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Old 12-13-2018, 04:56 AM   #1
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Site costs, availability, unit age questions

RV wannabe (over?)thinking about getting an A or a 5er and jumping in the pool.

I know it varies wildly but what is the avg cost of a campground site (let’s say ~35’ unit)? I’ve been checking a few campgrounds local and semi-local to me and some of the prices I’m seeing have me questioning the economics of this venture. Some were above $80/night?!

Also - I’m assuming the smaller the better but how much does your unit type/length help or hurt your ability to get a site? Specifically, would one have better availability with a 32’ 5er than an upper 30’s A?

Also also - please tell me more about this 10 year old rule. Fact, fiction, urban myth? One of my thoughts is to buy a >10 year old diesel A but don’t feel like fighting for places.

Thanks so much. The willingness to share on this site is amazing. I appreciate the help (and patience!).
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Old 12-13-2018, 05:10 AM   #2
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OK let me try:
As to cost it all depends on how you like to camp. We average less than $30-$35 a night but we stay mostly in state parks, NP, COE campgrounds, local city and county parks. Most of the time with full hookups and always with at least W/E. If you like the "rv resort" experience than plan on $45-$100 a night.

Smaller is usually better for getting into the campgrounds we prefer however we have never had a problem with our 40 foot rig and only once had to find another campground and that was because we did no fit in a RV resort in PA. Bottom line you should be ok (95% of the time) at 40 feet or under.

Many private resorts and campgrounds do have a 10 year rule but most if the rig looks good will ignore this. IF you rig looks old and run down then they will refuse you. It is a private campground so they make the rules.

Hope this helps and good luck in your search.
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Old 12-13-2018, 08:06 AM   #3
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campgrounds

The 10 year rule is out there for private campgrounds. Like the other posts said, it is private and they make the rules. Here in Ohio I know of a few that has this rule and enforce it.

As to the cost depends on what you want and the area you are in. A resort area, Myrtle Beach is going to be higher then a non resort town. Our unit is a 45 ft toyhauler and we knew we would be limited to some parks, but this is what we wanted to live in.

Take a look at some campgrounds in places you might want to visit later in time. For example look at the cost of a site in Cherry Hill RV park in Washington DC., or a park in Orlando. Just be ready for sticker shock on some of the areas, it is pricey. The site usually don't go by length of your unit for price that I have seen in the past, just what will fit on that site.
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Old 12-13-2018, 08:32 AM   #4
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The 10 year rule is out there for private campgrounds. Like the other posts said, it is private and they make the rules. Here in Ohio I know of a few that has this rule and enforce it.

As to the cost depends on what you want and the area you are in. A resort area, Myrtle Beach is going to be higher then a non resort town. Our unit is a 45 ft toyhauler and we knew we would be limited to some parks, but this is what we wanted to live in.

Take a look at some campgrounds in places you might want to visit later in time. For example look at the cost of a site in Cherry Hill RV park in Washington DC., or a park in Orlando. Just be ready for sticker shock on some of the areas, it is pricey. The site usually don't go by length of your unit for price that I have seen in the past, just what will fit on that site.
Thanks.

Campground near us is $81/night and we are as far from a resort town as we can get lol. I guess we do have the Amish which draws some folks tho.

I have been shopping areas weíd like to go and agree, there are varying prices.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:07 AM   #5
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Join Passport America....big discounts and you get a directory of the campground that accept members and the rules when the campground honor that membership....nationwide thing....was $40 a year...
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:27 AM   #6
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Our ROI rule is to look at what it would cost to drive an auto 5 ot 6 hours and stay at a reasonable place (HI, Hampton, etc) and use that as a comparison for driving the MH & staying at a RV park. The cost of the RV park seems to depend on where the park is located. Here are two examples: Cherry Hill, just north of DC was $73 - $93 per night in 2018. However in addition to pleanty of playgrounds, it has a bus stop that will connect you to the METRO and DC. Another is the KOA at Mt. Pleasant SC, across the bay from Charleston is $45 - $83 right now, as you can see location, location, location is the rule.
BTW the Hampton Inn rates near College Park MD range from $100 to $300/night.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:35 AM   #7
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I'll pretty much repeat what others have said, just to lend credibility to it. First of all, though, camping is not "economic" - it's costly recreation! If you fell for the notion that camping is an inexpensive way to enjoy travel and family fun, forget it!

Campsite costs vary widely with the location and site facilities as well as the amenities & services of the campground. Site prices have risen dramatically in the last several years, partly because of service upgrades like wifi, cable tv, sewer hook-ups, 50A power, etc. And partly because of liability insurance costs, OSHA & health regs, etc. Upscale private resorts run $30-$100 per night, though discounts may be available for weekly or monthly stays. Rates are higher where land is expensive and/or tourist traffic is heavy, lower in less traveled areas where land is cheap & plentiful.


For most campgrounds, any size up to around 35 ft will fit easily on most sites. There will be some camping areas where twisty roads and rough or small sites cater to rigs under 25 ft, but that is the exception rather than the rule. There are more than 13,000 campgrounds in the USA & Canada, so lots of choices and many different types & sizes.


