We are travelling in a self contained bus and were quite pleased with this campground. Dry camping, sewer dump and drinking water included in fee, access for our 45' bus without problems, we used site 111 loop D, and moved in and out with ease. Dump station is in the back of loop C. Pick site, then pay and register, first come first served. Lots of ticks and chiggers when we visited, but close to Washington, and no problems driving to the city with our family of 9 (cheaper than the Metro). 2 and 3 hours free street parking on the mall nearest the Capitol. Free city parking in East Potomac Park lot, near the Lincoln Memorial- about a 12-15 min walk to the national mall.
We chose this thanks to Passport America rate offered (19.50 +3 +tax), and were quite happy. Visited with our family of 9 on a 12 month US tour (ourBigtrip.us) and really liked the trees! I wouldn't recommend coming in after dark, the trees are right at the road edge, and maneuvering is tight. The inside pool was open, and very clean as was the spa, the showers and RR were spotless and hot water was appreciated. We'd visit again, and appreciated the kind staff.
We liked it so much we stayed for 5 nights instead of 1. Great warm, clean pool and spa. Very nice staff, clean facilities. We even broke down and played shuffleboard here- very nice courts. It is an older park, you're parked on grass with a concrete pad, but it's comfortable. Mature landscaping, old school feel with clean facilities and everything works. Close to lots of things (3.3 mi to Ft Myers beachfront)- we'd even make this a destination if we were in the area (we're traveling with 7 kids and they all enjoyed it too).
We really liked this park, even though it was packed! We found only 4 sites unoccupied after arriving after hours and cruising to find our own spot. No problem, though, and the next morning the office guy was very kind about registering us and accepting PA discount for more than the first night. Older section is nice, shade trees, easy utility access. Newer section apparently has cable hookups (our location had good digital broadcast TV) and TREES! Evening is funny, real campground-y with folks wearing their evening strolling clothes and walking all over. Everybody waves or says hi, it's very friendly. Several folks around us raved about this being the best park in the area, although there's not a grocery store across the street. We stayed several extra days because it was nice. I hear the pool is cold, but we haven't been in yet (2 pools). Very nice staff and well run park.
I'd say it was mediocre. Wide open, lots of room to maneuver, no trees for shade. Pool hole is fenced off with a bulldozer sitting in it, owner says the city is hassling him about a permit for it. Utilities all work fine, price is reasonable, water tastes terrible. We thought something was wrong with it, but the neighbors that have been here a week say, "You get used to it." Couldn't drink it even after filtering. This park is fine for an overnight stay, safe and clean. Xtra Pizza (next door) has a carry out pizza for $5.99 that's very good. Lady in the office gave us the number and she was very kind checking us in. We probably would choose another park if we return to the area, since we found a better looking place for the same price. In time, this could be a very nice location with mature trees and flora.
