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Author Topic: $50 a night is too steep for me.  (Read 10827 times)

Gerry_UK

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$50 a night is too steep for me.
« on: December 14, 2012, 10:41:57 AM »
I'm just adding up the costs for a six month tour, and stopping in camp-sites is going to be too expensive.

What are the rules on boondocking?  I would only stay one night usually.

Would it be realistic to spend two nights on the roadside or parking places to every one in a camp-site?

If so is there a book or website that tells me the places I can stop?

In Europe we have Camperstop which is great book that tells you all the authorised and unauthorised stop-overs.

geodrake

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 10:48:51 AM »
$50 a night is not necessary, there are many alternatives.

State, National, County, and city parks are generally in the $15 - $25 range.  These are generally campgrounds as apposed to RV Parks.  The difference being amenities, many will not have hook-ups and those that do generally have just electricity.

Passport America will provide 50% discounts at participating RV parks.

In the west BLM allows free dispersed camping pretty much anywhere.

Microsoft Streets and Trips will show you the majority of alternatives anywhere you go.  I'm sure that are other products that do the same.
George Drake

SeilerBird

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 11:01:36 AM »
I live in my RV full time and I rarely pay over $30 a night. Usually it is around $25. However I take advantage of weekly and monthly rates. For example the place I am now in charges $35 a night, $190 a week or $350 a month. I find that staying for a week or a month cuts down tremendously on my gas expenses and it allows me to explore an area much better.

There is a great website for finding free overnight parking:

http://www.overnightrvparking.com/

It costs $25 per year and can save you that much in one night. It has a database of almost 10,000 locations.
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Tom

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 11:07:57 AM »
Quote
Would it be realistic to spend two nights on the roadside or parking places ...

We know folks who camp roadside, but be aware it's illegal in a number of states and many cities; You'd likely get woken up in the middle of the night and told to move on. Some of us advise against roadside camping or overnighting in rest areas, even if it's legal, purely out of safety concerns. Freeway rest areas are our equivalent of motorway services without the services, and can be a target for crime.

OTOH many folks (not me) stay overnight in WalMart parking lots, and there are WalMarts all over the USA. Something like camping in a Tesco car park, but not the multi-story kind.

You could try using the Search button in the toolbar above to find numerous prior boondocking discussions. You could also click the Library button above and search there for articles on boondocking.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 11:12:49 AM by Tom »
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99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 11:34:00 AM »
Here are some rates from a South Texas park where it's warm in the winter, on one of the country's best bass lake. : RV Sites*   $25/night   $125/week   $250/month + metered electric

And one I like in FL Highland Park Fish Camp, because it's in the woods, yet close to where my parents live in Florida : R.V. Overnight  $22 R.V. Weekly  $145  R.V. Monthly  $450  This one is in Deland, FL and usually has spots, but they add a 6.25% sales tax AND 6% tourist tax. 

Other parks have similar pricing structures.

Some states, if you do a month at a time, don't charge sales tax, saving you a little more money.

This rates are good as of 12-13-2012
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Jeff

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 11:40:14 AM »
We have spent most of the past two summers on the east coast and in New England and $50.00 was all too common for nightly rates if you wanted to be anywhere near local attractions.

It was always a relief to cross the Mississippi and see the average drop into the high $20.00 low $30.00 range.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 12:12:31 PM by Jeff »

Tom

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 11:42:44 AM »
Quote
.. rates are good as of 12-13-2012

That would be 13-12-2012 in Britspeak  ;D
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Wendy

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 12:02:55 PM »
Get a Passport America and you can save a lot of money, staying in places with hookups for $12-$18. If you're ok with no hookups, you'll find tons of federal and state campgrounds for $10-$20, usually without hookups but in areas of spectacular beauty. WalMarts and other retailers are ok for an overnighter. If you have a smart phone, get the All Stays Ap and it'll show you all sorts of places to stay plus dump stations and low clearances.
 
