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Old 06-14-2011, 05:43 PM   #43
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I like State Parks and National Forest Campgrounds. Less expensive and safe. Out of the way campsites are best. I try to avoid the Freeways.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:00 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Possum View Post
When we got to Merrit BC we find the place that we were planning to stay at had closed for the season and we were at a loss for a place to stay. While heading back to the main highway we saw the local RCMP detachment and there was a young officer standing by her car so I pulled into the parking lot and asked her if she knew of an open RV parking lot close by as I was too tired to drive much further.

She said "What's wrong with where your sitting right now." so we stayed in the front parking lot of the police building for the night. We even had a security check happen a couple of times during the night. Felt very safe there.m
Now THAT's service!
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:04 PM   #45
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Sounds grand in print - but I'd bet that if there were a bunch of FREE full service CGs surrounding the usual free spots, the "usual" free spots would be empty...
You might have something there, Gary. Next time I'm pulling into a "free" spot, I'll look around for an adjacent free full service campground. If there is one and I can park away from others, I'm there!
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:08 PM   #46
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I like State Parks and National Forest Campgrounds. Less expensive and safe. Out of the way campsites are best. I try to avoid the Freeways.
YUP - we're lucky out here in the Pacific NW - hard to beat going to bed with THIS view out the bedroom window:




And wake up to THIS out another window in the morning:



Diamond lake, near Crater Lake Oregon - NO neon lights, or 18 wheelers next door!
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:18 PM   #47
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You might have something there, Gary. Next time I'm pulling into a "free" spot, I'll look around for an adjacent free full service campground. If there is one and I can park away from others, I'm there!
Here's a nearly "free" spot we used to stop at down on the northern coast of California - a 1 mile stretch along Hwy 101 right on the beach - at the times we stopped there, it was a donation fee, and porta-potty bathrooms - was usually well occupied by other RVers and campers:



No frills, but cool beach air and lotsa sand...
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:21 PM   #48
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You are more adventurous than we are...I have been tempted to do exactly what you've done, until I think about the guy needing the cell phone, or a stranger pulling up behind you, and I don't feel I want to arm myself-yet. I just want to park in a nice secured rv park or be around others in a group environment.

Signed...fraddy cat!
Thanks, Fraddy,

I don't know that we even gave it a thought when we purchased our first coach. We often just travel with no particular destination in mind. When we were out for the first time, it just seemed natural to pull over along-side a road. We had everything we needed, power, water, toilet, food and entertainment. Now, we often seek out a nice pull-out along a river or with a view. There are lots of places like that here in Washington. One area is the American River going over Chinook Pass, Hwy 410. Loads of pull-outs right on the river. Or on the North Cascades Highway. Beautiful vistas right from a turnout. Once we even spent the night just outside a NF campground, right on a lake. Peaceful, beautiful and free! You know how it's kinda fun to walk through the campground and see what everyone else is up to? We did that and then just returned to our private spot outside. It was great! See if you can't get yourself to give it a try!
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:04 PM   #49
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I don't know that we even gave it a thought when we purchased our first coach. We often just travel with no particular destination in mind.
That's sure getting lots harder for many Rvers - the price of fuel combined with the low MPG of most RV's sorta discourages joyriding. Any more, the most direct and economical route can save serious $$$ over a more random meandering one. The scenic spots are still out there to see and stay, just takes more advance planning...
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:13 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
Here's a nearly "free" spot we used to stop at down on the northern coast of California - a 1 mile stretch along Hwy 101 right on the beach - at the times we stopped there, it was a donation fee, and porta-potty bathrooms - was usually well occupied by other RVers and campers:

No frills, but cool beach air and lotsa sand...
Sadly, if that's the stretch I am thinking of, it's also become "no overnight parking" as has most of 101 along the coast. What we often end up having to do is overnight in a campground and then drive back to the beach each day to spend all day there.

Steve
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:59 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
Here's a nearly "free" spot we used to stop at down on the northern coast of California - a 1 mile stretch along Hwy 101 right on the beach - at the times we stopped there, it was a donation fee, and porta-potty bathrooms - was usually well occupied by other RVers and campers:



No frills, but cool beach air and lotsa sand...
YEAH! That's what I'm talkin' about! Great spot, as long as you don't have to be too close to your neighbors. Beautiful, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:06 PM   #52
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YUP - we're lucky out here in the Pacific NW - hard to beat going to bed with THIS view out the bedroom window:




And wake up to THIS out another window in the morning:



Diamond lake, near Crater Lake Oregon - NO neon lights, or 18 wheelers next door!
Been there; that is the coldest campground I have ever stayed at.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:45 PM   #53
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Sadly, if that's the stretch I am thinking of, it's also become "no overnight parking" as has most of 101 along the coast. What we often end up having to do is overnight in a campground and then drive back to the beach each day to spend all day there.

Steve
That's a shame - been quite a few years since we were there last, will have to mark that one off our overnite list...
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:26 AM   #54
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There is a big safety issue in a rest stop or a wal mart in a neighborhood you are not familiar with , this is 2011 not the 50's. If you have to look outside every time you hear an engine running its not worth it. Not to mention the convienance of plugging in at a campground. I find it strange that I see some folks with a 300k coach in flying j's or shopping center parking lots trying to save a few bucks.
Perhaps after spending that kind of money on a MH, they can't AFFORD the campgrounds. Or they saved up for it by being "frugal".
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:52 AM   #55
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Well, I will fully admit I am cheap (or frugal, or careful with my pennies, or however you'd like to phrase it). I think I am just looking at what kind of "bang" do I get for my buck.

We particularly do NOT enjoy being sandwiched in among lots of other RVs, full hookups and level pads not withstanding- that's not an experience I want to spend much money on.

My money supply being finite, I'd like to spend as much of it on enjoyable times and experiences as I can.

Walmart shares what I see as drawbacks to RV parks; no privacy, noise, nothing pretty to look at. But Walmart is free, and I won't enjoy it any LESS than that crammed, all-pavement RV park down the road for $30.

We don't voluntarily travel to or through urban areas, so safety at night is not the issue for us that it appears to be to many. I'm not convinced that strangers asleep in other RVs are what is keeping the bad guys at bay anyway.

Just my opinion, of course. Thank goodness we don't all like the same things or you'd all be camping in MY favorite spots!
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:49 AM   #56
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I just remembered another of our favorite spots. We got a late start on Friday night. We were on our way east, across the mountains to Omak, WA. We decided to spend the night in Wenatchee. This was before we knew anything about staying at Wal-Mart or other like places. We were cruising along the main road on the way to downtown when I spotted a used RV lot. No gate, no fence. We just pulled in and parked next to the units that were for sale. Cooked dinner, watched a movie and went to bed. Next morning about 8:30 I was standing outside having coffee. This car pulled in and asked what time we opened. Without hesitation I said "9:00!" They drove over to the sales office and waited. I don't know what time the place really opened, we were gone, but I was probably close!
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