Friday, December 29, 2006

Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site, TX

Stay Date:  December 2006
Our Rating:  GOOD – 7
Texas has great state parks, and this is no exception.  High on the rolling hills overlooking the Rio Grande and far from any city, this park has a great museum and interesting history (did you know Seminole Indians lived out here?)  The roads and sites were good gravel/dirt and the site was level, with a 30A hookup and water.  Nice ramada to provide shade on the generally large back-in sites.  No cable, broadcast TV, Verizon cell or Aircard out here, just satellite TV.  Great hiking trails, although the ones down to the Indian caves were very steep and long.  A bit windy, but this is West Texas, get used to it.  $17/night + $5/day entrance fee if you don’t have the annual pass.  Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Greentree Village North Travel Park, San Antonio TX

Stay Date:  November 2006
Our Rating:  Good –6
This is a place with good and bad.  The good:  close to San Antonio attractions, fairly large, shady, and level pull-thru sites, with a decent monthly rate ($450 includes electric).  The bad:  don’t be fooled by the website pictures, the area that for non-permanents is not very scenic, and the speed bumps are way too large.  Some sites are under huge, humming power lines, and next door is a state highway maintenance yard that is noisy.  Lots of long-term campers, but not too trashy.  Free cable TV, WiFi for a fee, small pool.  Verizon cell and Aircard worked well.  Tough to get in and out of park because of traffic and a nearby blind curve.  Greentree Village North Travel Park

Monday, October 30, 2006

Gulf Coast RV Resort, Beaumont TX

Stay Date:  October 2006
Our Rating:  GOOD – 9
A great overnight stay along I-10.  Professional staff, all roads and sites paved and landscaped, wide sites with grass, and good hookups.  Beautiful facilities, free cable and WiFi.  Verizon cell and Aircard worked well, and there are only small trees for the satellite. Fairly quiet at night despite being close to the interstate, but could be noisy due to huge sports complex next door.  Not a destination area, but a good overnight at $35 which includes a free complimentary breakfast.  Gulf Coast RV Resort

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bayou Wilderness RV Resort, Carenco LA

Stay Date:  October 2006
Our Rating:  REALLY UGLY - 3
What a miserable stay – narrow gravel sites, unfriendly office, and a FEMA trailer park all included for an unreasonably high price ($32).  Free WiFi only worked if you were sitting on the office porch, and free cable had six channels.  Pool was filthy and trash was scattered throughout the “resort”.  We left our site marked with two chairs while we had the motor home serviced, and we returned they were gone.  Turns out that a couple of the FEMA residents “borrowed” them (their words).  We reacquired our chairs and left.  Recent ratings seem to indicate that there are new owners.  Lets hope so.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Paragon Casino Resort RV Park, Marksville LA

Stay Date:  October, 2006
Our Rating:  9 – GOOD
One of the best casino RV Parts, although it’s in a part of Louisiana that is off the beaten path.  Very professional check-in, all paved roads and sites, level, nicely landscaped, and with modular hookups.  Free cable TV, WiFi, and of course, a shuttle to the casino.  Verizon cell and Aircard worked well, and there’s clear sky for the satellite.  A nice casino, but not much else in this area.  Rates vary depending on discounts and “comps”, but well under $20/night.  Paragon Casino Resort RV Park

Thursday, October 19, 2006

River View RV Resort and Park, Vidalia LA

Stay Date:  October 2006
Our Rating:  9 – GOOD
We really enjoyed our stay here.  Professional check–in at an impressive office/store, paved roads and sites, and a view of the Mississippi River.  Good hookups, Escapee discount, and close to intriguing Natchez.  Nice hot tub and pool, free WiFi, but weaker the farther you get from the office.  Verizon cell and Aircard worked well.  Free cable and clear sky for the satellite.  A classy operation, worth the price ($35-40).  River View RV Resort and Park

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Woodland Campsites, Somerset PA

Stay Date:  October 2006
Our Rating:  7 – GOOD
The delightful owner of this small, heavily-treed campground makes it easy to overlook MH at Somerse2tsome of the limitations of the park.  For big rigs, a drive up a tree-lined dirt road takes you to an open area on the top of the hill where you’ll have a clear shot at the satellite.  Sites are grass, 30A only, and back in.  The campground is quiet and convenient to dining and shopping in Somerset.  Verizon cell and Aircard worked well, no much broadcast TV.  At $30/night, cash or check only, it’s a nice respite from the usual cookie-cutter campground.   Woodland Campsites

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Willow Lake Campground, Brunswick OH

Stay Date:  October 2006
Our Rating – REALLY UGLY - 1
If you’ve ever wondered what a FEMA disaster relief camp looks like, this is the place to visit, although I think a FEMA camp would be more organized.  Checked in by a cigarette-smoking woman with the smell of an ashtray, our first impression set the table for this horrid campground.  A small city of cheap trailers, with add-on rooms, blue tarps, inflatable palm trees and neon beer signs.  Sites were grass and rocks, 30A only, with no sewer.  The water smelled like sulfur, was undrinkable, and had the color of iced tea.  Clear shot to satellite, no cable or WiFi, but you’re close enough to Cleveland to receive broadcast TV.  Verizon cell and Aircard worked well.  On leaving, there was no need for directions to the dump station, you could smell it everywhere in the campground.  Made me wish I had a HAZMAT suit.  It doesn’t matter what they charge per night, they couldn’t pay US to return.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Deer Ridge Resort, Richmond IN

