By Chuck Woodbury
I spent a day recently in South Dakota’s magnificent Badlands National Park. I stopped often, and when an RV passed, I took some video of it passing by. Here’s a very short compilation of what I saw.
Anyone traveling I-90 east or west can easily loop through the park. A leisurely drive will add about 90 minutes to the trip. From what I could see, even long motorhomes or fifth wheels/trucks can pass through with no problem. If the park is crowded, however, long rigs may have trouble pulling off to visit the crowded overlooks (of which there are plenty).
It’s a beautiful park especially when the late afternoon sun and its shadows bring out the richness of the landscape. The campground is cramped, but it’s far from civilization so I bet the night sky is magnificent. Some sites have 50-amp hookups.
We spent this year touring all of the Utah and Wyoming parks, and just yesterday toured Badlands. We always unhook and use our vehicle to tour parks. Yes, it is inconvenient, but I am seeing more and more large RVs with toads taking up spaces meant for cars and crowding already overcrowded spaces.
We pulled into a beautiful picnic space at Badlands, which had parking spaces at the front overlooking the scenery. There were parallel spaces on the back loop for RVs. A large Class C pulled in at a 90-degree angle to the auto spaces, taking up multiple spaces and blocking the beautiful view. The occupants then proceeded to go on a hike, leaving the rig in its prime parking space.
After observing some of these behaviors, I can understand why RVers get a bad rep. Some parks already require RVs to unhook before entering. Perhaps that will become the norm if RVers continue to abuse their privilege.
I like the video, Chuck although a little short. What really interested me was the mini van with the tear drop trailer. Last Monday I was in Winnemucca, Nv. and watched an elderly lady in a setup like that. She pulled up, parked, opened the door and pulled down a seat on the door and transferred to it from the driver seat. She then opened the slider and pulled out her wheel chair and transferred to it. She then proceeded to close things up and went in to the store. She was by herself. I hope that I have that much courage and stamina to be that independent when I get older. She was amazing!
Chuck…I missed you by one day. We met at the RVillage Rally after your writing lecture. Was staying in the Badlands for two weeks prior to your arrival doing some photography and shooting some video for an upcoming reality show. I left the morning of the 28th.
I noticed a drone in some of your videos clips. I’m assuming that was yours or someone from your team?
Cool video Chuck! Please do this more often.
We drove through there on August 2nd in my salvaged 2016 ex-Cruise America 25 ft RV I purchased at auction and rebuilt last year. Apart from front end alignment and two blown tires it’s given us over 21,000 miles of trouble-free RVing in the past 15 months. It turned out to be an excellent deal.
That was a nice little video. Thank you for that.
We stopped in the Badlands NP a few years ago and spent a few days there. It’s a magnificent park and after speaking with a park ranger we learned that the average time spent in this park is 45 minutes! Since we spent a few days there we can attest to it’s beauty, there is much to see and plenty of wildlife to watch also. We parked our car in a remote part of the park and sat quietly for at least a hour very close to a herd of bison and simply enjoyed watching them. Sunrises and sunsets were spectacular. Spend more time there if you go.