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Old 07-20-2015, 03:10 PM   #29
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What this thread shows is that there is, and always will be, a place for small rigs that seek a camping experience outside of RV Parks (and Resorts) - one of my fears would be that those who plan campgrounds in National, Provincial or State Parks will (and are) feeling pressure to homogenize campground designs in favour of accommodating big rigs - this will mean wider, straighter roads and right-of-ways, higher clearances, longer campsites spurs, more pull-throughs, smaller buffers and ultimately a negatively impacted natural setting .....


Jay
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:16 PM   #30
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No doubt it's a trade off. The private parks need to make money & monetize the land and infrastructure or they have to close. We just stayed in a private park in central Colorado last weekend and sure there were big rigs but next to us was a 70's vintage motorhome, a 20' hi-lo on the other side, and several modest sized trailers including several tent trailers and the tent sites were also fully occupied. The camp was lively with people sitting outside and talking around campfires. So - the trade-off? Nice facilities, a helpful staff, clean rest rooms, level sites, a clean safe camp with 24X7 security and quiet time / noise rules that are enforced while accepting that there will be a few big rigs and tighter spaces. There are still some old style campgrounds out there if you look but they are not well located overall and since they are not as profitable as the newer style (pack em in - use every inch) my observation is that in general the older style parks are not as well maintained and the facilities are not regularly invested in.
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:34 PM   #31
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In California, many campgrounds in federal and state parks are limited to smaller rigs, like our 23' FC. There might be a few spaces for larger rigs, but those are probably not going to be available if you just drop in. When boondocking, we very rarely see any other campers. Those are our preferred ways to camp, but you can't count on getting a space, particularly on a weekend like this coming weekend, which is evidently the last weekend of summer vacation for many kids.

My son and granddaughter want me to take them camping and fishing this weekend. My first thought was Loon Lake, because I've been meaning to go up there myself, and that's probably where I'd go if it were just my wife and me. If we didn't find a spot in the campground, we'd find someplace in the national forest. But it wouldn't be next to the lake, and is probably not what my son and granddaughter have in mind. The ranger said if we didn't get there midweek or very early on Friday morning, forget about it. But they're not coming until Saturday morning.

This was getting too complicated, so I just phoned around at a couple of other lakes around here where they have commercial RV parks, and found a spot at one of those. Maybe I'll be sandwiched in between some big rigs, but it sure made life a lot more simple. Just drive up there Saturday afternoon, check in, hook up, go fishing.

So I guess there's room for both.
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:46 PM   #32
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We have a small footprint in our 16' Bambi so mostly like to boondock or dry camp in the smaller FS campgrounds. But we find that state parks hit a sweet spot for longer stays -- Nice large reserveable spaces, some amenities, and NO GENERATOR NOISE (go solar!), which is my big camping pet peeve.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:09 PM   #33
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We could boondock for several days in our 27, but not if it's hot. Need electric hookup for that A/C! We have a generator that will run the A/C at almost full load, and I don't want to carry enough gas to keep the genny going that long. But if the weather is temperate, we prefer to boondock *some* of the time.

We go to southern CA for several months in the winter, and we need hookups when we're living in the trailer full-time for an extended period. But we like the older parks, a little more down-market. The Palm Springs area has some very fancy, very expensive "resorts" that don't take transients at all. Most spaces are reserved for at least a month (that's the minimum), and many are there for half the year, with rents at and above $1500 a month. The big rigs are stacked in like cordwood.

One place, where some Canadian friends spend their winter, is so manicured with so many rules that you can't walk your dog in the park! You must transport your dog off the property in order to walk it. The majority of dogs we saw were little dogs (so common in the big Class A's) and their owners were walking them out of the park in doggie strollers! At least you know you won't step in dog doo on your evening walk...

