We launched our full-time RV travel journey at the beginning of January, 2018, and we’ve stayed at many RV parks all over the country since then as we’ve made our way around. Here’s a running list of each one we’ve stayed, the day we checked in, and some brief thoughts about them. We will do our best to keep adding to this as we stay at more, so book mark this and come back often! We will be on the road through at least February of 2019.
We are a family of 6 with 4 young kids. We work remotely and require strong internet access. So family-friendly and strong internet signals are what we usually prioritize. When I say “good wifi” what I’m meaning is OUR OWN jetpack (Verizon) and/or cell service (ATT) worked well. We never rely on or hook up to park-offered wifi. I’m only adding dates that we checked into each park. Please note that there may be some nights between parks where we stayed at hotels or boondocked. Those are not included in this list. The cities and locations inside the ( ) are not necessarily where those parks are located, but the closest metro area or popular attraction.
1/8/18 Disney World, Fort Wilderness (Orlando) We are officially obsessed with Fort Wilderness and have already planned our 2019 trip back. We’ll be at the Fort for 13 days, but only plan to have 7 days of park tickets because there is SO MUCH FUN to be had at the Fort that you have to leave days free of park obligations. We stayed in two loops – 1600 was perfectly fine, but our hearts belong to the (more expensive but much closer to the pool and the campfire) 1400 loo
1/15 Wekiwa Springs State Park (0range County) Lovely park, spacious sites, great price, not too far of a drive from Orlando area attractions. Lots of trees, though, and that was tricky to navigate with it being one of our first parks. We would go back.
1/20 Tropical Palms RV Resort (Orlando) We stayed here because we needed a place to park while we went to Universal. We paid more for this park than we did for Fort Wilderness and we were far from impressed. The employees were rude, and the place seemed run down. I think we would have felt differently had we not paid so much. It gets a lot of great reviews, which kinda baffles me, but if we had our Thousand Trails membership by then and weren’t paying $120/night for it, we could have overlooked more. We will only go back if we aren’t paying out of pocket for it.
1/23 Paynes Prairie Reserve State Park (Gainsesville) Another great and inexpensive Florida state park. Like Wekiwa, though, there were a lot of trees, and quite a few were pretty low. We actually tore a hole in our roof membrane pulling out of this spot. We would stay again, but be more cautious when parking and pulling out.
1/28 Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park (Niceville/Destin area)This RV park was really fun for the kids. There was a great playground, a Little Free Library, some painted rock hunting, and some trails. We did take notice of all the Beware Of Alligators signs, and didn’t let the kids run off by themselves. Warning: again, the trees! We pulled into this the night that we left Paynes Prairie. After tearing a hole in one side of our roof that morning, we tore another in the other side when we knocked a very low hanging branch down (that wasn’t visible in the dark) when we backed into this site. Lesson learned, always carry super strength flashlights!
1/31 Bayou Segnette State Park (New Orleans) Spacious sites. Did not stay the night here, just needed a place to park the RV while we stayed at a hotel in New Orleans. Wasn’t too far from the city. Would book again.
2/5 Lavonia Park (Lake Lavon) Great rates and close to our old town (Sachse, TX). We stayed here as we passed back through Texas, and took advantage of the time to go to doctor’s appointments and visit our storage unit (and friends!). It’s not super close to Dallas, but you can still make it into the city and back out on the same day if you want to stay here and sight see. We will be back, but it’s a good location for us for personal reasons.
2/13 Davis Mountains State Park (Fort Davis) Really pretty with pull through sites. A great West Texas stop of you want to make it to the McDonald Observatory. However, there is ZERO cell reception or wifi or internet of any kind until you drive into town.
2/15 Tumble Inn (Marfa) We loved Marfa, and we loved the Tumble Inn. It’s basic, and inexpensive, but a little quirky in that Marfa way, and our wifi was super fast. Nothing much for the kids to do, but we were out exploring most of the time. There is a very loud train that rolls through at night.
