Texas Campground Reviews

Here you will find reviews of campgrounds in which we have stayed in the state of Texas.

For details on how we choose a campground and our review criteria, go to our Main Campground Reviews page.

The reviews you find here will be from most recent to oldest since the older the review, the less relevant it may be. The "Overall Rating" is on a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being the best.

Also, you will notice that each listing shows a corresponding "Journal Site" number. This refers to when our stay occurred in our journey and the number on the Map Of Our Travels on our daily Journal. By going to our Journal for the dates indicated in the review, you may be able to find out more about the campground and the area - but no promises. :)


Direct Links To Texas Reviews Below

Sandy Creek Park COE Campground, Steinhagen Lake, Jasper, TX - November 2009

Cagle Recreation Area, Sam Houston National Forest, New Waverly, TX - October 2009

South Shore Park, Lake Bastrop, Bastrop, TX - October 2009

Buckhorn Lake Resort, Kerrville, TX - October 2009

Super 8 Motel & RV Park (formerly Circle Bar RV Park), Ozona, TX - October 2009

Saddleback Mountain RV Park, Balmorhea, TX - October 2009

Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, TX - May 2008

Parkview RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX - February 2008

Kerrville-Schreiner Park Campground, Kerrville, TX - February 2008

Private Residence, Harwood, TX - February 2008

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Village, Freeport, TX - December 2007

Davis Mountains State Park, Fort Davis, TX - May 2007

Big Bend Motor Inn & RV Campground, Terlingua, TX - May 2007

Seminole Canyon State Park, Comstock, TX - May 2007

Parkview Riverside RV Park, Concan, TX - April 2007

Admiralty RV Resort, San Antonio, TX - April 2007

Choke Canyon State Park, Calliham Campground, Three Rivers, TX - April 2007

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer RV Compound, Alamo, TX - December 2006

Padre Balli Park Campground, North Padre Island, TX - November 2006

Padre Island National Seashore Campground, North Padre Island, TX - November 2006

Rayford Crossing RV Resort, Spring, TX - November 2006

Private Business, Conroe, TX - November 2006

Rainbow's End RV Park, Livingston, TX - November 2006

Rocky Point Campground, Wright Patman Lake, TX - November 2006



Journal Site 137: Sandy Creek Park COE Campground, Steinhagen Lake - Overall Rating: 9.5

Dates: October 27 - November ??, 2009
Location: About 70 miles north of Beaumont, TX. A few miles south of U.S. Hwy 190 on the east side of Steinhagen Lake. NOTE: If approaching from the west heading east on U.S. 190, DO NOT turn on right on County Road 156 to get to County Road 155. Stay on U.S. 190 to State Hwy 777 south. Turn right on County Road 155 to get to the park.
GPS Coordinates: 30.82746N, 94.1563W
Our Site Number: 12
Reason Selected: We were moving east from north of Houston and were looking for an east Texas Corps of Engineers Campground near the Texas/Louisiana border.
Setting: The campground sits right on the east shore of Steinhagen Lake out in the middle of nowhere. It is absolutely a perfect setting for RV sites if you like remote, quiet campgrounds as much as we do. Roads and campsites are paved. The main road meanders along the shoreline with deep woods on the other side. All campsites have lake views.
Guidebooks: None used, but originally found this campground on RVParkReviews.com.
Big Rig Friendly: It's not the easiest place to find or the easiest place to get to with a big rig. But once you make it to the park, there are wide, paved roads and some of the longest paved campsites you will ever see.
Hook-ups: Electic and water hook-ups only. There are a few scattered sites with 50 amps, but the majority have 30 amps. There is a dump station in the campground.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: Rates are $16 a night for 30-amp sites and $18 a night for 50-amp sites. Half price with the federal America The Beautiful Senior Pass - what a deal!!.
Other Factors: Rooftop satellite is totally dependent on the site you have. There is very, very little information on this park on the web. There are three boat ramps within the park and every site has a lake view. Lots of deer and the birding is great. Each site has a sheltered picnic table and a fire ring. Bathhouses are clean, but rather industrial looking - not very inviting. Cell phone coverage is good on Verizon without needing an amplifier.
OVERALL RATING: 9.5 (out of ten)
This campground has quickly vaulted into our top ten! We absolutely love it! If it had 50-amp service at every site and sewer hook-ups, it would be a no-brainer 10. :)

Sandy Creek Park COE Campground, Steinhagen Lake

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Journal Site 136: Cagle Recreation Area Campground, Sam Houston National Forest - Overall Rating: 8.5

