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RVing message boards => Trip reports, journals, logs => Topic started by: SargeW on March 28, 2016, 04:31:00 PM

Title: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 28, 2016, 04:31:00 PM
Well, here we go again! Since the last few blogs seemed to be fairly popular, I  will once again be supplying info and travel facts about the places we go, and the journey as we make our way across the country. 

As usual, my blog is about the costs, RV sites, and ups and downs of the places we stay. I leave most of the "local flavor" reporting to the DW Diane.  Her "Trip Journal" blog covers more of the local attractions, and many more pics.  Her blog can be found at http://www.mytripjournal.com/RVnChick2016

Diane has already made her first blog entry, which includes a map of our Itinerary for the most of the trip. My link at the bottom of the page will have the new link to her blog there as well.

As usual I welcome your input and suggestions. I will also try to include handicapped access info, as well as the availability of WiFi in the places we stop.  We pull out April 1st for our first stop, which will be at a Ca beach campground that we haven't stayed at before. 

You are welcome to come along for the ride!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on March 28, 2016, 06:00:12 PM
Hey we will be following with great interest.  We too are headed out that way.  We will be leaving Tucson, AZ early May to GA then along the coast to Maine and Prince Edward Island and back to Quebec City, then Chicago and from there to Vernon, BC in Canada before returning to Tucson by the end of September.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tom and Margi on March 28, 2016, 06:21:20 PM
Diane's 2016 blog is now on my Favorites list.  Looking forward to her reports on your trip.  She does an excellent job of reporting what you are seeing in your travels.  I very much enjoy and appreciate her efforts.

Margi
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 28, 2016, 06:32:32 PM
Hey we will be following with great interest.  We too are headed out that way.  We will be leaving Tucson, AZ early May to GA then along the coast to Maine and Prince Edward Island and back to Quebec City, then Chicago and from there to Vernon, BC in Canada before returning to Tucson by the end of September.

Sounds like a great trip. We are staying more north to hit the Yellowstone rally on the way by. 

Diane's 2016 blog is now on my Favorites list.  Looking forward to her reports on your trip.  She does an excellent job of reporting what you are seeing in your travels.  I very much enjoy and appreciate her efforts.

Margi

Thanks Margi! She puts her heart and soul into all her entries and loves knowing that folks are enjoying them.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on March 28, 2016, 06:35:45 PM
Sounds like a great trip. We will be going to Maine, with a brief stop in NYC this summer. We are fitting it into two weeks though, since we are still in the working world.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 28, 2016, 06:39:55 PM
We are going to hit NYC as well. We will stay across the bay in NJ at Liberty Harbor.  Just a gravel parking lot with hook ups, but really close to the city.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on March 28, 2016, 06:58:41 PM
We toyed with the Liberty Harbor idea, but ended up making a reservation at Croton Point State Park a little ways up the Hudson. We will take the train in and avoid NYC traffic. Hope it works out ok. It will also be our kid's first ride on the train.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: HappyWanderer on March 28, 2016, 07:20:51 PM
Sounds like New England is the place to be this summer. We'll leave the lights on for you.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on March 28, 2016, 09:22:20 PM
We did the North East last year. This year we are going back West/North West. I have some suggestions and tips on places to stay if you are interested. Are you going to DC?We were visiting with people camped next to us in Spokane that were from Boston that were on their way west to see grand kids. I asked what route they took. The guy said just get on the Mass turnpike and go west. Makes it sound easey.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 28, 2016, 11:16:26 PM
Oh yeah, Diane has the route all planned out already, as well as many of the parks we will be staying at. At the time of year we are going we needed to secure some of the places we wanted to stay or we would have been locked out.  Prior planning!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on March 29, 2016, 09:07:24 AM
Where are you staying at #19 and 20? I can't inlarge the map. I was all the way to Eastport Main. Are you going to Acadia National Park?
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on March 29, 2016, 09:44:50 AM
Marty-

I see you're driving right by me on I-80 in Western Illinois and also apparently staying somewhere near here (#16).  If you're interested, we could get together for a lunch or dinner "mini-rally."
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Rene T on March 29, 2016, 10:14:11 AM
Marty,
Same here. You'll most likely be heading up I-95 going through Portsmouth NH before entering into Maine. We are located about 15 miles north of Portsmouth. So if you're looking for a place to crash for a night or 2, you're welcome. We would have water and electric. No sewer.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: RVnChick on March 29, 2016, 12:22:48 PM
Hey Everyone!  I am Marty's DW, Diane (AKA RVnChick).  I am the chief planner and navigator - so Marty wanted me to chime in on the inquires involving our planned stops.  :)  I do not have his experience with the forum so bear with me ;)

Marty-

I see you're driving right by me on I-80 in Western Illinois and also apparently staying somewhere near here (#16).  If you're interested, we could get together for a lunch or dinner "mini-rally."

Stop #16 is the border of Iowa (Davenport) and Illinois (Rock Island)in early June.  We do not have a reservation for this stop but the plan is to stay at the Rock Island/Quad Cities KOA - Unless there is a better suggestion.    ???

Marty,
Same here. You'll most likely be heading up I-95 going through Portsmouth NH before entering into Maine. We are located about 15 miles north of Portsmouth. So if you're looking for a place to crash for a night or 2, you're welcome. We would have water and electric. No sewer.

We are driving from Normandy Farms RV in Foxboro, MA to Shore Hills RV in Boothbay, ME in early July.  I have already made reservations for these stops.  From past experience, I learned that if I do not plan and make reservations for our summer stops early - many of the desirable RV parks book up.  We also have stops at Smugglers Den in Southwest Harbor, ME, Wagon Wheel at Old Orchard Beach, ME and Wawaloam Campground in West Kingston, RI.    Hopefully, I made good choices with these parks....either way...it is all part of the adventure!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Ken & Sheila on March 29, 2016, 12:23:20 PM
We are going to hit NYC as well. We will stay across the bay in NJ at Liberty Harbor.  Just a gravel parking lot with hook ups, but really close to the city.

We'll be there late June for 5 days. Our trip is starting south (Big Bend NP), then FL and up the coast all the way to Eastport, ME.

ken
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on March 29, 2016, 12:55:08 PM

Stop #16 is the border of Iowa (Davenport) and Illinois (Rock Island)in early June.  We do not have a reservation for this stop but the plan is to stay at the Rock Island/Quad Cities KOA - Unless there is a better suggestion.    ???


Diane-

I work in Rock Island and live in Geneseo, about 25 miles east of there.  I am perhaps a bit biased in favor of my hometown, but I would recommend the Geneseo Campground.  http://www.fulltiming-america.com/geneseo/ .  (Odd website; for some reason you have to click on a picture of a turtle to navigate to the next page)  50A FHU for less that $30 a night (website says $26, but I'm not sure if that is 100% current).  I've never camped there because I only live two miles away, but it consistently gets excellent reviews on rvparkreviews.com.  I do go there to fill my propane tank and the staff is always very friendly and accommodating.

Is this just a one night stop and back on the road, or are you spending a few days?

Oh, and welcome to the forum.  You only have about 4700 posts to catch up with Marty.  ;-)  I suspect you might be a bit like me, enjoying the planning of the trip almost as much as the trip itself.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tom and Margi on March 29, 2016, 01:51:25 PM
Diane, it's nice to be able to tell you in person just how much I enjoy reading your blog.  Keep up the good work!

Margi
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Rene T on March 29, 2016, 05:25:01 PM


We are driving from Normandy Farms RV in Foxboro, MA

We have been to Normandy Farms several times but it's been years. It is a big campground. Nice but I imagine it will be a little pricey for that time of year.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: HappyWanderer on March 29, 2016, 07:03:30 PM
Diane-

I work in Rock Island and live in Geneseo, about 25 miles east of there.  I am perhaps a bit biased in favor of my hometown, but I would recommend the Geneseo Campground.  http://www.fulltiming-america.com/geneseo/ .  (Odd website; for some reason you have to click on a picture of a turtle to navigate to the next page)  50A FHU for less that $30 a night (website says $26, but I'm not sure if that is 100% current).  I've never camped there because I only live two miles away, but it consistently gets excellent reviews on rvparkreviews.com.  I do go there to fill my propane tank and the staff is always very friendly and accommodating.

This campground is owned by good friends of ours, two of the nicest folks to be found anywhere on the planet.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: vetmom on March 29, 2016, 09:14:59 PM
Sounds like you've got good suggestions for #16 but just had to put in our recommendation for a stop we made there.  As soon as you cross the Iowa/Illinois border on Rt 80 there is a COE campground 1 mile south and right on the Mississippi River.  Very nice campground with 50 amp service, $20 a night or $10 with the senior pass.  Loved sitting at our site watching the river barges plying the river.  Fisherman's Corner Recreation Area is the name of the campground.  Enjoy!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Lou Schneider on March 29, 2016, 10:33:01 PM
For some reason, I'm only seeing Stop #1 (Los Angeles) on the map and nothing on the Itinerary page.

I'm also going to be on the East Coast this summer, to help with sound at the Escapees Escapade in Essex Junction, VT Vermont July 24-29.   The trip will be a little faster than I'd ideally like, I'm leaving Los Angeles on June 25 and returning on September 4.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 29, 2016, 10:37:36 PM
Lou, if you are looking at Diane's blog, the itinerary map is one of the pics if you click on the attached photos with the entry. 

Lot's of great info! I love getting insider info when heading to a new area.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Dragginourbedaround on March 29, 2016, 10:52:25 PM
Marty and Diane, If you are going through Ohio on I-80 there are two rest areas ( one at each end I think) with RV spots with electric for $20. There are also a dump station and a place to take on potable water.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: RVnChick on March 29, 2016, 11:01:13 PM
Diane-

I work in Rock Island and live in Geneseo, about 25 miles east of there.  I am perhaps a bit biased in favor of my hometown, but I would recommend the Geneseo Campground. 

Is this just a one night stop and back on the road, or are you spending a few days?



Thank you for the recommendation!  I checked out the web site and it looks very nice.  Unfortunately, they do not have paved sites :(   One of the first things I look for!  It will be a three night stay.  I am intrigued by vetmom's recommendation...

Sounds like you've got good suggestions for #16 but just had to put in our recommendation for a stop we made there.  As soon as you cross the Iowa/Illinois border on Rt 80 there is a COE campground 1 mile south and right on the Mississippi River.  Very nice campground with 50 amp service, $20 a night or $10 with the senior pass.  Loved sitting at our site watching the river barges plying the river.  Fisherman's Corner Recreation Area is the name of the campground.  Enjoy!

I see that Fisherman's Corner COE has paved sites and views of the Mississippi!   The pictures on-line look amazing!  $20 a night for 50 amp....no water or sewer but there is a dump station and we are only there 3 nights.....This looks fantastic!

We have been to Normandy Farms several times but it's been years. It is a big campground. Nice but I imagine it will be a little pricey for that time of year.
  HA!!!  It seems all commercial parks in the Northeast are very "pricey." 

Diane, it's nice to be able to tell you in person just how much I enjoy reading your blog.  Keep up the good work!

Margi
Thank you, Margi.  I will try to keep my blog interesting, informative and joyful!  I know how fortunate I am to be able to travel and tour our beautiful country with all the comforts of our motorhome.   There is so much to see and experience.  It is a very good life!


