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Old 01-19-2011, 09:48 PM   #1
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Private CG vs. NPS sites

Every other year the family heads west from NJ. This year it's California. We will be staying a week at both Sequoia and Yosemite. We may be a bit spoiled with private campground hookups. The best advantage for the National Park sites -- as I see it -- is not having the 30-60 minute drive into the parks each day.

So, how does one handle (for 2 weeks) the lack of hookups? Showers, fresh water, can you run a generator, black water (have a 30 gallon tote) and ... BEARS!

We do the Walmart thing while traveling out and back. Also have side trips at Lake Powell, Carson City and Salt Lake City.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:00 PM   #2
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Geez...Walmart scares me more than bears!
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:01 PM   #3
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You probably won't be at one spot for two weeks. Use the NPS facilities, bathrooms, showers are available, don't forget that the campgrounds are designed for tent campers who have no facilities in their tents. There will be a dump station near the campground.

Bill

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Every other year the family heads west from NJ. This year it's California. We will be staying a week at both Sequoia and Yosemite. We may be a bit spoiled with private campground hookups. The best advantage for the National Park sites -- as I see it -- is not having the 30-60 minute drive into the parks each day.

So, how does one handle (for 2 weeks) the lack of hookups? Showers, fresh water, can you run a generator, black water (have a 30 gallon tote) and ... BEARS!

We do the Walmart thing while traveling out and back. Also have side trips at Lake Powell, Carson City and Salt Lake City.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:35 PM   #4
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It's been a few years since I was at Sequoia, I remember they have showers and laundry at the store a short distance from the campground. I believe they are $ showers.
Drinking water is available at a spigot outside of the rest room near the tent only sites. Tents sites are about 1/4 mile away from tent/trailer sites. It's a little to far to walk carrying water so you could just have some fresh water containers to fill and use your truck or suv to transport the water to your trailer. There is a large mostly empty parking lot between the campgrounds and plenty of room to get the trailer near the rest room. You'll need at least 80 foot of hose to reach the parking lot from the spigot to fill your tank.
I think there is a dump station on the same parking lot. Can't really remember for sure.
They have bear boxes at each site for food storage. I had a site next to the ampitheather. Had to park my truck along side of my old trailer(23foot) as the site was short, larger trailers can fit at most sites, but you'll have to unhook. Saw deer walking around in the mornings and coyotes near our site too, sorry no bears.
Generator use:
Nobody near us had one. Maybe there is a section that allows it. I'm really not sure.
We spent 4 days and nights there and didn't need a generator. Our batteries were enough for the way we camp at National Parks. No microwave, no television, some furnace use, and only one light on at a time.
Have a fun trip!
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:49 PM   #5
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We just stayed at Humbolt Redwoods State Park in Northern California this summer. It was a wonderful place to see the big trees but it was quite expensive by my standards. I remember paying in excess of $50 for a no utilities site and having to drive many miles into the park. There were no dump facilities close by and the showers were all fee required. California is in some financial trouble and I think this was an indication.

The next night we stayed Harris Beach State Park just over the border in Oregon. Full hookups at about half the price. Harris Beach is in a pretty area although the campground itself is a little crowded.

The point of this is, if you want to stay in the Redwood Forests of California be prepared for some above average fees and below average services. The forests are amazing and still probably worth all the high fees and lack of amenities.

I did not check on or stay at any of the private facilities in the area.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:57 PM   #6
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Thnak-you all so much. Will have to check Park sites -- did'nt remember seeing showers available. Several campgrounds allow/require reservations ( a must for my piece of mind). Will check out Park site or call to inquire about generators. If we can shower at a park facility that will seriously cut down the waste water.

Other comments/recommendations still welcome.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:13 PM   #7
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We spent 6 days at Taylor Reservoir last summer and I monitored the back water, gray water, propane and fresh water very carefully and then double checked my calculations after returning home. Two of us in a 25 Safari had more than enough capacity for the 6 day stay. I used a Honda 2000 generator three times to top off the batteries. Used a couple of sun showers to wash our hair. I must admit that my wife and I have been avid sailors and conserving water and power are second nature.

Too be honest, the lack of hookups has become a plus in our book and we're looking forward to longer stays in USFS campgrounds.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:27 PM   #8
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We use government sites almost exclusively. The one drawback of the NPS sites is they are often not real level and may be short enough to require unhooking. I would guess this is because most were built by the CCC before RV's became popular. None the less they do work and we like being in the park. Our real preference is Forest Service sites. We will also use Corp. of engineers, BLM etc. Can't remember the last time we used a private campground other than attending a rally
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:17 PM   #9
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We would rather be in a public campground than a private one. In general the sites are more private. They have had bear problems at the upper elevations in YNP, but I think not in the valley. I would suggest you stay in the valley and make reservations for a campsite WELL in advance. Start with this link to Yosemite:
Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
They can accomadate trailers up to 40 feet.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon are adjacent to one another. Kings Canyon seems to be more of a locals park as families return every year for their vacations. Here is a url for Sequoia/Kings:
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park - Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Former Californian who has spent many pleasant days in these locations.
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