Dates: October 18 - October 27, 2009
Location: About 60 miles north of Houston. Five miles west of I-45 on County Road 1375 at the north end of Lake Conroe.
GPS Coordinates: 30.52470N, 95.58900W
Our Site Number: 16 - Sweetgum Loop
Reason Selected: We were moving east and wanted another natural setting, public campground 100 - 150 miles from the last one in Bastrop, TX. We had previously visited this campground while in the area. Also, the reviews on RVParkReviews.com were strong. And it didn't hurt that this is one of the few National Forest campgrounds that has full hook-ups. :)
Setting: The campground has two loops, the Sweetgum where we were, and the Sycamore which is closer to Lake Conroe and has a few lakeview sites. Both loops are heavily wooded. The sites are large and well spread out even though there isn't any vegetation between sites to create privacy. All the roads and sites are paved.
Guidebooks: None used.
Big Rig Friendly: The county road (1375) gets a little narrow as you approach the recreation area, but once in the park, there is plenty of room for big rigs.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric. Bathhouses were okay, but not great.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: Rates are $20 a night. Half price with the federal America The Beautiful Senior Pass.
Other Factors: Rooftop satellite was an issue due to tall trees throughout the campground. There were a couple where we think we could have gotten satellite (Site 15 perhaps). We were able to get internet by using our cell phone as a modem and we got TV with a manual dish and some cable (there are some openings in the trees). There are two short trails and a boat ramp within the park. As I said before, bathhouses were okay, but not great. The
OVERALL RATING: 8.5 (out of ten)
We loved this campground, particularly, the natural setting and the huge amount of space between sites. It has a great feel and we were certainly pleased with the full hook-ups. The one downside is the limited number of first come, first served sites. As most people know, we don't make reservations and we certainly aren't a fan of the federal reservation system, so we are always a little disappointed when federal campgrounds have more than 50% of their sites as reservable sites (about 70% in this case). And at this campground, they didn't "sell" the reservable sites when there was no reservation. So, if you walk in, you basically have to take your chances on getting one of the 14 non-reservable sites. Still, this is a great campground using our criteria!

Cagle Recreation Area, Sam Houston National Forest

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Journal Site 135: South Shore Park, Lake Bastrop - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: October 13 - October 18, 2009
Location: About 40 miles southwest of Austin, TX and about 5 miles northeast of the town of Bastrop off TX Hwy 21.
GPS Coordinates: 30.13921N, 97.28338W
Our Site Number: 32
Reason Selected: We were seeking a spot with a natural setting somewhere about 150 miles or less east of Kerrville after our 2009 Rally. We selected the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) South Shore Park partly based on reviews from RVParkReviews.com.
Setting: The campground sits in a loop in the Texas woods along Bastrop Lake. Except for a few side-by-side "buddy" sites, the sites are separated by space and trees. The interior roads are paved as are the long sites. The setting certainly fits our criteria.
Guidebooks: None used, but we did find the campground via RVParkReviews.com.
Big Rig Friendly: I'm a little conflicted on this. There is certainly enough room to get into the park, into the campground, and into the dump station. And most of the sites are certainly long enough for big rigs. However, there are some low hanging branches and the small loop, the Big Cedar Camping Loop, is way too tight for large rigs. So, I'm not sure I would call it "big rig friendly", but, with care, it is big rig "doable". :)
Hook-ups: There are a few sites on the inner side of the main camping loop that have full hook-ups. Most have electric and water only. Now, I thought that all the sites had 50-amp electric, but the website says there are 30-amp sites. So, if that makes a difference to you, check it out. :) There is a good dump station. Bathrooms were old and a little scary - we expected better.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: Rates are $15 a night or $20 a night for the "premium" sites (waterfront or full-hook-ups). By the way, I don't believe any of the waterfront sites have full hook-ups. BUT, they also charge a $4 per person entrance fee on top of the camping fee for every night. And since they are NOT a state park, they don't take the annual State Parks Pass for the entrance fees.
Other Factors: Rooftop satellite was an issue due to trees around the sites. There are a few sites where we could get it including Site 32 where we parked. The website is limited. The one confusing issue is whether the sites are first-come, first served or reservable. They are all reservable, but you can walk-in and take a site that hasn't been reserved. However, if you plan to stay awhile the site can be reserved out from under you if you don't pay for all the days you want up front. Almost happened to us. :)
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
Now this was our kind of campground. Even though it was pretty wet and the mosquitoes were bad when we were there, it deserves a 7.5. With the lake access and the hiking trails, it might have gotten an 8 if not for the poor bathrooms and that annoying per person per day entrance fee on top of the camping fee. :)

LCRA South Shore Park on Bastrop Lake

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Journal Site 134: Buckhorn Lake Resort - Overall Rating: 8.5

Dates: October 4 - October 13, 2009
Location: Exit 501 off I-10 just west of Kerrville, TX.
GPS Coordinates: 30.11975N, 99.20026W
Our Site Number: 6062
Reason Selected: We selected Buckhorn Lake Resort for our 2009 RV-Dreams Rally. It is centrally located in the U.S. and has wonderful facilities for a rally. Their reputation for hosting rallies is well known. We had visited in early 2008 and looked things over, but we didn't stay.
Setting: A lovely, manicured RV park with. It sits out by itself, practically with its own interstate exit. :) It's still a little close to the interstate, and it is still an RV park with sites that are bit too close together for our tastes, but as RV parks go, this one is hard to beat.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: This resort was built with big rigs in mind. All the pull-throughs are large enough for a 40-ft motorhome towing a 20-ft trailer. We had our 39-ft fifth wheel, our truck, and our Jeep in the site. Very big rig friendly.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric.
Laundry: There are wonderful laundry facilities.
Price & Discounts: Rates range from $39 - $49 per night. Discounts (10%) are available on the nightly rate for members of Good Sams, Family Motorcoach Association, AAA, and AARP. Weekly rates range from $210 - $260 PLUS metered electric. Monthly rates range from $500 - $590 PLUS metered electric. Also, you can negotiate lower nightly rates on groups of 15 rigs or more. Our group paid $30 per night.
Other Factors: Rooftop satellite is no problem. The staff was terrific and they made putting on a rally very easy. The website is very good. There is a pond/creek running through the property which certainly adds to the attempt at a more natural setting. You can fish without a license. There are two pools and whirlpools. There is a very nice fitness room. There is an "adult only" section. They have free Wi-Fi. There are several other amenities and many services you can get for an additional fee.
OVERALL RATING: 8.5 (out of ten)
Most people know we are not big fans of private RV parks and prefer more spacious, more private sites in a more natural setting. And it would be very rare for us to pay $39 - $49 per night. However, as far as RV parks go, this one deserves the name "Resort". Now, with that said and considering the success of our Rally, we still can't give it more than an 8.5 based on the criteria that is most important to us in choosing and reviewing a campground.

