Are you a currently serving, veteran and/or retired military? Then military campgrounds make the RV lifestyle even easier for you!
Military bases offer much more than most people realize, even those who have lived on many during their years of service.
Let's narrow it down to the top 6 benefits of military campgrounds, really military life period!
The first one seems easy with gates and guards being common base appearances.
Security on military establishments is hard to beat! But don't imagine barbed wire and parking lots only.
Many military campgrounds, often called FamCamps, offer as many amenities as the fancy civilian ones with the extra bonus of safety and security.
For those traveling with firearms, a downfall of this tight security is that you may have to check in your weapons during your stay on base. Check ahead with the campground and base website and ask again when arriving at the base gate.
But who is privy to such security and privileges? Most military campgrounds are accessible to those with base access: active duty, reservists, retired, and 100% disabled veterans and their dependents.
Sometimes, DOD civilians and contractors are able to stay as well depending on the base and their current status.
However, each base and RV park addresses each group separately by when they can book their camping trip. Usually, active duty members are given the longest reservation period, such as 6 months in advance.
Retired veterans often have a shorter booking period of 60-90 days out.
Many FamCamps are so popular that no one can reserve more than 60 days out.
Since each park and base is different, plan ahead, read the “Authorized User” guidelines, often found on park/recreation websites, and always try calling the facility to verify details.
2. Military RV parks also save you money!
People assume the RV lifestyle is relatively cheap until they truly research or start camping.
Staying at a military campground will save you sometimes more than 60% when compared to civilian RV parks.
The average FamCamp runs $25-$35 per night, again with Full Hook Ups and other great amenities. Be careful to research each military RV park for rates based on your military status.
Active duty service members will pay less than retired veterans, while civilians with base access will pay the most.
Some FamCamps, such as Peregrine Pines FamCamp in CO, change the nightly rates based on your RV's length so that can further affect your budget.
Military campgrounds also allow monthly, even 90 day stays, at varying locations for excellent rates.
3. Rentals, Rides, and Recreation
Want to save even more money? Then remember rentals, rides, and recreation!
Most military bases have an Outdoor Recreation office/department. This resource might also be called ITT–Information, Ticket, and Travel.
Websites and Facebook links may include the base name followed by ITT while others stick to using outdoor recreation such as JB Charleston Outdoor Rec center.
Camping reservations at this beautiful Charleston, SC, hub can also be made through that website.
At Outdoor Recreation centers, you can find discounted tickets to local attractions and excursions.
While camping at Desert Eagle RV Park, check out sky-diving and rock climbing trips near Las Vegas through Nellis AFB Outdoor Recreation.
These centers may also offer discounted tickets to non-local tourist destinations such as Disneyworld and Universal Studios to help you plan and save on your future camping adventures.
Beyond great ticket deals, Outdoor Rec, and/or FamCamps directly, may provide kayak, boat, and many other water sport equipment rentals.
You can even rent an RV from many Outdoor Recreation Centers and head to any amazing Fam Camp!
4. Discounted Groceries and Gas
But don't stop there with saving dough because the best camping experience requires great food to eat and gas to get you there!
Shop at the base commissary for majorly discounted groceries. Paying zero sales tax alone will save you more than shopping in town as many popular travel spots have higher taxes.
Buy gas and snacks before leaving the base at the shoppette or “C-store” to continue saving. More money means more travel!
5. Location, Location, Location!
Military RV parks offer location, location, location! FamCamps can be found on every ocean coast, many lakes and rivers, and close to some of the most beautiful attractions our country has to offer.
With base access, camping can be on the quiet bayside like in San Diego at Fiddler's Cove or in the popular Florida Keys at Sigsbee Campground.
If you want to see big cities such as Boston or San Antonio, check out Fourth Cliff Recreation in MA or the Fam Camp at Lackland AFB, TX.
What if you like less-popular, more unique travel destinations?
Bases may also offer money-saving transportation opportunities to popular sites such as catching the subway at VA's Fort Belvoir Campground to visit DC for the day (Transportation & Mass Transit :: FORT BELVOIR (army.mil).
Lastly, while the RV lifestyle alone provides a great sense of community during your travels, the military life heightens that to a closer-knit community and camaraderie among service members, past and present.
Your campsite neighbors will always have something in common with you at a FamCamp! Talking about your military branches, duty stations, and tours brings together campers from all over and can lead to lifelong friendships.
These conversations may even provide better travel tips than these!
We hope your military experience does not end with only an honorable discharge but, instead, continues on in combination with the RV lifestyle for many years of travel and leisure!
All of the locations mentioned in this post have been added to our RV Lifestyle Map!
Think of this as a group travel journal! We've been adding our favorite places all across the country and now you can, too! Every day more and more gets added by RVers just like you!
To add your own locations, you need to get the free app for your smartphone so you can add spots and share them with others as you travel! Click the link in the lower-right corner of the map and start adding YOUR favorite places. Already we've found many new places to explore during our RV adventures and you will too!
Together, we can make this a huge resource for the RV community!