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Old 07-21-2020, 11:34 AM   #1
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Are we Spoiled? Or Am I a campground Snob?

Its been awhile since I last posted here so forgive me for injecting this topic for my return back but it's currently the situation we have found ourselves in and I wont name any campground names but will give generalized locations....This is only a vent session!!!!
First off, we are from the St. Louis area and there are many, many State and COE options within a 2-5 hour radius from home that we spend time at. We normally take one big trip a year consisting of multiple weeks while the kids have time off in the summer. This year we elected to head north into Door County WI, Then into the UP of Michigan and then down near Torch Lake in Michigan and Traverse City. Even on the big trips we try and stay with federal and corps/state parks when we can. We are on the final leg of our trip and staying at a private campground and yet again have found ourselves disappointed with the facility, sites and the cost. The online reviews of this place are glowing....95% positive but yet we all feel underwhelmed based on what we are used to. Its hard to stomach hotel room prices (Before covid, Hotel travel was my work life)per night to be 10' from my neighbor, dirt and sand/mud sites, laundry rooms that smell like sewage and so on. There are so many people here that makes me think we are the minority. I think my expectations are too high. Perfect campsite is lake side, paved including patio so shoes are optional, full hookups, isolated from others, wonderful views and less than $30 a night. I think I am asking too much. I have constantly been disappointed with private campgrounds that over promise and under deliver. With that said, we are having a great time and have gotten to do some neat and different things on this trip. I would highly recommend Michigan's UP its a wild unlike anything we have experienced.
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:53 AM   #2
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We just got home from a 3 week trip up through Nebraska, SoDak, Iowa, and Missouri. I feel what you're saying, sites are expensive and hard to find.right now. Most private parks we found were above $40 and unpaid $80 per night a couple of times (that's with the KOA discount).

I never had a place that was horrible but I also wasn't expecting paved pads or even to use the facilities much.
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:53 AM   #3
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I don't think you're spoiled or a snob, you like what you like. For us, the more rustic and less amenities the better. To each their own.
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:59 AM   #4
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Wow

I donít see anything wrong with liking a standard that you have become accustomed to and trying to duplicate it.

On the other hand, taking a family vacation in the midst of CoVID-19 quarantining and then finding something to complain about is the epitome of First world problems/entitlement/tone deaf/etc...IMHO

This is not to say I wouldnít be inclined to complain if this happened to me in the non-Covid-19 era
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:59 AM   #5
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Ditto on rustic here. We go to state facilities more often and only one trip to a private place. We use our TT for everything, but do not see the conditions you experienced. Could be those places no longer have the staff to properly maintain everything.
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Beachbourbon View Post
I donít see anything wrong with liking a standard that you have become accustomed to and trying to duplicate it.



On the other hand, taking a family vacation in the midst of CoVID-19 quarantining and then finding something to complain about is the epitome of First world problems/entitlement/tone deaf/etc...IMHO



This is not to say I wouldnít be inclined to complain if this happened to me in the non-Covid-19 era


Thanks for your input....not stepping into this pile with you because what you read and what I typed are two different things. Please get off your ivory tower and consider the fact you do not know anything about my family, what we have done for this pandemic and what we have sacrificed for the betterment of society. Iím with you by the way...my wife is in healthcare and we are very in-tune with this situation. Good luck and wash your hands. However, I suppose I have invited this on myself....
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:29 PM   #7
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I think there is kind of a curve here. I get to stay at Oregon State Parks for free due to being a disabled veteran. The only disappointment I have had at a state park is that some tend to be less like camping and more like staying in a city park. But the facilities have always been clean.

The absolute worse campground I stayed in was Mazama Campground in Crater Lake National Park. I think I paid like $25 (discounted from $31), but they only did single night reservations! Every day you had to go back and stand in line again for that day. There was nothing good about that place. We stayed one night, and moved to a USFS campground down the mountain and was 100% happy there.

