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Old 04-30-2012, 08:27 AM   #1
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NYC area camping?

I recall seeing a thread about camping in NYC, in a park on the outskirts of the city in the Bronx, but can't find it now. Was it Pelham Park? There's nothing about camping there that I've found. We have to be in NYC for a week in August, and taking the A/S and staying near the ocean sounds very appealing.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:32 AM   #2
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Here's a place we are itching to get to - oh for some time!

Liberty Harbor RV Park

The Long Long Honeymoon blog has a video about it, too.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
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the closest park is the one mentioned in nj.

you might be thinking about this rally thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f290...onx-77293.html
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:19 PM   #4
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I know about Liberty Harbor. It's E & W for $75/night, plus tax. Thinking about it, what I am recalling might have been a rally held at Ft Schuyler on Throgg's Neck in the Bronx. There's a Marine Institute there that I remember was mentioned. So, I'm probably looking for something that doesn't exist, but thanks for the help all!
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
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i don't know if this is close enough to nyc for you.
Croton Point Park

one big advantage to liberty harbor is that you can easily take public transportation into nyc.

have you tried checking the courtesy parking list? you might find something out on long island if you want to cross a bridge.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:19 PM   #6
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During the early 60s and then again in the mid 80s we stayed in New Jersey State Parks along the Garden State Parkway.....Cheesequake and Alarie ( spelling might be wrong). We would then drive to the Statten Island Ferry and ride to Manhatten and use public transportation...wonderful times.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:38 PM   #7
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being a local and native new yorker i can say the teo previous cg's mentioned are the closest to the city. another is panther lake cg in northern nj -most suburban of the three. liberty is in an urbane environment but close. croton is a simple train ride away from grand central terminal. panther is either a train or bus ride away. i recommend bus as they are more frequent heading back to the cg.

pm me when you get near to your trip and i will help out with mass transit suggestions.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:40 PM   #8
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Just an update. We stayed at Liberty Island RV Park for the past week. It was what we expected, asphalt and gravel parking area, designated sites with water and elec. It has a dump station which was maybe the only negative - it was the crappyist one I ever used. I used it to dump my blue boy while there, but instead of dumping when we left, I waited until we got to Cabela's in Hamburg,PA - they have a nice clean dump station. Actually, a few tons of stone around Liberty Island's dump station would solve the muddy standing water problem and make it a lot nicer.

Anyway, so much for the bad: the good was the park is clean, well run, has 24/7 security guards, it's a about 5 blocks to the PATH station (Grove St.) which will get you trains ($2 each way....cheap!) to the WTC in about 5 minutes and about 15 to 33rd St. near Penn Station/Macy/Empire State Building. Remember they are separate trains if you use them: one to WTC the other to 33rd. Note: there is a third train to Hoboken (BTW - you can also use the light rail to get to Hoboken and visit Carlos/Cake Bosses' shop - worth the trip super pastries....then go to Grimaldi's for some REAL coal fired NY Pizza - you'll never want the Pizza Hut crap again). If going to Manhattan you want the WTC or 33rd St. trains. When coming back from the city make sure you catch either the JSQ (Journal Square) or Newark trains.

We walked back to the RV park every night between 10 - 11 pm and felt perfectly safe. Mostly yuppie condos and apartments in the area. A good bit of young folks walking around heading to and from the "Surf Club" bar a the marina (decent sandwiches, fries etc. - a great place to hang in the evening next to the water with great views of the Hudson and lower Manhattan). In the past, some folks have said they felt unsafe, I think this has changed is recent years and the neighborhood is obviously improving. If you come from any sort of urban environment you will find it child's play. If from the hinterlands it might bug you a bit at night....Dorothy you aren't in Kansas any more. BTW our neighbors in the park were from Kansas and I can assure you the kids in no way wanted to go back there after seeing NYC!

The light rail is only a block away. You can catch that to go to Exchange Place and then get on the PATH if you don't want to walk to the Grove St. Station. You can walk (or drive if you wish) to Liberty Island SP which gets you to the Ellis Island and Statue Ferries. It also gets you to the Science Center when my park neighbor visited and gave it rave reviews, we will hit that next trip. All in all a satisfying experience, we will likely make this a regular stop as it is only about 4.5 hrs from our home. I hope it stays around for a while as development is moving closer and the RV park would be prime for some condos etc.

There is a water taxi that leaves right from the adjacent marina, it only runs during rush hour. However there are other water taxis that run all day a few block away. That said the train is cheaper and handier IMHO.