Oh, and welcome to the forum.  You only have about 4700 posts to catch up with Marty.  ;-)  I suspect you might be a bit like me, enjoying the planning of the trip almost as much as the trip itself.

Yes, trip planning, navigating and adventure organizing fits right in with my OCD!  Marty is the driver, mechanic, mod master and my DH....
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 29, 2016, 11:26:26 PM
I leave the planning and navigation to Diane.  She is really good at it and loves doing it. Our skills complement each other.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on March 30, 2016, 07:48:03 AM

I see that Fisherman's Corner COE has paved sites and views of the Mississippi!   The pictures on-line look amazing!  $20 a night for 50 amp....no water or sewer but there is a dump station and we are only there 3 nights.....This looks fantastic!


I haven't stayed there, but have driven through.  It is a nice CG.  I would definitely choose it over the Rock Island KOA, but then I always choose parks over commercial campgrounds.  The only slight negative is that it is close to railroad tracks, so there is a potential for some train noise.  All the reviews say it is not excessive train noise, which makes sense because it's not a very busy route.  If you ride bikes, there is a paved bike trail that runs right by there along the Mississippi.

I'll send you and Marty a PM with my cell # and as you get closer I can offer some suggestions of things to do in the area.  I don't want to sidetrack this thread into a commercial for Quad Cities tourism.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on March 30, 2016, 09:26:07 AM
As you didn't reply to my question I will simply say have a good trip.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 30, 2016, 09:49:35 AM
Sorry Bill, I got lost in the shuffle.  Stop 19 is Geneva State park in Ohio.  I have a massive amount of family not far from there, and it should be a busy stop.  #20 is Hickory Hill Camping Resort in Bath, NY.  We have never been there before either so it  should be interesting.   

We are three days from pulling out, so I am scrambling a bit to take care of a zillion little things before we go. I am so excited!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on March 30, 2016, 10:19:52 AM
Please keep in touch. An easy way is to follow me on my Facebook page. We are doing about the same trip but counter clockwise.  We may run into each other on the East coast.  :)
We plan to be in GA by about the end of May then head North by the end of June.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 30, 2016, 10:29:40 AM
You can friend me on Facebook, as I stop by there and check in occasionally. I am on RV Forum much more though. I find talking about RV's way more interesting than the drama I find on FB! I can PM you my full name if you want.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on March 30, 2016, 10:34:39 AM
Please PM me.  I agree about this forum vs Facebook though.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on March 30, 2016, 10:42:09 AM
I was in the neighborhood last summer. I have a sister in Erie. We stayed at the Westfield KOA and then moved to Lake Erie State park. I grew up in Westfield. Just so you know they have a farmer’s market on Saturday where the local Amish lades come to town in their horse drawn carts and sell backed goods. Best giant glazed doughnuts for a $1.00.
You are going to be crossing Lake Chautauqua. If you have time there is an interesting place to visit, Chautauqua Institution. Sundays are free. http://ciweb.org/
We stayed just down the road from Bath in Camp Bell Campground,
8700 NY-415, Campbell, NY 14821, campbellcampground.com, (607) 527-3301.
I hope you are going to visit The Corning Museum of Glass, 1 Museum Way, Corning, NY 14830, cmog.org, (607) 937-5371.
We also had to visit Ithaca and Cornell University, we have a granddaughter attending and had to see if it was a descant school.
We were traveling west so this was the first stop after returning from Canada.  Are you going to Canada?
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 30, 2016, 10:51:00 AM
Thanks Bill, good info. I have lots of family in the Ashtabula area in OH.  Not sure how much family time there will be, but if we have the time we will look at some of your suggestions.

We are not planning on doing Canada this trip. We originally were thinking of doing the Maritimes this year, but opted to stay in the country and revisit the east coast attractions again as we didn't get to see much on our last trip through.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on March 30, 2016, 11:18:54 AM
Sarge your trip looks similar to the one we took last summer.  We did it in reverse.   Didn't go quite as far south and hit more Canadian cities on the return, but did some of the same areas.  We also went to Nova Scotia.  After spending a week in Nova Scotia, we traveled through Canada to Sault Set Marie Ontario stopping at Montreal, Quebec City and Ottawa.   The Canadian part of the trip included some of the most memorable.  Don't know if you have time for that but it's certainly worth a look.  As an aside, I did see your new driveway.  Wow, that's a lot of concrete.   ;)

Gary 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on March 30, 2016, 12:13:25 PM
Ok heare is an add on for the east coast. Last summer I spent some time in New England area. I drove HI way 1 from the New Hampshire state line to the most northern most eastern campground in the US in Eastport. I have been as far “down east” as you can go.
I also spent some time in the New Found Lake area of New Hampshire. It was a good base camp for exploring the White Mountain area.
Hearer are some of the campgrounds I used.
Wild Duck Campground, 39 Dunstan Landing Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
wildduckcampground.com ,(207) 883-4432,
 Great location just south of Portland and not far from Old Orchard Beach resort area.
Don’t forget to go to Freeport Maine, home of LL Bean and is a huge outlet store area.
Look at the outlet shops around Kittery Main on the state line.  When in the area check out When Pigs Fly bakery. https://www.sendbread.com/
They have a restaurant /bakery on the north end of Kittery. they allso have a bakrey in Free Port.
This is the NH. camp ground.
Newfound RV Park, 792 Mayhew Turnpike, Bristol, NH 03222
newfoundrvpark.com ,(603) 744-3344
If you don't have reservations in the moody Beach Wells Beach area you won't get in, make reservations today.
Moody Beach RV Campground, 266 Post Rd, Wells, ME 04090, rvonthego.com , (207) 646-4586
Now going north from Portland we went to Arcadia National Park and stayed a little south at a nice rustic place on the south side of Ellsworth ME. You can try to get in to one of the RV parks near Bar Harbor but they were full when I was there.
Forest Ridge Campground, 40 Flockamoosen Way, Ellsworth, ME 04605 , forestridgecampground.com , (855) 299-6969
Then went to the most Northern and Eastern campground in the US.
Seaview Campground & Cottages, 16 Norwood Rd, Eastport, ME 04631, eastportmaine.com , (207) 853-4471
From there we drove the toad to, Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Welshpool, NB E5E 1A4, Canada , fdr.net , +1 506-752-2922
Be shure you have your Passports. Had a good day touring the Roosevelts home and the island.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Rene T on March 30, 2016, 01:34:58 PM
If you make it to Nova Scotia, you have to hit the Cabot Trail.  Don't do it if all you have is a Class A.  Very windy and hilly.

Also if you make it to the Conway NH area, try to take the auto rode up Mount Washington  and try taking the Kangamangas Hwy. from Conway over to Lincoln.   
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on March 30, 2016, 04:10:33 PM
Hey which mapping program did you use to make the map?  Looks great.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: RVnChick on March 30, 2016, 10:15:29 PM
Hey which mapping program did you use to make the map?  Looks great.

It is from the now defunct Microsoft Streets and Trips.  Last version made is 2013.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 30, 2016, 10:23:47 PM
Thanks Bill, lots of great info. We will still be staying state side, too many guns on board to wander into Canadian territory.  That trip will take a little more planning. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tom and Margi on March 30, 2016, 10:36:34 PM
Love the old Streets and Trips.  We crossed the USA ocean to ocean several times using that program with early GPSs

.

Margi
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: RVnChick on March 30, 2016, 10:41:24 PM
Bill,
I am not sold on staying in Bath, NY but Westfield and Chautauqua are not east enough for our next stop - visiting Cooperstown.  I checked out Camp Bell's web site and it looked nice...I just wish I could find a park with pavement or at least gravel in that area.  I loathe parking on grass...your Eastern bugs eat me up something fierce. 

No stops in Canada this adventure....we have too many firearms on board.  ::)
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on March 31, 2016, 09:35:33 AM
You will have a hard time finding camp groundes like we have in the west.
 "I loathe parking on grass...your Eastern bugs eat me up something fierce." What bugs? ;)   They don't have fier ants or chiggers.  :P I didn't see maney mosquitos.
I hope you take the time to visit The Corning Glass Museam it is amazing.
Just a stray thought, Camp Bell had (when I was there) cheap propane compared to local prices.
Are you going to Boston after Cooperstown? If so I can tell you how to gett a free touer.
Bill

Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on March 31, 2016, 10:22:16 AM
Here is our planned trip this year.  We plan to be on the East Coast in July sometime.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Rene T on March 31, 2016, 11:10:42 AM
Here is our planned trip this year.  We plan to be on the East Coast in July sometime.

How much time do you plan on it taking?
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on March 31, 2016, 11:45:05 AM
May 1, to October 1.  5 months and about 12,000 miles.   We did a 5 month one last year as well and loved it.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: MN Blue Skies on March 31, 2016, 09:24:21 PM
Looking forward to following your trip!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on March 31, 2016, 11:42:00 PM
Nice trip Fox! Keep us up to date on your progress.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on April 01, 2016, 10:01:35 AM
I have an extensive background in IT and  am working on doing a better trip log.  Because I am basically lazy I only have compiled a photo log of our trip last year. You are welcome to check it out at www.srfox.net  My plans are to do a better job this year.  :)
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 06, 2016, 10:35:52 PM
April 1st we hit the road to start the 2016 adventure to the eastern US.  We didn't go far for the first leg of the trip,  just going from Fallbrook to Huntington  Beach, about 80 miles.  We stayed in a beach campsite that we have not been in before, Sunset Vista campground (and I use that term  loosely). This spot was convenient for several family and friend events we wanted to attend before heading out of state.

Sunset Vista is quite literally a parking lot. The city of Huntington Beach, in order to  create some off season  revenue have added hookups (water and  electric) to an  existing parking lot. The up  side of this campground is that you are mere steps from the sand and the pacific ocean. The  down side is that you are also within steps  from a major coastal roadway in back of the camping area, Pacific Coast  Highway (Highway 1).  The  campsites are all asphalt, and each one is 6  parking spaces in size.  That is that the sites are made  up of three car size parking spaces wide, and two spaces deep.  In reality, that is a fairly good size RV space, room  for your RV, tow car,and plenty of outside sitting room.  The electrical pedestal is 50 amp, and water faucets on a raised concrete pad to separate  the sites. There is a dump station on site.

The sites cost $70 per night, and reservations are made on line on the cities web site. While pricey, it is not out of line for most Ca beach campgrounds since Gov Jerry Brown doubled the cost of most state campgrounds during the recession.  There are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby in walking distance, and a walk/bike trail also right in front of the beach sand.  The Huntington Beach pier is about a 5 minute walk down the bike path. Handicapped  restroom and shower facilities are nearby, but are also public accessible. Wifi is available if you have a hot spot or air card, but the campground has no Wifi of it's own.  There are two rows of sites. The front row is angled parking for rigs 30' and below, the second row is pull through for rigs up to 40', but I did see a few rigs that pushed that limit by a few feet. 

One big downside for this location is the noise from PCH, and a nearby high rise construction project that is across PCH. Also because this site fronts a public beach, the weekends are extremely busy with lots of people and walkers and bikers packing  up the bike path. The beach also has several fire pits that usually fill up at night, and even though there is a 10 PM closing time on the beach, that time limit is stretched a bit as well. 

