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Author Topic: What to do when parks are your thing?  (Read 6235 times)

RevDen

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    • Dennis Newkirk
What to do when parks are your thing?
« on: September 23, 2016, 05:35:13 PM »
Iím not much on offending people, but I donít know how to say this without running the risk.  So, here goes---with no intention to offend.

Iím a new guy to RVing and bought a truck and trailer.  My idea was to retire, pull the RV to Phoenix, and visit my kids.  We flew to Phoenix this week to visit relatives before I retire and Iíve made a significant discovery; I donít seem to like RV parks.  The whole idea of organized activities and parking 6í from the next trailer kind of creeps me out.  Iím afraid my introversion is coming out!

Are there any other people like me who have found an alternative?  I love to travel and discover, but I sure donít like what I see here in parks or ďresorts.Ē 

Again, I mean no harm to the vast majority of folks who love parks.  It just isnít me. 
Dennis and Marcia
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Sprucegum

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2016, 05:47:56 PM »
Boondocking is the word you are looking for - and there are lots of us hiding everywhere :)
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BIG JOE

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2016, 05:48:24 PM »
Yes there are Parks that have more room between rigs. Not familiar with the Phoenix area, but I know there are Parks in the YUMA area that have Large Sites. Kind of a mini lot, kinda thing. I'm sure someone will Chime in Soon.. with more info ?
Joe

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johnhicks

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2016, 05:59:50 PM »
  You need to find state/county/city parks. They'll generally have so much space between sites that  you'll never see your neighbors. The downside is that they tend to be day-rate only which can get rather expensive.

UTTransplant

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2016, 07:19:22 PM »
Generally we stay away from anything labeled "resort". We also don't go for any organized activities. We're you looking at long-term snowbird places? Those tend to have people who come back every year; they develop a sense of community with each other. Those are the only places I have seen organized activities except for places specializing in families/kids.

Look at boondocking,state parks, and county parks. Much more relaxed.
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SeilerBird

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2016, 07:49:36 PM »
"Again, I mean no harm to the vast majority of folks who love parks.  It just isnít me."

No need to apologise. There are lots of conflicting opinions on any forum. There are plenty of places you can go and camp and there will be no one for miles and no organized activities. Try Malaquite Beach at Padre Island National Seashore. 40 miles of beach and you can camp anywhere. And it is free.
 
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Tom and Margi

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2016, 08:01:30 PM »
If you are an introvert (I'm somewhat of a semi-introvert myself) and if your kids live in Phoenix, you might check out Quartzsite, Arizona.  Search for it on this forum and you will get lots of information.  You can be as close to people or as far away as you wish to be.  Some of the BLM land is free and some requires a yearly permit which lets you dump and take on water.

We've hung up our keys, so can't remember what the permit fee is, but someone here can supply that information.   The permit also covers sites in the Yuma area as well if you need to stock up on supplies at major shopping centers.  There is an RV Forum rally in Quartzsite in January, so watch for messages posted regarding that.  Great opportunity to meet some people with good tips on boondocking and boondocking sites.  Added bonus to the Sonoran Desert in AZ -- killer sunsets!

jackiemac

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2016, 12:40:02 AM »
We have stayed in a lot of State Parks and some were not too close.  National Forests also seem to have lots of spots too.  I guess you need to do some investigating of the places you plan to visit and see what you can find about boondocking.  Please let us know how you get on.

Also try checking the place out on the satellite image as you may have more space than you think in some parks.
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tvman44

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2016, 08:27:37 AM »
We always preferred state parks, more room, trees and shade.

JDOnTheGo

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2016, 09:14:19 AM »
Are there any other people like me who have found an alternative?  I love to travel and discover, but I sure donít like what I see here in parks or ďresorts.Ē 

As noted, there are many of us like that.  However; still the minority and it is sometimes hard to "communicate" with the "normal" folks as their approach is so much different.

Check out this thread I started yesterday - might be the type of camping you are looking for!!
http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=98966.0;topicseen
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Sun2Retire

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2016, 10:14:22 AM »
We live in the Phoenix area. McDowell Mt park has wide open sites with great views.
Scott
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VallAndMo

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2016, 10:26:13 AM »
Hello RevDen,

Again, I mean no harm to the vast majority of folks who love parks.  It just isnít me.

