Apr 23 2010, 10:03 AM
My wife and I have been camping since we met and I have been camping most of my life. Up until now, we have been tent camping, which means that it's pretty easy to find a place to camp that fits what we like. We recently had out first child and a few months ago we decided to buy a travel trailer. We love going out in it but it's a little tougher to screen through all of the RV parks out there. What we enjoy is to camp in a place that feels like camping. I know that sounds silly, but I'm not sure how else to describe it.
We are looking for places that have power and water, plently of trees (like - "I can't see my neighbor" trees), and the spaces are more than 50 feet apart. We don't care if it has WiFi, satellite TV, phone hookups, or anything like that. Maybe that stuff will be important to us someday, but that's not where we are right now. We've done a lot of searching around online and there's a lot of lists, books, and databases - but we haven't found anything that lists parks that are more like a campground and less like a parking lot. We know a good percentage of the state parks fit this bill, but we also know there are thousands of private parks out there that we could easily be overlooking.
All that to say - surely we're not the only ones who feel this way, so does anyone have any suggestions?
Apr 23 2010, 06:54 PM
What part of the country are you looking in? That would make it a bit easier to give you some suggestions.
Apr 23 2010, 10:34 PM
I'd start by thinking "forest campgrounds". Not many private RV parks can afford the luxury of privacy between sites. The best you may find is a tall hedge.
I'd start looking here:http://www.uscampgrounds.info/index.html
Then check out the ones you hope to use on google maps with the satellite view. Zoom in and see what it looks like.
Alternately, boondocking can be extremely private. I've added a solar system and more batteries to my RV. I can literally go for weeks without access to "shore power". My time at a particular site is limited by the capacity of my waste tanks.
Apr 24 2010, 08:47 AM
dalsgal - We live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, and we'd mainly be going to places in the Hill Country or surrounding states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas).
pianotuna - thanks for the link. That's one I hadn't seen yet. I don't think we're quite ready to go boondocking yet. I'm not sure why, though - especially since we've done it in a tent for years!
Apr 24 2010, 09:50 AM
This is a great question. I'd be interested in developing threads along this line for different sectors of the country....NorthEast, Southwest, etc. I could contribute a bit to the NorthEast, and I'd love to hear what folks have to say about Utah and Colorado. It would be nice to know about more rustic campgrounds that still have some hook-ups, rather than having only two options: state parks with little services, and RV resorts where you're jammed in tighter than a new mom trying to fit into her pre-pregnancy skinny jeans. (you know what I mean girls)
And, after reading everyone's responses on the 're-organize campgrounds' thread, there is clearly a need for people who love the comfort of your own trailer/5W/MH, but don't want to sacrifice the peace/quiet/and beauty of our gorgeous country.
Apr 24 2010, 02:23 PM
However, not all state parks will have your 'at least 50 feet apart' thing.
Apr 26 2010, 12:45 AM
We also look for campgrounds that feel like camping.
We have mostly camped in the southeast. Most of our state parks are very nice and have no problem with big rigs. Also the US Army Corps of Engineers parks around here are beautiful and have water and electric.
I'd suggest you google federal and state campgrounds in the states you are interested in. Then click on the individual campgrounds in the federal sites. They always list what amenities are provided and the length of the rigs they can accommodate.
Apr 27 2010, 01:34 PM
One thing I found to do was just do a google maps search for "campgrounds" in the area you're looking to camp. It'll give you a list of nearly every campground. Then, you can zoom in using the satellite resource and get an idea of how many trees and how big the sites are. Narrow your list down, then check the reviews section of the site to see what others have had to say about each site. Also, with the google maps, there may be other reviews on the campgrounds as well.
I'm trying this method this year for our weekend camping trips and have a pretty good list of campgrounds to check out!
Apr 28 2010, 08:45 PM
American Heritage Campground in Olympia, WA. It's privately owned, but you feel like you are in a State Park. Read the reviews.
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