You know that every state in the United States has a selection of RV parks and campgrounds. But did you know there is a subset located on or in close proximity to military bases that can be used by active and retired members of the military? These campgrounds, often referred to as “FamCamps,” fall under the auspices of the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program, with each branch of the service having its own MWR section.
Benefits of FamCamps
Obviously, discounted rates are a major plus, with FMCAdventure noting that while daily and weekly rates vary by campground, overall fees typically range from $10 to $30 per night. But the lower cost doesn’t mean fewer amenities. Most military campgrounds have laundry facilities, bathrooms, shower houses, and common areas, although not all offer RV hookups or trash disposal.
And the cost savings extend to groceries, with access to base commissaries means your shopping trip costs less for the same items when compared to buying them at civilian stores.
One more note: according to RVlifestyle, most military bases have an Outdoor Recreation office/department, also known as ITT: Information, Ticket, and Travel. These centers may provide recreation equipment rentals or offer discounted tickets to non-local tourist destinations.
While FamCamps welcome active-duty and retired military personnel, some have even expanded their eligibility requirements to include authorized DoD civilians and full-time contractors. DOD Instruction 1015.10 explains who can use military campgrounds, which are military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities. However, each FamCamp may have its own restrictions and requirements, so view the individual websites or contact them directly for details regarding arrival time, access to the site, documents required, and other details.
It’s a good idea to check out each location well in advance since FamCamps fill up quickly due to the reduced rates. Keep in mind that reservation dates and seasons vary.
As for how to find FamCamps, there are several websites that allow you to search by state, including Military.com’s Military Campgrounds, Militarycampgrounds.us’s listing of U.S. Military Campgrounds and RV Parks, and the Department of Defense Lodging. You can also download the Best Kept Secrets – Joint Services Campgrounds and Facilities PDF.
TentsforTroops.org is another option for active military camping with members of their immediate family. According to the website, certain RV parks and campgrounds across the nation are offering a minimum of two nights of complimentary camp/RV sites to active military and their families. You can find participating parks here.
7 FamCamps to consider
Here are seven FamCamps to consider.
Boneyard Vista FamCamp—6170 Quijota Blvd Bldg. 6015, Tucson, AZ 85707 | 520-747-9144
Proximity: Davis Monthan AFB
Amenities and Services: 197 full hookup sites with power, sewer, and water, 57 overflow sites (dry camping) and tent sites. Two laundry facilities; four modern bathhouses; 24/7 lobby access; dog park and pet wash station; dump and air.
Eligibility: Open to all military, retired military, and DOD civilians with base access.
Proximity: Whidbey Island Naval Air Station
Amenities and Services: 52 RV sites with full water, electrical, and sewer hook-ups; tent campsites; furnished yurts (bedding, blankets, and pillows not included); RV trailers (on-site rental only)
Eligibility: Open to active and retired military, reservists, authorized DoD civilians, authorized veterans, and full-time contractors on a space-available basis. Eligible personnel may sponsor up to two guest accommodations on a space-available basis. Exceptions may be made by management for special occasions such as family reunions, etc. Sponsor is required to contact Pass and ID Office at 360-257-5620, to arrange access for guests prior to arrival.
Desert Eagle RV Park— 4907 Fam Camp Drive Las Vegas, NV 89115 | 702-643-3060
Proximity: Nellis AFB
Amenities and Services: 226 total campsites: 222 full hookup sites, and four partial hookup sites, one tent area, a coin-operated laundromat, shower and restroom facilities, and short-term storage for a maximum of 90 days. The maximum length of stay in the park must not exceed six months, roughly 180 days per 12 consecutive month period. Rates are only available nightly, and the length of stay can be up to six months. Reservation may be made up to six months in advance by mail, phone, or e-mail. Starting June 15, tent sites and overflow sites will be closed until Sept 15.
Eligibility: Open only to DoD cardholders
Eagle Hammock RV Park— 937 USS Daniel Webster Rd. Bldg. 3078 Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, GA 31547 | 912-573-5262
Proximity: Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay
Amenities and Services: 60 RV sites: 50 pull-through or back-in and ten back-in lakefronts. 30/50-amp full hookups w/water, sewer, electric and cable, free laundry, potable water, propane, septic dump. Cement pads, picnic tables, fire rings, free WiFi, and cable. ADA-compliant sites and restrooms, community building with full kitchen, meeting space, and bathhouse. Note: Firearms are not permitted on base, and Security is not able to store them on behalf of patrons. To store firearms off-base, contact T&C Pawn World.
Eligibility: Reservations are accepted one year in advance for active duty military and reservists and six months in advance for military retirees and DoD civilians. ID cards are required upon check-in. Check-in/out time is 12 noon.
FamCamp at MacDill AFB—9907 Marina Bay Dr., Bldg #612, MacDill AFB, FL 33621 | 813-840-6919 and 813-840-6920
Proximity: MacDill AFB
Amenities and Services: 359 full-service sites, complete with electricity, water, waste disposal, cable TV, and optional telephone service; 40 dry camp sites; 21 partial hook-up spots with water and electric, and a tent camping area. Note: The possession of firearms, including BB and pellet weapons, is strictly controlled by the MacDill Security Forces Squadron. Eligible visitors or guests of such visitors staying in the campgrounds who have firearms in their possession must contact the 6th Security Forces Law Enforcement Desk at (813) 828-3322 for guidance and control of such firearms.
Eligibility: Active Duty, Retirees, DOD Civilians
Fort Belvoir Travel Camp—10155 Johnston Rd., Bldg 778, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060 | 703-805-3081
Proximity: U.S. Army Fort Belvoir
Amenities and Services: 52 fully loaded 40-foot RV camping spaces available (Travel Camp Sitemap PDF). Each campsite has a picnic table, fire ring for grilling and campfires, and a stunning view of the Potomac River. Castle Park, two fishing piers, and Accotink Wildlife Refuge hiking trails are all within walking distance from the campground. Outdoor Recreation offers additional services, including firewood, bait, ice, ice cream, equipment rental, hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, and boating.
Eligibility: Active Duty, Retired Military, Reservists, National Guards, DoD Civilians, Installation Contractors, and those listed in AR215-1, paragraph 7-1 are eligible to camp at the Fort Belvoir Travel Camp. Authorized User Verification: A valid ID card must be presented at check-in, indicating proof of meeting the eligibility requirement.
Fort Sam Houston Military RV Park— 4028 Petroleum Dr., Bldg. 3514, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234 | 210-221-5502
Proximity: Joint Base San Antonio
Amenities and Services: 74 sites with water, sewer, and electric (50/30-amp, 110-v). All sites are pull-through on concrete slabs, plus a picnic table. Restroom and shower facilities are on-site, along with a coin-operated laundry facility, playground, a small convenience store, and a relaxing lounge.
Eligibility: Active duty, retired military, their dependents (minimum of 18 years of age with ID card), DoD civilians, and sponsored guest are authorized to use the FAMCAMP. Disabled American Veterans (DAV) IDs must state below the picture “Service Connected” in order to be allowed access to JBSA FSH.