Dates Of Stay: November 9 – 11, 2015
Preparing for my trip to the Grand Canyon, I researched the various camping areas in the national park. One campground, at the South Rim, is Trailer Village.
Later, it was time to make online reservations. I googled “Camper Village,” booked my nights, and set my course to the Grand Canyon.
Before I reached the Grand Canyon main gate, Lola, my developmentally disabled GPS, told me I had arrived. I was very surprised, because I knew that Camper Village was inside the park. (For the first time, I must apologize to Lola for being correct. Even a broken clock is right twice a day!)
TRAILER Village is inside the national park! I stopped at the CAMPER Village office to make sure I was in the right place. By the way, here is a photo I took of the office:
And here is their website, depicting the office on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Shame on them!
I told the desk clerk I thought I was camping inside the park, but she found my online reservation. With only a few hours of sunlight left in the day and no guarantee there would be space inside the park, I set up Nellie, then hopped in the car with Olive to explore the Grand Canyon.
While inside the national park I drove through Trailer Village, which was half empty. I knew the sites there were $36 per night. At my length of 34 feet I also knew I would have to dry camp in the park, and that was not ideal, so at least at Camper Village I had a full hook up. Still, that $41 a night was hard to swallow.
When I returned to Camper Village, I inquired about discounts and was told, in no uncertain terms, that no discounts for any memberships, such as AAA or Family Motorcoach Association, were honored there. I told her I felt the name of their park was misleading to those attempting to find Trailer Village, and she informed me that Trailer Village was currently full. I corrected her immediately, explaining I had just been there an hour before. She snapped her lips shut.
I can’t imagine Camper Village at full capacity. Empty, it is a barren and desolate and melancholy place. Full, it would be complete mayhem. There is absolutely nothing lovely about it. Yes, an elk did walk through the campground, twice. Whoop de do! I was Bitter Betty!
Vowing to make the best of it, I began to see the campsite’s value. It was only a one-mile drive to the gate of the national park. There were no food or restaurants within walking distance of Trailer Village inside the national park, but I had a plethora of options within walking distance of Camper Village in Tusayan. (This proved to be very convenient when it snowed overnight.) I was closer to the airport, where my helicopter tour would depart, by being in Tusayan instead of the national park.
Most importantly, I had full hook ups, and it began dipping well below freezing at night; I am sure there are generator quiet hours at Trailer Village, and I might have been mighty cold. (To be clear, Camper Village had a no generator policy, but there was no one around to hear it! My transfer switch had burned out, which forced me to use the generator at night to charge the batteries before bed.)
I extended my stay by one day because the helicopter tour was canceled due to snow. The next morning my respect for the desk clerk grew when she dealt with a woman who actually complained that freezing temperatures froze their tap.
In the end, staying at Camper Village instead of Trailer Village was for the best, given my circumstances and the weather. Would I stay at Camper Village again if I return to the Grand Canyon? That depends on what additional research reveals about camping inside the national park with a 34-foot trailer. I know Trailer Village would not be a good fit.
Tammy’s Tip (Advice for Tammy and no one else): Make sure you’re googling the correct effing campground and making reservations for the correct effing campsite!