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Old 05-17-2014, 07:12 AM   #1
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Struggling ------

This morning I am struggling with the concept of RV ownership and modern camping. I am at a KOA campground in WV. The image of having some solitary time is shattered. I thought the sites would be spaced to afford each camper some privacy solitude. In fact, we are packed in so tight we may as well be parked at a dealership. There is less than 20 between sites with no brush between sites, so there is zero privacy.. I opted for no fire last night as it was so close to the person next to me I saw no point.

On one hand I can understand places like this for families trying to get away. They have a pool, volleyball, basket ball, horseshoes, and other amenities. But why pack them in so tight?
This seems to be the standard for RV camping on the east coast. A far cry from the iconic images of the independent American out on their own.

Are there more secluded and private rv camp sites out there? I am starting to think this isn't for me
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:23 AM   #2
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Packed in ???? What reason ???? $$$$$$$$$$$$ There is only one. Rest assured that there are great sites around you just have to find them. State / National parks are a place to start.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBstream View Post
This morning I am struggling with the concept of RV ownership and modern camping. I am at a KOA campground in WV. The image of having some solitary time is shattered. I thought the sites would be spaced to afford each camper some privacy solitude. In fact, we are packed in so tight we may as well be parked at a dealership. There is less than 20 between sites with no brush between sites, so there is zero privacy.. I opted for no fire last night as it was so close to the person next to me I saw no point.

On one hand I can understand places like this for families trying to get away. They have a pool, volleyball, basket ball, horseshoes, and other amenities. But why pack them in so tight?
This seems to be the standard for RV camping on the east coast. A far cry from the iconic images of the independent American out on their own.

Are there more secluded and private rv camp sites out there? I am starting to think this isn't for me
You just picked the wrong place to stay.

Google Pipestem Resort State Park. Go there, and see what a good campground is all about.

There's a wealth of camping opportunities around you. Do a little research, and you'll be okay!

Good luck!
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:30 AM   #4
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We mainly camp at State Parks, as we like trees, hiking and nature.
There are many great folks on the forum that will give you some wonderful places to camp in your area. Trust me when I say there are more choices out there than you think.
There are many apps for your iPhone/iPad that you can download that help greatly.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:33 AM   #5
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Struggling ------

There are better places for sure. Not all KOA's are packed as tight as you are. It's really a matter of research and talking to folks. I remember going down to Destin Fl to an unseen campground where you could camp next to the beach. When we got there we realized that they packed you in so tight, that your awning was almost touching the trailer next to you. We left and found a new campground. Not on the beach but much, much better. Same thing happened in Myrtle Beach S.C.

So ask other folks and also ask the campground. You will find lots of great places to stay, without having feel like you are on a parking lot.

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Old 05-17-2014, 07:45 AM   #6
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There are probably a thousand spacious campgrounds for every crowded one. We have even found KOA's with lots of room. Like others have mentioned here, State campgrounds tend to be more spacious like this one.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:52 AM   #7
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My experience with KOA campgrounds is exactly this one and the reason I avoid them like the plague. I very much look for space and privacy when camping so I do quite a bit of research of each campground before I book a site. If you spend a little time looking you can find some great campgrounds even in the north east which is notorious for tight campgrounds.

State parks, national parks and national forest campgrounds typically provide sites with space and privacy, but if you spent the time doing your research there are plenty of private campgrounds that offer the same.

-J



Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBstream View Post
This morning I am struggling with the concept of RV ownership and modern camping. I am at a KOA campground in WV. The image of having some solitary time is shattered. I thought the sites would be spaced to afford each camper some privacy solitude. In fact, we are packed in so tight we may as well be parked at a dealership. There is less than 20 between sites with no brush between sites, so there is zero privacy.. I opted for no fire last night as it was so close to the person next to me I saw no point.

On one hand I can understand places like this for families trying to get away. They have a pool, volleyball, basket ball, horseshoes, and other amenities. But why pack them in so tight?
This seems to be the standard for RV camping on the east coast. A far cry from the iconic images of the independent American out on their own.

Are there more secluded and private rv camp sites out there? I am starting to think this isn't for me
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:24 AM   #8
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In my opinion, KOA is good for one thing only; it's a place to stop overnight while en route to someplace better but farther away.

The last time I stayed at a KOA, we were so close together that my next-door-neighbor's sewer connection was under my awning. Literally. When they pulled in, I actually had to roll back a corner of my 913 my patio mat for them to hook up their slinky.

It beats boondocking in a Walmart parking lot. But not by much.

