Posted in: Campground Review, Holidays, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Lake Conroe Thousand Trails (Houston/Willis, Texas) Campground Review

This Thousand Trails location is located in Willis, Texas near Houston. There were RV spots (mix of pull through and back-in) and cabin rentals. The map lists tent sites, although I did not see anyone tent camping. There was also a section for long term stays. The cabins and the front RV spots looked very nice. The front RV spots were back-ins with concrete pads.

Those were not what we got. We went to check in and the Ranger (not wearing a mask) at the gate told me how full they were and was just not very welcoming. I told him we had a reservation and he pointed me to the back of the lot saying only one lane had openings. Spots back here were gravel, the roads in the back of the park were rougher (not the nice paved lanes like the front of the park), and sites were tight together. We picked our site from the few open in the lane. Driving around later, we saw other open spots that were not given to us as an option. I am not sure if it is because we are Thousand Trails members and we just get assigned the worst spots in the park and the non-members who are paying per night get assigned better spots.

Ice was sold at the Ranger station at the gate for $2.25. The campground had bathrooms and a laundry room. Washers were $1.75/load and dryers $1.50. The campground did not offer change or a coin machine. Half of the washing machines were also out of service when we were there.

There was also a single station car wash for $1 and a vacuum for $0.50. The car wash did not have any soap in it, but we could at least get some of the dust and dirt off of the truck. There was also a tire air station there.

Gate codes changed on Tuesdays, which we were not told until our code did not work.

The pool was open Tuesday-Sunday and was not heated. It was a nice sized pool with tables and chairs. The spa/hot tub was not working while we were there. It wasn’t closed off, just told it wasn’t working. There were bathrooms and two outdoor showers at the pool area.

There was a playground, a putt-putt course, tennis courts, and small basketball hoops. Across from the office/laundry/pavilion area was a small field which was nice for the boys to play ball in. Fishing was mentioned on their brochure, although the office did not sell bait. You could walk to a small beach area on Lake Conroe. The beach area also had a volleyball court and picnic tables. It was too cold to go in while we were there, but I can see it being nice in the summer.

The office was technically open, but they kept the doors locked during open hours, so you had to get their attention to get any assistance. We had some problems in the laundry room (a washer broke mid cycle) and had to get someone to help with the water that was leaking and refund the coins. The younger woman in the office was helpful with the laundry problem, but the rest of the staff seemed grumpy and not interested in interacting with anyone. The staff at the gate never had masks on, even when talking to people checking in. There was another building at the office/Pavilion that was closed for Covid.

Video: Campground Walk Through/Tour

We had decent reception with Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. The water pressure did drop one day, but came back to normal in a couple of hours.

It was close to a Kroger, some fast food restaurants, and a park. Houston was about an hour away, Galveston 1.75-2 hours, Waco 2.5 hours from the campground.

I don’t think we would stay here again. Houston was not our favorite town in Texas to visit, so I don’t see us coming back to the area. Even if we did, the park wasn’t very welcoming. I think if you were in a cabin or in one of the nice front RV concrete pad spots, it would probably have a completely different feel.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 2-2.5 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull through, Back-in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Technically no, but we did see a few people put up outdoor tents.

Amenities: picnic table, fire pit/grill, cable, playground, putting area, tennis courts, basketball, dog park 

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook Ups: Yes. 30 or 50 Amp sites

Pool: Yes

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: No

WiFi: No

Accepts Mail: No USPS, $5/package from FedEx or UPS

Food On-Site: No

Fishing: Yes, no bait sold on site

Posted in: Campground Review, Hiking, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

KOA San Antonio: Campground Review

For our stay in San Antonio, we stayed at the KOA San Antonio/Alamo. It was in a more of an industrial/commercial area of town, but it was conveniently located to downtown San Antonio.

The campground had RV sites (pull through and back in), cabins to rent, and tent sites. The campground is located in a flood plain, although I think it would take a lot of rain to reach the RV sites. It also backed up to a bike/walking trail. There was also a park that was within walking distance.

