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Date of Stay:

MCR has about 90 sites; looked like the majority are for permanent/seasonal use with maybe 25 pull-thru sites for daily camping. Our full-hookup site was very long, fairly level with a picnic table, firepit and decent grassy area between sites. Most of the trees are too scattered or short for much shade. The campground had wifi service available, but not free. MCR has a pool but there is an extra charge to use it, a playground, camp store, laundry, dump stations. They also had 5 A/C'ed cabins to rent. You're about 3 miles from Hazelton and 8 from Independence but there's about 30 Amish Shops (bulk groceries, bakeries, furniture, quilts, etc) just down the gravel roads from the campground. Occasionally, depending upon wind direction, a slight confinement smell could be detected. See their website for info on rate, facilities, directions, etc.

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Geneseo Campground has a great rural location; surrounded by corn fields and next to the historic Hennepin Canal. Our gravel WES site was fairly level with a reasonable amount of grassy space between RV sites. They also had 4 rustic cabins and one yurt (all with A/C) for rent. The canal was great for long-distance jogging/walking/biking along, although there can be a few skeeters if not a windy day. CG had kayaks and canoes for rent. There is a dump station, laundry, play ground and a spray ground. The camp store had basic supplies, ice and best of all LP gas (which is getting harder and harder to find at campgrounds). The owners were extremely friendly and very helpful with questions about Quad cities, Le Claire, Geneseo or other local sites. Tengo supplies their wifi system so you need to register and login but had one of the best internet bandwidths I've come across. GC gives you access for one wireless device free. Good antenna TV reception. Their bathhouse/restrooms were very clean, well ventilated, lots of hot water. The owners even provided washcloths rolled up in a basket for guest's use. Note: We were heading east on I-80 so took Colona Exit 7, turned left (east) on Hiway 224/Cleveland Rd then followed Cleveland Rd and turned right (south) on Hiway 82 till we came to CG's driveway on the left just before crossing the canal. Seemed an easier route than trying to navigate a motorhome towing a vehicle thru the town streets of Geneseo.

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Sugar Bottom Campground is located on the shore and hills above Coralville Lake and is popular for camping, hiking, biking, boating, swimming, fishing and picnicking. The large campground offers around 20 tent campsites, 30 group sites and over 200 single RV sites. There are 10 full hookups with concrete pads, about 10 water/electric sites with gravel pads with the rest being gravel electric-only sites. Most gravel sites were not level. Lots of sites had shade and some are along the lake. Be aware there's a long paved lane back to the campsites but it is very hilly and windy. About half the sites are first come, first serve with the rest reservable on Reserve America CCC. You can get a 50% discount if you have a National Parks Senior/Golden Age Lifetime Pass. See RA's website for fees, maps, rules, directions, etc. There seemed to be at least 10 RV sites reserved for park staff so the campground was well maintained. The best facilities were the 3 modern restroom/shower buildings each with six individual/private rooms. Each room had a locking door, shower with hot water, toilet, sink, mirror, hand-drier, sky-lite. There were several drinking fountains around the campsites, a boat ramp, beach, 2 dump stations, fish cleaning stations, a play ground, picnic shelters, etc. No wifi. The campground was quiet during our mid-week stay.

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LCSP is located on 250-acre Blue Lake, called an 'oxbow' because it was formed by the meanderings of the Missouri River years ago. This Iowa DNR (Department of Natural Resources) campground has level, paved roads, lots of lawn space and was well maintained. The campground felt safe and secure with full-time camp hosts as well as DNR rangers present. The RV sites were all level gravel with a fire ring and picnic table. Large cottonwood trees shade most of the campsites. There is an older but modern, well-ventilated rest room/shower house that plays weatherband radio broadcasts 24 hours a day. No WiFi. Good antenna TV reception from both Omaha & Sioux City. Several hydrants are located around the park for drinking water and there are two dump stations. There are 100 electric only back-in sites and 12 full hookup, pull-thru sites. Over 50 of the sites backup directly onto the lakeshore. Half of the campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve walk-up basis. Advance campsite reservations can be booked through the Iowa State Parks Reserve American campground website. With the fees for camping in Iowa's state parks being so reasonable, it gets full quickly on weekends and holidays, so get there or book early. LCSP also has a beach, a dock with double boat ramps, more than 30 acres of picnic grounds, hiking trails and a playground. .