Certainly it's not just you, and we don't think anyone has reason to feel offended, so relax ;-)

We too would rather camp away from too many people. And as per the other answers you got above, all excellent, you can see that many other folks also share this same preference.

In the Phoenix/AZ area, we can recommend two places we've personally stayed at:

1) Buckeye Hills Regional Park: despite the "Park" in the name, it's dry camping (boondocking) and free (no camping fees).  We've stayed there for a few days in December 2014, and liked it a lot: sites are very well spaced, and the desert around the campground provides lots of hiking opportunities. The latest reviews posted at the above URL (from folks that stayed there during Spring) report a lot of bugs and snakes, so perhaps you should consider it only during the cold months).

2) McDowell Mountain Regional Park: we stayed there for almost a week during December 2012 and again found large inter-site spacing and lots of hiking opportunities around, so we liked it a lot. You can choose between water+electric sites for $30/night or dry camping (no hookups) for $12/night.

There are more spots to camp around Phoenix, these two are the ones we personally stayed at; we've also heard good things (but never stayed) at the Saddle Mountain BLM area  (outside Phoenix, to the East).

You can have a look at many other spots around Phoenix by consulting either FreeCampSites.Net or Campendium.Com; these are our main resources to research campsites in an area.

Hope that helps,
Cheers,
--
   Vall & Mo.








Sun2Retire

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2016, 10:30:23 AM »
Another nice park in the Phoenix area: Lost Dutchman
Scott
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Marsha/CA

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2016, 10:37:28 AM »
There is another great park in the Phoenix area:  Usery Regional Park.  Here is their website.  http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/park-locator/usery-mountain-regional-park/

The spaces are spread out and it's a hidden gem.

Marsha~
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camperAL

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2016, 10:45:55 AM »
Hi RevDen,

If you don't like RV campgrounds/parks, I'd suggest combining other hobbies with your RV travel. Boondocking is a good idea and there are places on the web that are dedicated to this. You can also use the search features here to find prior topics on places to boondock or go to the boondocking area on this forum. I guess we all have our likes and dislikes and I can understand why you might have problems with campgrounds in certain cases. You might want to search for 55+ campgrounds to avoid some problems associated with some younger campers. I know our state parks tend to keep things orderly as they can. Wishing you success in your search for the perfect camping and RV lifestyle!
CamperAL (Indiana)
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VallAndMo

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2016, 10:54:47 AM »
Howdy,

There is another great park in the Phoenix area:  Usery Regional Park.  Here is their website.  http://www.maricopacountyparks.net/park-locator/usery-mountain-regional-park/
The spaces are spread out and it's a hidden gem.
Marsha~
Another nice park in the Phoenix area: Lost Dutchman

+1 for both Lost Dutchman and Usery Mountain, we visited  both and liked them, only we didn't sleep at either so we didn't get to know the campsites.

Cheers,
--
   Vall & Mo.

TonyDtorch

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2016, 09:02:29 PM »
just about everyone wants to retire in a state or national park .........until the black tank keeps getting full, over and over again.

people that like full hook-ups end up living in 'RV parks'.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 09:14:32 PM by TonyDtorch »

NY_Dutch

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2016, 09:13:20 PM »
Tony, four of the state/county parks in SC and FL we'll be in this coming winter have full hookup sites. And we spent last week at the Lake Powhatan Recreation Area Campground in the Pisgah National Forest in NC on a full hookup site. They're out there if you look around a bit.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2016, 09:16:54 PM »
Tony, four of the state/county parks in SC and FL we'll be in this coming winter have full hookup sites. And we spent last week at the Lake Powhatan Recreation Area Campground in the Pisgah National Forest in NC on a full hookup site. They're out there if you look around a bit.

that's where I'd be living then, out here in CA it seems most state or fed parks are very limited when it comes to hook-ups.

if that was the case here,  I'd be living 6 months at Yosimite and 6 months at Doheny.... :)
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 09:29:19 PM by TonyDtorch »

