RvTravelerNTechie

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Date of Stay:

With a 45’ motorhome and tow, we don’t usually find state parks that can accommodate us. Gulf State Park is a fantastic exception. Excellent layout, huge sites, full hook-ups, paved roads-sites-patios, and a selection of pull-thru and back-in sites make this a great base camp for exploring “Lower Alabama”. Staff was friendly and helpful. We visited just as the snowbirds were starting to return, so there was plenty of space. We didn’t choose one of the more expensive lake-facing sites but were quite happy with what we got. I didn’t expect Wi-Fi in a State Park, which was just as well as it was marginally useful. The facilities are very well maintained, except for a couple of bathhouse doors that were peeling. About the only downside is that battling the fire ants is a daily operation. All in all, this was a great find for us, close to the beaches and other things to do in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach.

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This is a relatively new park, with long, paved (with pavers) sites and patios. In spite of the name, it’s actually in Fort Walton Beach. It’s on the bay side, and right on the water. The facility is well maintained and most utilities were excellent (Wi-Fi was very spotty). The paved interior roads are wide and the sites are very large with grassy areas between rigs. The sites are a mix of back-in and drive-in styles situated around a single loop road. Several near the water have extra space beside them. Unfortunately, the paved sites are on the narrow side and the apron area fronting the interior roads was designed to be too narrow for many larger rigs to enter/exit the sites without driving off the pavement. This is apparently a known issue, since roving maintenance staff appear periodically to rake out the ruts left behind. Like a lot of Florida parks, they are also working to control ants. The “fun house”/restaurant next door can generate some noise, but generally not late into the night. With access to the Ramada facilities across the street (busy US-98 with no crosswalk, though) and gulf beaches very close, this is a nice destination for a stay in Fort Walton Beach.

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If we could only pick one RV Park to visit, this would be it. It’s a small place (5 motel rooms, 4 RV spots, and the awesome Tiki Bar), but well worth the trip. The owners have created a great place to unwind and enjoy. Guests and locals gather in the evening at the Tiki and everyone makes new friends. It’s not a “resort” and you won’t find concrete pads and fancy patios, but you’ll leave more relaxed than you could have imagined.

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As others have noted, this park is all about location. Think very carefully about the value to you of being on or near the beach. Actually, it feels like two separate parks. The east, or street, side is a mixed development of mobile homes, park models and RV spaces. It has paved access roads and a traditional layout, albeit somewhat tight. The beach side, across the street, is completely different. It has all sand roads and sites with scrub grass, poured concrete patio pads (some good and others all broken up), and some of the tightest 90-degree parking we’ve ever been in. The beach row is always in demand, of course, and was full the whole time we were there (actually had RVs in other spots waiting for their turn). Beyond that row, there are limited beach side spots for larger rigs (over maybe 38 feet). Maybe it was the off season, but some of the comments made in prior reviews didn’t apply: Wi-Fi was free (but mostly down), pet papers weren’t required, and trailers were parked on the beach row. Power was very good (running 3 A/Cs) and, in spite of the tight sites, utility hookups were convenient. Cable TV was advertised but our site’s box was damaged; they offered to run a splitter from a neighboring site. Satellite access was limited on the beach side due to the numerous trees; even beach row sites had some blockage due to palms. If you can put up with heat, humidity, and an onslaught of biting no-see-ums to get beach access and awesome sunsets, this park might be for you.

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We used this park as a place for the rig while we were visiting friends in NSB, so we didn’t use the facilities much, and only slept in the coach 2 nights out of the week we were there. Staff was friendly and helpful, especially as we arrived after hours (our materials were taped to the door) and we had to check in the following morning. We were in the rear of the park, past the treed section and in the open, grassy area. This made getting a satellite signal a breeze, but apparently we fell off the edge of the world according to Verizon, as neither voice nor data worked well (came back by the time we got to the office). Interior roads are sandy and relatively narrow, but well-packed even under puddles from recent rains and we had no issues with our 45’ rig plus toad. Our site was all grass, 80+ feet long, and level, and we had no problems with a 43,000 pound coach sinking in. I did spread powder for ants before we parked, just in case.

