This is a fairly good campground if you plan to spend a short time here, but you do not want to become a seasonal here. Overnight and short term guests are treated well and given a lot of leeway in rule enforcement. Staff here spends a great majority of their time watching for rule violations and you will be caught. Eight short years ago you were wait listed to get a seasonal site here, but today you can have your pick of over 150 empty seasonal sites. Since the change from family owned to a big corporation take over the management has run this campground into the ground. Holiday weekends tend to be very busy and with one small pool you will have a hard time using it. Enjoy your weekend here but you will be disappointed as a seasonal.
This former KOA campground is better than most KOA's we have visited. From the moment we pulled up to the security gate and were greeted by the staff we knew this was going to be a wonderful overnight. If they had free cable TV I would have given it a ten.
This is a former KOA campground that is in desperate need of work. Office is dark and dingy and not at all inviting. The picnic tables were in such sad shape they would better serve as firewood. The one bright spot was that even though they do not advertise free cable TV, it was available if you had a 100 foot cord to reach it. It was not the worst overnight we have spent, but it was no where near worth the $53 for five people.
Great place to stay while exploring the many attractions in the area. My only problem is the extensive list of add on charges. Extra people are $3 per day including any child over 5. The cable TV will cost another $3 per day and has so few channels it is useless. Many say the sites are tight and hard to get into, but I had no problem with my 36 footer pulling a car. Avoid the whole area during the Sturgis Rally weeks. There are so many little scooters darting all around, and all the campgrounds double or triple their rates.
Rain from several weeks before still had many of the sites flooded and we were crammed into a site much smaller than expected. Mosquitos were so bad you had to keep running to avoid them. While these may seem like minor items, they are things that could have easily been mitigated with proper drainage and spraying for insects. The park is convenient to the expressway, but very noisy.
Sites are quite small and getting into them is a bit of a challenge. We had to unhook our towed car to get in. Easy access to the highway and a great place to stay, going to or from Wintering in South Texas. Friendly staff escorts you to your site.
The park is easy to get to from the interstate, but I am glad we only stayed one night on our way home from the Rio Grande Valley. Most of the sites are occupied by very old RV's in various states of disrepair that seem to be permanent homes for the occupants. The web page is very misleading, or has not been updated in many years. The web page says it is newly completed, but it is far from new. It is not too bad for an overnight but I am glad I left the car hitched to the motorhome for a fast get away in the morning.
This review is based on our experiences and observations after spending 6 months at this campground from November 2009 through April 2010. The Rio Grande Valley consists of a 67 mile corridor along US 83 from Mission, Texas on the west, to Brownsville, Texas on the east. It is difficult to get an exact count but estimates run as high as 500 campgrounds blanket the area, giving Winter Texans a lot of choice in where to settle. Mission Bell/Trade Winds are two resorts physically separated by Stewart Road, that operate as one. Offices for both are located in Mission Bell. The grounds buildings and facilities are very well maintained, and response to problems is fast and efficient. In just one year the new management team has turned these parks a full 180 degrees, by concentrating efforts on customer satisfaction. Each park has it’s own pool and hot tub, that are heated and very well maintained. The pools are salt water which avoids many of the problems associated with chlorine, including burning eyes, faded swimwear and smell. Each park has their own shower facilities. Trade Winds has three mens and three ladies showers in two separate rooms. Mission Bell has three mens and three ladies as well as one unisex/handicap room. There is also a newly remodeled mens and ladies restroom in the main hall at Mission Bell. All restrooms and showers are very well maintained and reported problems are quickly resolved. The only negative here is that none of the shower facilities are heated or air conditioned and subject to the whims of mother nature. Past complaints of noise problems are being dealt with by management. Railroad tracks run along the south end of both resorts and frequently the trains make a lot of noise with their horn. Unfortunately the management can do nothing about this. The north fence line consists of single family homes that present a barking dog problem. Much progress had been made by animal control in cooperation with the resort management to alleviate this problem. The little noise that remains you easily get used to and unless you are a very light sleeper or leave all your windows open all night it will not bother you at all. Wind has also been cited as a complaint and unfortunately the whole valley gets the high winds and if you want to come anyplace in the valley you put up with