Posts Tagged ‘tents’

Camping has always been a part of Jane Fowler’s life. As far back as she can remember and Fowler, her husband, her kids and their families still go camping at least four times a year. But it’s not tents they pitch and they don’t own an RV.

“We’ve just been camping forever, but it’s so nice now to have the running water, the warm water, the refrigerator, the bathroom,” she said.

Starting last year, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) began adding “luxury park model kabins” to their sites nationwide. The KOA campground in Spartanburg added two of the new housing options this past winter. Each costs $119 per night for two adults and two kids, versus the $29 a night it costs to camp, but they’ve been booked consistently since, says Vicki Canto, a work camper with KOA who is currently stationed in Spartanburg.

The cabins offer television, multiple beds and rooms, bathroom, and a full kitchen and den area complete with all utensils and linens.

“If you are coming from the idea of camping in a tent, it’s definitely changing because a lot of people have these travel trailers, fifth wheels, motor homes, and they are really nice inside,”

“You have all the amenities and comforts of home, and the lodges are like that … except they don’t have a dishwasher or washing machine. But still you’re not giving up a whole lot to go camping.” Canto says.

What is being referred to as a “glamping,” or glamour camping, trend has even spilled into more primitive state parks too. Devils Fork State Park in Salem offers two- and three-bedroom villas in addition to campsites, and Lake Hartwell State Park in Fair Play added camper cabins in 2007. The one-room buildings are not fancy, says Kevin Evans, park manager at Devils Fork State Park, who was the Lake Hartwell park manager at the time, but they do offer an alternative to tents.

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In one week’s time, campers will begin to pitch their tents and park their RVs on 35 acres of prime coastal real estate near Laguna Beach, surrounded by native shrubs and flowers as they drink in the sweeping ocean view — no matter which of the 60 sites they camp in.

State Parks officials will throw open the gates July 1 to the just-completed, $15 million Moro Campground, the first coastal coastal campground to be built in decades and likely one of the last. The campground is built on the site of the old El Morro Village trailer park, once a scene of conflict and confrontation as residents resisted State Parks’ plans,

“There’s no such thing as a bad view,” said Todd Lewis, superintendent at Crystal Cove State Park. “Every site is a view site.”
The campground layout includes upper terraces for recreational vehicles and travel trailers and lower ones for tents, van conversions and soft-sided trailers. The separation will be rigidly enforced, Lewis said.

A third zone is reserved for day use and includes picnic areas and access via wooden bridge to the back country trails of Crystal Cove State Park.

A 1930s-era tunnel beneath Pacific Coast Highway leads to the beach.

The cost of a night’s campout — $65 a night per site for RVs and trailers, $50 for tents and soft-sided vehicles — sounds a bit pricey, though Lewis says it is in line with comparable campgrounds.

The reservation list for the campground, part of the state park, grew to the hundreds almost immediately when they opened Wednesday.

Reservations can be made at the Reserve America web site, or by calling 1-800-444-7275.

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In support of “Great Outdoors Month,” the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) is teaming up with Cabela’s in Hamburg, Pa., to promote the camping lifestyle on June 10-11. “Get Outdoors and Go Camping…It’s Easy” is the theme that the association has chosen to use for its two-day promotion.

Members of the association will be on hand to greet the guests and give them a 2011 Campground Directory of privately owned parks, according to a news release. The guests will be encouraged to check out the RVs and tents supplied by Maiden Creek Marine and RV in Berks County. They will experience what camping is really like by making mini-s’more around the campfire and singing a few campfire songs. Coloring books will be given to the children and there will be photo opportunities. Expert outfitters from Cabela’s will be demonstrating the newest camping products available and helping campers gear up for their next trip.

“Camping is not only the most affordable vacation around, it also is fun and memorable. In Pennsylvania you have over 230 campgrounds to choose from to make that memory,” said Beverly Gruber, PCOA executive director.

She adds, “Time spent camping or RVing allows you to slow down and gives you the flexibility to pursue what you want and where you want to be. It gives you a chance to rediscover your family and lets you choose the activities your family enjoys. So stop in at Cabela’s and get acquainted with camping and RVing.”

This promotion ties in with the “Great Outdoors Month” in June, being promoted by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and proclaimed nationwide by President Obama and nearly every state governor in the United States.

Camping is a family activity which is a great memory-maker. At this Cabela’s event, young families will be encouraged to go camping during the month of June. A coupon is being issued from the Go Camping America website, www.gocampingamerica.com, that gives a 20% discount on your campground stay. The downloadable coupons are valid only between June 1 and June 25 at participating parks, so when you call to make your reservations, be sure to ask if they will accept the GCA coupon.

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