Remember that you are in the only RV park close-in to NYC. You will be parked right next to you neighbor, it's not a place designed to hang out in your Lafuma (who would with the skyline tempting you a mile or so away) save that stuff for the KOA/Jellystones LOL. The park reserves the right to juggle folks around depending on demand and the size of units coming it. For instance they moved a Jayco Hybrid off of a 60amp site so a big Prevost could move in. I think they let you know this ahead of time. Demand it high during peak season and they do what they can to accomodate as many folks as possible. As life goes in the big city, flexibility is the key.....

One other note, the park has very easy access off of I 78. Super easy drive in from the west through PA and Northern NJ on I 78. Of course expect delay's if you drive during rush hour. Other than some typical summer const. and a delay due to an accident near Harrisburg, our drives were uneventful.

All in all a great place to stay when visiting the big apple if you keep your expectations in check. We will be back, likely in the fall.

In the thumbnails below you will see photos of our "campsite", panos of the RV Park, and a photo to show you that this is a marina first and foremost and they do move boats from a storage yard to the water from time to time. A tight fit with the crane, but the guy seem to be very careful and they do it a lot.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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Very interesting photos. Would like info on panoramic photos, please...
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:33 PM   #10
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Phoenix: the panos were taken with my Sony DSC HX9V. It has a pano mode where you move it slowly and it takes 5 photos and stitches them together. It does a nice job. As a matter of fact, I usually leave my Canon 50D DSLR in the trailer and take the Sony as it does such a nice job. Especially in places like NYC where we are walking a lot and I like something that I can just put in my pocket. I save the DSLR for special situations. I think other compact cameras are adding this pano mode. Also some post photo editing software allows you to do the same thing by stitching photos together on your computer. I know with the Canon software I used to use I could do it. Much easier with it built in though.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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BTW, the parking lot on the left side in the one pano shot is for the commuter ferry. There was also a very large parking lot behind my trailer. It was funny waking up the first morning after we arrived and looking out the window and seeing hundreds of cars that had arrived while we were sleeping! A few parked maybe 6 feet behind the trailer. Didn't even hear them with the AC on. Most of the noise, which again we didn't hear in the trailer, was on the far side of the lot where they were working on the foundation for a new building. Of course we, like most everyone else, where gone all day, visiting the sites.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:47 PM   #12
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More questions:

Being from Arizona, our family has no experience camping in big cities; so we are apprehensive about others' comments regarding "ghetto setting" and potential for crimes, etc. Is their concern unfounded? Did you feel you were personally safe; how about your tow vehicle and Airstream?

We have traveled to large cities, but we stayed in hotels. Typical camping for us is in the desert or the Rockies, in National Parks, small towns and similar areas; so camping in a big, paved parking lot in New Jersey is foreign to us.

Your description of Liberty Island RV Park sounds OK, and it appears you were safe there. However, other travel forums make this RV park out to be pretty bad. Do you think other reviewers were just surprised at "urban campground" environment? Would appreciate your additional comments on this subject.

It looks like Ellis and Liberty Islands are extremely close; did you visit these attractions? How about World Trade Center Site, Broadway theaters and other venues?

Thanks in advance for your response...
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:27 PM   #13
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Soy', thanks for the information. How much do they charge for wifi?

Phoenix, Bedloes Is. (now changed to Liberty Is. and claimed to be part of NJ, but I don't accept that) and Ellis Is. are close and the ferry will go to each. Security is like airport security. There is also a ferry from Battery Park in Manhattan.

When we were in NYC 4 years ago (didn't take the trailer) we stayed at a hotel in Queens for about the same price and it was a decent place with free parking in a gated lot and free wifi. It was about 4 or 5 blocks from the subway and there was an excellent Chinese restaurant on the way. It is called the PanAmerican (I think) and is on Queens Blvd. I'd be tempted to leave a trailer somewhere at storage prices for a week and go to this hotel.

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Old 07-07-2012, 08:39 PM   #14
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Phoenix: I can only say this, I wouldn't want to go back if I didn't feel safe. Yet we can't wait to go back, perhaps as soon as October. We are excited that we found this place that lets us visit for $80 a night instead of hundreds in the city like we used to spend.