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This campground is located in the quiet countryside just below the Smithville Lake dam. Next door is the spillway, a playground, baseball, football and soccer parks. You register with the camp host who also sells ice and firewood. A full-service 30 AMP site cost $22. The roadways are all paved. Our gravel site was fairly level with a picnic table and fire-ring. There are a lot of shady sites as well as pull-thrus with a decent amount of grassy space between most sites. The restroom/shower building was fairly new and clean. Note - SFPC is a gated community. Their sign stated the gate opens at 7 am and closes at 10 pm. It's only about a mile and half drive into Smithville for groceries, restaurants, etc. Highway 169 was handy for sightseeing trips into Kansas City. It's a 4-lane direct route to downtown Kansas City and also intersects with interstates 435, 29 and 70 along the way.

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This resort's main attraction is it's located in a quiet wooded lakeside area that seemed far from the maddening traffic jams along Highway 76. It is an older, rustic type campground with hillside gravel sites (not necessarily level). A number of the sites are very narrow and tightly packed together (like our next door neighbor's picnic table was underneath our RVs window awnings). The prime back-in spots along Lake Taneycomo's cool shoreline were especially sardine-can close. All sites had full hookups. RV utilities worked OK at our site. There were two fairly clean restroom/shower buildings. Two swimming pools, a laundry, a well stocked office selling RV/camping/fishing supplies, licenses; including cold beer (however no Sunday beer sales). There is a boat launch, huge fishing docks with numerous slits for rental and personal boats and several dock chairs/benches interspersed for trout fishing on Lake Taneycomo. They also have about 25 rental cabins. I went into the office to ask about their three different Wi-Fi sites available that were either not connecting or constantly losing signal. The lady running the office overall was not very people-friendly; rather abrupt in her conversations, particularly on technical matters like Wi-Fi. However, she also appeared to be the sole office staff to check-in campers, make reservations, cancel reservations, answer phone questions, answer RV/cabin clients questions, sell store products, etc. So I think their main office problem is under-staffing. They did have a handy option where you can order attraction/show tickets from Branson Quicktix and they will be delivered directly to the resort office. There was a Price Chopper grocery store and Walmart within easy driving distance.

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Landing Point was a well kept, quiet RV park on the NW edge of Cape Girardeau. The far side of the campground back by La Croix creek seemed to be mostly seasonal RV sites. The roadways were paved. Each site had either a level concrete slab or strips, picnic table, fire ring with full hookups for $35.00 + tax. They offer a Good Sam discount. A lot of sites had some shade with a good distance of grassy area between most sites. The office help were friendly but were open rather strange hours depending upon what day of the week you arrived. Some days 10 am to 2 pm, 10 am to 6 pm, or 5 pm to 6 pm. See their website for details on hours, rates, directions, park map, etc. Pet friendly. Free WiFi and cable TV but the TV deposit is $125 which you get back if digital box & remote control are returned undamaged. Antenna TV channels came in OK. There's a central annex building where all 3 of LP's restroom &/or shower combinations are located: 1 restroom only; 1 restroom and shower combo and 1 with one sink, one toilet but two showers (for the family that likes to shower together?), there was a lock on the outside door so you can have privacy if desired. Laundry open 24 hours. All facilities worked well. Note - there is a roundabout (traffic circle) on the way to the campground. Keep on the inner circle and exit onto route W. Be aware a number of drivers do not seem to understand proper roundabout entrance and exit rules.

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Viking Lake is located in a 1,000 acre park in SW Iowa and is one of the most popular state parks. VLSP was surrounded by forest, had well maintained grounds, a playground and two modern, clean restroom/shower buildings. Showers are the 'push-button' type with no water temp control, but the hot water temperature and pressure were OK. Cellphone reception wasn't the best; may depend upon your provider. There is a 5.5 mile multi-use trail around the lake and a 1-mile Burr Oak Nature Trail. There's a sandy beach (unsupervised) located on the west shore, 4 boat ramps, 6 fishing jetties and Deb’s Lake View restaurant which was (seasonally) open for breakfast, lunch and dinner but serves no alcohol. The same building also housed a boat concession selling bait, ice, firewood, fishing gear, rents motor boats, paddle boats and pontoons. The roadways are paved but the sites are gravel. The newer 'upper' campground area appeared to have the most level level sites; some with views of the lower campground below by the water. The lower 'lakeside' campground sites near the lake were closer together, more crowded and mostly occupied full-time. The lesser crowded 'West' campground near the tent area had more room between sites. The campground has nonelectric, electric, full hook-up, and buddy campsites and two dump stations. Our electric-only site cost $16. Note - pick your site cautiously; we discovered our advance-reserve site (#25) was the most un-level we've ever come across. We had our front auto-levelers maxed out with 4 boards underneath plus about a foot of boards under our front tires and were barely level. Saw many other motorhomes and 5th-wheelers with what looked like a small forest of lumber under their rigs too.