it. I do not think it is as bad as some say. I have a weather station that has a wind speed readout and so far our highest sustained wind was 38 MPH and the highest gust was 45.8 MPH. I have had my awning open and tied down since we got here and not had a problem. Activities are pretty much the same as you find at all the campgrounds in the Valley. The difference here is the quality. The activities department seems to have a large budget and makes good use of it with a weekly dance with a very popular country band that also does a monthly rock and roll oldies dance. Also scheduled are frequent low cost breakfasts and hamburger fry’s as well as some great pot luck dinners. On the other hand the quality of the entertainment is not a good as it should be. Of the top ten entertainers that made their way from Branson this winter, only one of them appeared here. The only other negative is that a great majority of these activities take place in the Mission Bell Hall and not the Trade Winds Hall. Even with over 500 campgrounds and resorts to choose from the one thing lacking in most is size. A great majority of these places were built in the 60’s and 70’s when RV’s were small and the slide out was rare or non existent. We spent a lot of our spare time here in the valley visiting a lot of different parks, campgrounds and resorts, and found most of them to be the same as far as lot size. The one thing missing from campground directories, advertising and web pages is lot size. The average lot in Trade Winds/Mission Bell is 23 feet wide by 55 feet deep, and has a cement patio 5 by 16 feet. While I have not measured all the lots at all the parks here in the valley, this does seem to be the norm. There are a few places with much bigger lots, if you shop around. With size being pretty much the same, the only criteria left to base prices on is amps and concrete. Here, as in all parks 50 amp service makes the lot cost more than a 30 amp lot. Once again that age problem sneaks in. The older RV’s used mostly 30 amps and the parks are slow to upgrade to 50 amps. A lot of the people that return year after year have made improvements to some lots, in the form of pouring concrete to make larger patios and pads to park their RV on. When the people move on the concrete, of course, stays and the campgrounds reap the benefits by charging more for such lots. It is a fact of life in the RGV no mater what park you choose so if you want to park on cement rather than grass or gravel, you will have to pay the premium price. There are few differences among the resorts in the Rio Grande Valley, but there is one thing you will find at Mission Bell/Trade Winds that makes them stand out, warm friendly people. A walk around on a nice sunny day here will get so many greetings and waves you will almost get tired of saying hello, and you’ll think your arm will fall off from waving. Never before have we met such a great group of people. They are always smiling, friendly, and willing to lend a hand. To sum it all up in one sentence: Mission Bell/Tradewinds is a five star park with ten star people. We loved both the resorts and the friendly people make you want to return to renew friendships year after year. Life is an adventure and in spite of how much we enjoyed our stay here we will be moving on to a different resort next winter and a new adventure. We want to try the other end of the valley and have booked a space in Harlingen for next time. Don’t count us out yet because we may return in the future.
This resort is truly a pleasant surprise. From the moment we arrived we were impressed with the friendly courteous staff. Your stay begins with an escort to your site and assistance with backing in if necessary. So many little extras like trash pick up each day made our time here a pleasure. The free, three times daily, shuttle service to the French Quarter is a real time and money saver. The cost of parking in the French Quarter is around $20 to $25 a day and at times not easy to find so this free service was great. Sites are very level, well landscaped, and large enough for any sized rig. Hook-ups include 50 amp service, and cable in addition to water and sewer. I found only two minor drawbacks. The city street leading to the resort needs improvement and climbing those stairs to the office/clubhouse, several times a day is not fun for people with knee or leg problems. Overall I would recommend this resort and I will definitely stay here again in the future.
Located just a few miles west on I-10 from the city of Boerne, Top of The Hill is top of the list for me. The Resort has easy access to I-10 with the best views in all of Hill Country. The Resort is family owned, well maintained, and in spite of being built on a hill the access to all sites is easy for even the big rigs. The Resort is staffed with Workcampers who return year after year and are both friendly and efficient. After a quick check in you are escorted to your site and guided in. The office/store carries the essentials as well as a good selection of beer and some of the locally produced wines. Most sites are quite level with the exception of the concrete sites. All have 30 and 50 amp full hookups. The WiFi is strong all over but you will still miss your DSL or Cable at home. We stayed here for over two months and enjoyed the time here. We have made plans to visit the Rio Grande Valley next year or we would have reserved space here.