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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Average campground costs for budgeting

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valhalla360

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Posted: 02/07/11 05:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We budget $20/n ($600/month). $50/n would let us stop when and where we want with little thought to cost.
- While moving we tend to use Passport America parks.
- While stationary for a week or more we look for long term rates. Keep in mind if you plan to stay 2 weeks, the monthly rate is often cheaper than the nightly or weekly rate. They don't force you to stay the full month.
- Publicly owned parks tend to be great for space and scenery, but often don't include full hookups and are often outside good cell phone coverage.


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slugmobile

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Posted: 02/06/11 10:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Out here in the northwestern there are gobs of very nice US Forest Service campgrounds - for those of you who like to actually "camp" which means no hookups. But for a self-contained RV this is no problem as there is usually fresh water available.

Staying in one of these is either free or range between $5 and about 20 bucks a night here in Idaho. The cheap ones can have outhouses or restrooms and normally a picnic table and fire pit. The high-end campgrounds can be paved, have running water, free firewood, and accessible restrooms.

But then since you are in National Forest it is usually okay to park anywhere off the road and as long as you follow rules regarding fires, garbage, etc you will have a nice free experience. We usually find a nice secluded spot near a creek or river and then we can park it for up to 14 days in most areas!

pigman1

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Posted: 06/06/10 02:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It really depends on the location and your tastes. I've been in some that charge $100 a night and up, and I've stayed at Quartzsite for free. When traveling to Alaska we pay nothing as we boondock at Wal Marts, rest stops and wide places in the road. Our rig is set up to do this, because this is how we like to travel. In Alaska when fishing we pay $600-800 a month to nothing, depending on where we are.

Decide how you want to live, and then try it out. You'll get a good handle on the price range once you see some of the parks in your price range that have the amenities you need.

john


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tim5055

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Posted: 06/06/10 03:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mombum wrote:

RRUGG wrote:

If you're 62 or older and don't already have a "geezer pass", get a lifetime one for $10 (or is it more now?) and stay in federal campgrounds for half price which can be as low as $5 in some places.


And where might one find these federal campgrounds? Only ones I've seen are military and w/o a military ID forget it.
In almost every state. The "geezer Pass" is actually named "America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass – Senior Pass"

America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass – Senior Pass. - Cost $10.

This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over. The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity. The pass admits the pass holder and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at per person fee areas (children under 16 are admitted free). The pass can only be obtained in person at the park. The Senior Pass provides a 50 percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50 percent price reduction. The pass is non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.


America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass


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wepampercampers

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Posted: 06/06/10 06:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In other words...the America the Beautiful Senior Pass gets you 50% off camping on public lands (Forest Service, Corp of Engineers, National Parks and BLM)campgrounds. Basically anything that is not a state park or private park. It is well worth the $10!
Check out this website for a map of public lands campgrounds: http://www.uscampgrounds.info/


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tatest

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Posted: 06/07/10 11:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mombum wrote:

RRUGG wrote:

If you're 62 or older and don't already have a "geezer pass", get a lifetime one for $10 (or is it more now?) and stay in federal campgrounds for half price which can be as low as $5 in some places.


And where might one find these federal campgrounds? Only ones I've seen are military and w/o a military ID forget it.


Most of the COE parks are on the western tributaries of the Mississippi river, and the eastern tributaries not managed by some other organization like the TVA. The Corps function is to keep the river systems (e.g. Mississippi, Arkansas, Ohio, lower Missouri) navigable, and that means managing water flow well upstream. Where the Corps has flood control dams, there will be reservoirs, and on the reservoirs you will find recreational access. You will also find recreational access at lock and dam sites, and along the Intracoastal Waterway.

This is something separate from the recreational facilities DoD provides for military and DoD personnel out of non-appropriated funds. You might find an occasional FamCamp on a Corps reservoir, like Texoma, but that will usually not be the only access.

The Forest Service parks are in National Forests, e.g. in areas where the forests were not cut down before we decided in the late 19th century to manage them. Many in the West, some in the South and the Great Lakes region.

National Park Service properties are found in every state, include National Recreation Areas, National Monuments, and the National Parks.

Fisheries and Wildlife Service properties are found in areas that have not yet been heavily urbanized, include lake, river, wetlands and grassland properties. Most states that are not solid suburb have wildlife management areas with some recreational access.

Bureau of Land Management has control of Public Lands that have not been sold or turned over to some other agency. Most of the recreational access to BLM Public Lands is free or low fee, commercial use is by lease. Most of this unsold land is east of the Pacific Coast states, and west of the Great Plains.

From where you are, start with the properties on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers (mostly TVA), to the Ohio and the Land Between the Lakes (former TVA, now NPS or state). The Cherokee National Forest is in eastern Tennessee. You are also not far from Great Smokey Mountains National Park, which is federal and has campgrounds.

Don't expect RV resorts on federal recreational properties, it is access for everybody, and that means campers as well as RVers.

* This post was edited 06/07/10 11:59am by tatest *


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alageezer

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Posted: 06/06/10 12:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Corps of Engineer parks, TVA, National Park Service, and some state parks all honor the "Geezer Pass". Look at Reserve America website, they usually list which park is Federal, State, or Private.


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mombum

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Posted: 06/06/10 11:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RRUGG wrote:

If you're 62 or older and don't already have a "geezer pass", get a lifetime one for $10 (or is it more now?) and stay in federal campgrounds for half price which can be as low as $5 in some places.


And where might one find these federal campgrounds? Only ones I've seen are military and w/o a military ID forget it.


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RRUGG

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Posted: 06/06/10 12:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mombum...federal campgrounds are those in national parks & monuments, forest service campgrounds, Corps of Engineers, BLM, etc. They're all over (just about), rarely have hookups. In this regard, the strangest one we've seen is the Tortilla Flat c.g. of the Forest Service in Arizona east of Apache Junction. Very large sites, each with water & sewer, no electric except in the host sites.


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stroz4

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Posted: 06/06/10 02:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We average around $400 a month.
We stay in a lot of Military campgrounds, saves us a ton.
It can be done for less (or more depending on your needs).
Budget around $600 and go from there.


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