RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

What should we expect at campgrounds?

Hi RAGBRAI Riders,

Just got our confirmation today that our family will be riding this year. Woohoo! We have camped in the midwest, but I’m interested in information regarding what to expect at the overnight towns and the facilities that they will have for showering etc. How much food in the cooler? Should our support vehicle be buying food along the way at pass through towns? Any pointers would be appreciated.

Aiea, HI

5 Replies

Gypsy Rose, May 1, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Hi Jim,

Glad to hear you’ll be joining RAGBRAI this year. My daughter lives just north of you, in Waialua. She did her first RAGBRAI at 14 months old back in 1980. One of these days I’m hoping to convince her to ride it again, along with my granddaughters.

Campgrounds vary from town to town, typically an open field-type setting. Plenty of porta-potties (known as Kybos by many) nearby. Usually not far from the overnight town activity centers.

Support crews are often on the road soon after their riders depart, giving them plenty of time to buy supplies and secure a good site for the night.

Your support crew should be on the lookout for grocery stores along the route between overnight towns. (The support route is different than the rider route.) No matter what, there is no shortage of food and drink on RAGBRAI. Enjoy!

~ Kevin


jdierksen, May 1, 2017 at 5:44 pm

This is a good “unauthorized” read for “virgins http://www.wadenelson.com/ragbrai.html


Ken Askew, May 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Jim: Expect mayhem. The general campground is designated each day, but if you have transport for your gear, there will be many alternatives. At the designated campground you get space where you can find it. First come picks what they want. You should be able to see the locations shortly before the ride. If you have a support vehicle they may want to get there with haste to claim your spot. Like Gypsy said, get groceries along the way. But you cannot go hungry as long as you have a couple of bucks. Plan on $20-30 on the route and as much as you want in end town each day. Showers vary from a nice warm shower truck, to a cold gym, to a makeshift shower at a car wash.Bring your own towel if you don’t want to pay. Nothing wrong with a sunshower in my opinion. Your vehicle can fill and set that up before you get in.


James Rubasch, May 8, 2017 at 1:54 am

Thanks all – I will rely on my driver, who is also an Iowan. She should know the lay of the land best.


KenH, May 8, 2017 at 7:19 am

Camping at RAGBRAI is nothing like camping in the Midwest normally is. You are not going to have a secluded spot with a fire pit and nothing to hear but crickets, owls, and your nearest neighbors singing Kumbaya unless you have someone on the ground who can go scout out one in advance and arrange for it with the locals. Even then it is likely to be encroached upon by “squatters”. Camping at RAGBRAI is more like a military campground and probably General Sherman’s at that! It’s more like camping in the middle of a county fair. It’s more like a giant sleepover in the back yard with 10,000 of your friends. It’s indescribable really but you will love it once you see it. There will be people and tents everywhere so expect to be cheek by jowl with your neighbors. Expect to have fun in a way that is nothing like you’ve ever had camping before and you will be fine. We roll into town, denude the countryside of anything edible, camp wherever there is space, shower in schools, YMCAs, aquatic centers, semi-trucks, and sometimes hog washing barns, and then leave the next day. But unlike Sherman’s army we pay for what we take and maybe even leave a nice tip so they invite us back every year!


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