Woodalls Open Roads Forum: General RVing Issues: State or Private CGs
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Too Tall

Delaware

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Posted: 10/29/13 04:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What do you prefer? We have been camping for a few years and are retiring at the end of the year. Most of our trips have been long weekends and one weeklong trip a year. Almost all the CGs we stay at are state. We like them because of there rustic qualities. Some have no water at the sight and sometimes the bathhouses need to be updated. Starting next year we are going to do a lot more camping and like to explore different areas. We have to stay within our budget.
Just wondering what you all like.

camperpaul

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Posted: 10/29/13 05:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I prefer state and county park campgrounds over private.


Paul
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TomHaycraft

Round Rock, TX

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Posted: 10/29/13 05:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here in Texas, we have an outstanding State Park system. But like you, I'm at that point in life where one (on occasion two!) 3-day weekends each month throughout the year and then the week of Spring Break are our limits. Still need the jobs to pay the bills and keep funding the retirement account!

From my experience, state parks have been less expensive and provided more space. The private parks I've been to have looked nicer, but carried a higher price and I've been much closer to my neighbors.

If I could retire tomorrow and spend more time in the trailer? State parks would still be my number one choice, can't beat the space, trails, outdoors ... and price.

Good luck, keep us posted on your travels.

Tom


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Lantley

Ellicott City, Maryland

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Posted: 10/29/13 05:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I choose both. State parks generally provide a more serene setting. Sites are larger and more private. Camping rates are generally cheaper.
Private campgrounds provide more amenities,pools,exercise rooms etc.. Sites while smaller may have concrete pads and landscaping. Roads maybe paved FHU sites are generally available vs. no sewers in state parks.
Why limit yourself to one or the other. Choose best value based on your needs.
Sometimes a pool or full hook up site is desirable. While some places a larger private site is best.
There is no just right answer. There are very nice state and private parks available pick the best option in your area. It's always nice to have options/choices.


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rhagfo

Portland, OR

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Posted: 10/29/13 05:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We in Oregon have a great SP system also. We have a park at Fort Stevens that has over 500 sites, while not full two weeks ago, no site large enough to hold our 5er was available so we went to the KOA across the the road. This was a very nice 100 space park, I will use them again even though it cost a bit more, but will stay mostly in the SPs.


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jnharley

Anywhere, U.S.A.

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Posted: 10/29/13 05:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sticking to a budget, you may have to consider more private campgrounds because they will more than likely have weekly and monthly rates which are much less than the daily rates at government parks. That is why many fulltimers do not stay in state and federal parks. There are stay limits and high daily rates. We do mix it up though because we have some state parks that we visit repeatedly because they are favorites from before our fulltiming adventure started. For us, they are expensive. Lots of nice private campgrounds out there.


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rk911

Wheaton IL

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Posted: 10/29/13 05:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Too Tall wrote:

What do you prefer? We have been camping for a few years and are retiring at the end of the year. Most of our trips have been long weekends and one weeklong trip a year. Almost all the CGs we stay at are state. We like them because of there rustic qualities. Some have no water at the sight and sometimes the bathhouses need to be updated. Starting next year we are going to do a lot more camping and like to explore different areas. We have to stay within our budget.
Just wondering what you all like.


when we started this thing we call RVing we used mostly public campgrounds...city/county/state/federal. 27-years later finds us mostly in privately owned parks mostly for the amenities.


'73,
rich, n9dko
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robanddi

Burton TX USA

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Posted: 10/29/13 05:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

National Parks, State/Provincial Parks, selected City Parks and then private are the basic order we follow. However, there are always exceptions. Specific places may not have any public campgrounds or they may not have the hook ups we desire at the time.

Our priorities are (1) where we want to be (2) scenery/animals (3) 50 amp (4) Satellite TV signal (5) WIFI (Verizon is my phone carrier and they seem to have the best overall coverage) and sometimes (6) long pull thru site.

For one-night stands when we don't want to do a rest stop or parking lot, pull thrus are so much more convenient AND when we are hauling the enclosed trailer with a car they are virtually a must.

We seldom stay any specific place longer than one week so monthly rates are not important. We aren't full timers but we regularly take extended trips for 3-4 months during the summer.

As folks have said, you must decide what is important to you (and this may change with different trips) and then select accordingly. Have fun and enjoy.

Diann


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NCWriter

North Carolina

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Posted: 10/29/13 05:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We stay in both, and some private parks are high on my list, like Trailer Ranch in Santa Fe for its easy city access....however,

We love state, National Park, county and other public campgrounds because they often have more scenic features, trees and space. You are likely to have a fire ring or grill, and sometimes find lakes, rivers and streams.

Many public parks have online reservation systems, so I can book any hour of the day to suit my schedule and have something in hand confirming my reservation, rather than having to call repeatedly (some private parks make it hard to reserve, oddly enough.)

Often I get to review available open sites online and book the site that meets my needs. Private parks rarely offer this chance.

Some public ones are actually more expensive than local private parks, but are better, so worth it. Yes, you do have to pay in full up front at most public parks, but I don't mind that.

But especially I like the ranger talks, nature walks, visitor centers with exhibits, films, and so on. You are given an opportunity to learn of the history, flora, fauna, geology, etc. of the place you are visiting.

To give just one example, this summer we followed part of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, and stayed in Onawa, IA by the water at the L & C State Park where the Corps of Discovery had camped in 1804, and saw a replica of their keelboat in the water.


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fla-gypsy

North Florida

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Posted: 10/29/13 05:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am a state park, COE, NFS camper. In Florida that does not necessarily mean "more rustic" as we have some modern public CG's many having FHU sites and modern amenities.


This member is not responsible for opinions that are inaccurate due to faulty information provided by the original poster. Use them at your own discretion.

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