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Old 04-29-2018, 06:11 AM   #1
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What's your favorite way to search for a campground?

I get frustrated when trying to find a suitable campground for an upcoming trip. Maybe I'm missing something, how do you do it?

The Good Sam website seems about the easiest to me so far. Google brings up lots of campgrounds but then you have to go to each individual campground web site to get much information. Some of these websites are rather dated. I know the website can be a reflection on how "dated" the campground is. However, we just want something clean and quiet, and don't really care to go to an expensive RV resort with all kinds of perks we won't use.

For example, we like to have full hookups at the site. A campground might look nice initially online, but then you find out they only have water and electric, or full hookups are only on some sites. Yesterday a campground looked very good until I looked at their map of sites. It was then I discovered they had a few hundred sites but only about 10 for "transient" campers. This has happened to me other times too.

Any tips? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:31 AM   #2
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You're doing the only thing anyone else can do that's concerned about finding what 'they' want... none of us want to just show up and find something we're not excited about.
My best suggestion is google maps. While you have to 'go to every different site', that's the ONLY way to know if it fits your criteria. I do the same.
The satellite overview shows you the 'real' campground, as you can see the area between each site, how they are laid out, etc. You may not know all the aspects of the ground before you arrive, but you'll have a good idea. Many times we've been pleasantly surprised, and others we've been a little let down. It's just the way it is, they are not all the same, nor should they be. Unlike a Holiday Inn Express, you're not always gonna get the same thing.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:35 AM   #3
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I like Allstays.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:09 AM   #4
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I use RV Park Reviews and the Good Sam's RV Travel Guide & Camping Directory. Also the KOA Campground directory. We use the KOA campgrounds for one night stays as we travel to our destination point if available. My wife will also google the campground and see if reviews are posted on the campground we are looking at. We than check out the campground website, if they have one. It does take sometime to do this work but what else can you do in Jan and early Feb. We usually plan out our trips and where we want to go in Jan and Feb making our reservation than.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:24 AM   #5
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X2 on the RV Park Reviews. I have found it very helpful. Put in a State and Pick a City close to where you are wanting to go. It will tell you how many sites, and what hook ups they have if any along with reviews of the campground and sometimes surrounding areas.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:26 AM   #6
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When I'm traveling to a destination and just want one-night layovers...

You can never go wrong with a KOA!

At least you know they always have full hookups,

They tend to be more expensive, but at least you know what you can expect!

That being said, I also use the Good Sam's and/or RVParky apps when I can't find a KOA.

Plus, I have two Rand McNally RV GPS units that have campgrounds already preloaded into the POI's.

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Old 04-29-2018, 09:30 AM   #7
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As you mentioned, it starts with the type of camping you want to do.

For me, I like mountain camping in the forests of Colorado. So, this makes reserveamerica.com my go-to spot for CG searching. I can filter lists based on electrical power and other amenities, if those are important to me. It lists sites that it doesn't have jurisdiction over, too. USFS sites show up appropriately on reserveamerica.com, even though it will send me over to recreation.gov if I want to book.

But, once I find out which CG I'd like to visit (based on location, amenities, etc.), I'm only half-way there. Which site within the CG is then next big question. For that, I use googlemaps' satellite view, campsitephotos, the campground's actual website (or USFS ranger district site), and general google searches. Youtube is also coming up to speed, as more users are posting detailed drive-throughs of campgrounds.

Between all of those tools, I can generally get a good feel for the layout, tree coverage, and other characteristics of the campground in which I'm interested. It works out well in ensuring I get a good site and one that meets my needs and expectations.

Not sure how many of those tools will help for private CGs.

Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:47 AM   #8
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X3 on RV Park Reviews.

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Old 04-29-2018, 10:14 AM   #9
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I like RV Park Reviews and use them, but...

Three years ago I saw an RV park near one I was staying at near the Royal Gorge in Colorado and stopped to check it out for a possible stay later that summer.

As I pulled into the drive I was met by two people that blocked the road so I could not pull up to the office...turned out it was the owners!

They asked me what I wanted, so I told them what I was doing.

They told me to turn around and leave... WHAT!!!

So, while I was writing a good review about the park I was staying at I decided to leave one about my experience over at the other park.