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We stayed here for a week while visiting various friends and family in the Tampa area. I was a little concerned that we might get pressured from the sales side of the organization but we were never bothered. In fact, staff was very friendly and helpful throughout our stay. The park is convenient to I-4 close to I-75 but far enough away that road noise (even from the competing truck stops at the exit) was not an issue at all. I requested a site change to allow satellite TV access and that was no problem at all (of course, the RV Park was only 35-40% full during our stay). All roads and sites are paved. Sites are priced by length (38’, 40’, 42’, 45’), relatively wide and separated by grass. I believe all sites are 90-degree back-ins, and noticed some big 5ers having difficulty making the cuts, but they might have been new owners needing practice. Utilities were all OK, although the Wi-Fi was often quite slow. The pool and tennis areas were in constant use while we were there, and the “complimentary” newspaper, breakfast and lunch in the company cafeteria, shuttle bus to HQ, and trash collection are nice features. We ate twice in their “Exit 10 Pub” for dinner and the food was decent and not too overpriced. There are multiple dogs runs on the property, although the set (big and small sections) connected to the campground was in a distant corner. There were very few perma-rigs on site. Competitor Camping World has relocated to the next exit east on I-4. Good VZW.

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This place is huge and contains vacation sites of all types: RV/tent, park model, and large homes on rental lots. There are hundreds of sites for “transients” and, as you would expect, a lot of RVs are more or less permanent fixtures. They also have a unique RV storage program where they’ll move your rig between storage and site whenever you reserve a spot (watch out for their drivers most mornings, as speed limits don’t apply to them). Inside the park, many sites are wide concrete pads, although a number are packed sand. The park is laid out in a grid, with major and minor “roads” delimiting the sites. Most of the transient sites are angled pull-thrus. The interior roads are quite narrow. Although we had no problems getting into our site, it was very difficult to get out given how close the rig in the next “street” was to our front. You can reserve your site online with a detailed inventory of availability, and I used Google Earth to try to select a satellite-friendly site (worked). They want their money early (50% at reservation and 50% 2 weeks before arrival) and mail out “express check-in” packages when the second payment is made. This didn’t work for us, as their package crossed with our last mail service shipment. The park and beach are dog friendly, the Wi-Fi was decent and relatively stable, they pick up your trash every day, and the place is very clean. We also rented a golf cart for the week ($240) because of the size of the park and, OK, everyone else seemed to have one. This was our second stay and we would definitely return if in the area.

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This is a convenience park, not a resort. It’s the go-to park for people wanting to visit the Washington D.C. area. It’s a little pricey. It’s located right next to one of the busiest Interstates on the East Coast. The sites aren’t perfectly landscaped with level concrete pads, and most are wooded back-ins. It’s worth it to be in a park where the city bus takes you to the Metro into D.C., or the tour bus picks you up at the office. If you’re “passing through” and don’t plan to visit D.C., or have some other reason to be in the College Park area, this may not be the park for you. I made reservations online, and they had no record of it, including my $50 deposit, so check-in was slower than expected. Our pull-thru site was long enough, but difficult to get level and oddly configured with our neighbors pointing in the opposite direction (sharing a “patio”). We did get one of the few satellite-friendly sites, so didn’t need the included cable. The park’s Wi-Fi was well distributed, but relatively slow and inconsistently able to maintain a connection. VZW was strong. Given the prices, there were a surprising number of perma-rigs. Staff was generally friendly and helpful, once the reservation confusion was addressed (don’t make me feel like it’s my fault you can’t find my reservation and deposit).

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This is one of the older parks originally developed under the now-defunct “Outdoor Resorts” umbrella. It’s definitely showing its age, with narrow roads and sites, and frankly overgrown vegetation. This shows in the variability the sites (from well-appointed upgraded pads to uneven and broken concrete slabs) and common areas (clubhouse/pool/tennis are superior, yet much of the interior roadway system is damaged by tree roots and was under repair while we were there). Although only a few, the older perma-rigs that haven’t moved in years are quite noticeable, some severely discolored from moss, mold, and mildew. As an ownership park, it appears that individual site owners are responsible for maintenance on their space. The site we were assigned was so overgrown that the palms rubbed both sides of the coach, and we actually had ants infest a window frame by crawling up the vegetation. So much debris fell on the coach that I had to go up on the roof with a broom on the morning of departure to clear the awnings and slide toppers. Although the site was concrete and the broken areas didn’t impact our ability to level, the “patio” was wooden, and the boards were starting to rot out underfoot. The utilities worked, although the 50-amp socket was cracked and the Wi-Fi was weak in the “Forest Section”. There is a dog run, but it’s actually located outside the gated portion of the complex, so don’t forget your key card or you’ll pay a fine. Beware of add-on charges and resort fees, and make sure you know your all-in price. Staff was friendly and knowledgeable, even if not able to help with the individual site maintenance issues.

