6.1 Average
     
Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa State Fairgrounds

Des Moines, Iowa


3000 E Grand Ave
Des Moines, Iowa 50317
Phone: Click to view

Sites: 1800
Recent Rate: $$$$

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Latitude: 41.595185910343
Longitude: -93.544356822968
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
  • Free WiFi Free WiFi ?
  • 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

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Review Details

Ratings overview

14 Reviews

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

Review Count: 35
States Visited: 12
Helpful Reviews: 9

Date of Stay: July, 2017 - $17.00
Overall Rating:      

This is my second review. We stayed for another month. They now offer a monthly rate! If you're here when there's not an event going on, it's like having your own property. When there is an event going on - like Car Show or an agricultural/farm show - it is very crowded, especially in the areas that have sewer connections and the areas closest to the entrance/exits. Don't anticipate the campground entrance gate on Dean Avenue to be open; usually only open when big events are going on. You can (99% of the time) enter on Grand Avenue. Drive east and turn right on Hoover Ave to head up a hill to a campground gate. (If you turn on Vermeer Lane, that's okay too.) This brings you in Gate #5 on B Ave. The campground host no longer lives in the house (office) in the campground. Hosts were often at the cylindrical-looking concrete showerhouse/shelter; not hard to find. I was told there are only FOUR sites with 50 amp full hookups. There are 700+ 30 amp full hookup sites, and the majority is electric/water only (50 and 30). We got an adapter that had 2 30-amp male to 1 50-amp female. Most of the posts have 2 or more 30-amp outlets. This allowed us to run both A/Cs. This time we camped in row C of Area #2. We haven't explored much of the other areas, but Area 2 and 3 are the most popular and probably the most level. We had no problem leveling our 40' fifth wheel. If parking below a hill, beware of water runoff during storms. We ended up occupying about 2-3 sites with our extra vehicles; the host never confronted us. Someone was out mowing pretty much everyday. If the grass is getting too long around your site, flag down the mower and they'll take care of it. Very nice staff all-around here. Great place to watch fireworks during July 4th. Beautiful sunsets. Quiet here except during the holiday and the car show. Interior roads can be a bit dusty and many spots with potholes/worn by rain, so they're bumpy. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Fifth Wheel.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
Area 2 Row C
Site Surface
Dirt, Grass
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Quite a bit longer (plenty of space) for my 5th wheel and truck (I didn't have to disconnect
Power Hookups
30 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Tsing Tsao on University for quick, tasty Chinese food. East Village in downtown has lots of shops, restaurants, and bars. Go to the Downtown Farmer's Market Saturday mornings, but go early. Many good beer breweries now, like Firetrucker in Ankeny and Peace Tree & Exile downtown.

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Review Count: 3
States Visited: 3
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: July, 2017 - $25.00
Overall Rating:      

Excellent for big rigs or smaller rigs and campers. It is huge. The entrance is in front of the cemetery on Dean St or you can go through the fairground. You could get shaded or not shaded spots and they only have a few sections that are 50A. There were a few trees we had to avoid so it wouldn't scratch the coach but it was overall perfect. Lots of places to walk and also close to downtown Des Moines. Full hookups. Good cell service. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Motorhome.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
E9
Site Surface
Grass
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my motorhome and a towed vehicle
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Sunny Open
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

If you go into Des Moines, watch where you park. They didn't just ticket us, they towed an entire row of cars including ours and the tow company damaged our vehicle. Just make sure to read the sign well and when in doubt, park elsewhere.

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Review Count: 26
States Visited: 12
Helpful Reviews: 4

Date of Stay: June, 2017 - $40.00
Overall Rating:      

Park is large, very hilly and heavily shaded. Park needed to be mowed. Obviously, doesn't seem to be very well cared for until Fair Time. Very hard to find a level spot. Some sites have sewer, as well as water and elec. Sites are not well marked. We stayed here while attending the National Antique Truck Association show. Price was higher for this event than is charged during the normal camping season. If you are simply looking for an overnight spot--probably would not recommend this site. But, if you are attending an event on the fairgrounds, it is convenient to be nearby. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Travel Trailer.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Surface
Grass
Site Type
Back in
Site Space
Long enough for my travel trailer and tow vehicle
Power Hookups
30 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Very Close
Sun & Foliage
Sunny Open
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
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Review Count: 97
States Visited: 37
Helpful Reviews: 28

Date of Stay: May, 2017 - $26.00
Overall Rating:      

Big rig friendly and huge campground. Our site was level but most were on hills. Checked in and just picked a site in section C. Showers were old but clean and plenty of hot water. No laundry, cable, or wifi. No trouble using our satellite. No dog park but lots of fields to walk dog. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Travel Trailer.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
Section C
Site Surface
Grass
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Quite a bit longer than my travel trailer and tow vehicle
Power Hookups
30 Amp
Sewer Connection
No

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

Walmart was 6 miles. Very convenient to Des Moines which is a pretty capital. Very convenient to fairground for Antique Truck Show which was very interesting.

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Review Count: 9
States Visited: 7
Helpful Reviews: 1

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

The park is HUGE. Most of the 1800 sites are unlevel. It would be very hard to stay here when it was crowded.

We stayed here the end of the season the park closes today.

We will come again for sure. We camped at Iowa State Fairgrounds in a Motorhome.

Clean Restrooms
Clean Showers

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
A
Site Surface
Gravel, Dirt, Grass
Site Type
Pull through
Site Space
Long enough for my motorhome and a towed vehicle
Power Hookups
50 Amp
Sewer Connection
Yes

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Nearby
Sun & Foliage
Sunny Open
Tow Vehicle Parking
Yes, Convenient
Tips for other Campers:

This is actually on the fairgrounds. They are amazing

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Review Count: 35
States Visited: 12
Helpful Reviews: 9

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
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
Section FE
Site Surface
Dirt, Grass

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Spacious, Very Close
Sun & Foliage
Sunny Open
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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.

Value
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Surface
Grass

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Very Close
Sun & Foliage
Sunny Open
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).

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Review Count: 29
States Visited: 16
Helpful Reviews: 5

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
     
Clean Restrooms
Service
     
Clean Showers
Cleanliness
     

Site Details

Campsite
     
Site Number
section 2 and 11
Site Surface
Grass

Campground Details

Space Between Lots
Very Close
Sun & Foliage
Some Shade
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Review Count: 6
States Visited: 5
Helpful Reviews: 1

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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Review Count: 5
States Visited: 5
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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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: 165
States Visited: 40
Helpful Reviews: 11

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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Review Count: 108
States Visited: 32
Helpful Reviews: 6

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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