Buckhorn Lake Resort

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Journal Site 133: Super 8 Motel & RV Park (formerly Circle Bar RV Park) - Overall Rating: 5

Dates: October 3 - October 4, 2009
Location: Exit 372 off I-10 between El Paso and San Antonio. Just east of Ozona.
GPS Coordinates: 30.69652N, 101.0903W
Our Site Number: A14
Reason Selected: Decent stopping point between Balmorhea and Kerrville, TX, our ultimate destination.
Setting: Several pull-through sites in an old RV park right off the interstate. No character at all.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Any size rig can get in and out, but the pull-through sites are too short for today's longer rigs. Also, with large curbs between each site, the sites are pretty tight for big rigs. Have to park tow vehicles and toads in other sites. Fortunately, there are plenty of open sites and everyone does it. It works, but it's not the best.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric.
Laundry: There are laundry facilities, but we didn't check them out.
Price & Discounts: $20 a night or $18 if you pay cash.
Other Factors: Rooftop satellite is no problem. Gas/Diesel at the exit. No website.
OVERALL RATING: 5 (out of ten)
Stop here if you are desperate to get off of I-10 near Ozona. Otherwise, I'd plan on staying elsewhere. :)

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Journal Site 132: Saddleback Mountain RV Park - Overall Rating: 6

Dates: October 2, - October 3, 2009
Location: Exit 212 off I-10 between El Paso and San Antonio. Just east of Balmorhea.
GPS Coordinates: 30.99231N, 103.6646W
Our Site Number: B6
Reason Selected: Passport America park right on the interstate as we scrambled to get to our 2009 Rally in Kerrville, TX. Also, saw a couple of other decent reviews online.
Setting: Twenty pull-through sites in two rows. For an overnight, interstate RV park, the native landscaping between the sites was a nice surprise. It's all gravel with long, identical pull-throughs in a west Texas desert setting. The only problem is that it is so close to the interstate and it's not very well "protected".
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Any size rig can get in and out easily. The sites are long enough to stay hitched up and there is still room for another vehicle.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric. No showers, bathrooms, or dump station.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $20 a night. Passport America 50% discount available for one night.
Other Factors: Rooftop satellite is no problem. It doesn't get any easier at check-in. You walk into the convenience store/gas station/office, pay the cashier, and choose a site. There is a short nature trail at the campground which, in addition to the landscaping, was also a little surprise. Now, the cast of characters we saw at the gas station and convenience store made us a little uneasy, but we had no problems.
OVERALL RATING: 6 (out of ten)
I almost gave this place a 7, but couldn't do it because of the proximity to the interstate. Had the RV park been located somewhere else, I probably would have bumped it up. It's certainly a great deal for $10 at the Passport America rate. We were in fast travel mode due to some prior RV problems. Otherwise, we probably wouldn't have stayed here in the first place. However, if we have to hustle across southwest Texas again for some reason, we'd stay here again.

Saddleback Mountain RV Park

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Journal Site 99: Palo Duro Canyon State Park - Overall Rating: 8

Dates: May 19 - May 26, 2008
Location: South of Amarillo off I-27. At the end of TX 217 about 8 miles east of I-27 (12 miles east of Canyon).
GPS Coordinates: 34.97534N, 101.6759W
Our Site Number: 122 Sagebrush Campground
Reason Selected: Had been wanting to visit this state park from the first time we saw pictures of the campsites and reviews from our web readers.
Setting: Three campgrounds on the floor of a deep canyon. Each campground is slightly different, but mostly the sites are open and tucked in between mesquite trees and junipers. Good views of the canyon walls from all sites. The campground roads are paved, but the pads are gravel. Other than a couple power lines, nothing to impair the sightlines and only the noise of the wind, birds, and park traffic can be heard.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: There is a windy one-mile 10% grade driving down into the canyon. Caution is required for big rigs around the sharp turns. But with patience and remaining in the lowest gear going down, there should be no problem. The Sagebrush Campground is big rig friendly and closer to the entrance of the park. The Hackberry Campground is for smaller rigs. The Mesquite Campground is at the end of the park road and has good views, but you have to make several low crossings that can be flooded at times. When dry, there shouldn't be an issue, but you might drag going through the crossings if you are very long. Still, there are plenty of larger rigs found in the campgrounds.
Hook-ups: Water and 50/30 amp electric in Sagebrush & Mesquite Campgrounds. Water and 30 amp electric in Hackberry. Each campground has a bathhouse with flush toilets and showers. And each campground has a dump station.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $22 a night PLUS a $4 park entry fee per day per person! If you are going to visit several Texas State Parks during a year's time, it's best to buy an annual parks pass for $60 (or $75 for two vehicles) which will cover those park entry fees.
Other Factors: Staff was very friendly and let us know our options when we called the morning of our arrival. Rooftop satellite is no problem in the two larger campgrounds. The bathhouse was clean, but a little smelly. We chose the Sagebrush campground as it was an easier in-and-out and because it is closer to the entrance where there is cell coverage. Our cell phones work just fine with our amplifier.
OVERALL RATING: 8 (out of ten)
We really enjoyed our campsite. We were lucky in that we got to choose a site. Normally, they are assigned to you at the entrance. During the week, there was almost no one else in the campground with us. It was very peaceful and we enjoyed the birds and wildlife that passed through. Next door to our campground was a "trading post" where they had some groceries, a grill, and snacks. A Super Wal-mart is in the town of Canyon about 17 miles from the Sagebrush Campground. We would have given the campground an 8.5 if not for the extra $8 per couple per day added on to the campground fee.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park