And RV Park Reviews refused to post it because I didn't actually stay there!

Well, guess I'll never be able to give them a review because after my experience...I never will stay there!
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Old 04-29-2018, 10:32 AM   #10
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First thing I do is see if there is a state park or COA near my destination. If so, generally my next step is to reserve there. We just like SP's, and COA's much better.

If not, then I use Google, and follow up with RV Park Reviews and/or RV parky.

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Old 04-29-2018, 10:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rdeejr View Post
I like Allstays.


X2 AllStays, has more than RV Parky and show gas stations, Walmartís and low bridges
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:31 PM   #12
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I use Trip Advisor
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:39 PM   #13
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Yeah, campgroundreviews.com and Google Earth to view the park.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:49 PM   #14
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RVParky and www.rvparkrvparkreviews.
They are the best and free apps.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:51 PM   #15
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Campendium is also good resource for reviews. Don't forget to use your National Park Senior Access Pass (over 62 yo) for a 50% discount on most federal / national campgrounds.
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Old 04-29-2018, 01:02 PM   #16
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I like RV Parky.
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Old 04-29-2018, 01:16 PM   #17
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We almost always use Allstays. It list free camping all the way to RV Resorts. Most of the time it is accurate, once in a while a park does not exist. You can look at a map of the area you want to be in, and the parks show, also LP gas, truck stops, Walmart, etc. From the rv park info page you can click a link to their web site, or check reviews, get a phone number, etc. We do ALOT of seat of your pants travel, and have very seldom not found a place to stay. We love COE camps, NF camps, etc., but at times want a resort style camp to catch up, do laundry, have a little down time.
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Old 04-29-2018, 02:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjgrady View Post
I get frustrated when trying to find a suitable campground for an upcoming trip. Maybe I'm missing something, how do you do it?

The Good Sam website seems about the easiest to me so far. Google brings up lots of campgrounds but then you have to go to each individual campground web site to get much information. Some of these websites are rather dated. I know the website can be a reflection on how "dated" the campground is. However, we just want something clean and quiet, and don't really care to go to an expensive RV resort with all kinds of perks we won't use.

For example, we like to have full hookups at the site. A campground might look nice initially online, but then you find out they only have water and electric, or full hookups are only on some sites. Yesterday a campground looked very good until I looked at their map of sites. It was then I discovered they had a few hundred sites but only about 10 for "transient" campers. This has happened to me other times too.

Any tips? Thanks in advance.
Reserveamerica.com for State and Federal campgrounds.

RV Parky (phone app)

and of course, Google.com
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Old 04-29-2018, 02:27 PM   #19
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Depends on the type of camping you like to do. We like state park type camping.

I start with www.recreation.gov to search for national parks and Corp of Engineers campgrounds (COE usually have level campsites, but usually are W/E only with dumpstations.) Online reservations is a plus. State campsite reservations, if available.

Then I use Google and search for 'Camping near (insert nearest town here) and check the MAP. I also use the satellite feature to get a layout of the campground and surrounding area. (zoom in to find details) In fact, I find myself using Google Maps as a staple research tool almost every trip.

Also use KOA... mostly because I can reserve online the same day til 4 p.m. if we're traveling and since most of the office layouts are similar, I know where to find the restrooms.

Then I use the other apps mentioned above. I've even removed pages from the Good Sam Camping guide to take with us because that book is so massive. Our Garmin GPS has a 'lodging' feature that locates campgrounds when you are near to an area, or searches by 'destination.'

Then sometimes we just drive and come across great camping in local city parks.
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:18 PM   #20
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best way to find campgrounds

We use the Allstay app when on the road and the internet (Google) when planning at home. Some places like Yosemite need to be booked 6 months in advance and you have about a 5 minute window when the next month opens up before they are all booked.

We took a 100 day trip from San Diego to NW Canada and USA (17,000 miles) and we planned reservations when we had to for the popular national parks, but most of the time we went on the seat of our pants using Allstays and word of mouth. Listen to the locals... they know all the best spots. We always stopped at the state visitor centers and got the best advice from the great volunteers.. Where to go... where to park... where to not go... This info is priceless.

And on the pure travel days or in emergency... there's always a Walmart around and Allstays lists them all.
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