Nov 222015

We’ve stayed at a lot of campgrounds in our 16+ years of fulltime RV travel, some really nice places and some not so nice. There are campgrounds that we return to on a regular basis, and others where one stop was more than enough.

RVers often ask us what our favorite campgrounds are. Sometimes I feel like that would be akin to telling you where my favorite fishing hole is. What if the word gets out and pretty soon the place is so full that they don’t have room for me?

Every few years I post a list of our favorite campgrounds, and since I don’t have anything else to talk about today, I thought I’d update it.

Elkhart Campground, Elkhart, Indiana – No question about it, this is our favorite campground in the entire country. It is centrally located to a lot of places we regularly frequent, Elkhart is the capital of the RV industry, the campground is clean and well maintained, the RV sites are wide, the interior roads are all good, and owners Bob and Gita Patel treat us like family.

elkhart campground 10

Escapees Rainbow Plantation, Summerdale, Alabama – I don’t think we’ve ever been to an RV park with roomier sites than this Escapees Club RV park. We like the Alabama Gulf Coast area, the small towns in the area are all friendly and clean, and the park itself has a lot of great amenities and activities.

Seaside Thousand Trails Resort, Seaside, Oregon – Terry and I agree that this is our favorite campground in the entire Thousand Trails system. We always stay at the north campground (there are two divided by a country road), with good electric power, full hookups, good satellite reception, and excellent Verizon service. And did I mention its within walking distance of the beach?

Winnie Seaside second trip

Escapees Sumter Oaks RV Park, Bushnell, Florida – I would say that this is our favorite campground in the state of Florida. We love the giant live oak trees that shade the park, a fine rec room, and because it’s an Escapees park, it’s always friendly. Miss Terry loves wandering through the nearby huge Webster Flea Market looking for bargains.

Winnie at Sumter Oaks

Hershey Thousand Trails, Lebanon, Pennsylvania – We’ve stayed here many times and always look forward to going back. The campground is a short drive from Hershey if you need a chocolate fix, it has a lot of great amenities, and this is another part of the county that we really enjoy spending time in. We love the green, rolling countryside around the campground and all of the history in the area.

Escapees Raccoon Valley, Heiskell, Tennessee – This is a regular stop for us, and another favorite Escapees Club RV park because we love the area. The campground is just a mile or so from Interstate 75, and close to Knoxville, but has a rural feel to it. Twice a week local bluegrass musicians come to the park and hold free jam sessions.

Thousand Trails Verde Valley Preserve, Camp Verde, Arizona – Again, location means a lot. We stay at this large Thousand Trails campground often when it’s too hot to be in Phoenix or Tucson, but still too cold to go to our old hometown in Arizona’s White Mountains. There is a lot to see and do in the Verde Valley, from exploring historic ghost towns and ancient Indian ruins, to riding a vintage steam train.

Escapees Turkey Creek Village, Hollister, Missouri – Located on the shore of Lake Taneycomo, just minutes from all of the shows and attractions in Branson, we have stopped at Turkey Creek many times and look forward to getting back again. The RV sites are nice, the area has more to see and do than you could get done in an entire season, and the local folks are all very friendly.

Three Flags RV Resort, Wildwood, Florida – On our first visit this membership park quickly became a favorite of ours for its laid back pace, nice pull through full hookup RV sites, and the friendly and helpful staff. The park is located a mile off Interstate 75 for easy access, has a laundry, activity center, pool, and a full activity schedule.

Orlando Thousand Trails Preserve, Clermont, Florida – With 850 full hookup RV sites, a clubhouse, pool, spa, private fishing lake, boat dock, and tennis courts, this membership campground has everything you need or want, and is the perfect base for exploring Disneyworld and other area attractions

Winnie at Orlando TT December 2014

Okay, now I’ve told you mine, so don’t hold back on the rest of us. What are some of your favorite campgrounds, and why?

Thought For The Day – It’s never too late for an apology.

Click Here For Back Issues Of The Gypsy Journal

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “Favorite Campgrounds, Updated”

  1. Seems like all the campgrounds you listed are membership campgrounds.

  2. Ok, here goes. The campground at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona. Watchman campground at Zion National Park. Bullards Beach State Park in Bandon, Oregon. And The Seaview Bar and Grill in Hope, Alaska. That will do for a start. We are glad you are doing better. Mary

  3. Nick,

    Thank you for your wonderful and dependable daily blog, and today for the information on campgrounds.

    With one year under our belts as full-timers, Linda and I are considering purchasing a TT membership. However, I’ve noticed that you and Terry also, frequently, stay in other, non-membership campgrounds. Since we are retired, on fixed income, I would appreciate hearing from you, your take on the value of membership in such a program.

    We are Elks and Escapees already, and have found Passport America to be almost totally useless. Of course, I have your “8 in 1 RV Book”, as well as several online bookmarks for “free and cheap” camping. But, staying for two or three weeks at an “RV resort” for a minimum outlay of cash each time, is looking more appealing the longer we are on the road.

    Thanks again and best wishes….Hope you’re feeling better and your infirmary is almost over.

    David and Linda McCullers

  4. Thousand Trails is having a Black Friday sale with $150 off the cost of a one zone membership. I think the sale dates are Nov 23 to Nov 30. We have had a membership in the past that expired and were not sure we wanted to pay full cost of a new membership, but I think we are going to take advantage of this sale.

  5. Debbie, these are a list of our personal favorites. We do occasionally stay in commercial campgrounds, but not that often any more. As fulltimers, we appreciate the cost savings of membership campgrounds. And most, if not all of these listed are also open to the public if space is available, you just pay more to stay there.

    David, if you understand how the system works and plan ahead membership campgrounds can save you a ton of money. We spent over three months on the Oregon coast this summer, all at Thousand Trails parks. We had a full hookup 50 amp site every night, and our cost was $5/night.

  6. Emerald Cove, a Colorado River Adventures resort across the river from Parker, Arizona. Every site is full hookup and some are pull-though. Right on the Colorado River. Every amenity you could dream of including a golf course in the desert. With my membership I get to stay two weeks free then leave for a week then repeat all winter. Breakfast in the clubhouse and lunch/supper in the bar for when you don’t feel like cooking.

    La Posa South LTVA in Quartzsite, Arizona. Acres and acres of boondocking with water, dump, and trash bins included in the fee. $180 for seven months makes it less than $1 a night if you stay there all season. It’s where I go for my week out from Emerald Cove and to meet up with RVing friends in January. Eat at Silly Al’s or Sweet Darlene’s when you don’t feel like cooking.

  7. Cyndy and I love staying at Seaside TTN, while near Washington. If we need to see the kids it is only 3 hours away. In California we like Lake Wilderness TTN, nice big sites and good place to visit.

  8. Nick, thank you for your insightful and information filled blog. I hope you’re continuing to mend.

    What is the best/most economical way to join or buy a TT membership? I hear of brokers who sell memberships, and although I’ve not looked into them yet, I’m a bit wary of unnatural acts that are unfair to TT.

  9. Phil there are a lot of used memberships out there offered by owners who no longer use them. Check on the Escapees RV forum and Facebook Thousand Trails groups. I’ve also seen them listed in the classifieds section of RV magazines.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.