This little 40 acre ranch is a step back to days of old: old wood on the Belle Starr cabin, old fashioned campfire at night, old school attitude about hard work and pride. We stumbled upon a listing for the ranch during a search for ‘free campgrounds’, and decided to check it out. When we arrived, the gate was closed and there were a couple of campers on site within view of the highway, so we let ourselves through the gate and approached the house. A little western lady rolled up to the door who turned out to be Ms Belle Starr herself. She directed us to camp wherever we wanted, and she would talk with us the next morning about what ranch chores there were to do (which we asked for). The ranch is situated about 6 air miles from the Mexico border, and has seen illegals crossing the land in years past- although Belle reports it’s been a couple of years since she’s seen any unwelcome visitors. Maybe they’re not coming anymore because of the heavy Border Patrol presence? Along the roadway, the BP comes along about every 8th vehicle- whether it’s vans, tahoes, pickups, 4 wheelers or aircraft- they are every very active in this area. At night, we were treated to no less than 2 close by flyovers as the BP studied every inch of the land surrounding the Silverado Ranch (it seemed). Looked like the Close Encounters of the Third Kind scene when the spaceship lands with all of the spotlights and dramatic noise and flashing lights- it leaves an impression of power when they fly over and take a look at you. We didn’t see anyone crouched in the median or running across the highway, but I’ll guess that it happens. So that being said, and reading reports of the history of border issues, safety would be a consideration to think about when visiting. Belle calls her land a safe place to say, and she’s been here for 18 years, so I guess she knows best. The morning after we arrived, Belle laid out some projects that needed doing, and since it was only her, and us on the property (the campers were empty)- we had the esteemed privilege of haying the horses and clearing the yard and cleaning up the campfire ring and building a fountain… Those were exactly what kind of projects we hoped to be able to take part in when we arrived! Our timing was in step with her helper being out of town, so the horses did get fed. With Belle in a wheelchair following her unfortunate fall and hip injury a year ago, she isn’t physically able to throw the hay herself any longer (so she would appreciate you stopping by). It sounds like she does have help lined up when no one is camping and volunteering, so you could just pull in and sit in a chair, but why? This is really a great chance to get involved and make a contribution. No horse experience necessary (but it would be helpful). Speaking of horses, Belle has a beautiful Clydesdale that can pull her modern stagecoach- if you know how to hitch it and drive him. There’s a stable of miniature donkeys, and a collection of healthy horses that enjoy carrots more than conversation with visitors, but will put up with you if that’s what it takes to eat the orange treats. Throw in the pair of peacocks, chickens (including early rising roosters), and gentle dogs- and you’ve got a nice collection of ranch animals just waiting for you to stop by. Remember, we visited with our 7 children, and every one of them enjoyed the time here immensely. The unsupervised, close up contact with these animals is unlike any other stop we’ve made and places the responsibility for handling the animals properly, on YOU. Study up! Belle has all of the answers if you ask her on one of her ventures outside the house on her electric scooter, but she’s not always right there to chat with. Make a point to change your ranch schedule when you see her, and listen to her rich stories about this place, her grand plans, and her colorful history. She’s ‘sailed with the jet set’, managed Nashville acts, written #1 C&W songs, married into the mafia (briefly) and left it all when she found this little slice of desert that called her 18 years ago. Belle is a generous woman, to the point of suffering herself to give to others. She raves about the relationships she’s made meeting campers here from around the world- who stay anywhere from one night to several weeks or months. She welcomes anyone to visit, but has realized that she can’t give everything away forever, and it looks like she’s setting some guidelines for visitors to know what to expect when they get here. It will still be free to visit for a few days, but with upgrades to sewer and water, she would appreciate a donation to help offset the cost of those projects. Check before you visit for the current status of this free camping opportunity. For what we took away from the Silverado Ranch, we’d have paid up front, and still do the chores for the life experience that cannot normally be bought. Thanks Belle! We love your ranch, and will tell our friends to visit. Belle Starr’s Silverado Ranch is located on Highway 80 right at mile marker 353. It’s just 12 miles from Douglas, about halfway between Douglas and Bisbee, Arizona. On site, there is well water, sewer dumping but no electric service or trash collection. She’s working the bugs out of the WiFi, but hopes to offer that to visitors. Expect to stay for a few days for free if you help out with ranch chores, or make a donation to her and help feed the animals. Someone posted a suggested donation sign that lists a day at 10., a week stay at 50. and a month at 150. I’ve heard of people that stayed a few days and left a hundred dollars. If you’re a cowboy or know ranch life well enough to do it (and not just talk about it), Belle would like to talk with you about an opportunity that may never cross your path again. We posted several photos on our trip blog: www.ourBigtrip.us In the end, we left a couple of hundred dollars and bought some ranch supplies, but you wouldn't have to. Belle was good with accepting 'thanks' and a hand with chores, or a few dollars a night- just don't take advantage of this little lady.
