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Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 14 years 1 month ago #564

  • FastEagle
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When we decided to go on the road full-time we started researching the various RV options within our budget and chose the 5th wheel over the MH. Our decision was based on the amount of service time our motorized vehicle would have to receive and then added another 15% for the unknowing. Our TV has nearly 80K in just under four years and our only maintenance has been scheduled. Our 5th wheel has only been in a service bay one time and that was to replace a counter top that delaminated. Because we loaded it with "Stuff" we opted for the one 15k roof air. With a washer/dryer combo and extra large inverter we were pushing the 50 amp limits. We have always tried to stay in the warm to almost warm weather so when we pulled into Ellsworth, AFB, Near Rapid City, SD on July 10th last year we did not expect the 105 deg. Tempature. At 38' with three slides the 15K A/C was pushed to it's limit but did keep us cool as long as we kept that front door closed. The RV park at Ellsworth has a full-time camp host who was real helpful. MWR has a number of scheduled tours that will pick you up right at the RV Park. A two week stay will allow you to see just about everything.

I did not leave a review in the campground section but you will find a picture of our rig posted there.

FastEagle
2003 Everest 363K 38' 14K
2004 Dodge 3500 STL-DRW-QC-LB-2WD-4.10-AUTO-CTD
USN Retired - PDRL
DOD Retired - Aircraft Mechanic
Part Timers with sticks in SC

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Re: Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 13 years 10 months ago #1299

  • rabeow
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anyone tried to stay here during the Sturgis Rally? since they don't take reservations, I was wondering how hard it is to get in during that timeframe.

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Re: Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 13 years 10 months ago #1306

  • oldchief46
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I'll ask that question when I get up there. We were planning to leave this Friday and head up that way but due to a household emergency here in Oklahoma we won't get out that quick. Hopefully we'll be on the road next week. After a few days at Hart Ranch we'll be moving to Ellsworth. I'll see what I can find out about biker week.
Rick Stone, YNC, USN(RET)
2007 Monaco Cayman XL
2006 Chevy HHR
oldchief1.blogspot.com

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Re: Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 13 years 10 months ago #1366

  • rabeow
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thanks Chief, I look forward to it.

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Re: Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 13 years 9 months ago #1416

  • oldchief46
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Well, we are here. We came in yesterday and the place was full. We were sent to the other side of the base to the overflow. The overflow is directly by the runway in an old parking lot. It has 30 AMP electric but no other hookups. We were the fifth unit sent over there yesterday. We only had to stay one night because five rigs pulled out this morning. By 10:00 am today we were in our regular site.

The place is full everyday and has been all summer, even with the heat. It has good 50 AMP service so you can run both A/C. Some of the bikers are already rolling in. There are two small trailers on the same site, sharing the water and sewer hookups. The larger of the two probably is plugged into the 30 AMP and the little trailer is probably only using the 20 AMP. As of about 5:30 PM today there were 11 rigs over in the overflow. (There are only 12 sites with electric over there.) About half of them will be moved over here tomorrow as people leave out. The restriction of only two weeks in moves folks through pretty good.

This is the first year at this site for the camp host. She does have experience though. She worked at Nellis for five years and worked at private parks the last two years in Florida. She does try to get you in someplace. Very few people have to spend more than one or two nights in the overflow. Also, if all 12 overflow sites are full there is still room to dry camp over there. The charge for the overflow is $10.00 per night. Don't know if, or how much, they would charge to just dry camp over there.

This is a very nice campground and you should not have a problem getting in since they do not take reservations and you must leave after two weeks.

Side note: Be sure to use the Commercial Gate. As we were coming in the main gate this evening, in the car, a large diesel motorhome, towing a car, was having to try to turn around because nothing over 25 feet will be able to get through the concret barriers blocking the road in the gate.

