Tuesday, June 26, 2007

High-tech amenities bring new age of camping

CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — High-tech amenities allow campers to enjoy nature with all the comforts of a luxury motel.

But does sitting outside watching a big-screen satellite television really constitute camping?

“To me, it is not so much camping as living, but that’s just my opinion,” said Shaun Reilly, the assistant ranger at Morgan Creek Park, a 260-acre Linn County facility just west of Cedar Rapids.

Reilly recognizes, however, that “the RV (recreational vehicle) lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular” and that campgrounds will have to adjust to accommodate more upscale recreational vehicles.

State park officials have said there’s growing demand for modern campsites with electrical hookups, while primitive sites have spaces to spare.

Reilly noted, though, that even tent campers sit outside watching TV, and RV campers complain that the park’s numerous trees interfere with reception of satellite television signals.

“Satellite TV is the big thing, but the growth in electronic camping accessories has been phenomenal,” said Gary Ketelsen, proprietor of Ketelsen RV in Hiawatha.
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