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Old 07-19-2014, 12:51 PM   #1
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Black Hills Trip Report

We just returned from a week in the Black Hills, and the camper was great!

We went from Des Moines to Lake Vermillion Recreation Area, then to Blue Bell Campground at Custer State Park for 5 nights, then back to Lake Vermillion on the way home.

Blue Bell was probably the best campground I've ever been to. The sites were spaced well, and we were surrounded by tall pines. The shower house was clean, there was a camp store, and a nice lodge with a great restaraunt. The only thing we missed that some of the other Custer campgrounds had was a playground.

It was chilly, so we used the heat pump at night and it worked well. We decided not to fill the water tank, and just used an aqua-tainer on the picnic table for drinking water and washing dishes.

I ran the fridge on 12V while driving, and it worked perfectly.

The Murano pulled it confidently up and down the hills and it handled great the whole way.

I couldn't get my Garmin backup camera to work properly though... It kept losing the connection, and even worse, would show a delayed video! Hopefully remounting the antenna will help.

I saw a lot more pop-ups out in SD than I do here in Iowa. Here it seems like everyone has giant campers, but out there I saw everything from cool old restored popups to huge new ones.

I'd highly recommend the campground at Custer!

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Old 07-19-2014, 01:16 PM   #2
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Thanks for this post, we are in the planning stages for our trip next year.


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Old 07-19-2014, 02:23 PM   #3
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Glad everything went well with your trip....well, except your Garmin--hope you get that straightened out.

Maybe one of these years I'll get to camp at Custer!
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Old 07-19-2014, 03:45 PM   #4
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Make sure to book early for Custer! I booked in February, and I'm told you have to do that to get a spot!

The other campgrounds we drove past in Custer looked nice, but a lot of them were right next to the road. Blue Bell is back a ways into the pine trees. It's also the equestrian area.

The spots are a bit small though, so they might be better suited to smaller trailers.
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:56 PM   #5
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Do you know if Blue Bell has 50 amp service? I looked on their webpage but it did not specify.


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Old 07-28-2014, 01:01 AM   #6
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I believe I saw you at Blue bell. We were up there and camped at Horsethief campground just outside custer state park. It is a really nice campground as well. We had a site the 17 and 18 at blue bell and decided to just stay where we were since we were all set up, we drove up to Blue Bell to check it out and saw your camper. Beautiful area up there. Had a blast.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
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I'm sure that was us then! We actually didn't see any other a-frames the whole trip.

Horse Thief looks nice too, and maybe a bit more open than Blue Bell!
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad85 View Post
I believe I saw you at Blue bell. We were up there and camped at Horsethief campground just outside custer state park. It is a really nice campground as well. We had a site the 17 and 18 at blue bell and decided to just stay where we were since we were all set up, we drove up to Blue Bell to check it out and saw your camper. Beautiful area up there. Had a blast.
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I'm sure that was us then! We actually didn't see any other a-frames the whole trip.

Horse Thief looks nice too, and maybe a bit more open than Blue Bell!
.........and that's why we all should all have FRF stickers! I have mine!
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:51 PM   #9
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This old boy came to visit us last summer at
Blue Bell.
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