Enjoy your travels
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ironrat

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 12:04:51 PM »
Here are some rates from a South Texas park where it's warm in the winter, on one of the country's best bass lake. : RV Sites*   $25/night   $125/week   $250/month + metered electric

And one I like in FL Highland Park Fish Camp, because it's in the woods, yet close to where my parents live in Florida : R.V. Overnight  $22 R.V. Weekly  $145  R.V. Monthly  $450  This one is in Deland, FL and usually has spots, but they add a 6.25% sales tax AND 6% tourist tax. 

Other parks have similar pricing structures.

Some states, if you do a month at a time, don't charge sales tax, saving you a little more money.

This rates are good as of 12-13-2012




Sales tax on a camp site!!!!? Maybe I never paid much attention to what I was paying before. But if Florida charges that wouldn't all Florida camp grounds and such need to charge this?
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SeilerBird

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2012, 12:11:27 PM »
Sales tax on a camp site!!!!? Maybe I never paid much attention to what I was paying before. But if Florida charges that wouldn't all Florida camp grounds and such need to charge this?
I think they do. I have a reservation at Fort Wilderness at Disney World and they sure are charging tax.
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Gerry_UK

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2012, 12:25:35 PM »
Thanks folks, Passport America sounds like a good investment.

I'll also be looking for a couple of longer stays, thanks for the web site Seilerbird. Gerry

John From Detroit

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2012, 01:19:40 PM »
Some figures for you...

Where I'm parked just now $35.00/night  Full hookup, 30 amp

Where I park next week 12/night, Water and 50 amp only, dump station free to campers 10 bucks to non-campers.

Where I park come march 22/night water and 50 amp, or 11 if you have a discount card (Government interagency pass)

Where i parked on my way home 15/night (water/electric, forget the amps think 30) 7.50 with the interagency pass.

I belong to the Moose.   Many lodges have RV parking, ranging from 5 to 25/night.

Some just have big parking lots.. Drop something in the donation cradle.

Note that everywhere that has "Fee based parking" has electric, and avbial water, and usually an avabial dump (my home Moose lodge does not).

OH.. Boondocking.. Generator burns around 1 gallon per hour more or less, I need a minimum of 4 hours Generator time per day (usually six or more)   Gas is currently 3.00/gallon (Roughly)....

Wife wanted to spend a few nights boondocking at church since we have almost daily need to be there from 12/22 through 12/25.. I nixed that cause the nearby county park (3 milies) is 12/night, and well 4-6 hours of Onan is 12-18/night plus other costs I won't incure at the county park (We use more propane this time of year boondocking)

The bottom line: Boondocking might not be all that inexpensive.

One park I stayed at last fall/winter was 350/month as I recall. Less than 12/night so again,, We plan to return in 2014 for Easter.
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Great Horned Owl

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2012, 04:41:00 PM »
Most of our national forests permit dispersed camping that is completely free. While the rules vary a little from one national forest to another, generally you can camp anyplace within 150 ft. (50 meters) of a road. Specific restrictions apply in some areas. See http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/suzi/articles/around/dispersed-cg-guidelines.htm

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ArdraF

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2012, 06:22:53 PM »
Gerry-UK,

There used to be a lot more places where you can boondock than there are now.  The problem was that, as RVing increased in popularity, too many people abused the area in which they stayed and local communities and residents got upset by it and got ordinances passed to make boondocking illegal.  Some places are easy and some are hard so it's all over the map so to speak.  Touristy areas like southern California are really picky now because they were overrun with boondockers (Bar Harbor ME and Santa Monica CA come to mind).  Nevertheless, there still are plenty of places where you can boondock, many of which have already been mentioned.  You have to pay attention to signs.  For example, Wal Mart has always been pro-RV but some of their cities and towns have been persuaded to disallow overnight parking in public lots.  It's not consistent, but if you pull in and see signs on the light posts that state no overnight parking, then that's one of the anti-RV communities and you probably need to find someplace else to park for the night.

