Good bye Austin, New Orleans here we come

We said goodbye to family this morning and headed east. Our original plan was to drive to Lake Charles, Louisiana and stay at a casino tonight. On the way we made some cool stops, saw some neat things, and we ended up deciding to stop at the Rio RV Park again for the night. (See our review of Rio RV here.)

Burton, Texas train depot. Built in 1898 to the specifications of the Southern Pacific Railroad, this structure replaced the original from 1870 that had burned.

Neat old building with signage stating “Burton Auto Co.”. Might have been an early gas station.

Burton Farmers (Cotton) Gin built in 1914. Originally steam powered, it continued in operation until 1974.

New Mural in Brenham, Texas

Detail of mural painting

Built in 1870 for prominent banker, lawyer and landowner Jabez Giddings, this historic mansion in Brenham is known as the Giddings-Stone house.

Rio RV Park has recovered from Hurricane Harvey

When looking for an RV park east of Houston that accepted Passport America Rio RV Park on Turtle Bayou made my short list. We ended up stopping here after our drive from Austin. I did call ahead to make sure there was space available. The Passport America rate was $22.00/night.

The park is right off of I-10 near Wallis. A very nice husband and wife couple are managers. We were escorted to our site, and given a choice. We opted for a newly placed concrete pad, a back-in site.

New, level concrete pad with full hook ups

The hurricane had flooded the lower level of the park. Our hostess said that four (4) units were swept away and the water level was neck high! Our site was part of the reconstruction.

Looking up to the upper level, laundry restroom building on the left

This is a very nice park that is gated at night. Local over the air TV is more than adequate, and free WiFi is available anywhere in the park. The WiFi service is pretty good, however it did slow considerably in the evening. There is a nice restroom and laundry building. We recommend the Rio RV Park. Here is their website.

Home Sweet Home: An RV park in Texarkana, Texas

Home Sweet Home RV Park just west of Texarkana, Texas is a comfortable full hook up RV park. This is not a large facility (48 sites) but the sites are level on stone. The roads are stone and wide enough for easy driving of any size rig. The park has both back in and pull thru sites. Sher and I recommend this park if you are in the Texarkana area.

The normal rate is $30 a night, but we used our Passport America card and only paid $15. For a park with full hook ups and free WiFi, fifteen bucks is a great deal. The hook ups included cable TV. The WiFi worked well, although I had to re-connect a few times the morning we left. Note that all of the electric shore power posts have 50 amp plug configuration. You’ll need an adapter for your 30 amp plug. There is an on site laundry.

Wide gravel roads and level, stone base sites

This is a unique park in that the office is located in the Tire Store next door. Make sure to call ahead to let them know you are coming. The office is open from 8 to 5:30. We arrived right at 5:30 and were met by the park host. He showed us our spot and said we could go to the office in the morning to settle up. This is a very nice, no frills RV park. The management couldn’t be nicer and willing to help in any way. Here is the Home Sweet Home RV Park website with all pertinent information.

Passport America saves 50% on camping plus get 6 months free membership

If you have any plans for any kind of camping and plan on staying at commercial parks and campgrounds, you owe it to yourself to invest in a membership in Passport America. This discount club offers half price camping at over 1900 campgrounds across the US, Canada and Mexico. The yearly fee is only $44.00, and if you join through our member number, C-647737 thru January 2018 you will get 6 months free membership.

Some of the features that come with membership:
All new International Camping Directory with nearly 1,900 RV Parks and Campgrounds
Personalized embossed 50% discount camping card
FREE trip routing, campground updates & valuable info on-line 24/7
FREE Smart Phone App with complete park listings and “Find Park Near Me” feature
FREE RV America E-Magazine with updates on new parks
A friendly and professional staff who is always happy to serve you!

A welcome sign to see at your next campground!

This is a no-brainer, folks. You will pay for the membership after a couple of nights of 50% off camping fees! On our way from Indiana to Texas we have saved $30 in camping fees and stayed at nice RV parks with WiFi and full hook ups. Remember to join with our referral number C-647737 before the end of January 2018 to get 6 months free membership! Go to the Passport America website for information and to join! You’ll be glad you did.

Tanbark Campground near Nashville accepts Passport America

About 45 miles west of Nashville, Tennessee on I-40 you will come across the Tanbark Campground. It is very close to the interstate Exit 163. We found the campground on the Passport America website. We got to the grounds at about 5 in the afternoon on the day after Christmas. We had left central Indiana on our way to Texas and were hoping for some warmer weather. Alas, the overnight low was to be 20, according to our host and campground owner Richard Reifer.