The cost and crowds didn't discourage the campers though, as the park was near capacity every night. However, the sunny 70 degree days and mild nights helped some too.  Even though this park served our needs nicely, I would hesitate to come back due to the noise and crowds.  It is also important to say that this is only a campground in the off season. During the summer months, it goes back to  being a regular parking lot for beach goers. I guess it is a matter of economics. They charge the RV'ers $70 a day to take up 6 of the car parking spots a day. In the busy summer months, those 6 spots bring a minimum of $90 a day, and possibly 2 or 3 times that if the same spots are sold numerous times a day.

Diane is also posting her blog tonight as well. 

Next we move on to Morro Bay and another beach campground. However, I expect the next one to not be quite as noisy as this one. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Lou Schneider on April 06, 2016, 11:21:29 PM
During the summer months, it goes back to  being a regular parking lot for beach goers. I guess it is a matter of economics. They charge the RV'ers $70 a day to take up 6 of the car parking spots a day. In the busy summer months, those 6 spots bring a minimum of $90 a day, and possibly 2 or 3 times that if the same spots are sold numerous times a day.

If they were smart, the city could leave the electric power on during the summer and let electric cars recharge while their owners are enjoying the beach.  For a slight surcharge, of course.  ;)
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 06, 2016, 11:33:11 PM
Funny you should mention that Lou! Right in back of the camping spots are 4 electric vehicle recharging stations.  Complete with credit card reader of course.......
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on April 07, 2016, 01:17:13 PM
Morro Bay is  nice I have stayed there before. There is a big coloney of  Carmarans next door.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: RVnChick on April 07, 2016, 01:55:47 PM
Morro Bay is  nice I have stayed there before. There is a big coloney of  Carmarans next door.
Bill

Bill.....I have no idea what a Carmaran is!!???  I Googled it....not much help!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tom and Margi on April 07, 2016, 02:16:47 PM
Try cormorant. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on April 07, 2016, 02:30:09 PM
Ok I can't spell but I am ok with it.  :-\
Cormorant
 https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Double-crested_Cormorant/id
I had to go look. We stayed at The Inn at Morro Bay, There was a bird sacuarey next door. It is on State park road.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tom and Margi on April 07, 2016, 04:39:14 PM
Didn't mean to criticize your spelling.  Just wanted Marty and Diane to be able to find the cormorants before they left the area if they were interested.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 12, 2016, 03:21:26 PM
Morro Strand State Beach
Yerba Buena St, off Highway 1
Morro Bay, Ca 93442
We pulled out of Huntington Beach and headed up the 101 towards Morro Bay. LA traffic sucked, as usual.  Once we got through the Valley it thinned out and travel was much more enjoyable. Like last year we stopped for fuel at “Silvas Oil Company” in Ventura. Although we didn't need much fuel, like 24 gallons, I know that the choices are slim in this part of the state for fueling large vehicles.  Silvas had a line of cars waiting to fill at the 2 or 3 pumps they have for passenger cars, but the 8 or so large vehicle lanes with diesel were about empty.  I was pleasantly surprised to see diesel was the lowest priced fuel at $2.17 a gallon.  For about anywhere in Ca that is outstanding.  86 octane was running about $2.40 a gallon.

I fooled around with my VMSpc a bit, as I am still trying to get my new Windows 10 tablet to talk consistently to the JIB that sends the information to the tablet via WiFi.  Well, no luck so it will have to wait until I get to Morro Bay and can spend some time on it.

We pulled into Morro Bay looking forward to a little peace and quiet after our rather noisy stay in Huntington Beach.  What a difference 245 miles can make! We stayed in Morro Bay during our California coastal adventure last year, but we were at a different RV park.  Last year we were at Morro Strand RV park, and this time we stayed in Morro Strand State Beach campground.  A big difference in these two parks as well. 

On the up side, about a year ago the state added many new full hook up concrete RV sites. The campground flier indicates that the full hook up sites are limited to 40' or less in length. I do think that you could fit a 40'+ rig though, as there is 8-10' of space in back of the rig after the concrete pad stops. They are back in and are wide enough for the rig and a tow vehicle. We turned the Jeep and parked in front of the rig, thus we were able to use the concrete parking pad for daily use.  The back portion of the parking area is dirt and is where the picnic table sits. We put down our rug to cut down the dirt and sand  tracked into the rig, and it did rain a bit while we were here.  The sites have 50 amp, and the water pressure is remarkable, especially for a beach location (my on board regulator was easily pegged at 60 psi). The full hook up sites are $50 a night. There are many dry camp spots available as well at $35 a night.  The beach is a short walk down a path through some areas that are being regrown with native plants. The cool part is that the sound of the surf is clearly present, and provides a calm background noise to soothe you to sleep each night.  And even though there are houses at the top of the bluff in back of the campground, the area is incredibly quiet night and day.  Unfortunately dogs are not allowed on any of the beach areas in this State Park, so Fido needs to stay in the campground.  Our Verizon air card worked really well here, but no park WiFi is available. 

One really surprising point being that this is a state park is the absence of any handicapped facilities. The campsites themselves are easily negotiable with flat smooth surfaces and small rolled curbs, but that is about it. There are two bathroom facilities, one at each end of the park, but neither is handicapped accessible.  In spite of a crude asphalt ramp, the doors into restrooms, and on the stalls themselves are not ADA compliant. There are also no shower facilities here.  The campground flier states that fact, but indicates that by showing your receipt for t this campground, you can drive 6 miles south to Morro Bay state park and use the showers there.  Not very convenient.  But if you don't need showers, or Handicapped facilities, I can highly recommend this campground.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 14, 2016, 10:29:21 AM
BTW, Diane's blog has been updated if you are following hers as well.  And an edit I forgot in my review above.  Most of the the dry camp spots have a length limit of 24' for your RV. There are only 2 dry camp spots that will accommodate up to a 40' rig. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on April 14, 2016, 12:46:30 PM
Sarge, it looks like you'll be on the I-80  for part of your trip.  Have you identified any RV parks or campgrounds between Fenley and Wells.  Fenly is about 30-40 miles East of Reno.  Wells is maybe another 275 miles.  We plan on taking US 93 from Wells to Twin Falls, ID.  We prefer State and National campgrounds to RV Parks and have identified two potentials, Humboldt State Wildlife Management area and South Fork State Recreation Area.  Any info on those or others you know of. 

Gary
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: RVnChick on April 14, 2016, 07:03:04 PM
Sarge, it looks like you'll be on the I-80  for part of your trip.  Have you identified any RV parks or campgrounds between Fenley and Wells.  Fenly is about 30-40 miles East of Reno.  Wells is maybe another 275 miles.  We plan on taking US 93 from Wells to Twin Falls, ID.  We prefer State and National campgrounds to RV Parks and have identified two potentials, Humboldt State Wildlife Management area and South Fork State Recreation Area.  Any info on those or others you know of. 

Gary

Gary - We are stopping in Sparks, Nevada (Reno area) and staying for a few nights at the Sparks Marina RV Park.  Then we have an overnight scheduled at Iron Horse RV Park in Elko, NV.  We have overnighted at Iron Horse in the past and it worked out perfect for us...no need to disconnect the tow.  There isn't much in that area so we don't plan to stay for more than one night.  From there we head to Salt Lake City.  I agree that State Parks and National Parks are the way to go but I am not familiar with the two parks you mentioned.   
Mrs. Sarge (Diane)
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on April 14, 2016, 07:41:15 PM
Thanks Diane.  Hope your trip is going well.  Looking forward to meeting you and the Sarge next month.

Gary 

Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 21, 2016, 05:28:47 PM
Wine Country RV Resort
2500 Airport Road
Paso Robles, Ca
After leaving a park with no amenities, we arrived at one with lots of them, and the price to with them.
We have been to this resort several times in the past, but recently we have avoided it do the cost of the sites. They have various levels of site pricing depending on how your site is outfitted.  The current rates are from $52 for a dirt site with a small grass strip between  sites, to $93 for a site with concrete drive and patio, with furniture. 

While this has always been a nice place to stay and ideally located to visit the myriad of local wineries, it was not without it downsides.  One big negative for us was that in the upper “premium” sites, they were also the closest to Highway 46.  Even  at night the traffic noise was significant as it is also a trucking route.

About a year ago the place was bought out by “Sun RV Resorts”. A large company that owns dozens of RV campgrounds across the country.  We came back this year to determine what if any changes were made by the new owners,  and there were several.  The primary reason we stayed a week though was because Diane, being ever on the lookout for a deal on RV sites, received an email after Thanksgiving last year offering a 50% off rate if you booked right then and paid in advance. She jumped on it and we wound up paying about $38 a night, a real bargain!

As far as the changes, one of the biggest ones was the addition of a new premium section of RV sites in a lower area that used to be for RV storage.  The pads are double wide and all cement, and probably the quietest ones in the park. Another is the addition of several camping  cottages that were built on existing RV pads. They are quite nice and well appointed from what I could see from the outside. These too are pricey, ranging from $159 a night during the week, all the way up to $279 a night on holiday weekends.  We saw several of them filled during our stay.  We had reserved one of the newer premium lower sites, but found that we  were moved due to new construction in the area.  We wound up in an older site with concrete parking pad, but mostly grass in the patio area.

The restrooms are all top notch and easily handicapped accessible, as is the pool.  There are two hot tubs, one by the pool, and another up the hill a bit that is for adults only. Park WiFi is strong all around the park due to many repeaters. Our Verizon air card worked well here too.

Another nice amenity they added was a separate outside wine and beer bar. They serve many local wine and various beers on tap.  It is right across from a event area where bands are sometimes booked. We lucked into 2 free events the week we were here. One was a wine tasting event in the clubhouse on a Friday night. 10 local wineries were there and had tables set up and were doing free tastings for their wines. The resort also put out a small buffet of meats, cheese and  crackers.  It lasted about 3 hours and was great fun.  The next  night a band played in the outdoor club area. It was 60's and 70's music, and they were really good. It appears that Sun Resorts is intending to keep people interested and returning to the park again and again.

We are hoping that they offer the same Black Friday deal next year, we would jump on it! We also toured a few of the local wineries, and even a olive oil farm and tasted their olive oil. We had some relatives stop in for a visit, and worked out regularly in the resort exercise room. 

On a side note, VMSpc, my engine monitoring software came out with an new release of the Windows tablet software.  I installed it,  and it worked much better than the previous build. I have become quite well acquainted with Art Renda, the VMSpc guy at Silverleaf.  I will be calling him for some further insight into a few of the new features.

I also got around to installing my latest mod, a string of LED's under the slide on the patio side of the coach. They were really inexpensive on Amazon, and included a remote control to operate them and select from dozens of different colors that they would display.

As for repairs, I replaced a failing HDMI splitter in the entertainment cabinet, and changed out the water valve in my Thetford toilet as the original one was starting to leak.  All parts came from Amazon Prime, and were delivered to my door.   I also paid a local wash crew to hand wash and dry the motor home. After spending the previous weeks at the ocean and a few rain storms, it needed it.

