A common practice east of the Rockies, the concept involves renting or leasing a campsite for the entire camping season, often at discounted rates that are 25 to 50 percent less than nightly camping rates

       For many families, camping is something they may only do once or twice a year.

       But diehard camping aficionados – what the industry calls “seasonal campers” – rent or lease a campsite for the entire camping season, often saving 25 to 50 percent compared to what they would have paid if they only camped for a few nights during the summer.

       About one third of the campgrounds, RV parks and resorts listed on Camp-California.com now offer seasonal camping rates.

       “Seasonal camping is quite common east of the Rockies, but it’s becoming more popular out West, too, as people look for more affordable ways to spend quality time away with their families,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

       Indeed, many seasonal campers find it worthwhile to rent a campsite for the whole season not only for financial reasons, but because it helps them increase the amount of quality time they can spend together as a family.

       Seasonal campers include people like Tami Bradshaw, a 40-year-old Reno resident and mother of a 4-year-old boy who works long hours as a hospital compliance manager.

       Bradshaw, her parents, Tom and Beverly Bradshaw, and her brother, Tom, have each rented seasonal campsites from May through October at Forest Park RV Spaces in Canyon Dam, near Lake Almanor in Northern California. The campground is about a two-hour drive from their homes in Reno, which is close enough for frequent weekend getaways.

“Even though my Mom watches my son during the week, the only real time I get quality time with my family is when we go camping in the summer,” Tami Bradshaw said.

Spending quality time camping also helps the Bradshaw rekindle the many fond memories of summer camping trips with her family when she was growing up in northern Nevada. “We’d spend the days fishing and we’d sit around the campfire at night. Those are just the most awesome memories,” Bradshaw said, adding that seasonal camping enables her to relive those experiences at Lake Almanor.

And while Forest Park RV Spaces is more than a short drive away from home in Reno, Bradshaw said the distance itself is therapeutic.

“When you’re home,” she said, “you feel the pull of chores and responsibilities. But if you’re two and a half hours away, it’s far enough away to get away from the stress.”

For more information on seasonal camping in California, please contact Debbie Sipe at the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds at (530) 885-1624 and visit www.camp-california.com.
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