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Journal Site 89: Parkview RV Park - Overall Rating: 5

Dates: February 18, 2008
Location: Just south of I-10 at Fort Stockton on U.S. Hwy 285.
GPS Coordinates: 30.8791N, 102.8665W
Our Site Number: 41
Reason Selected: This was a Passport America park on our way to Utah. Just an overnight stop.
Setting: A dirt/gravel parking lot next to a mobile home park. Ugly, ugly, ugly.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig pretty easily. We didn't have to unhitch the truck.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30 amp electric. Some sites have only 30 amps.
Laundry: Yes, but we didn't look at it.
Price & Discounts: $18 a night for 30 amps or $22 a night for 50 amps. With Passport America (no restrictions as of the time of our stay), the fees were 50% off.
Other Factors: Terrible website. No problem with satellite though. Tried to be friendly with the staff, but didn't have much luck. :)
OVERALL RATING: 5 (out of ten)
Not our type of place at all. But it served the purpose, had full hook-ups, and was pretty easy in and out.

Parkview RV Park

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Journal Site 88: Kerrville-Schreiner Park Campground - Overall Rating: 8.5

Dates: February 17, 2008
Location: Just off Texas Hwy 173 south of Kerrville a few miles south of I-10.
GPS Coordinates: 30.00585N, 99.12628W
Our Site Number: 118
Reason Selected: We were meeting with RV-Dreams readers in the Kerrville/Bandera area on our way toward a camphosting volunteer job in Utah. This was the best option for a natural setting in the area.
Setting: There are 42 RV sites in a wooded area on a hill on the west side of Hwy 173. There are 20 more sites in a less wooded area on the east side of Hwy 173 between the road and the Guadalupe River. We stayed in the wooded campground on the hill which is quite a bit farther from the highway than the other one. We stayed in the Deer Field Loop and there were several deer roaming the campground when we arrived and during our stay.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig. All but 7 of the RV sites are pull-throughs. But they are the semi-circle type that require caution when pulling in and out.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30 amp electric on 10 sites at the riverside campground; Full hook-ups with 30 amp electric on 30 sites; Water and 30 amp electric on 22 sites
Laundry: There is a laundry facility, but I forgot to check it out.
Price & Discounts: $21 for full hook-ups; They charged us an extra $5 for our Jeep; Also, there is a $5 reservation fee if you try to reserve by phone.
Other Factors: The park office is on the river side to the east of Hwy 173. You have to go there first to register (I turned in the wrong place). Rooftop satellite options were available, but we had to be selective in our site. Didn't stay long enough to check out the bathhouses. Website is weak. This used to be a Texas State Park, but now is run by the City of Kerrville.
OVERALL RATING: 8.5 (out of ten)
Though we didn't get to stay long, this was a campground I know we would have liked a lot. Lots of room for bike riding, and there were several hiking trails we didn't get to check out. With the wildlife, the natural surroundings, the laundry, and the full hook-ups, I had to give this campground an 8.5. I would have gone with a 9 if there were more back-in sites with more privacy. We look forward to the opportunity to stay here again.

Kerrville-Schreiner Park

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Journal Site 87: Private Residence - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: February 15, 2008 - February 16, 2008
Location: Harwood, TX
GPS Coordinates: Now I can't give you that. :)
Our Site Number: N/A
Reason Selected: We were invited to stay here by one of our long-time website followers.
Setting: Small, private ranch in very rural area between Houston, San Antonio, and Austin.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Yes, but a couple miles of dirt road to get there.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups
Laundry: N/A
Price & Discounts: Free!!
Other Factors: Our hosts were absolutely wonderful and took very good care of us. Rooftop satellite was no problem at all
OVERALL RATING: N/A/ (out of ten)



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Journal Site 86: Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Village - Overall Rating: 8

Dates: November 30, 2007 - February 15, 2008
Location: About 50 miles south of Houston and a few miles north of the port town of Freeport off of FM 523.
GPS Coordinates: 29.09484N, 95.27913W
Our Site Number: N/A
Reason Selected: Site provided as part of our package as Volunteers for the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge for part of the winter of 2007/2008
Setting: Open field with 8 gravel RV sites. Open fields to the east, north, and south. There is a public fishing area on Bastrop Bayou across the road to the west. Our site as pictured was one of the few with a tree of any size.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig although interior gravel road could be larger for making turns around loop and backing into sites.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric
Laundry: One very slow, water conserving washer and one dryer in a small community room at the Village.
Price & Discounts: FREE in exchange for volunteer hours
Other Factors: Large, well-spaced RV sites. Also free propane and free laundry. Wind can be very strong and mosquitoes are bad when the wind isn't blowing. Excellent for our rooftop internet satellite.
OVERALL RATING: 8 (out of ten)
Really nice RV sites out in the middle of nowhere. Very quiet most of the time. Would be nice if there was a larger gathering place for volunteers and more washers/dryers. Large sites with full hook-ups on a wonderful wildlife refuge. All roads to the Volunteer Village are paved, but the loop and sites are gravel. Would like to have seen better weather during our stay and the mosquitoes make it almost impossible to sit outside.


