Our experience has been that these are not the nicest campgrounds, as one said, but it is frequently the opposite. The nicer parks in their area do not need the 50% inducement for a camper to stay there.
Pretty blanket statement but do realize you said that is your experience. ALL Ohio State Parks are PA members so thats not the case in Ohio. Varies by area I suppose.
Since I qualified my statement with “Our experience” there really was no need for the “pretty blanket statement” comment, was there?
When you gain more experience and travel beyond Ohio you may realize that the PA parks within a maximum of “2-3 miles” of major highways are generally not destination parks. There are some extremely nice PA parks but, in our experience, they are further off the beaten path than the parks within sight of major highways.
The OP was asking for input about PA and I gave them the method, which makes PA work for us. I also included “Our experience” because another poster said they felt that PA has some of the nicer parks. I absolutely do not disagree with them. However, WE stay in parks as close to our route as possible. It should be obvious to even the most casual observer that a park so close to a major interstate, that you can feel the vibration of trucks hitting the expansion joints of the pavement, is not going to be a five star resort.
No intention to offend if I did we_rv. Certainly wasn't trying to be arguementative in any way. My reason for pointing that out was that I didn't want a casual reader to think that was the norm in all areas. I do understand your point about some of the PA parks that you have used are not the nicest parks, but I think that may be because you choose to limit yourself to parks that are fairly close to your route per your statement 2-3 miles or it's not cost effective. I agree with you that any campground that close to a major highway is unlikely to be a nice one based on the road noise at night.
I think everyone has to look at what they are looking for in a campground and then do a little research on the campgrounds they likely will use. PA does have links to each campground in their association (if the campground has a website) so a little research can be done to get a feel for whats available there and what, if any, are the restrictions. As far as the nicer parks not needing PA, that may be true at some places but many of the larger campgrounds can use the business with higher fuel prices limiting some peoples camping and many people just being weekend campers. Thats why many campgrounds offer the discount Sun-Wed or Thursday.
2011 Silverado Crewcab 4x4
2012 Passport 238ML
Hope your travels are safe and the friendships made camping are lasting.
We have belonged to PA for six years. Since we travel more than camp our stay in them is only one night. I generally call the park after lunch and ask if they have a site for that night and give them our approximate time of arrival. Most of the time they hold it for us. Very pleased with PA and have gotten more than our money's worth. Some of the parks have been outstanding. Recently we stayed at Lakeside RV Park in Livingston, LA on our way to TX. I can't speak highly enough about the cleanliness of the facilities and the friendly staff.
They're not my idea of a great deal. Yes it's cheap, yes they have restrictions, yes some of them I wouldn't stay in.
The biggest thing for me now to not using them is the distance off the main route most of them are. With fuel at $4/gallon and 6-10mpg the PA savings never covers the cost of the fuel to get to them. Then if they are a crappy park when you get there ........