Pawticket

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This campground is permanently closed. Excavators are literally digging the place up as I write. The property is slated for commercial development.

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As other reviews have reported, this is a very nicely equipped, maintained and (desert) landscaped park, with generously sized sites and friendly, helpful, mostly working-camper staff. There is some freeway noise, and, if your space is near the busy adjacent county road, the frequent rumble of traffic speeding over a cattle guard. The open desert lies just across that road, however, with superb dog walking, hiking and four-wheel-driving opportunities. Water pressure in the park fluctuates between very low to quite high. There are only six washer and dryer sets, one of which was not working during our stay, inadequate for a park of this size. There is a daily, unremarkable buffet at the affiliated casino, just across the freeway, with a free on-call shuttle. BUT, if internet access is important to you, find somewhere else. The park wi-fi is excruciatingly slow, when it works at all. Ditto for Verizon Wireless. So prepare to be functionally off-net for much of the time.

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Located 20 miles north of Lakeview, this may be the Bates Motel of RV Parks. Signs indicate it's open, but the phone number listed in Woodall's has been disconnected. Pulled in; no one around the office and no one emerged from the nearby residence. Signs on office door, presumably about self check-in, faded to illegibility sometime during the Reagan administration. Lots of flies, but no other RVs in the park. They advertise Wi-Fi, but the only evident signal had a numeric ID and an encrypted login. No Verizon broadband. Decided to skip the place. You probably should too.

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WARNING this campground is not in downtown Port Alberni, as shown on some maps (Microsoft Streets and Trips), it is a long nine miles away, the last five of which are over a very busy gravel logging road, at a maximum safe speed of 15 mph. If the logging trucks don’t kill you and your RV survives the washboard, you still may choke on the dust. Don’t come here. The sites are narrow, there are many long term residents, and most sites do not have satellite reception. There is s-l-o-w Wi-Fi and a small friendly, limited menu, cafe with great french fries and it is quiet. Note, this place variously calls itself “China Creek Marina and RV Park,” “China Creek Marina and Campground,” and “China Creek Campground and Marina.”

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Having passed on the park where we had planned to stay the night, saw the sign for this place on the freeway and took a chance. This is easily the slummiest campground we've seen in over four years of full time traveling. Cramped spaces almost all of which are occupied by permanent residents, who seem not to mind the squalor. So, come if you must, but bring a surge protector and maybe consider locking your door.

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This is the second time we've stayed at this park and it probably will be our last. First, the good: Wi-Fi and water pressure are excellent; the location is convenient to the rest of Carson City and, 13 miles away, historic Virginia City; and the casino restaurant has passable food at inexpensive prices. Next, the bad: the spaces, although landscaped, are short and narrow, too short for a full sized motorhome plus tow; registration is at the hotel front desk and of the desk clerks I spoke with during our three day stay, two were noticeably curt, and the third was downright rude; although there is a small pet area, it is too small for exercise (there is an adjacent paved overflow parking lot); and the noise from the adjacent freeway, while not overwhelming, can be distracting. Finally, because this park operates as a hotel, it stores your credit card information and posts charges as they accrue, all well and good, except that, without telling you, the park will post a $100 “authentication” charge at check-in, which, with luck, it will credit back when you check-out, and, in our case, the park charged us for four nights when we had stayed only three, requiring a follow-up phone call and bit of an argument to get the extra night’s charge removed. Daily and monthly rates only, no weekly discount.

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If you like extravagant federal spending on local pet projects, you will love the Clark County Shooting Range, a county park on 2900 acres, donated to the county by the Interior Department, and built with $64 million of additional federal funding. The RV park, a single 950 yard strip of side-by-side pull through spaces, immediately behind, and parallel with, the equally long line of trap and skeet shooting stations, is gravel, without even an attempt at landscaping. There are no showers or laundry facilities (the nearest laundromat is about four miles away). There is no easy access to the desert that surrounds the RV park, and, since this is a shooting range, hiking or dog walking is not really possible. The range is open for public shooting on Wednesday from 7:00 AM to 10:00PM, and Thursday through Sunday, 7:00AM to 7:00PM, and remember, you’re just steps away from the shotgun stations. As others have noted, there is a fantastic panoramic view of the lights of Las Vegas and the $20 rate is a bargain, but the absence of facilities, coupled with the noise of the gunfire, means that it will not be attractive to anyone who does not intend to use the range itself. Maximum stay is 14 days. The county has a resident “host” program, with discounted long term rates, in covered spaces away from the shooting areas, for those who qualify. Details are at the park’s web page.

