Apr 262021

We stayed at a lot of campgrounds in our 18+ years of fulltime RV travel, some really nice places, and some not so nice. There are campgrounds that we returned to on a regular basis and others where one stop was more than enough.

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

But what the heck, there’s always Wal-Mart if my favorite campsite is not available, so here are my Top Ten favorites, and why. Please be aware that the reasons I like a campground may not be important to you, just as the things you look for may not meet my needs.

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 6

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.

Tra-Tel RV Park, Tucson, Arizona – There is nothing fancy about this small RV park, the spaces are tight, and you get noise from nearby Interstate 10 and the railroad tracks on the other side of the highway. However, it’s clean, the staff is very friendly, they have a nice pool, and for us, location is everything. Tra-Tel is a comfortable, convenient place to stay when we visit our family in Tucson.

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, they have a great indoor pool, 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.

Bushnell RVs Spanish Moss 2

Escapees Raccoon Valley, Heiskell, Tennessee –  This was 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. We haven’t been to Raccoon Valley since the recent remodel, and we’re looking forward to seeing the improvements.

Thousand Trails Verde Valley Preserve, Camp Verde, Arizona – Again, location means a lot. We stayed 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.

TTN Verde Valley entrance 2

Country Roads RV Park, Lake Delton, Wisconsin – Our friends Terry and Terri Michael, owners of Country Roads, billed this campground as a place for adults, and if you want a super clean, quiet location that is just minutes from all of the hustle and bustle in Wisconsin Dells, you’ll like it too. Amenities include a pool, very nice RV sites, and a welcome that will make you feel like you just came back home after a long absence.

country roads

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 stopped at Turkey Creek many times, and always looked 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.

Hershey Thousand Trails, Lebanon, Pennsylvania –  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 enjoyed spending time in. We love the green, rolling countryside around the campground.

ttn Hershey hillside

Fisherman’s Landing, Muskegon, Michigan – I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with this city owned campground. The sites are fine, and it was a great place to stay when we visited family in Muskegon, not to mention that there is a lot to see and do in the area, and we could launch our kayaks right from the campground. However, the downside is that on summer weekends there always seems to be at least one large group of rowdy campers who disturb everybody else, and management never seems to be aware of it.  Still, we went back every year, so I guess the good outweighs the bad.

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?

Congratulations Patty Gioia, winner of our drawing for a four-book set of audiobooks from my pal Carol Ann Newsome’s popular Dog Park mystery series. We had 51 entries this time around. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with U.S. addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

Thought For The Day – One man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh.

Nick Russell

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

  2 Responses to “Top Ten Favorite Campgrounds”

  1. Not ranked, just listed as they came to mind.

    Mississippi Riverwood RV Park, https://mrarvpark.com, because it’s close to family in Minnesota with pleasant sites right on the Mississippi River with decent shopping/eating nearby. They had a pig roast in the park while we were there.

    Emerald Cove Resort, https://www.emeraldcoveresort.com, right on the Colorado River on the CA side across from Parker, AZ. Lots of activities for those who like that plus decent breakfast in the club house and lunch at the outdoor bar for those of us who prefer not to cook. Free weekend if you attend their sales presentation.

    Rainbow Plantation, near Lambert’s Cafe in Foley, AL, with its throwed rolls where you get a ton of food plus a bunch of laughs. I borrowed a sewing machine in the Plantation’s craft room to hem up curtains. One of the few places I could always donate my collection of recyclables.

    Rainbow’s End, Livingston, TX, a good place to stop and catch up with yourself while you do laundry. This was my season beginning and ending stop between Minnesota and Arizona during my snowbird years.

    La Posa South, BLM, Quartzsite AZ, this is the place I would go on my week out from Emerald Cove, where I would go to meet up with friends, where I would go to dump and fill when boondocking, etc.

    OK. That’s only five parks but I moved around a lot when not at one of those.

  2. We love Turkey Creek in Hollister, MO. Great group of people there too. Sumter Oaks is really starting to show its age. We live all of the old trees around…but Escapees needs to start putting some money into that park.
    We love St John’s. Just a little 20 site park right outside of St Augustine. Nothing special, just a nice park. For getting in & our of DC..You can’t beat Cherry Hill. We have family that live in the city. Its the best place for us to stay & go visit.
    Same for NYC. Cannot beat Liberty Harbor in Jersey City Marina.

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