Feb 21 2009, 11:38 PM
My family and I are planning and mapping out a westbound RV trip during the summer of 2010. We live in Atlanta and plan to drive southwest through AL, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ, S. California and ride up the coast of Cali and then on the drive back, we plan to go back through NV, UT, CO, KS, MO, IL and then down through KY, TN and back down home to ATL. We will probably average anywhere from 1-3 days at any given campground, but also plan to do a lot of sightseeing. Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, The Alamo, Grand Canyon and the list goes on. We figure it will be minimum a month maybe 2. As we plan all the activities, I was looking for more luxury RV resorts along the way to stay at. There isn't really one site that lists the upper scale RV resorts and I was thinking of creating one, but beside the amenities for us and the kids (14 & 8 next year), we look for spacious lots, nice large paved slabs, possibly a gazebo, picnic table and I've seen some sites with private hot tubs on each site and so much more than just the basics. We're not rich snobs or anything but since we're already saving on this family vacation by having our own RV, I don't mind spending a little more to do this vacation up. If you can suggest the up scale campground or resorts, I'm all ears. I would also like to hear of any family oriented campgrounds too. The more for the kids to do, the more we enjoy our vacation. Thanks!
Feb 22 2009, 12:55 AM
This is a tall order. First off look at Outdoor Resorts of American web site, then Signature Resorts web sites. Places we like come out of the Big Rig Book (on line) from Kerryville, TX. Buckhorn Lake Resort in Kerryville, a great place to stay. My next list is all over the place. American RV Park Albuquerque, Signature Resorts in Las Vegas, Signature Resorts Indio, CA, French Quarter RV Resort New Orleans, Poche Plantation RV Resort Convent, LA, Cypress Bend RV Park Iowa, LA, KOA in Scott or Lafayette, LA, Coushatta at Kinder, LA, Lakeside RV Park Livingston, LA, Grizzly RV Park West Yellowstone MT, The Campus RV Park Independence MO, most places in CO Springs are nice, Dakota Ridge RV Park Golden CO, Casino Queen RV Park East St. Louis, MO, numbers of nice parks in and around Nashville, TN.
I think you will need more time than 2 months to do this trip. My list is only a small number of places we have been to. I picked the upper scale places you ask for. Other RV people on here will add more information that you can look at as well. Take your check book and CC you will need them.
Hope this helps.
Feb 22 2009, 04:05 AM
John isn't kidding about this being a tall order. Having owned nothing but Class C RVs for almost 20 years, I have never stayed at a Class A and above RV park. Also I am not a member of any of those higher end RV Membership outfits that are required to get into some of the "upscale" parks. I have been in some very nice parks, but nothing that fits the description given in the original post - hot tubs, gazebos...! You may have some luck with finding luxury RV parks on your route west, but I am not sure about the trip back east. Unless there are some of those "restricted" parks I mentioned previously in (eastern) CO, KS, MO, IL, etc., I haven't very many parks in those states that come anywhere closed to what you are looking for.
Another possible problem I see is that, in my experience, "luxury" and "kid friendly" can be mutually exclusive. Quite often, a high end RV park may not have a lot of kids running around even if they have kid facilities (playground, pool, etc.). These parks often not patronized by families because of the cost. On the flip side, some of the parks that are great for kids (KOA, Jellystone) are certainly not usually high end (except for possibly price). Good luck finging parks that meet both your luxury and kid friendly requirements.
As for actual park recommendations, I agree with John on his choice of Coushatta in Kinder, LA. This is a casino resrt RV park and there is another casino resort called Paragon about 100 miles northeast of Kinder in Markville , LA that is very similar. Both are big, kid friendly, and have very good facilities. They are, however, hardly upscale. Of the rest of the parks that I have been to that John mentioned, the only one I would really recommend is Grizzly in West Yellowstone, MT. It is definitely the best park in the Yellowstone area but, agin, hardly upscale. Personally, I don't see Casino Queen in East ST. Louis, IL meeting either of your requirements. In Kerrville, TX there a number of highly regarded RV parks, with Buckhorn Lake one of the favorites on this site. Great parks are a little harder to find in west Texas and probably New Mexico. If you get up to Amarillo, Oasis RV Park is excellent. You will probably have better luck finding high end parks in AZ and CA , but then it may also be over 100F degrees in the summer. Las Vega Has several nice parks several miles south of "The Strip". I am not familiar will any outstanding RV parks in UT or southeastern ID (southwestern ID had some very good parks). The Greybull KOA and Indian CG in Buffalo are my prefered parks in WY. As John said, there are some nice parks around Colorado Springs, but, once again, nothing spectacular. As you head east from CO, I don't know of any RV park that is really great until (maybe) Branson, MO. I am not current on parks in KY and TN.
