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Old 09-20-2014, 11:27 AM   #1
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RV Campgrounds

Ok this is probably old stuff but My wife and I are seriously considering getting into RVing But near us the Rv camp sights all kind of look like run down trailer parks. It's not that we are stuck up but we just would prefer clean and well kept of even fun and attractive. So what's the lowdown how do we find the nice ones are there guides etc that someone would care to recommend?

Thank you in advance

Joe and Brenda
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:43 AM   #2
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My wife and I spent a week in Petosky Michigan at the KOA campground this past week. It is by far hands down one of the cleanest and well kept campgrounds I have ever been too. I will be going back there again next year. FYI.. You are just a 30 minute drive to Mackinaw City and the Island. I highly recommend doing some research on the area that you intend on traveling to.
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:56 AM   #3
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Hi Joe & Brenda! Welcome to IRV2! We're really glad you joined the gang!

Yeah, I know what you are saying. We don't stay in those kinds of CG's either! You may have to travel a little further, but I bet they're out there!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:11 PM   #4
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I don't know where you live, but what you are seeing can be a problem if you are close to a major city or metropolitan area. It seems from talking to numerous other RV'rs and seeing for ourselves, that alot of people are living in local campgrounds that keep about half of their spaces open for the people who are really camping and on a vacation, the other half are rented on a monthly or yearly basis and living there. This is usually evidenced by the trailers and MH's you see that have sheds or patio decks attached to their rigs. Many of them staying for extended periods of time living out of the campground.

Our experience has been once you get out of the metropolitan areas you get back to your normal type campgrounds where there are plenty of spots, they are well kept and usually have a 14-30 day stay limit. We have ocassionally stayed in some of those live in type campgrounds and it hasn't been a problem other than what it looks like. The management usually holds the resident campers more accountable than the day to day campers, the long term resident campers don't want to have to leave if they break the rules.

Another issue in California (and I would think other states too) is that in the State Campgrounds that don't take reservations have a huge problem with the homeless coming in and setting up camp for an extended period of time. They pay on a daily basis and usually stay past the 14 day limit, as without a reservation system there is no reason to vacate a spot. That is why most State Campgrounds have gone to the reservation system mode for most of the peak vacationing months, usually May thru September, while some have gone to a year round reservation system. We got this right from the Park Rangers and Police after we witnessed a homeless group fight where two people got stabbed. Unfortunately this was right across from a Boy Scout group of about 200 kids earning merit badges who also witnessed it.

You can buy guide books but we have found that some of those books rate places higher than they should be for some reason. Again those overated type places are usually in the metropolitan area. We drove out in our car one day and checked about 7 campsites recommended in one of the books( about 40 miles outside of the San Diego area), 5 of the 7 were terrible while the other 2 were just ok. I look at Yelp sometimes and if the majority of the people give it a good rating or what people complain about is nonsense then we consider trying the spot for ourselves. There are still plenty of beautiful campgrounds out there to camp in so don't get discouraged by what you see in a few.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:18 PM   #5
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I use rvparkreviews.com to research the rv parks prior to going there. This is a very good reference , but like all reviews sometimes you have to read between the lines & make your own evaluation. There is also a campground directory here on irv2.com. However I don't find it very user friendly unless you already know the area where you are looking for rv parks in.
I also ask here on the forum for recommendations & have never been steered wrong. There is a lot of experience here & I highly regard the info I get from the visitors to this forum. One other resource I use is Facebooks "Living The RV Dream"
We try not to stay in the run down rv parks also & sometimes the parks website can be very misleading.
Welcome to the forum
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:28 PM   #6
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Not all parks with long term guests are dumps. We normally stay 3 or more months in an rv park due to my DW is a traveling nurse & does 3 month contracts in hospitals all around the country. The park we are in now in Linwood NC has several long term guest, us included (been there since April 27th). You would be hard pressed to tell who is vacationing or weekend camping & who is long term.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dsbike View Post
Not all parks with long term guests are dumps. We normally stay 3 or more months in an rv park due to my DW is a traveling nurse & does 3 month contracts in hospitals all around the country. The park we are in now in Linwood NC has several long term guest, us included (been there since April 27th). You would be hard pressed to tell who is vacationing or weekend camping & who is long term.
X2. The two parks we have been in with those conditions both had even consistent enforcement of the rules, for everyone, like: "No outside appliances, like washing machines, refrigerators, etc." for example.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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There are many campgrounds Some of them .. To be honest I do not wish to spend the night in. (one such is about 20 miles from where I am parked)

Some are what I call "Snob Parks" (if your rig is more than xx years old do not call us and do not bother sstopping in) First time I encountered such a park my rig was measured in MONTHS (less than 10) and I parked elsewhere.

Some have large open sites. Where I am now the small park (24 sites) could likely re space to put in several more sites, plus 10 of th sites could be "Doubled" (nose tail or back in) but the ownere did not do that.. No trees, No pool, NO. much of anything other than a pair of rest rooms and a laundry (one washer and one dryer) and nearby fishing oh, and a Cowboy Church (Worth the visit in my book) and for me.. A nearby Daughter and Grandson (Ok you knew there had to be SOMETHING about this park).. Actually even w/o the daughter it's a nice park.

Some parks are modern and fancy. one I usually summer at has something like 5 or 6 pools and 3 hot tubs, Put-Pug Golf and a bunch of other attractions INSIDE the park.. heck, one fall I was one of them (A monster on the haunted trail).

The other park I summer at (normally) is in serious need of improvements, but the staff and people are fantastic.

My winter parks. Well one is related to the "Need of" park above the other two are Government parks (County and Federal) and are very nice, and again I have friends there. I"m going to miss them this winter but who knows.. With some saving if I can find a good shop I may see them next winter. (Motor trouble).

And a few parks I have visited.... Well, let's just say at those parks KOA's prices would be reasonable (Warning: Most KOAs are over priced KOA KEEP ON ADDING, one not far from one of my summer parks charges folks like me over 80/night,, Personally I might go 30-40 for that site but no way 80,, OASIS park in Las Vegas.. Might be worth 80/night, the KOA there is was 60 when I was there (So was OASIS)
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:12 PM   #9
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Check out the state parks near you or Corp of Engineer parks. You'll find quite a difference in looks, mainly because they usually have a two-week stay limit so folks can't set up homesteading. We'll take public parks any day over private parks.

You've just looked at the wrong parks. Nice ones are out there. Good luck!
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:58 AM   #10
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I've posted this before, but I'll post it again. One of the great things about RVing is the diversity of people you meet. One of the worst things about RVing is the diversity of people you meet.

Do your homework, and you'll be okay. I spend a lot of time researching campgrounds and it has paid off. Once you realize that not all campgrounds are created equally, you're on your way to having great experiences.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:06 AM   #11
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Welcome and glad to meet you!


The internet is your friend. It will bring all sorts of info to your finger tips.

RV Park Reviews is a good starting point.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsbike View Post
I use rvparkreviews.com to research the rv parks prior to going there. This is a very good reference , but like all reviews sometimes you have to read between the lines & make your own evaluation. There is also a campground directory here on irv2.com. However I don't find it very user friendly unless you already know the area where you are looking for rv parks in.
Admittedly, the current RVParkReviews software is a bit dated, but the good news is that the new software and hardware platform is just about ready to go live. We decided to wait until this year's camping season was over before releasing it so we could get the bugs out over the winter.

The old system does have a "campground search" feature that many people do overlook. The new platform will make it much easier to find a campground with the amenities you are looking for.
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