2/18 Maverick Ranch RV Park (Lajitas/Big Bend) Still one of our favorite parks. Spacious spots, great pool, DARK skies at night, campfires allowed. It was one of the more expensive RV park options in the Big Bend area, but we felt the price (roughly $50/night) was well worth it. Not super great wifi, but the fact that there was ANYTHING in this area was pretty impressive. Enough to check emails, but not enough to upload videos or stream anything.
2/23 Apache Pines RV Park (Marfa) Another quick stop in Marfa on our way out of west Texas. Tumble Inn was booked. This inexpensive, no frills RV park is on the other side of Marfa. Good price. Did the job. Good wifi connections.
2/24 El Paso W/Anthony KOA Journey Our first KOA of the trip. Nice sites, but kinda like a big parking lot. Ok playground. Best part was it was really close to an outlet mall and Sams Club. Drove to White Sands National Monument from here. It was a little more than an hour one way. Would stay again.
2/28 Carlsbad KOA Holiday Loved this KOA. Really fantastic playground. Looked like a nice pool, but wasn’t open for the season yet. Close-ish to Carlsbad Caverns. The name may make you think it’s right next to it but it’s at least 45 minutes to an hour away.
3/2 The Camp At Cloudcroft Nice enough RV park, and the park attendant was friendly. We would not go back, though, because the wifi connection was next to zero, and there was a group of deer walking around that seemed 1. not afraid of humans and 2. actually pretty aggressive. It made me nervous to let the kids hang out outside without us.
3/5 Stagecoach Stop RV Park (Albuquerque) Tight spaces with little yard space, but very nice, very well kept, and family friendly. Great location for us because we were visiting family in Rio Rancho. Next to lots of basic suburban shopping areas. Good wifi connection.
3/15 Homolovi State Park (Winslow) This state park was another wonderful and inexpensive stay. Wide open spaces, good wifi connection, beautiful views. We stayed here when we visited the Petrified Forest National Park. It was very close, but that’s pretty much all that was worth seeing while we were there. We did swing through Winslow, Arizona to go stand on a corner, but can not recommend that to other families. We were approached by two drunk men who were rude and aggressive, clearly trying to get money from us. Trip Advisor reviews describing the same situation where these men prey on tourists visiting that same corner date back over a year. Homolovi and Petrified= good. Winslow = once was more than enough.
3/18 Wahweap Campground at Lake Powell Absolutely gorgeous! Wish we could have stayed longer, but it was pushing our budget for the few nights we were there. Sites are a little close, but the whole park is beautifully maintained. Good wifi connection. Paved roads and sites. Close to Antelope Canyon. Read our post about Antelope Canyon here!
3/21 Cameron Trading Post (Grand Canyon) Ha! This RV park is pretty rough. It’s nothing but a gravel parking lot across from what’s a pretty cool and kitschy store, restaurant and motel. BUT it was cheap, and it was about a 30 minute drive from the east entrance to the Grand Canyon. While lots of places near the GC were booked for spring break, this place had plenty of openings, and definitely did the job for $35/night. We spent zero time outside the RV here. We were either in the RV sleeping or we were out and on our way to the Grand Canyon. We did enjoy some Indian Fry Bread from the restaurant at the Trading Post one night. We’d stay again if we had to while visiting the GC. There is ZERO wifi connection or cell service here, though.
3/25 Circle Pines KOA (Williams) Another great KOA that the kids had a total blast at. The first one we stayed at with jumping pillows. Close enough to drive into Sedona. Lots of other great activities and sites nearby, too. Great wifi connection.
3/31 TwentyNine Palms RV Resort (Joshua Tree) This is where we stayed when we visited Joshua Tree National Park. It wasn’t very far from one of the entrances. We wound up doing Easter here, and had such a fun time. There’s a really great covered pool and spa. No playground, but Joshua Tree was our playground. We’d definitely go back! Prices were great.