Another thing I forgot to mention earlier on is that I have a new bicycle on this trip. I purchased a folding bike from Amazon and carry it in the back of the Jeep. It is a Schwinn Loop, a 7 speed bike that comes in it's own carry bag. It weights about 30 pounds, and folds easily. After going through 2 sets of bikes in about 10 years, hauling them around on the back of the Jeep, and them getting slowly destroyed this seemed like a reasonable alternative.  So far it has worked out great, stays out of the way, and is easy to store when the weather gets bad.

From here is it back to the California Coast for one last look at the Pacific before we head east.  For those following Diane's blog, she just updated hers as well with lots more info on the places we visited.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on April 21, 2016, 06:36:50 PM
Sarge, that is a very nice park.  On one of our RV searching adventures, we were in the Paso Robles area and came across the park by accident.  We took a self guided tour and found it to quite nice.  Hadn't thought about the traffic noise but am sure as one of the major routes between CA 101 and I-5, it gets a lot of traffic.  I'm getting quite anxious and ready to head to Yellowstone.  Just got the Jeep back from the hitch guy.  Hardrock bumper installed, new tow bar and braking system installed.  Checked it out today and was very happy with the install.  Now all we have to do is get our new traveling companion ready and we're off.  Hopefully one more visit to the vet and we're good to go. 

Keep the reports coming.

Gary
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: John Stephens on April 22, 2016, 06:57:09 AM
Marty, sorry for not reading your entire thread yet, but I'm curious to know which route you're planning on taking to go east. We are heading out to Tucson and Las Vegas the middle of May and then will head east on I-40 to the Midwest before working our way back home. I was wondering if we might be near each other in late May or early June.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on April 22, 2016, 07:52:34 AM
Marty, sorry for not reading your entire thread yet, but I'm curious to know which route you're planning on taking to go east. We are heading out to Tucson and Las Vegas the middle of May and then will head east on I-40 to the Midwest before working our way back home. I was wondering if we might be near each other in late May or early June.

John-

If you go to the link in his signature with the blog, the first blog entry has a photo of a map of the route.  They will be taking the northerly route, through Yellowstone, SD, MN, IA, IL (including a meetup with me!), etc.  Sounds like you will be further south.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 22, 2016, 10:32:10 AM
I'm getting quite anxious and ready to head to Yellowstone.  Just got the Jeep back from the hitch guy.  Hardrock bumper installed, new tow bar and braking system installed.  Checked it out today and was very happy with the install.  Now all we have to do is get our new traveling companion ready and we're off.  Hopefully one more visit to the vet and we're good to go. 

Keep the reports coming.

Gary

Us too Gary! Sounds like it's going to be a great turnout. Besides, Diane wants to meet your new furry friend!

I was wondering if we might be near each other in late May or early June.

Yep, Scott's right John, late May early June we will be in South Dakota in the Spearfish area.  We are staying a bit north trying to avoid tornado alley. Maybe later in the year as we head back west we can bump into each other.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: John Stephens on April 24, 2016, 03:50:13 PM
Doggone Marty, you just gave me something else to worry about. We'll be crossing Texas on our way out and Oklahoma on our way back. And this will be at the height of tornado season, if there is such a thing anymore.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 24, 2016, 10:33:37 PM
Well John, keep your eyes ahead and the weather radio on alert! The threat probably isn't great, but it's possible. Travel safe buddy.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on April 25, 2016, 07:01:45 AM
John-

You'll be fine as long as you don't do anything stupid.  I lived in Tulsa for four Springs during college and never saw any tornadoes.  Oddly, the only tornado I've ever seen (from a great distance) was in Minnesota.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: John Stephens on April 25, 2016, 11:33:32 AM
I have been hit by two tornadoes in my life, once in St. Louis and once in Lafayette, Ind. I lived in the tornado belt for half of my life until I decided to wise up and deal with the hurricanes instead. ::) I have been fortunate in the respect, however, to have never encountered one while on the road and hope I never do. I've seen videos of twisters picking up fully loaded 18 wheelers and tossing them, so I can only imagine what one could do to a motor coach.

Marty, what I said was more tongue in cheek than anything else. But since I usually take my trips in late summer and we're leaving in May this year, what you said gave me pause to realize there was a potential danger I hadn't thought of before now. Keep us posted on your travels; it's always good to hear from you.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 29, 2016, 12:41:08 AM
Santa Cruz Harbor Park
7th Ave at Brommer Street
Santa Cruz, Ca

This was our last stop on the California coast and the Pacific ocean this trip.  The next ocean we will see will be the Atlantic.  This RV spot, and I hesitate to call it a “park” because there is not much there to define a RV park.  It is basically a lined off set of parking spots with a power pedestal and a picnic table. There was enough room for  our 37' motor home, and we were able to pull the Jeep all the way to the back of the site so we could put chairs in the front for a view of the boats and the marina. There is a real love/hate relationship when talking about this stop. 

The parts to love are backing into your site and and having a view of Santa Cruz harbor and marina out of the front window.  The sites are full hook up and the water pressure is strong. The sites are all pavement so dirt or sand is not an issue. The cell signal is strong and the Verizon air card worked well. There is no public WiFi offered. There are walking/biking paths all along the marina that will take you to the beach and surf if you walk far enough (about a mile). 

It's quiet at night, except if it's windy you may hear the clang of the rigging’s on the sailboats in the marina. You are not far from town, and many stores and shops are within minutes of the park. There are some good restaurants along the harbor and a few right on the ocean. 

The hate part of the relationship is that the RV spaces are bordered by a road directly in front of the sites. Our rig was inches from the white line that represented the edge of the traffic lane that runs in front.  While exiting the rig if a car was going by,  it would be mere feet from you. There is a 10 mph speed limit on the road, which is universally  ignored by just about everyone.  Vehicles usually sped by at 20 to 30 mph, oblivious that pedestrians were walking and living within inches.  Great care was needed when taking Heidi (our pooch) outside so she didn't turn left into traffic. 

Another oddity was the lack of any restroom and shower facilities available.  While there are two shower toilet rooms along the marina walkway, signs are posted that they are for the use of the marina slip renters only.  One of the buildings had a sign that is was open to the public between the hours of 8 AM to 6 PM, but the doors were never unlocked.  The doors required a key or a pass code to enter. Some really tall Eucalyptus trees on the ridge in back of the sites prevented us from using our roof top satellite dish. I  was able to set up the manual dish and  find one lone gap in the trees to enable us to get our Direct TV hook up going.

The RV camp  host was also kinda flaky. He was in the site next to us, but he was rarely there, and when he was he was never available. We spent much of the week answering questions from campers that arrived and were trying get info on their site. He was basically of no help except to occasionally show up and collect payment.

We paid $52 a night for the park, with no discounts or break for staying for a week. All in all it was not a bad park, but there was not much to make it memorable either.  Diane just updated her blog as well with more area information.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on April 29, 2016, 08:33:14 AM
It's all about real estate Sarge.  Location, location, location.  Years ago, Santa Cruz was a great college town.  Took my daughter there for a visit in early 90's.  Never RV'd there but like any place on/near the water on the coast, the $$$ will be on the high side.  Sounds like you're having a great trip.  We're hoping too begin ours Monday.   
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 29, 2016, 09:46:20 AM
Yeah, it seems to be that way anywhere on the coast Gary. The town itself was nice, but pricey as usual. Good luck on your trip, let us know how it goes!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on April 29, 2016, 11:29:45 AM
The camp host was demonstrating the talents required to be a camp host. :o Let the guy next door do all your work.
We spent last week in Fredericksburg Texas. Interesting place. Who would think to find The National Museum of The War of The Pacific in a small Texas hill country town. Well there is the Admiral Nimitz Museum, he might have had a little influence.
Just down the road is the LBJ Ranch and Texas Whitehouse. This place is a total time machine. It is just like it was during his presidency.
Just some things to look at as you swing back through.
 http://www.pacificwarmuseum.org/
https://www.nps.gov/lyjo/planyourvisit/visitlbjranch.htm
Bill

 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Kevin Means on April 29, 2016, 11:40:41 AM
Enjoying your updates as usual Marty. By the way, your LED install looks great. That's an excellent place to install them for indirect lighting.

Kev 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 29, 2016, 12:42:23 PM
Just some things to look at as you swing back through.
 http://www.pacificwarmuseum.org/
https://www.nps.gov/lyjo/planyourvisit/visitlbjranch.htm
Bill
Thanks Bill, that sounds great. We will keep them in mind.

Enjoying your updates as usual Marty. By the way, your LED install looks great. That's an excellent place to install them for indirect lighting.
Kev 
Thanks Kev, what can I say but you inspire me! And it was fairly simple (just my speed!).  I did have a neighbor tell me this morning though, "I saw your lights last night, I thought you must have been Hippies"!.  What a crack up, there is showing your age though!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Kevin Means on April 30, 2016, 11:48:01 AM
Nothing against old hippies but "Hippie" is not a word I would use to describe you or Diane... Ya know what I mean? :) You should have it shine red, like a red light district, and then see what they start callin' ya!

Kev
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on April 30, 2016, 04:54:41 PM
Yeah, back in the old Vice days I was kinda scraggly looking, but I never made it to Hippie level!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: MN Blue Skies on May 01, 2016, 08:22:45 PM
We are staying more north to hit the Yellowstone rally on the way by. 

We are delighted that you are joining the YPN rally.  We are following your trip to the Eastern Seaboard.  I would be great is someone organized a rally there next year.  Anyone volunteers?
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: cadee2c on May 01, 2016, 10:59:41 PM
If we are still in Minnesota when you come through Iowa, we would be glad to run down and meet up with you. We have to stick around the state till we get our house sold. Right now we are staying at Crystal Springs RV resort just north of Albert Lea.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 01, 2016, 11:38:09 PM
I would be great is someone organized a rally there next year.  Anyone volunteers?

Maybe we could hit someone up in Yellowstone to take it on!

Right now we are staying at Crystal Springs RV resort just north of Albert Lea.

I think we will be nearby there when we get to Iowa. Watch for us to come to town!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 04, 2016, 07:00:14 PM
Jackson Rancheria
12222 New York Ranch Road
Jackson, Ca 95642

After staying at a few different RV parks that had little to offer in the way of amenities, we rolled into Jackson, Ca to stay at Jackson Rancheria Casino and RV park.  Many of the RV parks that are owned by Indian casino's are generally pretty decent, but this one is exceptional in my opinion.  The all cement double wide sites are surrounded with lush grass and meticulously cared for plant life.  There is generous space between sites, and they are  laid out on the diagonal to provide an even bigger space feel.  There is a walking path that surrounds the whole park, and although a bit hilly is a great place to stretch and exercise a bit. 

This is surrounded by great scenery of rolling green hills and plenty of trees. The restrooms are modern and clean, and easily handicapped accessible. The free park WiFi is strong, which is a good thing because my Verizon air card was running pretty slow due to distance from the nearest tower. 

We had paid a group rate here as we were attending a mini rally with a bunch of folks we have become friends with from our brief but memorable 5th Wheel ownership days. Our rate was $35 a night, but I believe the regular rate is $45 to $55 a night depending on back in or pull through site, and weekend or weekday. There is a large off  leash dog area, a big pool, and two hot tubs to relax in. A free shuttle to the casino runs every 30 minutes and drops you at the casino door which is about a mile from the RV park. 