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This is an upgraded KOA with a variety of sites. After the paved entrance (sharp turns from the road and at the office), the interior roads and sites are reasonably well packed gravel. The park has been upgraded over the years with improvements to electric service, kid-oriented amenities, and many sites with concrete pads (with corresponding high prices brackets). We arrived late in the afternoon, and were escorted directly to our site, bypassing the office; a nice touch. This is a pet-friendly park, with a small off-leash area provided. Cable TV was acceptable but the “free Wi-Fi” was constrained to the point of being unusable, in addition to being totally unsecured (a definite no-no these days). Back-in sites are fine for smaller rigs, but the majority of the pull-through spots (most of the newer spaces) are exceptionally large, long and well spaced. Stay away from site F187 in the lower level, as an out-of-control landscape irrigation system turns it into a mud puddle each morning.

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We’ve stayed at this campground before and not a lot has changed. We asked for a satellite-friendly site, but that’s almost impossible when the facility is as wooded as this one. We had a good-sized back-in site, since the pull-thru spots are pretty narrow. Power was awful, with voltage dropping on one leg to the point where our EMS dropped out, until I added our booster transformer. It wasn’t like we were trying to run 3 roof air conditioners; the voltage dropped with just the electric water heater on. Cable TV was reasonably good, but park Wi-Fi was essentially unusable. The owners and managers need to understand that making a substandard service free to avoid addressing complaints is a losing strategy these days. People want Wi-Fi to work reliably at reasonable speeds. Unfortunately for us, this is also a weak VZW location. Overall, we got about what we expected, but didn’t really get the value we wanted.

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This park has continued to upgrade facilities under new (2009?) ownership. All of the short-term sites are on one side of the park, separated from the long-term perm-rigs. The "regular" sites are relatively tight gravel with concrete patios and small strips of grass. The "super" sites aren't any longer but do provide a paved/concrete pad with a slightly larger patio space on the end of each row. Access to some of the "super" sites can be pretty steep; we noted several drag marks. It pays to call ahead and request a satellite-friendly site if that's important to you, as the mature trees throughout the park limit the choices. Cable TV and Wi-Fi worked well, and we were able to get a Verizon signal with no problem. We enjoyed the pet area (which was clear of land mines during our visit). Staff was friendly and helpful, and worked with us to change sites due to utility construction.

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This is the perfect park to use as a base for exploring Napa Valley. It's convenient, quiet, and well-appointed for this kind of visit. Interior roads are paved and the concrete sites are huge by any standard with plenty of grass space between sites. Utilities are excellent and they've added Wi-Fi. Staff was helpful and friendly, our pets were welcome, and we had no issue getting satellite and Verizon signals. Rate reflects Good Sam discount. The only down-side could be the small number of sites (we made our reservation well in advance), although we were told they hope to double the number of sites by removing some of the barn/stable areas in the future.

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As others have mentioned, this park is essentially a large gravel/crushed rock area with hookups. Although it clearly gets crowded during events, it's a great stop otherwise. It's far enough from US-101 that there's no road noise, yet still convenient to shopping or as a base for exploring Sonoma. Hopefully, they'll expand the number of 50A sites over time, as they are a small percentage of those available and it does get hot here (larger rigs will need 50A for A/C). Staff was helpful and friendly, our pets were welcome, and we had no issue getting satellite and Verizon signals. Rate reflects Good Sam discount.

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This is a park with a split personality. The sites along the bluff are nice (even if they're a little tight), but the ones back by the road, especially south of the office, are full of perm-rigs, often in very poor shape with piles of junk strewn all around. The park appeared to be generally clean during our visit, and we found all utilities working, including the Cable TV and Wi-Fi. The park is essentially all paved, roads and sites, with a greenbelt on the north side and a gravel walk along the bluff. The walk is actually open to the public, so you do have some interesting "locals" wandering outside your windows at times. One big plus is that they allow vehicle washing, which is needed to clear away the deposits from being this close to the ocean. It's also a convenient walk to local shopping, the Post Office, and several restaurants. The rate we were charged was Good Sam; we later found out that they offer a larger discount for Escapees but were told it was too late since discounts had to be processed at check-in. We'll probably stay again if in the area, recognizing that we're paying a significant premium for the location/view.