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Philomath
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Brad’s Blog: State parks charging more to out-of-state campers

If your relatives from the Midwest decide to visit you this year in their RV and stay at a state park campground, it’s going to cost 25% more than it did last year.

The increase, which was approved by the State Legislature last year, went into effect Jan. 1. It applies to recreational vehicles with out-of-state plates staying at a state park campsite with hookups. (Does not apply to federal lands or private campgrounds).

According to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, a typical RV site with sewer and electrical hookups will cost $30-$50 per night for nonresidents, compared to $24-$40 for Oregon residents. The increase does not affect reservations made before 2022.

Oregon residents pay an RV license plate fee for their RVs with some proceeds going to state park operations.

“The surcharge is designed to achieve parity and the revenue it generates will pay for day-to-day operations and repairs to state parks, which are not funded by taxes,” Oregon Parks and Rec said.

For all other types of camping sites, including cabins and yurts, the rate remained the same.

Oregon first implemented a surcharge on out-of-state campers at state parks in 1977. An editorial in the Statesman Journal in Salem mentioned an article from “Trailer Life” magazine that wrote, “An overtly hostile environment has existed in Oregon for a number of years … directed against tourists in general and RV owners in particular.” (It was repealed in 1987).

Folks should make their reservations sooner than later (you can make them up to six months in advance). I’ve had out-of-state family members have a heck of a time trying to get a spot in a state park, especially on the coast. For info, start at this website. And reservations can be booked online here or by calling 800-452-5687.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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