RV Camping Summary

Victor and I have been to 19 states since the beginning of our RV life.  We get a lot of questions about the cost and where our favorite places have been.  I decided to do a summary of all the places we have stayed in the past year highlighting a few.  I will also list the price that we paid. 

I do follow a few social media pages that focus on RV living and have found some helpful for minor issues. I have noticed however that many RVers talk about the costs and problems associated with RV parks. We try to stay away from typical RV parks whenever possible and find that this is the most expensive way to do RV life. They are also often cramped and crowded.

When looking for spots I have a few favorite resources.

We are members of Harvest Hosts and would recommend this to anyone who travels on a fairly regular basis. We have a standard membership plus Boondockers Welcome which is $119 per year.  There is also an option for golf if that is your thing. It has been worth it for us.

I use recreation.gov often for ACOE and other federal campgrounds. ACOE campgrounds are budget friendly and well maintained. These are also always near water. There is also a book available listing all of the campgrounds and their amenities.  Victor’s Veteran status gives us half off of these campsites, but you do not have to be a veteran to stay. Even without the discount it is usually less costly than regular campgrounds.

More recently we have been looking more at military campgrounds.  Most of these will require access to military bases. These used to be limited to active duty or retired military. Within the past couple of years access to places such as commissaries and campgrounds have been expanded so if you are a US Veteran or retired military contractor check to see if this is something you can utilize. This is a link providing a map of all in the US.


The first three locations are Washington state parks where Victor and I volunteered as camp hosts. It was a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone who has the time and opportunity.  I plan on writing another blog about our camp host experience so for now I will just talk about the campgrounds. 

3/1 – 4/31 Seaquest State Park WA Camphosts

$0 full hook up, 28 hours camp host duties

Seaquest is a fairly large campground about an hour from Mt. Saint Helens.  Mt. Saint Helens can be seen on clear days from the visitor center across the street.  This park has a separate full hook up loop that is compatible for bigger RVs. There is a lot of hiking and nature that will put you in awe here.  Be sure to book ahead of time. This park stays pretty full during the summer. 

Recommend – yes  

5/1 – 5/31 Rainbow Falls  State Park, Chehalis, WA Camphosts

$0 full hook up, 28 hours camp host duties

Rainbow Falls is smaller than most other Washington State parks. The only 50-amp site is the host site and mainly caters to small campers and tents.  The staff here is great and really take pride in the condition and cleanliness of the park. The waterfall is very pretty (what waterfall isn’t) but they are small and more like and area of rapids. Some who are expecting something grand get disappointed. There used to be a foot bridge to cross the river to hiking trails, but it was washed out by a flood a few years ago. The parks trails can only be accessed by car.  There are a few short trails within the park.  This park does have easy access to the Willapa Hills Trail which is a bike path the starts in Chehalis and goes all the way to the coast. 

Recommend – yes  

6/1 – 7/14 Seaquest State Park Yurt Host

$0 50 amp and water, 28 hours camp host duties

The yurts are a great option for people who want a camping experience but may not have the equipment or just do not have the time to deal with a tent. They also can be good for people with mobility issues.  The yurt area at Seaquest is well maintained and has good amenities. There is a covered group picnic area as well as BBQs and picnic tables at each site. There is a volleyball net, horseshoe pits, and easy trail access. The yurts are well spaced and has a lot of tall pines so it is well shaded.

Recommend – yes  

7/14 – 7/15 Hood Park Burbank, WA

1 night $12 ($24 w/o discount) 50 amp & water booked on recreation.gov

Many pull through sites and many are spacious. There is a beach and swimming area although it is a bit crowded. 

Recommend – yes

7/15 – 7/16 Macks Creek Park Boise ID

1 night $5 ($10 w/o discount) dry camp booked on recreation.gov

The view from this campsite was fantastic! It is quite a few miles from the main highway so it will probably not be along your route, but it is worth it. Across the street is water access and a swimming area.  There are no services, and you will have to pack out your trash. The sites are also not very level so if you are in a larger class A you may have some trouble.  