I wouldn't have walked the streets to the Grove Street PATH station with my family if I didn't think it wasn't "reasonably" safe (lets face it, nothing is 100% safe.....no place even out in the middle of nowhere Montana....). My wife is a skittish as they come and after the second day she said it was cool. It is in no way a "ghetto" setting. Only someone who knows nothing about large cities would think that. It may have been at one point, but most of it looks like it is going through urban renewal/gentrification. Bear in mind that after 9/11 a number of firms packed it in and moved a mile across the river to Jersey City. Some say it is becoming almost part of NYC. Lots of new construction with high rise condos/apartment buildings. Now if you walk or drive a few blocks away, you will be in a public housing area. But that is the same in most any large city, you usually don't 'have to go to far to experience a demographic change. Plus, while not trying to be naive or stupid, remember that most poor folks living in "ghetto" areas are not bad people. Note also that as you walk down Marin Ave. to the Grove St. station you walk past city hall. There also seemed to be beat cops lingering around from time to time and a good bit of foot traffic up and down the street, people walking their dogs etc. Likely as safe as walking around NYC, which is in realty is pretty safe. I think a lot of folks who are intimidated are just not used to urban environments. Most have watched too many TV shows! I dare say Phoenix isn't any safer! I checked and it is one of the top 10 most dangerous cities on one ranking (but behind D.C. and Baltimore close to where I live).

Furthermore, bear in mind that just because you stay in hotel in NYC dosen't mean you are safe unless you are going to stay locked in your room. In NYC you likely will be walking the streets, riding the subways etc. etc. Just because it is different and feels strange (noise, lots of people, traffic) doesn't make it a bad place to be. Just stay aware etc.

Over the years I have read the reviews of the park on RV.net (trailerlife/goodsam forum) and if you sort through them you will see that the more recent reviews are much more favorable. I also feel that a lot of folks that are afraid just are not used to the urban thing. Accept it for what it is, a crowded, fast paced environment and you will feel much better. Remember, take many of the urban gang bangers out and leave them in the desert, they will freak out more than you in their environment. I had a family from Kansas parked next to me, I can assure you that they had a great time. Heck they rode the subway out through Brooklyn on the 4th to Coney Island!

You can walk to the state park where you catch the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Its about a mile or so walk. The first part is not particularly pretty, but it's just an light industrial area / large parking lot. The rest is a very pleasant walk through a lovely park. You can drive if you wish, but the advantage to walking is that you can visit Ellis and the Statue, then take the ferry from the statue over to Battery Park in Southern Manhattan and spend the rest of the day in NYC. Coming from the state park you will visit Ellis Island first, then the statue. when you are ready to leave the statue you can choose to take the ferry back to the state park or over to Manhattan.

We have visited NYC a number of times. On this trip we visited the WTC memorial, a must see. They have free, timed admission tickets. You can get them on line or visit the "off site" memorial office a few blocks from the actual memorial. However, if you visit the office you may have to wait hours before entering the site, on line is you best method if you don't mind locking yourself to a time. We lucked out on the 4th of July, we visited the off site location at 4 and got 5:30 tickets. Since it was hot and we had been out all day, we used our unlimited ride 7 day Metro passes, hooped on the "E" train, rode up to Queens in the AC, then rode back, by then it was about 5:15, we headed over and got right in.

What ever attractions you visit, expect to have bags inspected etc. Other attractions you will get the full "airport" experience (though you won't have to remove your shoes!). The will "xray your bags and personal belongings in a tray including your wallet, cell phone etc. Don't pout, don't get P.O.'ed, just go with the flow.....

Instead of a Broadway show, on this trip we went to Radio City Music Hall and saw Cirque du Soleil show Zarkana. It was great. Of course the Empire State building is a must see, expect LLLLLLOOOONNNNGGGG lines. Personally I prefer the "Top of the Rock" - the rooftop viewing area on top of Rockefeller Center, not as high, it' about 70 stories, but the view is better, you get a great view of the Empire State and of Central Park. Suggest visiting near sunset. On the right night it is awesome.

Don't forget the freebies. First off, just walking around NYC is one of my favorite things. Checking out the neighborhoods, stores an eateries. Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Upper East or West Side, 5th Ave. etc. etc. Likely my least favorite area is Times Square. Go visit it at night, see the lights etc., get your fill and move on to the real NYC. New Yorkers rarely to to TS. Try to find some places that you would like to eat besides McDonalds and Burger King. Lot's of great pizza and about any other kind of food you would want. Central Park - free and a great place to walk around on a nice day. Staten Island Ferry is FREE, might be the best bargin in NYC, nice ride across the harbor and great views. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge - FREE - great views especially if you walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan. It's not really that far so if you are up to it you can walk over then back. Or ride the subway to the High St. station in Brooklyn and get on the bridge (get directions on line).

Of course if you are going to spend some time there, it might be worth it to get a "City Pass". That will give you discounted entry to the Empire State, the main museums etc. There is the NBC studio tour, Radio City Backstage, the aircraft carrier Intrepid, the Circle Line cruise is a classic.

Tons of more info on the web. Relax, use common sense and you will have fun and will be counting the days until you can return. NYC is cool.
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