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.
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.
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.
Like the previous review says, Lakeside Marina Campground was a great place to stay. Not the easiest to get to since you have to zipzag through downtown Jamestown but definitely worth the effort vs the other closer campgrounds located right along the interstate. The lady that runs the marina & campground was very friendly & helpful when I called. She inform me to turn left off highway 20 about 2 miles north of town just after the cemetery (think was 32nd St SE), then go west a couple blocks til you see the campground entrance on the left. It's a small sign, so don't drive fast. The marina is further down the road on the east side of Jamestown reservoir. Note: the address was listed as 3225 Lakeside Road, but I think that's the address of the marina as our GPS was confused. You can go over the the Marina to register after you pick out your site. I noticed inside the marina was a small grill where you could get breakfast & lunches. Not sure about dinners. Seems like breakfast was only on weekends? Most sites were gravel, lots of them with shade. Since it was mid-week and not crowded, we grabbed one of the cement sites close to the bath house. Most RV sites on the inside of the campground loop had electric & water; some on the outside did not. There was also a dump station. What appears to be a newer bath house had very clean showers, toilets and sinks. Each shower has rubber floor mats like KOA's and a separate curtained changing room. Took awhile for the water to get hot but the water pressure was great. There's also a handicapped shower located in a separate room by itself. There was one station, FOX out of Fargo that came in on antenna TV that gave the weather for Jamestown.
I think Red Barn is a good choice in the Sioux Falls area as the other 2 campgrounds we saw were both in-town right next to the interstate system. Red Barn is in the country, maybe a half-mile away from I-29. You can still hear the freeway noise in the distance at night, but the campground was very quiet. It looked like the majority of the population at Red Barn are seasonal campers, there for a month or the whole summer. Like a previous reviewer stated, most were kept up nicely, with flowers and outdoors lights. The owner does seem to have a real interest in old cars (particularity Mustangs). There are quite a few old cars stored and just sitting around the back part of the grounds by their barn, which may be what some reviewers thought made the place look trashy, but the rest of the main campground was clean and neatly trimmed. The people that run the place were friendly. The majority of the spots are shady and graveled. Our site was definitely not at all level, tested the limits of our jacks to even-out our RV. Red Barns restrooms and showers may be the cleanest I've ever come across. Each shower had it's own large curtained changing room area with a seat, a shelf and 2 hooks. Large shower stalls with lots of hot water and great shower heads. Restrooms and sinks were equally as spotless. Our utilities worked OK but water pressure did seem to fluctuate with the time of day. Wi-Fi signal was not the strongest but did work. Has a decent sized pool and playground for kids. There is a good sized Sunshine Foods grocery store on the southeast side of Tea for supplies.
The drive into town from I-94 is scenic as you descend into the valley. Red Trail campground is also sorta scenic, nestled below a rocky butte on the southeast edge of town. The best thing about this campground is the location. It's a short couple block walk to all the restaurants, shops, bars, museums, etc in historic downtown Medora and Medora is at the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The worst was their restrooms and showers. Had to wait quite awhile before any hot water showed up in the shower and you definitely want to wear your flip flops when you shower. There was a sand play area for kids right outside the women restrooms. Looked like someone had hauled their kid right out there and dragged him directly into the shower without shaking any sand off first. But besides easily-cleaned surface dirt like that; the long time built up grime getting a good hard soap & Clorox brush scrubbing would sure help. The staff was friendly enough but very busy when we checked in. The guy that guided people to their sites was also constantly on the run. Think the main problem here is the place is understaffed. The campground is OK, there are a lot of shady sites, ours was graveled and level. The sites are somewhat close together but this is a rather isolated tourist area, so choices are limited. Utilities and Wi-Fi all worked OK. I liked that you only paid for the type of site and utilities you want to use. Full-hookup W/E/S, W/E, E, tent, back-in or pull thru, cable TV were all optional. They give a Good Sam Discount, see their website for rates, etc. There is a railroad about a block away, but no train horn allowed in Medora so the noise was minimal during our stay. There is only one lone convenience store/gas station in town and no chain fast-food restaurants, only local establishments which made for a small western-town laid back atmosphere I enjoyed.
