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Camping prior to Start

Newbie here. Do you know if camping is made available in the start city prior to the expo? I would like to arrive on July 22 and the expo is the 23rd.

8 Replies

Dizzy, January 8, 2022 at 12:53 pm

Greetings Karen,
Camping is available on Friday nights.
I’ve come in on Friday several times.
There are many experiences that an early arrival allows that are missed if one arrives later on Saturday.
All the best, D


Uncle Kraig, January 8, 2022 at 3:52 pm

Karen – Welcome to RAGBRAI. As Dizzy said, there will be camping available on Friday in the start town. You are just a bit ahead of the game in your planning. Once the overnight towns are announced later this month, the wheels start turning. Camping on Friday will likely be announced in May or June but rest assured, you will have a place to lay your head on Friday. See you in July.


Randall Murphy, January 8, 2022 at 6:14 pm

Welcome to the rolling carnival! I use Pork Belly As a charter for the week and I always get to the start town on Friday. I love to see the carnival come to town on Saturday and feel the excitement build. Last year was my second start from LeMars and I did a radio interview with their radio host on Friday so you never know what fun might happen. (I also had Blue Bunny ice cream before the line was waaaaay too long). It’s also an opportunity to get on the bike after the trip to town and get the legs moving and make sure the bike is as ready as you are. This will be number 17 for me and I still can’t wait.


czysk, January 9, 2022 at 2:31 pm

You may want to consider driving to the end town on Friday. You can camp there and get a ride for you and your bike from a charter to the start town on Saturday. That way when you are done with the ride you can pick up your gear and head for home instead of waiting for a charter bus to fill up and riding for several hours to your car at the start town.


Larry Klaaren, January 13, 2022 at 1:20 pm

You may want to consider driving to the end town on Friday. You can camp there and get a ride for you and your bike from a charter to the start town on Saturday.

That is particularly true if you come from the east. You will not want to wait for other folks to finish, then ride west across Iowa on a bus the Saturday after the ride and then drive east back across Iowa to go home.


Tanya Sanford, February 26, 2022 at 11:43 pm

First time RAGBRAI; coming from Rochester NY. I am not planning to use a charter, how hard will it be to catch a ride from the end town to the start town? Although it looks like some charters provide that service; is it necessary to join a charter?


Dizzy, February 27, 2022 at 5:01 am

Welcome to the Circus Tanya,
Numerous charters provide transportation on Saturday from the end town to the start town that does not require using their service for the week.
I’ve used PBV’s transportation from the end town many times but stay w/my team during the week.
At least through ’19, PBV was the only charter offering transportation on Friday should you wish.
They are doing so again this year.

All the best, D


garywilk, March 4, 2022 at 1:27 pm

OOS also provide the transfer from the end to the start. I think they just do it Saturday morning but PBV also do it Friday. There are likely a few other options. They will likely list the parking location or locations later but there is usually about a $50 charge for weekly parking. You will likely also find a few other parking options. In a few months, there will be all types of info.


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