Author Topic: Camping Cost!?  (Read 6931 times)

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Offline inzpired

Camping Cost!?
« on: May 24, 2009, 05:56:34 pm »
Is it me (a kiwi from New Zealand) or are campsites in the US very expensive? Looking up and about $20-30 USD seems to be the going rate for a patch of grass for a night. In NZ we consider anything over $10 USD to be steep. Is this likely to be the case across America or just certain areas? Appreciate some thoughts :)

Offline wanderingwheel

Re: Camping Cost!?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2009, 08:37:14 pm »
That's pretty typical for a car camping site, and may even be cheap if it has full RV hook-ups.  Of course, this isn't what you are looking for, but that's all they list online in most cases.  Along popular cycling routes, many local and state parks offer hiker/biker campsites for a nominal fee ($1 to $5).  These sites are usually just an open field that all the cyclists who showed up that night share.  They can't be reserved and nobody is ever turned away.  When there aren't official hiker/biker sites, often the campground will find a spot for you at a reduced price since you're not dragging a car along.  Where are you looking?  There are probably many additional campgrounds or campsites that aren't listed in ReserveAmerica.


Offline cyclebum

Re: Camping Cost!?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2009, 10:17:21 pm »
$20 plus for full service camping in state and national parks in the US is about right. Most have "primative" sites for tent camping only for $5-$10. In most towns, camping in city parks is prohibited.

I find it more convenient and easier to just wild camp most of the time. Cost nothing and when done properly, is very safe. 

Offline MrBent

Re: Camping Cost!?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2009, 11:11:46 am »
Camping is a frequent topic on this and other touring forums.  In small towns, I could usually camp for nothing in town parks and fair grounds.  I'd hit libraries and contact the city offices and get permission--no big deal.  Mostly I wild camped.  In my 99 day crossing of the USA, I think I only paid for camping about half a dozen times.  Also, check out and, both good options.

Ride on.


Offline Westinghouse

Re: Camping Cost!?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 09:46:35 am »
I do not sleep in pay camp grounds. That is too much money for a hard piece of ground. I free-camp in the woods, and get a motel every so many days. $20.00 to $30.00 is way too much for camping. There are motels out west you can get for that kind of money. Of course, consider when I was growing up one could rent a small two-bedroom, one bath house on a lot for $60.00 a month. That is the kind of pricing I grew up with, so I see half of that for a few hours on bare earth as an unacceptably outrageous price. I have cycled 34,000  miles through 19 countries. The only campgrounds I ever used were in the range of $3.00 to $5.00. Once I paid $18.00, but only once, and that was a command performance type deal. The NZ cyclist is right. There are enough people in the USA who can afford such prices for camping, and it makes it hard on those who cannot afford it.

Offline litespeed

Re: Camping Cost!?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 05:36:01 pm »
I most always stay in pay campgrounds. I've paid from nothing to $42(major resort) - usually about $20 for a KOA and something less, about $10, for a state or national park. Maybe $10-20 for a private campground.

Keep in mind, though, that you aren't just paying for "a patch of ground'. You are also getting at least some of the following: a shower, laundry, picnic table, store, local information, lounge, occasionally an eating place and, most important of all, security. I'm particularly fond of a picnic table and shower after a hard day of cycling. It's all a matter of how much these things matter to you.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2009, 05:46:18 pm by litespeed »

Offline dubovsmj

Re: Camping Cost!?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 06:22:57 pm »
one thing i've gotten in habit of doing....not all will approve i'm sure...but roll into a campground at 9 or 10pm and find a patch of ground farthest from the "check in area".....usually the owner/supervisor has made their rounds by that time....then i'll get up early and roll out of camp at 6-630 am, again, before the supervisor makes rounds again....of course, obvious downside is having to set up camp/make dinner, etc in the darkness.....good way to tap into those nocturnal senses i reckon.  if you get to your destination with plenty of daylight then kill time by exploring the town, going hiking, etc. until night fall...


Offline johnsondasw

Re: Camping Cost!?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 12:01:05 am »
I was so impressed by the biker sites on the Pacific route through Oregon and California--only $2 to $5 per night and showers for a couple of quarters.  I find it irritating that bikers have to pay the car fee in most areas.  We can't in any way impact the campground as much as a car can full of people and should not have to pay as much.  Furthermore, the system should be encouraging people to travel by bike for environmental, health, and other reasons. 

I have also done lots of commando canping, but I like to have a shower and a few amenities, so established campgrounds are better.
May the wind be at your back!