Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Readers have spoken: These campgrounds and RV parks have the best customer service


Last week, we asked readers to share what they considered to be some of the best customer service they’ve seen or experienced at campgrounds and RV parks during their travels. Nearly 100 of you responded. It turns out that there are still a lot of campground owners, managers, and staff out there who are putting guest service above all else.

Here’s a sampling of your responses. Thanks to all who shared their stories. It’s good to know that the dedication to service is still alive at American parks.

Sean Barton found a tent site in an RV-only park in Morro Bay, CA

“When I was younger and fresh from military service, I had a tent and was hitchhiking up the coast of California. My second evening, I was in a small town called Morro Bay. The only campground I found on my route was RV-only, and the manager told me all of the spots were reserved… ‘Sorry.’ As I turned away, he said he had a large lawn out back and I could pitch my tent there – free – for the night. After I got set up, his wife brought me some amazing pot roast, then later ice cream, claiming she’d ‘made too much.’ That act of kindness changed my whole outlook on life, and I now help people when I can, and only ask that it get paid forward.”

Tim Conners likes Pheasant Ridge RV Resort in Wilsonville, OR

“While we were wintering here they had a propane refilling tank on site. All you had to do was request propane through the office and set your tank(s) out at the rear of your RV. The park staff would pick up your tanks, refill, and deliver them back to you (with a bill, of course).“

Nancy Lamoreau likes 2E RV Guest Ranch Resort in Bandera, TX

“My dog and I were staying at Twin Elms 2E RV Park in Bandera, TX, back in 2016. I went out on the trail (it’s also a Dude Ranch with lots of acreage) with a couple of kids belonging to a family also staying there, and my dog, Mocha Latte. My dog ran free since he had a knack for tracking deer and bringing them in front of me. Not that I’ll shoot the deer, but it was an instinct of one of the breeds in him. Usually, he would beat me back to the RV site but this one occasion he didn’t turn up. The camp host and another tenant got their horse and mule hitched up to go search for him. I went on foot. When we didn’t spot him, the office was notified and they got their ATV out to also look. Still no dog. The office called the neighbors. The SPCA (sheriff) was called but no dog. I never will forget all that was done to help with my dog.” (For those of you wondering, sadly this story didn’t end well for the dog.)

Elizabeth Carter likes Badlands/White River KOA Holiday in Interior, SD

“We have over 60 years of camping/RV experience and consider ourselves to have benefited greatly by keeping our rigs small, our needs simple, and our attitudes flexible. As a result, we had no qualms about starting out on a seven-week, 7,000 mile trip in April of this year. Along the way, we had many positive interactions with campgrounds that it is hard to pinpoint just one. We did have an especially good experience at Badlands/White River KOA Holiday in Interior, South Dakota. We had turned eastward on I-90 at Rapid City and got a reservation for two nights on our way to Madison, WI. The weather was terrible, and we were so glad to get there and get battened down for a rainy and windy night. We were escorted to our site and found we were parked next door to our escort. He stayed to get us hooked up and settled.

“The next day I started looking for reservations for the days ahead and for the weekend in Madison. I had forgotten that it was Memorial Day weekend! I consulted with Karen, the owner/manager of White River Badlands KOA. She assured me that she would find a place to put us, that there would probably be cancellations and, if not, we could stay in the parking lot. The next morning she knocked on the door and asked if we were willing to move. If so, she had a spot for the next four days. We were delighted to move and as it turned out, we were able to stay in that spot until we left on Sunday morning. All of the staff were pleasant and helpful throughout our stay, making us feel comfortable and at home. We will go out of our way to stay with them again.”

Ann Western likes Cedar Cove RV Park in Elephant Butte, NM

“I stayed at Cedar Cove RV Park in Elephant Butte, NM, almost three years ago, and want to say the nicest people run it and they have quiet, lovely guests. It’s near Elephant Butte so there is lots to do. I felt very safe being alone.”

Tony Grigg likes Rayburn Park COE Campground on Lake Sam Rayburn, TX

“It’s a gorgeous site on the remote tip of a peninsula extending well out into this very large lake. When we arrived a camp host was SWEEPING our site parking pad and picking up a few small bits of litter. Another was raking up pine needles and twigs along the side of the entry road. ({bleeped}!). Each day, in the early evening, a host in a golf cart arrived in a clearing nearby and started banging on the bottom of an empty bucket. The deep booming sounds traveled through the surrounding woods and deer began to emerge from the forest. The host then poured dry feed on the ground and drove away, leaving the deer and delighted guests to enjoy the experience.”

