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Old 11-23-2002, 02:13 AM   #1
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Question Campgrounds

By now most of you oldtimers on this forum, know that I'm a newby concret sailor. So, my question for today is, what I have to look for in a good campgroud? So far I spend all my time boondocking at Wallmart.
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Old 11-23-2002, 06:19 AM   #2
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Texas has so many beautiful state parks, it would be a great place for you to start exploring the joys of RV'ing. Most of them offer full hook-ups, plenty of room and lots of outdoors activities.
Look for #5580, we are somewhere out there just about every weekend.
Heading out to the 'Canyon of the Eagles' right now.
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Old 11-23-2002, 06:33 AM   #3
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A lot of what to look for depends on what you want in way of amenities. They can run from gravel sites, and 15 amp electric with no hook ups to resort settings with on site golf courses.

I have a pool, so a campground with a pool means nothing to me. I like the state park campgrounds because the tend to have alot of trees, and there are things to do in the park that are within walking distance. You also need to look at what you want to do in the area you are traveling to. Your post on the New Braunfels festival is a perfect example.

If boondocking at WalMart gets the job done, and you are comfortable overnighting there, do it. That is one of the big benifits of being self contained!
Brett G
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Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 11-23-2002, 06:43 AM   #4
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We like campgrounds with well prepared sites. The ones where you are able to hook up to the water and electric easily, where the spaces are reasonably apart, and extra amenities available; which for us are things to do with the kids. Hiking, a lake, a pool in summer, bike pathes, etc. You also need to check pet policy if you take one.
I have enjoyed cable tv hook up on occassion but that is not a requirement for us.
It is fun to try different places on the road, get yourself a good TrailerLife guide or Woodall's and you can call ahead to see if there is space, plus have a geneal idea of what to expect.
My favorites are state parks, although my kids like the KOA's we have been to so far in 3 or 4 different states.
Next summer for our big road trip I think we are going to head out with fewer reservations pre-made and more flexibility.
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Old 11-23-2002, 08:06 PM   #5
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We use:

(1) The Trailer Life Directory ( The hardcopy book (phone book sized) is about $14 per year. I think the rating system gives you a very good idea of what you're heading towards and what you should expect.


(2) Yahoo Parks - We will State and National parks because of the cost and scenery. We like to go hiking with our dogs. Yahoo has a good listing of parks. (
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Old 11-23-2002, 09:58 PM   #6
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Question Park q's

I know nothing about parks either and am a while off from needing them. But I have been wondering about them too.

What is the price range?
Are most pull thru spaces or will I get to back in around an obstacle course?
How late in evening are you welcome to arrive?

If using Wal-Mart, what is the proceedure? Do you go in the store and tell them you are there?
Does Wal-Mart really want us there?

What about Mall lots? (in general).
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Old 11-23-2002, 10:55 PM   #7
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Greetings Hex!

The easiest way to get a feel for amenities and cost is to browse through a Trailer Life or Woodall's campground guide. As a freewheeler, I always look for pull-thrus with full hookups. The last three summers traveling West of the Mississippi, my average per night cost for such accommodations has been just short of $23.00 per night with the highest being at the West Yellowstone KOA where I stayed for a week in absolute comfort ($30.00 per night). The typical range for full connections with a pull thru has been from $15.00 to $45.00 per night. Proximity to major tourist attractions adds significantly to the campground rates just as it often does to motel rates. Some of the newer resort-style parks offer cable TV, telephone service, and some Internet service for up-charges above their regular ngihtly rates.

During high season, most of the parks that I have encountered keep their offices open until at least 8:00 p.m., and more typically 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. Even with pull-thrus, it is nice to arrive during daylight hours as it is often difficult to find some of the facilities such as sewer connections after dark. Most parks allow self-check-in after hours via a sign-in area at the park entrance. I usually try to decide where I want to stay about 3:00 p.m. and then call ahead to make a reservation and arrangements for late arrival if necessary. Unless I am traveling to popular tourist attractions, I rarely make advance reservations.

While many Walmarts and Flying J Truck Stops welcome RVs to spend the night, they are my last resort. A big part of the travel experience to me is meeting the people who are my neighbors in the campground, and I like having full connections so that I can use my Air Conditioner and not have to worry about a blue tank for gray water.

Many of the campgrounds offer AAA Motor Club discounts or Good Sam Club Discounts, and I have encountered a few commercial parks that offer a discount to WBCCI members as well. I typically plan to stay at KOAs when I am in-transit between destinations.

Kevin D. Allen
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Old 11-24-2002, 03:52 PM   #8
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Yes Hex.......

Walmart does want us there, in fact I saw a news clip some time ago on the TT's staying overnight. We are money to them, stock the frig, gas up, and get any other supplies we may need. As I said before, when I overnighted in Amarillo, TX there were 8 of us (me and SOB's) and 4 semi rigs all in the back of the lot. (the place no one wants to park and walk a country mile!) No, you don't have to say anything to the store, odds are you'll think of something you need when you pull in! The best part is 24hr. rolling security! Oscar
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Old 11-24-2002, 06:16 PM   #9
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Wal-Mart is a good place to stop for the night. We usually have a grocery list. Sometimes we leave on our trip without the usual food stuffs knowing a Wal-Mart Supercenter is on the way. They get plenty of $$$ from us. To them, every RV is GREEN (as in money).

Get a $6 U.S. map book at your Wal-Mart and keep it in the RV. There is a listing of all the Wal-Marts around the country and even tells you which ones are within a mile of the Interstate.

I have found the Wal-Mart parking lots more level and with much more room. Since the lot is built for the heavy day traffic, there's lots of space in the back. Flying-J's can get cramped at night.

Some communities are passing ordinances against this activity. Obviously the campground owners don't like it! It has taken me some time to get used to the concept but I finally got a decent nights sleep the last time we did it!
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