We stayed with our family of 9 and enjoyed this CG more than some with full hookups. The location was good, absence of crowds was excellent and proximity to the visitors center was reasonable (about a 15 min walk on the beach, or 5 minute drive). Newly remodeled showers and bathrooms- the showers are cold water- which didn't keep us away. Dump facility is just outside of the CG, but an easy move every couple of days. CG host met us as we drove in and was helpful with site, local info. The 'regulars' invited us to a fish fry the day after we arrived, there's definitely a group that returns here often. Nice stop on our trip across the country.
We stayed here with 7 kids for 3 nights and appreciated the cleanliness, showers (individual toilet, sink, shower- like a bathroom at home) and proximity to Houston. We could be anywhere within a half hour- although any town America is just down the street (WM, Target, Liquor, Home Depot etc etc etc). Good security, easy to get in our 45' bus, but I'd recommend unhooking your towed vehicle at the office. There are no pull through sites. We'll return if in the area- although we did enjoy street camping on the weekend downtown.
We stopped for the night and stayed for 4. It is like staying in a city park, with hookups, legally. There were a remarkable number of sirens, though. We would stay again. It was a good stop for us to catch up on homeschooling and geocache within walking distance.
We stayed in this 'retirement village', with our family of 9, including 7 kids for 2 nights. The manager was very kind and allowed us in to a park that is not geared toward families, but if you're traveling near here- might be worth a call- since not many of the local RV parks will allow children. If you qualify for their age group, it's an easy choice for a clean older park. The fiberglass pool furniture is in good shape, but may be valuable as collectibles today- they're cool. And the pool? It's great! At least 85 degrees, sparkling clean. We'd come back again if we were allowed to. We were charmed by the authentic, unintentional retro feel.
Our family of 9 enjoyed this park. The staff was very kind toward us, and made us feel like family. Dirt pull-through site, WiFi was good for email, not fast. Close and convenient to redwood stuff, the grandfather tree is across the highway. We'd stay again; it was like a nice state park with full hookups.
We didn't like it. Despite the very kind lady at the front desk, we chose to street camp the next 2 nights in the area. There is a great view from the ocean view sites, albeit at the top of a cliff, and otherwise you're staying in an expensive parking lot. Everything metal was rusted, generally condition was mediocre. We didn't let the kids swim, pool was not attractive from the outside. We won't use this park again. (Try street camping in Daly City next to the Chinese cemetery. A great location, free and closer to SF).
Our family was very happy with this park. It does abut the highway, but didn't bother us. Couldn't get the Wi-Fi to work, but that could have been our problem. The owner is very attentive, treated us like we were the only ones staying here. He appeared when we needed him and was laid back, but attentive to our needs and the integrity of the park. We came here after another park in the area because of the very good rate, and extended our overnight stay to a 3 night stay thanks to our comfort here, and finding more things to do in the area.
Clean, sure thing for an RV park. The owner and staff's pride shows in the care they have put into the park. Everything looks new, although it's about 3 years old now. This would be a good place for a group gathering or live music event. All gravel, no problem, well taken care of.
We stayed here for 3 nights in our 45' bus with 7 children. The mature trees and quiet surroundings were spectacular. The night sky was beyond description. Plan to stay up for a couple of hours just looking.
We spotted 4 satellites at one time! We were spoiled by this campground and we come from the Colorado mountains. Easy access for the RV dump on the way out (included with site fee). Pay attention to the generator hours: 2 hours in am and pm. Sadly the orchards were closed for picking when we arrived, but good to see they're managing the trees and not letting them run completely wild. Very comfortable area.
We stayed here in a bus with 7 children, and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. It is close to everything in the area (by driving), and had convenient access for our large rig. The pool was a big hit, the electric service (50a) ample for the AC in this HEAT (102 deg at 1am) and we would happily return. We did require service on a major electrical part that was handled by Desert Mobile RV Service. I highly recommend these guys. They have lots of experience and treated us fairly on the bill after doing a very good job. The ants were annoying. It seems they found their way to our coach via a tree branch touching in the rear. We tied the branch back, sprinkled Comet around the tires and hoses and had the park spray for ants around the perimeter- it seemed to solve the problem.