4/9 Palm Springs RV Resort This was our first Thousand Trails RV park as Thousand Trails members. We bought our annual Camping Pass when we started to freak out about how expensive California was going to be out of pocket. We were way too big to park at state parks, and most RV parks in CA were at minimum $60/night. Trying to park between the palm trees was a little stressful, and it was already HOT there early in April, but we enjoyed this park and the Palm Springs area. Decent pool, not so fantastic playground. We’d stay again, but probably not for a long stretch.
4/16 San Diego Metro KOA Will probably be one of our top 5 favorite parks this trip. It’s in an area that some people warned us was not safe, but the locals said that area is on the upswing and we never felt like it was dangerous. The park is secluded and doesn’t even feel like it’s in the middle of the city. Very close to the zoo and Coronado Beach. KOA comped our stay for a week in exchange for some social media and blog coverage. We had so much fun that we paid for an additional week on our own. They were building a much better pool and clubhouse while we were there, which will make this park even better. We hope to come back!
4/29 Wilderness Lakes RV Resort (South of LA) A Thousand Trails park that we don’t have strong feelings about one way or another. We stayed 3 nights. One night we weren’t even there. We drove into Anaheim to stay the night before we spent the day at Disneyland. It did seem a little run down, based on the limited time we spent there.
5/2 Soleded Canyon RV & Camping Resort (North of LA) A Thousand Trails park we would not want to return to. I was not there for this park, but Scott reports they had to move sites because the electric hookups weren’t working. The pool was non-functional. It was a very rundown park. The only draw for this park was the relative closeness to LA.
5/6 Rancho Oso Camping & RV Resort (Santa Barbara) Welp. We’re just glad we didn’t die getting in or out of this Thousand Trails park. Not really being overdramatic. There is a very winding, hill hugging road that drops off on one side, and that’s the only way in or out. Through much of this road, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for our 42 foot 5th wheel to pass another rig, and it would be hard to see one coming around a bend. Do not come before late in the afternoon, or you risk having to pass the rigs checking out. The sooner you can check out, the better. It’s about a 20 minute drive to Santa Barbara, which is such a lovely area that we tried very hard to love this RV park. The park itself is actually charming and pretty with a great playground and pool. But between the road in and the non-existent wifi and cell service, we likely won’t be back.
5/10 Visalia/Sequoia National Park KOA While not one of the fanciest KOAs we’ve been to, it had a great, welcoming atmosphere and was full of kids and nice adults. We stayed here to visit Sequoia National Park. It’s also where we made bacon s’mores for the first time!
5/13 Morgan Hill RV Resort (San Jose) Back in the Thousand Trails System, this one wasn’t terrible. It was near some vineyards that would have been nice to visit if we had the time. I was traveling for much of this stay and didn’t experience much other than the not super friendly gate attendants. The pool was closed and the playground was ok. No full hookups available, as they were allotted for long-term stays. We were charged a little extra per night for 50 amp hookup. It served it’s purpose, but we wouldn’t stay more than a few days here.
5/17 Yosemite Lakes RV Resort A fun Thousand Trails park with a great family atmosphere and clubhouse, but no playground and no pool. We were only there for convenient access to Yosemite. We could not get our Verizon or ATT to connect, but sometimes we could use the clubhouse wifi to jump on and check emails. It was very slow, though. We’d still stay here again for access to Yoesemite.
5/21 San Francisco North/Petaluma KOA Very nice KOA, also very expensive base rate, and then children are extra. They will not accept packages. Learned this after having some sent there and being rudely told they would turn them away. Was able to explain our situation and get them to accept them, but they were not all that happy to help. For the price, it was underwhelming on the customer service side, but the park itself is well-kept and our kids enjoyed it. I don’t know that we’d return. We’ll look for other options in that area first.
5/25 Grants Pass KOA Journey (SW Oregon) AMAZING KOA that we only got to stay at one night, and only because the very kind employee made room for us in their overfill lot for the night when we realized late in the day that we were making terrible time and wouldn’t get to our next destination before we needed to get some rest. We pulled in when it was dark, and were so pleasantly surprised when we woke to discover a beautiful, well kept, and super fun KOA, complete with 2 goat mascots! We had to hit the road, but if we are ever in the area again, we will definitely go back and spend more time there.
