“New campsites aren’t being created as quickly as new RVs, which is causing a campground shortage and making reservations at campsites difficult,” stated a recent news article. While I won’t discuss the dynamics of this situation (feel free to share your comments, though), I will share the benefits of fairground camping that are a great alternative and are available in many counties across the U.S.
Nearly every county in the United States has an annual county fair. These attract people and vendors from near and far. Vendors that travel great distances typically do so in a RV and many fairgrounds have campsites to meet their needs. Once the fair is over, the sites are often available to the RVing public.
Camping at a fairground is often a far cry from what a RV park offers but there are advantages:
- The price is right: I find fairgrounds are typically $10 or so less per night for the same level of utility service. I still often find water and electric sites for $20 per night.
- Grounds keeping: Fairgrounds often have nice grassy sites with room to roam, which is a plus for those with dog.
- Good base camp: Fairgrounds are often centrally located to other places of interest making them a good base camp.
- Other Activities: Fairgrounds often have non-fair activities via other user groups, especially on weekends. You might very well be able to enjoy a farmers market, horse show, fiddler’s convention or, if you find yourself camped at the fairgrounds in Fallon, Nevada, the Redneck Shindig!
Campgrounds at fairgrounds are easy to find in advance. Simply do an online search. Include the name of the county combined with fairgrounds and camping. You`ll likely land on their home page. The website will also have the dates of the annual fair, so you will know when not to camp. If you don’t know the name of the county and would like to search geographically via a map or city name visit www.campgroundreviews.com where you can find fairgrounds with camping located in the area you want to visit, along with the reviews from RVers that have stayed there.
Fairgrounds will never score 5 out of 5 stars or a perfect 10 like some plush RV resorts. But they are a great option when other campgrounds are not available. Plus you never know what adventure awaits.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.