Posted in: Animal Sightings, Campground Review, Food, Frequently Asked Questions, Hiking, Internet, Maintenance, Newbie Tips, School, Sightseeing

How We Pick Out A Campground (Frequently Asked Questions)

There are a ton of campgrounds out there and it can be overwhelming trying to find the “best” one to call home! They range from independent places, chains (like KOA and Thousand Trails), city owned, state owned, and federally owned. Some only accept military/retired military, some only accept Class A’s, and some have age limits on the RVs or the people they let in. A lot of places also have dog restrictions based on breed.

We have a few things that we always look for in a campground: location to sightseeing, internet, full hook-ups, and a laundry room. Our biggest one is a good internet connection for school and work. There are a few different websites that I visit to check reviews: campgroundreviews.com, GoodSam, and Campendium are my first ones. After those, I will go to Yelp/Google Map reviews (make sure to type RV Campground or RV Resort, not just campground as you will get results that will not work with RVs or may not have hook-ups), and then to Facebook for the RV groups to see if anyone has stayed there before.

Our favorite RV Campground Review Sites

I always check multiple review sites, especially for internet issues, but sometimes you still don’t get it right. For example, the Garden of the Gods RV review stated that our 3 providers worked. However, when we checked in, there was a note with our paperwork saying AT&T did not work in the park. This wasn’t mentioned on the campground’s website at the time. (This is just one of the reasons why we have three internet providers!)

I also try to read about the general campground conditions (sites, roads, etc.). If a lot of reviews with bigger RVs say that sites or internal roads were tight or not well maintained, I will pass on that campground. We’ve even double checked the reviews on the way to a campground and changed our plans last minute based on the current conditions. Conditions of campgrounds can change frequently. For example, when we booked one Texas site, it had decent reviews. On the drive there, we were reading the reviews from the last week and it was filled with reports of sewage problems throughout the campground (eww!), so we frantically searched and found a new campground to stay in. The most recent one was a change due to a review saying the T-Mobile signals were weak. T-Mobile is where most of our working internet comes through. We have some hotspot data through our cell phones, but the T-Mobile hotspot is the workhorse.

Campground amenities can also be a big indicator for the nicety of a park, although not always. There doesn’t seem to be a regulation on who can call themselves a RV Resort vs a campground, so reading reviews are important! We had one Thousand Trails claim to be a resort and they only had a laundry room and a walking trail. Nothing else was available or was broken and the sites and roads needed some upkeep. On the other hand, we had a Thousand Trails in Orlando that lived up to the resort title with many amenities and things to do.

An on-site laundry is also a requirement for us, as we do not have a washer/dryer on our travel trailer.

We have learned to always check (recent) reviews across the different review sites. It can be worth spending the extra money to get a nicer campground, especially for longer stays.

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

Myrtle Beach State Park Campground: Campground Review

For our final stop in South Carolina, we went to Myrtle Beach and stayed at the Myrtle Beach State Park.

The state park does have some nice amenities to it: walking trails, touristy type of shops (1 in the campground, 1 at beach), walking distance to beach. If you are staying in the park, you do not have to buy the daily park pass (as long as you have your window tag displayed).

It was very dark at night, as there were not any street lights throughout the campground. Bring a flashlight if you are taking a walk or going to the bathroom! There are signs about copperheads throughout the park. There was air noise from the airport and helicopter tours. There were a couple of airplanes that flew so low that the RV rattled.

The sites are nicely shaded, although they are long and narrow. The sites had a picnic table and fire pit (with flip down grill). The gates closed and locked at 10:00 pm, although they do give you the code. It was a very weird experience, as you have to get out of your car in the dark near the woods to unlock and open the gate, drive through, get out again to shut it. Having a keypad code for the gate would be a huge improvement. The park also states that there is no alcohol permitted in the campground or park.

The camp store had some souvenir type of items, firewood ($7.49/bundle), ice, and some drinks and ice cream.

There were several bathrooms/showers around the campground. The laundry facility wasn’t too far from our site (in loop 5). Washers and dryers were $2/load.

Bottom image: entrance to the campground (campground to the left, beach to the right)

The beach did not close at night, so we did get a couple of nice nighttime walks in.

There was a patch program for the kids through the state park (a little like the Junior Ranger Program at the National Parks). The Nature Center was at the edge of the campground and was a nice spot to sit and watch the birds at the feeders. It was also a great spot for the kids to find lots of information for the scavenger hunts.

