About SeaTeacher

Longtime camper and backpacker, but now RVer for 3 years.

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The best part of staying at the Ingalls Homestead is the evenings. Tourists leave at 7pm and you (and your kids) can roam the whole farm. It was wonderful! There were barn kittens which my daughter loved, as well as a calf, and hens with chicks. The locations is beautiful and the stars at night are spectacular. However, the RV sites are not all that great. There are only 4 (that's good!). They are close together and you must share utilities. So, if one of you is using the 30 amp, and the other needs 30 amp, then s/he has to use the 50 amp (with an adapter). There is no other choice. Hoses and cables were everywhere. There are no sewer connections, but there is a dump station. Problem is, visitors in cars parked in front of the dump station, so we emptied our tanks elsewhere. Sites 1 and 2 are fine for trailers, but 3 and 4 would be very difficult to back into (everything is back in). Sites 3 and 4 are most appropriate for motor homes. The RV sites are next to the main visitor center on a small hill. We were in site 1 and were first to arrive. The big problem for us was when a severe thunderstorm came through at 4am. The site was very exposed. I was really concerned about our trailer. We evacuated to the concrete bathrooms down the hill when a tornado watch was issued. I'm from the west coast, so I'm not used to that kind of 50mph winds and heavy rain. I'm so glad they had a safe evacuation building. Ultimately, the trailer was pushed about 10" by the winds. No tornado touched down in the area. In the end, we had a great time at the Ingalls Homestead and I would happily stay here again. My daughter was never happier.

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Devil's Tower KOA was a great place. It's literally at the entrance to the National Monument. We were lucky - our site had some big shade trees. Many sites are without shade. The kids' playground was terrific. The store was decent. The pool was clean and a good size. We had Verizon cell service. The WiFi was almost useless. We really enjoyed the movie presentation of Close Encounters. Most of all, I just enjoyed sitting in the shade looking at our view of Devil's Tower. All the utilities were fine and our gravel site was surprisingly even. There was passing thunderstorm, but things didn't get too muddy. Overall, I would be happy to stay here again.

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The Mount Rushmore KOA is huge, and it has a ton of features. But, it's also VERY expensive and far from perfect. Thunderstorms cause big puddles and lots of mud in the roads and in the RV sites. There is no cell service of any type. The limited WiFi service is just around certain buildings and didn't work at all for me. "Oh, it never works for iPhones," was the explanation I got from a staff member. But other campers with Google phones had the same complaint as me. If your WiFi service doesn't work for the popular brands: then perhaps you shouldn't advertise as having Wifi. Also, they close the pools during thunderstorms: a reasonable precaution. However, I was told they open the pools back up 30 min after the last lightening strike. After 60 minutes, we gave up. Finally, people were smoking in the kid play areas. There is no sign prohibiting that, so I didn't feel I could say anything, but I certainly don't like it. Also, many RVs were crammed into sites too small for both the trailer and tow vehicle. I had to park at an angle and partly on the grass. Many people had their trucks partially in the roadway. Considering that I paid $80/night (including a $10 "resort fee"), I was sorely disappointed. I wouldn't stay here again. Frankly, any hotel or campground that charges a resort fee cannot be trusted.

     

Hardin KOA

Hardin, Montana

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The Hardin KOA is in a good location. It's close to the Little Bighorn Battlefield Memorial, and close to a small town with gas/groceries. It's surrounded by farm fields, includes a small clean pool. The roads and sites are gravel - and tend to be a little dusty, but it isn't too bad. There is some limited shade. The children's playground is okay. But, their claim to having cable TV is silly. It simply doesn't work. Just use a regular antenna and you'll get a few network stations with a clear signal. The WiFi signal was okay, but not spectacular. It works best late at night when most people are asleep.

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The Missoula KOA was a little disappointing. We stayed only one night. Our site was mostly weedy grass and rocks. Though level enough, it was awfully close to the neighbor. Perhaps one of their deluxe sites would have been better, but one night just couldn't justify the higher cost. KOA is already expensive enough. We did enjoy some time in the small pool and the staff was plenty friendly.

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Steamboat Rock is a really beautiful park. We enjoyed having wild turkeys crossing through our campsite. We also enjoyed the beach/swimming and the kids' play area. All the utilities are fine, and we did have a weak Verizon cell signal. Grand Coulee dam is very close by. Our neighbors were all quiet and the staff was friendly and attentive.