5/26 South Jetty Camping & RV Resort (Florence, Oregon coast) This place was packed because it was a holiday weekend. Like every other Thousand Trails park we’ve been to, the sites are on a first come basis, and we couldn’t snag a full hookup. It’s a very wooded park and the spot we had to settle for was pretty tight, but overall it wasn’t a bad park. It is very close to the sand dunes, which was fun but also pretty noisy (lots of dune buggies running all day). Very close to the sweet town of Florence. We would go again.
5/30 Portland Fairview RV Park This was an Encore park. We paid extra for access to Encore parks with our Thousand Trails membership. While it’s a beautiful park close to Portland, and well kept, it did not feel all that welcoming to kids. In fact, our kids were reprimanded within an hour of getting there for riding their scooters and told they weren’t allowed. We would stay again, but only for a short stay while spending most of our time in the city.
6/3 Seaside RV Resort (Canon Beach) I feel like this Thousand Trails park could be hit or miss. It was a win for us because we wound up getting what felt like a secluded spot along the park’s edge, but the main part of the park looked and felt cramped and run down. Wifi access was good, though, and there was a pool and playground. Overall, not terrible.
6/5 Tall Chief RV & Camping Resort (Fall City) We got a really lovely spot at this Thousand Trails, but no full hookups available. Wifi was strong, nice pool, playground was being built, plenty of space for kids to run and ride bikes. We would go back.
6/9 La Conner RV & Camping Resort Again, since it was a Thousand Trails park, sites were first come first served. We originally didn’t get a very great site. It was water and electric only, and the wifi signal was obstructed. We woke early the next day and found out which sites were due to vacate. We stalked a full hookup with a view of the water, and it became one of our favorite sites and parks this whole trip. It was one of the few pockets where our ATT connected. We had no luck with Verizon, but I’ve heard that’s changed since we left. We liked it so much we extended our stay to the maximum 14 days. We were steps from the shore of the Puget Sound, and had a wide open grassy area right next to us where the kids played all day.
6/25 Western Inn and Campground (Glacier National Park) Nothing glamorous or luxurious about this place. The playground was old and run down, but our kids still loved it. The best part was it was so close to Glacier National Park, and the price was right.
6/27 Yellowstone Holiday RV Campground Great proximity to the western side of Yellowstone, spacious lots, good wifi. We hardly spent any time at the actual park, but we would stay here again when visiting Yellowstone. A little pricey, but all the RV parks in the area are. We booked this back in February and were lucky to get 3 nights. It fills fast.
7/2 Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort (Black Hills) We loved this one! Paved roads and sites, very spacious, amazing playground and pool, great price. It was close enough to Deadwood, where we spent the 4th, and Mount Rushmore.
7/7 Neshonoc Lakeside Camping Resort Back (La Crosse) in the Thousand Trails system, but an Encore park (so we got to stay there because we bought that additional Encore package). This was one of the best TT parks we’ve stayed at so far. A great pool, two playgrounds, plenty of space to safely ride bikes. Great wifi connection.
7/18 Montgomery Bell State Park (outside of Nashville) This is where we stayed when we shot a commercial for Dish Network. The production company put us up here, and it was a lovely park. Not super close to Nashville, but close enough we could easily drive in for a day trip. Great wifi, great price.
7/20 Natchez Trace RV Campground We will never go there again. Worst Thousand Trails park we’ve been to. We stayed only one night (after arriving at nearly midnight the night before), and left early the next day. No wifi connectivity or cell service, no 50 amp spots when we arrived, run down, bad roads with potholes, bugs and goose poop everywhere, some really rough looking trailers, just generally not a place we wanted to be. I will say, though, that the employees were very friendly and helpful.
