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Old 07-11-2014, 02:12 AM   #15
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Re: Camping Fees

Tallredboned, just curious. How much have you budgeted for monthly camping expenses?

FYI, on our recent roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest, the following are campground fees we paid per night, categorized by campground type:

National Park, National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and other Federal Campgrounds (Senior Pass discount = 50%) -- Most have no hookups; some have electric and water; very few have full hookups. RATES (with discount): $6 to $12 per night ($180 to $360 per month). Most campgrounds limit stays to 10 days.

State, Regional and City/County Park Campgrounds (a few offer $2 to $3 discounts to seniors) -- Some have no hookups; some have electric and water; some have full hookups. RATES (with discount, if available): $16 to $37 per night ($480 to $1110 per month). Most campgrounds limit stays to 10 days.

Commercial RV Parks and Resorts -- Most have electric and water, or full hookups. RATES: $33 to $50+ per night ($990 to $1,500 per month). Many offer discounts for extended stays.

Boondocking on Federal and some state land -- No hookups. RATE: Free. Most jurisdictions limit stays to 10-14 days, but this rule is often not rigidly enforced.

If you indicate how much you wish to spend per month, others can make suggestions with this dollar figure in mind.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:20 AM   #16
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I have been a member of Escapees for over 20 years. I can highly recommend them for their parks, mail forwarding and a great source of information.
Escapees currently has a $29.95 membership special, join or renew. I think good through October. This is about 1/2 price. A good organization.
Check their web site.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:20 AM   #17
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Passport America is a great deal while actually travelling. Usually only pay half the normal nightly rate. Downside- discount usually only good for the first night, some exceptions, and not everyone accepts it. About $ 45 per year to join. We got that back in one night at a very nice park in downtown New Orleans where the nighty rate was $ 96!
We had Good Sam for one year. The 10% discount wasn't remotely offset by the relatively high cost of their parks, nor the ongoing flood of mail solicitations.

We have had Passport America for over 6 years, and love it. If you renew for multiple years, the annual cost is about $35, I believe.

The 50% off pays for the membership fee very quickly, and is great for one-night stays. There are restrictions, but that's okay, as the membership significantly decreases costs of travel.

I am currently on a beautiful, riverside site for $17.50. The rate is only good Sunday-Thursday, and only for one night.

Public campgrounds are less expensive, require no membership, and the CampWhere app allows you to find them quickly, wherever you are.


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Old 07-11-2014, 06:39 AM   #18
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We had Good Sam for one year. The 10% discount wasn't remotely offset by the relatively high cost of their parks, nor the ongoing flood of mail solicitations.
I don't like the mail solicitations, either. And to be honest, I've never even stayed at a park that offers a Good Sam discount in the 2 years I've owned my Airstream Interstate.

But I'll keep the Good Sam membership anyway and put up with the junk mail. As previously stated, the annual membership fee of $25 saves me about $400 per year on my RV insurance even if I never use it for anything else! I know this because when I was shopping for RV insurance, I got two quotes from Progressive, for identical policies except one quote included the Good Sam discount and the other didn't, so I was able to measure exactly how much the membership saved me.

That's not to say others would get the same discount. An Interstate isn't cheap to buy, and it's not cheap to insure, either. But if you pay $25 per year for membership, you only have to save more than $25 on your insurance for the membership to pay for itself. The kicker is that insurance is regulated by the individual states, and some insurance companies may not offer a Good Sam discount in your domicile state. Ask your insurance agent first before joining the club.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:37 AM   #19
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Agreed, Protag. Could be worth it, just for insurance purposes.

I'm sure we paid a lot more than $25/year for Good Sam. Is that a special rate for multi-year, or with the insurance?

We have had State Farm for decades....car, Interstate and house, and have a good rate there.

If what a person is looking for is discounted campground costs, there are several good ways to do that.

When we want a full-service campground for a few days, or are near a big city we want to visit, we just bite the bullet and pay the higher fees. Sometimes you want cable tv for a few days, laundry right there, paved sites, etc., too.


