Michigan state parks must not like out-of-state visitors. If you are a non-resident be prepared to pay gigantic fees to camp in their parks. We made reservations at Sterling State Park in Monroe, MI. Now I will admit I probably overlooked the fine print or misread the part about park fees. The site fee was $33 a night, which is good for full hookups on Lake Erie. I had to pay an $8 reservation fee which is a bit high but acceptable.
Here comes the bad part. When we reached the park entrance we had to pay $8 a night for the priviledge of parking the motorhome in a site we already paid $33 for. They do offer an annual pass for non-residents for $29, since that was cheaper we bought one of those. Never-mind that we were only spending these 4 nights in MI. Oh, then they charged $6 for the tow car! With all the fees we paid $43.75 a night for this park. It is nowhere near worth that price. If you were only going for one day you would pay $55 a night - $33 + 8 + 8 + 6 = 55.
Over 95% of the people in the campground were from Michigan and I understand they pay $10 a year to use the parks. If the residents are the ones who use the facilities shouldn't they pay more for the priviledge? Trying to make all your money off visitors is bad business. I know we will never again stay in a Michigan State Park. Just a warning to all my traveling friends.
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I can't help but agree with you. I've been saying for years that Michigan is not particularly tourist-friendly where the state park campgrounds are concerned.
I agree with the idea of charging non-residents a higher camping and day-use fee, only because the residents pay taxes, along with the yearly sticker, which the non-residents don't. I do the same in other states that I visit, and completely understand that concept. However, I don't believe in paying for the tow vehicle, or the self-propelled MH, or the toad, only because those should be expected to go with campers. Very few people WALK into a state park with their tent on their back, so the use of a vehicle should be expected. The site fee should be all inclusive. The motor vehicle charge should ONLY apply to those who are not campers, but are day-use visitors ONLY, because they aren't paying a fee for the spot that they are sitting on while they picnic.
Don't give up on Michigan entirely though........there are some GREAT private and county park campgrounds that provide you with a nice campsite without gouging you.
I would have cancelled but their cancellation fees are high too. You lose that nights site fee, $33, plus a $10 cancellation fee, plus another $8 reservation fee = $51. Just for the principle I should have cancelled but we are traveling with friends and didn't feel I could make that decision for them. I figured putting this on the forum and also on rvparkreviews.com would help.
The thing that always irked me about the Michigan State Park vehicle charges is that a MH pulling a toad is charged for two vehicles while a truck pulling a towable is charged for one vehicle. Technically yes it is two vehicles and one vehicle but it is obvious that it is really a vehicle and a camping unit in both cases.
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That trend is catching on in other states. New York charges an extra $5.00/night for out of state residents plus Reserve America charges $9.00 for making the reservation. I understand that the residents pay taxes but I leave my tourist dollars in the area.
Virginia doesn't discriminate, they charge everyone an extra $5.00.
NC and Pa still like us tourists, no up charge.
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We are the state/coe campground types. We love the state of Michigan. Before we moved to Florida we went somewhere in Michigan each year. We never stayed in ther state parks for those reasons. Doubt they will change the system though. Safe Travels
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