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The only complaint I have about this park is the check in process. You have to wait in your RV until you have permission to come inside the office. You sit there and it seems like the wait is forever. But, then a guy in a little golf cart leads you to your site (unnecessary) and your site is gorgeous. The pads are concrete and very even. The grass is green and the spacing is reasonable. There are moderately sides trees and shrubs. Campfires aren't allowed, but there is a common area where the employees will make a campfire for you. There is a play structure for the kids and a nice indoor pool. I've stayed here three times, and it's head and shoulders above the nearby Stanton Park Campground - for just 10 bucks more! Fantastic place. And the nearby gas station (run by the tribe also) has the best gas prices around.

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I'm going to disagree with the previous reviews. We were in site 14. It was VERY sloped. The sites were fairly close. The freeway noise was very noticeable. There must have been some sort of rally or family reunion going on, because there were tons of people and they were constantly standing in the roadways, making getting to the site difficult. I felt like I was camping next to hillbillies. Towels and clothing hanging everywhere. Lots of drinking and noise, though just talking and laughing - no loud music. The instructions for checking in were self-service, and very unclear. The electrical service box was beat up. The numbers for each site were only painted on the ground, and were mostly faded. I would not stay here again unless I had no choice.

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This campground is only 30 minutes from central Oakland. We were in site 12, which fit my 25' trailer just fine. My tow vehicle had to park perpendicular. Some of the RV/utility sites are close, and others are widely spaced. Ours was the latter - perhaps the best of the 12 utility sites in my opinion. The access roads are narrow and a bit twisty. Only the first 6 sites would probably work for a rig in the 30+ range. There are no facilities/playgrounds for children, but we did some hiking and spent the rest of our free time in Oakland or SF. There are a couple pig green grassy areas that are good for a ball game. The campground is very quiet. We saw turkeys, deer and raccoons. If you have a long haired dog, like I do - keep them out of the dry summer grasses. There are so many burrs and sticky seeds, it will be a disaster for your dog. Short hair dogs are probably fine. I checked, and there were lots of TV channels available for a broadcast antenna, but so many eucalyptus trees that a satellite dish might have problems. They were allowing campfires, so we indulged ourselves every night. I would happily stay here again.

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This "kampground" is like an amusement park. There is so much to do, especially for kids. Kids where everywhere like flies, and I count my child among them. The pool is huge and very clean. The campgrounds are somewhat dry and plain - not exactly close, nor widely spaced - just middle of the road for this type of camp. I suppose it's difficult to maintain grass in California at this time. It was all brown and dusty. Our neighbors were very nice and friendly. The staff was friendly but also crazy busy. The office was a madhouse all day long. Utilities were fine - no problems. By 10pm, the campground was quiet every night. Only problem was some of the teens would walk through my campground. I would stay here again. Camping in the bay area is slim pickin's, so it's not like there is much else that is better nor cheaper - especially for a family.

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This is a nice campground, with several full utility sites in the southwest loop. The privacy of each site was less than I had hoped for. There are a lot of shore pines and dune shrubs growing around the sites, but also many sites totally or partially open to neighboring sites. If you camp here, choose your site carefully if privacy is a priority for you. The utilities are fine. My only problem was with the strange sewer pipe that rises above ground level then turns 90 degrees. I don't know who every thought that design was conducive to proper waste disposal. The taste of water in Washington beach communities can sometimes be rather foul due to sulfur compounds in well water. However, big surprise - the water tasted okay at Ocean City State Park. Not great - but okay. Disappointing was access to the bathroom building. The trails leading to the central bathroom run right through the middle of several campsites. So, you can expect to see people walking right by your rig to access the bathrooms. Luckily, most of the sites around me had self-contained RVs, so few people were using the public bathrooms. Still, two people walked within 5 feet of my rig while we were eating or sitting by the campfire. I never like that, but there really wasn't an alternative route without going far out of their way. The access trails to the dunes and beach are very easy. It takes 5-10 minutes to walk out to the open beach. The beach is broad and wasn't very crowded. Cars can drive on the beach in the area around the park, so be careful - especially with your little ones and dogs. There is no playground in the park, but kids often ride bikes on the rough park roads. There are a few large open grassy spaces suitable for ballgames. My fellow campers were polite and quiet. The campground was silent by 10pm. Nearby, the city of Ocean Shores has a grocery, gasoline, propane and a few decent restaurants and shops.