Mike Johnson likes the Longhorn Ranch Lodge & RV Resort in Dubois, WY

“On our first evening at the Longhorn Ranch Campground in Dubois, Wyoming, I was unable to get the cable TV hookup to work. It was close to time for the office to close when I called and asked for advice. They told me the maintenance man had run an errand to town but would get back to me first thing the following morning. We were surprised when about an hour later, well after office hours, there was a knock on the door and it was the maintenance guy. He got us fixed up. It was a setting on the TV itself I had overlooked. But not only did he get us running late that evening, he stuck around and gave us some valuable tips on where in town to eat and get groceries and the best and worst times for us to ride our motorcycles up through the Tetons and Yellowstone and over to Jackson Hole.”

Richard Bauer likes Coyote Valley RV Resort in Morgan Hill, CA

“We really haven’t had all that many bad CG/RV Park experiences since we started this RV thing back in 1986. but I do want to salute one park for their caring attitude. My brother-in-law passed away in San Jose, CA, back in March. We didn’t find out until two days after he was gone that my wife and I were chosen to be his successor trustees and we had no idea what he owned or owed. And to top it off, my wonderful brother-in-law…really, I considered him my brother…was a hoarder. Not quite as bad as the TV show but pretty close.

“We live in Illinois and his home was unlivable so we decided to travel to California in our class A motorhome. After researching area parks it became clear there were really only two choices of parks that met our criteria – primarily close to my brother-in-law’s home since we would be spending a lot of time there, and a park that had a clear sky for our rooftop sat dish. I called both parks (the Coyote Valley RV Resort [CVRV] and another) both in Morgan Hill, CA. We were not sure how long we would need to be in California and were unsure of availability, so I called both.

“The reps from both parks were friendly and after explaining our situation they set about to try and help us get a spot. The first park told us they could only guarantee a three-week stay. if we needed more time we would need to submit to a criminal and credit background check. To do that we would have to complete a long application and pay a $30 fee…for each person. CVRV asked us to fill out a much shorter application with just basic information. We submitted applications to both.

“We never heard back from the first park so we just assumed we had somehow failed despite my 30-year career in public safety comms and a joint credit score of 800+. However, we did hear back from Elizabeth at CVRV and after confirming a few basic facts she asked how long we would need a spot. Still not knowing how bad the house was going to be, I told her at least 6-8 weeks and possibly more. She replied that she would block off a spot for 4 months and assured me that we could keep that spot for as long as we needed. She also said that we would have a space with a clear view of the southern sky. We paid the initial deposit then and there. Several weeks later we departed from our home and arrived at CVRV 10 days later. We have a very wide corner pull-thru site. Everyone from the desk clerks to maintenance to the parking assistants has been super. Not long after we arrived, parked, and hooked up at CVRV we got a phone call from, guess who… the other park. The gentleman politely inquired where we were as we were expected to check in. I told him that nobody from his park had contacted us and that we had made other arrangements, which seemed to surprise him. Whether by luck or design we made the right choice.”

Liz Wharton likes Historic Blakeley State Park Campground in Alabama

“At the beginning of the pandemic, you remember how campgrounds closed doors on RVers? What consternation that caused so many of us!

“We closed on our house in Alabama toward the end of March. Our plan had been to travel west visiting our shortlist of ‘places to settle down’ while also visiting friends and taking a fun, easy time of it. Wahahaha! By the time the house closed, our stuff settled in its storage unit, the RV was finished with our ‘Hudson’s Bay stop’ at a nearby state park – parks across the nation were shuttering!

“We went up 225 and got a site at Blakeley Historic Park, the site of the last gasps of the Civil War. We were there only a couple of weeks when the park board decided to close the park! We petitioned the work campers and manager at the park, asking to stay because with my kidney transplant we were super vulnerable and wanted to stay near doctors who knew us, just in case. They said they would get back to us.

“Hustling down to Meaher State Park, we were told they didn’t know when they would close. We stayed there for a couple of weeks with the staff so kindly keeping us informed. There were lots of walking trails, a boardwalk out into Mobile Bay, sunsets and fellow campers who were just as worried about traveling.

“One afternoon, Blakeley Historic Park called us. They said the park was staying closed but that we could come up, they gave us the gate code and told us our new site number! The staff at the park and these TwoGalsGo’ers were the only ones there for 3-4 months. What a bounty of caring, generosity and beauty we experienced. Miles of hiking trails, mounded snaking redux and redoubt mounds built by the boys of the Union and Confederate forces, birds, deer in our ‘yard’, sunsets over the Tensaw River, it was the truest form of ‘safe haven’.

“We were there until the park eventually opened to masked campers and equestrians and we decided to risk heading west as fast as we could go.

