American VS Canadian campsites - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-26-2014, 09:17 AM   #1
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American VS Canadian campsites

As a kid I recall travelling with my parents and pulling into an State park. It was very neat and tidy, well organized with "paved roadways and paved campsites". Never seen anything like it. Like the pic below (I assume it is an American campsite) we see interlocking brick to park the RV on. Amazing!

In Canada there is a more rustic feel in most cases. We park on dirt, gravel, rock, grass, pine needles whatever.

Generally speaking there seems to be quite a difference.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:22 AM   #2
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I have been to many US State and National parks and have never seen ones with RV pads. This may not be a government campground. The ones I've been to are like your pictures of a Canadian campground.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:23 AM   #3
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Conditions vary hugely from place to place. Even in the US somes CGs are modern and others are rustic. It is not just which side of the border you are on.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:29 AM   #4
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State Parks in the US are more likely to have paved sites. National Parks unlikely.


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Old 10-26-2014, 09:48 AM   #5
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Paved pads or not depends on many things. There's is NO rule or generalization.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Park.. Nice big concrete pads some close to 60 ft. long.
Bolder Beach in the Lake Mead National Recreational Area. Many are paved.
A forest service campground on the Rouge River in Oregon paved.
Several State Parks and a few country parks paved.

There's lots of campgrounds that have paved roads and graveled sites.

Nothing standard.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:05 AM   #6
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We've noticed a difference between US State Parks and Canadian Provincial Parks. On a trip up to B. C. a couple of years ago we found that most of the Provincial Parks were like our US Forest Service campgrounds, that is, on the rustic side with few amenities. Some had just pit toilets, a few had flush toilets but I don't think we stayed in any with showers available ( I suppose there are some?). There were generally no hook-ups available. In the US, a State Park will often have paved, or at least graded gravel, parking sites, full hook-ups and big restrooms with flush toilets, hot water and showers. At least that's been our experience here in the western part of the country. The US National Parks that we've visited usually are quite rustic and offer no hook-ups. Sometimes there are flush toilets available and sometimes not. All in all, I think there are just lots of variations due to the age of the campground, the policies of the agency running the campground, the popularity of the campground, etc. We don't favor any one type of camping over another and sometimes want that "rustic" experience and sometimes want all the bells and whistles!
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Evergreengirl View Post
In the US, a State Park will often have paved, or at least graded gravel, parking sites, full hook-ups and big restrooms with flush toilets, hot water and showers.
We prefer rustic too and since we camp mostly in the late summer and ride the bikes a lot a nice hot shower is nice at the end of the day (just before happy hour)LOL.
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Old 10-26-2014, 10:58 AM   #8
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State Parks in the US are more likely to have paved sites. National Parks unlikely.

Sorry, got interrupted by family situation before I finished post. Phone rang while I was busy and wife tried to answer it but hit send button. So, in addition to above:

This seems to be generally true east of the Mississippi, but not so much in the western states I have visited. Lots of the National Parks in the east have bathrooms, but no showers. Water points, but not at each campsite and no electricity. State parks generally do, but not always. Some Federally operated sites do, some don't. No fixed rule. And I have found many state parks in the north to have electric at every site but not water, presumably due to frost/freeze potential. But the bottom line is that most of them offer a great experience.

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Old 10-26-2014, 10:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Evergreengirl View Post
On a trip up to B. C. a couple of years ago we found that most of the Provincial Parks were like our US Forest Service campgrounds, that is, on the rustic side with few amenities. Some had just pit toilets, a few had flush toilets but I don't think we stayed in any with showers available ( I suppose there are some?). There were generally no hook-ups available.
We call it "Super Natural" BC for a reason

Most of our large Provincial Parks do actually have flush toilets and showers - the closer to a large urban or tourist area and the more popular the park the more probable it is you will find flush toilets and showers.

Your correct no Hook-ups is the norm - there are normally water spouts spread around the campground to fill your tanks and a dump station on exit. But that is changing - again in the larger highest volume use Provincial Parks, they have started in recent years to add some electrical to about 25% of the sites. Its a slow process - I am aware of less than handful that have had power added in the past few years.

Very rare to find a paved road going through the Provincial park campgrounds in BC and I don't recall ever seeing any with a trailer parking pad.

Camp frequently in the US Western State Parks (Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada) and I have found power and water at each site to be the norm - although some of the parks also had no power sites but they have normally been a designated tent site they let me use due to small trailer. Would guess that about 65% of the state parks I have stayed at also had paved trailer parking pads and some about 50% had fully paved roads through the camp ground.

There does not seem to be a norm in regards to each state. For example I have stayed in a number of State parks in Oregon - some have no paved roads or parking pads - while others are fully paved.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:16 AM   #10
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Wonder if in some cases it has to do with how much traffic the park gets and how sensitive to environmental degradation the location is. Hard surfaces protect what's under and around them from heavy use and large RVs. Even tents cause degradation, and some places have giant sandboxes as tent pads.

Overall our investment in new parks has not kept pace with population growth and demand, so heavy use is the norm.

My family used to camp regularly at Shad Landing SP on the eastern shore of MD. Often one of the several camping areas was closed to allow the land to recover.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:57 AM   #11
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My family used to camp regularly at Shad Landing SP on the eastern shore of MD. Often one of the several camping areas was closed to allow the land to recover.
We see that too Jon. I think it is good idea. Some high use parks really get run down. Not a pretty sight.
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:54 PM   #12
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Overall our investment in new parks has not kept pace with population growth and demand, so heavy use is the norm.
And this is only going to get worse as time goes on. My take is that if there is any new money spent in this area it will go toward wild area restoration or acquisition, not campground building or expansion. As such I think it behooves one to prepare all the more for boondocking. And I don't mean WalMart.
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Old 10-26-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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As such I think it behooves one to prepare all the more for boondocking. And I don't mean WalMart.

Until the landowner or governmental agency in control quashes boondocking on their lands.


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Old 10-26-2014, 01:48 PM   #14
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We have camped at least 30 different state and federal campgrounds All of them had paved roads ,gravel or paved camp sites, showers ,flush toilets and dump stations .Fewer and fewer tax dollars are being devoted to public parks and it shows .The infrastructure of our parks is slowly but surely deteriorating . A lot of Wisconsin SP' s date back to the FDR administration and were WPA projects . I often Thank GOD for the foresight of my Grandfather's generation.
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