Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, December 28, 2019

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The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene and sometimes the staff of RVtravel.com

DISCLAIMER: Information is believed current at press time but conditions can change quickly. Check ahead for specifics about dates, rates and rules, as well as a campground’s location, site sizes and conditions, reservation policies and road conditions in the area. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

DATELINE: December 28, 2019

ALABAMA STATE PARK CLOSED FOR REPAIRS
Joe Wheeler State Park, Rogersville, suffered heavy storm damage and will remain closed for an indefinite time. Half the campground is described as “gone” and the day use area is completely devastated according to local reports. Bathhouses and picnic shelters were also damaged. Check local conditions before considering a trip there.

ARIZONA STATE PARK RETURNS TO THE ‘50s
Take a musical trip back to the 1950s at the annual Rockabilly Music Festival at Lake Havasu State Park. Campsites are priced $35 to $40 (for waterfront) and all have 50-amp power. Live bands play all three days, February 14-16. See a car and motorcycle show, shop the Vendor Village, eat at the Food Court, meet surprise celebrities. Grab tickets online for $15 before January 1, $20 after that. Kids ages 10 and under are free. Reserve a lengthy stay to enjoy the lake and Red Rock Country.

ARIZONA CAMPGROUND TO OFFER RESERVATIONS
Pima County’s Gilbert Ray Campground near Tucson will accept online reservations starting January 2, although some sites will remain open to first-come campers. Reservations come with a “convenience” fee. By 2021, all sites will be in the reservation system, which allows reservations up to one year ahead. In high season a seven-day limit applies. A credit card is required, no refunds will be made and the senior/Golden Age pass is not accepted. Note that weight restrictions apply to big rigs entering from Ajo Highway to Kinney Road.

CALIFORNIA STATE PARK SHRINKS
Oceano Dunes State Park has shrunk by 48 acres. The no-camping area is still park property but is fenced off and unavailable to vehicles due to environmental concerns.

FLORIDA MEGA-RESORT TO OPEN LATE 2020
East Milton in Northeastern Florida will have a new, 50-acre RV resort and water park that will be at least partially open by the end of next year. Planned are 300 RV sites plus cabins, yurts and other on-site camps. The name of the resort will be Splash RV Resort and Water Park.

MISSOURI OPENS NEW RV PARKING SPOT
They call it a Self-Park. It’s a new, paved, no-frills strip on a service road off I-44 in Sullivan where RV travelers can rent a parking spot for an overnight stop. Details are sketchy at this time. Call (573) 205-6678.

NEW FLORIDA RV RESORT NEAR THE VILLAGES
The massive settlement in Central Florida known as The Villages now has a neighboring campground at Sunkissed Village in Summerfield. The upscale community offers full hook-ups with 100-amp service, large paved pads with outdoor seating, high speed wi-fi and cable TV and a large clubhouse with commercial kitchen. The gated community has a fitness center, heated swimming pool, tiki bar with gas grill and a dog park with heated dog bath. A full-time activities director will plan a schedule of games, dance nights and poolside parties.

NEW YORK CAMPGROUND CELEBRATES 50TH
After 50 years the Triple R Camping Resort in Franklinville is turning itself into a splash park next year, adding to its tropical look after the opening of this year’s hot tub oasis. LeeKee Lagoon will open sometime in 2020 with tiki tables, lighted palm trees, cabanas and lockers. The official Grand Opening will take place in July. Deluxe sites have full hookups including cable, 50-amp power and wi-fi coverage. Regular RV sites have 50-amp power for an added fee.

SOUTH CAROLINA PARK HAS BIRD COUNT
Are you a bird watcher? You can help the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in its count of winter birds in North America by showing up before 8:30 a.m. on February 15 at the Visitor Center at Table Mountain State Park, Pickens. Take notes as you spot a variety of birds in wooded, weedy and wetland habitats. The park has two camping areas, both with restrooms and showers. One has 69 sites and one has 25 sites, all with water, electric and picnic table. Some sites can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet. The scenic park is the home of the tallest mountain that is totally within the state. Hike the trails, fish the lakes from the pier, paddle a rental boat.

TEXAS ADDS NEW RV RESORTS
• Tropical Trails RV Resort in Brownsville will open on January 1 with 240 sites. The resort will offer 30- and 50-amp service, full hookups, concrete pads, high-speed fiber optic internet, and both back-in and pull-through sites. Enter through the gated entry to find a resort with a large Jacuzzi, shuffleboard and pickleball, pool with sun decks, a fitness center, BBQ pits, a dog park and bathhouse with laundry.
• In Wylie, the new Lake Ray Hubbard RV Resort will also open January 1 with three acres of greenspace, security cameras, walking trails, workout room, laundry and an organic garden for guest use.

Stay Tuned

• The city council in Waco, Texas, has approved a proposed RV resort for the south bank of the Bosque River. The 100-acre plot is next to the McLennan Community College campus and will be joined to nearby Riverbend Park by a pedestrian bridge. The company behind the project also built Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Parks in Canyon Lake and Kerrville.

• By May or June a new uber-luxury RV resort will open, replacing a run-down site at Grand Lake, Oklahoma. Some of the RV sites will be waterfront, and The Regatta on Grand will have a gated entry, concierge and large community center.

Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her brand-new book, “March Malice, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com. See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.

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Gray
7 months ago

I do wonder… these ‘uber luxurious’ facilities, will they offer valet motor coach parking and setup with an enclosed toad shelter, pet grooming chalets, day-spa facilities for her, club lounge and massage relaxation for him, and concierge services for both? With gate guards at the entrance to keep out the lesser privileged? All under $150 per day plus convenience fees? This seems to be the direction our so-called “camping” is taking.

This, contrasted by camping prohibitions and municipal anti-parking ordinances proliferating as a result of fear and loathing of the hordes of homeless Americans increasingly infesting business districts and residential neighborhoods nationwide? I think we’re seeing a creeping onslaught of an invisible Depression situation reminiscent of the Dust Bowl years and its hordes of homeless refugees. They were regarded as trash then; we seem to regard homeless refugees as trash now.

Sorry to rain on anyone’s sunshine and marmalade happy attitudes, but the reality of the contrast is becoming pretty stark and grim. Perhaps we need some public-land Ghettos in the desert regions for the undesirables. Or is that already happening?

Captn John
7 months ago

Nice to see new sites coming. Not nearly enough but every one helps