Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We just spent a night in Marfa, Texas at a commercial campground, which might be stretching the definition. It was pretty sad looking, but we were tired and it was late. I went inside and I was told $12 dollars for no hookups. This place made me think twice about even paying that, but again we were tired. After talking it over with my skeptical wife, we decided to stay. When I went back inside they charged me $24. When I asked for an explanation they said it was $12 dollars per person. I was irritated, but paid. Then we parked out in a tumbleweed field. My wife said we should have just left. She thinks I should have come out and discussed it with her one more time, with the new pricing info. I say someone has to make a decision and that is the one I made. How should we deal with these arrangements in the future? —Seeing the Marfa Light
Well, you are in Texas and that park just charges per person from the example of their State Park system. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but that is how someone has figured it out. We spend time in Texas every year and seldom stay in their State Parks because of the per person charge, per day. In some parks that is as much as $14 extra per day, for two adults, on top of camping, unless you invest in a $70 annual pass. So depending on how much time you plan on spending in the state, do the math. If you don’t mind road traffic noise, train traffic noise and the bright lights of alien craft landing nearby, you can stay for free at the Marfa Lights roadside viewing area eight miles east of the town of Marfa on Hwy. 67.
My suggestion would be that whoever goes in to negotiate a campsite, makes the decisions. I would also add that stopping before dark, and advanced planning of some degree, will lessen the chances of having to make last minute, sometimes expensive, decisions. There is so much information available online for camping sites of all kinds. If you are not online, I suggest you get wired. It will pay for itself every month. Boondocking is the most challenging. We use "RV Boondocking," published by the Frugal Shunpikers.
Click here to visit Frugal Shunpikers Guides to RV Boondocking.
It gives us many options at one source.
—Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink
You should also use www.rvparkreviews.com for information about RV parks.
You two have been married HOW long? She can go in to "negotiate" rates if it is that big a deal.
As a constant traveler....I use Microsoft Streets GPS program on my laptop and a mifi card. No matter what time of day we want to stop, I have looked ahead, chosen a park, rest area......whatever... I then verify rates, whether the state allows overnights in rest areas....etc. The only decision my hubby needs to make is which credit card to use and what spot he likes.
Why would you have to check with your wife over $12? That's cheep over night parking.
When we were in Marfa a few years back, we stayed in a old inn, but there were RVs overnighting right along the road in town.
Marfa, Tx. isn't that the town if you park out of town in a rest area you can see strange lights in the sky. I believe we parked overnite at rest area.
$24.00 for no hookups? Time to move on. But to give you my two cents worth on the issue with the wife, it's this: If she feels she has to give her approval on the camping arrangements, she should have  gone in with you, or  gone in by herself to make the arrangements! This business of "You go in and talk to them, then come out and check with me, and if I approve, you can go back in and sign us up" is nonsense. Here's what works for us: I drive, and when we get somewhere, typically she goes in and talks to the campground folks while I stretch my legs a bit. Whatever decision she makes on the campground is fine with me, no second guessing. If she has a question, we'll discuss it, but there should be no Monday morning quarterbacking from either person. If this woman feels she has to give the final okay, she should get off her butt and go inside. Otherwise, she should keep her mouth clamped firmly in the closed position.
Amen to that brother!
He stated twice "we were tired and it was late." Give the guy a break.
P.S. Why do I get the feeling that after she reads this post he may be traveling alone - ha.
Luckily I am travelling with my dog Baloo, and he agrees with every decision I make and wags his tail to boot. I camped with some lovely folks right at the Marfa site, and saw the amazing lights around 11:30pm.
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