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In terms of accommodation, there are two basic types of campgrounds in the United States.

Some American like to “rough it” and enjoy camping in wilderness areas. They rent space by the night at public or private campgrounds, set up tents, cook over open fires, and otherwise enjoy being closer to nature. In many cases, they need to hike on foot with backpacks to reach the campsites. Some of these campgrounds are primitive, just cleared space really, while others have wooden tables for eating, cooking facilities, toilets and other amenities. Serious American backpackers and hikers often hike from one campground to another, enjoying the country in between. Automobiles are only needed to get these enthusiasts to the general area. Camping here is more than just accommodation; it is a recreational activity and an abiding lifestyle interest.

Other Americans travel through their country in automobiles with attached camper-trailers, or using elaborate recreational vehicles (RVs) complete with kitchens and toilets. These people rent campsites at which they park their vehicles for a day or several days. The campsites offer services such as sewage hookups and electricity, clubhouses with recreational activities for the children, showers, variety stores, and other amenities. These campsites cost more than the simpler type, but considerably less than hotels and motels, the prefect arrangement for leisurely sightseeing in the numerous American regions. RV living and touring is a distinct lifestyle of its own.

Among private chains of campsites, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) is the largest, with hundreds of sites throughout the country. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort is an up and coming competitor. Beyond the chains, more than 8,000 privately-owned campsites compete for the lucrative RV business.

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