what happened to SC?

craig heaton

Active Member
Jan 26, 2021
143
Wow! One of our favorite places to tent camp in the past was Hunting Island in SC. Now that we have the popup, I was thinking of maybe heading back that way again. How times have changed! I was looking at sites in Huntington State Park and sites there are running $80 ~ $95 PER NIGHT! Hunting Island and Edisto were likewise expensive, at $65 per night. These are approaching motel prices. I expect as much from a private park, but a state park? Guess we won't be heading back to the SC coast for a while....
 

GaWalker

Member
Nov 30, 2017
35
The Great State of Georgia
South Carolina State Parks do seem to be a bit pricey. We spent a week in October at Huntington Beach (grabbed a last minute cancelation) and paid $60 per night & $6 tax. I believe the full hookup sites were higher. We had a great time. Not cheap but location, location, location....
 

kudzu

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 20, 2014
680
Knee deep in kudzu
Yikes! Glad it isn’t all their parks like that. We’ve camped at Lake Hartwell & enjoyed it. Just checked & that is still about $30/night.
 

GaWalker

Member
Nov 30, 2017
35
The Great State of Georgia
We reserved 3 nights at Cloudland Canyon (Georgia) for the last week of November. Original reservations were made in March and were $32 per night. The park decided to rebuild the west rim campground and cancelled our reservations. Managed to get 3 nights in the open east rim campground due to cancellations. Price is now $40 per night. I would have argued the price down but had 3 free nights from purchase of yearly pass.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,989
Northern Virginia
Yikes indeed! That's high way robbery for a state park. I get it for a private park as they usually have other amenities your paying for. I get it the location is prime but at that price it's not that prime.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
14,046
Albuquerque, NM
Since we live int he SW, we haven't experienced SC campgrounds, maybe someday if we ever do a long trip back east.
We've found where we do camp that state park camping fees vary a lot, and some are increasing as they upgrade the campgrounds. For example, some of the campgrounds we've used over the years in Utah have been adding electricity to sites. We've actually found some US Forest Service campgrounds with power at some sites.
Fees are sort of sneaky too. In some states, entry fee is included. In Colorado, where we've used one campground a few times, on top of the camping fee, there is a daily entrance fee; unlike some places, such as national parks, where an entry fee is good for 7 days.
On the other hand, camping is still cheaper than a hotel, and we sleep and eat better.
 

TheKOB

Member
Sep 15, 2021
16
Essentially, the costs have increased to meet demand. With that being said, even with the higher costs you still have to book some SC State Parks a 6-12 months in advance, especially those with beach access. It's not just the campgrounds either....vacation rentals near the beach as well as condos and hotels have skyrocketed in price in recent years. Also, to be honest, the SC Parks do a great job with the amenities at these parks in terms of bath houses etc, so you get what you pay for.

Saying it's "expensive for a state park" indicates that state parks should be relatively cheap, and most are. I'd submit you rethink your statement....is it really expensive for a beach accessible campground?
 

yetavon

everything is better around a campfire.
Mar 11, 2010
3,537
Western NC
A few years back SC changed away from Reserve America... Not only did prices go nutz, If its close to camp time and they have an open site they increase the price even more.
 

craig heaton

Active Member
Jan 26, 2021
143
A few years back SC changed away from Reserve America... Not only did prices go nutz, If its close to camp time and they have an open site they increase the price even more.
That is sad. I can understand operating that way if the campground were private, but public campgrounds are owned and belong to the public and should be priced so that all can enjoy, not operated to maximize profits.
 

TheKOB

Member
Sep 15, 2021
16
That is sad. I can understand operating that way if the campground were private, but public campgrounds are owned and belong to the public and should be priced so that all can enjoy, not operated to maximize profits.
If they don't operate that way, then they won't be very enjoyable. I guess it's a balancing act. Also people can go at other times of the year, or go to another state park that has space, or go just for the day.
 
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Sneezer

Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
3,086
DFW, TX
Since we live int he SW, we haven't experienced SC campgrounds, maybe someday if we ever do a long trip back east.
We've found where we do camp that state park camping fees vary a lot, and some are increasing as they upgrade the campgrounds. For example, some of the campgrounds we've used over the years in Utah have been adding electricity to sites. We've actually found some US Forest Service campgrounds with power at some sites.
Fees are sort of sneaky too. In some states, entry fee is included. In Colorado, where we've used one campground a few times, on top of the camping fee, there is a daily entrance fee; unlike some places, such as national parks, where an entry fee is good for 7 days.
On the other hand, camping is still cheaper than a hotel, and we sleep and eat better.

Texas is the same - daily entry fee/person, plus your nightly camping fee. However, if you get the annual pass your fee is waived for your car, and you get a couple 50% off nights to use as well. Good deal if you know you will be camping a lot in the state. I used to get it for a couple years when I was active in scouts with my son, but since he went to college my camping has dwindled (something I plan to change this year).
 

TheKOB

Member
Sep 15, 2021
16
Texas is the same - daily entry fee/person, plus your nightly camping fee. However, if you get the annual pass your fee is waived for your car, and you get a couple 50% off nights to use as well. Good deal if you know you will be camping a lot in the state. I used to get it for a couple years when I was active in scouts with my son, but since he went to college my camping has dwindled (something I plan to change this year).
Ugh, that's rough. As of now at SC (and GA and NC state parks, last I checked) they don't charge the per person fee if you're camping. I guess being charged that per person fee might make us sign up for state park memberships now since there's currently no advantage to it if you just camp there.

Speaking of fees, I guess campgrounds feel like they have some catching up to do. Myrtle Beach hotels (and others I'm sure) have recently been charging cleaning and resort fees that were 3x the cost of a room, so you'll have a $100 room and but it'll end up being over $400 a night!
 




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