However, I still keep a KOA card in my wallet, so I can get discounts at the Route66 store here in town. While it doesn't have the biggest selection, it's only 2 miles from home, unlike Camping World which is 35 miles away.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:47 AM   #9
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Be prepared to do without hookups for a night or three. When you free yourself from external power and water, your camping life will open up to those national park areas that don't have hookups. For us it's a small price to pay. Solitude is priceless.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:52 AM   #10
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As mentioned above, a lot of the best campgrounds (state and provincial parks, national parks) lack power and water. The price/night for unserviced sites is lower, leading to quick payback for investments in energy self-sufficiency (solar).
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:40 AM   #11
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You might also want to get a campground guide or two and keep them close so you can check the reviews. There are apps for your iPad and there are books from Good Sam (Camping World) and Woodall's (any AAA office will sell them really cheap to members). Check the reviews and maybe even look online before picking a campground, especially if you're there for more than an overnight respite on the way to somewhere else.

Agree that there are nice KOA facilities out there. As a kid I loathed KOA for tent camping, but since we got into RV camping we've camped at a couple of nice once, though I always look them over carefully before booking. In fact, in their own guide, they are starting to differentiate between road house places that are a step above the Wal Mart vs. destination resorts, and there are usually plenty of pictures. You may still wind up in the occasional surprise cramp-ground, but it will happen less often.

If you crave the the wilder spaces with almost nobody around, you may want to look into boondocking, as others have suggested.

That kind of homework will maximize the chances of landing at a campground you'll like and ensure you have a lot more fun in your travels.

All the best and happy camping,
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:22 AM   #12
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This has always been my complaint. We live in the country and I am not used to neighbors. We usually opt for State of National campgrounds.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:26 AM   #13
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State parks and Corps of Engineers parks are spacious.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
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In my opinion, KOA is good for one thing only; it's a place to stop overnight while en route to someplace better but farther away.
Yes, and I think in 11 years of camping, we've only stayed at a KOA once - an overnight stop where we barely unhooked the trailer and just needed a place to feel safe for the night.

I don't consider 'parking lot' parks to be a destination, just a place to spend the night along the way. And as mentioned above, often the roomiest and most peaceful places won't have hookups, but we're fine for a few days unhooked, so that's ok.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:29 PM   #15
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In 40 years of camping, i have never stayed at a KOA. We have stayed at some very nice privately owned RV parks. Private parks are for overnight stays when you need to be close to some event. State parks are a destination.
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:25 PM   #16
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The campgrounds vary. Some are "sardine parks" that pack em in and others are like estates with wide spaces between. I like our state parks in FL. They are like camping in the woods and some are just a walk to the gulf or ocean. Some parks, like the one you are at are more like an urban village. I stayed at one last year with about 10 feet between campsites. it depends on how long you will be staying and what the area holds as points of interest. We stayed there two nights- done.
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:07 PM   #17
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Ditto to what's been said. We've stayed at a few KOAs and their (congested) ilk, but generally it was only because we were on a long road trip and simply needed a place to stay with laundry and wi-fi; or because our destination was urban and we pretty much had to take an urban RV park.

State parks, US Forest Service, National Park Service, and (in the West) Bureau of Land Management campgrounds are much more compatible for those of us who think camping should get us closer to nature. The more accessible ones can get crowded, as well, during peak weekends and in the summer, but there is usually more vegetation screening between camp sites.
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:38 PM   #18
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Some of the great privately owned parks we have stayed at:
1. EZ Daze, Southaven, MS
2. Frog Hollow, Grenada, MS
3. Lake Tiak O'Khata, Louisville, MS
4. Majestic Oaks RV Resort, Biloxi, MS
5. Salmon Lake Park, Grapeland, TX
6. Timberlake, Ridgeland, MS
They all have full hookups, and some have cable and Wi-Fi. None of them are as good as some state parks-
1. George Payne Cossar State Park, Oakland, MS
2. Poverty Point, Delhi, LA
3. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
4. Lake Catherine State Park, Hot Springs, AR
Or Corps of Engineers parks-
North Abutment, Grenada, MS
Or Forest Service parks-
Choctaw Lake, Ackerman, MS
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:39 PM   #19
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You know-
You should get a review of a park on Airforums before you stay there-
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #20
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Any Airstream built in the last 40 years should have the ability to survive off grid for at least a few days. If I arrived at a place that resembled the KOA where you are now, I'd get online and find a county/ state/ national park without the issues you have now. Electric and sewer aren't worth the sacrifice...... Walmart has more space, and is gratis! That to me is worth saving $50!
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