Just down the hill from the RV park is a gas station that has diesel and will easily fit your big rig to fuel up. There is also a car/RV wash that is touch-less where you can get the RV washed for $40. If you join the Casino's players club, a coupon on the RV site brochure will give you an additional $10 off that price.

We were so busy with the events and people at the rally, we never even made it to the casino. We did find time to hit a few wineries though, and picked up a case of Zinfandel to take with us. This is  one of the few places that we could be happy staying for a few weeks if we could fit it in our plans.  We have been here 3 or 4 times, but I don't think we have made it to the casino yet. I can highly recommend this park. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on May 04, 2016, 07:41:48 PM
That looks like a good place. I haven’t stayed there but over west of Lodi at Flag City RV Resort and if it is hot you might try Duck Island RV Park. It is right on the river Before I stayed there I didn’t know about how the wind always blows up the river and it is a cold wind from the ocean. That is why they have all the windmills there. You are right there are a lot of good winery’s around that area.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 11, 2016, 08:55:41 AM
Diane has updated her blog for the last few stops we made, but I am a little behind the power curve myself. I will catch up soon!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Happycamper843 on May 11, 2016, 10:53:31 AM
Following.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 11, 2016, 09:11:39 PM
Sparks Marina RV Park
1200 E. LincolnWay
Sparks, NV 89434

This entry will combine 3 different parks as they were shorter in duration, and we didn't do as much wandering.  We have stayed at Sparks Marina before, and came back because we like the area. The park can be a little odd, in that there is no real grass in the park.  All of their sites have a grass areas between them, but it is all Astro Turf.  It is in good repair, and the park keeps it clean by constant raking, sweeping, and they even run a lawn mower over it to suck up any loose debris that falls on it.

Because it's astro turf though, they don't want any animals reliving themselves on it.  Which  can be kind of a struggle to keep rover from peeing as soon as they hit the door.  There are 2 dog runs to use, if you can  get that far before the “accident”.  They do  have handicapped facilities, and offer free WiFi, for email browsing primarily. The sites are average size so you can get an awning out, but not a lot of extra room. There is an additional parking area next to the rig to put your toad or tow vehicle.  We paid $43 with Good Sam discount. 

There is a nice marina across from the park where sail boats and paddle boarders play, and there is a 1 ˝ mile walking/jogging path around the lake.  There is also a big off leash pet area at the marina that is on the lake as well, so if your pooch is a water lover, they will be in heaven. 

There is a pool and hot tub (which I used) and enjoyed immensely. I can recommend this park for visiting the Reno/Sparks area.

Iron  Horse RV Resort
3400 Idaho St
Elko, NV 89801

After leaving Sparks we needed an over niter on the way to Salt Lake City. Iron Horse fit the bill nicely. It sits back off the road, and a bit lower so traffic noise was not an issue. This is a well maintained park and is not very old. We have stayed here before a few years back and I liked it then. One slight negative is that the sites are “Jack and Jill”, but only on the drivers side of the vehicle. The utilities share the same strip between you and the rig on the drivers side, but out your door on the curb side there is a spacious patio and grass area. 

The grass here is meticioulsly maintained and kept nicely mowed. There is a small pool and hot tub, but I didn't get the chance to use them. There are Handicapped facilities, and the price includes free WiFi, but our Verizon Air Card worked well here.  There is some train noise in the area, but not close enough to be bothersome. Even though our stop was brief, I could easily come back to this park and stay a week.  The town was nice and had a good variety of stores.

We paid $48 a night for a long pull through paved site, which was nice as I didn't want to unhook the Jeep for the short stay.  I would stay here again. 

Salt Lake City KOA
1400 W North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

We had not been to SLC for quite awhile, so we wanted a place to stay to do some touring. We went with the KOA, but were not too impressed with it. While the roads and sites were paved, fairly rare for a KOA, it had some negatives that were tough on us.  Probably the biggest one for us was the noise level in the area. A train track nearby had a seemingly constant supply of freight trains going by. Many in the early morning hours, like 2 or 3 AM. And each and every time the conductor would sound the horns as many as 9 or 10 long blasts going by.  And then there was the noise from the nearby airport as jets took off and  landed regularly and helicopters circled at random.

The park itself is huge, with over 1000 RV spots, most of which are permanent or extended stay rigs. That makes for quite a bit of traffic in and out around the clock. I didn't get a chance  to check out the restroom facilities, as most of our 5 days we were dodging the rain and thunder storms that were going by. The park does offer free WiFi and our air card signal was good here. The views from the park of the snow capped mountains were very nice to look at. I needed to use a remote satellite dish though as the many large trees make the RV mounted dishes useless in most cases. 

The touring we did do of Temple Square and the Capitol building was great, but we skipped visiting the Great Salt Lake, after a report of swarming biting flies from a couple on the Capitol tour with us. Diane's blog has a lot more info on the places we visited with lots more pictures.

We paid $50 a night with GS discount, and there is a pool and small hot tub. I chose not to use the hot tub though as another camper that had 7 small children and was camping in a pop up camper used the hot tub daily as kind of a bath for all of the kids.  Gotta love a KOA. 

We were recommended to a local Mexican food restaurant down the street that I took Diane to on Mothers Day, the Red Iguana. It was a great recommendation, as the food and the service were fabulous, and the prices were reasonable. 

There is a nice paved walking/jogging path next to the park that we did use to run on one day between the rain drops. I probably wouldn't come back here if in the area, just too many negatives for us.       
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on May 12, 2016, 09:08:02 AM
I chose not to use the hot tub though as another camper that had 7 small children and was camping in a pop up camper used the hot tub daily as kind of a bath for all of the kids.  Gotta love a KOA.

Nothing like relaxing in someone else's bath water. 

Looks like we were following you a bit.  Spent Sunday and Monday nights at Gold Dust West Casino in Carson City.  Then had the brakes inspected in Sparks, 30 miles or so further North.  That kept us off the road until 4PM Tuesday.  $75.00 for 3 hours work.  Damn I love getting work done outside of Los Angeles.  We were on I-80 till Wells and then headed North to Twin Falls ID.  Looks like you're taking the long route to Yellowstone.   
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 12, 2016, 03:06:45 PM
We stopped overnight in Pocotello and then drove in today. Just finished setting up!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on May 12, 2016, 08:32:35 PM
Great, what campground are you using? I won't be out that way until late July.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 14, 2016, 08:46:58 AM
We used the "Cowboy" RV park Bill. I can't  recommend it though. It is a mobile home park with a small RV area. The sites are small, close together, and over priced. I will elaborate more on that in the next entry.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on May 14, 2016, 09:40:59 AM
Last time in the Yellowstone area we couldn't get in the park and stayed on the north side. off US-89 south of Livingston. The place we stayed was nice wright on the banks of the Yellowstone river.
Yellowstone's Edge RV Park
3502 US-89, Livingston, MT 59047
mtrv.com
(406) 333-4036
The only negative is it was a ways into the park.
What is the address of "Cowboys" so I don't make that one of my picks. :D
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 21, 2016, 08:11:00 PM
I will cover two stops in this blog since the first one was only an over niter to get to our next destination.  If you were following Diane's route map you would notice that we skipped the 3 or 4 days in the Tetons camping with electric only.  Usually electric only camping does not bother me, but it is a little more challenging when it may be snowing outside. And we got lucky skipping that stop for reasons that I will get to in a moment.

Cowboy RV Park
845 Barton Road
Pocatello, ID 83204

After deciding to skip the Teton's at this time and head right for Yellowstone, we made an overnight stop at the Cowboy RV Park. It was rated well in various on line web sites, so we stopped in for the night.  I am glad it was just a night, as the reviews “stretched” the truth a bit. The Cowboy is actually a mobile home park that has a small area for RV's. The sites are narrow and long, but there are 2 sets of hookups at each long pull through making it 2 sites instead of one. If it was busier we would have had to disconnect the Jeep and find someplace to park it, as there would have been no room in the site.

The sites are asphalt and have a small concrete patio, but they were obviously built a long time ago when RV's didn't have slides. When we pulled in and put out our curb side slide, about 2' of the patio was left.  Most of the park is all permanents, who get up and go to work early mornings so you are treated to many vehicles starting up and moving about. A school bus also picks up and drops several children off daily that also live in the park, which is also right in front of the RV spaces. There is no pool or other facilities, and  no restrooms that I could find. As for WiFi, I could only see private signals when I scanned the area.  For all this we still paid $38 a night. If ever in the area, I would look to stay somewhere else. 

Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park
210 S. Electric St
West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Things got a lot better when we rolled into Grizzly RV park for the RV Forum.net rally.  Kim Bertram did an outstanding job organizing this rally and securing the rally rate, spaces,  and amenities for us. We have been here several times in the past and always look forward to our stay here. The park is big, and has RV spots as well as cabins and tent spots. We got in at the off season rate, and then Kim negotiated a rally rate of $45 a night for us, an excellent deal. The spaces are angled with decent room between rigs, the patio's are good sized and well placed.  We were also given use of their new indoor Pavilion that was just built. It is so new that the plumbing and heat are not hooked up yet, but that didn't stop us from using it almost daily.

All of the restroom facilities are top notch (as we had to use them) and handicapped accessible. Free WiFi is available throughout the park, but our  Verizon air card worked pretty well. The signal was strong from a nearby cell antenna, but the bandwidth did suffer occasionally during peak periods.

The west entrance to Yellowstone is minutes from the RV park, and we made a few day trips into the park to scan the numerous wild life roaming around.  We saw bear, bison, and  tons of smaller animals just coming out of the long winter season. Diane's blog goes into more detail of the animals with lots of pictures.

Sometimes RVing is easy and non eventful. And sometimes it's not. Extending our stay here to 10 days was a blessing in disguise. The reason I mentioned earlier that I was glad we skipped the Tetons was that the first day we pulled into Grizzly, Diane alerted me to a strong propane smell at the door of the rig.  A quick check with some soapy water on the connections at the on board propane tank revealed that a short hose from the propane tank to the regulator was leaking badly at a crimp joint. After a few attempts to re-crimp the connection, it was obvious that a new hose was in order.

I quickly learned the the only propane dealer here in town has went out of business, and few if any propane supplies are available. A few gas stations still sell propane gas, but nothing else. The local hardware store sells a few propane parts for BBQ's but that's all.

I determined that the closest propane dealer with parts is located in Belgrade, 90 miles away. I called him Friday afternoon, and the owner,  Larry, of MAC propane helped me out. Even though he was closed Saturday, he offered to make the hose I needed, and  would meet me at a location near his house the next morning.  We happily drove down the mountain, as without propane, we can't use the tankless hot water heater, cook on the stove, or use the gas heat. We have electric heat sources, but none are as effective as the gas if things really get cold. 

We met Larry and picked up the hose ($20), then continued into Bozeman to do a little shopping since we were nearly there already. About 2 PM we were on the way back up the mountain about 30 miles from Bozeman when the TPMS idiot light on the Jeep dash lit up.  Within seconds, a loud rumble was heard and then the “bang”.  We completely blew the left rear tire on the Jeep. Fortunately a turnout was directly in front of us on the other side of the road so I wheeled into it and stopped.  I put the spare on and inflated it while Diane tried in vain to search for tire shops in Bozeman. No cell signal was to be had, but a Park Ranger stopped to check on us and told us about a tire shop that the Park Service uses in Bozeman, “Tire Rama”. 