KOA San Antonio/Alamo allowed mail delivery, which was really nice. The mail room was next to the laundry room and office. The office had a nice store, with snacks, drinks, postcards ($0.25 each, the cheapest we found), and miscellaneous stuff. The office also sold ice for $2.70/10 lb. bag, firewood $7/bundle, and propane for $3.25/gallon (I was unaware that the “regular” sized 20 lb propane tank holds 4.6 gallons). The bathrooms and showers were open and looked nice.

The KOA offered cornhole (bag toss), a pool (not heated and closed for repairs for half of our stay), a playground and gaga ball court, and a fishing pond. The pond was catch and release and did not require a license. The office sold bait. You could also rent bikes and peddle bikes. The boys reported that the peddle bikes were much harder to use, as it was a single gear and the bikes were heavy.

Unlike the other KOA campgrounds we have stayed in, there were no planned activities due to Covid. The other KOA’S had indoor (which we did not do) and outdoor activities, and take and go crafts.

There was breakfast for sale 7-11am. When we were first there, it was limited to pancakes (unlimited for $3.99, but you start with two and go back for more). Halfway during our stay, the menu changed to offer more items. We loved the breakfast tacos (sausage, potato, egg, and cheese in a soft taco/burrito). In the office, you could place an order for pizza for order (Brother’s Pizza). It is made in the office. At home, Brother’s Pizza is connected to a gas station, so we were a little hesitant to try it. However, we did give in one night and gave it a try. It was ok pizza, not the best but not bad either. The crust was a little softer than I would normally like, but it was nice to have the option when we didn’t want to cook or go out.

The campground also hosted a Christmas Eve tamale dinner for free for the campers. It was held in the large barn (which had been closed for social distancing). Tables were set social distance apart, staff wore masks and spaced people apart while entering the building. Each person got a container with 2 tamales, beans, rice, and the option of water or tea to drink. It was a really nice gesture and also nice to partake in a Texas Christmas tradition.

The front of the campground was gated and you needed a code to get in at night, but anyone could walk in the back from the bike trail. There was a bike stolen while we were there (not ours), so I would lock up your gear. There was some train/road/air noise, which I did notice at night.

It was in a convenient location to San Antonio and about a little over an hour from Austin. If we were in the area, I think we would stay here again.

Video: KOA San Antonio/Alamo Campground Walk Through

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3.5-4 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Yes

Amenities: picnic table, fire pit/grill, cable, playground and gaga ball court, dog park

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes. 30/50 Amps

Pool: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Accepts Mail: Yes, no charge when we were there

Food On-Site: Yes, breakfast and pizza

Camp Store: Yes

Fishing: Yes, no license needed

Posted in: Campground Review, YouTube Video Link

Cowtown RV Park (Texas): Campground Review

For our travels in Texas, we originally had Thousand Trails (TT) parks reserved. However, after reading reviews for the first two, we decided to stay at other campgrounds. I had also talked with the first TT campground on the phone, and was not very impressed with their customer service. It also was 1.5 hours from any of the things we wanted to see.

It was a frantic internet search while driving through the vastness of Texas to try to find an open site near where we wanted to stay. We saw some good reviews for a place called Cowtown RV Park. They could get us in for 2 weeks, but then had other bookings. They were really nice on the phone and we reserved our stay. We didn’t pay anything until we checked in, although that could have been due to having a same day check-in as booking. After we checked in at the office, they had someone lead us to our site.

The office had a small store area, although it was mostly food. The campground did have laundry facilities (3 locations), bathrooms (closed due to Covid), a small playground, pool (locked for the season, but they did offer to unlock it if the kids wanted to swim, although it is not heated), horseshoes, and a basketball hoop. It was dog friendly with a couple of fenced-in dog areas. There were garbage cans scattered about on each row. Sites were concrete pads, with most having a picnic table and ours even had a charcoal grill! There were no fire rings, but I did see several people using their own fire pits on the driveways. The RV park was a mix of back-in and pull-through sites. All sites were 30/50 amp, full hookups, and had cable lines to hook into. They did sell propane onsite, as well as ice. The park also offered WiFi and had several boosters located around the grounds.