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We decided that staying at CTL would be close enough to take a day trip to tour all the museums in Auburn, Indiana. It is definitely out in the country, really gives your GPS a work out to navigate to it through all the corn lined rural roads. In some spots the farmers planted their corn rows very close to the county road. The corn stalks were now too tall to see over and you have to watch out for blind intersections. Our RV site had W/E/S, was graveled, but not very level. The water hookup was inside a culvert-type pipe sticking up out of the ground. The WiFi worked well at our site, and about 18 channels came in on antenna TV. There were a lot of seasonal residents living in our area but during the week, CTL was a quiet country campground. Not sure about weekends. CTL advertises a 16 acre stocked lake (no fishing license needed), and they also rent boats. There's a swimming beach (no lifeguard) and a playground. The family that owns and runs CTL appears to be constantly working on improvements. Their office/supply store is newly constructed as well as the restroom/shower/laundry building. There are 6 individual shower rooms that are separate from the public restroom area. Each had a plastic chair and good supply of hot water. All utilities were clean and in good working order. They also had 3 log cabins they rent that looked similar to KOA Kabins. They had electricity, A/C, heat, a mini fridge & microwave.

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Oak Creek Campground (OCC) is just a half-mile from the Flying-J truckstop off I-71 and was a good location for day trips into the Cincinnati area. It is family owned/run with a small store that sells RV supplies, groceries, ice, etc. There's a small pool and playground, and was very child and dog friendly. While OCC is a large campground with a lot of RV sites and about 6 different site-loops all around the grounds, the majority are rented to seasonal, long-term residents with wood decks, cement patios, storage sheds, etc. on their sites. Only the front RV loop appeared to have sites for short-term RV travelers like us, with only about a half-dozen pull throughs for big rigs in the center. Also, after you register at their office, the turn-around to get back to the front RV sites was very tight requiring bigger rigs to backup, so you may want to unhook your tow-vehicle while you register. Their sites are fairly close together. Our gravel site #13 was fairly level and backed up to a small creek. There were shade trees behind us and also a local road ran above the campground so you could hear traffic noise during the day. While we didn't need to use it, they advertised on-site sewer pump outs for free, likely due to the large number of permanent/unmovable mobilehomes. OCC's WIFI worked well, and there were about a dozen channels available on antenna TV. There was a laundry. The tiled showers and restrooms, while well-used by the residents, were clean enough (you'd want to wear your flipflops in the shower) with a good supply of hot water

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First off, since this is increasingly a swipe-the-plastic-only world for some people, note - Add-More only takes cash or checks, no credit cards, also no discounts. The office doesn't stock any RV supplies, groceries, ice, etc. However, it is located just off I-65 and only blocks away from a mega shopping center & endless strip mall and chain-restaurants. You could hear some traffic noise from I-65 depending upon which way the wind was blowing. Add-More was a well kept, clean, friendly, mostly shady RV park. The sites are gravel, mostly level, but narrow and close together. So can be crowded on a busy weekend, but the owners did try to leave empty sites between units on non-busy days. There are a number of seasonal residents sites, but all were a fairly quiet bunch. We had a W/E/S site and all worked good. WI-FI worked great at our site, and a large number of channels came in on antenna TV. Add-More's bathrooms were clean with lots of hot water and a laundry room. They do have a long list of rules and requirements that fills up the entire back of their campground map.

