IN THIS ARTICLE…
- Are you eligible?
- Tips for Booking, Entering Base, Planning ahead for your stay
- Links to our personal FAM camp reviews we have stayed at
About this article…..We have included this dedicated page and its campground reviews exclusively for those able to stay at Military FAM (Travel) Camps like we are able to. As we travel around the country we will continue to add new reviews, tips and resources to help you with your planning. Please note, these campgrounds are not open to the general camping public. Most we have found ( at least east of the Mississippi ) are on the smaller size, some even with less than 10 sites and camps offer basic but well maintained services like showers, bath house, laundry facilities, dump station and/or hook ups for your RV. While you can try to just show up to get a site- most are booked in advance and require advance reservations.
ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO STAY AT A MILITARY FAM CAMP?
Active Duty Service Members and Families
Active duty service members and their families (with proper ID) are allowed to use DoD / MWR military camping facilities on and off-post.
Veterans who meet certain requirements (see below) and their families may also be able to use military campgrounds. It is always recommended that you check with the camp you wish to visit in advance because some may have different criteria. MWR offers access to many of its programs and facilities for:
- Military retirees and families
- Medal of Honor Recipients
- Purple Heart recipients
- Former Prisoners of War
- Veterans with service-connected disabilities (VA documented disability rating)
- Authorized family caregivers of eligible veterans enrolled in the VA Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers program
- Reserves members, Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service or a commissioned officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the meets the requirements for being considered a veteran AND also meets the above criteria are eligible for campground access.
- Honorably discharged veterans are not authorized, unless they meet the additional criteria listed above.
There may or may not be provisions at a particular site for government employees, civilian contractors, etc. Each of the many different sites will have their own entry requirements. Some may be more relaxed about ID checks and general requirements, others will be quite strict. Depending on the destination, DoD civilians, Guard and Reserve members may all be welcome.
WHAT’S OFFERED AT THE CAMPS? It will vary from base to base what other on-base amenities and services you may be allowed to take advantage of. So far, we have found we have been able to use the DX and Commissaries with no issues but you will need your military ID at check out. We have not tried to use any other recreational facilities on the base such as indoor pool, exercise rooms, etc. Because there typically are many other services and recreational amenities (tennis courts, pool, gym) on a military base- do not expect to find them at the FAM camp property itself like you would a private RV resort.
BOOKING TIP: So far in our travels we have also found that the ability to make any type of advance online reservations to these FAM camps is very limited. Most still require a phone call to ask for specific date availability and to actually book your site. More often than not, you get a voice mailbox and must leave a message. Good news is they will get back to you and have provided great customer service!
ENTRY GATE TIPS:
- Be sure you are entering at the correct gate that you were told to when making your reservation. Often it is NOT the main gate!
- Double check arrival times, it is best to arrive when the Recreation office is open and staffed. Some locations have additional gates into the FAM camp and you will need that code to enter. Some do offer after hours check in with an envelope left for you. Double check with personnel if you know this is going to be your issue to ensure you can be left info!
- When approaching the designated entry gate, have a print out of your reservation confirmation (email) and have your drivers license (and any passengers) or passport ready to show the MPs. They will most likely issue you a hang tag that you must display all the time on your vehicle. Be sure if you go off base, that you take it down and then rehang when approaching the entry gate again to get back onto base.
- Plan timing accordingly. Because of the necessary security checks needed at the gate, expect it could take a few minutes and even up to 15 minutes before you are let onto the base. Try to avoid high traffic times such as commuter traffic.
REVIEWS OF TRAVEL FAM CAMPS WE HAVE STAYED AT:
Fort Belvoir Travel Camp, VA: NUTSHELL: Overlooking the Potomac River in VA. Short drive to historic sites like Mount Vernon, Alexandria, Fredericksburg and Washington DC. Modern, well maintained/very new, excellent pad sites, FHU, fishing piers, gated entry, beautiful bath houses and laundry facilities. Click here for our Review
Round Pond Recreation Area–West Point, NY: NUTSHELL: The best part of this campground is that it is only 3 miles from this venerable West Point Military Academy and its amazing museum. The museum is worth the trip and the main reason we selected to stay at this FAM camp. We would not stay again however, as the campground is poorly maintained, has a beach full of goose poop and very limited hours for swimming. The road to get to the campground has a 24% grade, is narrow and dangerous for any RVs of size. Full Review
Youngstown Air Reserve FAM Camp-Youngstown, OH: Nutshell: $15 per night FHU pull through is the Pro. The Con is the patio is dangerous and there is not a lot on base or in area. Full Review
We have a few more reviews we are writing up to post so stay tuned!