Now that the baby boomers are starting to retire, expect RV parks and campgrounds to get a lot busier. We boomers are retiring at the rate of ten thousand a day! I expect many more up-market parks to appear in the coming years as the boomers hit the road with money to spend.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:42 PM   #34
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One place, where some Canadian friends spend their winter, is so manicured with so many rules that you can't walk your dog in the park! You must transport your dog off the property in order to walk it. The majority of dogs we saw were little dogs (so common in the big Class A's) and their owners were walking them out of the park in doggie strollers! At least you know you won't step in dog doo on your evening walk...
That seems odd to me. So many of the people that I know or have met buy RV's specifically so they'll have a hassle-free way of traveling with their dogs. I'll bet the proportion of dog owners, and even moreso dog crazy people (of which I are one), is a lot higher among RV owners than the general public. Every RV park has rules about keeping dogs on leashes, but most seem to be somewhat relaxed as long as the dog knows to stay around its own campsite and not go running after every other dog that comes by. I dunno, Canadians are probably different from us in subtle ways, and maybe one of those ways is a tolerance for way more rules than most of us would be willing to put up with. Anyway, you'll never have to worry about me taking your space in that park!
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:54 PM   #35
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Just returned from my Monday duty at the San Juan National Forest visitor center duties. Most of the walk ins as well as many phone calls were looking for disbursed camp sites. Also today, we got a list of areas where disbursed camping is being banned. All of the BLM land in La Plata county is now closed to disbursed camping. The shear numbers of campers looking to get "off the grid" are overwhelming and the damage is very visible. Enjoy it while you can as it looks like more and more NF sites will be closed in the coming years, especially in the west. Google today's edition of the Durango Herald and check out the pile of trash on the front page created by homeless "off the grid" campers.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:59 PM   #36
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We're with you on the solar/no generators, Caroline!!!!
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:10 PM   #37
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Out biggest camping 'pet peeve' are campers who have pet peeves that are noisy, run loose & won't behave. Two or four legged.

Just be responsible with your peeves and you won't bother anyone....I use a nice quiet Honda 2000 peeve.

Bob
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:56 PM   #38
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Hank,

I am with you and concur with all of your observations. Americans are getting bigger and doing less when it comes to moving around. Private RV parks are staying in business by catering to this change. Huge RVs are the norm and since people don't sit around the campfire these days, the parks can get away with smaller sites as long as they can power up their toys and watch tv and sit in front of their built in fireplaces.

When we "camp" we go to public parks of all descriptions. When we are traveling down the road we partake in the private parks. It is simply easier to find a KOA when you are going from point A to point B.

I see both sides of this story and am glad that we have options. When we moved up from a tent trailer to our 25FB we thought we had purchased a palace. The wife noticed that we are usually the smallest trailer in the RV park these days. Just left a private park in St. Regis, Montana and we were between a huge 5er and a smaller 24 ft trailer but it had slides and an automatic awning. It was a lot taller than ours too. Big diesel pushers with full sedan sized tows, huge long trailers and fifth wheels were all over.
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Old 07-20-2015, 06:32 PM   #39
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I agree with the public campground solution. Heck, you're in Bozeman, right!? Montana, right?

We are happy with a 19-footer (formerly a 16-footer) when we can get into older NPS, USFS, and BLM campgrounds or state park CGs designed decades ago for tents and small RVs. Also, in forested areas, these sites tend to have some vegetation screening between sites.

Like you, we've had too many experiences of having a view consisting of the big sidewall-- or slide-outs-- of the jolly jumbos.

The Idaho state parks seems to have photos of their campsites for their on-line reservation system. This is a big help.

About the worst experiences, in our opinion, is big snowbird RV parks in the Southwest.

There are also some off-the-beaten-track, funky small commercial RV parks, usually in small towns. Places like the Glacier Campground in West Glacier, MT and the Shoshone RV park in Shoshone, CA near Death Valley.
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:01 PM   #40
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Gotta agree with that. RV park for emergencies only... outta water, outta tank capacity no campground space etc
this is exactly why I posted asking for a list to boondock. While renovating my gt, I consider this a must have. I'm new to as but not new to seeing this trend myself. If I want to be in a trailer park, ill rent a trailer.
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:27 PM   #41
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there no walmarts, cracker barrel's, cabelas or truck stops around for a one night stand, er stay.. 31 bucks is gas money man.. heck its hot in utah.. good luck

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The only trailer that was smaller than mine at Oasis RV Resort in Amarillo, TX was a Casita. Not a bad park, level paved sites and full hookups for $31. Hot and windy so you couldn't sit outside but it was fine for an overnight stop on the way to Utah.

Kelvin
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:33 PM   #42
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. All of the BLM land in La Plata county is now closed to disbursed camping.
so why is the BLM land in La Plata close to camping??
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