Stay Date:  September 2006
Our Rating:  3 – UGLY
This is a predominately seasonal camper park, certainly not close to being a resort.  On arrival, the drive was blocked by office personnel gabbing, and we had to ask them to move a car so that we could get through.  Sites were gravel, rutted pull-thrus, with lots of weeds.  Lots of big trees, impossible to get clear a shot of the satellite.   Verizon cell and Aircard worked well.  30A only, no cable TV and poor broadcast quality, WiFi didn’t work while we were there.  Owner/manager was rude, and refused to accept our CitiCard because he was having a dispute with them.  I can’t think of one reason to stay here, and for $36/night there are better choices in the area.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

7th Ranch RV Camp, Garryowen MT

Stay Date:  September 2006
Our Rating:  BAD – 6
We really like the idea of what they’re doing, and recent reviews are more positive than ours.  Our visit started badly with a dusty, washboard road for over a mile to get to the entrance.  The lady in the office must have been new, she had no idea how to check us in and we had to help her.  The sites are long gravel pull-thrus, tiered on a hillside.  The area we were in was so steeply tiered that the driver side slide out storage doors almost hit the hill, and just getting set up was good exercise.  No Cable, Free WiFi, no trees so good shot at satellite.  No Verizon Cell or Aircard service.  An interesting environment, with an emphasis on the Old West.  Close to the Little Big Horn Battlefield, but nothing else in the area.  $36/night is only reasonable if you’re visiting the Battlefield.  7th Ranch RV Camp

Friday, September 15, 2006

North American RV Park, West Glacier MT

Stay Date:  September 2006
Our Rating:  Good –9
A great place to stay while exploring Glacier National Park.  We were here after Labor Day, so it was not very crowded.  Our site was fairly large because we had one at the end of the row; others are close together and would be uncomfortable. Fairly level gravel sites, good power and water hookups, free intermittent WiFi and clear shots to the satellite.  A beautiful setting; mountains in the distance and good access to the park.  Friendly staff and nice office/store.  The daily rate of $38 is reasonable for the area and amenities, and the price drops to $33 after September 1st.  North American RV Park

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Lake Como Forest Service Campground, Darby MT

Stay Date:  June 2006
Our Rating:  GOOD – 9
A beautiful Forest Service campground in the trees near the magical Lake Como.  Three Lake Como Campground2miles off Highway 93 on good paved roads, the campground has a number of pull-thru loops that easily accommodate a big rig.  30A power only, with water hookups & no sewer, but bring lots of hose as the hookups are not centrally located.  Lots of large pine trees, very difficult to find a clear shot at the satellite, no Verizon Cell or Aircard, and no broadcast TV, but who cares?  The sound of rushing water from the stream below the dam, the smell of the outdoors, and the deer that wander the campground provide enough entertainment.  A short walk takes you to the Lake where you can fish, swim, or just stare at the Bitterroot mountains.   Busy during the summer, but fairly easy to get a site when school is still in session.  $16 a day for a hookup site, but only $8 with the senior  “America the Beautiful” card (“Geezer Pass”).

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Camp Roberts Famcamp, Paso Robles, CA

Stay Date:  March 2006
Our Rating:  REALLY UGLY – 3
It’s difficult to complain about a place that only charges $10 a night, and in California yet; but this place was a hoot!  Drive into the WWII Army Post and take a trip back in time…..lines of two-story barracks on each side of an old parade ground, miles of tank tracks on rolling hills, and a Famcamp that hasn’t changed since Patton was a Lieutenant.  We drove the 2 1/2 miles through the crumbling ruins to find a weed-covered field with power boxes on telephone poles.  Then came the search for a spot that both the power and water worked.  After three or four attempts in the rain, we finally found a spot in the weeds that had both working, and settled in for a five day stay.  Five days of loooong drives to get anywhere made us realize that aside from the wineries (which were VERY expensive), there really wasn’t much to do.  The staff in the office will tell you an urban legend that they’re going to build a new campground, but almost five years later nothing’s change.  If you have to stay in the area, bite the bullet and stay elsewhere. 

Monday, March 20, 2006

Edwards AFB Famcamp, CA

Stay Date:  March 2006
Our Rating:  BAD –5
There’s a reason they test aircraft at Edwards AFB – if the aircraft falls out of the sky, there’s nothing but dirt and creosote bush to hit.  After leaving the little town of Edwards AFBRosemond, you drive a few miles to the sign that marks the beginning of the base.  12 miles later of lunar landscape brings you to the gate – then another 10 miles or so finally brings you to the base itself.  The Famcamp is a self check-in, dusty area not far from the BX complex.  Most sites are 30A only (great for the A/C out here in the desert), with a few 50A if you’re lucky.  No Verizon cell or Aircard, limited dining (basically the  BX food court and the bowling alley), but quiet at night.  Mediocre museum at the base entrance, but a good NASA one farther down the flight line.  Some interesting aircraft to watch during the day,and the $15/day  cost is attractive, but once you’ve been here, you won’t want to come back.  Say a prayer for the poor people who have to live here.  Military or DoD ID required.  Edwards AFB Famcamp

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rincon East RV Resort, Tucson AZ

Stay Date(s):  Dec-Jan 2006
Our Rating: GOOD - A Solid “9”
An over-55, snowbird resort with many returnees and permanent mobile homes/RVs.  Palm-tree lined streets, concrete pads, and secure access, but sites are a bit tight.  Extensive, well –maintained facilities, a huge pool, activity rooms, craft areas, shuffleboard, bocce ball, and more.  Planned activities every day will keep you busy if you like to participate, but be aware that there are many cliques that you may have trouble breaking into.  Lots of opportunities for free food if you don’t mind sitting through a sales pitch from various medical companies.   Convenient location on Southeast side gives fairly quick access to the Interstate, shopping, and dining.   Over 450 sites, so busy during the winter months.  Not cheap; about $650 mo/$42/day without discounts.  Web site:  Rincon East