I full time, still work and move often, about every week or two. I have a lot of latitude regarding locale and prefer Federal/State/City&County parks. Most places I've stayed have on site water & electric, while some provide electric only and some have full hookups. Public parks usually have a 14 day maximum stay rule.
With the America The Beautiful "geezer" pass, I've paid between $7.50-$11/night at Federal parks. There are numerous C.O.E. parks that are outstanding. City, county, and State parks have been running in the neighborhood of $15-$20/night east of the Mississippi. I've used Passport America occasionally to work in an area for a couple of days or as a lay-over for a night. During the off-season, some PA parks have waived the stay limit.
Obviously, the bigger you are, the fewer sites that are available, particularly in government parks. That can be mitigated somewhat by traveling Sun-Wed during the season and taking a non-reservable site. Many parks hold back a few campsites for walk-ups. During the off-season you'll find it to be a non-issue. And, there are numerous local first come, first served campgrounds.
Here's a site I often use to select where I'm going to be from week to week.
If you need 50A pull-throughs in a touristy area, you're going to have to pay the price. So...once there, find other ways to save money. Pack your lunch, don't eat dinners out, look for free or more reasonable forms of entertainment, skip museums with high costs, etc. It can even out.
It sounds like you won't budge on cheaper campgrounds for the most part but as full-timers for 16 years, here are ideas on what we do: We have the Senior Pass which lets us use national parks, national forests, and Corp campgrounds 1/2 price. We don't need electric sites or other hookups to stay in these wonderful areas. We fit into these types of sites even with our 40' motorhome. We've also volunteered in these parks quite often so we can stay for 2 months or so.
We also tend not to travel interstates, therefore, we find nice city or county parks, fairgrounds, casinos, state parks - but some are getting pricy, too, and we really enjoy boondocking on BLM or forest service land in the west along streams, lakes or just basically scenic areas. We use Passport America enough to get our membership paid. We don't do Wall Marts. We like quiet. Oh, and we don't do big cities! We enjoy outdoorsy areas along with hiking and driving our Jeep in the boonies. Everyone is different. You'll have to cut costs in other ways if you like the F/H/U campgrounds.
Hope you can find the kinds of places that are just right for you!! Enjoy.
Extremely Happy Full-Timers for 16 years
.... now trying to adjust to 3-season traveling - and it isn't easy!
2004 40' Newmar Dutch Star Diesel Pusher
2004 Jeep Liberty
If you are traveling thru Texas look for municipal parks. Some are in wooded parks and others will just be a parking lot. But a lot of towns have places for RV's and most are only $15-$20 with full hook ups. Even some of your smaller towns have places for RV's and a lot do not have rules on how long you can stay. Like here in Copperas Cove the RV park is in a city park with trees and ball fields. Go on down to Llano Tx and it is a parking lot in the middle of town but it is on the river.....
06 Montana 3000RK
07 Dodge 3500 Dually Sport 6.7 Diesel
07 Pearl White Ultra Classic (My new Baby)
10 Chrysler 300 Touring
Texas Boomers---Stop by for a Margie some time!
we stay at state parks, national forest campgrounds and national parks. we also stay at little village rv parks or just plain parks, walmarts, rest stops, and flying j truck stops.
for saving $$, you can alternate full hookups camping with dry camping or just water and a dump station.
Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE/ 3126B Cat
( Sometimes ) BMW K75 on Rear Carrier
Jeep Grand Cherokee Toad
M&G aux brake system
854 watts of solar power
Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.
Passport America and Corps of Engineers ($10 per night water/electric) to keep our prices lower as well as weekly and monthly rates at other campgrounds. Given all that we usually still average $25-$30 per night because we choose to go to destination parks in popular areas when the rates go up. We balance that by staying at cheapers places later in the year. Corps of Engineers parks usually have a 14 day limit and most have no sewer hookup but we only have to dump every 5 days. Some of the refurbished Corps of Engineers parks now have sewer hookups. www.recreation.gov
Lonny & Diane
2004 Country Coach Allure 33' "Big Blue"
Towing 2008 Chev Colorado 4x4