South Whitlock Resort (SWR) features a convenience store with groceries, licenses, beer, ice, gas, bait, tackle, etc. SWR has a variety of lodging options to accommodate just about everyone. Besides the campground, they also have a small motel, cabins and trailers for rent. See their website for info. They have an onsite boat ramp on Lake Oahe. Fishing guide services are also available at SWR. We booked with Curtis Lagan Guiding, see his website for info. The couple who own/run the place are very friendly. He is more than willing to bend your ear awhile if time permits. There are shower/restroom buildings and laundry facilities. Showers were clean. There was no separate dressing room in each shower, also no hooks or shelves in the shower stall but the door was far enough back you could hang your clothes over it and they didn't get wet. SWR's water comes from an artesian well instead of rural water, so has what I call a mineral/iron ore smell/taste to it. There are about 70 RV sites. Our site #2 with W/E/S was on the eastside of the resort facing the gravel road which runs between SWR and a restaurant across the road. Not much traffic on road besides campers & local residents. Kiddie-corner across intersection from our site was a pasture with cows and calfs grazing. Our site was not real level. Sites are grass so if it rains a lot could get mushy. Water pressure was good. Most peoples cell phones seemed to work OK. There was Wi-Fi but the signal strength was not always reliable. Site widths were a little tight as most campers also had a vehicle and a boat to fit on their site. Sites on rows further to the west seem to have more room to spread out. There are mature native cedar windbreaks planted to the west of each row. One evening a sudden rainstorm blew in from the west with gusty 60/70 MPH microburst winds. Dust was blowing so hard at times you couldn't see across the gravel road to our south. Luckily the 3 rows of thick cedars to our west protected our RVs from most of the wind. We told them we were very thankful to whoever planted those trees decades ago. I would stay here again.
Big plus is that KOA sells LP, seems like most campgrounds have quit dispensing it and can be hard to locate a dealer while on the road. NSC met the usual KOA standards: most everything was clean, well kept, our lot was graveled and fairly level. Like a lot of KOAs, it's very close to the interstate. While this makes for easy access, also makes for a lot of hiway noise. Biggest complaint was the Wi-Fi (or lack of it). When we arrived in the afternoon it wasn't working. Went to the front desk informed the clerk, she said they would reboot it, should take about 15 minutes. I no sooner got connected and it went down again. Tried again after returning from dinner later in the evening, it was not working and all the staff had gone home. Neither was it working in the morning before we had to leave. Since we were paying almost $40 just for W&E, would expect working Wi-Fi. Also the shower stalls are extremely small to begin with, then the door opens to the inside making it even more of a tight squeeze. Assume the one larger handicap shower is pretty busy all the time. The hot/cold faucets were very touchy, went from cool shower to so hot you had to jump back, but the small shower space made that impossible.
We were looking for an affordable place to stay for a week between San Marcos and San Antonio. Most reviews for motels in the area didn't sound that attractive, clean, etc. The rental cottages/mobilehomes at Hill Country RV were a good price as well as clean and a great location for day trips. We rented a 1 bedroom w/loft since there were just two of us, but they also had 2 & 3 bedroom cottages. The furniture was the basic RV rental cottage/cabin decor. Everything was clean, lots of towels, hot water in the shower. The bedroom was small, very crowded. The living room/kitchen area was large and ours had a leather couch that pulled out into a sleeper. There were 2 double beds up in the loft, but the peak clearance up there is like 3 to 4 feet, so best let the kiddos sleep there. Flat screen TVs in both living room and bedroom. There was a coffee maker, toaster, MW, sufficient kitchen utensils and (basic) cookware to get by, but we didn't seem to have any bake ware which seemed strange for cabins usually rented by the month. A/C worked well and so did the wall heaters. Lots of windows to let the breeze into the cottage and a nice front porch to sit on. New Braunfels made for an excellent base to head out sightseeing. From HCRV we did day trips to the Spoetzle brewery in Shiner, the Alamo & Riverwalk in San Antonio, the Wineroad (Hwy 290) tasting tour (10 wineries) to Fredericksburg (toured LBJ's ranch along the way). Gruene 1800's historic district is short drive. New Braunfels annual Wurstfest celebration is a must to see as well. It ran from Nov 4th thru 13th this year. We took a taxi from HCRV so neither of us would have to drive back after sampling the numerous German biers they served. There's an HEB (large Texas grocery store) and a WalMart just an exit up I-35 for supplies. HCRV has indoor and outdoors pools, a hot tub, game room, laundry, Wi-Fi, etc. View their website for more info about on site amenities.