We did not see many animals, other than birds and squirrels in the campground. We did see some crabs, starfish, and a jellyfish at the beach. Nick and I also found shark teeth, which was lots of fun and a new experience for both of us. There were also shells to find, which is always a plus for us at a beach.

CONCLUSION:

CONS: Air noise, the gate, tightness of the campground

PROS: Walkable to beach, campfire ability, shade trees, amenities of park and campground, patch program for kids

If we were in Myrtle Beach, we would stay here again.

VIDEO: Walking Tour Myrtle Beach State Park

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 (dirt/sand)

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

Amenities: picnic table, fire pit, playground, community grills in state park, second playground in the state park, close to beach, walking trails in state park, patch program for kids in park

Cabins: Yes (6)

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 20/30/50

Pool: No, but ocean is close

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Fishing: Yes (no license, but daily fee: $8/day ages 16+, $3 ages 3-15)

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

KOA Mount Pleasant/Charleston: Campground Review

For our stay in Charleston, South Carolina, we stayed at the Mount Pleasant/Charleston KOA. The campground is located in Mount Pleasant, about a 15-20 minute drive from Charleston.

The campground had some nice features, including a camp store. The campground is located near a plantation, and offers wagon rides when the plantation is open. Unfortunately, the plantation house was under construction when we were there and the wagon rides were not going on.

The campground had corn hole, a nice walking trail, a community fire pit, hanging swings by the lake, fishing (catch and release, no license needed), pool (not heated), rec room with camp kitchen (2 stations) and little library, dog park, and bike/canoe/paddle boat rental. The office sold firewood bundles. There was a propane station and an ice machine near the office as well.

The laundry room was on the side of the office building and had 4 washers and dryers. Although there was not a coin machine in the laundry room, you could get quarters at the office. Washers were $2/load and dryers $1.50/load.

The bathrooms and showers were located on the backside of the officel. They are separate though: women’s bathroom on one side, individual shower rooms in the middle, and men’s bathrooms on the other side.

We enjoyed the walking trails. The trails go by a little creek and we saw some small crabs and turtles.

There was WiFi available. The signal was pretty spotty where we were. However, they do offer routers to borrow. These are on a first come basis. We were finally able to get one with only 2 days left in the trip, but it made a big difference! The speeds were a lot faster plugged in.

The campground was close to grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and several parks. Charleston was about 15-20 minutes away. The Costco and Walmart were within 2 miles. It was in a pretty convenient location.

VIDEO LINK: Campground Tour

The night before we left, we found a postcard on the door reminding us of check-out time.

COVID Review: Masks were required in the office. The office staff was friendly and always had them on. However, employees working outside (including those that show you to your site) and other campers really didn’t wear masks.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile (slow)

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in (mostly gravel, saw a few concrete pads)

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: No stakes allowed in the ground due to underground wires

Amenities: picnic table and fire pit at sites, some upgraded sites had a grill, cable, two playgrounds, pool, rec room/camp kitchen, little library, corn hole, dog park, bikes for rent, paddle boats and kayaks for rent, ice machine $2/bag, firewood $7/bundle (although after taxes/fees it came to $8).

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps:

Pool: Yes, not heated

Food On-Site: No, but camp store has a few items

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes. Routers provided at office, first come first serve, to help boost signal

Accepts Mail: Yes

Fishing: Yes, no license needed, catch and release

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Campground Review, Hiking, Sightseeing

The Oaks At Point South (Thousand Trails), Yemassee, South Carolina

When we booked this campground (The Oaks At Point South) several months ago, it had good/okay reviews. When we looked at it again on our way in, it now had horrible reviews due to mud and ruts. We tried to find another campground, but they were all booked. We were told it was the busy season, as Georgia’s summer brings bugs and flies.

When we checked in, there was a packet with our parking tag and the site map in the red box at the driveway. They were doing a no-contact check in. The reviews were right, it was very muddy and our site had deep ruts from where someone must have gotten stuck. We had gravel in the middle of the site, but the hook-ups and where our truck would have to park were very muddy and did not have gravel. TIP: If you do stay here, go slowly once you are off of the highway. You turn right by the Waffle House!

The site was a little small for us. The truck fit, but we had to park very close to the RV. We couldn’t really put out the master bedroom stairs and use that door. We put our rain boots on before we set anything up, which helped a lot.

