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Old 06-10-2017, 03:11 AM   #41
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Our 2-week trip to Yellowstone last month reminded me of a typical breakdown of campgrounds for us, which can vary considerably in type and cost. Our trip started from Texas, and was 12 nights/13 days. All nights were in paid campgrounds, yet the total cost was reasonable in my opinion.

Two nights (first and last -- closest to home) were in a small Texas city campground charging $17 per night.

One night was in state campground in Colorado.

Four nights were in National Park Campgrounds.

Five nights were in KOAs.

Total cost was probably around $500, maybe a little less. The YNP campground was actually more expensive than I recalled on previous visits, but still worth it to stay inside park when you have limited time.


Getting the van from Florida to Texas and back for the trip involved two additional nights which I spent in rest areas while traveling alone. I drove late both ways and stopped to get 5 or 6 hours of sleep each night.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:09 PM   #42
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I haven't gone through all of the posts but beware of parking in Walmart parking lots. Not all of them alow overnight camping and you run the risk of having your rig towed away. It may be more of a local ordinance but it is still a hit-or-miss proposition so you need to look for signs on the lot prohibiting overnighting or ask the store manager.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:22 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by KC8RXQ View Post
I haven't gone through all of the posts but beware of parking in Walmart parking lots. Not all of them alow overnight camping and you run the risk of having your rig towed away. It may be more of a local ordinance but it is still a hit-or-miss proposition so you need to look for signs on the lot prohibiting overnighting or ask the store manager.
We always call ahead and ask... then make a point of going in and thanking them for the privilege of staying there and insuring we are in the right part of the parking lot as we buy dinner and supplies...
Apps and such can help indicate where it is allowed - but no substitute for calling/talking to them. I wouldn't just look for signs.

In all cases - Walmart, Cracker Barrel, others - local ordinances win over general store policies... If local ordinance prohibits overnight parking, the store cannot allow it.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:43 PM   #44
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We have been retired 8 years. We have a federal lifetime senior pass. We stay at COE camps, usually very nice and clean and well engineered. Most have electricity. Half price, at @$10 per night with the pass. There is a directory available of all such. We will be out for 150 nights over 7 months in our Gemini motor home, and expect our camping fees to be about $1500 for the entire season. With the KOA you mentioned, that would amount to $10,000, plus tax (tax included in the COE rate). Be sure and have your pass with you when you register. The pass, plus the well-maintained and modern COE camps, are an unbeatable combination!
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:30 PM   #45
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COE sites are great and so are Forrest Service campgrounds although most of these do not have electric. Half price with your card and there are a lot more of them. We have learned to live without electric quite well for a chance to stay in the outdoors in some of these beautiful campgrounds.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:36 PM   #46
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We always call ahead and ask... then make a point of going in and thanking them for the privilege of staying there and insuring we are in the right part of the parking lot as we buy dinner and supplies...
Apps and such can help indicate where it is allowed - but no substitute for calling/talking to them. I wouldn't just look for signs.

In all cases - Walmart, Cracker Barrel, others - local ordinances win over general store policies... If local ordinance prohibits overnight parking, the store cannot allow it.
The Allstay app has all the Walmartís listed (as well as other places that will let you park for free) and will tell you which ones will and which ones cannot. But I always go in the store, pick up a few things and ask. Itís Walmarts corporate Policy to allow it, but there are local ordinances that do not allow some stores to do it and there are some locations close to beaches or attractions that people take advantage of, so they do not allow it. I donít use it often, but it sure is nice to have when you donít want to travel any more that day and there is nothing available.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:25 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Gregandrachel View Post
We have been retired 8 years. We have a federal lifetime senior pass. We stay at COE camps, usually very nice and clean and well engineered. Most have electricity. Half price, at @$10 per night with the pass. There is a directory available of all such. We will be out for 150 nights over 7 months in our Gemini motor home, and expect our camping fees to be about $1500 for the entire season. With the KOA you mentioned, that would amount to $10,000, plus tax (tax included in the COE rate). Be sure and have your pass with you when you register. The pass, plus the well-maintained and modern COE camps, are an unbeatable combination!
What is COE? People new to RVing don't know these acronyms. Thank you.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:47 PM   #48
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What is COE?

Sorry. COE is short for Corps of Engineer. There are many throughout the USA. Many people believe these camps are the cleanest and best managed and most beautiful in the USA, and a great value, especially with the America the beautiful pass. What a great deal for people on fixed incomes. By using our pass, we will save $1500 this season. Be sure and make reservations (6 month window), as they fill up quickly, especially on weekends.
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