5.6 Average
     
Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa State Fairgrounds

Des Moines, Iowa



Des Moines, Iowa 50317
Phone: (515) 262-3111

Sites: 1800
Recent Rate: $28 5/2016

Latitude: 41.5951859103434
Longitude: -93.5443568229675

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Campground Overview
  • Pull-thru Sites Pull-thru Sites yes
  • Big Rig Access Big Rig Access yes
  • Tent Camping Tent Camping yes
  • Restrooms (Plumbed) Restrooms (Plumbed) yes
  • Pit Toilets Pit Toilets ?
  • Showers Showers yes
  • $0.00 Shower Fee Shower Fee 0.00
  • Laundry Facilities Laundry Facilities ?
  • $0.00 Laundry Fee Laundry Fee 0.00
  • Dump Station Dump Station ?
  • $0.00 Dump Station Fee Dump Station Fee 0.00
  • Propane Available Propane Available ?
  • Firewood Available Firewood Available ?
  • Cabins / Cottages / Yurts Cabins / Cottages / Yurts ?
  • Water Spigot Water Spigot ?
  • Picnic Shelter Picnic Shelter ?
  • RV Wash RV Wash ?
  • $0.00 RV Wash Fee RV Wash Fee 0.00
  • Corral Corral ?
  • Landing Strip Landing Strip ?
  • Overflow Parking Overflow Parking ?
Hookups & Connectivity
  • Electric (30 AMP) Electric (30 AMP) yes
  • Electric (50 AMP) Electric (50 AMP) yes
  • Water Water yes
  • Sewer Sewer yes
  • WiFi WiFi no
  • $0.00 WiFi Fee WiFi Fee 0.00
  • Cellular Phone Service Cellular Phone Service yes
  • ATT, Verizon Cellular Phone Providers Cellular Phone Providers ATT,Verizon
  • Cable or Satellite TV Hookup Cable or Satellite TV Hookup no
  • Phone Phone no
  • Central Modem Central Modem no
Amenities
  • Pets Allowed Pets Allowed yes
  • 0 Maximum Pet Size (lbs.) Maximum Pet Size (lbs.) 0
  • Pool Access Pool Access no
  • Family Friendly Family Friendly yes
  • Playground Playground ?
  • Pet Area Pet Area ?
  • Waterfront Waterfront no
  • Clubhouse Clubhouse no
  • Camp Store Camp Store no
  • Cafe / Snack Bar Cafe / Snack Bar no
  • Business Center Business Center no
  • Group Camping Group Camping ?
  • Meeting Rooms Meeting Rooms no
  • Group Kitchen Group Kitchen no
  • Banquet Facilities Banquet Facilities no
  • Concierge Services Concierge Services no
Recreation
  • Walking Trail(s) Walking Trail(s) no
  • Recreation Room Recreation Room no
  • Gym/Workout Facilities Gym/Workout Facilities no
  • Beach Access Beach Access no
  • Boat Ramp Boat Ramp no
  • Marina Marina no
  • Boat Rentals Boat Rentals no
  • Fishing Fishing no
  • Golfing Golfing no
  • Bike Path(s) Bike Path(s) no
  • Bike Rentals Bike Rentals no
  • Hiking Hiking no
  • Spa Spa no
  • Horseshoe Pit Horseshoe Pit no
  • Volley Ball Volley Ball no
  • Sports Field Sports Field no
  • Arcade Games Arcade Games no
  • Live Entertainment Live Entertainment no
  • Amphitheatre Amphitheatre no
  • Putt Putt Mini-Golf Putt Putt Mini-Golf no
  • Billiards Billiards no
  • Ping Pong Ping Pong no
  • Lake Lake no
  • Pond Pond no
  • River River no
  • Creek Creek no
  • Ocean Ocean no
  • Water Park Water Park no
  • Casino Casino no

Review Details

Ratings overview

9 Reviews

These reviews are the opinion of an RVParkReviews’ member and not the views of RVParkReviews.com

FrozenWaters

Review Count: 4
States Visited: 3
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: May, 2016 - $28.00
Overall Rating:      

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. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Fifth Wheel.

      Value

      Service

      Campsite

      Cleanliness

Clean Restrooms

Clean Showers

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TheRollingJones

Review Count: 22
States Visited: 10
Helpful Reviews: 6

Date of Stay: September, 2015 - $28.00
Overall Rating:      

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. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Fifth Wheel.

Tips for other Campers:

Check out the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. The state capitol is beautiful and they offer free tours (about 2 hours).

      Value

      Service

      Campsite

      Cleanliness

Clean Restrooms

Clean Showers

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BounderPounder

Review Count: 20
States Visited: 13
Helpful Reviews: 3

Date of Stay: September, 2015 - $28.00
Overall Rating:      

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. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Motorhome.

      Value

      Service

      Campsite

      Cleanliness

Clean Restrooms

Clean Showers

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ORAZRVR

Review Count: 3
States Visited: 2
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: July, 2010 - $27.00
Overall Rating:      

Couldn't find a flat site anywhere! Should have made this a ski resort instead of a campground. These were the biggest hills we saw while in Iowa. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Motorhome.

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jccjr50

Review Count: 4
States Visited: 4
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: June, 2010 - $25.00
Overall Rating:      

Made reservations for a pull through site and was assured that would not be a problem. When I got here, they put me on a back-in, hill site. There was not enough room for me to disconnect the trailer without the truck going over a hill. Was led to site by one of the rudest people that I have met in recent times. After the treatment that I received here, I would not even go back to Des Moines. Stay away from this campground. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Fifth Wheel.

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Hawk37

Review Count: 55
States Visited: 23
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: September, 2009 - $23.00
Overall Rating:      

Layout of sites and utilities is very erratic and poorly defined. Many sites are not level. Signage is non-existent until you actually enter the fair grounds. Entry from the west on E. Grand Ave is easiest. It is a very pleasant place when it is not crowded, but could be difficult if anything significant is going on at the fair grounds. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Motorhome.

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lmg

Review Count: 133
States Visited: 39
Helpful Reviews: 7

Date of Stay: June, 2009 - $23.00
Overall Rating:      

This is an interesting fairgrounds campground. While there are 1800 sites, only about 50 of them are level enough to handle big rigs. We were fortunate that we stayed when there wasn't much activity going on in the fairgrounds. The campground would be difficult to negotiate if it were crowded. If you do stay at off-event times, pick a site on the top of the hill and you will enjoy beautiful views of Des Moines. Call ahead to get directions to the campgrounds. May or may not stay here again in our motorhome. This is not a good place to stay for just a stopover as it is a bit tough to get into. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Motorhome.

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RKL

Review Count: 9
States Visited: 4
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: October, 2007 - $16.00
Overall Rating:      

There are 1800 sites with 600 of them being full hookup. We camped on a hilltop overlooking the fairgrounds and the city of Des Moines. While there are a great number of level sites, some of the sites are on the side of the hills and look impossible to even camp on. This park is located on the east side of Des Moines and is convenient for shopping and restaurants. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Motorhome.

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petpeople

Review Count: 106
States Visited: 31
Helpful Reviews: 3

Date of Stay: May, 2007 - $20.00
Overall Rating:      

When the state fair is not going on there are over 1800 sites available. It is a beautiful location on the hill overlooking the fairgrounds and not too far from the interstates. The entrance to the campground is through the fairground which appears to be a small town setting. There is golf nearby, shopping etc. With our motorhome antenna we were able to bring in 3 stations however for WiFi we had to go to the local library. We would stay here again. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Motorhome.

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