Laundry room #3, propane, office, laundry room #2 (By Rally Room)
Dog area, horseshoes, office store, our site

It was pretty dark around the campground at night. There were a few lights on the buildings (laundry, etc.), but not down the rows.

Laundry was $1.25/load for both the washers and dryers.

The park was close to the highway. Most of the time we did not hear any noise, or if we did it was not too loud.

The RV park was pretty conveniently located. There were several grocery store options close by (Walmart, Costco, Target, Brookshire’s — cheapest diesel while we were in town). Starbucks was close as well, almost walking distance but there were no sidewalks. It was about 20 minutes from Fort Worth/Fort Worth Stockyards.

I think the campground was decently priced. It had a really convenient location. If we were in the Fort Worth area, I think we would stay here again.

The boys put together another campground tour video!

VIDEO: Cowtown RV Park Campground Tour

Summary of Campground:

Our rating: 3 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes, but closed for Covid

RV Sites: Yes, pull through and back in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site:

Amenities: picnic table,  grill most sites, cable, playground, dog park

Cabins: No

Tent Camping: No

Full Hook Ups: Yes. 30/50 Amps

Pool: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: Yes, limited

Fishing: No

Posted in: Campground Review, Food, YouTube Video Link

KOA Carlsbad, New Mexico: Campground Review

For our stay in Carlsbad, New Mexico, we stayed at the Carlsbad KOA. It’s a little bit out of town, about 20 minutes.

The campground was a nice one, with plenty of things to keep the kids busy. There was a large outdoor checkers board and a porch swing by the office. The main building housed an office/store, restaurant (delivered to your site, food made on-site in smokers), bathrooms/showers (men’s main bathroom closed for our stay), and a laundry room. The campground had WiFi (no streaming), picnic areas, fire pits at sites, pool (closed for the season for our stay), gaga ball court (boys’ favorite), tether ball, playground (with a set of bathrooms/showers nearby), and fenced dog area. Most of the sites were pull-through. There were a few tent sites and a few cabins to stay in as well. The rows were nicely labeled to help find your site. Once we were checked in (they gave us some cute red/black plaid can koosies at check in), a staff member led us to our site. The front desk recommended using a water filter for the drinking water.

The office store sold some souvenir type things, grocery items, ice ($3/10 lb bag), and firewood bundles ($10/bundle).

The spots were nicely spaced, with plenty of room for our trailer and truck to fit on the paved spot. There were only a couple of downsides (which they didn’t have control over): very windy at times and a fair amount of flies.

The campground was about 20 minutes from town, about 45 minutes to Carlsbad Cavern National Park, and about 1 hour from Roswell. Carlsbad (the town) had an Albertsons, a Walmart, and a Lowe’s, plus plenty of fast food options. There were also plenty of fuel stations in town, a lot with diesel. Most of them, however, would be difficult with a bigger RV/trailer.

Everyone we interacted with at the campground was nice and helpful. If we were back in the area, I would stay here again.

VIDEO: Carlsbad KOA Campground Tour

Side Note: Due to Covid, we could only go to National Parks/National lands. The State Parks (even all outdoor ones) are closed to non-New Mexico residents. Masks are also required indoors. The staff at the KOA did a great job with this, but the regular people out and about and employees in other stores did not.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 2.5-3 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes, partially open for repairs

RV Sites: Pull through, a few back-in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: No

Amenities: picnic table and fire pit/grill at each site, cable, dog park, gaga ball court, tether ball

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook Ups: Yes. 20/30/50 Amps

Pool: Yes, closed for season when we were there

Food On-Site: Yes

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Posted in: Campground Review, YouTube Video Link

Lazydays KOA (Tucson, Arizona): Campground Review

For our stay in Tucson, Arizona, we stayed at the Lazydays/Tucson KOA.

