square footage of camping sites

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square footage of camping sites

Postby Joe4Camping » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:59 pm

Hello,

It's been a very long time since my wife and I have gone camping. Now, with our foamie teardrop camper nearing completion, we're ready to travel! However, while scoping out campgrounds in the area, we've noticed that the size of the camping sites are, well, quite small, and rather close to their neighbors.

Have camp sites shrunk in the last 10 years or so? We had hoped to include a 10'x10' tent, as well as a changing room for our cassette toilet, but from what we've seen, this arrangement would be quite impossible, if you include the teardrop and tow vehicle. Plus, since we are hoping for electric and water hook-up, this seems to indicate we'd be thrown in amongst the monster RVs.

So, are we just looking in the wrong places?

We live in western North Carolina, but plan on camping across the Southeast, and beyond as we get our camping legs back.

Thanks for your input!
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Tomterrific » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:34 am

We have found non electric sites to be the best sites. It seems these are in the back of most camp grounds and spaced to give a more natural camping feel. We have seen some tent sites we could not use, so 'it depends...'.

Tt
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby tony.latham » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:46 am

So, are we just looking in the wrong places?


The short answer is yes.

Image

But of course, I'm gifted with hundreds of miles of public land around me. It's rare for us to camp in a campground and if we do its almost always a USFS facility. So that's just me bragging about what I have (It's yours too, just a long way away).

But enough of my admitted trolling. You might download the Allstays Camp and RV app to your phone. It's a great resource that gives details on campgrounds anywhere you want to travel.

:thumbsup:

Tony
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby PKCSPT » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:29 am

Her in Minnesota it just depends on where your camping. I use our state parks and some are really packed in and some are a bit more spread out. Superior National forest has dispersed camping.
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Pinstriper » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:13 pm

If you look at the average bear rv park, they are little more than parking lots, with no room for a slideout much less and awning, and still have space to walk between units. We give these no consideration whatever. Even koa or good sam places can be like this, or little better. There are individual property variance of course so we check their websites and also look at satellite shots to get an idea of the real layout.



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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Aguyfromohio » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:13 pm

We like State parks near our home in Columbus. It's a pretty big city so the parks are crowded during the summer.
There are three near us and they are different. We spent two afternoons this spring without the trailer just driving around these campgrounds to get a good feel for them.

The one we don't care for has the trees trimmed back away from the camp sites, and the camp sites close together, so it has no privacy and feels like a parking lot.
The folks who love that one are mostly boaters who come for the big reservoir with no horsepower limit. They seem to be having a great time with their jet skis and motor boats, but it's not our cup of tea.

Another has better privacy and more trees. We like it well enough, though you can't really call it private. But we called in owls one night and hung a hammock in the trees, it was a great weekend trip with us in the teardrop and my grown son in a tent.

Our favorite is closest to town and has lots of trees and bushes, much more privacy. Of course being so close to town and so nice it's booked heavily in summer.
This nice one has a big difference between one campsite and another. The regulars know which sites are best so they are harder to reserve. The difference is remarkable.
The worst are wide open, no shade, not really level, and small. Some are shaded and fairly private and huge - a half acre or more. Those great sites have the same small paved spot with hookups, but then also lots of room in the woods behind. Folks across from us last time had a great one with tents set at the paved spot and also a big shelter pitched 60 feet back in the woods. Getting one of the especially good campsite makes a big difference; a great one may be right next to a poor one.

A few years back when we were tent campers I took the kids out one week to a popular state park campground that's usually crowded , but we stayed Monday through Thursday.
The place was nearly empty, so camping weekdays makes a huge difference.

National forests are great for remote and lonely camping, and there are more of these national forests than you might expect.
The Wayne national forest is just 60 miles from the center of Columbus, there may be one close to you.
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Squigie » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:34 pm

Just depends...
(Where I live, hunt, and camp.)

Edit: I just deleted a long post that was relevant, but seemed superfluous. Condensed version:

It just depends.
Some campgrounds are nice, and also offer privacy and space.
Some campgrounds are terrible, and may or may not offer privacy or space.

I spent many years in the '90s traveling with my grandparents for horseshoe pitching tournaments. I haven't seen it "all" ... but quite a lot from the Mississippi to the Pacific Coast, from Phoenix to the Canadian border. Good Sam and KOA books were always on hand.
The modern world is much better. You can call ahead, check apps, and pull up satellite imagery to plan ahead and avoid disappointment at the destination.

But...
I prefer dispersed camping on public land.

I just found (literally this morning) two really good spots about 30 minutes from home, and another half dozen spots ranging from decent to okay (with varying distance to road, trees, etc.). The wife and I are trying to decide whether or not to drag the trailer out tomorrow before the deer hunters flood the area after they get off work.
In one of the spots, there isn't another opportunity to set up anything but a pup tent for about 3 miles in either direction (tight canyon!). In the other, you could set up an entire city, but strategic placement of your tent/trailer will dissuade others from crashing the party if it's just you. The next decent site is about 1/2 mile down the road.
:thumbsup:
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Joe4Camping » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:12 am

Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions and ideas.

