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Top Secret: Using Spy Craft to get a good campsite

How many of you have ever Googled your own address? If so, chances are you’ve found a drive-by view of your house, perhaps with you standing in the driveway with a bag of groceries in your arms. Kind of disconcerting, isn’t it? A bit invasive, maybe?

There’s no way around it, Big Brother is here and he’s keeping a kindly eye on all of us. Not only has Google covered the highways and byways of the world with their funky looking cars with the large cyclops eye on the roof, but they’ve also recorded us from above, via satellite cameras that capture a surprising amount of detail even from hundreds of miles above the earth.

We wouldn’t have to go very far back in time for that last paragraph to come across as the ramblings of a paranoid crackpot, would we? Today, though, not only is the above statement reality, but you probably didn’t even raise an eyebrow. Being watched is the new normal and as animals tend to do when their environment changes, we’ve all adapted (some of us better than others) and moved on. You can’t stop progress, and all that. In the old days you were told that you can’t fight city hall. Today, you can’t fight Google, or Amazon, or Apple, or Facebook.

Now before we get too far down the slippery slope of privacy in today’s super-connected world, let’s bring our attention back to the comforting world of the RV lifestyle and camping and, most importantly, the perfect campsite. If you’ve ever booked a campsite from afar, sight unseen, you know the fingers-crossed feeling when you finally arrive after many long hours or days on the road. Checking in you hope you get a good site, ideally one of those over there by the lake, well removed from the noise and chaos of the swimming pool and volleyball courts. At the very least you want to be upwind of the community toilets.

If this sounds familiar, you know the relief when you arrive at your spot and realize you’ve got a good one. You also know the silent groan when you realize you’ve been given a corner patch of bare dirt, almost hanging out in the main thoroughfare, devoid of shade trees, maybe next to the spot designated for the chainsaw wood carving competition scheduled to begin minutes after you arrive.

But what if we employ a little spy craft of our own? Unlike the government agencies who first had the technology to keep an eye on distant locations, today’s technology companies are willing to let everyone to use their gadgets.

The next time you’re doing some trip planning and have determined your overnight stops, stroll on over to Google Maps and plug in the campground address. Switching from Map View to Satellite View will enable you to see an actual real-world image of the campground from above. You’ll be able to zoom in, move around, and see which sites have the shade trees and view of the lake and which are next to the Pet Playground. Going a step further you can visit the campground’s website and bring up a site map they give to first time visitors. A little back and forth can help you determine not only the area you want to be, but the actual campsite number. Armed with this insider info, you can then make a point of requesting site 234 (or whatever) when you make your reservation. You’ll find most campsites will be happy to accommodate requests.

We may not be able to fight city hall (or the modern equivalent), but we can use them to our advantage. And wouldn’t your next trip be more enjoyable without the anxiety about where you’re going to be camping for the night?

While we’re on the subject, this is the perfect time to point out that we at never pass on or sell customer information to any 3rdparty. We only use customer supplied e-mail addresses to send out RV tips and noteworthy articles that we hope may be of interest. Rest assured if you are receiving this, your information will not be leaving the confines of our office for any reason. Ever.

As always, check those tire pressures before hitting the road. It’s important.

Happy Travels,

The Team