I might suggest getting a copy of the Trailer Life Directory of Campgrounds and RV Parks when you arrive in the USA.  It lists thousands of public and private campgrounds for every state, Canada, and Mexico.  It lists their amenities and last year's price so you have an idea of how much it will cost before you call.  Each state has a map with a dot indicating where campgrounds are located so you have an idea of which ones are near your route.  Also, as you travel the interstate highway system (those designated like I-5, I-40, etc.) many states have welcome centers as you enter.  They often have helpful staff and brochures of many destinations and especially campgrounds that are not in the large directories.  We've been pleasantly surprised at a couple we've found that way, so state visitor centers are a good resource.

ArdraF
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Tom

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2012, 07:41:49 PM »
Good suggestion re the welcome centers Ardra; I always forget about them while participating in the forum, but have visited numerous ones while on the road.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2012, 07:50:53 PM »
Quote
In Europe we have Camperstop which is great book that tells you all the authorised and unauthorised stop-overs.

Here in the States, the Trailer Life Directory is pretty much the standard for printed books.  It's about the size of a metro area telephone book and lists all of the parks in a given area along with their prices.  Usually the prices are a year out of date due to the lead time for a printed book.

You can also search online by going to their website.

Beyond that, http://rvparkreviews.com/ has many user submitted parks, with prices.

Passport America has all of their participating parks on their website.  Note that many Passport America parks limit discounts to their off season, certain days of the week or just for the first night.  All of this is spelled out in their listing.   You can browse the list without joining, look and see if it will be useful for you before you buy the discount card.  http://www.passportamerica.com/

You may pay $50 per night in a major city, but prices are usually half that or less in rural areas.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 08:06:11 PM by Lou Schneider »

Billy Bob

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2012, 10:20:38 PM »
Passport America has all of their participating parks on their website.  Note that many Passport America parks limit discounts to their off season, certain days of the week or just for the first night.  All of this is spelled out in their listing.   You can browse the list without joining, look and see if it will be useful for you before you buy the discount card.  http://www.passportamerica.com/

Passportamerica is a good choice I have been a member for years. Two other good web sites for free camping are Freecampgrounds.com And www.boondockerswelcome.com Boomdockerswelcome requires a small fee to join if you can not offer a free spot to boomdock on your land or business

Staff edit: Fix incorrect URL
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 07:43:04 AM by Ned »

Ned

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2012, 07:43:30 AM »
It's boondockerswelcome.com and I fixed your link.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2012, 09:37:25 AM »
RV Overnight Parking has a modest annual fee but lists nearly 10,000 verified locations that offer free or very low cost RV parking. I've been a member for several years and find it quite handy on those occasions when we just want a cheap overnight place.

There are several other sites that list free overnights, but the data is not as reliable or comprehensive. Just Google free overnight rv parking and you will find a bunch of them.
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Billy Bob

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2012, 09:45:53 PM »
It's boondockerswelcome.com and I fixed your link.

Thanks Ned

skyking1

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2012, 02:04:00 PM »
Came in to post about boondockers welcome.
 ;D
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jerrydiver

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2013, 04:55:38 PM »
I'm seeing a lot of great ideas, here.  Those Wal Mart Supercenters are not only great places to overnight free, they are open 24/7, so stock up!  You'll see plenty of restaurants that have one or more big trucks overnighting; that's a sure sign they will have a good breakfast.  Any place that allows the big trucks to park overnight will welcome you, as well.  So boondocking spots are pretty easy to find.  The interstate rest areas in some states (Florida) have 24/7 security because of past problems with crime.  They're always worth a look and sometimes even have an RV dump station.  I saw someone recommended a fish camp; I second that.  Some fish camps turn out to be wonderful places to get a great supper and a good night's sleep.