I guess it's like finding the best Thai restaurant in town. Research and recommendations! Oh, and satellite photos. ;)
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Tomterrific » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:47 am

Aguyfromohio, I'm also in Columbus but have not really camped nearby like I planned. Could you direct me to some of your favorite campgrounds? I'm sure I've missed some.

Thanks,
Tom
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Aguyfromohio » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:12 pm

Tomterrific wrote:Aguyfromohio, I'm also in Columbus but have not really camped nearby like I planned. Could you direct me to some of your favorite campgrounds? I'm sure I've missed some.

Thanks,
Tom


Sure. The ones I mentioned were:

1. least favorite, great for boaters - Deer Creek State Park
2. OK , enjoyed it - Delaware State Park
3. Favorite - Alum Creek State Park

Others we like:

- Lake Hope State Park
- Hocking Hills State Park
- Caesar Creek State Park

That's a half dozen decent choices for a quick weekend camp within an hour drive from Columbus.
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Tomterrific » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:42 pm

I checked out Deer Creek this spring and I didn't even like driving through. Surprised how many RVs were there. Totally rejected it.

Love Lake Hope area. Hiked and explored with the kids. Backpacked the trails with my girlfriend. Never camped in the campground. Looked nice when we drove through.

Hocking Hills might be good now 'cause the kids are in school. I bet it is super crowded in the summer.

I'm curious about Delaware SP and Alum Creek. Maybe now is a good time to camp there.

Thanks,
Tom
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby crttaz » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:10 am

Hocking Hills will be getting busy with the leaves changing, although with how dry it has been they might have all fallen off by now!

Have you looked into Wayne National Forest? Esp. in the Ironton area?

Cincy native, but my parents were born/raised/buried in Athens and Perry Co.
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby tony.latham » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:55 am

But enough of my admitted trolling. You might download the Allstays Camp and RV app to your phone. It's a great resource that gives details on campgrounds anywhere you want to travel.


With the Allstays app you can open the campground's location in Google Maps (satellite view) and actually look at the campground.

That will show you how congested the place is. :thumbsup:

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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Aguyfromohio » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:00 pm

I very much like a true wilderness experience, camping a hundred miles from the nearest road. I've flown into Canadian lakes on a float plane a dozen times to enjoy that, it's spectacular and I recommend it to anyone.

But a wilderness trip is expensive and time consuming for those of us in the crowded eastern US. For me, a quick weekend getaway to a popular state park is a nice break from my suburban neighborhood.
We like our little state park campgrounds for a quick weekend of toasted marshmallows and hiking on tended paths. That's exactly what we built the teardrop to accomplish.
Sure, compared to a wilderness trip it can seem awfully crowded and domesticated with people all around in tents and RVs. None the less we remain happy customers of the well-paved and well-populated state park campgrounds.

East Harbor State Park is on the shore of Lake Erie. The surrounding area is so highly developed a friend taught me a new way to "camp" there a few years back.
No cooking and no cleaning, leave the food and the dishpans at home. Drive down the road a mile or two and eat at a restaurant, one of many, every meal.
Sleep in the tent, shower in the bathhouse, and sit by a campfire. It ain't camping, but it ain't bad either...

;)
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Re: square footage of camping sites

Postby Squigie » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:34 pm

I completely understand, Aguyfromohio.
There's a time and a place for everything.

Last year, I made arrangements for myself, two brothers, and my father to hunt pronghorn on some private land near Thermopolis, WY. I had planned to haul my tent trailer over there, with my father towing his cargo trailer full of our other collective camping necessities.

In the end, however, I booked a cabin at "Eagle RV and Campground", on the south end of Thermopolis, and we took only enough food to survive. (Sammiches and oat meal, essentially.)

We had warm beds, a table and chairs, heat, clean toilets, hot showers available, an outdoor picnic table, a mini fridge for leftovers, a microwave and coffee maker, and management that did a great job spreading people out in the RV park - while also keeping the hunters away from people that had differing points of view on firearm ownership and game management.

Breakfast was at whichever diner felt like opening each day. Lunch was basic sammies or cold pizza. Dinner was at a diner, or more leftover pizza.
We even spent a few hours one day chatting with a local gun shop owner, a taxidermist, and a gunsmith that was butchering his elk while we BS'd. That never would have happened if we'd been camping in the boonies.

On the third day, we got HAMMERED by the first major storm of the season. 18" of snow and 35+ mph winds. It would have been miserable in a tent or tent trailer. All highways were shut down, except US 20 south of Thermopolis. (The RV park filled in a hurry!) We skedaddled off the mesa and back to town.
In the cabin... I fired up a one-burner 'backpacking' stove, reheated some tacos de lengua (from my deer the week prior), steamed some tortillas, fired up ye olde YouTube on my brother's tablet, and cracked some beers.

It would have been a terrible day in the tent trailer, or even a TD. But, in that cabin, life was good. :thumbsup:


Sidebar: It is far from the best RV park you'll ever encounter, but I really liked Eagle RV and its management (owners). There are three RV parks / campgrounds in Thermopolis. Eagle RV is definitely the best. If you ever find yourself in the area, looking for a place to camp or crash, I recommend you give them your business.
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