My Cooper's have been pretty good tires, and I had about 65,000 miles on them. When I got to the tire shop I learned that Cooper no longer makes that specific tire, that it had been replaced by a new model. While the new model was similar, the sizes were a little different, so I purchased a set of new tires ($800) and was back on the road about 4:30.  The guy at the tire shop did inform me that a few of my wheel studs were badly threaded, and one in fact was unusable. 

So we made it back to Grizzly about 6 PM and quickly installed the new propane hose.  Yep, the new hose leaked too, just from the other end!  I called up the propane shop owner, Larry, and described the issue.  The long and short of it was that we made yet another trip to Belgrade the next morning (180 mile round trip) to meet Larry at his shop and get another new hose. And this was on Sunday afternoon! It seems that the tank fitting on the first hose,  while brand new was defective. 

This time the propane hose fit and put our propane tank back in service. Still bugged about the damaged wheel studs, I found a shop here in town to replace the damaged stud and gave him directions to inspect the others.  When I returned I learned that 3 studs were damaged,  and one completely broke off during removal.  ($177) Things just keep getting better.

Because of our extended stay at Grizzly, I took advantage to get some stuff shipped here. Plus there was also some other needed repair items pop up. Here is a rundown of fixes:

1) 4 new Jeep tires.
2) 3 new wheel studs and lugs.
3) One propane hose.
4) 4 new TPMS sensors on the RV. (Replacing some that were timed out at 3 years old)
5) Switch out my  VMSpc WiFi JIB for a USB JIB. (warranty from Silverleaf)
6) Replace cooling fan in Diane's Wine Cooler.  ($6 from Amazon)
7) Replace 2 burned out LED lights in living area.
8) Replace defective BBQ regulator and control switch (warranty)
9) Ordered new battery for Diane's laptop (Amazon)
10) Added a pushup mast pole for my Wifi  antenna to back of RV. (My latest mod. Hopefully it works).
11) Re-secure the trim over the Residential Refer that contains the catches that hold the doors closed. 

As you can see, sometimes stuff happens when living the RV lifestyle.  It's not cheap, it's sometimes not easy, but it is always fun!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: ArdraF on May 21, 2016, 09:31:48 PM
Quote
6) Replace cooling fan in Diane's Wine Cooler.

Obviously the most important part!  Well, maybe the propane hose for heat and stuff.  ;)

ArdraF
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 21, 2016, 09:56:25 PM
Too funny! That's what Diane said!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: ArdraF on May 21, 2016, 10:12:50 PM
A girl after my own heart!  ;)

ArdraF
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on May 22, 2016, 07:41:46 AM
Thanks for the great updates.  Sounds like good time despite a few repair setbacks.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 22, 2016, 09:23:19 AM
Yeah, it has been. The most serious thing, the tire blow out was one of those things. I would have liked to have caught it before it blew, but the on board TPMS is not that good.  Since I run the tires at about 38 to 40 PSI, the sensor light is set to go come on at about 38#. That means that the light will often come on and go off with a change in weather.

And the propane hose was a fluke as well.  Well, just take it in stride and keep rolling.  There's lots more miles to cover!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tin man on May 22, 2016, 09:27:36 AM
Sarge

One place to visit, the only thing that is free.  Staten Island Ferry. Go to the Battery (downtown). You will see the ferry therminal.  The Ferry is free, you will get a great view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Verrazano Bridge. When you get to Statan Island, you have to get off the ferry, but follow the crowed and get back on the ferry.  Try to pick a nice day, but there is inside seating.

You will be near the Freedom tower AKA Twin towers ( walking distance)

Enjoy
Jim
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 22, 2016, 08:22:47 PM
Good info Jim, thanks.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on May 24, 2016, 08:51:58 AM
Hopefully the two of you will have left the PITA issues behind at Yellowstone and will enjoy the rest of your adventure.  Safe and trouble free travels. 

Gary
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 24, 2016, 09:08:15 AM
Us too Gary, but there is always the little stuff to take care of. Like the shower doors need to be adjusted now. But at least it gives me something to do to keep me out of trouble!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: RVnChick on May 24, 2016, 11:39:06 AM
Us too Gary, but there is always the little stuff to take care of. Like the shower doors need to be adjusted now. But at least it gives me something to do to keep me out of trouble!

Yep....can't let him get bored....because then he just starts drinking!  :o
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on May 24, 2016, 06:54:59 PM
Yep....can't let him get bored....because then he just starts drinking!  :o

I don't see that as a probblem. ;)
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on May 27, 2016, 08:43:59 AM
I'll drink to that.   ;)
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 30, 2016, 11:49:44 PM
Billings KOA
547 Garden Ave
Billings, MT 59101

After a great rally we left Yellowstone and headed to Billings for a 3 night stay at the KOA there. This is billed as being the “First KOA” in the franchise.  The park itself is very nice as KOA's go. Many KOA campgrounds have dirt or gravel parking pads, and the sites are mostly grass. The roads in the park may or may not be paved. 

This KOA however was all paved roads, and the premium sites were gravel pads, but had good sized cement patios. Our premium site also came with a cast iron patio swing that seats two people, and a firepit. All of the grass in the park was green and well manicured. This KOA was definitely well taken care of. This was also designated as a “Holiday” park. In KOA speak, that means that the park is one that could easily be used as an extended stay park considering all of the amenities.

The park itself had an on site BBQ restaurant (closed while we were there), good size pool with a smaller spa, mini golf course, and a good sized off leash dog area. It also had the usual kid friendly stuff common to KOA's, the playground, and bike/coaster rentals.  It was a big park with many extended stay residents there, but you never got the feeling of being in a “trailer park”. 

A gate at the back of the park led to a city owned walk/bike path that we used to run on and walk the dog.  The park offered free WiFi and the restrooms were in good condition and well maintained. There is also good handicapped access.

We paid $50 a night for a premium site, and they had pull through and back in premium sites. The non premium sites had the usual gravel pads and grass sites. That also included the usual KOA discount we get a members.  I can recommend and would stay at this KOA again.

Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort
20189 US Highway 85
Spearfish, SD

From Billings we headed to South Dakota for a week stay at the Elkhorn Ridge Resort.  This was a very well rated park with nearly 400 RV sites, tent sites, and rental cabins. The pool and spa are nice, the restrooms are new, and the park has great views.  One of the reasons we chose to stop here was it has a central location to Spearfish, Sturgis, Lead, and Custer State park.

Interestingly we made reservations to stay here several months ago, mostly because of being here over the Memorial Day weekend.  From past experience we have learned that we can easily get locked out of many places on any of the big camping days of the year.  Boy were we wrong on this one!  Even though we pulled in on a Wednesday,  we still expected the park to be fairly busy. Instead the park looked pretty empty.  So we expected the crowds to show up on Friday just before the holiday. 

We pulled in and went into the very big, modern check in building. The check in process was rocky at best. Because we had anticipated a crowd, Diane had nailed down the dates of the stay and the entire cost of the week stay. We also opted for a week as this park offered a “pay for 6 nights and get one night free” deal.  Two young girls at the check in desk greeted us. We identified ourselves and started the process. Diane informed the girl that we had already paid for one night deposit ($60.45 a night) and we owed the balance.  The girl informed her “That is wrong. Our rates are $70 a night. The computer will change that when I put in the rest of the information”.  As you may imagine this didn't go over well. Diane promptly informed her that we already had a receipt and confirmation showing the $60 rate, and wasn't going to pay more than that. The girl replied “well, I don't have any control over that”.

Just about the time things were about to get ugly, the girl punched up the computer and it verified the total on our receipt confirmation was correct.  We hastily paid and walked out. We got thrust our paper work with no explanation of our site location, amenities, or further info on the park. Not a good experience.

We later figured out that the girl didn't take into consideration the week long stay deal, and spoke out of turn.  Interestingly through the whole week we were there, never more than 20 or so rigs were ever in the park at one time. Considering the 400 RV spaces, that math can't be adding up too well. As near as I can figure, the parks rates are just too high for the neighborhood.  There are several other RV parks in the area, and although they don't have the level of amenities as this park, it all comes down to budget for lots of folks.  This park apparently is also part of a “planned community” by whomever is developing it. There is a golf course related to this park, and a housing development may be coming as well.  All that is well and good, but it still won't add rigs to your RV park. 

The parks Wifi was OK, but our Verizon air card had strong cell signal. The restrooms are ADA compliant, as were the other facilities. One thing I did see as a negative though was the design of the sites.  The pull through's were plenty long for the biggest rigs and toad, but the patio is about a 10X10 square. Then there is a picnic table sitting in the middle, which had to be drug off into the grass to have any room to put a patio chair.  And even though the park was built with some grassy berms at the front, it still sits right on Highway 85 and the traffic noise is plainly audible. As much as we like paved pads and patio's, I think if we are ever back this way I would check out other parks to stay in. 

We did do some sight seeing while here. We visited Deadwood, Spearfish, Lead, and Sturgis, and visited Custer State park.  Deadwood was really a cool little town with lots of eateries and shops to explore in the old town area. We had lunch and had a beer where famous western character Wild Bill Hickok met his fate while playing cards. He was shot in the back and killed by Jack McCall, another gambler. Hickok was allegedly holding "Aces and Eights" in hand when shot, which is became known as "the dead mans hand".   

Sturgis was a bit of a surprise for me. I think I expected more of a built up downtown area, considering the huge motorcycle event that draws thousands here every year in August. Instead it looked a lot like any other mid-western map dot city.  Not in bad shape, just not that remarkable. One of the most well known of the towns biker draws, the Full Throttle Saloon, burned to the ground last September after the rally, and was not insured.  But 9 months after the fire, there is still just a flat slab of cement where the old building stood, and lots of burned out and rusted motorcycle parts laying around. It's anyone's guess if this place is to be reborn or not.   We saw several large “RV Parks” in Sturgis that were basically dirt and power pedestals. I am sure that they get 99% of their yearly business during the rally week by drastically increasing their prices.

We also drove through Custer State park. It was $20 for a weeks admission pass, but the scenery and unique rock tunnels (6 of them) make it worth the price of admission. Forget driving your high profile vehicle through the park though, as most of the tunnels are no more than 10' tall and 8' wide at best.  And there also many switch backs that were challenging in a Jeep, let alone a RV.  Many places in the park also had signs posted for “Extremely Hazardous Conditions For Motorcycles”  due to a lot of loose gravel on the roadway. We did see some brave souls on motorcycles though, just not going very fast.  All in all though, if you are in the area, I can highly recommend Custer State Park.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on May 31, 2016, 11:28:04 AM
I am probably the only one you will ever know who was in Sturgis area during bike week,by accident. We were at Yellowstone and decided to see Mt Rushmore. Started calling campgrounds and finally found space at Heartland RV Park & Cabins, Hermosa. Not a bad location as several roads 40 and 36 to 16A. I think 16A is the road that you talked about I know I wouldn't take a RV on it.
 The lady said "ge we only have a couple of spaces left" so I said here is my credit card. Had a good time, got to see lots of bikes.
If you get a chance the town of Rapid city is interesting as it has a (on main street) a statue of a president or famous person on every street corner.
So yes I have been to bike week.
Have fun.
 Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on May 31, 2016, 11:47:26 AM
Not sure if you guys have packed up and left the Rapid City area yet, but if you are still there and looking for something to do, Jewel Cave National Monument is excellent.  Great tour of the cave.

