campgrounds using tent only site? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-07-2013, 08:35 PM   #1
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campgrounds using tent only site?

So we are planning our third trip in our almost finished [and probably always will be almost finished as I am learning you just keep adding to the list] 1977 13ft Scamp. Will attempt to add pictures, lack confidence.

Question: when looking at campgrounds online I keep seeing sites for RV's. We really don't need an RV site, we have our little solar panel and we travel pretty simple [If you ignore the Irish Wolfhound Great Dane mix and his terrier side kick we travel with] . Can I assume that we can use tent sites? Can I reserve a tent site and assume they will not kick us out of the site when we get there, which would be a GIGANTIC drag.

I am so open to admitting this may be a stupid question to most of you, but ask I must.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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Jennifer, I think this might be on a case-by-case and campground-by-camground kinda question.

Some tent sites only have parking space for one vehicle. The tent space/pad is feet away. If that was the case, there wouldn't be room to back even a 13' with tug into the parking space.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:17 PM   #3
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RV vs tent camping

Donna is right, tent sites are usually in out of the way places that would not accommodate any type of RV. When the term RV is used is is meant for anything from the smallest trailer to the largest self-contained unit. If you are uncomfortable with backing into a site ask for a pull-through site. I have found that type of site is usually available. Happy trails with your RV (small or large) they are all considered RVs. Marg in NW California
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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I would be more cautious in state or local parks, they seem to take their policy and procedure more seriously. For a private campground, I'd ask and see how they can fit you in. Lots of "tent sites" are either a parking spot with a walk of varying length to the tent site, or a parking tray for one vehicle with the tent spot on the other side of the fire ring.

I know one fellow who takes a boat with him, has an arrangement with the campground where he winters for a site near the water, with the understanding that he has no services. He runs his rig off solar and a small inverter generator if the solar isn't providing. So I guess the best bet is to ask first, and go along with what they tell you, or move to a different campground that suits you needs better. That's what a free market is all about!
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:33 PM   #5
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We are booked at two provincial parks later this summer. In both cases, the campsites are designated "small trailer" which basically means any trailer shorter than 18 feet. We chose to go with full-service sites, but there are sites offered without services.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:50 PM   #6
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Several of our local state parks have whole loops of sites that are no-service, small back-in sites. Some are on dirt roads and have a bit of a hill to get to them. But they are generally the quietest, most scenic sites. I'd prefer them over a full-hookup pad any day. Talk to the owner or person at check-in or reservations- see where you'd fit best in what they have available. Probably get you into some places that might be booked for big rigs.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:00 PM   #7
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As Derek mentioned its pretty common to find Provincial parks with small no service campsites -actually few BC provincial parks have any services big or small sites. I have noticed when using the Reserve America site that there is the option of choosing equipment under 18' which will give you options of small sites some with and some without services. On the check box menu you can choose no services. I have stayed at a number of US parks in small sites with no services. Sometimes they are the nicest spots in the park.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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I'm thinking other states' State Parks might do the same, but in Minnesota State Parks, the online reservation system gives you a photo of each campsite when you hover your mouse over the site number. It also usually lists the maximum length of trailer that the site can accept, and if slide-outs are feasible. Makes it very easy to figure out which site fits your needs the best.
In my case, since my backing-up-the-Scamp skills are relatively new, I look for sites that don't have sizable trees too close to the entry way.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:23 PM   #9
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Some of the tent only sites I've experienced are due to uneven terrain....regardless of hookups. Some are park and walk to the tent area types.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie View Post
Can I assume that we can use tent sites?
In a word, no. Campgrounds are not consistent, some will allow it, others won't. US National Forest campgrounds have sites that are either/or and tent only. The tent only sites are on terrain that is inaccessible to the trailer, and you have to hike some distance to get to it. Some KOAs have a common field for the tents, others put tents in small sites that are accessible to small trailers as well. Many campgrounds list sites according to the services provided, and how easy or difficult they are to get into...
  1. Full Hook-Up / Pull-Through / 50 amp
  2. Water & Electric only / Back-In / 30 amp
  3. Dispersed water taps, no electric / XX foot limit
  4. electric only
  5. no services / primitive

My interpretation:
#1 is a large Motorhome $ite (but OK for other vehicles too)
#2 is a Travel or Tent Trailer / Pick-up Camper / small Motorhome site
#3 is a common US Forest Service site
#4 is a Tent or small Trailer site (especially where even a tent could need an A/C)
#5 usually a Tent site but could be a small Trailer site
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:58 AM   #11
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"We are booked at two provincial parks later this summer. In both cases, the campsites are designated "small trailer" which basically means any trailer shorter than 18 feet. "

Just wondering...something like a 19ft 5th wheel, ie Escape 5.0, would it be too big to get away with using one of these "small trailer" sites?

I really like the idea of using the smaller tent sites and dry camping, as there are so many more sites available sometimes. So don't want to be getting too big of trailer.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:18 AM   #12
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My experience has been as Fredrick stated. Sites are generally designated by services. Water, sewer, and amp rating of electric service. With pull-thru a feature that is usually listed.

Tent only my experience matches that of others, often sites that are unsuitable for camper, or open field sites. Some campgrounds are strict on tent only, some private ones will be flexible on the rules.

I find US Forest Service and State Park "rustic" sites are a good choice if you are self contained (no hook ups needed) and don't mind hand pump and pit toilet. Thing is many do not have reservations, and not all sites are well set up for putting a trailer into. Always some that will work ok, and some that are too steep of access or split into parking and camping area.

Many Michigan State parks have a rustic park associated with the modern campground, managed from the modern park ranger station. Bishop Lk has Applewood rustic, Chelsea area has Green Lake, Pickney has Blind Lk. etc. always worth calling the modern park and asking if the online reservation system does not make it clear.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:28 AM   #13
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When looking at site parking, remember total length. Sites that say 18' or less may mean TOTAL, which is fine for a camper van, etc. From the rear bumper of my trailer to the front bumper of my tug... I'd need 32' of parking if I desire to keep both pieces of equipment in tandem at my site. YMMV
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:03 AM   #14
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It is definitely worth asking before making the assumption that just because you fit you can park a trailer in a tent site. For example, at the National Forest campgrounds around Turquoise Lake, CO most allow tents or RVs, but one of them, the Belle of Colorado campground, is tents only.

Another caution - many tent sites are fine for a tent, but because there are steps or a narrow path to get to the site, couldn't be used by a trailer.
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