Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Family Camping: Camping while traveling
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Hardtime01

Central Fla

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Posted: 05/21/13 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Leaving next month from Florida to Laconia, NH for bike week. Will be trailering a new Work and Play toy hauler with bikes inside. I am new to this and need to ask ya'll about stopping for the night at campgrounds. Do they have an overnight rate per se, or do you have to pay for a full day? Money not the issue, just wondered about having to have a reservation and all. I want to drive till I'm tired, find a campground for the night, plug in power and leave early the next morning to continue our trip. Any suggestions? Thanks...Mark

midnightsadie

ohio

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Posted: 05/21/13 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

for just overnight, sleep and go, try crackerbarrel or a wall mart lot. CG are going to charge for at least one day, no matter what time you pull in. suggestion, stop early get a good meal and rest .lifes real short enjoy the trip.

DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 05/21/13 09:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Every private campground is different how they handle drop-in's vs reservations. State sponsored campgrounds (like State Parks or Federal Forests) are found on the state DNR (Department of Natural Resources) web sites. Federal campgrounds, here's a start: http://www.recreation.gov/

If looking for overnights,in addition to Wall Mart and Cracker Barrel, don't forget about private campgrounds or campsites maintained by private clubs, like American Legion, Elks, Masonic Lodge, Moose Lodge or even military. If you are a member of one of these organizations, consider contacting them and see what's available. Also, if you are the member of a specific religious group, church, synagogue, mosque, it's possible you might be able to get an overnight in the parking lot if you contact the right spiritual "grand poo-bah!" (We belong to a church and we link with other ministers and churches and inquire about overnighting in their church parking lot. Sometimes we can, sometimes we cannot, but it's worth a shot if you belong to something like this).

There again, to answer your question, there's no standard. Every campground is different, and prices are different for every campground too.


DutchmenSport

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NCWriter

North Carolina

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Posted: 05/21/13 09:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many people use campgrounds just the way you describe, with no reservations (note: might be worth doing when you are passing through a really popular resort area on peak season weekends. You can always call ahead earlier that day.)

Otherwise, just show up and ask if they have a site that suits your needs (size, electric, water, sewer or dump station, cable TV, pull-through vs back-in, whatever you prefer.) Sites with fewer amenities may be cheaper.

When we are just overnighting, we skip places with pools, playgrounds, etc that we won't use, if the price is higher.

The rate they will quote is per night. It doesn't matter if you are there just to sleep 5 hours or hang out for 18 hours.

One thing to be aware of at generally low-priced campgrounds such as National Forest Service spots is that they may have a gate locked by 10 p.m., midnight, or whatever.


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hitchup

Fulltiming and on the Road.

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Posted: 05/21/13 10:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We tend to use private CG's using Passport America, Good Sam or an occasional KOA for discounts. We have membership cards for all 3 and call about 60-90 mins before our arrival to check for a pull through space if possible.

After a long drive, we never hook up the sewer, rarely the water, but like to have power for 2 AC's or 2 furnaces depending on the time of year. We like to have 50amp power to cool the fridge down and relax with some TV and a hot microwave meal or sandwich to save costs instead of driving to a restaurant.


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skipnchar

Topeka or somewhere else

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Posted: 05/21/13 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can easily control the amount you pay in overnight campgrounds by limiting the services you need. Camp at CAMPGROUNDS rather than RV parks and for the MOST economical (and also usually the most scenic) campsite choose one that doesn't have the three utilities (elec, water and sewer) since you won't actuallY need them for an overnight stay. MOST RV parks have a single rate and you'll have LESS control over the costs. Of course you'd always have the options many prefer, of camping in parking lots but when I travel I do so for enjoyment and that is FAR from enjoyable to me. To each their own.
Good luck and have a good trip / Skip


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Hardtime01

Central Fla

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Posted: 05/21/13 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I thank you all... Mark

Bill & Kate

Stone Harbor, NJ

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Posted: 05/21/13 12:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are coming up I-95, there are numerous private campgrounds that are set up for the overnight stay - pull through sites at under $25/night. Many keep their offices open late to accommodate travelers. We usually travel in the winter rather than the summer, and often stop at Pedro's Campground at South of the Border because it ends up being in the right spot for us, but there are many others. You will see the billboards along the road - just give them a call.


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jeffcarp

Des Moines, IA

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Posted: 05/21/13 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One thing to remember is that campgrounds are not like hotels. You can't just pop in at whatever time of night you please. Campgrounds are often small businesses run by the owners who try to sleep periodically! The office won't be staffed all the time like a hotel front desk. You will need to call ahead and find out their "after hours" procedures for late arrival. Often that involves taping your site number and paperwork to the door of the office or a drop box and settling up payment in the morning.


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Chuck&Gail

In the Colorado Mountains

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Posted: 05/21/13 10:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We always use campgrounds. In over 200,000 miles we have made reservations ahead for about five special events. Other than that we MAY call ahead an hour or so. So far we have been turned away ONCE, and the CG actually called ahead to the next CG to reserve a space for us. Admittedly we didn't always get the best spot, but all we wanted was to sleep safely for the night. Almost always had electric, although it was, rarely, only 20 amp.


Chuck
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Not yet camped in Hawaii, 2 Canada Provinces, & 2 Territories
I can't be lost because I don't care where this lovely road is going

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