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Little Grassy Lake Campground and Marina (LGLCM) is located about 7 miles south of Carbondale inside Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. It's also close to Giant City State park's lodge and hiking trails. The road through the park is black-top. The park is very secluded and was quiet during the week. There are many shady sites. LGLCM advertises 14 full hookups. Think I counted 5 full hookup sites with fairly level cement slabs in the Lake View area on top of a hill where our site was. The other full hookup sites in Lake View were gravel. All had a good view of the lake and marina below. Each site had a picnic table and fire ring. Some lake view sites were a long, long way from the electric boxes, so best to have double cables. The Trailers Rest and Circle View RV areas were water and electric only and all looked to be gravel sites. Our full hookup cost $30. LGLCM's bathrooms are separate from the showers, but in the same building. Being in park, they were kept OK clean, a few cobwebs, I'd wear my flipflops to shower. They have a small store at the marina where you register, has RV supplies, ice, firewood, fishing licenses, etc. LGLCM have a very nice marina with boat rentals. Pontoon and jon boats, canoes and kayaks. There's also has a small sandy beach away from the marina, no lifeguard, they charge to swim there. The people that ran it were friendly and helpful.

     

Lena KOA

Lena, Illinois

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Lena is an exceptionally well managed and maintained KOA about 35 miles east of historic Galena on Hiway 20. It is a quiet, flower-landscaped campground with both wooded and grassy areas surrounded by farm fields. The staff is friendly and helpful. The park has the usual KOA facilities (heated pool w/slide, WiFi, shower/restrooms, laundry, camp supply store, camping cabins, pool, playground, game room) all of which were clean and in good shape. Lena also sells LP gas which is another big plus since most RV campgrounds don't any more. Most campsites were typical for a KOA, fairly level, fairly close together, some with shade. Our elec & water hookups worked well. About 20 channels came in on Antenna TV. Quite a number of sites were taken by what appeared to be seasonal campers with wood decks and a lot of golf carts and ATV's. Their Kamping Kabins surround a large outdoor Kamping Kitchen/Gazebo (40 person seating with three sinks with hot and cold water, two stove tops, one small grill and one large group grill: great for groups/reunions). In addition new this year, they also had two of what they call authentic "Sioux" style Teepees to rent for a rustic Native American camping experience. Activities include bingo, sand volleyball, horseshoes, pancake breakfasts, barbecues, ice cream socials, "hey" rides, live music, weekly movies, etc. Besides the usual KOA fun-bikes and pedal carts to rent, they also have a giant inflated jumping pillow. They describe it as crossing a trampoline with a bounce castle. Wristband purchase required to use. Check their website for full details.

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Pettibone consists of two very long campgrounds located on an island just east of the US 14/61 bridge from downtown La Crosse. An efficient, multi-tasking bar staff in Pettibone's lounge/campstore building handles check-in and operates the entrance gate during the day. You need to unhook any tow vehicles in their parking lot before you enter the campground areas. We had a nice, shaded back-in site with a cement patio and cement wheel-path strips, so was very level. The Mississippi river/slews/marina are along both sides of the campgrounds. (If this summer had not been the drought of the century, the mosquito population would likely have been more intimidating.) The main campground was a couple blocks long. Depending upon your site location, the shower/restroom building can be a long walk which explains why so many seasonal campers had golf carts. Their facilities were OK clean, consisted of 4 showers and 6 stalls, water was hot, pressure was good. Being totally flat at river level, sewer systems do not drain well so there are no sewers at any of the sites but they have 2 well-equipped dump stations on your way out. The long campgrounds were great exercise and the bridge over the Mississippi River made for a nice, long uphill walk or easy bike ride to downtown LaCrosse's entertainment area.

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Lenwood is a very large campground that surrounds a lake with a good-sized recreational beach and playground areas. There were a large number of seasonal campers. Overall, Lenwood's location is good, but is not a very well kept or organized campground for the price they charge. W/E/S site cost $41. Lakeside sites were $10 more. Our utilities worked OK as did the Wi-Fi. Our campsite was on a treed hillside, but a number were located in a lower marshy area by the lake. If this summer had not been the drought of the century, I'm sure the mosquito population would have been quite intimidating. The worst pests while we were there were the biting deer flies that would land on your legs, arms or neck. They were especially bad if you tried to go outside in early morning or where there was no breeze. There was a small restroom/shower building with one side for men & the other for women. Each consisted of 2 toilets, 1 sink and 1 shower that cost a quarter for 10 minutes of hot water. The windows were always shut so the water heater on the wall made the place feel like a sauna. The water had that rotten egg smell when hydrogen sulfide gas seeps into rural groundwater systems.