There were so many different kinds of sites to pick from: full hook ups, covered sites, sites with an outdoor fireplace, grass sites with a fence for dogs, tent sites, pull-through and back-in sites, and cabin rentals. The lots were gravel with a small paved parking pad for cars/trucks. It seemed to have plenty of room at each site. The sites also had some type of outdoor seating, but that also varied per site. There were fruit trees scattered around the campground. We saw limes, lemons, grapefruit, and the boys think they found an orange tree.

This campground had lots of amenities: 2 pools (heated) and a hot tub, laundry room, office store (mostly souvenir type stuff), office had pool table/bookshelves/shuffleboard, 2 bathroom/shower buildings, a gym, restaurant (sit down or would deliver to the pool or your RV), pond with bench seats, a bike course, putting greens (I would not call it putt putt, but the boys had fun with it), pickleball courts, WiFi (no streaming), cable (bring own coaxial cable), playground. There was also a tortoise, although we never saw him. The office also had the clubs, paddles/balls for the outdoor games. By the office was a large patio with outdoor seating and fire pits. If you wanted a fire at your site, you could rent a fire pit from the office as well. The gates closed at 7:00 pm, however you could still get in through the main entrance. You had to buzz or call in and have them open the gates.

Garbage was placed at the end of your site. You could also get a recycling bin from the office.

Laundry was the most expensive of the campgrounds so far, $2.50/load in the washer or dryer. There were plenty of machines and we didn’t have to wait. We had two loads, so it cost us $10. There was a change machine in the laundry room.

The campground did a nice job with having a variety of planned activities. While we were there it ranged from breakfast (coffee/juice, danish/muffins) to friendship bracelets to yoga. The activity list was posted in the office and laundry room.

There was some train and plane noise. Most of the plane noise seemed to come from military jets.

Arizona does require masks, so in the campground staff and guests must wear masks indoors.

The campground was well maintained. I would stay here again if we were in the area.

VIDEO: Tucson Lazydays KOA Campground Tour

 

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull through, Back-In

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site:

Amenities: picnic table, cable, playground, dog park, pickleball, putting green, gym

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook Ups: Yes. 20/30/50 Amps

Pool: Yes, heated

Food On-Site: Yes

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Fishing: No

Posted in: Campground Review, Halloween, Holidays

Chula Vista RV Resort: Campground Review

For our time in San Diego, we stayed in Chula Vista at the Chula Vista RV Resort. This is a RV Resort; so there were RVs only, no tent camping.

Chula Vista is in a great location a little south of San Diego. It was close to highways for easy access to San Diego and grocery stores. The closest grocery store was less than 10 minutes away. There are a ton of Costcos in the San Diego area. Most of the beaches and attractions were within a 30 minute drive. Los Angeles was about 2 hours north. Chula Vista was also close to Tijuana, Mexico (we didn’t cross the border though due to COVID).

There were lots of amenities at Chula Vista RV Resort: an office store, a laundry, a heated pool, a hot tub (closed-COVID), a putting green, three horseshoe pits, two community charcoal grills, a fire pit, a nice sitting area by the bay with chairs, two bathrooms/showers, a fenced dog area, and a dog wash.

The laundry room had 8 washers and 10 dryers. It cost $1.25/load to wash and $1/load to dry. The coin machine was in the office. There was a small fenced dog area and a seating area with glider chairs by the laundry room. We often sat in the glider chairs while waiting for the laundry to finish.

The office sold ice (always a crowd pleaser) for $2.16/ 7lb bag. They also sold a variety of convenience type items: RV essentials, some groceries, and a few souvenirs/postcards.