The Good: Their grounds, buildings and RV sites & hook-ups were well maintained with lots of mature trees. Our site only had 50 AMP and they offered to let us borrow a 30-AMP converter if we didn't have one. A wide variety of well-graveled sites can accommodate many types of RV's. Our site was so level we only used our leveling-jacks to stabilize the RV. Besides RV sites, they also have tent sites and five log cabins available. The bathrooms/showers were spotless as were the laundry facilities. There is also a small pool and a play-ground. SPE (St Paul East's) location is a big plus. It is in a semi-rural setting but access to the interstate and shopping were convenient. Within a couple of miles were 2 mall areas with everything you would need. It was not too far from downtown St. Paul and an easy 20 mile drive to Stillwater, a very nice touristy-type small town on the St Croix river across from Wisconsin. As others have noted, SPE runs a very tight ship. Very thorough about registration, taking you to your site, exactly how you park your RV and tow-vehicle on your site, entering/exiting the park, etc. The staff routinely drove through the park on a golf cart watering plants, checking on things. You definitely got the feeling you would be reprimanded if you strayed from any of the rules. But it's good to not have to listen to barking dogs, mid-nite party-hardier, etc. The Bothersome: They have Wi-Fi but unless your site is next to the office there is no signal. They do have tables and chairs set up on a outside patio and inside the office area to use your laptop. Another nuisance was the outer gate. It was only open from 8 AM til 6 PM. You are required to open and close the gate when you leave & re-enter the park outside these hours. So security is only tight if everyone closes it again after they pass through. Which several did not do and got severely reprimanded if caught in the act by the campground hosts. Most campgrounds I've been to if a 'gated' community provide guests with security cards to activate the outer gate after hours. The Negative: It's very noisy starting early in the morning like 7 AM)from a gravel facility directly across the road from the gate. There's gravel excavation & loading equipment plus loud semis/dump trucks coming and going. You could also hear some noise from I-94. Our site was in the eastside of the park, maybe the far westside sites of the park that are located behind a hill would be quieter. Also unfortunately, urban sprawl is encroaching on SPE. A huge apartment complex is being built in the field next-door. The one three-story building they had about finished has all the back patios butt-up against the RV parks South fence. Overall, although an bit pricey, it is a well-run RV park with a great location to use as a base for site-seeing.
Pine Aire Resort & RV campground is located on Lake Kabetogama in Voyageurs National Park. International Falls is about 30 miles to the North. It appears most of their RV campsites are rented for the season with just a couple sites rented by the week. The main RV campground is located on a level area between the lake and Gappa Road with a few sites up the side of a hill for more secluded camping. Their restroom and shower was very clean with lots of hot water. They also have 20 cabins, majority with good views of the lake from decks & living rooms. Most of their cabins are located in a level area but several are up the side of a hill. The couple that run Pine Aire, Denise & Niles are very friendly and helpful. Whenever you are coming in from fishing, Niles or his brother always meet you at the pier to help dock your boat. They clean the fish you catch. We hauled our boat to the resort behind our RV and Pine Aire tows it to/from the boatramp with their pickup. They also have boat & motors for rent. Pine Aire's office & lounge are in same log building where they sell fishing licenses; bait & ice at boat dock. There is a small sand beach & pier. They have a couple of beers on tap at the lodge bar that overlooks the lake. They serve toaster oven pizza, not sure about much else. There' s a combination coffee/espresso/latte, pastry & souvenir shop and also a full service restaurant w/bar & a patio within easy walking distance of the resort if you want to dine out and not drive.
