Date of Stay: March, 2008
I have been on the road in my 36 foot fifth-wheel (single F, 41, in a 2001 Alpenlite) since last May. I've had one good experience after another and was amazed to find that the RV community welcomed me with open arms. I wasn't prepared for the experience I had at Zane Gray, and am still, a few days later, trying to process it. I originally reserved a space at a place in Cottonwood, because I wanted to be as close to Sedona as possible, but upon arrival (another first) was really uncomfortable in that park. Had lots of clutter and no lights at night, permanent residents knocking on my door, wearing a lot of cologne and marveling at "how much we have in common" (aigh). I don't feel safe. So I called Zane Gray and asked the woman about a monthly space. She seemed very nice and said she had two people who were likely leaving this weekend. She didn't know which space I'd be in, and I told her moving mid-month wasn't a problem. She said she'd let the people in the office tomorrow know that this was in the works and that they were going to work to get me in somewhere, hopefully, likely, by Monday. I asked if I could stop by that afternoon to look around, that it looked lovely but that I'd just like to get a feel for the layout of the place. She said, "Sure, come on down." When I walked into the office I felt like I was talking to a completely different person. She said that she'd received some calls and that the spaces were now spoken for, I knew three minutes into the conversation, given the way she was responding, that that wasn't the truth, that she didn't want me to stay here, but I couldn't work out why. I was baffled. It occured to me at that moment that I'd never experience anything like this before and I suddenly felt even greater empathy for every person of color who was ever turned away from a job interview. I told her that their place looked even better in person, was just beautiful, and that I was sure there wasn't a "bad" space in the park and would be happy to be squeezed in anywhere. I asked about the space she finally admitted wasn't reserved until May, right on the hwy, and asked if I was able to confirm that reservation in an hour or two if I could have that space and she stuttered and paused and looked really uncomfortable and said: "Welllllll, you know, if someone calls between now and then, I'll have to give it to them." I'm a nice person: kind, considerate, quick to put others at ease. I still correspond with the owners of several parks I've visited. I like people, old and young, and they like me. I'm 5'7", 120 lbs. (Picture a zen Sandra Bullock.) One park owner told me that they've never had a resident hook up mid-month and pull forward to allow them to mow the grass under the rig. I was wearing a clean white t-shirt and khaki shorts, and clean white tennis shoes. I remained polite, and positive and said, "Ok, absolutely, I understand. Let's give it a go. I'll check with the place I'm at and call you right back, and if it's still available, I'd love to take it." But I knew that when I called, I would be told that the space was suddenly spoken for. As I was leaving she said, "Can I ask you a question? How old are you?" I said, "Sure, I'm 41", and she look surprised. She then asked me if I had a boyfriend? It was clear at this point that this was her concern. She was afraid, given my age (41?) and marital status that I'd be somehow disruptive or, (?) bring strange men home to stay the night? I dunno. I told her that I'm a mountain biker and photographer, and aspiring travel writer. A health nut: don't drink, don't smoke, don't have a boyfriend and (with a grin) am not looking for one. I told her that I work out of my rig, enjoy my own company and am just here to hike, bike and soak up the beautiful landscape. I said "Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't realize. Do you have an age limit here?" She said they didn't, that it was an adult park, it's just that people here really like peace and quiet. I told her I appreciate that as I do as well and seek out those kind of parks myself. She looked a little reassured but I left there feeling like I not only didn't want to stay there anymore, I wanted to leave the area. She yelled after me that I could back up and leave the way I came in. It was my second unpleasant experience in 24 hours and I had never been regarded by anyone, in my life, as someone who wouldn't make for a good neighbor. On the way home I was nearly in tears. I had to drive directly to Sedona from there just to find a reason to stick it out, to remind myself why I'm here. It was sunset: beautiful. I went back to my scary park in Cottonwood, found my creepy neighbor standing next to my rig, and was so anxious to just get inside that I tripped in the dark on the 1/2 step leading up to my rig, fell flat on my face (with a half twist) and ended my day, face-up on a concrete slab, looking up at the stars with a bleeding hand and elbow. I've since re-read the reviews for this park and see that someone else had a similar experience at Zane Gray. I'm sorry to say that even I wonder about the reviewer when it's just one individual reporting that they've had a bad experience, in this case been turned away without explanation, when there are so many other great reviews, but I know now that this person probably experienced what I did, and left feeling just as confused. So, beautiful as it is, I wouldn't recommend this park to others and wouldn't advise anyone to count on these owners to keep their word. Strange things happen at this park when clean-cut, friendly travelers show up in person.
