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by Ron
Nation Park Campgrounds---Another View 
and Recent Observations in a Commercial Campground

Barb's article gives many good reasons for using national park campgrounds. I agree that the natural surroundings are great and add to the camping experience. Since we are former tent campers we love the atmosphere and the rustic camping, especially with grandchildren. However; this driver can give you another perspective. It's true that many national parks will accommodate large rigs, but getting into and out of the sites can provide campground entertainment. The large site at the Grand Canyon was wonderful, but the access road was tight with thorny bushes on both sides and the turning ratio was almost impossible. We did make it though and rubbing out the scratches on the side of the motorhome gave me something to do the next day. It's was also fun to see the faces of the tent campers as our monster RV worked its way through the campground. Zion National Park was another story with easy access once I avoided the large boulders lining the campsite. Since they aren't visible in our mirrors, my copilot was very helpful when exiting the site once she calmed down after the first near miss. We both agree that the camping site was well worth the parking stress. 

The ranger campfire programs are wonderful, but there is another kind of campground entertainment that you will not see in a national park campground.  In national parks we see families on vacations, hikers, and those who are there for the beauty of the park. Commercial campgrounds often host a different kind of camper and these folks can be very interesting. Let me give you some recent examples. Last night a large 40 foot diesel pusher pulling a 30 foot trailer pulled into a long pull through site near us. It took several attempts and they finally made it. Once parked the young driver dropped the back of the trailer and backed out a new car. To our surprise he hooked up utilities to both the motorhome and the trailer. We later found out that he was the hired driver and he had to remove the car because his living quarters were in the trailer. The motorhome occupants were in their seventies and apparently could afford this type of travel. I know they could because both RVs were licensed in California and you know what that costs. On another occasion two women spent several days in a small trailer accompanied by three greyhound dogs. The dogs appeared to occupy all of their time and I never got up enough nerve to ask them how they all managed at night in that small trailer. And then there was the young family (four kids) that packed up to leave one afternoon in pouring rain. We knew they weren't vacationers by the amount of possessions they had packed in their small trailer and in the back of their Chevy Suburban. Boxes, household goods, toys, trikes and camping gear was tied on top and attached to the rear of the Suburban. When Barb asked the campground manager why they left so late and in the rain she informed us that they were full-timers making a living by selling gem stones while on the road. Their start was delayed because they had car trouble and even had to pay for an extra day but once the car was fixed they decided to leave and head for California where they thought that business would be better.  Our best wishes certainly go out to that family.

Wherever we decide to park in our RV travels it is always interesting and like many others we use a a wide range of campgrounds. Public parks, commercial parks, membership parks and even a Wal-Mart parking lot all fit into the scenario. But one thing is certain --- around the corner there may be a new experience. A house on wheels provides that opportunity.

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