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Old 05-17-2014, 05:34 PM   #21
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Our first choice is usually a public campground as well. We stayed at a KOA once for one night. Not likely to return anytime soon. There are several nice Army COE campgrounds in WV that are much nicer than a KOA.

We use Ultimate US Public Campground Project when looking for CG's. It's best web site we have found identifying only public campgrounds. Ultimate Campgrounds - The LARGEST POI List for US Public Campgrounds.

You will still need to go to the individual parks web site if they have one to get any details. It saves us a lot of time looking for what Public CG's are out there.
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:55 PM   #22
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Not much for pit toilets and hippies. I will stay at a KOA any day. Most state parks I have looked at were less than desirable, whereas the KOAs were consistently cleaner. Jim
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:33 PM   #23
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I agree with Beach Bum; some of our favorite campgrounds are Army Corps. I don't like to be crammed in next to my neighbor unless we're very close friends!
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:40 PM   #24
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Now that we've got our Solar charging system tuned to as well as possible for a 150 watt PWM system, we're ready for a bit of boondocking in national forests / parks, and the like.

An overnight at WalMart will remain far down our list of potential overnight stops, as our friends had a frightening experience there one night. They came out of it fine, but it was pretty scary - local toughs roaring about the parking lot at 2AM and banging on doors, demanding to be let in. So, any KOA will win out for a quick overnight, even if it's a cramp-ground / pseudo-parking-lot - at least it's relatively safe and thus more comfortable.

Can't wait to get going again!
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:19 PM   #25
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There are as many "styles" of camping as there are campers. Generally speaking, commercial RV parks, sites will be tighter...owners are in it to make $, after all, and that's how they do it ...density of sites ... which translates into less privacy and closer proximity. Some commercial RV parks do make a real effort to provide privacy to their customers, and some accomplish it fairly well. Others, not so much. We have stayed in some pleasant private parks (including KOAs) and we've stayed in so real dogs (including some KOAs)... mostly we've taken advantage of that type of park when we just need a place to stay overnight on our way to somewhere else. Research is important.

The other side of the coin ... public campgrounds ... (state, county and city parks, national forest campgrounds, and some of the national parks and monuments), will usually have fewer ammenities, will generally afford you more space and therefore more privacy. But even that isn't a hard and fast rule. For instance, camping in Yosemite last summer, while we had a good time, there was very little privacy, sites were packed in and dense, and we experienced some of the rudest fellow campers we've ever encountered. So again ... research is important. Don't give up .... look for what's important to you in a campground/destination, and you will be able to find it.

Your Airstream offers you a wonderful way to vacation, relax, see the country and enjoy your friends and family. There's nothing quite like it and it's a new adventure every time you hit the road.

Happy trails!
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:27 AM   #26
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Not much for pit toilets and hippies. I will stay at a KOA any day. Most state parks I have looked at were less than desirable, whereas the KOAs were consistently cleaner. Jim

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is somewhat near you and trumps any KOA in my book. Beautiful, full hookups, lush vegetation between trailers, and walking distance to the most beautiful emerald green gulf water beach ever...
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:34 AM   #27
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Around here they did away with pit toilets 25 years ago. They all have modern plumbing now.
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Old 05-18-2014, 05:48 AM   #28
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Pit toilets was used to make a point, are not too many hippies around anymore either. Most of us have melted back into society. All be it grudgingly. Two state parks I found terrible were in Ohio. The ones in Fl are much better. Maybe I just picked the wrong ones. Sorry if I offended anyone, jim
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:09 AM   #29
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We are at a Corps of Engineers park now that we visit at least a dozen times per year- better than KOA-Click image for larger version

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Old 05-18-2014, 10:33 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post

None of them are as good as some state parks-

3. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach, FL

A lot of folks don't realize that Topsail was developed as a private campground. It used to be called Emerald Coast. I was told that the state wanted it as a park and took it by eminent domain. The owner went east to Panama City and built another park also called Emerald Coast. We stayed there the last year of private ownership and the owner was not too happy about losing his campground. This one is not your typical state developed facility.

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Old 05-18-2014, 11:13 AM   #31
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Along with location, I would think that timing and season will also gain you privacy. Anybody want to chime in with the quietest vs. busiest times of year?