Recommend -yes

7/16 – 7/17 Riverside (ID Targhee) Island Park, ID

1 night $18 ($28 w/o discount) dry camp, booked on recreation.gov

Absolutely lovely camp right next to the river. The campsites are very private, and you are super close to Yellowstone.

Recommend -yes

7/17 – 7/20  Buffalo Bill State Park Cody, WY

1 night North Fork Campground, dry camp $18

2 nights Lake Shore Campground $64 50 amp & water

Booked on Wyoming state park website  wyoparks.wyo.gov

The reason for the split stay is because of availability.  This park is less than an hour east of Yellowstone and so it stays busy especially in peak season.  Some RV’ers like to have all of their spots booked out a year in advance.  We are not those people.  When looking at popular locations sometimes you have to get creative.    

Recommend -yes

7/20 – 7/21 Table Mountain Vineyards Huntley WY

1 night  $0 dry camping, generator allowed booked on Harvest Hosts

This place is out in the boonies and the last couple of miles of road is bumpy gravel.  Other than that this place is beautiful.  Good wine.  We did a tasting and bought a couple of bottles.  No food served so keep that in mind.  That was actually a plus for us because we spend less money that way. 

Recommend – yes

7/21 – 7/22 Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery Farnarm NE

1 night dry camp, generator allowed booked on Harvest Hosts

Recommend- yes

7/22 – 7/23 Bob Shelter Recreation Area Des Moines IO

Very nice. Good location.

1 night $11 ($22 w/o discount) 50 amp & water booked on recreation.gov

Recommend – yes

7/23 – 7/25 Rock Cut State Park, Rockford IL

2 nights $56.22 50 amp and water booked on Illinois state park website camp.exploremoreil.com

The park is pretty big but it is very busy.  The sites are a little closer together than we like but we still had a small private area.

Recommend – yes, it wasn’t our favorite but still beats and RV park

7/25 –  8/6  Moochdocking Parents Driveway

8/6 – 8/12 Lowden State Park  Oregon IL

6 nights $126.44 50 amp and water booked on Illinois state park website camp.exploremoreil.com

Nice park right on the Rock River.  It is small and pretty busy but the sites are a decent size. 

Recommend – yes

8/12 – 8/15 Moochdocking parents driveway

8/15 – 8/18 Shabbona State Park Shabbona IL

3 nights $81.48 50 amp & water booked on Illinois state park website camp.exploremoreil.com

This is a really pretty park right on a lake.  It is less busy than many other Illinois parks.  Be sure to book these ahead of time because Illinois, and this park in particular, has some weird booking rules. 

Recommend – yes

8/18 – 8/20 Forrest W. Bo Wood, Lake Shellbyville IL

2 nights $24 (48 w/o discount) full hook ups booked on recreation.gov

This is a great park.  Clean and well maintained.  Lots of water activities nearby. 

Recommend – yes

8/20 – 8/21 Markham Springs, Mark Twain National Forest, Mill Spring MO

1 night $16.50 ($25 w/o discount) 50 amp & water booked on recreation.gov

The park wasn’t bad even though we had a bad first impression.  We pulled in and the road passed in front of the camp host. Some places want you to check in and some don’t care but you never know.  We stopped so I got out to check in when two aggressive unleashed dogs ran out of the host site.  I got back in our rig and the host opened the door to his camper. (he did not call his dogs).  We yelled from our window that we were checking in.  He didn’t seem to care and went back inside, leaving his dogs.  We were not comfortable bringing our own dog outside other than quick potty breaks.  Good thing it was only for one night. 

Recommend – no

8/21 – 8/24 Caddo Drive, Degray Lake, Bismark AK

3 nights $24 (48 w/o discount) 50 amp & water.  Booked on recreation.gov

This is a beautiful park and it is way out in the boonies.  The road going in is narrow in places with some low branches but it is doable.  Our first site was not level but they let us move to a different site.  There were not many other people in the park.  The sites were well spaced out.

