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Old 02-15-2012, 10:55 PM   #127
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We also use the Passport America/Camp Club USA (now part of PA) memberships and the membership always pays for itself, but we have found difficulty using it for overnight stops. It always seems like it's a weekend or other excluded period. We have always been suspicious when we call a member campground and are told that the five member discount spots are already taken. I guess that's how we end up at so many Wal-Marts and truck plazas.

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Old 02-15-2012, 11:01 PM   #128
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We are also a member of Good Sam Clubs and they also have great places to stay inroute.

So are we, and were formerly KOA members as well. Frankly, some of the private campgrounds we've stayed at have been creepier than some of the parking lots. But, I think there's a separate thread about that.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:09 PM   #129
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So are we, and were formerly KOA members as well. Frankly, some of the private campgrounds we've stayed at have been creepier than some of the parking lots. But, I think there's a separate thread about that.
We have also stayed in some of those really creepy commercial campgrounds. SuEllyn and I refer to them as 'felony acres'.

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Old 02-16-2012, 06:28 AM   #130
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Never been at a KOA that charged $25 to 30 for a full hookup. We have also found that KOAs can't be judged simply because they are a franchise. For those just spending a night, a no-hookup place is all that might be needed. Its really a matter of convenience , not saving a few bucks for most, I suspect. But, to each his own preference.
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:38 AM   #131
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No one is complaining about a $25 to $30 full hookup. I am complaing about a $25 to $30 5 hour rest stop.
Yes.



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Old 02-16-2012, 06:45 AM   #132
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No one is complaining about a $25 to $30 full hookup. I am complaing about a $25 to $30 5 hour rest stop.
I see your point, but if you didn't have the Airstream you'd be paying $100 or more for a 5 hour rest stop at a hotel, and it's not like the hotel charges less because you only need it for 5 hours and aren't going to take a shower. I've always felt like I was paying for use of the spot, and not the utilities as much.

Of course, I live in the DC area where the land prices are high, so I'm probably extra-sensitive to that...
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:51 AM   #133
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We also use the Passport America/Camp Club USA (now part of PA) memberships and the membership always pays for itself, but we have found difficulty using it for overnight stops. It always seems like it's a weekend or other excluded period. We have always been suspicious when we call a member campground and are told that the five member discount spots are already taken. I guess that's how we end up at so many Wal-Marts and truck plazas.

Brian
Hmmmm. We have never had the experience of being told all the PA "discount spots" are taken. There may be a difference in where we are looking. Sometimes, reading the campground profile is enlightening, and we avoid those places who seem to have their nose a bit too high in the air. Why deal with people like that if you don't have to.

In popular, touristy spots, you're more likely to find lots of restrictions on PA, in our experience. Many others are just happy to have ya'! We always call ahead, make sure they are open, and check the rates.

KOA's and Good Sam parks tend to be pricey, for what we like to pay, but are our go-to's when we are looking for something nice, in or near town, with all the amenities. Sometimes that's what you want.

Being able to pull over at a WalMart or anywhere else, just to sleep, is one of the delights of having a self-contained unit.


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Old 02-16-2012, 07:34 AM   #134
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I think there will be more people sleeping at free places to offset the higher fuel prices this year.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:55 AM   #135
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We also use the Passport America/Camp Club USA (now part of PA) memberships and the membership always pays for itself, but we have found difficulty using it for overnight stops. It always seems like it's a weekend or other excluded period. We have always been suspicious when we call a member campground and are told that the five member discount spots are already taken. I guess that's how we end up at so many Wal-Marts and truck plazas.

Brian
Brian I would give PA a call about that. I am a member campground and although we can set any date restrictions for usage I am not aware that we can limit the number of spaces available for the discount.
That is something I'm going to check into as well. I've had limited success being a member campground. I have found that most of the people coming are local anyway and actually expected more long distance travellers.
When I joined PA was quite surprised on how low a restriction on dates I had selected. Upon checking further most campgrounds restrict usage to well into the off season. My only restrictions were for the four long weekends a season that we have in Canada.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:23 PM   #136
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We only "attempted" to stay at two different KOA's, one was so full of permanent "Campers", gave new meaning to "Trailer Trash"....it seriously made me wonder if we would have tires on the trailer when we woke up, the second one wanted to charge extra to use the dump station and not well kept. We have stayed at a few Walmarts, and rest stops, but have found if your resourceful, there are plenty of alternate spots. We have found a number of Minor League Ball parks will let you use their parking lot for little to nothing, and usually have areas designated for overnight tailgating! Even out of season, or when no game is scheduled.

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Old 02-16-2012, 01:14 PM   #137
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On my inaugural trip, my very first night I stayed with friends near Detroit. Regs in their town prohibit parking RVs on the street overnight, so my host called three nearby churches to see if I could leave the Bambino in their lot. The large Catholic church kindly obliged; the next morning I donated $20 to their program for local family food programs for the privilege although the church secretary made it very clear it wasn't necessary. She had assumed that I'd stayed in it overnight, so I'm sure that wouldn't have been a problem if I had and might next time I go through there.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #138
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OK, I have a confession: I'm a card-carrying member of KOA (and have been for several years), despite the fact that most of them are in desperate need of capital improvements. But because so many of them have become SO overpriced (relative to their amenities), I've learned to avoid them whenever possible. (The usual excuse offered up by owners is that KOA keeps raising their franchise fees, etc., etc.). Well, fine....but I'm done paying you top dollar to park on dirt and gravel, drink foul-tasting well water, and use facilities that haven't had a face lift since Jimmy Carter was President.........unless absolutely necessary.

That being said, occasionally I've been pleasantly surprised.... just often enough to make it worth it to keep the membership going: Petoskey, Michigan, and the one outside of Yosemite, is it Mariposa?, come to mind.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:06 PM   #139
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We've been lucky with KOA's according to what I read here and on Bob's KOA thread some time ago. But I almost always check CG's down the road on RV Park Reviews and then can eliminate the KOA's that are crummy. We have the KOA card and we always get discounts and a couple of free nights per season. We stay at a lot of independent CG's too and mostly look for full hookups and wifi.

We have never stayed at a Walmart, truck stop or rest stop. We may stop at 4 pm or drive until 7 or even later, but never leave 5 hours later. We want to relax, sleep more than a few hours, not worry about water, watch some TV, keep up on the internet. We usually leave between 9 and 10 am. Perhaps if we were young, 1,000 mile days and a few hours sleep would work sometimes, but even when we drive 400-550 miles per day, day after day, after a while we are frazzled, tired, perhaps driving badly, not having much fun, and have to take a break somewhere.

This is the 2nd Walmart thread about camping there in the past few years and the only thing that is certain is that some people like it and some don't.

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Old 02-16-2012, 04:41 PM   #140
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This is the 2nd Walmart thread about camping there in the past few years and the only thing that is certain is that some people like it and some don't.

Gene
And some people find it so-so, as in "any-port-in-a-storm".


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