked 4 local places, all about $23, none with a bathroom. So now I research before we leave and have someplace to go to each night.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStreamer View Post
"Excuse me, it is OK for me to park overnight in your parking lot?"

It helps if you see others already there. If not, you would be breaking new ground. A trail blazer!

Also, watch this video. I found it very informative.

https://youtu.be/sVvScIscBdo
That is a good video, thanks. The etiquette portion is very good. We stayed at a Wal-Mart where another trailer had the awning, radio and a circle of chairs deployed. We stayed at a Cracker Barrel, had dinner and breakfast there, quiet night, other campers and people sleeping in SUVs. At dinner we just asked our waitress and she checked with the manager and came back to tell us it was OK. At Wal-Mart, when you enter the parking lot there is usually an area of trucks, RVs and trailers already there. If so, we just parked with them. If not, we just asked at the service desk.

Personally, I feel vulnerable, too easy for someone to come up to the rig and be a problem. If there's nothing else nearby I will use Google to find out about the area before staying, but I know I won't sleep through the night. I'll wake up with any noise close to the AS.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:28 PM   #22
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Last year (2015) we spent $2,267.26 for the entire year on camping. 116 nights of paid and 132 nights of free camping. Our free camping might be off a little, but the money spent is spot on. We started camping April 29th, 2015.
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Old 05-09-2016, 01:36 PM   #23
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I agree fees can run from $0 to $100 a night. We are snowbird travelers 6 months a year camping everywhere from Washington D.C. to California. We try to set up a destination for a few months at a nice RV resort with full amenities and community life, traveling widely to and from. Desert and mountain boon docking doesn't have the appeal they did years ago when we were younger.

The destination resort will be the lowest cost because you can find special pricing in long stays, travel clubs, and early registration. Military parks have decent daily rates but fewer discounts if any for long stay, and lack amenities. We only occasionally stop at campgrounds when traveling about the country for an overnight stay, there are plenty of more convenient places to get a night's sleep such as Walmart or truck stops and just pull off when ready. We look for historic sites, nature's beauty, various museums and places of interest and then stay at a campground for a few nights there to relax, explore and learn.

We have been camping comfortably for about $3500 six months a year, but this coming season to travel more and in some more expensive areas along the coasts, with about 3 months in a AZ resort. Florida and California have been our highest cost private parks and we should see both this year.

We like to travel, see and do things, keep our travel plans very flexible so it's not easy to budget specific expense.
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