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Journal Site 63: Davis Mountains State Park - Overall Rating: 8

Dates: May 18, 2007 - May 28, 2007
Location: On Texas Highway 118 about four miles outside of Fort Davis in southwestern Texas.
GPS Coordinates: 30.59495N, 103.93472W
Our Site Number: 13
Reason Selected: This state park was recommended by several people. Also, it was on our way from Big Bend to New Mexico.
Setting: The campground sits down in a valley between two small mountain ridges. Some sites have trees and some are out in the open. But all are quiet (except for the park road construction that was going on at the time).
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig but the bigger the rig, the fewer sites available. All full-hook-up sites are curved pull-throughs.
Hook-ups: Twenty-seven full hook-up sites with 50 amps. There are also some water and electric sites with pretty nice settings.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $20 a night PLUS $3 entrance fee per day per person. So the effective rate for 2 people is $26 for full hook-ups. Electric & water sites are $15 plus entrance fees or $21 for two. You can get a Texas State Park annual pass for $60 which is worthwhile if you are staying more than 10 days a year at Texas state park campgrounds and covers those pesky entrance fees.
Other Factors: Website is decent with pretty good information, but no photos. Texas State Parks uses ReserveAmerica for reservations - yuck!. Office personnel were very nice and even let me have a package shipped directly to the park. Rooftop satellite was no problem, but might have been in some sites. Bathhouse was clean and in pretty good shape. We could get cell coverage but only with our amplifier.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
Linda liked this campground better than I did. Birds play a big part for her and we had lots of birds. She was filling three hummingbird feeders and two seed feeders each day. For some reason I liked the Seminole Canyon campground better. The way the pull-through sites are set up, your rig's driver's side is next to the road effectively using the RV as a privacy barrier. Also, deer and javelinas roam the campground. Unfortunately, they have been fed and they are a little too friendly which can be dangerous. I probably would have given this one a 7.5 and Linda gave it an 8. I bumped it up to an 8 because of the full hook-ups.


Davis Mountains State Park

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Journal Site 62: Big Bend Motor Inn & RV Campground - Overall Rating: 5.5

Dates: May 11, 2007 - May 18, 2007
Location: On Texas Highway 118 in Terlingua 3 miles west of the western entrance to Big Bend National Park.
GPS Coordinates: 29.32772N, 103.533W
Our Site Number: 93A
Reason Selected: Big Bend is an 800,000 acre park and it requires a lot of driving to see each side of it. The best option for camping is in the Chisos Mountain Basin in the middle of the park. Unfortunately, because of the roads to get there, only rigs of around 20 feet can get in. The choices for big rigs within the park are in Rio Grande Village on the far southeast side of the park and the Cottonwood Campground on the far southwest side of the park. Rio Grande Village has a tight parking lot with full hook-ups and a more natural setting but no hook-ups. Cottonwood is very remote with no hook-ups. Either choice leaves you with lots of back and forth driving and few choices for food, necessities, and diesel. Therefore we opted for this dump which was the lesser of a lot of evils.
Setting: The campground sits behind an old hotel and gas station. Behind the RV park, there is a decent nine-hole golf course with pretty good views of mountains. But other than that, the setting isn't much. Don't let our photo and the website photos fool you - it ain't that nice.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig but with 131 sites, and maybe ten rigs in the campground, they told us there were only about 10 sites that had 50 amps that were large enough for our fifth wheel and four slides. And all 10 of those sites are in a horribly ugly location. My photo makes it look better than it is.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups but not all sites had 50 amps.
Laundry: Lots of machines in a laundry also used by the public - not bad at all.
Price & Discounts: Weekly rate of $165 and a daily rate of $27 I think it was.
Other Factors: The website entices you with a couple of pictures but it has absolutely no substance. It was clear that there isn't much reinvestment going on as the website, and especially the campground, could use some updating. Office personnel were nice enough if you could get past the smell of stale smoke in the office. Rooftop satellite was no problem. Didn't even look at the bathhouses, but I know you had to pay for showers. We did have cell coverage but our NOAA weather radio couldn't pick up a signal. There was a small grocery, gas station with diesel, and diner on-site, and that was important. Didn't play the golf course, so can't comment on that other than to say it had good views.
OVERALL RATING: 5.5 (out of ten)
We hated staying at this place. So why did I give it a 5.5? Well, in the overall scheme of things and the choices available, the options are really limited for exploring Big Bend and the Big Bend Ranch State Park. I gave it a 5.5 because of location more than anything - it was closer to things we wanted to see and drives we wanted to take. And it did have diesel, a grocery, laundry, more eating choices, and full hook-ups. Still, Linda would have given it a 5 tops. It was the first campground/RV park we have been in where we kept the blinds closed the whole time. I wanted to do more at Big Bend, but the lack of good places to stay will probably keep us away for a long time. If you go, prepare to drive A LOT no matter where you stay.