I would also agree with John that "only" a month is too short for all the places you mentioned seeing in what should be a trip of at least 6,000 miles with numerous multi-day stops. Take a few more weeks and go at a nice liesurely pace so the whole family can enjoy each day.
Feb 24 2009, 09:41 PM
We did a very similar trip except we went all the way up to NW Washington. We took 92 days and felt like we rushed through it. A month or two is not nearly enough. I would suggest cutting it in half and doing it twice. I think you will also find you will be spending very little time actually in the RV parks except for sleeping and eating, but will be exploring in the toad most of the time. We stayed a few times in luxury parks, but the extra money was wasted as we didn't really use the amenities. Too much to countyside to see.
Feb 24 2009, 10:22 PM
Wow, for once I actually agree with Lindsay. I was writing a very similar reply, but he posted his first. I think your trip will be much more enjoyable if you don't try to cram so much in. Just my 2 cents.
That said, here are some more higher end parks you might consider: La Hacienda in Las Cruces, NM; Beaudry RV in Tucson, AZ; Grand Canyon Railway RV Resort in Williams, AZ; and Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort in Spearfish, SD (which isn't too far from Mt Rushmore). If you want a good family place nearer Mt Rushmore, try Rafter J Bar Ranch in Hill City. There is also a nice KOA near Hill City.
Feb 24 2009, 11:59 PM
Hey guys, unless I am reading the original post all wrong, Casillas is a family (parents around 40 or so with 2 kids (14 and 8)), not a retired couple with all the time in the world. In addition to length of their trip being limited by school (among other things), the kids will probably want the ocassional break (pool, playground, etc.) from the sight-seeing. There is only so much "Oh look at that!", "Goody, another museum/gift shop/whatevever.", and "Everybody out of the car for a picture" that most kids can take. Even Mom and Dad need that frequent day where you just sit around a nice park and relax. A family vacation is not the same as old folks touring the country. Not to mention the fact that younger folks can handle a hectic pace better than we can. As I said in my first post, a month is tight, but I think 6 or 7 weeks is very "doable" for a still fairly young family. This family will have plenty of time to see all the "musts" on their route and have enough "down time" with a 6-7 week trip.
Feb 25 2009, 01:10 PM
Your point is well taken. Younger people with (or even without) families tend to travel differently than us old geezers, and they can take the rigors of a "rushed" vacation more easily. However, if you consider the distance they plan to travel, all the sights they want to see/stop at, and if they add some down time just to sit by the pool and/or play (which they probably should do since they have kids), I would still say their minimum time allotment of one month is not enough to fit all this in. Six weeks would still be tight. Eight weeks would be much better.
The original poster mentioned they had their own RV but did not mention how much traveling they had done. If they are inexperienced RV travelers they may not have a realistic idea of the time involved to do all they mentioned. I think most of us picked up on the possible problem with their timeline and offered them advice in this area. On the other hand they might know exactly what it takes to travel this way. If you look at the original post all they really asked for was suggestions for upscale RV resorts which we also provided.
Casillas, let me just say that I'm sure that everyone who offered you advice did so with all good intentions even if we didn't quite agree with each other. At least you got several different sides of the picture. The bottom line is this is your trip. Use what we've said one way or another to help you plan a trip that suits your needs. Above all, have fun.
Feb 25 2009, 03:12 PM
I think you have a lots more fun doing things than riding in the RV looking although that is fun too. We like to travel 3 or 4 hours and stop sometimes staying multipe days. We drove fom Bangor, Maine to Central Florida in 4 1/2 days and it liked to kill me. For the first half of our last long trip, we we averaged way under 100 miles a day and then 200 a day for the last 3 weeks. I could make the same trip again and not seen anything I had seen again. This is big country and my theory is see it while you are there.
Bud in Florida
Feb 25 2009, 04:53 PM
I am taking a similar trip this summer. Though we are not going to the West coast and are going to Baniff and Lake Louise in Canada. I'll be positing as we travel and will keep an eye out for high end places. We are taking at least 8 weeks for our trip.
Feb 25 2009, 10:03 PM
For the third time, I agree that one month is too short for the trip Casillas mapped out in the original post - especially since they indicated that they could take up to 2 months. Funny thing is, in my younger days (30 something) I did up to 8800 miles in a month or less almost every year. Yes, I would have loved to have had more time for every trip but I still had a great time on every trip. Nowadays, I wouldn't even consider traveling at that kind of pace. That personal experience tells me that about 1,000 miles a week can be a reasonable pace. Obviously, 2 months would be even better, but I would think that amount of time would be the maximum that a family could take given commitments concerning school, work, etc. It just seemed like some of the comments didn't take into consideration that these folks are in a different life situation than we are and that our suggestions and advice should take that into account.
I certainly agree with your final paragraph.
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