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Penrose Point is a beautiful state park with no hookups. Water spigots are available, and the dump station has potable water. The campground is heavily forested, which grants significant privacy for most campsites. Some of the turns are quite tight and branches can be low, so really big rigs may have a tough time navigating to their site. But, my 25' trailer and 20' truck were fine. The sites are moderately level. Bring some blocks. You will need them. Verizon service was good. Due to the many tall trees, satellite TV service is nearly impossible, and broadcast TV is limited to a few local religious channels. But don't spend your time watching TV! Get out and see the beauty of nature in the Pacific NW. There is no playground for the little ones, but a big grassy day use area is available with a smooth gravel beach which is very shallow and perfect for wading. This is an ideal park for kayaking. The hiking trails are extensive and lovely. This park is fairly remote, yet only 2 hours from downtown Seattle, 0nly 1 hour from Tacoma. A big grocery and several small restaurants are located about 20-25 minutes north of the park. The sites are gravel and dirt, with lots of moss mixed in. Campfire rings and picnic tables are at each site. Though I didn't see every campsite, I recommend avoiding site 50 - the trail to the bathrooms literally goes through the site. I camped in site 16 - a moderately sized pull-through. I was at Penrose on Labor Day weekend. My fellow campers were okay. On one side, two families were loud talkers, but generally fine. On the other side, two families that were quiet and hardly noticeable other than the occasional soft notes of strumming on guitar strings. Pretty typical for a state park on a holiday weekend. Kids on bikes were everywhere. Lots of dogs too. I would happily return to Penrose Point.

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We stayed for three nights at Denny Creek. This was our second time at the campground. It's a beautiful place. The sites are widely spaced, and unlike most National Forest Service campsites, some of them have electricity. The campground is just 50 minutes from downtown Seattle, which makes it a very popular place. I've found my fellow campers there to be very quiet - but maybe that isn't because of the campers. Perhaps it's because of the background hum of the freeway noise that drowns them out. It's constant, but varies in intensity. Sometimes it's a whisper, and then the whisper turns into a roar as a semi driver roars overhead using his compression brakes. The freeway is elevated 100 feet above, while the campground is at the bottom of the valley. There are no RV utilities other than a few sites with 30amp service. There isn't even a sewer dump station. For that you can go to Lake Easton State park about 20 miles east, or Lake Sammamish State Park about 35 miles west. Verizon cell service is okay, but there is no broadcast TV reception. Good luck finding satellite TV, given the dense and shady forest you're unlikely to connect. Still, for some reason I like this campground. The hikes that start at the campground (Franklin Falls & Denny Creek Slide) are really terrific - and very popular for a good reason. They are easy to moderate difficulty and very beautiful. For a quick 2-3 night getaway close to the city, Denny Creek does okay as long as you can ignore the I-90 traffic noise. Despite the drought, the NFS was still allowing campfires in the fire pits. They didn't overreact like the state parks. I like Denny Creek - I don't love it, but I like it.

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There is only one reason this park got 9/10 points with me - the sites are very close. The strip of grass is (at most) 3 feet. However, the facilities are beautiful. There is a concrete patio for each site. They have a lovely new (though small) pool. It's quiet. Most of the sites are taken by long term customers, but everything is neat and tidy. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly. It's just a 10 minutes drive to downtown Boise. The Wi-Fi worked well - especially later at night. The big toy for kids (known as a "jungle gym" to old folks) was really a minimal set up, but my daughter still enjoyed it. She really loved the pool. I would happily stay here again.

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This is a nice park, and very large. It's geared toward families, with a large play area including pool, hot tub, big toy, and basketball court. The laundry facilities are big, very clean and well ventilated. There isn't a lot of space between sites, but there is grass and a tree as well as a picnic table at each site. Best of all, the campground is only 2 miles from downtown and Temple Square. A light rail stop is across the street and freeway access is a breeze. Some have expressed concern about the surrounding neighborhood, but I think they are too sensitive. Yeah, it's a Latino and industrial neighborhood. Get over it. The nearby supermarket was big and clean. The streets and rail station felt safe to me. Here's my big complaint. This campground was toward the end of a three week 3,300 mile road trip. This is the ONLY campground out of 10 where multiple people blatantly walked through my campsite - 5 TIMES by my count, often within 1-2 feet of my rig while the door was open and the awning extended. Even once while I was sitting outside, a guy walked through pretending to ignore me. All I could say to him was, "Seriously?" I've never experienced anything like that many intrusions on my campsite. There is something about the clientele at this campground. I don't understand. The staff didn't seem lax - in fact they were friendly and always puttering about. Perhaps because it's a big RV park, the customers are just lazy and don't care about their neighbor's privacy. Also, many trains pass nearby during the night. You will hear them if your windows are open. They blow their horns often at 3am.