The office building with the restrooms

Our site was very close to the office, gravel base and very level. With the temperature being low, we did not have water hook up, though the spigot did function if I needed water. We did not need or use the restrooms or laundry. No cable, but over the air TV from nearby Nashville provided ample channel selection. Of note is the very good free WiFi available. As most RV’ers know, free WiFi advertised at most RV parks is somewhat of a myth. Not so at Tanbark: the WiFi was strong and we both had our laptops in use with no slowdowns or interrupted service.

The sites are fairly close together. Our was on gravel but was level. Roads are well maintained gravel.

While we stayed only one night, your PA card is valid for three nights except on holidays. The PA rate is $14, and checks or cash are the only accepted payment means. This is a comfortable, reasonably priced facility. There is gas and food at Exit 163 which is most convenient. Yes, we would recommend Tanbark Campground. The phone # is 615-441-1613, and here is their website.

Deer Ridge Camping Resort is one of Indiana’s finest

Welcome sign

Welcome sign

Nestled right off I-70 at Exit 153 the RV traveler will find a delightful campground. The Deer Ridge Camping Resort is close to Richmond in the far eastern part of the state, between Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.

This RV park is one of those campgrounds that immediately makes you feel at home. The owners are always there to insure that you want for nothing during your stay. With 30 years of camping under their belts, both Scott and Pat know what makes camping a fun and safe experience.

The nuts and bolts: all roads are gravel in excellent condition, sites are mostly grass with picnic tables and many fire rings are available. Layout allows for easy maneuvering for even big rigs or long fivers. All sites have water, sewer and electric. Rates are reasonable and all discount programs are honored and vets get a 15% discount.

Inviting you to a swim

Inviting you to a summer swim

Critters at the mini-golf course

Critters at the mini-golf course

Amenities include lovely playgrounds for the kids, a fun animal themed mini-golf course, large pavilion and one of the cleanest swimming pools we have ever had the pleasure to use. The main building houses a couple of pool tables, restrooms, laundry and plenty of books to read. 24 hour WiFi is on in the lounge. Within the building you will find the office/store. Also be sure to note the nostalgic decorations in the lounge. Boomers for sure will get a kick out of the collection.

Well groomed grounds

Well groomed grounds

Showers, bathrooms and pool house

Showers, bathrooms and pool house

Ice, propane and firewood are available for purchase. Scott personally delivered our firewood to our site and even threw in a pile of kindling which enabled an easy fire start. (The s’mores were great as usual!)

This campground should be on anyone’s list of stops in East Central Indiana. Scott and Pat are gracious, peaceful people who really make you feel part of the Deer Ridge family. You will enjoy your stay, be it for a night or longer. Here is the Deer Ridge website with all details.

Our very nice site near the pool.

Our very nice site near the pool.

Little Farm on the River RV Resort

Our campsite next to the Ohio River

Our campsite next to the Ohio River

Sher and I were fortunate to have a couple of days with our 10 year old granddaughter while she was on Spring Break. She wanted to camp, so I booked a night at the Little Farm on the River RV Resort. Located on the Ohio River between Lawrenceburg and Vevay, Indiana, this park is really a gem on the waters.

Little Farm RV park is divided into two seperate camping areas. One is right next to the river while the other is about 300 yards away and is the site of the office and store. There is a  great one acre catch and release fishing pond near the office. The views of the Ohio River from the river sites are up close and personal.

The staff at this park is stellar. They delivered our purchased firewood right to the firepit. Dave even threw in enough kindling pieces to insure a great fire start. My were those S’mores delicious! Our site was level and had full hook-ups. Roy is the onsite maintenance manager and is also very knowledgeable in RV service and repairs. There are very few RV issues that he can’t handle on site.

Enjoying the campfire & making S'mores

Enjoying the campfire & making S’mores

It was fun watching the coal barges on the river

It was fun watching the coal barges on the river

We chose to have a site on the river. What a treat to camp on such a quiet site. The stars were out in force, the night sounds lulled us to sleep. Another bonus of the river sites comes several times when the barge traffic passes slowly up river.

This park hosts several rallies each year. In addition there are fun activities and events scheduled around all the fair weather holidays including Halloween. Fishing Derbys are held each Saturday. Kids and adults alike will enjoy corn hole tourneys, arcades, biking and hay rides. Seems like there is always something exciting going on at the Little Farm on the River RV Park!

