State Park Camping Fees - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-02-2016, 10:45 AM   #1
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State Park Camping Fees

I went to make reservations this morning for our camping group at a Wisconsin State Park . The cost for a non resident to camp at a Wisconsin State Park has risen dramatically . They now charge
$35.00 / day for a site with electric only (NO WATER-NO SEWER) plus a $9.65 reservation fee Plus $11.00 / day park entrance fee
for a total of $ 55.65 / day. We will be looking for another place to camp. $56.00 day seem way out of line to me. I hope other states do not follow Wisconsin's example !!

Our group camp out will be in the UP of Michigan this year !!
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:58 AM   #2
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My guess is that those State Park fees went up so that the campgrounds could stay open. Their budgets were probably cut by the legislators in Madison. We stay frequently at a county park in Middleton and those rates have not gone up. Different budget lines... county versus State. I think our per night cost at Mendota County Park is about $30 for water and electric.

Here's the link I found about the State Park fee increases:
http://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=3664
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:21 AM   #3
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Most nights when we're on the road we are looking for a quiet spot to park the trailer, a place to walk the dog and a place to take a shower. Many state parks are destinations with amenities we are not interested in but do cost to maintain. Out of state fees, dog fees registration fees, reservation fees, are all how they get $50 for a $20 camp site. When we passed through Wisconsin we stayed at the NFS camp grounds.

South Dakota has an interesting way of doing things. You show up at the campground and no one is at the gate. You must use a phone to call the central reservation office and use your credit card to reserve a spot. Use their phone, no reservation fee. Use your phone they add the fee. There are lots of municipal and county campgrounds in South Dakota. Raz
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:56 PM   #4
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I think you should all come up to Canada, $1.37 for every $1.00 US makes it a good deal. The Rockies are beautiful and Canadians are friendly (for the most part). Here is a Parks Canada price list < Parks Canada - Fees > . Almost every small town has cheap camping as well.
Hope to see you all here!
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:13 PM   #5
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Our state legislature quit funding our state parks so much, if at all --not sure of this, and the fees have been climbing. Although not as much as WI, WA now charges extra for sites deemed to be "popular". I was looking at spots in Cape Disappointment and all the campsites in all the loops near the beach were "popular". You must pay to take a shower.

I've heard that the popular parks, like the ones on the coast and the biggies east of the mountains have higher rates in order to pay for some of the lesser used parks.

Meanwhile, across the river in Oregon, while they have raised prices a bit, there is not the "Popular" vs "Regular" pricing, showers are free, and the parks just seem nicer.

Oregon's legislature supports their state parks and adds to the funding. They are not expected to be self funded.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:22 PM   #6
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I'd recommend you stay away from Michigan state parks. Same idea; in addition to the camp site there's a daily entrance fee, whether you leave the park each day or not. I'm personally embarrassed by it.


I make a couple trips to Indiana each year. The daily entrance fee is waived after the day you enter if you're camping. That seems much more reasonable. However, I usually buy an annual non-resident pass but that has skyrocketed up so much I'll just pay the non-resident camping fee and skip the annual pass. Typical grab for more money which will actually net them less, from me anyway.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:29 PM   #7
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We made our first trip West this past fall. We looked at staying at some Washington State Parks but the cost was too high for our taste. We spent ten days in Oregon and camped in their State Parks which were extremely nice and reasonably priced . When we go back to the West Coast , Oregon will be on the top of our list. Great State and very friendly people. It appears some states encourage tourism and others want you to just stay away. IMHO
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:04 PM   #8
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Ouch! It makes our usual haunts cheap by comparison. $20/night for a no-hookup site in peak winter season at our favorite AZ state park ($30/night with water & electric). $35/night for a beach site in CA, also without hookups. Both have bathrooms and hot showers. Reservation fee is a one-time $8 surcharge both places. Neither state charges a separate daily use fee.

Over $50 a day would give me pause…
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by slowpat View Post

Meanwhile, across the river in Oregon, while they have raised prices a bit, there is not the "Popular" vs "Regular" pricing, showers are free, and the parks just seem nicer.
Just no garbage cans.

I have responded to surveys and sent letters to Washington's Park dept suggesting that they should give campers the $10 extra car fee free if they have a Discover pass- the Discover pass is supposed to help the parks but although it covers day use (normally $10) it doesn't cover extra car overnight with a campsite (also $10) so there is nothing in it for campers. I buy one anyone to support the parks but I think they'd sell a lot more if they acted as if campers mattered. And I may stop since a few nights at the "popular" fee pretty much equal the $30 pass.
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
We made our first trip West this past fall. We looked at staying at some Washington State Parks but the cost was too high for our taste. We spent ten days in Oregon and camped in their State Parks which were extremely nice and reasonably priced . When we go back to the West Coast , Oregon will be on the top of our list. Great State and very friendly people. It appears some states encourage tourism and others want you to just stay away. IMHO
Another point that has been repeatedly made to our parks department. Also that with all the different passes required to do things in this state, a universal pass might be a good idea. The day use fee especially discourages visitors. I had one State Park person refuse to let me drive through a new park and look at it (for future use) without paying the $10 fee.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:55 PM   #11
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Sometimes it works best just to check into the annual entry fee. For Wisconsin, it's $38 for those with out of state plates for the entire year, so it comes out cheaper to buy the annual pass at $38 if you plan to stay more than 3 nights at $11 per night. The annual pass also allows you to stop at any other WI state park on the way without having to pay to visit.
When we head to TX I frequently will buy the annual pass because they also charge daily entrance fees, plus the annual pass there gives you some discounted camping fees.
I recently got a FL lifetime state park entry pass for free since I learned they give them free to vets with service connected disabilities.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:03 PM   #12
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I noticed a few years ago how high WI state park fees were, and I chose to stay elsewhere.

I grew up in MI and the state has a special place in my heart. But I usually find a forest CG or something when I'm in MI. If I do stay in a state park there, I won't make a reservation. Some of the state parks are worth the extra cost, like McLain which is right on Lake Superior (nice view from many sites).
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:29 PM   #13
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Last year we were in eastern Minnesota and stopped at Interstate State Park. There are 2 parks that straddle the St. Croix River, one on the Wisconsin side and one on the Minnesota side. We checked prices at both. Guess where we camped?
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:36 AM   #14
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Michigan also has a non-resident yearly fee that generally is cheaper than the in and out fee. I do have a strong preference to UP camping however
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