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Old 10-16-2017, 01:11 PM   #1
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Picking a RV site for first time visit?

When looking for a RV site how do you select your destination?

I've been using RV Park Reviews and I'm noticing a trend (at least in south/central Texas) that the RV sites are either permanent RV parks with little daily sites, a concrete slob of parking spaces, or the park/sites are so packed that their isn't a lot of room between RV's/Trailers. The last park we stayed out looked like a resort on the website only to find that the distance between RV/trailers were less than 3 feet and the resort was a small pool with no amenities close to what they said they offered.


For the more experienced RV'ers, what advice would you give me in finding a good place to stay for weekend travel? Or, am I really seeing a poor quality in Central/South Texas? It does seem the northern states have great parks with plenty of space and scenery.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:42 PM   #2
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"Central/South TX" is a large area. If you are RVing in and around the Eagle-Ford shale, many commercial parks have been created for or taken over by full-time oil workers.

Non-commercial campgrounds (State parks, COE parks, etc.) will almost always be nicer and are the first places we look to when we plan on camping, whether in TX or elsewhere.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:46 PM   #3
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Here is my opinion from the upper Midwest. Around these parts you have two major chains. They both do a great job of packing them in (not as close as you mentioned but definitely closer than I'd like). One of those chains caters more to occasional visitors and the other to seasonal memberships or campsite ownerships. There are public campgrounds (state and national parks). The campsites are HUGE but you'll rarely find full hookups--although a few days ago we were at one of the few in Indiana that offer full hookups. What's left (privately owned campgrounds) can be absolutely wonderful, just OK or terrible. I use the website you mentioned and also look at rvparky.com, Yahoo reviews, etc. Unfortunately it takes a lot of cyber time to find really great campgrounds. One thing you should do, after going to a campground, let others know about your experience--good or bad--by sending your reviews in. Many folks only post negative reviews but I'll do good ones also. If folks see good reviews, they'll want to go there also.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:48 PM   #4
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We much prefer state parks over commercial campgrounds. Fewer amenities, but more spacious sites. We like the miles of hiking trails that are found in many state parks.
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Old 10-16-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
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Google earth works good too for trying to interpret where on the scale from reality to fairytale the RV park marketing falls. I usually check the satellite view and sometimes streetview gives a reasonable look as well.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:04 PM   #6
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A Northern CA perspective.

I'll echo State Parks, National Parks, COE CG are our preference. Full hook-up privately owned RV Parks/Resorts tend to be extremely tightly spaced. There are a couple exception, but it is rare.

We also found that there are different kinds of campers and that dramatically impacts people's reviews. We are outside with the kids and a campfire every night type of camper. Yet I see many that prefer to stay in and enjoy the amenities of their RV. I find the former compromises for more space while the latter compromises for full hookups.

The first time to an area is a crapshoot. In the beginning when ever we were there we would tour all the CG options and note locations and sites we would want the next time.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:05 PM   #7
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A Northern CA perspective.

I'll echo State Parks, National Parks, COE CG are our preference. Full hook-up privately owned RV Parks/Resorts tend to be extremely tightly spaced. There are a couple exception, but it is rare.

We also found that there are different kinds of campers and that dramatically impacts people's reviews. We are outside with the kids and a campfire every night type of camper. Yet I see many that prefer to stay in and enjoy the amenities of their RV. I find the former compromises for more space while the latter compromises for full hookups.

The first time to an area is a crapshoot. In the beginning when ever we were there we would tour all the CG options and note locations and sites we would want the next time.
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Old 10-16-2017, 03:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC Roamer View Post
We much prefer state parks over commercial campgrounds. Fewer amenities, but more spacious sites. We like the miles of hiking trails that are found in many state parks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCK View Post
Google earth works good too for trying to interpret where on the scale from reality to fairytale the RV park marketing falls. I usually check the satellite view and sometimes streetview gives a reasonable look as well.
We found a new COE campground by accident over July 4 holiday when we were out joyriding in our boat. I'd seen this place on the map but didn't give it much thought because it was farther off the beaten path. But after seeing it from the water, we both decided we needed to give it a try.

It was great. Plenty of room. Great camp hosts and beautiful vistas.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:44 AM   #9
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I am somewhat partial to commercial site rather than state parks. In many cases, I go camping with friends so having close lots is many times a benefit for us. State parks are good when I go by myself and want a big open area, however I have found many of the state parks sites have no services. I can deal with no power, even though I dont really like hearing generators all day, having power is nice because of this. However, I have 7 kids so there are 9 of us in the RV. If we plan on staying for more than a few days, I HAVE to have water and dump hookups. Doing dishes and showers for that many cause my grey tank to fill at a VERY fast rate. Due to such, I tend to find campgrounds with full hookups. In my state, it is VERY rare to find a state park with full hookups, Some have power and water, but very very few have sewer.

I also tend to prefer commercial sites because of the customer service. The owners know that you are their income and because of that, most of them are very nice. They also know we RV'ers seems to talk a lot so they know if they are not nice, we spread the word and they lose business. State parks run like a typical govt setup. Getting anything fixed or done at your site will be done whenever they feel like it. Many of the park attendants are not all that personable either. There have been a few exceptions, like the attendants at the Riana Campground at Abiquiu Lake are fantastic, but other campgrounds not so much.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redenbacher View Post
Here is my opinion from the upper Midwest. The campsites are HUGE but you'll rarely find full hookups--although a few days ago we were at one of the few in Indiana that offer full hookups.
Can you please elaborate where in IND do they have full hookup?
I like the state parks but the ones in IND do seem a bit cramped and only have electric with a general water spigot at bath house . I have stayed at O'bannon Woods State Park a few times and also some private campgrounds. I prefer the full hookup so I don't have to hookup again to empty my tanks.
The state parks in OH usually have only one or two full-hookups and the rest are electric only with shared water by bathhouse
Thank You
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