Big Bend Motor Inn & RV Campground

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Journal Site 61: Seminole Canyon State Park - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: May 7, 2007 - May 11, 2007
Location: On U.S. Highway 90, 9 miles west of Comstock in the southwestern part of Texas west of Del Rio.
GPS Coordinates: 29.69504N, 101.32060W
Our Site Number: E1
Reason Selected: We were traveling from the Texas Hill Country on our way to Big Bend National Park. It was a perfect stopping point on the way. Just about every RVer on their way to Big Bend stops here (at least those of us that prefer state parks over private parks).
Setting: The campground sits on the highest point in the state park, so the views are 360 degrees across the Chihuahuan Desert landscape. You have distant canyon views. There are two loops with the bathhouse and the dumpstation in between. The back loop sits higher, but there are more power lines in the views. There is nothing but desert and state park all around.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig but the bigger the rig, the fewer sites available. Because the park is pretty remote, the sites are rarely full.
Hook-ups: Twenty-three campsites with water & 30 amp electric. No sewer sites, but the dump station was nice. It was a bit unusual to have the dump station in the middle of the campground rather than on the way out.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $14 a night PLUS $3 entrance fee per day per person. So the effective rate for 2 people is $20. You can get a Texas State Park annual pass for $60 which is worthwhile if you are staying more than 10 days a year at Texas state park campgrounds and covers those pesky entrance fees.
Other Factors: Website is decent with pretty good information, but no photos. Texas State Parks use ReserveAmerica for reservations - yuck!. Office personnel were a mixed bag - some very friendly and helpful and some that were just collecting a check. Rooftop satellite was no problem. Bathhouse is one of the better ones we have seen in a state park. I was quite impressed with the cleanliness and condition. We could not get cell coverage even with our amplifier.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
I really enjoyed our stay at Seminole Canyon. I don't think Linda liked it quite so much. But we had horrible weather and the campground is quite exposed to storms, so her nerves were a bit frazzled at times. But we had a great site and the only noise was from the little bit of traffic from Highway 90. The night skies were gorgeous (once the storm clouds blew out). The sites are very well spaced although the front loop had much more vegetation between sites than the back loop. I highly recommend our site, E1. So, we compromised my 8 and her 7 and ended up with this 7.5. :)


Seminole Canyon State Park

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Journal Site 60: Parkview Riverside RV Park - Overall Rating: 8

Dates: April 23, 2007 - May 7, 2007
Location: On County Road 350 a couple miles east of U.S. Highway 83 in the Texas Hill Country River Region. About 30 miles north of Uvalde and 9 miles south of Leakey. Near Garner State Park - actually on the Frio River across from Garner.
GPS Coordinates: 29.58031N, 99.72973W
Our Site Number: 25 & 19
Reason Selected: We were attending a nature festival called Nature Quest in Concan, TX. They are numerous RV sites in the area in addition to the many sites at Garner State Park. However, this park has full hook-ups, sits on a beautiful river, has a great Passport America rate prior to the summer season, and came highly recommended.
Setting: Campground is in the middle of nowhere and sits right on the beautiful, clear Frio River. There are numerous large live oaks within the park and bald cypress trees along the river. It's as much of a natural setting as we have found for an RV park. There is another campround to the south, vacant land to the north, the river and Garner State Park to the west, and the barely used country road to the east.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle any size rig. No problem.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric.
Laundry: Facilities were very nice. Five washers and dryers in an air conditioned facility.
Price & Discounts: Summer rates (Memorial Day through Labor Day): Daily - $40; Weekly - $245. Several discounts available - 10% off daily rates in the summer. Winter rates (After Labor day but before Memorial Day): Daily - $28; Weekly - $151; Monthly - $330. In the winter, in addition to the normal 10% discounts, a 25% Escapees discount is available as well as a 50% Passport America discount.
Other Factors: Website is very good. The owner and staff are extremely nice and welcoming. We had no problem finding sites for our rooftop satellite access. We could not get cell coverage, but the park does have Wi-Fi.
OVERALL RATING: 8.0 (out of ten)
We loved our stay at Parkview - our favorite "RV park" to date. It was so peaceful and quiet and natural looking. However, the families from the state park across the river do increase the noise on the weekends (and I'm guessing that just increases during the summer). We had several of species of birds coming to our feeders including swarms of hummingbirds. We also had tree squirrels, rock squirrels, armadillos, and jackrabbits in the campground. And deer are everywhere outside the park - you have to be very careful when driving at night. There are 25 sites on the river and we would recommend 21 - 25. If we had not been on a river site we might have only rated our stay a 7.5. There are several sites that are a bit closer together than we would like, and many sites are not all that level. But the setting and the $14 a night Passport America price during our two-week stay more than made up for those minor issues. We would definitely stay here again and have no problem encouraging others stay here as well.


Parkview Riverside RV Park

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Journal Site 59: Admiralty RV Resort - Overall Rating: 6.5

Dates: April 19, 2007 - April 23, 2007
Location: On the west side of San Antonio between I-410 and Loop 1604. Just off Highway 151. One mile southeast of Sea World on the same road as the main entrance.
GPS Coordinates: 29.44746N, 98.69196W
Our Site Number: 410
Reason Selected: We wanted to stop for a few days and visit our favorite big city on our way to Concan, TX and then to Big Bend National Park. We chose Admiralty because we had good friends staying there at the time and we knew we could use the transit system to get around.
Setting: Campground is in the middle of a quiet suburban neighborhood. There are trees within the park, but the sites are jammed in as you can tell by the photo.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig but there is little room between sites and pull-through sites are not long enough for really big rigs and a toad/tow vehicle.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric.
Laundry: Facilities appeared to be nice, but we didn't use them.
Price & Discounts: Daily rates of $32 - $45; Weekly rates of $192 - $270; Monthly rates of $435 - $540. They accept Good Sams, FMCA, Escapees, Passport America, and just about any other discount you can think of. But ALL of them are 10% off daily rates. We paid $32.40 a day for a $36 site with our discount.
Other Factors: Website is very good. Resort is a short walk to an Express bus route that goes downtown - passes can be purchased at the resort. Free shuttles to Sea World. No problem with rooftop satellite.
OVERALL RATING: 6.5 (out of ten)
There is no overlooking the amenities of this "resort". There are lots of great things available like the huge swimming pool, an adult jacuzzi, fitness room, store, etc. It's also a great base from which to explore San Antonio. Others would probably rate this RV park much higher. However, these types of resorts are just not our thing. The sites here are way too close together, the setting is not our style, and the price is way more than we would normally pay. Therefore, under our criteria, we just couldn't give it a higher rating.