We'll be here until 8/2 if you have any questions.
Rick Stone, YNC, USN(RET)
2007 Monaco Cayman XL
2006 Chevy HHR
oldchief1.blogspot.com

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Re: Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 13 years 9 months ago #1421

  • rabeow
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thanks for the info Chief. We won't make it this year, but hoping for next. Good to hear they are fair about the overflow and move into the regular sites quickly. Maybe someday they will make enough money to expand with more sites. Probably just wishful thinking on my part.

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Re: Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 13 years 9 months ago #1535

  • Slapshottr
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Good info about Ellsworth I am also planning on a visit next summer July 2008 with my family. Sounds like there is movement in the campground. My only question is how far in advance do the bikers show up 1 week,2 weeks or more before the start of bike week. Trying to plan the trip as to miss bike week. I don't have the dates in front of me but I think it starts 4 Aug 08.

Thanks

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Re: Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 13 years 8 months ago #1547

  • oldchief46
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Bike Week is the first week of August. We had some bikers in and out during the whole two weeks before. We left on Thursday before Bike Week. At that point the campground was full, the overflow was full and they were parking rigs in between regular campsites in the main campground. (Each site has 50, 30 and 20 amp. They let the extra's plug into the 30 or 20 amp plug with no water or sewer, the same as they would get in the overflow.)

Although we saw a lot of bikers all over the blackhills in the two weeks we were there the serious bikers don't really show up until the weekend just prior to bike week. We drove over to Sturgis on the Wednesday before we left and, although there were a bunch of bikers there, it was not crowded. We were even able to park the car on main street. Three or four days later and that would not have happened.

It does not appear that there is any full time personnel assigned to the campground. Base Public Works people (or whatever the AF calls the base maintenance folks) do the mowing and edging. There is a volunteer host and an assistant volunteer host. They take care of everything and live on site in their RV's. Since they are RVer's they work very hard at trying to meet everyones needs. The Host is a retired Navy CB Chief. The assistant is the wife of a retired AF guy who previously had been a host at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas.

I would recommend that if you don't want to be there when the bikers arrive that you schedule to leave by Wednesday or so prior to Bike Week.
Rick Stone, YNC, USN(RET)
2007 Monaco Cayman XL
2006 Chevy HHR
oldchief1.blogspot.com

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Re: Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 13 years 8 months ago #1550

  • Slapshottr
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Thanks, we will plan accordingly.

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Re: Update on Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 12 years 10 months ago #3659

  • artwalker
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We visited the FamCamp in June,08. Unfortunately we have no pictures to offer, but here is an update on conditions.

If you have a rig longer than 22 feet, don't, don't try to enter the Main/Patriot gate. There are closwely spaced intrusion barriers that prevent trucks and larger rigs from entering. Use the Commercial gate at all times. The policy is still no reservations. The camp host has a tendency to crowd late comers on grass between the existing hardstands, a condition I found detrimental to the FamCamp envirionment. We chose to stay at the overflow area, located a mile from base center and any facilities. Staying out there beyond the runway was a lesson in solitude. The "hardstand" is a big, treeless parking lot divided into 10 side-by-side sites. Electric at 30 amps is provided out there, but nothing else. Bring blocks,because leveling can be challenging. The upside was getting to see some B1B touch-and-go exercises.

Back to the FamCamp: the shower and laundry facilities have been rebuilt and are a pleasure to use. $1.25 to wash, $1.00 to dry. Otherwise, the base facilities haven't changed much - lots of new housing, the movie is open Thursday and Sunday nights only.

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Re: Ellsworth AFB Famcamp 12 years 10 months ago #3675

  • Mustang03
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Interesting. We stayed there on July 6th and since we were only going to be there one night, we asked to stay in the overflow lot. We were told by the camp host that it was closed for renovation and we would have to take one of the regular spots in the campground. Of course, we had to drive out to the overflow later to see what they were doing -- which was nothing at all. ;D Oh well, had to settle for full hook-ups.

Bottom line on the campground is that it is really nice.
B.N. Lavender
Capt. (LDO) USMC (Ret.)
Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan

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