Iflyfish

Campground Guides in the Age of Internet

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Many years ago I traveled the US, Canada and Baja in my motor home. I used various guides to find campgrounds. What do you use? Are there internet sites that list campgrounds? Iflyfishwithguideinhand

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I haven't found 1 specific FREE site for ALL campgrounds, but I've been looking into joining a club for our longer trips.  This site lists quite a few clubs, many of which offer (free of charge) their own maps and lists of associated campgrounds accross the country: http://www.rvtripwizard.com/rv-info/rv-membership-clubs.php.  You can get a pretty good idea by referencing them.

Of course you could just join http://www.rvtripwizard.com/ and go the easy, if not more $$$, route.  It looks like they list ALL campgrounds to members.

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I have had good luck with Passport America 1/2 off club.  It is not 100% coverage for all of the America's but I have always got far more than I paid back! 

You can check where you are going and see if they have parks available without joining.  When I can get full hookup parks for $10-20 a night I will stay in parks rather than Wal Mart or some such place.   

 

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Posted (edited)

Been a while since I've been here.  We just finished up a 1.5 year trip from the east coast to the west coast, down as far as the southern tip of Baja California, and up as far as Vancouver island - some 40k miles of full-time RVing in our Escaper.  I guess it depends on what you're looking for.  We always tried to find free places when we could - we're pretty self-contained and we traveled a lot - seldom stayed out boondocking for more than a week, so no hookups works well for us.

We made excellent use of several apps - some free, some paid - here are our top 5. 

Our #1 "go to" app - Ultimate Campgrounds - public campgrounds - many free - worth every penny. You can check out their web based version at ultimatecampgrounds.com.  Ted is great about accepting feedback, suggestions, and new site submissions. 

Gas Buddy - free, also used nearly every day - saved a ton on gas, especially in California where we found prices could vary as much as $0.75 per gallon within 1/2 of a mile of each other just off the Interstate.

Public Lands, especially good for making sure the free BLM site you just discovered really IS  BLM and not private - about $5 IIRC

All Stays - about $10 - great for finding private and public campgrounds, casinos, dump stations, etc. It's probably the best overall with some overlap with Ultimate, but we used them both and found many sites that were only in one app or the other.

Sani-Dump - pretty much obsolete for Android, still works on iPhone and on web site.  We submitted a few and never saw them included, so no idea how up-to-date it is.

We don't pay for campgrounds often if we can help it - can't afford to do it for this long if we did - but we also joined Passport America.  We paid for our membership in the first two weeks of our trip by staying a few nights at a CG just outside of Montreal near the last commuter train stop - great for going in to see the city.

One last thing - absolutely the best investment we made for the trip was getting an Inter Agency Senior Pass (https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/passes-permits/recreation-fees-passes)  At 62 and older, you pay a one time $10 fee for a lifetime pass.  This will get you and everyone in your vehicle free admission to national parks (including Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequioa, Arches, etc.), and pretty much any national recreation area (except Mt. Rushmore), 1/2 price camping at most National Parks, Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, etc. campgrounds.

Cheers.

 

On 3/28/2017 at 8:23 AM, jjrbus said:

I have had good luck with Passport America 1/2 off club.  It is not 100% coverage for all of the America's but I have always got far more than I paid back! 

You can check where you are going and see if they have parks available without joining.  When I can get full hookup parks for $10-20 a night I will stay in parks rather than Wal Mart or some such place.   

 

 

Edited by mustrmrk
typos, correction

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got my senior pass in january. was a rumor that the price was going to increase significantly. you need to go to a park office in person with a photo ID to obtain your pass. not all parks issue passes. luckily the CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK happens to be a park that issues the passes and is about an hour from where i live. the park ranger that we talked with was aware of the planned price increase, but had no idea of how much an increase or when it may take effect. i am happy to learn that the pass worked so well for mustrmrk--have yet to use mine. joe from dover.

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Good stuff! Thanks for weighing in on this topic! I will explore these options.

Iflyfishwhilecampedinmyrv

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FYI - hunkaman is correct - the cost of the Inter Agency Senior Pass will be going from $10 up to $80 - not sure when.  If you qualify and haven't got yours yet, you probably should do it soon.

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjAytrV-ZPTAhUJro8KHbsEAUkQFggbMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nationalparkstraveler.com%2F2016%2F12%2Fupdated-price-senior-pass-going-80-buy-it-now-10&usg=AFQjCNHO8TUS6Ls_kSa9H20rB8tZNX3LgQ

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That's correct! I volunteer in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and a Ranger told me about the price increase. He was unaware of when this will take place but said Soon. So hunkaman and I went to the park office and got ours. Hurry!

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Posted (edited)

For the past 20 years I have used the 2 volume (east/west) Allstate RV Park and Campground Directory .

It has the best and most complete listing of all state and national forest campsites which we prefer as they are seldom used but well maintained.

These books are almost impossible to source now as the last publish date was 1991.

 

Edited by turtle

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As Im a young buck at ripe age of 43 I still work and as such only stay at a campground once I get to my vacation destination only.

the rest of my travel I have exclusively targeted truck stops with a smattering of wallmarts and rest stops on overnight sleep spells.

 

when I do need to find camp grounds I usually google for them on the maps and find the ones nearest my interest of my target area then review them on yelp, travel advisor etc to see how horrible their bathrooms are.

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