Admiralty RV Resort

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Journal Site 58: Choke Canyon State Park, Calliham Campground - Overall Rating: 7

Dates: April 16, 2007 - April 19, 2007
Location: Twelve miles west of Three Rivers, TX on Texas Highway 72. About 90 miles south of San Antonio.
GPS Coordinates: 28.48954N, 98.34311W
Our Site Number: 130
Reason Selected: Good stopping point on our way from the Rio Grande Valley to San Antonio. Also, recommended by fellow RVers that had workamped there before and thought we would like it.
Setting: Campground is at the end of an 1100 acre peninsula that juts out into the 26,000 acre Choke Canyon Reservoir. There are trees within the campground with a wide range of sun, shaded, and partially shaded sites. All sites have a view of the water. Nothing but lake around the campground. Very quiet with deer wandering in and out of the campground.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig and the sites are spaced far apart.
Hook-ups: Water & 50 amp electric only. No sewer, but there is an easily accessible dump station on the way out.
Laundry: None
Price & Discounts: Sites are $16 per day, but there is an additional $3 per person per day state park fee which made our total $22 per day; You can get a Texas State Park annual pass for $60 which is worthwhile if you are staying more than 10 days a year at Texas state park campgrounds.
Other Factors: Website is decent with pretty good information, but no photos. Texas State Parks are now using ReserveAmerica for reservations - yuck!. Office personnel were friendly. Rooftop satellite was no problem. Bathhouses are on the older side, but were pretty good and very clean.
OVERALL RATING: 7 (out of ten)
There was just something about this campground. It should have been one we liked a lot. But it was not as pretty as some others, the lake views were not as good as some others. It just did not have the "it" factor for us. Perhaps a different site would have helped or perhaps we just needed to stay longer. I think site 133 might have pushed our rating up at least a half point. We will shoot for that one if we come back again and we definitely would stay at this campground again if in the area. Oh, by the way, don't go looking for the canyon - it's under water. :)


Choke Canyon State Park

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Journal Site 57: Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Compound - Marinoff Tract - Overall Rating: 8

Dates: November 29, 2006 - April 16, 2007
Location: Seven miles south of Alamo, TX. About 2 miles west of FM 907 on Hwy 281 in the Lower Rio Grande Valley
GPS Coordinates: 26.08340N, 98.16437W
Our Site Number: N/A
Reason Selected: Site provided as part of our package as Tram Drivers/Interpreters for the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge for the winter of 2006/2007
Setting: Within a fenced compound with woods on two sides and farm fields on two sides; About a half mile down a gravel road on Refuge property
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric
Laundry: Very nice three washer/three dryer set-up
Price & Discounts: FREE in exchange for volunteer hours
Other Factors: Biggest RV sites with the most space in between in the entire Rio Grande Valley; Also free propane, free laundry, free local phone service, and free drinking water provided; Lots of bird activity right outside the rig
OVERALL RATING: 8 (out of ten)
Large paved sites with full hook-ups on a wonderful wildlife refuge. Great winter climate.


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Journal Site 56: Padre Balli Park Campground - Overall Rating: 5

Dates: November 27, 2006 - November 29, 2006
Location: On the North end of North Padre Island which is located southeast of Corpus Christi
GPS Coordinates: 27.58329N, 97.22086W
Our Site Number: D-5
Reason Selected: Our set-up wasn't adequate for boondocking at the National Seashore and this was the nearest campground with hook-ups to the National Seashore and to the home of a website follower that invited us to their home
Setting: A parking lot in a county park that is in serious need of funding and updating. The good news was the Gulf was just on the other side of the dunes, so sunrises were just a short walk away.
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig
Hook-ups: Water & 30-amp electric
Laundry: Yes
Price & Discounts: $18 a night or $110 a week
Other Factors: This had to be the most run down campground we have stayed in.
OVERALL RATING: 5 (out of ten)
The website isn't much. The staff was cordial, but matter of fact. It looked like nothing had been painted in years. It was a very depressing place. The only reason it gets a 5 is because it was so close to the beach and a fishing pier where we were able to see some nice sunrises.

Padre Balli Park Campground

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Journal Site 55: Padre Island National Seashore Malaquite Campground - Overall Rating: 6

Dates: November 26, 2006 - November 27, 2006
Location: Southeast of Corpus Christi; 10 miles south once you cross the JFK causeway (Hwy 358) onto North Padre Island
GPS Coordinates: 27.42988N, 97.29632W
Our Site Number: Doesn't matter. :)
Reason Selected: I really wanted to experience a beach front campground on the National Seashore; Also, it was a good stopping point on our way to the Rio Grande Valley for the winter
Setting: On the beach side of the sand dunes where the only sounds were the gulls and the Gulf waves; The "camping" area for large rigs is nothing more than a parking lot; Only small rigs and tents were allowed in the row nearer the Gulf which were more like regular sites; Sites are 100 feet from the Gulf
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig but big rigs are relegated to a "parking lot" that can be tight between rigs and tow vehicles/toads
Hook-ups: No hook-ups at all; There is a dump station on the way out
Laundry: No
Price & Discounts: $8 per night; Golden Age passports get you a $4 rate
Other Factors: Rooftop satellite was no problem at all; Absolutely beautiful view and completely within the protected National Seashore; Bathhouses were decent; Miles from anything
OVERALL RATING: 6 (out of ten)
This place gets a 6 on sheer beauty of the Gulf, the beach, and the sunrises. Other than that, you better have a good boondocking set-up to stay more than a few days. We didn't so we only stayed one night.