Sampson Springs campground is located about 10 miles SE of Decorah on Highway 9 and 2 miles north on 133rd Avenue which is a graveled road. See their website for additional info. (Note, current online directions say the address is 2271 133rd Ave; but that is their house just down the road on the west. If you rely on your GPS, look for 2244 on the east side of 133rd). The RV sites are graveled. The 10 electric and water RV sites along the west side by the road have shade trees. It seemed a longer than usual distance to the water and electric hookups so you may need double length electric cable and water hose. The campground is in a valley surrounded by tree-lined hills and a stream runs along the north side. We were there mid-week, so the campground was not crowded and very quiet. There was very little traffic on the gravel road. There is only one shower/sink bathroom available but it is very clean. The restroom is a kybo, but it was new and also very clean with ground lights leading to it to find your way at night. Sampson Springs has no dump station. You use the city of Decorah’s dump station that has a garden hose to rinse with. The couple that owns/operates Sampson Springs were extremely friendly and accommodating. We would stay here again.
My review pretty much mirrors the last review from 2007, the grounds and lake at Glen Elder make it a very good place to RV. However what appears to have been a park staff glitch caused me to rate it a 6. We were looking for a place to overnight in the central part of Kansas and there aren't a lot of options. I'd called Glen Elder several days before to reserve a pull-thru RV site since we didn't want to unhook our car. A lady named Lisa said site #4 in their Kaw campground was available but if we didn't arrive by 5 PM they would charge our credit card $11.50 to reserve the site. Since it was a Saturday in summer and the park would likely be busy, I said OK. I even double-check called on Saturday morning to confirm our site # and location with Lisa. We arrived a little after 5PM after driving from Colorado Springs to find our pull-thru site occupied. Two motorhomes were in it and the occupants said/claimed they were told they could take any site in Kaw and that there was no reserved sign posted when they got there. All the other sites in Kaw were either already taken or had a reserved sign. So I called the reservations phone number & and got a 'Lisa' recording saying the office closes at 6 PM on weekends. By then it was 5:30 so I left a message explaining our situation and asking someone to call back ASAP. I also called the number for the park manager and left the same message. We drove around several campgrounds til after 6 PM and no one ever called back. I then called the number for the night park ranger & left the same message. We finally found some empty sites in Kanza. They had flip signs that said 'This Site May Be Reserved; Check With Office'. But when we flipped the sign up, there was a paper tag with a name with dates for this entire week thru Sunday. So does 'This Site May Be Reserved' mean 'You may reserve this site' or does it mean ' This site may already be reserved'? Rather confusing when you're worn out from driving all day. Finally the temporary evening ranger called us back and I explained our situation. He said something about a big event coming up next week and since daily camping permits expire at noon, maybe some overzealous park employee had mistakenly removed our reserved site sign by mistake, and to go ahead and take the site we found. Which we did and luckily no one showed up to claim it because by then it would have taken an armed militia to evict us. State parks in Kansas have a somewhat complicated rate structure: daily State Park entrance fee, plus daily camping fee, plus utility fees broken down by one, two or three utilities, plus a prime site fee (I think for pull-thru or cement pad?). I don't mind paying more for extra amenities, but I didn't appreciate being charged an additional $11.50 for a reserved campsite which wasn't.
We were looking for a place to stay between Cheyenne Wy and Moab UT. Rimrock campground is located about 3 miles west of Meeker on Highway 64 overlooking the White River Valley. The row we were in along the road was mostly seasonal campers with maybe 3 or 4 sites available for travelers like us to reserve. Several other RV and tent sites and cabins were spread out around their grounds. Our gravel site had full hookup and some shade trees. The seasonal population were a fairly quiet bunch and the grounds were rustic but kept up. The restrooms are older but OK clean and showers had plenty of hot water. Laundry facilities are available. The campground's below huge rimrock cliffs which make for a pretty backdrop but block all TV and radio reception (which explains why all the seasonals had satellite dishes). So plan for a quiet evening of conversation or bring a good book to read. My Verizon wireless cell worked OK as did the Wi-Fi if you sat on their office's front porch. They give a Good Sam discount.