7/21 Memphis KOA Journey Again, not the fanciest KOA, but nice enough with a pool and a playground, and a nice office staff. A welcome change from the place we stayed the night before.
7/23 370 Lakeside Park & RV Campground (St Peters, STL area) We stayed here while visiting Scott’s family north of St. Louis. It was a great park with very spacious sites, campfire rings, and close to major highways but far enough from them that we felt secluded.
7/28 Pine Grove RV Village (Columbia) This was a quick stop in our college town. I don’t even know if there was a playground, but we didn’t spend much time at the RV park if we weren’t sleeping. It worked well as place to sleep at night. It was clean and well kept, right off the highway.
8/2 Rockport Rivers Edge Campground (NW Missouri) We were SO pleasantly surprised by this little park. It’s run by a husband and wife who clearly take a lot of pride in it. An older playground, but very clean and not run down. Plenty of room for the kids to run and ride bikes. Great wifi signal, even better rates.
8/4 Shelby Country Inn & RV Park (Omaha) The employees were nice, and we never felt unsafe, but this was one of my least favorite RV parks. It’s really just a parking lot behind a truck stop. Not a single thing for the kids to do here, and we didn’t really even want them outside without us. We just stayed here because it was inexpensive and we could drive into Omaha to check out the zoo and the market. Then we were on our way. It served it’s purpose. Was right off the highway with good wifi connectivity.
8/7 Griffs Valley View RV Park & Campground When we learned this park was going to charge us the same cheap rate (around $35/night) as Shelby Country RV Park did, we were not hopeful it would be a pleasant stay. We were shocked when we pulled up to one of the nicest RV parks we’ve been to. HUGE paved sites, backed up to fields, on circular drives, with a great clubhouse. The only thing missing was a pool, but our kids spent all their time riding their bikes around the circle while Scott and I took turns running on the paved trail that the park backed up to.
8/12 Minneapolis Northwest KOA Journey A nice enough KOA with a playground and pool. We never used the pool, but our kids rode their bikes to the playground plenty.
8/17 St. Croix Haven Campground This seemed like a lovely campground, but it was just a fast overnight stop for us. We pulled in when it was already dark, and had to check out by 11 the next day.
8/18 Knife Island Campground We were just lucky to find a place to stay over the last weekend before school was back in session in Minnesota. We called everywhere until we found this small campground. We were able to visit Duluth while staying here. Our spot was spacious, and there was a swing set for the kids. Nothing amazing, but it served us well for a couple nights.
8/20 Rivers Bend Campground Not a bad park! A what we call “vintage” playground that the kids loved, and a flat, paved site. Lots of hills, though, which meant no bike riding. Seemed geared toward the older crowd, but the man working there was very kind to us. We hoped over to Green Bay for the day while staying here. Good wifi connection.
8/23 Tiki RV Park & Campground An Upper Peninsula park where we could walk down the road (and across a busy road) to fudge and coffee shops. The best part of this RV park was it’s closeness to the ferries for Mackinac Island. Good wifi connection.
8/27 Indigo Bluffs RV Park & Resort A lovely RV park that had a more expensive “resort” side that was really swanky, but the side we were on wasn’t bad at all. The playground was hard to get to, though. We visited Sleeping Bear Dunes while here, and went blueberry picking. Good wifi connection.
9/3 Duck Creek RV Resort One of, now, 3 RV parks that we loved so much we spent 2 full weeks there! We arrived the day before school started back, so the first week of non-peak pricing, but still early enough to take advantage of their incredible (duck shaped) pool and hot tub. We managed to move from a great spot to an even better spot after a few days. Our new spot was right next to the massive, amazing play structure and huge sandbox. We could watch our kids playing from inside the RV. The people working there were beyond friendly, and not only did they accept packages for us, but they happily delivered them to us. The place was pretty quiet during the week, but packed with kids and families on the weekends. Our kids made friends and were even invited to a birthday party at the clubhouse! We hardly left the park the 2 weeks we were there because there was plenty to keep us occupied. It was a great place to catch up on work and life.