After a couple of days, the mud began drying up. Ben and the boys once again put on their rain boots and stomped down the ruts to fill them in. We bought several bags of gravel from Walmart to cover the spot with. It wasn’t perfect, but at least we left it better than when we got there.

Some of the roads were tight. The roads were definitely single lanes, but were not dedicated as a certain direction. Garbage was to be placed in the dumpsters. The campground did have a laundry room with 4 dryers and 3 washers. Washers and dryers were $1.75/load. There was not a change machine in laundry room. It seemed like they really wanted you to use the app. A third party was in charge of the washers and dryers, so when one of them ate my quarters, I had to call the company, as the office said they couldn’t help.

The campground was close to a McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Waffle House, and a couple of gas stations. It was about an hour to Savannah, GA, Hilton Head, SC, or Charleston, SC.

The map (both online and the one we were given at check-in) stated there was a vehicle washing station; however ,when I check with the office, they said there is not one but you could wash at your site. It was not recommended, as it gets muddy easily. The campground has a lot of trees, which would make for nice shade in the summer, but also has your car covered in bird droppings and pollen. We found a few car washes nearby, but they were pretty expensive. We finally found a do-it-yourself one near Tybee, which cost us about $5.

The horseshoe pits and putt-putt looked run down and like they hadn’t been used in a long time. I was told they were closed by the office. The walking trail to the ponds was really nice and we got to see several small alligators and turtles, as well as lots of frogs at night. The footbridge located on the map is still there, but not in great shape, so I would be careful using it. It was a dead-end path, so we preferred walking the loop around the ponds. The walking trail was the highlight of our stay here!

Walking trail images. Bottom right corner: foot bridge

The walking trail also leads to the next-door KOA, which has a coffee and wine bar called The Swimming Mermaid, which is open to the public.

We would not stay here again. It was very quiet and the walking trail was neat, but there was nothing else to do! The pool was closed while we were there. Mask wearing was not prevalent. We were 45-60 minutes away from the larger cities. There are several campgrounds closer to Savannah, including some state parks, that had great reviews. We were trying to make the most of our Thousand Trails membership and I think we missed out on finding a great campground.

Sorry, the boys forgot to do their video at this campground.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 2 out of 5 hitches

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

Laundry: Yes, $1.75/load

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through (grass/gravel/mud), a few looked like back-ins

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Nothing stated in rules at check-in, but we saw a few around.

Amenities: picnic table, cable (our hook up was wrong), dog park, pool (closed while we were there), walking trail to ponds, firewood for sale $7/bundle, community fire pit. There were only a few sites that had a fire pit of their own.

Cabins: No

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 30/50/20

Pool: Yes

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: No

WiFi: Yes, in Clubhouse/Office

Accepts Mail: Yes, packages. No 1st class mail. Will not accept or sign, it just gets put outside the office door.

Fishing: Yes

Posted in: Campground Review, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

KOA Orlando Southwest: Campground Review

After our stay at Miami and the trip to Key West, we went back to Orlando. We had family staying in the area and wanted to spend as much time as we could with them. We hadn’t seen them since July 2020! We stayed at the Orlando Southwest KOA.

It was an easy drive to grocery stores, Disney (approximately 15-30 minutes, depending on traffic) and Universal (20-30 minutes), Costco (30-45 minutes).

The pool looked nice, but was always a little crowded, so we didn’t go in. The office store had a nice selection of RV items, grocery type items, and even a little library! It had a cool spiral staircase in the middle, which I found out leads just to an office.

Pool, bikes for rent, playground, bathrooms, dog area and wash, camp kitchen

There were trees around the campground, which gave some nice shade. Sites were decently spaced out. It was nice to walk around, although there was not a walking trail. This was one of the first KOA’s that we have been to that did not have a front gate. We also had water problems several times while we were here. The park did send out a text to us when they shut the water off for repairs, but it happened a couple of times times. The water pressure was low for most of our stay.

The boys loved the little library. We didn’t use the laundry room. Staff members were always nice when we interacted with them.

We would probably stay here again, although I would choose the Orlando Thousand Trails over this one. We had better water pressure and internet/cell service at the TT campground.