Recommend – yes

8/24 – 8/26 Barefoot Bay RV Resort & Marina, Lake Bob Sandlin near Pittsburg TX

2 night $90  50 amp full hook ups  booked through website barefootbatmarina.com

The website makes this place look way nicer than reality.  Our spot was right on the water and the area is pretty. The spots are very cramped with no privacy. 

Recommend- no

8/26 – 8/30 East Fork, Wylie Texas

4 nights. 50 amp and power $60 ($120 w/o discount) Booked through recreation.gov

Great spot right on the lake.  Beach area for swimming.  A lot of space in between sites.

Recommend – yes

8/30 – 12/1 Balcones Wildlife Refuge, Marble Falls, TX

3 Months $0 Full Hook Ups.  24 hours per week each volunteer work

One of the nice things about this host “gig” is there is no camping on the refuge, so you do not have to worry about knocks on the door at any given day or time.  The work is trail maintenance, mowing, weeding, and other outdoor projects. There are pit toilets to clean but we only had to do that once a week and there is a water tank truck, so it is mainly just hosing them down. Helping in the visitor center is also required but that was closed due to covid while we were there.  You work 3–8-hour days per week.  The work is rewarding but for us it is too many hours to commit while also trying to manage our business.  48 hours per week for a site is a lot.   The refuge requires a 3-month commitment.  Even with the hours being a little higher than most volunteer host positions I would still recommend Balcones.  The staff is wonderful and very easy going.  The refuge is beautiful with a lot of great hiking.  The RV spot is secluded with only the other two volunteer sites as neighbors.  It was a great experience and we will likely do it again at some point. 

Recommend – yes

12/1 – 12/2 Mooch docking with friend on land Waller TX

1 night $0

12/2 – 12/2 Crying Eagle Brewery Lake Charles LA

1 night $0 Booked on Harvest Hosts

Dry camping – generator allowed

We planned to stay here one night.  The parking lot was pretty big and we were able to get level.  We went in for lunch and realized we had made it there pretty early in the day.  We decided to keep heading down the road since our next stop was only 3 more hours.  The food was good.  I imagine it would be noisy if you were there on a night they have a band.

Spent about $40 on lunch and a couple beers

Recommend – yes

12/2 – 12/4 Fairview-Riverside State Park Madisonville, LA

1 nights $32 50 amp and water booked on LA state park website laststeparks.com

This is a decent park and a good option if you want to visit New Orleans but don’t want to drive your rig into the city.  Cross the bridge for a day trip into New Orleans.  Our site was a decent size and level. We were going to stay longer but moved to a RV resort where friends were staying. 

Recommend – yes

12/4- 12/6 Fireside RV Resort Ponchatoula, LA

2 nights $120 . Full Hook ups. Booked on arrival

They do have a website for booking (firesideresort.com) but this was a last-minute change for us.  We had found out that a friend was in the area staying at this RV park.  It is a nice resort- style park, much swankier than we usually go for but we decided to splurge and spend a couple of extra days in the area.  This park has a lazy river and a poolside bar which is cool. We would love to go back when warmer. 

Recommend – yes

12/6 – 12/7 Camel lake campground – Bristol Florida

1 nights $28. (would be $38 w/o discount) booked on Recreation.gov

50 amp and water

Very small campground with sites pretty close to the water.  Really nice place and level.  The only issue is the road (driveway) into the park is a couple of miles of very bumpy gravel road with lots of potholes.  

Recommend – Yes

12/7 – 3/5 Mooch Docking with relatives. Auburndale FL

3 months.  $0.00 No hookups (some power from the house)

We stayed a lot longer than expected.  Car repair and some severe weather to the north delayed our departure a few times.  We did have to leave to empty our tanks every 2 weeks which cost $10 each trip ($60 total).  We also offered to pay for utilities. Luckily our family member’s property had a large double lot with space that did not make us feel we were in the way (too much).

