Best Resources for Finding Good Campgrounds

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by dranrab, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. dranrab

    dranrab Member

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    For trip planning purposes, what resources are you using to find campgrounds? I have had great experiences at State Park campgrounds, and those are easy to find by Googling the "Louisiana State Parks" for example. The DW and I have had a condo reserved in Crested Butte CO this summer for some time, but for summer of 2018 we are going to camp our way across the country. Do you find that reservations are necessary, or can you more or less fly by the seat of your pants? I would assume that in part, that depends upon the popularity of the destination. Let's say I want to end up in Oregon, how would you go about finding and getting good info on campgrounds?
     
  2. Jimbow

    Jimbow Active Member

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    RV Parky and AllStays. Aps

    The views expressed may not be mine in five minutes.
     
  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Reservations or on-the-fly is a much debated subject. We seldom go without reservations these days, since we're working on a limited schedule, and some of the places we go tend to fill months ahead of time, at least for any reservable sites. (Many of the campgrounds within 2-3 hours of Denver are like that, Grand Canyon can be like that much of the year.) We have some friends that tend to almost never make reservations, which suits them. [They are still amazed that for two years in a row, we both have reservations for Thanksgiving, so we can meet up at an AZ state park.]

    We use a number of resources for finding campgrounds, depending on where we're going. Note: for the most part, we prefer public campgrounds and usually dry camp. On the road, though, we often reserve a site with power or full hook-ups.
    We look at maps -yes, paper maps and atlases - most of the public campgrounds tend to be on those. We also use recreation.gov and reserveamerica.com to search in areas, as well as to reserve. For stops while we're traveling between main camping destinations, we often use the KOA app or website, as well as their book; also the Good Sam's big book.
    campsitephotos.com is a good source for seeing what sites and campgrounds look like, if the campground is on it. (They keep adding campgrounds.)
     
  4. michigan_camper

    michigan_camper Member

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    We always make a practice of visiting as many nearby campgrounds as we can when are camping somewhere. I like to put my eyes on it before I decide to camp there. If it hasn't been mentioned, there is a section in this forum with reviews that are also helpful, and TripAdvisor is also good.
     
  5. 3hooligans

    3hooligans Member

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    I search google, this forum under campsites, use facebook, their are a few POPUP review groups and camping shows. We go with reservations, due to the time restrictions we have.

    I also post a review here and on the Facebook group of every CG i visit. I figure it may help others.

    Good luck
     
  6. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I use the State Park/Provincial Park sites for the areas we'll plan to camp in to find campgrounds.
     
  7. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    State parks are always the best, in my opinion. Private campgrounds can't compare and are a gamble.
     
  8. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    I use google maps satellite views to check out areas for dispersed camping and zoom into a campground to see what appears to be the best sites.
     
  9. dlaudens

    dlaudens Member

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    Many options for best campgrounds, but once you decide on one you can check out www.campsitephotos.com and see if your campground is listed. You can go site by site and check out a photo of each. Their photos are even better than some of the ones on the state or reserveamerica websites.
     
  10. Kittyhawksurf

    Kittyhawksurf Work, family, surf, eat, camp.

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    Dude, I just checked that campsitephotos site. AWESOME!
     
  11. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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  12. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

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    Check out website called forestcamping.com. This site is run by a couple who roam the country staying at and reviewing US Forest Service campgrounds. Very good data. NOTE: they only list CGs with 10 or more campsites, so also check recreation.gov and others.
     
  13. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    In general, you will get your best deals at public campgrounds (various agencies) or free dispersed camping if you like that. For a cross country trip, what we have found is that there is no need to make any reservation for S-Th nights unless you are in a "destination" area where demand is high. Weekends are a different story as many public campgrounds near any reasonable population center can get booked up during the summer, but there are still many sites in the West that do not get full on the weekends.
    A useful site is freecampsites.net it is focused on low cost and free campsites across the US. The other option is just to use google maps and look for campgrounds in a certain area.

    There is a great deal of flexibility and freedom traveling during the week without making reservations, it is a nice way to travel.
     
  14. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    I know it's a sore spot but we use Reserve America (RA) and yes they charge a fee, sometimes. I've also checked local municipality sites because like here in Jax, FL we have a few areas where camping is allowed but it's boondocking at best and reservations are on a hit or miss basis. One place that we've been wanting to go was hit hard by the hurricane that skirted us last year and has not yet reopened. The cost for these places is comparable to that of the SP's or slightly higher.
     
  15. Wecamp04

    Wecamp04 Member

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    We use rvparky and wikicamps mostly .
     
  16. billfinigan

    billfinigan New Member

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    Looking for recommendations for nice spot within 90 minutes of Philadelphia for a weekend trip.. I have a pop-up, and priority is electric hookup and spacious site.
     
  17. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    Someone here from PA should know the exact site but PA has their own website source for camping though you could probably access it through VistPA.com
     
  18. Bchain

    Bchain New Member

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  19. Harrelldjr

    Harrelldjr Member

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    I'll echo what others have said and add a couple of other thoughts. I'm definitely more of a plan ahead, state park kind of camper. For me, planning and researching trips is almost as much fun as the actual trip.

    I like using http://www.uscampgrounds.info/ for an initial search. I'll also visit the state parks website for the particular state I am wanting to visit to look for campgrounds in the area.
    Then I usually visit https://www.campsitephotos.com/ to check out particular sites.

    I also usually do a google earth view of any campground that I'm considering. I'll also do a google image search of the campground and sometimes even an image search on Facebook.
    The campground reviews here have been useful as is the "Let me tell you about my trip" forum. I would likely have never heard of Ft. De Soto had I not saw it here.
    We also visit other campgrounds when we are nearby and add notes to my phone to transfer to our camper notebook.
     
  20. mdcamping

    mdcamping Member

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    http://www.rvparkreviews.com Been a member for 10+ yrs. 320K reviews online , IMO good inforcement of reviewer guidelines makes about 95% of the reviews legit.

    Mike
     

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