Jeff

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2013, 07:05:32 PM »
Most of our national forests permit dispersed camping that is completely free. While the rules vary a little from one national forest to another, generally you can camp anyplace within 150 ft. (50 meters) of a road. Specific restrictions apply in some areas. See http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/suzi/articles/around/dispersed-cg-guidelines.htm

Joel


I believe the Dispersed Camping rules for the NFS is that you must be a minimum of 100' off any roadway.

Gerry_UK

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2014, 02:25:44 AM »
Thanks, one and all, lots of good ideas there. I will make use of them.  :)

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2014, 07:19:35 AM »
One I haven't seen here is www.harvesthosts.com Cost $40 for 12 months. They are wineries and farms and agri-tourism sites. I think you're only allowed a 24 hour stay, and I think that 24 hour stay is free. You should call ahead and show up during business hours.

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John From Detroit

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2014, 09:47:43 AM »
In the summer I belong to two membership parks, This lmits my parking choices but I pay on the order of ninty dollars a MONTH for parking, 2 weeks in one park, 2 in the other, all summer long... NOTE: area KOA parks I can easily spend 90 dollars for just one night.. Even the bargain parks in that area are in the 40 dollar range per night.

Where I winter I can only use one of those memberships so it's 2 weeks for 45/month (Plus I still have to pay the dues at the other park) and 12.00/night for the week out.   YES, 12 bucks..

In the membership park I get 30 amps, Water, Sewer, Wi-Fi
In the 12/night parks 50 amps, water and a dump station.

I really LIKED that 50 amps last night.

NOTE: there is basically no limit on how long you can stay in this 12/night park.. You just have to change sites from time to time.  Another 12/night park (For me 24 for many) 17 miles away you have a 2 week limit. that one is a COE park, same 50 amps/water/dump station.  I get the lower price cause I have an interagency pass (Senior in my case) that gets me discounts at some federal attractions.. Up to 100% in some cases.  Must be 62 or have another qualifying quality. (long list of qualifications for the cards).

I have stayed for as low as 7.50/night with the card in a Forest Service Campground.. Again 50/water/dump.

Lots of options. Many low cost.. NOTE that COE parks tend to be on lakes (Man made) or rivers. and Forest Service parks in some very nice, though remote, palces.
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fthomas

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2014, 12:24:10 PM »
Thanks for all who chimed in. I didn't know about all the ways to save $$$ when camping.

Thanks again!

Frank
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fastrak100

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2014, 03:09:14 PM »
Jerry, Have you done your 6 month trip (original post 2012, or are you still planning it?
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Bill N

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2014, 07:42:13 PM »
One of the best internet sites is:  http://www.woodalls.com/Campground/state-search/rv-campgrounds.aspx

I did not realize that Good Sam and Woodalls have gone together but if you get near a Camping World they have the same info in a telephone sized book too.  They also have a nice road atlas with the locations of campgrounds identified some of which offer discounts.  By the way, I have camped off and on for over 40 years and never paid $50 per night for a parking spot.  KOAs are approaching that figure (and exceeding it in some areas) but I quit going to them also long ago.  To be honest, I have also never camped in the eastern states or in California but made a 4000 mile trip two years ago to Washington State and never paid more than $35 per night for full hookups - less for electric and water only.
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fastrak100

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2014, 02:09:54 AM »
It is inevitably the popular tourist spots that hike it up. We will pay $50 p.n. in Yellowstone this year, but we are going to get the only sites in the park which we can reserve and come with full hook up. Sure we will now try and get on a 'walk in' NPS site when we get there, but it is a risk when you are in the most popular tourist spot in The USA. The cost in gas to find a site outside the park justifies that outlay.
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Tin man

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Re: $50 a night is too steep for me.
« Reply #30 on: February 10, 2014, 12:52:36 PM »
Gerry

$50.00 is about 30 pounds pretty good deal.  Another thing to think about make sure you are safe. 

Have a great trip....

Jim
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