UTTransplant

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2016, 09:39:16 PM »
Most state/national parks has limits on the number of days you can stay there, so they don't work for long term stays. We travel instead of staying in one place, and most public parks have a dump facility you can use. If not, the campground host knows where the nearest one is. It is a bit of a pain to take a vehicle to a dump station instead of doing it at your sites, but well worth it if you like more natural settings.
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Tom and Margi

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2016, 10:13:43 PM »
that's where I'd be living then, out here in CA it seems most state or fed parks are very limited when it comes to hook-ups.

if that was the case here,  I'd be living 6 months at Yosimite and 6 months at Doheny.... :)

Native Californian here.  In my youth, we spent the whole summer camped out with my grandparents (Dad and Mom visiting on  weekends and vacations) in the Sierra National Forest at Huntington Lake.  Then the rest of the US discovered our paradise and restrictions on camping for long periods in one spot began.  Am I bitter?  Yeah, well, maybe a little bit.  ;D

TonyDtorch

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2016, 10:15:29 PM »
Most state/national parks has limits on the number of days you can stay there, so they don't work for long term stays. We travel instead of staying in one place, and most public parks have a dump facility you can use. If not, the campground host knows where the nearest one is. It is a bit of a pain to take a vehicle to a dump station instead of doing it at your sites, but well worth it if you like more natural settings.
yes, it's a pain if you want to stay a couple weeks at a time somewhere beautiful,   I have a motorhome after I pull the slides in, I can just drive it there.

 Now imagine a trailer.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 10:21:27 PM by TonyDtorch »

NY_Dutch

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2016, 10:18:23 PM »
that's where I'd be living then, out here in CA it seems most state or fed parks are very limited when it comes to hook-ups.

if that was the case here,  I'd be living 6 months at Yosimite and 6 months at Doheny.... :)


Well they do usually have that pesky 14 day stay limit... ;
Dutch
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TonyDtorch

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2016, 10:22:32 PM »
Well they do usually have that pesky 14 day stay limit... ;

even the middle of nowhere BLM land has a 14 day limit... :(

about the only thing you can do is stay on the move,... or go to an rv park.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 10:24:09 PM by TonyDtorch »

SeilerBird

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2016, 10:56:30 PM »
There is BLM land right by the south entrance to the Grand Canyon. I have stayed there for free a month at a time.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2016, 11:09:39 PM »
There is BLM land right by the south entrance to the Grand Canyon. I have stayed there for free a month at a time.
Tom,
How long ago was that?      I heard they are enforcing a 14 day limit in  Navada BLM land.

KandT

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2016, 08:41:47 PM »
I agree with the original poster however I have found that at the right place I have enjoyed my neighbors.  I don't like other people's music, drunks or loud people.  Many places though have been delightful with wonderful people.  It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I needed that.

Nonetheless, I love the boo docking option and will do that when possible.
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SeilerBird

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2016, 09:04:35 PM »
Tom,
How long ago was that?      I heard they are enforcing a 14 day limit in  Nevada BLM land.
It has been a few years since I was there so it might have changed, however this is in Arizona. There is so much room to camp there that they would have a hard time enforcing it. I just can't imagine them driving around all night looking for people who have been there longer that two weeks but maybe they do. The government is always short of money for the parks so I can't imagine them wasting it like that. Also very few people camp there because very few people know about it.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2016, 10:49:16 PM »
that could be it, Tom....no problems = no need for enforcement.

They don't enforce the 2 week limit at Slab City CA either ...but it's Slab City and nobody cares about anything they do as long as they don't kill each other.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 10:54:52 PM by TonyDtorch »

Lou Schneider

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Re: What to do when parks are your thing?
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2016, 02:18:41 AM »
There isn't a two week limit at Slab City ... it isn't BLM land.  It's an old WWII military base that was transferred to the State of California and somewhere along the way deciding who was ultimately responsible for the land fell through the cracks.

Now no one wants to take it over because of all the needed cleanup, but that may change soon.  CA has re-zoned a lot of the land on that side of the Salton Sea for large scale solar and geothermal power projects and there's a good chance the Slabs may be buried in solar panels.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 02:29:07 AM by Lou Schneider »