Tent Campers: Have you ever considered camping in an RV campground, excuse me, RV park? Many RV parks welcome tent campers. In addition to the sites where you can set up your tent, many RV parks offer weather-proof cabins or yurts where you can lay out your sleeping bags in comfort. Maybe it’s raining and blowing really hard and you’d like to get out of the weather for a while. Or, perhaps you want to stay close to a city, where there are no conventional natural parks nearby and you don’t feel like paying for a motel. Find an RV park! Many of them offer amenities far beyond those of a natural campground, like a swimming pool, laundry, grocery store, and planned activities for the whole family.
When I was writing Camping With Kids (see my page called Goldie’s Camping and Backpacking books), I discovered three great resources for RV camping that are also welcoming to tent campers. One of my favorites is the Jellystone Parks group. They have a Yogi bear theme with friendly bear-characters and great planned activities for kids. A stay at a Jellystone Park is like a stay at a Disney-type resort, but less expensive. For Fourth of July and Labor Day they organize special themed activities, and many of them have additional themed weeks or weekends throughout the summer. There are Jellystone Parks in many states and in Canada, too.
KOA Kampgrounds of America is another association of RV parks. We visited the KOA Kampground outside of Seattle while doing research for Camping With Kids. They had several tent sites in addition to the RV sites, and also a small grocery store, an off-leash area for dogs, a large laundry with washers, driers, and ironing boards, and a spacious womens room with showers and a baby’s bathtub. They also have planned activities for the whole family. No cabins here, but other parks in this group do have small cabins available for rental.
My last resource is Woodall’s.
Woodalls’ is not a campground itself, but a wonderful source of information about campgrounds all over the country. They publish directories of campgrounds which tell you almost more than you need to know about the campground, anywhere you plan to go. Their web site also has a special listing for tent campers. If you get yourself on their email list, you regularly get lots of good tips for camping. For example, we recently bought a new inflatable mattress for camping, and before we bought it, we found a discussion of various brands of mattresses that was very helpful to us. I’m going to write about an inflatable mattress on my next blog. Wait for it!