“I’ll never forget the staff, work campers and fellow campers at Meaher State Park and Blakeley Historic Park in south Alabama. Their kindness in sheltering us was way over the top!”

Bruce Wallace likes Seven Feathers RV Resort in Canyonville, OR

“Fantastic service beginning with reservation and confirmation. Welcomed by resort personnel to include check-in and guidance to site. Awesome landscaping and facilities, so neat and clean. I’ve been there three times with the same great experience. Five stars!”

Editor’s note: More on Seven Feathers here

Ann Goebel likes Cooks RV Motor Park in Springfield, MO

“It is so refreshing to have the owners greet you at the entrance and guide you to your site and assist with the parking. They couldn’t have been nicer and the park was full so we know they were busy with other chores. It’s the little things that keep all of us going back to a park that cares.”

Ted Borsted likes the Mitchell KOA Journey in Mitchell, SD

“When we unhooked the toad for some reason the battery was dead. The staff (I think it was one of the owners) came out with jumper cables and got the car started. What a nice helpful gesture. This was in June 2021.”

Jim Mackey likes Coastal Georgia RV Resort in Brunswick, GA

“I like to rate the campgrounds I go to as the overall visit. One of the best, and most consistent customer service-friendly campgrounds, is Coastal Georgia RV Park in Brunswick. They are always super friendly, make you feel at home, and every single site is clean no matter what time of year you are there. It’s a great stopover if you’re on your way up from Florida or down from South Carolina, where I live.”

Cathy Bentz likes Fossil Valley RV Park in Vernal, Utah

“Fossil Valley RV Park in Vernal, Utah, has been one of the best so far. Everything they have recommended has been spot on – even with ‘campground crowding’ they even extended our stay for another day. When arriving you actually get to choose your site and most are shaded. This campground is one that we would highly recommend.”

Kenneth Pier likes Grand Ole RV Resort & Market in Goodlettsville, TN

“November of 2018 was our first journey as snowbirds. On the recommendation of an RV friend who had stayed there, we scheduled a two-week stay at Grand Ole RV Resort and Market in Goodlettsville, TN. There was torrential rain a few days, thunderstorms and tornado warnings, and in a nearby stream some debris got caught up in a culvert. The campground flooded. I thought we were going to lose our RV. The water came about two inches from the floor of our RV and stopped there; the water then receded. The water came up fast and went down just as fast. The next day the owner of Grand Ole RV checked on us, offered to help if we needed anything. Gave me the two weeks at an extreme discount. All the people that work there are just as friendly and nice as can be. We have been going back there twice a year ever since. We are staying for three weeks this fall and one month next April on the way home. Nicest RV Park I have ever used.”

Cheryl Pratt likes LCRA Black Rock Park at Buchanan Dam, TX

“We were at LCRA Black Rock Campground when a sudden storm came through. Sideway winds, massive amounts of rain in minutes, flooding. The park hosts came through warning everyone prior to the storm and then immediately checked on everyone right after the storm. Minor damage to the bathhouse but no harm to campers. Super nice, caring hosts!”

Paul Goldberg likes High Gardens RV Park in Florence, CO

“The receptionist walked down the road to our spot and pointed to it, letting me decide whether to just drive in or request guidance. This is one step above providing guidance into a straight pull-through where any experienced RVer can do it on their own. Options are good. Another great experience in the same campground. I pulled up to the office to do some business and I had a bag of trash on the hood of the car to remind me to dump it. When I came back I realized the ground worker spotted it and took it to the dumpster for me. This is at a new campground – High Gardens RV Park in Florence, Colorado. It is still being built, but a very nice place to be for four days. The big attraction is Royal Gorge.”

Susan Stills likes Railside RV Ranch in Williams, AZ

“A few years ago we made reservations at Railside RV Ranch in Williams, Arizona. We were going to ride the train into the Grand Canyon and also visit Sedona and Jerome. When we arrived, the people at the front desk were very nice and accommodating. We found the restrooms were spotless and the laundry area as well. Each morning there was a complimentary breakfast that included waffles, and you could have sausage for a small fee. There was free coffee and orange juice. This in itself was so nice as we had never encountered that before at a campground. The staff would help you with anything you needed. We met the owner one day and were impressed that she said she remembers anyone that reserves a campsite, past or present. I remember one morning a downpour of rain came and some of the campers and their children tried to leave but didn’t have an umbrella so the staff provided one from their store to them so they could get back safely. This was a camper’s dream of an RV place that went the extra mile.”