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Old 07-11-2014, 07:50 AM   #20
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...
As jackcat noted, Passport America also gets you some decent discounts, especially if you only stay one night while en route (since a lot of the discounts are on the first night only)...
At some that first night has to be Mon-Thur, with no discount weekends and holidays. Like he said great if you are traveling and stopping for a night and no WM or Flying J available.

Coast to coast has similar setup of minimum cost to stay night but refusal to honor card carrier as they only allocate a small percentage of sites to the CtoC group, and if you are not a member at the specific park you are a second class camper, welcome to pay full price for a regular spot.

If you are traveling a specific route, we found we had to detour to actually find a branded club park, while we are able to incorporate state and national parks and would even make them the destination.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:59 AM   #21
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Good Sam Club

The best part of this club is that it includes membership to Camping World who has stores all over to purchase supplies,parts and equipment. They also have insurance, Roadside Assistance and other services.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:08 AM   #22
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We carry AAA, as well, which deals with roadside emergencies and gets discounts at many campgrounds, museums, etc.


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Old 07-11-2014, 09:11 AM   #23
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camping deals...

All very good information! We have Good Sam and AAA, but the discounts on camping are typically only 10%; sometimes I use my VA card or AARP, which gets same if Good Sam is not honored. We have Sr. card from National parks which is great, but sometimes we arrive late so can not get in till early morning and limited time stays could be an issue. We use the internet a lot while on the road for one "night'ers" in route so will check into Passport America...We belong to KOA which usually have nice facilities in our experience, but are expensive. We do look for "customer feedback" on all sites, which is a plus when using internet...you can learn a lot about an unfamiliar campground while on the road, plus it helps pass the time! If we could guarantee a site at a state park or Fed. park we would prefer that route each night...but that is very difficult for one night while traveling from A to B...we always have "WalMart" parking lot in the back of our minds, but haven't had to do that yet...
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:56 AM   #24
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I have done the wall mart part and it was ok. I do know I plan to stay 3 weeks at my destinations so I am looking at long term so to speak.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:58 AM   #25
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I also have the All Stays Camp & RV app, on my iPhone & iPad. It seems a very good value at $9.99, though it is more useful when you have an Internet connection.

I was unable to find the CampWhere app in the iOS store - they seem to have discontinued it.

However, I was able to find an app called "The Ultimate US Public Campgrounds" app for the same $3.99 price as the old CampWhere app. This particular app says it is based on data from the Ultimate US Public Campground Project at Ultimate Campgrounds - The LARGEST POI List for US Public Campgrounds. You can access that website for free to see whether it might be helpful to you. Unfortunately, this resource does not seem to offer data for Canada.

I'm also reasonably confident this public campground data is also available from within the All Stays app, as it seems to have plenty of obscure and sometimes free campsites in National Forests, as well as CoE campsites, etc. Not sure whether either app has "dispersed camping" sites in the DB, as I've yet to look for those.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:56 AM   #26
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Passport America now has an app, too, which is very handy,

The apps have allowed us to pitch the bulky, heavy campground directories.

I look fairly early in the day for a site in the direction we are heading, call ahead and secure something for the night.

Saves the cold call at the end of the day, when everything may already be taken.


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Old 07-12-2014, 07:20 AM   #27
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I have done the wall mart part and it was ok. I do know I plan to stay 3 weeks at my destinations so I am looking at long term so to speak.
With National, State and local parks using 10 to 14 days, and most private cgs are daily or monthly your 3 wks choice of stay puts you in corporate campgrounds at highest rate.
Maggie stated it best, price often not the only reason to choose, best and highest priced CG we ever stated at was CtoC(members at time so cheap to us) Green grass, cement pad, full service, spotless bathhouses, new laundry facilities in Mertle Beach, but it didn't have a camping feel to it more like a resort with its large swimming pool,and another CtoC full service cg in Tennessee on the river.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:34 AM   #28
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Dave is absolutely right.

Most public campgrounds.....county, state, federal.....have 14 day stay limits.

Might want to rethink your three weeks, to two, which will allow you to stay in the less expensive and more beautiful sites.

We have met many people on the road who go from one public site to the next, full timing that way.

Seems to work well for many people, just requires some planning.


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