Date of Stay: October, 2007
We came very close to staying here, but were so turned off by the attitude of the staff that we opted to stay elsewhere. The first thing we noticed is that they are very disorganized, sloppy about record keeping, one has to constantly correct them. I actually found myself wondering if they were perpetually intoxicated. Second, there is no evidence of gratitude for your business. You get the feeling they feel they're doing their guests a favor. The dealbreaker was their extremely high and rigid cancellation fees (even with 30 days notice). They assured us they're always nearly full so they can clearly fill the spaces. They really cash in on cancellations. I'm ok with stict policies (with the exception of their extreme cancellation fees) if you have your house in order and understand that your guests *are* your business but the overall vibe of this place was so bad that we decided we didn't want to support this park. We won't be recommending it to others.
Date of Stay: July, 2007
Wowwww. When I decided to go full-time and thought of all the great places I'd be parking my rig for the night, I couldn't even dream up a place like this. This is the stuff fairy-tales are made of -- an immaculate little garden at each site, country club lawns, green, green, green and not a weed in sight, pure heaven on the feet, a beautiful meadow/hill that filled with lightning bugs that starts just behind the big-rig sites on the southern side, and hold on to your Deet, *no* mosquitos. It's situated on what used to be an old farm, you pass a beautiful old barn on the way down to the sites, in a pretty valley. A small spring-fed river, that you can hike up to the source, just a mile upstream, runs along the north side of the campground. Even the drinking water is yummy. The owners are hands-on, good hearted, friendly and helpful. They keep a close eye on the entrance and no one gets in who doesn't belong here. Maple Springs comes alive with camping families on the weekends, and is always completely quiet at night, with absolutely no road noise. There is a well-stocked store, and thanks to Doris' feeders, the valley is filled with chirping birds, butterflies and hummingbirds. I planned to stay four weeks, but stayed for six. If not for another reservation up north, I would be staying longer. The bluff country of SE Minnesota is a true treasure and Maple Springs is the perfect place to come home to after a day of exploring. Note: with electricity, sites are $23/night. The monthly rate of $400 with electricity is included, is fantastic.
Date of Stay: June, 2007
I'd like to thank the previous viewer for directing me to this park. Not only was I thrilled with the park (lots of big old tree and friendly managers) but the town of Gothenburg is really wonderful: small town America at it's best. I pulled in to take a break on my third day of I-80 driving and loved it so much I stayed another day. I've deemed Gothenburg the friendliest town in America. The city park is on the back end of town and you can just barely hear the train whistles in the distance, which I loved. And you can't beat the price. The locals show up to play horseshoes and have picnics after church on Sundays. I highly recommend this park.
Date of Stay: June, 2007
I felt it was really over priced. You are literally parking in an unattended RV storage lot. I got in just at dusk and found a note on the board that stated what the price was, with a night drop box, but offered no map of the place. I had to walk around for 15 minutes to try to figure out what constituted the lot, and how to enter, as it branched out in three directions from the entry. Had to take the middle one so I wouldn't end up in a jam. I was the only one there that night, aside from the friendly horse in the pen behind me. The people were friendly in the shop the next day when I paid, but they are mostly an RV dealer and I think $22 is too much for a deserted lot with no information available, and no attendant. Don't feel it's worth more than $10 or $12 a night. Maybe $15 if they'd offered a simple map and a sign to direct visitors to the storage lot.
Date of Stay: June, 2007
Don't read this book by the cover. I stayed here for a month while I was moving out of my place and into my RV full-time. It might not be the prettiest park in all the land, but the owners are *really* wonderful people. No hassles about A/C, rig washing etc. They own the gas station next door, and they have diesel, with the lowest prices I've seen in Northern CA. The natives, permanent residents, are friendly; a very nice bunch of guys. There are some shady spots for overnighters with just electric and water, located on the other side of the circle, if you'd like to keep to yourself. All of the spaces are long enough for a 40' footer. My 36 footer and truck fit together in the pull-through, even disconnected. The I-5 on-ramp is a block away, so pulling in for the night is a cinch. The family who owns it, have several children with health problems (agent orange). They've been through a lot, and they work very hard to keep the park green in the CA heat but I think they are really struggling financially. The casinos have *enough* of our money, let's support the private, family-owned parks as much as we can.