You can get mail sent to the Resort as well. We loved this option. I even managed to sneak in a few Christmas presents (gotta love Amazon Prime)! The mail is sorted and stacked in the courtyard behind the office. It is covered, so we didn’t have any problems with weather while we were there.

Chula Vista is a gated RV resort, so the front gate locks around 7:00pm. There is a night guard on duty, so you had to call if you needed in after hours (or to get out before the gates open). There is also a gate code for the bathrooms, and the pedestrian door leading out to the bay.

This campground was really great at maintenance and garbage collection. There were garbage cans situated every few RV spots. If you had recycling, you just placed it at the base of the garbage can and they would collect it. I saw them coming around multiple times a day to keep up with everyone’s trash collection.

They also offered weekend events. These varied from food trucks, to drive by Happy Hour (a guy playing a guitar and singing on the back of a truck that drove through the campground), $1 donuts on Sunday mornings, light up bike parades (they also offered the lights for sale before the parade).

We were very excited to see what they did for Halloween, as campgrounds are normally known for being very festive at that time. However, due to COVID, they cancelled trick or treating through the resort. They did come up with a replacement event with some games, crafts, and caricatures. This event was lots of fun for the kids. They had bag toss into pumpkins, ring toss, pop the balloons while blindfolded (the balloons had a piece of candy inside), and an egg balance walk (while mummified in RV grade, toilet paper). The caricatures were amazing. We talked to the artist for a little bit. He was a math teacher who also does caricatures. His name was Scot de Pedro (email is scotdep@hotmail.com, shared with permission).

Although many people ahead of us took off their masks for the caricatures, we kept ours on. We thought it would be a great marker of the times we are living in.

The one slight negative of the resort, which they can’t really control, was some air noise. While there was not a lot of street or harbor noise, there was a lot of airplane and helicopter noise. It seemed like the helicopters were the main source of noise and they seemed to fly over frequently at all times of the day/night. (It was close to the Naval base and to the US/Mexico border.)

We stayed at Chula Vista RV Resort for a whole month. So we got the monthly rental rate, but we also had to pay an electric rate. Their rate was $0.22/kwhr. We managed to rack up a $200 charge for electric.

We really enjoyed this campground and would stay here again. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of regulations when it comes to calling yourself a RV Resort. In our opinion, Chula Vista lived up to the title.

Instituting a new campground rating system based on trailer hitches.

Chula Vista rated a solid 4 out of 5 hitches.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 4 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: No

Amenities: picnic table, community fire pits, fenced dog area

Cabins: No

Tent Camping: No

Full Hook-ups: Yes. 30/50 Amps

Pool: Yes, heated

Food On-Site: When we were there there was food truck once a weekend and Donuts on Sunday mornings. There is a restaurant within walking distance.

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Accepts Mail: Yes

Fishing: No

Posted in: Campground Review, YouTube Video Link

Thousand Trails: Las Vegas, Campground Review

We had not stayed at a Thousand Trails campground yet. It had been a long process to get our pass. There also were not TT campgrounds near the middle of the country.

We were looking forward to making use of our pretty pricey membership. We got to the campground and picked our spot from the ones that were still available. (With Thousand Trails you reserve a spot, but not a specific site.) The 50 amp sites were an extra $3/day. I would say roughly 3/4 of the sites were 30/50 amp and 50 amp sites. It was conveniently located to the highway and there were plenty of stores within 10-20 minutes. The Strip was about a 20 minute drive from the campground.

The other plus was that the staff was always present and seemed polite and nice whenever we interacted with them. There were three sets of bathhouses/laundry facilities. You could also get mail delivered there and they held it in the office for you. They had a pool which the kids really enjoyed. It even had the lift chair to get into the pool, a bathroom, and outdoor showers. They had an ice machine for $3/bag. There were two horseshoe pits and a activity room. (Link to the boys’ Campground Tour video.)

Now, onto the not so great stuff.

WiFi costs extra. We had our hotspot and phones, so we were ok. I’m not sure if that is all TT or just this location.