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Adequate overnight stop. Water pressure on the low side. No noise at all. Tengo internet Wi-Fi is $1 per day. Park is immediately adjacent to a lovely almond orchard. Note that non-discounted nightly rate is $40, not $27. Good Sam or AAA discount available.

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This park is closed and the property has been developed with condominium apartments.

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The entry to this easy-to-miss park is through the Cliff House Restaurant parking lot, the first entry on the south side of the Noyo River bridge. (The restaurant, a dinner house, which we did not try, has generally poor on-line reviews.) The park is next to, and shares an office with, an old, forlorn trailer park, as tightly packed with broken dreams, as it is with sorry, decrepit mobile homes. The campground itself is just an open field with utility hookups. The grass spaces, of adequate width, are lumpy and there are no tables or other amenities. The park is however, at one end of a two and one-half mile pedestrian/bike path along the Noyo River/Pacific Ocean headland, with magnificent views of the river bar and ocean, part of 25 acre Pomo Bluffs City Park. Noyo Beach, officially off-leash for dogs, is a mile away, just across the river. No problems with Wi-Fi, water pressure, noise or, for a park that appears to be located on top of a septic field, odors.

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I have stayed at this park, owned and operated by the Port of Brookings Harbor, a local government agency, several times over the past three years. On each occasion, reception staff was indifferent at best, and sometimes a wee bit rude, probably understandable for someone stuck by his or herself in a tiny office, doubtless at minimum wage. Free Wi-Fi, activated at long last, is so anemic as to be almost worthless. When you can get through to the internet, barely half the time, access is at dial-up speed or slower. Paid Wi-Fi is also available, but at $10 a day, approaches rip off pricing. (Verizon broadband signal is strong.) Grounds maintenance is infrequent. But, the park’s location right on the water, with an ocean view at every spot, is incomparable. In addition to the fine, sand beach, just steps away, there is an adjacent two acre, unfenced lawn-covered field. The daily rate for premium sites drops from $37 to $26 on November 1st. If reliable Wi-Fi is important, Driftwood RV Park, less than a block away, but without the view (but with a quirky refusal to accept credit cards), is the better, and cheaper, option.

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The campground was closed when I passed by in early August 2010. Its website reports closure is temporary, but gives no reopening date.

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This hillside campground with sweeping views of Flathead Lake has something of a split personality. There is an older KOA section (“Polson/Flathead Lake KOA”), with mature trees, well-maintained grass-covered grounds, average site width and, on many sites, individual wooden decks. Then, there is a new “luxury RV” section (“Polson Motorcoach & RV Resort”), with extra-large, very well appointed and individually owned spaces, apparently without KOA affiliation. The “luxury” spaces, which are restricted to Class A motor homes of at least 30 feet, have unobstructed views of the lake and surrounding mountains and their own website, www.polsonrvresort.com. An admitted owner of one of the “luxury” spots, in seeming violation of RVPR rules, wrote the May 2010 review that appears on this page, and I suspect that another owner also may have written the August 2009 encomium. This is a nice park, but not “the nicest KOA in the system.” There is a fenced pet area, about 70 feet by 50 feet, a volleyball court and half-court basketball. Wi-Fi strength and speed and water pressure were very good. Daily rates range from $35 (30 amp water and electric), through $45 plus (50 amp full hookups) to $65 (luxury spaces). I suspect that the thefts reported by an earlier reviewer were an aberration, as this park is well off the highway on its own access road and a mile north of town.

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This nondescript campground is turning itself into individually owned condominium spaces, which could explain why a couple of earlier reviews, if written by lot owners, seemed to sing this modest park’s praises a little too loudly. It is adjacent to the mouth of the Flathead River, but double-wide manufactured homes occupy the outside rows and block the view. There is pedestrian access to the river, but there is no beach, just a small quay wall and wooden boat dock. Curiously for the high prairie/alpine forest environment, the landscaping between spaces is gravel with drought-resistant plants, more typical of the desert southwest. The office was not staffed throughout my 24 hour stay; I self-registered and, as directed, just entered my credit card info on the registration form. I did not notice any highway signs for the park and only found the place by consulting the RVPR website map just before I entered Polson. While there’s really nothing wrong with this campground, the nearby KOA (which does have comparably sized sites available at roughly the same price, but no river access), is the better of the two.

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This campground is closed.