Eric Johnson likes the Take-It-Easy RV Resort in Kerrville, TX

“We stayed at the Take-It-Easy RV Resort in Kerrville, Texas, Jan-Feb 2020. It was by far our best camping experience. The people who staff it are friendly and helpful. The facilities were perfect and everything was clean and they kept the campground in excellent condition. When we arrived, they took us to another site to check it out because they thought it would be a better fit for us. They were correct. We were there two months and we loved every minute of it.”

Robert Cordy likes … well, we can’t tell you the campground name

“In early 2020 my wife and I were in the midst of a three-month road trip to Washington state, Southern California, Houston, and home. Of course, that put us in the middle of the early COVID-19 pandemic days. About mid-March we were getting calls and emails that most of our campground reservations were cancelled. We even arrived to check in at one casino campground to find all the gates and doors locked – no advance notice, nobody there! Now being a bit concerned, I spent a lot of time trying to find campgrounds and RV parks that would take us, mostly to no avail. But in talking to one RV park – the owner it turns out – she explained that the local county’s new regulations prohibited short-term occupants unless they were employees of the RV park. So, the always-thinking (obviously) owner offered me a job as an unpaid volunteer employee! I accepted and we had a fine overnight stay. Not surprisingly, I was given no work assignment. That was the most memorable campground/RV park guest experience we’ve had in 30 years! (The RV park was in central Utah, but I’ve withheld the park’s name to protect them from their very generous and creative interpretation of the law.)”

Gill Watts likes Gulf State Park Campground in Gulf Shores, AL

“Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores AL. Friendly. Helpful. And a beautiful, well-cared-for, full-service park. Close to a great Gulf beach. Did I mention FRIENDLY?”

More great customer experiences next week. See you then.


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Ellen L
1 year ago

I work camp at Ocala North RV Resort in Reddick, FL. We are halfway between Ocala and Gainesville just off I-75. I did not submit anything about my park because I work there and am biased 😉 It’s a pleasure to see that we already do many of the things mentioned by others – escort to site, pick up trash at campsite, pick up fill and deliver propane tanks. I tell people making reservation to go to the website and pull up the map. Then I help them pick out the site they want. Also, if they see a better site when they get here and it’s available, they can move. That’s why we have wheels. I want them to be happy – as in Happy Campers.

1 year ago

Good thing for Mr. Bauer they did not have kids because Coyote Valley RV Resort in Morgan Hill is notorious for causing severe emotional distress to children. We stayed there a year and the staff’s children exposed numerous and innocent children to bad language, and explocit material. The theft of personal property is an issue as well. The owner is in great denial of all said circumstances, but may have changed her mind after running off the “king pin” staff offender, but until then her aggressive and bullied attitude was way too much! I know at least 6 couples in that year, that will confirm, with fact.

1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

Welcome to California , most people can’t drive right either. Most young parents today all over the country don’t raise kids right. We would of gotten our butts whipped. I’ve been an rv’er for 25 years and have seen the worse parks that have kids in them. I love the resorts for 55 and over

Montgomery Bonner
1 year ago

We have had lots of great campgrounds in our travels. Too many to list. And If I tell you, then I wont be able to get in because you are there. Suffice to say, there are lots of folks working and owning CG who daily go beyond the call of duty dealing with too many people who really aint got a clue. Thank you to all of them.

1 year ago

I enjoyed reading all of these great experiences. Very encouraging. I look forward to next week’s motivating reviews.

Lee Ann B.
1 year ago

I want to second the opinion of Historic Blakely State Park near Mobile, AL. We have wintered there two different years from a one month stay to a three month stay. Not only is it a great park with fabulous rv sites and lots to do, it is near so much more. Our three month stay included the Mardi Gras season which shouldn’t be missed! The workampers and park staff provided great service and information; even helping us find a better site when the gutters on our fifth wheel couldn’t get past an annoying tree while avoiding a tree on the other side trying to pull in. Said tree was trimmed shortly after 🙂

1 year ago
Reply to  Lee Ann B.

I moved my best friends to just outside of mobile AL. I stayed in an Rv park 2 miles off the interstate 10 and it was the cutest park I’ve ever been in. Love the people too. This park has 40 spaces and family owned.

Richard Carlson
1 year ago

What a wonderful change from normal! It’s usually the unhappy people who post on FB and other groups. This has re-energized me to go out and look for the good in the world.

1 year ago

Campground amenities are nice, but as demonstrated in these testimonials it’s the customer service that made the difference. Hands down when we treat others with kindness we make our little corner of the world a better place for ourselves and others.

1 year ago
Reply to  Jill

Couldn’t have said it better myself. 😀

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

I visited Yellow Stone NP and Mesa Verde NP in June 2021, both are short on staff, both are short on volunteers. I bet they would appreciate your help if you contact them.

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