The spots were tight and harder to get into. I am glad we had an end spot or it would have been really difficult. It seemed run down. Bushes and trees were trimmed and there were sprinklers for areas of grass, but there was just a general run down feeling. Our site had cigarette buts and even a rusty screw laying around on the ground.

The garbage bins were often overflowing. There were lots of long term residents with run down or broken cars and RV’s.

The spa (hot tub) was off limits, but there was still water in it and it was just poorly roped off.

It was between two busy roads. The wall near our spot had barbed wire on top. There was a lot of airplane and road noise. About 2-3 in the morning it sounded like people were drag racing. Almost every day.

Checking into our spot: Electric box, hose hook up

The area is not one where I would walk to anything. There were several things nearby (a donut shop, Boulder Station casino, etc) that were less than a mile from the campground, but I definitely did not feel safe walking in the area. I didn’t even walk around the campground by myself. The campground is walled in and has a gate at the front, but it is a gate that is easily walked around. There were also several homeless camps nearby. We saw someone arrested on the street in front of the campground entrance.

If we were in Las Vegas again, I would look further north of the city where the nicer areas are for a different campground. The staff seemed nice, but the area was not. Some of the things like road and airplane noise are out of their control, it’s based the location and maybe at one time it was better. But some things could be improved around the grounds.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 2 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: No, not enough room

Amenities: picnic table, dog area, horseshoe pits

Cabins: No

Tent Camping: No

Full Hook-ups: Yes

Pool: Yes

WiFi: Not free, could pay for WiFi

Accepts Mail: Yes, no charge when we were there

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: No

Fishing: No

Posted in: Campground Review, National Park, National Parks, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

WillowWind RV Park: Campground Review

For our time in Hurricane, Utah, we stayed at WillowWind RV Park. They offer mostly back-in sites, some pull-throughs, as well as a few teepees to sleep in. They offer 20/30/50 amps, WIFI, cable (if you bring your own coaxial cable), laundry, and a clubhouse. Their rates were for 2 people and you have to pay for any others over two. When we booked, they were still cheaper, even with having to pay for the kids, than other campgrounds available in the area.

It is close to grocery stores, restaurants, and the post office. They do sell ice, although they did tell me at check-in that it was cheaper at the local grocery store. There were a few times that we walked to the grocery store, Wendy’s, and the post office since they were only a couple of blocks away. There are even more options for restaurants and shopping (Target, Costco, Walmart, etc.) in St. George, which is about 15-20 minutes away.

Office, fire pit by office, laundry room by office, and gym

There are two laundry rooms: one by the office and one by the rear bath bathrooms/shower house. We used the laundry by the office. Both were close to us, but once the loads were started, we would go to the clubhouse and the boys could play pool. The laundry room had plenty of machines, a single use detergent vending machine, and a table for folding. The cost per load of laundry varied. They had regular sized washers for $2.00/load and the dryer $1/load. The laundry room by the office had a mega washer that could hold up to 5 loads. This washer was $4.25/load and the neighboring commercial sized dryer cost $0.25/8 minutes.

Back shower/bath house. The second laundry room is the middle door, with bathrooms/showers on either side. The outdoor dog wash is the green tub on the side of the building.

The campground was dog friendly (had a dog fenced in area by office, outdoor dog wash tub by rear bathhouse, a walking area in back). There was a small gym, a clubhouse (offered books, puzzles, a kitchen, and a pool table), community fire pits (located by the office and rear bathhouse), and a horseshoe pit in the back. Individual sites did not have picnic tables, firepits, or grills. I did see a few charcoal grills around (one by the teepees, a few by a lane of RVs). There also wasn’t a swimming pool, which in the 100+ degrees, would have been nice.