Look forward to seeing you in IL next week.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 31, 2016, 12:25:51 PM
Yeah Bill, I have known lots of people that have been to the Sturgis rally, but none by accident!  We have toured one of the caves out here in the past Scott. But the 50 mph wind gusts will likely keep us close to home today. Maybe go back into Deadwood for lunch. We have 2 of the slides pulled in as the toppers were really taking a beating.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Corky on May 31, 2016, 01:27:00 PM
While not much of an interesting place to go unless you're a golfer The Elks south of Rapid City is built on my uncle's old dairy farm. And there's a neat little short track (1/2mi I think) on Jolly Lane, if you're into dirt racing.
It' been 30+ years since I've been back to the old neighborhood, probably not much left but memories.

Corky
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 31, 2016, 04:11:53 PM
Yeah, things have changed quite a bit in the area. We just came back from touring the "Historic Adams House" in Deadwood. Neat old mansion for the day, but some of the really cool stuff were all the old photo's on the walls that pictured Deadwood at the turn of the 20th century. It was truly a mud pit mining town back then.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 31, 2016, 07:22:18 PM
Diane just updated her blog with lots more info on the attractions we visited and pics, stop by if you get a chance.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tom and Margi on May 31, 2016, 08:03:11 PM
I'll make sure I have that chance tomorrow morning.  Really enjoy reading her blog
 and seeing the pictures she posts.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on May 31, 2016, 08:40:56 PM
Great blog and photos.
Did you guys exit Yellowstone at East Gate and go over the Bighorns?
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on May 31, 2016, 09:29:57 PM
No, we didn't go through the park when we left. We drove highway 191 through Bozeman and picked up I-90.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on June 08, 2016, 10:18:03 PM
We did a string of short stops working our way through South Dakota, Minnesota, and Illinois.  Unfortunately, none of the campgrounds were memorable.  Two of them were KOA's, which are usually pretty good. However there are exceptions.

Mitchell KOA
41255 South Dakota Highway 38
Mitchell, SD 57301
We had a few worries pulling into this KOA when the first thing we saw pulling in was a   long entry road about 100 yards long was all dusty dirt. Not gravel and dirt,  just dirt. We pulled in to find that there were only 5 sites in the park that were 50 amp, and we didn't get one. And only about half of the sites had either water, or sewer, but not both. There were a few full hook up sites, but none were available. The grass was long and needed mowing, and the site was all fairly soft dirt.
 
While setting up one couldn't escape the unmistakable hum of the giant wind turbine next door.  When the wind slowed, the next surprise was the invasion of black flies. It seems as though the property right next door is a pasture for a large herd of cows.  And along with cows, comes the fragrant odor of cow manure. Fortunately this was a two day stop, but we did pay a way too high $45.74 a night for an electric and water site.  You know that what the campground is like when one of the FAQ's in the campground brochure is: Question, Does the wind blow all the time here?  Answer, Yes, all the time!

This stop was not a total loss though as we went to the next day to visit the semi famous Mitchell Corn Palace. Yep, the whole outside of the place is decorated with 13 different shades of corn cobs. Diane will have several great pics in her blog.

Albert Lea/Austin KOA
84259 County Road46
Hayward, Minnesota 56043

We drove from South Dakota to another KOA, this time in Hayward, Minnesota. Our hopes of getting into a better cared for campground quickly evaporated when the first thing we saw pulling in was a “For Sale” sign on the park.  Fortunately this was another 2 night stay.

Again we found dirt sites and dirt roads. Except that it had been raining here, and much of the place was mud. When I deployed the jacks, I drove them about 2” into the off camber site. After adding jack pads I was able to level and open the slides.

We got a 30 amp site, and I had to prop up the electric pedestal to keep it from falling over when I plugged the cord into it. We had water, but the pressure gauge on the rig showed about 20# with no faucets open. When a faucet was opened the water was a trickle. And it had a mysterious odor to the water, kind of like it had been sitting in rusty pipes for a long time.

They also claimed to have campground Wifi, but I didn't try to hook up to it. The Verizon air card worked OK here. I didn't get a chance to check the restroom facilities as we got a pretty good rain storm that turned the whole place into a mud pit.  The sites and roads had no gravel at all, so things got pretty squishy after the rain. With the place for sale, it was apparent that the owners were not planning on putting any money into it for improvements. At least it was not quite as expensive at the last  KOA. We paid $30.87 a night with the KOA discount for a water/electric site. 

We did find something to do our second day however, we went to tour the Spam museum in Austin.   Yep, and I don't mean the kind that fills up the in box of your email account. I mean the ready to eat, cooked in the can, packaged meat product that the Government has been feeding to soldiers since WW-2 (and millions of people around the world).  Pretty interesting actually. Do you know it is still a major seller in Hawaii? 

Fisherman's Corner COE Park
1623 Illinois 84
Hampton, IL
Giving the KOA's a rest, we pulled into a nice Corps of Engineers park (COE) in Hampton, IL. The sites are a nice size, and  many are right on the Mississippi river. The site had 50 amp electrical to the site, and water faucets were dispersed throughout the park.  A dual dump station is at the entrance and is included with your space rent.  The roads as well as the sites are paved, and each site includes a gravel patio and a picnic bench.  All of this and the spaces rent for $20 a night. 

There is no included WiFi at this location, but the restrooms are in good shape. Of course with all the good parts there has to be a down side, right?  Well we figured it out pretty quick the first  night at dusk. We got a quick lesson on the local nuisance, the May Fly.  May fly’s are little brown flying bugs that are basically harmless.  Except for the fact that they breed in the fresh water of the river, and live to mate, hatch, swarm,  and die.

While they don't hurt you it's just a bit creepy when trying to walk around and these things are flying erratically everywhere, running into you. Oh well, they only hatch from May until about October...

The cool part about being here was we met and got to spend some time with forum member “Jagnweiner”, Scott and his wife Jennifer.  We met one night and went out to dinner at a local Pub, where Scott's brother Kent joined us.  Afterward Scott gave us a tour of the town in his all original 1925 Dodge Touring Car! It was amazing how well it rode, and how big the rear seat room was.  We also stopped in and visited Kent at his home, and got to tour Kent's vintage 1970's era GMC dual axle motor home. It is in remarkable condition, and Kent is still going to make a few mods to return it to it's original showroom condition. 

The next day Scott was nice enough to show us around his work facility, The Army's Rock Island Arsenal, on Rock Island.  We looked as some of the original stone residences that were built for soldiers and the base Commanding Officer, and the remarkable Rock Island Arsenal museum.  What a great day, thanks Scott!

We also dropped by one of the the “Pickers” store in Iowa.  If you watch the show “American Pickers” about the 2 guys that travel the country buying old stuff and reselling it, you are familiar with “Mike and Frank”.  Didn't see the guys, but the store was pretty cool, and we did recognize some of the stuff in the store from the TV show. 

I have rambled long enough, and we are looking forward to our next location in Battle Ground, Indiana. Prophetstown State Park. 


Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: HappyWanderer on June 08, 2016, 10:39:49 PM
Marty, I understand that Mike, Frank and Danielle aren't at the store very often, although we did get to meet Mike's brother Rob.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on June 09, 2016, 06:29:24 AM
Too bad we did not know you were stopping in Mitchell, SD.  We have friends there and stopped at that Super 8 Campground for about a week last year.  http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions/south-dakota/mitchell/super-8-motel-r-r-campground-rv-park   I think we paid $15 per night and while it was not high on amenities, the park was sufficient for our needs with full hookups. We plan on stopping there again this year on our way through.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on June 09, 2016, 07:13:44 AM
Marty, I understand that Mike, Frank and Danielle aren't at the store very often, although we did get to meet Mike's brother Rob.

Yeah, that is what we understood as well.  We didn't really expect anyone from the show would be there. The folks working the stores are very friendly though. We were going to pick up a small souvenir, but the prices for the trinkets was pretty steep! I guess they gotta pay for all that overhead now.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on June 09, 2016, 07:21:42 AM
I think we paid $15 per night and while it was not high on amenities, the park was sufficient for our needs with full hookups. We plan on stopping there again this year on our way through.

We had stayed right next door there before too. Last time we stayed it was a Passport America park. For the money it was worth it, but it's not PA anymore.  The rates now were about the same as we paid at the KOA. The Super 8 park is right on the freeway though, so we picked the KOA.  Not better.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on June 09, 2016, 07:47:22 AM
We greatly enjoyed our visits with Marty and Diane.  They are delightful to spend time with.  If you have a opportunity to get together with them on the road, take it.

On a related note, if anyone is passing through the Quad Cities (Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island) area on I-80, let us know and stop for a visit.  We are 20 miles east of the QC, right off I-80.  We do have some nice "mayfly-free" CGs in the area and if anyone wants to boondock for a night or two, I've got some land available. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on June 22, 2016, 08:48:32 PM
Prophetstown State Park
5545 Swisher Road
West Lafayette, IN

We pulled into Prophetstown and were amazed at what a nice park it is. We wound up staying in two different sites during our stay. The first 4 days we were in an electric only site that looked over a huge field. There was plenty of room between sites, and the plentiful grass was neatly mowed and trimmed. The site was a gravel back in but there was a nice size rock patio attached. The electric only sites are in the second loop, and are not as heavily treed as the full hook up sites.  We paid $30 a night for the electric only site.

The last 3 days we moved to a full hook up site.  They are much more private than the electric only sites, as they are surrounded on 3 sides with tall trees and shrubs. While is is good for privacy, the tall trees tend to block the much needed afternoon breezes that help out with the heat and humidity. The full hook up sites were about $10 more a night. Interesting though, when we moved sites it was nice having  full hookups, but our internet service dropped to near zero.  I was able to raise the mast on the WiFi antenna and recapture our lost cell signal.  We are camping, but we still want to be connected!

There is a large field in back of the sites that has hiking and biking trails running through it. We walked and ran on the trails several times. At night it was fun to come out at night after the sun had finally set (after 9 PM) and gaze into the field at the thousands of fire flies hovering just about the marshy grass.

At this site we were at the end of the second loop, and the Verizon air card worked well. I took advantage of the park restrooms/showers. They were top notch, private with closing and locking doors on  the showers, and all the free hot water you could want.  All facilities are handicapped accessible.

This park is highly recommended.

Maumee Bay State Park
1400 State Park Road
Oregon, OH
We rolled in Ohio to see some of Diane's family in the area, and stayed at another state park. This one is in the north west corner of the state,  just northeast of Toledo. This is also a very nice state park.  All sites are electric only, but there is water and a dump station available.  The sites are long, narrow and paved. Unfortunately there are no patio's though to set up your chairs on. There is great space between the sites though. 