VIDEO TOUR: KOA Orlando Southwest

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 2.5/3 out of 5 hitches (it was nice, but had several water problems)

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, although Verizon got a bit laggy sometimes

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in (grass and gravel sites)

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

Amenities: picnic table, fire pit/grill, cable, pool, playground, 2 dog parks and a dog wash, community camp kitchen, little library in office, pickleball, basketball, horseshoes, bike rental

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 50/30

Pool: Yes

Food On-Site: No, although some snacks and general supplies in camp store

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes (basic)

Accepts Mail: Yes, no charge

Fishing: No

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Campground Review, National Park, National Parks, Sightseeing

Miami Everglades RV Resort Thousand Trails: Campground Review

For our stay in Miami, we stayed at the Miami Everglades Thousand Trails. This was not part of our Thousand Trails membership, so we had to pay extra for the site. We were only there a few days, so we did not get a chance to do a video or take part in many of the campground’s amenities.

The campground did have a propane refill station, an office (they met us outside, so we didn’t get to see it), and a laundry room. The washers were listed at $1.50 and $2/load, dryers $1.50/load. However, they ran on a card which you had to rent for $5 (refunded when you returned the card) and had to place a minimum of $5 on the card.

The park had a nice walking trail along the outside of it and we got to see several different types of lizards.

There were lots of fun things to do around the campground, including putt putt and shuffleboard. Part of the park was a large open field, which was used for group camping, as well as storage, but also would work for running off excess energy.

Dog area, tiki hut, shuffleboard, pool, basketball

It was in a decent location, although there was nothing close by, as it was surrounded by plant nurseries. It was about 30 minutes to Everglades National Park (depending on which Visitor Center you wanted to go to) and Biscayne National Park.

The huge negative for me, and the reason why I would not go back, are the interior roads. They are barely single lanes and are not marked as one ways, so when we pulled out, we had to guess which road to go down and hope no one was coming the other way. Because the roads are narrow, it also made pulling out of our site take an hour. Not packing up and pulling out, just pulling out. Our neighbor to the left had pulled really close to the road and the neighbors across parked their cars along the road, so we had to keep backing up and moving the RV so we could clear them all. The neighbors were nice and moved a car and tried to help with making sure I was clearing my blind spots. For smaller rigs, it would probably work out well, but it was incredibly hard to maneuver a large RV. NOTE: Someone told us that going over to the tiki hut side, driving past the tiki hut and by the propane would be easier and give you more room to maneuver (instead of trying to turn left onto the center road). It definitely helped.

If we had a smaller RV, I would stay here again, but it was just too hard to maneuver with ours.

Our site and the narrow rows
Black line is how we were directed to come into the site. Pink line is how we left our site, going across and around by the tiki hut instead of trying to turn left on center lane.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3 out of 5 hitches (The nice walking path and amenities got it to a 3)

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

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-In, grass/dirt sites

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Tents were listed as a no, but we saw several around the campground. Screen rooms had to be approved.

Amenities: picnic table, concrete patio at site, community fire pit, cable, playground, dog area, pool, large tiki hut area with picnic tables, putt putt, basketball, shuffleboard, pickleball, horseshoes, sand volleyball court, walking trail

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 30, 50

Pool: Yes

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: unknown

WiFi: Pay

Accepts Mail: unknown

Fishing: No

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Campground Review, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Thousand Trails Orlando RV Resort: Campground Review

General: The Thousand Trails RV Resort in Orlando is a huge campground (I believe they told us it has 1000 sites). There are several ponds on the campus (map had alligator warnings). It is located off of a busy road, but close to grocery stores. The campground interior roads were nicely paved. The newer section had paved sites, but WiFi was listed as not available there. Most sites were grass/sand. We had a 50 amp site, although our bonus 20 amp plug at the electric box did not work.

COVID: Mask wearing was a problem. Our escort to our site wore a mask, but the gate staff did not (had it on, but wore as a chin strap/neck warmer). Very few people wore masks unless it was inside.

Check-in: Check-in is at 12:00, preferably at 12:01 (per the front gate). We were there at 11:50 and told we had to turn around and come back. We got there at 12:04 and had a line of at least 18 in front of us. The check in lines were huge and took up the entire 1/2 mile driveway. To check in, you enter the campgrounds driveway, give your name to the front gate, proceed to the Recreation Building’s parking lot, check in and get the campground map/book, wait your turn and are escorted to a site. Our site was a corner lot, which gave us a little extra room, which was nice.