I would think September and October would naturally afford one more privacy than July or August?

Traveling off season is of interest to me and I am sure others as well. Thoughts?
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Old 05-18-2014, 03:24 PM   #32
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Loved the expression "cramp-ground"! We've stayed in a few. But usually the nearby destination location was the pull, like needing to be somewhere in a city and having few close-in camping options. Also, on a long road trip, we sometimes take any port in a storm. But on long road trips, usually we make a point of bypassing urban areas and opting for RV parks in small towns and rural areas. Usually the rates are lower and they aren't so congested-- as a whole.

We spent April camping in southeastern Utah plus the City of Rocks in southern Idaho-- and just about had the City of Rocks and some of the Utah BLM campgrounds to ourselves. Plus the BLM allows boondocking just about anywhere, unless it's posted otherwise.

Can't think of when I've last seen any hippies while camping. 1983?
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Old 05-18-2014, 03:44 PM   #33
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Along with location, I would think that timing and season will also gain you privacy. Anybody want to chime in with the quietest vs. busiest times of year?

I would think September and October would naturally afford one more privacy than July or August?

Traveling off season is of interest to me and I am sure others as well. Thoughts?
My husband and I camp in Michigan a lot in September and October. We are frequently one of just a handful of campers.
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Old 05-18-2014, 04:12 PM   #34
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A lot of folks don't realize that Topsail was developed as a private campground. It used to be called Emerald Coast. I was told that the state wanted it as a park and took it by eminent domain. The owner went east to Panama City and built another park also called Emerald Coast. We stayed there the last year of private ownership and the owner was not too happy about losing his campground. This one is not your typical state developed facility.

Jack

OK. Let's use another nice state park, George Payne Cossar State Park, Yocona Ridge campground, Enid Lake, Oakland, MS- another place we visit at least 6 times a year-
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Old 05-18-2014, 04:13 PM   #35
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I thought Topsail was to preserve the habitat of a beach mouse...
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:18 PM   #36
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I thought Topsail was to preserve the habitat of a beach mouse...

That may have been the state's justification. The owner never told me why they were taking his campground, other than he wasn't very pleased about it.

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Old 05-18-2014, 06:52 PM   #37
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We avoid "commerical" campgrounds as much as we can... why pay a higher price to be next to someone with a noisy kid, dog, or loud vehicle? If you have a trailer that is "self-contained".... go for it!

Lots of great camping apps... I would take a long look at those if you carry a tablet or smart phone. Otherwise cruise amazon to find the best books! We love National Forest Service sites... many of them offer great "senior" discounts if that might apply, which is a extra bonus! You can find lots of info on camping areas here on the forum, or just Google an area you want to go to and check the maps for campgrounds!

You will find peace and serenity, just look a bit! Have fun!
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:58 PM   #38
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We stayed in a commercial campground to see our granddaughter when she was born- it was closer- the trip was about the baby.
We stayed at a commercial campground for a wedding- it was closer- the trip was about the wedding.
We attend a couple of rallies every year at commercial campgrounds- the trip was about the rally.
They are all very nice parks, but when the trip is about camping I prefer state parks, corps parks, and forest service parks-
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:16 PM   #39
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We've stayed at some pleasant KOAs, and we've stayed at a couple where I would rather have spent the night at a Flying J. Better neighbors, as well as it being quieter... And of course, they have better prices.
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:58 PM   #40
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m.hony, I have to say that I am loving the pics you post of your various campsites. I have been noting this for some time, so I have to believe that most of your camping is done at lovely campgrounds with water and/or lovely spacious views.

In the past two or three years, we have discovered how nice the COE campgrounds are, and I don't think we've found one which we didn't like. During our recent trip to Albuquerque, NM for the Vintage Trailer Academy, we stayed at the same one on the way out and again on the way back home since we liked it so well; it was at Ozark, Akansas. It was just wonderful, can't begin to say enough about it, clean, level sites, on the water, very nice sites some with "awnings" over the picnic tables. Also, since I get the "senior pass" pricing, our site on the way out with the "awning" was only $10/night and on the way back home without the "awning" was $9/night -- you can't beat that! And talk about spacious!

Would you mind sharing the names of the COE campgrounds which you have posted the lovely pictures on this thread?

Thanks in advance.

Deb
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