2/13 – 2/15 Lazy Days RV dealer.

We did take a short trip while in Florida.  While shopping for a rig at Lazy Days and they let us stay for two nights.  They had a pad with no hookups but we were able to use our generator.  Keep this in mind if you are upgrading your coach.  Many RV dealerships have a place for the night.  Then we stayed at a HH before returning to our relatives. 

2/15 – 2/16 Summer Crush Winery & Vineyard

1 Night $10 Booked on Harvest Hosts

No service.  Generators allowed

Spent $50.00 on wine tasting and 1 (yes one) bottle of wine.  They charged us to stay the night which is something a Harvest Host should not do.  We pay a yearly fee for this.  They do put this in the description and have a very long pretentious explanation as to why they do this.  The area for parking the RV’s is nice.  The staff was friendly.  Because of the charge (and very skimpy poor’s) we will not be back.

Recommend- nope – mainly because of the $10 charge, but I’m stubborn like that.

3/5 – 3/6 VFW Post 2206 Lake City, FL

1 Night $35

50 amp full hook up (membership required) Called ahead to request a stay.

Back of the parking lot.  It is in a rural area so not bad.  Big grassy area to walk the dog. Staff very nice

Recommend – yes

3/6 -3/9 Camel lake campground – Bristol Florida

3 nights $68 (would be $98 w/o discount) booked on Recreation.gov

50 amp and water

We liked it enough to come back.  Oh, and it’s Florida.  Try getting a spot in March.  And yes, even federal parks are more expensive in Florida.

Recommend – Yes

3/9 – 3/11   R Shaefer Heard Campground, West Point Georgia

2 nights $30.00 (would be $60 w/o discount) booked on Recreation.gov

50amp. and water

Wow, wow, wow.  This place is beautiful!  We were right on the water.  Sites were big and level.  Wish we could have stayed longer.  We will definitely re-visit if we come back through this area.

Recommend- yes

3/11-3/12 Sam’s Burger Deli – Rome, GA

1 night $0.00 dry camping Booked on Harvest Host

(Spent $59.57 on dinner and about 5 beers)

Back of large parking lot.  Fairly level.  Friendly staff

Recommend – yes

3/12 – 3/20 Norris Dam State Park West Campground – Rocky Top Tennessee

8 nights $244.27 booked on TN state park website tnstateparks.com

50 amp & water

Surrounding area is very pretty.  The campground was cramped with no privacy.  The sited were very unlevel.  The road within the park had a couple of tight corners and steep inclines.  Would recommend unhooking a Tow right when you enter the park.  Lots and lots of unleashed dogs.

Recommend – no

3/20 – 4/1 Bandy Creek Campground – Oneida, TN

12 nights $192.00 booked on Recreation.gov (would be $384 w/o discounts)

Large sites.  Our pad was not level but it was better than some.  Very nice.  Still quite a few unleashed dogs. I don’t get it.  I usually like the federal campgrounds because this is enforced but I have not seen it enforced here.  Bummer.  Still, a nice campground.  Clean bathrooms and showers.  The road getting here is a little crazy.  Lots of hairpin turns and steep grades.  If you are a class A pulling a Toad we recommend unhooking in Oneida if coming from the East. 

50 amp & water

Recommend – yes

4/1 – 4/3 VFW Dickson TN

2 nights $0 dry camping (membership required)

When looking at a parking lot type of stay I will first check out the location on google maps.  The overhead satellite view can give you a good idea of the space and whether or not they can accommodate your rig.  I called about two weeks prior to ask if we can stay a couple of nights.  They said it would be fine.  I called again the day before to remind them we were coming. 

There was a large flat grassy area at the back of a big parking lot surrounded by trees.  Went in for drinks, food , and they even had a band.  Very nice people. 