Noon time check-in line, daily occurrence. Waiting in parking lot for escort to site.

Review: This Thousand Trails location was much better than the other ones we have stayed at. They offered a few planned activities (Saturday donuts, Candy Bar Bingo on Wednesdays, walking group, knitting on Tuesdays, Poker, paid painting class, Food Truck Thursdays). There was no cable, but we were able to stream Netflix through our hotspot.

All in all, we enjoyed the amenities this park had to offer. Most of the sites in the park looked nice, although there were a few in the back that were really tight.

Amenities
Food trucks. We did not get any even though it smelled delicious. The food truck employees and campground guests were not wearing masks nor social distancing.
Recreational Building: library, mail room, store

They offered propane refill for $3.25/gallon (our standard 20lb. tank, like on a grill, is about 4.6 gallons).

There were also several birds, including sandhill cranes around the campground. They walked everywhere, but were not aggressive at all. We also saw a couple of gopher tortoises, which Nick loved.

Conclusion: We would stay here again.

VIDEO: Campground Tour

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile (Internet on all networks worked, but did get spotty at times.)

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Back-in

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

Amenities: picnic table at site, playground, dog park, pool, shuffleboard, pickleball, basketball, horseshoes, checkers/chess, mini golf, Saturday Donuts, some planned activities. Community fire pit (although not allowed while we were there for fire danger?), library/book exchange

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 30 or 50

Pool: Yes

Food On-Site: No, not all the time. (They had food trucks come in on Thursdays. There are some food items in the camp store. There was also a restaurant on the map near the office; there were cafeteria style closed windows that may be a restaurant but it was closed while we were there.)

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Paid, free in common areas (per office staff)

Accepts Mail: Yes, but no 1st Class mail (no mail fee)

Fishing: Yes

Posted in: Campground Review, Sightseeing

Florida’s Welcome Center and A Stone’s Throw RV Park

The drive from New Orleans to Florida was pretty long. The panhandle always seems small on the map; I think because it is so thin compared to the rest of Florida, my brain tells me it’s smaller, but it took a long time to drive!

We average stopping every 3-4 hours for diesel and/or bathroom breaks. Some of the truck stop bathrooms lately have been rough, so we stopped at the Florida Welcome Center on I-10 near Pensacola, Florida. It was huge! The boys got a kick out of the plane by the parking lot. Nick loves turtles and was happy to find the turtle sculpture by the doors.

There were vending machines that sold both drinks and candy and the Sun Pass for the toll roads. You could activate your pass at another machine. It did take several minutes to go through all the screens and to get the pass activated.

We then went into the main room. They had an astronaut suit behind the desk, along with free grapefruit and orange juice. We all tried the orange juice. The side wall was covered in tourist information and was broken up into the sections of Florida for ease of use. There was a kid’s corner with a cartoon playing on the TV. The front desk had welcome bags already made up with maps, some of the information pamphlets, and a set of masks!

We decided to stop near Tallahassee for the night. We were tired and had been on the road for almost 10 hours. We stayed at A Stone’s Throw RV Park. It was very conveniently located with quick access on and off the highway. They did have bathrooms and an entertainment room (looked like a pool table). The park offered pull-throughs with full hook-ups and WiFi, but we were tired and planned on leaving early, so we only hooked up the electric. The spaces were tight together and so were some of the turns on the interior road. I was glad it wasn’t completely full as it would have made some of it challenging to move in a large rig.

We didn’t get a lot of pictures, as we arrived when it was dark and left when the sun was just coming up.

When we booked online, you could pick your spot and it would show how long the site was. We managed to get one that fit both the RV and the truck. The site wasn’t level, so we did have to disconnect to raise the front. However, the site was long enough that if it had been level, we could have stayed connected up. It wasn’t bad for around $30/night for full hook-ups, but I think it is more of a stay a night or two kind of place. There was some noise from the highways and some frogs.

Posted in: Campground Review, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

French Quarter RV Resort, New Orleans LA: Campground Review

For our visit in New Orleans, we wanted to be close enough to walk into town. Parking can be a pain in the rear, especially with a truck, and New Orleans has limited free parking (even a lot of street parking is paid parking).