Reservations are suggested, please check the website here. Ask about Passport America discounts when you  make your reservation. Plan on a stay at this friendly, safe and fun RV park if your travels take you near Cincinnati,

Indianapolis or Louisville. You won’t be disappointed.

One of two large, clean bath and laundry buildings

One of two large, clean bath and laundry buildings

Whispering Palms RV Park is a gem in Tucson

IMG_3579Every once in while Sher and I find what we consider an exceptional RV park. We have found one such park here in Tucson. We normally stay at most for two or three nights, however we are enjoying Tucson and the weather! We have decided to spend a month at the Whispering Palms RV Park on the north side of town. The park is minutes from downtown and close to I-10 for easy access in either direction.

Whispering Palms has 81 spaces deep enough for big rigs. All of the spaces are back ins, however they are a full 20′ wide for easy placement of your rig.  Pull through may be an option depending on occupancy of adjacent sites. The sites are all level on gravel. Of course there are full hook ups at each site. Long term stays may have cable TV and internet service from a local cable company. The electric service panels have been updated with 20/30/50 plugs at each spot.

Cactus and grapefruit

Cactus and grapefruit

This park has been under new ownership for a couple of years. The new owners have spent a lot on upgrades including newly remodeled restrooms with showers and several large commercial washers and dryers in the laundry room. In addition there is a  new swimming pool and covered picnic area.

The onsite manager is most enjoyable to interact with. Anna was here when the new owners took over and has been insturmental in making this one of the nicest parks you will ever find. The grounds are immaculate and the landscaping is just enough to add to the south west feel of the area.

This has become one of the most sought after RV parks in the Tucson area. Tucson has many special events like the Gem and Mineral Shows with thousands of people coming to town. Make sure you call ahead or go to the park website and make reservations as soon as you as you know your travel plans. Whispering Palms is a member park of Passport America, Good Sam and Enjoy America. Be sure to mention these when you call to check the availablity of these potential discounts.

If you are looking for a resort style place with a big clubhouse, shuffleboard tournaments or bingo then this is not the RV Park for you. But, if you want a clean, safe, friendy and affordable place to stop for a night, week or long term in Tucson then Whispering Palms is the place for you.

Extra wide and deep sites

Extra wide and deep sites


Newly refurbished pool

Newly refurbished pool

New picnic shelter, pool in background

New picnic shelter, pool in background

Check the dryer first

Yes, those are leopard sheets...

Yes, those are leopard sheets…

There is something about coming off of a long weekend festival and heading to a campground for a little rest, relaxation and doing some laundry.

The campground was nice, great roads, only 15 bucks with the Passport America discount and the laundry was only about seven sites away. Ok, it was small, two washers and two dryers. One dryer had an “Out of order: does not spin” sign on the door with the coin slots taped shut. Ok, I got that. A couple of loads won’t be bad, waiting for the one dryer.

Two loads started, no sweat. First load into the dryer: coins in, heat level set for high, start buton pushed. Well, 30 minutes later the laundry is still wet. Long story short, this dryer had no trouble spining. It just didn’t provide any heat. The result was turning the Four Winds 22E into a clothes line.

When checking out that campground laundry, check the dryers first.

Shady Trails Family Campground

Entrance to the campground

Entrance to the campground

Sometimes you find a campground that, for your use, just works well. Shady Trails Family Campground is near Hillsboro, Ohio and close to Rocky Fork Lake. You can see a portion of the huge lake from the entrance to the campground, and there is a public dock and boat ramps a half mile from the campground.. Primarily filled with seasonal campers, this campground does have several nice spots for transient travelers.

The owners are starting their first season as the new owners of the facility. The facilities are not fancy, but the rest rooms and showers are very clean as is the small laundry room. There is a nice playground for the kids and a large shelter house for picnics and other gatherings. Propane, ice and firewood are available.

The park is hilly with decent roads. Extra long rigs will have to be careful negotiating some of the turns.The sites are level and each has a nice concrete pad for the picnic table. Most sites also have a fire ring. This facility is very pretty with lots of trees. The campgrounds offer nice tent camping sites, too.

The rates are very reasonable and extremely reasonable ($12.50 a nite midweek) with your Passport America discount. Shady Trails is open from April through October. It features full hooks-up including 30 and 50 amp, some pull thru and some accomodate double slides. Check the Shady Trails website for the number and other information.

I would recommend this campground for its price, beauty, very nice and helpful owners and the peace and quiet.  I have to also say that their free WiFi is very strong and fast. This campground is worth a look if you are in the area.

Short term sites on the right, seasonal on the left

Short term sites on the right, seasonal on the left

The camp office

The camp office