1 Park near Des Moines, Iowa
May 2016 - $28.00
We stayed at the fairgrounds for 20 nights, and we are glad we did. Cheaper than other local campgrounds. They were having trouble with the water in the areas with 50-amp sites so we stayed in a 30-amp site. It was chilly so didn't need to have both A/Cs running, so we were fine with that amperage. Quiet, except for train whistles a few times a day. Had 2-4 bars of AT&T cell service.
Ultimately - camping here out of the busy fair season...great! If a very big event or the fair was happening...I don't think you could pay me to stay here.
If the all the sites in a section are being utilized, it will be VERY tight and driving down the roads of the different sections may not be possible if you have a bigger rig. We have a 40' 5er and drove through other grass sites to get in and out of the spot we picked to avoid the steep entrance to section FE.
We parked at the end of the middle part of section FE. Very nice overlook of the city. Since there were only 2 other rigs in our section for the majority of the time there, we spread out a bit and parked our truck and SUV next to the 5er instead of in front or behind, so we were actually taking up 3 sites (that's how close these sites are). Site was pretty level; we did use one extra board under most of the jacks when leveling.
Be sure to call the day you're driving in to see which entrance of the fairgrounds is open. We went to the 'official' campground entrance according to the map on their website but it was LOCKED! Called the office and they said "oh yeah that's locked for safety, you have to come in another way." The entrance on Grand Avenue is pretty much always open day/night. If you're coming up from the south to Des Moines I would take the Hwy 5 bypass around town and come through Pleasant Hill instead of I-235.
They didn't mow around our site while we were there so the grass/weeds got pretty tall in some spots. I understand some folks get fussy about mowing around their RV, but we wish they would have. They might have if I asked them to. - FrozenWaters
Sep 2015 - $28.00
Stayed here 2 weekends. First weekend in section 2. Second weekend in section 11. Overall, a decent place to stay. Nice and quiet. Nothing special or fancy. Plenty of spaces to choose from due to it not being fair week. W/E/S all worked well. Decent access to I-235. Be careful of what section you stay in. Most section 2 sites were nice and level, and from what we saw, most of the 50amp sites were as well. However, Section 11 had, maybe, 1 spot level enough to accommodate our 28' motor-home. A previous comment mentioned ski slope, and section 11 would qualify.
The addition of WiFi would boost my rating, but there are no plans to add it any time soon. - BounderPounder
Sep 2015 - $28.00
This review is for off-season camping (non-fair dates). They don't take reservations, but Labor Day weekend was nearly empty. Even with 2,300 sites, it took over half an hour to find a suitable FHU, and we had to park the truck in an adjacent spot. As other reviewers noted, the terrain makes most sites undesirable if not downright unusable. It's like they had a contract to install a certain number, so they made them short, narrow and crammed in as many as possible - even if it meant putting some on a 40-degree slope. This wouldn't matter with so few RVs, except they tend to huddle together on the few patches of level ground. 50 amp sites don't have sewer.
A fair amount of train noise/whistles, but otherwise very quiet. Call for directions because the fairgrounds are a maze, the only campground signage was in front of a locked gate, and the campground office was not staffed. Nice hilltop views, but I expected better TV reception given the transmitters are only 14 miles away. Strong Verizon and AT&T signals. - TheRollingJones