Padre Island National Seashore Camping

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Journal Site 54: Rayford Crossing RV Park - Overall Rating: 8.5

Dates: November 22, 2006 - November 26, 2006
Location: Exit 73 on Interstate 45 about 20 miles north of Houston; 1 1/2 miles east on Rayford Road and then another mile and a half from there
GPS Coordinates: 30.11172N, 95.41484W
Our Site Number: 99
Reason Selected: We were invited by one of our readers to join the Texas Boomers RV Club for their Thanksgiving rally
Setting: Surprisingly wooded perimeter for being so close to the interstate and a major city; Sites are all pretty much copycat, uniform sites with a bit of grass in between each one
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30 amp electric
Laundry: Wonderful facilities
Price & Discounts: Rates range from $32 - $42; Weekly and monthly rates are also available; Discounts possible
Other Factors: Very friendly staff, tremendous facilities, and cleanliness; Decent website; Rooftop satellite available from all sites
OVERALL RATING: 8.5 (out of ten)
Though these large RV parks/resorts are not our cup of tea, there is no overlooking the fabulous facilities this place has to offer. If there is a better place in the Houston area, I would like to hear about it. We also were able to get the cheaper rally rate. Otherwise it's a bit pricey for our budget - worth it, but not within our usual range.

Rayford Crossing RV Resort

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Journal Site 53: Private Business Parking Lot - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: November 19, 2006 - November 22, 2006
Location: Conroe, TX
GPS Coordinates: Now I can't give you that. :)
Our Site Number: N/A
Reason Selected: We were invited to stay here by one of our long-time website followers
Setting: Warehouse parking lot in industrial park but in a fairly rural setting
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Oh yeah
Hook-ups: Water and 50 amp electric
Laundry: N/A
Price & Discounts: Free!!
Other Factors: Our hosts were absolutely wonderful and took very good care of us with meals, golf, shopping, etc. Rooftop satellite was no problem at all
OVERALL RATING: N/A/ (out of ten)



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Journal Site 52: Escapees Rainbow's End RV Park - Overall Rating: 5

Dates: November 16, 2006 - November 19, 2006
Location: On Texas Hwy 146, a few miles southeast of Livingston
GPS Coordinates: 30.64686N, 94.87261W
Our Site Number: 176
Reason Selected: As members of the Escapees RV Club, we wanted to visit the national headquarters here at Rainbow's End in Livingston as we headed south toward the Rio Grande Valley for the winter
Setting: Old sites in a small wooded area; Newer sites all out in the open; Bordered on the east by the very busy and very noisy Texas Hwy 146
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig but sites were packed together and parking options were limited
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30 amp electric
Laundry: Yes
Price & Discounts: Lots of different rates - too confusing to list them all here, so I'll give you a link:
Rainbow's End RV Park Rates
Other Factors: Rooftop satellite options were available; All Escapees staff is very friendly as are Escapees member in general; The CARE facility onsite is a place for Escapees members to recover from illness and to go when they can't travel any longer as long as they or a loved one can assist with care - they live in their own rig; Sites 172 - 182 back right up to Hwy 146 and they are just horrible even with a privacy fence - the sites are just a few feet away from that busy highway
OVERALL RATING: 5 (out of ten)
If we were not such a fan of Escapees, we probably would have given this a lower score. Well that and the cheap prices for full hook-ups. This site may have been one of the two or three worst sites we have had since we have been on the road (under our criteria).

Escapees Rainbow's End RV Park

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Journal Site 51: Rocky Point Campground - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: November 13, 2006 - November 16, 2006
Location: Just off U.S. Hwy 59 south of Texarkana and Wright Patman Dam in Northeast Texas
GPS Coordinates: 33.28832N, 94.17293W
Our Site Number: D-2
Reason Selected: Great natural campground on Wright Patman Lake as we headed south toward the Rio Grande Valley
Setting: Wooded campground with several lakeview and lakeside sites; very quiet with fabulous sunsets across the lake which borders the campground on the west
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: Could handle any size rig
Hook-ups: Water and 30-amp electric on most sites; Full hook-ups on 15 sites; 50 amp electric on 8 sites, 5 of which have sewer
Laundry: One washer/dryer at each of the three bathhouses; though they did work, all were in need of replacement
Price & Discounts: $16 for 30-amp with water; $18 for 50-amp with water (B-3,4,6) AND full hook-up with 30-amp (A-21, 23, 25, 27, 42, 44, B-20); $20 for full hook-up with 50-amp (B-5, 7, 16, 17, 18); One third of the 120 sites are non-reservable
Other Factors: Rooftop satellite options were available, but this is a very busy campground so the chances of getting a good rooftop satellite site are limited; Friendly staff; Bathhouses were okay; Website is limited; Many lakefront sites with gorgeous sunsets; Our pick of sites, if it had been available, would have been D-1, a non-reservable site right on the lake
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
As I said, this is a very busy campground and even the non-reservable sites fill up quickly during the week. We probably would have given this a higher score if we could have gotten our pick of sites and the laundry facilities and bathhouses been a bit more updated. We would stay here again just for the lakefront views and sunsets.

Rocky Point Campground on Wright Patman Lake

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