We stayed at a hot springs RV resort. It was $35 for standard or $40 for full hookup. While the facilities were clean, again, it was like parking in a city park - but that's just what RV Resorts really are - just glorified RV parking lots.

Anyway, in regards to the curve - I think the more you pay for something, the more disappointed you are going to be up to the point where you cross the line into paying for true luxury and "elitism". I am most happiest boondocking for free or $8 reservation fee only Oregon State Parks. Then it seems like the more I pay, the less I actually get in regards to the camping experience.
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:38 PM   #8
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We stayed a few nights at Catherine's Landing in Hot Springs AR. Very clean on nice park on an ??oxbow of the lake/river. It was very nice and the people were nice, but it was expensive. Memory tells me it was ?? 125 a night for water front camping, but it was mostly a parking lot with grass around it. DW loved it. WIFI was OK, bathhouse was nice and pool was OK. They were adding to it while were there... I am guessing they stay busy... just not really a place I would pick.
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:17 PM   #9
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We stayed a few nights at Catherine's Landing in Hot Springs AR. Very clean on nice park on an ??oxbow of the lake/river. It was very nice and the people were nice, but it was expensive. Memory tells me it was ?? 125 a night for water front camping, but it was mostly a parking lot with grass around it. DW loved it. WIFI was OK, bathhouse was nice and pool was OK. They were adding to it while were there... I am guessing they stay busy... just not really a place I would pick.
We'll be at the Wal_Mart parking lot before I pay $100 for an RV spot.
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:33 PM   #10
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I think there is kind of a curve here. I get to stay at Oregon State Parks for free due to being a disabled veteran. The only disappointment I have had at a state park is that some tend to be less like camping and more like staying in a city park. But the facilities have always been clean.

The absolute worse campground I stayed in was Mazama Campground in Crater Lake National Park. I think I paid like $25 (discounted from $31), but they only did single night reservations! Every day you had to go back and stand in line again for that day. There was nothing good about that place. We stayed one night, and moved to a USFS campground down the mountain and was 100% happy there.

We stayed at a hot springs RV resort. It was $35 for standard or $40 for full hookup. While the facilities were clean, again, it was like parking in a city park - but that's just what RV Resorts really are - just glorified RV parking lots.

Anyway, in regards to the curve - I think the more you pay for something, the more disappointed you are going to be up to the point where you cross the line into paying for true luxury and "elitism". I am most happiest boondocking for free or $8 reservation fee only Oregon State Parks. Then it seems like the more I pay, the less I actually get in regards to the camping experience.
I'm with you. Happiest when boondocking for free or in a Forest Service campground enjoying my 50% Lifetime Senior discount.

I had enough of hotels while working. Thats why i bought my current TT and outfitted it to not rely on amenities.