Recommend – yes

4/3 – 4/4 Parker Pioneer Homestead, Harrisburg AK

1 night $0 Booked on Harvest Hosts

This host does not have online booking so you have to call or email them directly.  I think this makes them less busy.  This is a great stop.  It is a historic site run by a family.  There is a very large, flat grassy area to park.  We left a $20 donation.

Recommend – yes

4/4 – 4/7 Aux Arc, Ozark Arkansas

3 nights $30 ($60 w/o discount) 50 amp and water booked on recreation.gov

This is a nice park. Clean and quiet right next to a large dam on the Arkansas River.  The sites are large and many are right on the river.  The biggest issue with this campsite is the train tracks right on the other side of the river.  The horn blasted at 10 pm, midnight, 2 am, 4 am, ……you get the idea.  At least they were right on schedule.

Recommend – no but only because of the trains. If you don’t think this would bother you then go for it.

4/7 – 4/8 Coal Creek Vineyard, Tuttle OK

1 night $0 Booked on Harvest Hosts

Nice winery with a huge parking lot.  No trouble turning around or parking.  No food but a great bar for tasting.  They served beer and some yummy “wine slushies” as well.

Spent $61.96 for 2 bottles of wine and a few drinks at the bar.

Recommend – Yes

4/8 – 4-9 Schaffer Farm, Jericho TX

1 night $0 Booked on Harvest Hosts

This is an easy spot to get to right off of I40.  They sell produce in season, but we were not there during harvest.  Large dirt lot to park in.  We left a $10 donation. 

Recommend – Yes

4/9 – 4/14 Oasis State Park, Portales NM

5 nights $56 ($90 w/o discounts) for 50 amp and water booked on www.newmexicostateparks.reserveamerica.com.

The reservation was made online, but we had to call to get our discount. New Mexico gives US veterans 3 nights of free basic camping per year even for non-residents.  Always find out about your discounts!  The campsites here are very nice and spacious.  All of the sites in the Indian Grass loop are pull through and the sites on the east have picnic shelters with a half wall at each site.  There are concrete parking pads on this side as well.  There is a small man-made lake (pond) that I believe is stocked for fishing and a few short hiking trails in the dunes.  Bathrooms and showers are clean.  As far as the area goes, there is nothing here. I am not necessarily saying that as a bad thing. Sometimes a little nothing is what you are looking for.

Recommend – Yes

4/14 – 4/15 Tularosa Vineyards, Tularosa NM

1 night $0 Booked on Harvest Hosts

Another lovely winery with very good wine. I liked that they had a nice dry selection as well as some sweet. Parking was a large dirt lot and there was a gravel drive but less than a half mile from the main road.  They had a small tasting room with no food.  There is a large area to walk a dog and you can walk the vineyard but be aware that there are properties nearby that may have dogs running loose. They seemed friendly but it is always good to be cautious.

Spent $30 on 2 bottles of wine. 

Recommend – Yes

4/15 – 4/16 Shakespeare Ghost Town, Lordsburg NM

1 night $0 Booked on Harvest Hosts

Spent $20 on a tour of the town

This is a fantastic and unique harvest host.  It is a little “off the beaten path” and there is a couple of miles of bumpy gravel road but we managed in our class A so most should be fine.  The town is family owned and run. The tour is historic and interesting. There are no actual ghosts so, the experience is more authentic and not like a tourist trap.   

Recommend – Yes

4/15 – 4/18 Apache Flats RV Resort, Fort Hauchuca, Sierra Vista AZ

3 nights, $90 full hook-ups booked by phone

The park is very clean including the showers and the laundry room.  The spaces are pretty cramped and the park itself does not have much to offer. The space to walk your dog is very limited.  Fort Hauchuca is a nice base with the usual offerings like bowling alley, movie theatre, and shopping. 

Recommend- yes, even with its limitations it is the best affordable option in the area.

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