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> Which Is Better In General: National/state Vs. Private Campgrounds?
New Daddy
post Aug 22 2012, 11:53 AM
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Which is better in general: national/state vs. private campgrounds? Or does it really depend on the individual campground?
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joez
post Aug 22 2012, 04:37 PM
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QUOTE(New Daddy @ Aug 22 2012, 11:53 AM) *

Which is better in general: national/state vs. private campgrounds? Or does it really depend on the individual campground?


Depends on what you are looking for. In general, public campgrounds offer larger sites, more shade, and, in general, a more "woodsy" experience - more like camping. In many cases, however, public campgrounds do not offer the hook ups that commercial parks do, especially sewer, and can be harder to maneuver in with a larger rv due to narrow roadways and trees. Public campgrounds tend to be less expensive than commercial parks.

For us, commercial sites are more suitable. Since we are not camping, we prefer full hook ups, paved roads, and the generally more sedate atmosphere (some would call it geezer city) found in most commercial sites. We also tend to park for a month or more in one spot. Most public cgs limit stays to 14 days or less. We tend to stay in commercial parks and day trip to state/federal wilderness areas and parks.

The short answer is it depends on you - what are you looking for when you park?
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New Daddy
post Aug 22 2012, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE(joez @ Aug 22 2012, 06:37 PM) *

The short answer is it depends on you - what are you looking for when you park?


We definitely prefer "woodsy" experience.

One remark of yours was a little surprising. "more sedate atmosphere" of commercial sites? I'm only starting to get my feet wet in camping, but I'd have though public sites would be more sedate, with park rangers having the force of law to enforce park regulations, like quite time.
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joez
post Aug 22 2012, 07:10 PM
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QUOTE
I'd have though public sites would be more sedate, with park rangers having the force of law to enforce park regulations, like quite time.


While that may be true in some areas, we have been in many state parks, in particular, that on weekends are pretty wild. Park rangers are overworked and cover large areas. Typically they will respond if a complaint is made, but our experience is that you generally do not see them patrolling much. State park crowds tend to be younger and, especially on weekends, they are looking for a good time. This generally includes some kinds of adult beverages. We never stay at state parks on summer weekends - sometimes during the week, especially after school starts.

There are commercial parks that also tend to get loud and boisterous. We, generally, do not stay in these kinds of areas. We have also found that most commercial parks tend to keep a pretty tight lid on loud party type behavior. There are obviously exceptions. A couple of times through the years, we have found the wheels on our rv useful to move away from stuff we did not like, in both public and private areas.
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MaineDon
post Aug 23 2012, 09:05 AM
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We definitely prefer state or national parks (Core of Engineers Parks are also good). We like the spacious and more private sites they tend to offer. We also like the Ranger Programs and Information Centers that they often offer. Since we don't travel with children, video arcades, playgrounds, miniature golf courses, etc., are not important to us.....and these are things you'll find primarily in private parks. We've experienced "noise issues" in both private as well as state/national park. But I think, overall, the latter are quieter and more subdued.
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Fred and Adele
post Aug 23 2012, 11:15 AM
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It really depends what kind of an experience your after. We came from the Reedsport area where the Oregon state parks are just incredible. Other states I've heard, because of budgets, etc, are not that great. In Canada a lot of National Parks are not big rig friendly and have little in the way of services. So again, it depends what kind of an experience you want.
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pianotuna
post Aug 23 2012, 05:24 PM
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Hi,

Almost all publicly owned campgrounds are preferable to me. I love the spaces between sites that a commercial campground could only dream about "wasting".

My favorites are small low cost or free county and municipal locations. One way to find them is:

freecampsites.net

Please add sites when you can.


--------------------
Regards,

Don
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amxpress
post Aug 24 2012, 07:20 PM
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We like State Parks but wish more had sewer hook ups when we stay for a long weekend.
I also recently went to a larger fiver and have to be careful about which site I get.
Private owned parks can be very subjective. What I look for in in a campground isn't necessarily what someone else is looking for.
Just read enough of the reviews on here and you'll see what I mean. A CG someone has given 9 stars to I have given 4!
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Gayle E.
post Aug 24 2012, 09:39 PM
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We really prefer full hookups, so we mostly stay at private CGs, especially if we're going to stay for any length of time. Having said that, we will, from time to time, stay at a state or county CG. We do enjoy the more woodsy feeling. So far, we haven't had trouble finding a spot for our rig, but we haven't stayed at a national CG which I keep reading could present a problem for a larger rig. We also like to stay within a certain budget and will factor that into our decision on a private vs. public.
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Luvtheroad
post Aug 25 2012, 04:25 PM
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I'd LOVE to stay in more state and national parks, but we have a big rig and it's hard to get in a lot of the public campgrounds. The one national park we did stay in was a tight fit and you could tell by the bark missing on a lot of trees that there had been some "close encounters of the scraping kind". We've always been able to manage the tight turns and narrow sites (our "16-point turns" have provided much entertainment to our fellow campers) but there's not much you can do about low hanging limbs (haven't lost an air conditioner yet, but it's been close). Thank goodness, more and more of the public parks are beginning to accomodate themselves to larger rigs and offering full hookups and even wi-fi and cable. When you're out on the road for five months at a time, you tend to want your creature comforts.
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Chuckl
post Aug 29 2012, 05:46 AM
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I would like to stay more in COE and public campgrounds but around here most of the public and COE campgrounds were built it the 60's and for tents and small trailers but anything over 30 ft is going to have problems getting in and out and leveling
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Jensb
post Sep 9 2012, 08:01 PM
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I love to stay at national and state parks because og the distance between sites and the woodsy feeling. I'm in a motorhome with no tow vehicle, and also enjoys sometimes to be able to park the motorhome for a few days, and then use the national park shuttle busses to get around, or be within walking distance from trails in state parks, which is often the case.

I don't mind not having water and sewer hookups. for the type of travel I do, I'm fine with just using dump stations at the campground.

Lack of electricity hookup? Well, that's actually the key issue for me in choosing between private or public parks. If travelling in hot areas in the summer, then I do like electricity to run the aircon. But if travelling in spring or fall (I'm in Utah now), then I can live without electricity hookup. (some of the state and national parks here in Utah actually have electricity hookup).

If travelling with kids, then I stay at more private campgrounds, in order to have a pool.

Final comment: I really hate generators, and that is the worst thing about staying at campgrounds without hookups. Way to often I end up with a neighbour, who loves his generator. I hope fuel cells will take over generators in the future, that would be nice.
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Alessandro
post Sep 13 2012, 02:41 AM
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QUOTE(Jensb @ Sep 9 2012, 08:01 PM) *

Final comment: I really hate generators, and that is the worst thing about staying at campgrounds without hookups. Way to often I end up with a neighbour, who loves his generator. I hope fuel cells will take over generators in the future, that would be nice.

mad.gif mad.gif mad.gif We were shocked to learn that North Campground at Bryce Canyon Nat'l Park changed their generator policy. They used to tolerate generator use in the early morning and two hours in the early evening untill 7 p.m. as far as I can recall this. Now one can run the generator 24/7 !!! Unaccepable in a national park. One better stay ar Ruby's Inn Campground with full hook-up.
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