To each their own however.
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:33 PM   #11
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I think my expectations are too high. Perfect campsite is lake side, paved including patio so shoes are optional, full hookups, isolated from others, wonderful views and less than $30 a night. I think I am asking too much. .
It's always good to vent and we hear your pain.
However, that perfect site is going to be very expensive at an rv resort and hard to find at public campgrounds. The closest we've come is at COE campgrounds, but they usually only have W/E.
With all the new rvers on the road, campgrounds have definitely been challenged this year.
Glad you made it home and had a great time.
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Old 07-21-2020, 03:13 PM   #12
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Haven't seen that with prices like that in many years. Yes you are asking to much.
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:27 PM   #13
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Its been awhile since I last posted here so forgive me for injecting this topic for my return back but it's currently the situation we have found ourselves in and I wont name any campground names but will give generalized locations....This is only a vent session!!!!
First off, we are from the St. Louis area and there are many, many State and COE options within a 2-5 hour radius from home that we spend time at. We normally take one big trip a year consisting of multiple weeks while the kids have time off in the summer. This year we elected to head north into Door County WI, Then into the UP of Michigan and then down near Torch Lake in Michigan and Traverse City. Even on the big trips we try and stay with federal and corps/state parks when we can. We are on the final leg of our trip and staying at a private campground and yet again have found ourselves disappointed with the facility, sites and the cost. The online reviews of this place are glowing....95% positive but yet we all feel underwhelmed based on what we are used to. Its hard to stomach hotel room prices (Before covid, Hotel travel was my work life)per night to be 10' from my neighbor, dirt and sand/mud sites, laundry rooms that smell like sewage and so on. There are so many people here that makes me think we are the minority. I think my expectations are too high. Perfect campsite is lake side, paved including patio so shoes are optional, full hookups, isolated from others, wonderful views and less than $30 a night. I think I am asking too much. I have constantly been disappointed with private campgrounds that over promise and under deliver. With that said, we are having a great time and have gotten to do some neat and different things on this trip. I would highly recommend Michigan's UP its a wild unlike anything we have experienced.
I take it you have never stayed at Fort Wilderness in Disney World, I booked a few days there so granddaughter could ride the ponies. It was in April, $200 bucks a night. Wife told me after one night staying at Walmart if we couldnít afford a campground we would stay home. Wife does not like to dry camp and I donít really. Now that Iím not 25 any more I like full hookups. I see great campgrounds and some not so great. Iím staying at Shipshewana flea market next month, itís a great campground.
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:42 PM   #14
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At Fort Wilderness does a maid come in and make your the beds and cleanup the trailer each day? If not I would complain to the management.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:00 PM   #15
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Iím afraid not on the maid. I talked to a person camping beside us and he was staying for a month, no discounts. Granddaughter likes Chip n Dale and riding the ponies and riding a golf cart. I love granddaughter
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:02 PM   #16
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I think my expectations are too high. Perfect campsite is lake side, paved including patio so shoes are optional, full hookups, isolated from others, wonderful views and less than $30 a night.

Sounds like a 5 star plus location, I'd expect to pay a 5 star price. That view from a cabin in Colorado costs $$$$$. I wouldn't expect different camping at a private campground, after all he paid for the view when he bought it to rent out
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:18 PM   #17
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Iím afraid not on the maid. I talked to a person camping beside us and he was staying for a month, no discounts. Granddaughter likes Chip n Dale and riding the ponies and riding a golf cart. I love granddaughter
Grandkids are precious and no expense spared when it comes to treating them.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:35 PM   #18
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I don't think you're spoiled, but like me, you may remember what the price used to be and with the increase in the popularity of camping, inflation, etc, your brain still hasn't accepted the new rates. I'm a craft beer fan and it's still in my brain that a 6 pack should be $5.99, maybe $6.99 if it's fancy. Not an average 6 is $9.99, if not more. And fancy beers come 4 x 16oz at an even higher price point.

Something that may help reset your pricing expectation is to check the cost of hotel rooms.

All that said, the biggest shocker to me is how much more I enjoy state parks that typically cost $25-35 more than the bigger private parks that are $50-60 or more. I don't really need a lazy river at my RV; I want trees, space, maybe a lake and a fire pit.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:39 PM   #19
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Grandkids are precious and no expense spared when it comes to treating them.
You are so right, she is actually my great granddaughter, first girl in the family. Her birthday was July 17 and I had promised her a puppy, I looked for 2 months, no puppy. I finally put a down payment on a puppy thatís not born yet, hopefully Iíll show her a picture of the puppy in September. There is a really nice campground out from Pigeon Forge TN called Anchor Downs, it is nice and pricey but it stays full.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:22 PM   #20
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I think you're asking too much for all that at a price less than $30. Some exist here and there, but likely not in the areas where people like to vacation.


I have experienced what you describe, at a COE park, but it was middle of Louisiana and certainly not a tourist stop. Beautiful lake front spot, Electric and water (not full hookup, but dump station), huge spots, lots of room between, concrete patio, crushed gravel spot, super level, beautiful view. Less than $30.


I think one of the best deals out there are the COE parks. But, on average what you're looking for is not easy to find.


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