Clubhouse

The sites were paved, had grass, and trees for shade. They did have sprinklers for the grass that went off every day. One of the sprinklers seemed to be awfully close to our electric box. Several long term residents had sprinkler guards (similar to these*) set up to protect their electric where it plugs in at the box. We used an empty plastic bin to keep the water off and it seemed to work. The campground seemed to be a mix of travelers and long term residents. Everything was well maintained. Our neighbor to the right had a large collection of outdoor plants on an amazing set of shelves. I was totally jealous of all her green. We only brought Nick’s Venus fly traps! I do miss having more plants, but we just don’t have the room for them.

There were several state parks and National Parks nearby. The three closest National Parks were Zion (25-35 minutes), Bryce (2.15 hrs), and the Grand Canyon (2.5 hrs to North Rim). Of course, our definition of close is changing the longer we are on this trip. Two hours would have been an entire day trip before, but now it’s like “well, that’s pretty close, let’s go for a few hours”!

The boys have made one of their campground tour videos again!

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Back-in, some pull-through

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: No

Amenities: Cable, community fire pits, club house with pool table, gym, horseshoe pit, dog wash and fenced area

Cabins: No

Tent Camping: No

Full Hook-ups: Yes. 20/30/50 Amps at each site.

Pool: No

WiFi: Yes

Food On-Site: No, close to grocery and fast food (some in walking distance)

Camp Store: No

Fishing: No

*Affiliate link

Posted in: Campground Review, YouTube Video Link

Spanish Trail RV Park: Campground Review

For our first stop in Utah, we stayed at the Spanish Trail RV Park in Moab, UT.

The campground had a laundry room, pool and hot tub, and fenced in dog area. There were also waste bags along the fence line for dog clean up. It seemed like it had a good layout. The boys made a YouTube video of the campground.

Top: shower/bath house, pool, office

The pool is nice, with a few fountains off the side shooting in and a basketball hoop. The pool is not heated, so it will cool you off on a hot day. The hot tub is off to the side of the pool. There is a changing/bathroom and an outdoor shower in the pool area as well.

The office was small and only offered a few things for sale, although they do have brochures for local attractions. They did sell ice for $2.75/bag (City Market, aka Kroger, had for $1.99/bag with loyalty card) and also had some individual ice cream items (most were $1.75). The office closed at 5:00pm. They do lock the ice after hours, so get any ice you need before then. There was a spot on the office desk for outgoing mail. TIP: There is a small holder of postcards on a shelf for $1/each of area landscapes with the Milky Way. You can get these for free in various Biz Card holders around town (Two places that I know of: McStiff’s Plaza-outdoors on side of wall near right side of their parking lot and Red Rock Bakery-inside towards the back). There was also a lounge attached to the office, but was closed for COVID.


The campground offers Wi-Fi and cable. We didn’t have much luck with the cable, just a few channels, and the WiFi was the standard campground kind.

The laundry room was nice. It was even air conditioned! There were plenty of machines and there was a change machine in the room as well. A wash cycle cost $2.25 and the dryer $1.50.

The shower/bathhouse was amazing. It was the nicest one so far. There were separate rooms that contained a toilet and shower with locking doors.

I believe the campground is all RV spots, with most sites being pull-through. We had a 50 amp site, which we definitely needed in the heat to run both A/C units. No tents/gazebos/pop-ups are allowed. There are trees and grass at each site. The trees help a little with the heat. We had an end of the row site, which was great for parking, but meant that we only had shade on one side. If you wanted more shade, I would try to get a spot further in so you get trees on both sides.

Each site had a picnic table with a concrete pad that sits right next to your RV steps. No fire pits or grills are provided in the campground. Utah also had fire bans going while we were there.

The campground is close to town (7-10 minutes), Arches (15-20 minutes), and Canyonlands (45-60 minutes depending on traffic). There are several grocery stores in town, although pricing seems a little higher here than back home. We mostly shopped at City Market (Kroger) for the fuel points and coupons.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, some back-in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: No

Amenities: Picnic table, cable, fenced dog area

Cabins: No

Tent Camping: No

Full Hook-ups: Yes. 30 or 50 Amps.