The 10 year rule gets a lot of debate but in my opinion is not widespread. Nor is it rigidly enforced in many places that do have it - they usually accept any age that looks presentable. At worst you might be asked to send a picture to get a reservation. It's mostly a legal tool that lets the campground avoid riff-raff or shabby eyesores. Some RVers love to rant about it so it gets a lot of space on sites like this, but little to be concerned about if you & your rig are clean and presentable.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:10 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bob caldwell View Post
Join Passport America....big discounts and you get a directory of the campground that accept members and the rules when the campground honor that membership....nationwide thing....was $40 a year...
We are also members of Thousand Trails plus RPI, Enjoy America, Good Sam, KOA and next year going to add Escapees to our list plus if somebody else has any other thoughts on memberships let us know.

Thousand Trails is expensive for the membership we have, but when we go full time next year we are planning to try to use this as much as possible.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:17 AM   #9
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The length is a factor of what you can accept for your RV lifestyle. There are real advantages with small over big. However, a tight environment can be a "no game" call for some. They need their stuff around them and space to move freely. Then there is the glamp vs the camp approach to RVing. Best advice is to do your research. Go see the rigs and consider what you like and will fit within your budget.

The best $ rig is a bumper pull trailer and a half ton truck or SUV. The easiest rig to handle is 20-26ft B or C class MoHo. The fiver is likely the best big space for the money and certainly the best toy hauler. The class A is the most accepted way to glamp and probably the most expensive rig. The exception being a well maintained older model, under a very controlled set of circumstances, DIY capability, and budget.

Cost of staying the night will vary. Good advice above. Our fall trip averaged $35 a night. Traveling in full vacation season and in popular areas can be much more expensive. The Passport America system can be a very good way to discount your stays. There are restrictions, it takes planning and the down side is park condition in some cases. Expect parks to vary from $20 to over $100.

But, economics is not the reason to RV. You can save a bit if you are frugal, but you can do same in a house. As they say in real estate, it's location, location, location. The RV gives the opportunity to change, improve, and share or not share your location. Just expect to pay for it in $s, discomfort, time or expertise.

The age restrictions are a way to keep out rigs that are junkers. It is expensive to clean up a site when a rig is abandoned. An older coach that looks good is often accepted when you send pictures. There are parks that have enough new RVers that they just draw a line and enforce their age rule. It is part of the RV world, it is not a myth, and it is not a deal breaker for most folks.

Good luck in your research. The more you know, the less your RV lifestyle will cost you.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:50 AM   #10
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I own a 20+ year old 28' Class C, I rarely pay more than 30 bucks a night.

I've also never been affected by a 10 year rule. Those places are not our cup of tea.

But... we did spend 6 weeks down south a couple years ago and had no problem finding a nice resort type place with a beautiful pool, hot tub, laundry facilities for 35 bucks a night. No one cared how old our rig was.

Research can be a good or bad thing, we have had no problems finding spots for a long weekend 2 hours from home might cost us 200 bucks for fuel, spot at a state campground, food, and fire wood.

Some people will tell you it would be impossible to spend 200 bucks and have a good time.

Some people will tell you 200 bucks is way too much and they can do it cheaper.
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:51 AM   #11
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The 10 year rule gets a lot of debate but in my opinion is not widespread. Nor is it rigidly enforced in many places that do have it - they usually accept any age that looks presentable. At worst you might be asked to send a picture to get a reservation. It's mostly a legal tool that lets the campground avoid riff-raff or shabby eyesores. Some RVers love to rant about it so it gets a lot of space on sites like this, but little to be concerned about if you & your rig are clean and presentable.
To piggy back on what Gary says, my brief 4 year experience has been with older rigs and the only times I have encountered a rigid 10 year rule, it was being applied to longer term stays. We seldom stay more than 4-5 nights anywhere so it has never applied to us.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:10 PM   #12
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The only other restriction we have seen, especially way down South, is age restriction parks. Routinely called 55+ parks.

Personally I understand their purpose. Being long past 55 years old, I can appreciate the rule. Don't stay there a lot but I do love them. People my age, doing some of the things I like, and generally people I do not need an english translator to have a discussion with. (I don't speak millennium).

I think the others have covered the other parts.

PS Love the Super C rig.
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Old 12-13-2018, 06:33 PM   #13
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You can definitely control your camping costs. Some folks want the full hookups, pool, clubhouse, dancing, etc. Others want to really be in nature and can do that in gorgeous places cheaply or even free.... and I'm not talking about Wal-Mart pavement-types of places. I'm talking about having a beautiful stream or lake in front of you with no neighbors. That was our kind of camping. You are in control of costs.

Our 40' motorhome towing a Jeep easily fit everywhere we wanted to go including staying in many national parks.... without reservations. Some campgrounds don't even accept reservations.

The 10-year rule..... you would probably have an alternative option to stay right down the road. That rule is for the more expensive parks. If they're going to be that high and mighty we wouldn't want to stay there.

Get the RV you will be able to stay in comfortably. You'll find the price and parks for you!
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:20 PM   #14
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As others have said cost per site depends on where and how you want to camp. In the summer we camp a lot out in Colorado at state parks and private campgrounds. Most of the state parks do not have any hookups but they only run $18-25. a night. Many private campgrounds run 30-40 a night unless you are near any of the major sight seeing areas in Colorado, then expect to pay more. In the summer campgrounds close to popular sight seeing areas are more crowded and more expensive. Most places will have a daily rate, weekly rate, monthly rate and seasonal rate. Down south during snowbird season (Oct - April) the rates usually go down the longer you stay.


We've been on the road for 2 years and when I've called ahead to make reservations I've only been asked 3 times how old our unit is.
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