We stayed at the French Quarter RV Resort. It is outside of the French Quarter (on the other side of Rampart, the dividing line), but within walking distance to things. Most places were within a 20 to 30 minute walk, and Cafe Du Monde in the Quarter was a 22 minute walk. The RV Resort was on one of the bigger streets and by the highway, so we didn’t have to try to navigate around the French Quarter (which really would not work with bigger RV’s). Being so close to the highway made it easy to get to places, even if New Orleans loves one-way streets and U-turns.

French Quarter RV Resort in relation to the French Quarter. Outlined area is the French Quarter (per Bing).

Everything in the RV Resort was paved/cobblestone. It was mostly flat, although we did have to adjust a little. There was a lamp post between each spot with a number for the site. Each site was a 20/30/50 amp with full hook-ups and cable. The connection boxes were cute and also had a light around the top. All spots were back-in. There were not garbage cans around the park; you put your trash by the lamppost and someone collected it. There was a dumpster outside the gates. Each site had a little bit of grass and/or a palm tree (not enough for shade). Each site had a bump-out of sorts for vehicle parking. We fit without a problem.

Map of the French Quarter. Campground Map and TV guide.

Behind the office was the pool area. The pool was open, although it was not heated. There was also a hot tub and several lounge chairs and other seating in the pool area. The pool area also granted you access to the gym (had snack and drink vending machines), breakfast area (microwave, table/chairs, free coffee), laundry room, bathrooms/showers, and the pool and hot tub.

The laundry room could also be accessed from the campground street. The washers and dryers were some of the more expensive ones that we have used: regular sized washer $3.25/load, larger washer $4.50/load, and dryers were $2.25/load. The washers and dryers only accepted credit cards. There was a sign on the washers that said no American Express. There was not a vending machine for detergents/dryer sheets, so bring your own supplies (or there were several grocery stores within walking and driving distance). TIP: If you use laundry pods, I found that they did not dissolve on cold water cycle here. Sometimes they worked on warm, and on hot they dissolved. We ended up with several items with the pods stuck on after they went through unnoticed in the dryer. It is not fun trying to get a dried on laundry pod off of your clothing.

Pool, Breakfast area, bathroom/shower, gym, vending machines in gym room
Laundry room

They do accept mail, which made it really nice since we had some things we needed to order. However, they will not hold mail that arrives before your visit, so I would wait until you are there to start ordering. There was a spot for outgoing mail (envelopes/postcards) on the office counter.

FQRV was tucked into its location. Claiborne Ave and I-10 run along the entrance of the park. St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 and a processing plant was on one side, with a park on the other. The lot on the backside of the campground was under construction. It looked like they were building either a hotel or apartment buildings. It could be a little loud from air (helicopter/plane) and street noise.

The campground was gated and you needed a code for the car gate and the pedestrian gate. There was a night time security guard, although from our experience you still need the gate code to get in as you do not get an identifying hanger for your rear-view mirror. Due to its location (being near the highway and downtown area), it was not in the best area. However, the walls, entrance gate, and spikes on top of the walls, made us feel safe inside the campground. The underpasses frequently had homeless camps as well. The campground does recommend not walking back in the dark, and I would agree with that. If we were going to be out late, we drove. There were Ubers/Lifts/taxis around as well.

Although the campground did not have a camp store or restaurant, DoorDash and UberEats did deliver to the campground, you just needed to meet them at the gate.

The office had a book exchange shelf and tourist brochures by the poolside door.

WiFi is available, although it was listed as available mostly to the common areas, not through the campground. We were close enough to the pool/office, that we could get the signal. It was spotty at times though.

One con for us was the price. This was by far the most expensive campground/RV resort so far. When we booked in January 2020, we knew it would be more expensive as we were going over part of Carnival season. We paid half at booking and would pay the other half the day of check-in. However, when Mardi Gras was cancelled, the campground did not adjust what they charged us (even though the other days were more expensive due to Carnival/Mardi Gras season).

VIDEO: Campground Tour French Quarter RV Resort

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5 hitches

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

Laundry: Yes (credit card only, no American Express)

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes (4, separate rooms)

RV Sites: Back-in

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: No (no stakes allowed in ground)

Amenities:  gym, cable, free ice at ice machine by courtyard, premium sites have other things (outdoor furniture, gazebo, or grill)

Cabins: 1 condo available to rent (top floor of office)

Tent Camping: No

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

Pool: Yes, not heated

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: No

WiFi: Limited to common areas

Accepts Mail: Yes, but will not hold prior to arrival

Fishing: No


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