Pool: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: Yes, extremely limited

Fishing: No

 

 

Posted in: Campground Review, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Garden of the Gods RV Resort: Campground Review

For our stay in Colorado Springs, we stayed at the Garden Of The Gods RV Resort. There were tent sites, back-up and pull-through sites, and cabins for rent. We had a back-in 50 amp site. The electric post also had a spot for 20 amp, so we could run an extension cord for outdoor use (fan, bike charging, outdoor computer use).

There was WiFi and cable, although we didn’t have any luck with the cable. The WiFi was iffy as well since we were in the back. NOTE: Campground reviews listed AT&T as working there, but it does not work in the campground. We found this out when we checked in. Our T-Mobile and Verizon worked though.

The office sold a few souvenir type items, ice ($4.10/bag, including tax), and ice cream. They did accept packages and also had an outgoing mail box inside. The office closed at 4:00pm each day.

The laundry room had a folding table, 2 carts, a vending machine, 3 driers (although 1 was broken the time we were there), and washers. Dryers $0.25/8 minutes.They were x-large capacity dryers (could hold 3 loads). The washers were normal sized and cost $2.50/load. They did sell single use powder soap in the vending machines there for $1 and had some other laundry items for sale in the office.

There were two pools, although only one was open when we were there. It was heated and had a nice covered couch area, along with some chairs around the pool. Because of COVID, you did need to sign up for the pool. (Limit of 40 people, which seems really high for that size pool. No one really checked or seemed to keep track though.)

There was also an arcade, which the kids loved. It was mostly older machines (if you grew up in the 1980’s it was very nostalgic). Most games were $0.25. We were only there a couple of times. It seemed like little kids were sent there and never had masks on, so we tried to limit our time to when it was empty. Trying to social distance can be hard.

There were no individual fire pits, although there were two grills and two communal fire pits by the playground. There was a fire ban while we were there, so fires were not allowed. You could use the charcoal grills though. The playground was small and a little older. There was also a fenced in dog area.

The campground had two shower/bath houses. The one back by the playground was definitely nicer!

There was an on-site breakfast food truck that was open Wednesday to Saturday 8:00am to 12:00pm.

We were also right next to Manitou Springs, which is a really cute town. We made several trips in and enjoyed walking around.

Garden of the Gods was pretty much right up the street, about a 10 minute drive, Pikes Peak was about 30-45 minutes, Royal Gorge about 1.5 hours. The Olympic Training Center and Air Force Academy were closed to visitors due to COVID.

The location was convenient to attractions and grocery stores. There were two Costco’s within 40 minutes! There was a horse area close by, so sometimes in the morning you could smell it, but it wasn’t too bad. There was a full time RV or mobile home park on two sides. There were tarps overhanging the campground fence in several spots. I didn’t feel safe walking on the street by myself with the kids. The Garden Of The Gods RV Resort is fenced though.

NOTE: Beware when you make your reservation. When we had to restructure our trip, we were going to shorten or skip Colorado Springs. Because we had originally booked with Best Rate, Garden of the Gods RV would not refund, only let us move our reservation. They had had few other locations, but nowhere we were going to be. If you are worried about COVID ruining your plans, please do not choose Best Rate. Everyone there was nice, it just stinks about their policy even during a pandemic.

If we were in the area, I might stay here again, because the employees were nice and it was conveniently located, but I would definitely look more closely at the cancellation policy. We did get to see a lot, but one week would probably be long enough (not the two we had).

Here is a link to the boys’ Campground Tour.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: Verizon, T-Mobile (AT&T did not work in the campground)

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Rugs allowed

Amenities: Picnic tables at each RV site. Community fire pit and grills. Arcade, playground, fenced dog area.

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes. 30 or 50 Amp sites.

Pool: Yes

WiFi: Yes, spotty

Accepts Mail: Yes

Food On-Site: Breakfast food truck

Camp Store: Yes

Fishing: No