This is a full featured state park as well. Besides the usual hiking and biking trails, there is fishing, golf, boat rentals, and  even a full on water park that features water slides, pool and various kid themed soaker attractions.  There is also a lodge with a full restaurant and bar. We ate there one night with family and it was pretty good.

All facilities are handicapped accessible as well. Our Verizon air card worked here, but again I  needed to extend the antenna mast to get a strong reliable signal for the WiFi. The only real drawback was that the sites are only 30 amp electric. Normally that is sufficient, but when the heat kicks in it would be nice to run both AC units. We paid $29 a night.


Geneva State Park
4449 Padanarum Road
Geneva, OH

After leaving northwest Ohio, we headed to northeast Ohio to see my family. Again we stayed at another state park. This place had some similarities with Maumee Bay, the sites were paved back in's and a lot grass surrounding the pads.

Lots of tall trees required breaking out the portable satellite dish to get Direct TV signal. However, I discovered an app for my Android phone a while back that makes finding the satellites in the sky pretty easy.  It's called “Satellite AR”. It's pretty easy to use. It has a menu that lists about 30 different satellites. You select the one you want to find, in this case Direct TV. It loads the intended satellite(s) by  showing them on your phones screen.  Tap the one you want, then point the rear camera towards the sky and follow the directional arrow until you see your satellites on the screen. Since you are using the phone's camera, you will see if anything is in the path of the satellite.  If so, just move your position until you can see the satellites with no obstructions.  Using the app I can usually have the portable set up in about 5 minutes.   

This state park is set up in 2 loops. The first loop has just a restroom, but the second loop has restrooms and a shower house.  If you stay in the first loop, it's a bit of a hike to the shower house.  Here once again, the cell signal was pretty bad.  Even raising the mast only allowed weak WiFi signal at best.  It was better in the early morning and late evenings though. The restroom and shower facilities are handicapped accessible. 

There is a beach area not far from the campground and a walking/biking path that goes there. Dogs are allowed on the west end of the beach area. It was pretty popular and busy all during our stay.

We paid $31 a night for the site. All are back in's. There are some sites that are set aside for “walk in's only” and not reserve-able.   We were here over Father's Day weekend. As expected Friday and Saturday were packed, but on Sunday the place emptied out and stayed that way up til we left on Wednesday.

From here we move on to Pennsylvania to meet up with a buddy of mine I used to work with. He was born and raised there and will show us around a bit.



 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on June 22, 2016, 10:17:54 PM
It sounds like you are making good progress and having some fun to.
We finally got on the road. Tonight we are at the Amana Colonies campground in Amana IA. Large place carved out of a corn field with 450 campsites.
 Had a little change of plan and will be going East to Erie for a short visit with family. Going to visit the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library tomorrow then head East. Next stop is Hickory Hollow Campground not far from Lasalle Illinois. Then on to Johnny Appleseed Campground,Fort Wayne, IN. Then on to Virginia’s Beach west of Erie.
Looking forward to hearing your updates and reviews.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on June 23, 2016, 06:57:44 AM
Bill, you'll drive right by me today on your way to LaSalle.  Then I'll pass you EARLY tomorrow morning as we are starting our eastern trip. I'll wave on my way by Hickory Hollow.  You'll see a little bit of road construction on 80 today, but its not too bad. You can avoid a lot of it if you take 280 around the south side of the Quad Cities instead of 80.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on June 23, 2016, 07:17:53 AM
Sounds like a good trip Bill. It's good to get out on the road and get rolling. 

You'll see a little bit of road construction on 80 today, but its not too bad.

That's one thing we have hit lots of on this trip is TONS of road construction everywhere. Many states much be playing catch up after the winter.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on June 23, 2016, 08:47:54 AM
Road construction is just a fact of life in the north where they only have a few months to get work done. Hopefully they can fix some of the bridge transitions. Apparently that is a lot harder than it look's.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on June 26, 2016, 01:50:07 PM
For those interested, Diane just updated her blog.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on June 26, 2016, 09:35:00 PM
Allegheny River Campground
Roulette, Pennsylvania 
1737 US-6 W
We were looking for a campground near our friend Mike's place in Couredersport, PA. This was the most fully equipped park near the town. It is about 8 miles west of town along the Allegheny River.  The campground is on the river, and you can fish or tube the river right from the campground property. It is a family owned park, and the owners take a lot of pride in keeping the facilities in good shape.

There is tons of grass in the campground, but the owners mow at least twice a week and it always looks sharp.  The RV pads themselves could use a healthy dose of fresh gravel though. The gravel is a bit sparse, so the grass is taking over most of the parking pads.  There is a dirt/gravel area next to the sites that would be a patio area, but it too needs some more gravel.

Curiously the 50 amp full hook up sites are at the front of the park near the road, and there is 10-12 of them. Most of the rest of the sites are W/E only, and are accessed through a remote control gate that are closer to the river.  Even many of the seasonal's which are close to the river have no sewer access. 

There is a decent size pool that looks to be new up by the 50 amp sites. The restrooms are clean and handicapped accessible. Again I needed to raise the antenna mast to get a usable signal for the WiFi to work well. The campground does offer free WiFi for general surfing and email. We paid $40 a night, which was a bit pricey for the amenities offered.

With all the activities and hanging out with my buddy, we forgot to get pics of the campsite. One interesting note though. When we were on Highway 6 headed for the campground, a pickup truck following me pulled out to pass us.  As he came back in our lane he was moving pretty fast, like 60+ mph.  As I am watching him pull back in front of me, a black bear about 200 pounds darted from the opposite side of the street running full speed.  It cut directly across our path, in front of the speeding pick up, which didn't slow down a bit.  The bear made it to the side of the two lane road, ducking under the guard rail with the truck bumper inches from it's rear end. I guess if you live surrounded by animals, the stray streaking bear is not too unusual. 

Cooperstown KOA
565 Ostrander Road
Richfield Spring, NY 13439

We picked another KOA for our visit to Cooperstown. This particular KOA is under new ownership and the new owners are trying hard to make some improvements.  There is a ways to go though, the sites are pretty un-level both side to side and back to front. They are also in need of new gravel to cover the dirt.  There is no dedicated pet walk area, but there are large fields adjoining the park that I saw others walking their pets in. It's not RV park property, but may belong to a nearby farmer.  The gravel on the interior roads is a bit better, but not all of them have been finished. We paid $50 a night, which included the typical KOA discount.

The park has handicapped accessible restrooms, and offers free Wifi. However our Verizon air card worked well without having to raise the antenna mast. We did get an end site, #60 that gave us quite a bit of room on our patio side.

They do try to have activities for the kids though, like a tractor ride, and a bounce house for the little ones.  On weekends an Amish woman comes into the office with fresh baked bread and pastries for sale.  This probably is one of the best locations for visiting Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF). As expected, when the new “inductees” are added to the HOF in July, the park is sold out.

This park is only about 8 miles from Cooperstown, and there is a lot more to see and do there than just the HOF. It is a very interesting little town with a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions. All though many are themed with various forms of Baseball content, it is still an interesting town to explore.  We of course also toured the HOF, which was a bit pricey.  Adult admission was $23 each, but a hand stamp allowed egress in and out of the hall all day long.  We probably spent a few hours looking at all of the exhibits, from baseballs humble beginning to current day players and everything in between. And we are just baseball fans, I am sure the hardcore fans or fanatics could spend hours. I did have to buy a new baseball hat for my favorite team, go Angels!!   
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Steve N Dee on July 02, 2016, 11:55:37 AM
Thanks for the pics Marty, especially of Cooperstown.  That's a bucket list item for me if we can ever get that far east.  Probably not till retirement.  Appears we are crosstown rivals, Go Dodgers!

Steve
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on July 02, 2016, 02:26:25 PM
Well I made it to the Chautauqua Lake KOA in western NY. After this we head west. Hope you have a great 4th and remember our military and all first responders.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 02, 2016, 05:23:05 PM
Appears we are crosstown rivals, Go Dodgers!

Actually I am a Dodger lover too. The boys in blue, and the boys in red! 

Hope you have a great 4th and remember our military and all first responders.
Bill

Thanks Bill, you too. Be safe out there on the roads this 4th of July weekend.  We are planted in Massachusetts for the long holiday weekend.  The weather is beautiful right now!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on July 02, 2016, 07:46:14 PM
Where in Massachusetts? We are staying put till after the 4th then start west.Can't complain about the weather here as the hi was 72 nice breeze.
I was reading your wife's blog and Thought you mite find it amusing that we spent some time in Ashtabula. They have done a good job renovating Bridge street. I thought the lift bridge was a design I don't think I have ever seen before. By the way Grindhouse Gourmet Burgers is a good place to eat.
Down in Conneaut at the harbor try Breakwall BBQ.
It was fun exploring the area. I have a sister in Erie so we spent some time there to.   
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on July 02, 2016, 07:49:12 PM
Bill, you'll drive right by me today on your way to LaSalle.  Then I'll pass you EARLY tomorrow morning as we are starting our eastern trip. I'll wave on my way by Hickory Hollow.  You'll see a little bit of road construction on 80 today, but its not too bad. You can avoid a lot of it if you take 280 around the south side of the Quad Cities instead of 80.
Thanks for the heads up, took 280 and didn't have any problems.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 02, 2016, 08:42:30 PM
We are in Normandy Farms in Foxboro at the time Bill. Gotta check out Boston after the holiday.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on July 02, 2016, 08:53:26 PM
Marty, we are about 80 miles South of you near Colonial Beach, VA.  Also sitting it out until after the 4th.  Back on the road headed North on the 5th.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 02, 2016, 09:11:11 PM
Yep, better to stay planted until all the weekenders are home. Makes travel a whole lot easier.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on July 02, 2016, 09:29:32 PM
One thing to see is the USS Constitution better known as "old ironsides".
http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/freedom-trail/uss-constitution.shtml
Some place else is The Old South Meeting House.
http://www.osmh.org/
and the Freedom Trail.
http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/
Downtown Boston is a National Walking Park. If you go to the park service office next to The Old South Meeting House you may be able to get a free touer. When you face the meeting house the parkservice office is in the alley to your left.
Have fun
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on July 02, 2016, 09:54:43 PM
Yep, better to stay planted until all the weekenders are home. Makes travel a whole lot easier.

Yep.  Which direction are you headed next?
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 03, 2016, 07:21:30 AM
From here we head up to Boothbay Maine. We have 3 stops in Maine.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on July 03, 2016, 07:36:04 AM
Looks like we are about a week or so behind you.  :)
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 03, 2016, 08:04:29 AM
We will leave the lights on for you!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Steve & Linda on July 03, 2016, 11:13:57 AM
Marty, while in Boston don't forget to stop in at the Sam Adams Brewery for a tour next "samples," if that's your kinda thing...keep in mind you can get awful thirsty walking those streets in Beantown!  We're headed that way, too but won't be in MA until 1st week in August (even got tickets for a Red Sox game), then headed up through Maine and into St. John, NB. I'll be really interested in reading your comments bout the cg' you stay at. Safe travels in "my neck of the woods."
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 03, 2016, 12:41:04 PM
Wow, awesome idea Steve! I love Sam Adams! We will add that to the must do list!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on July 03, 2016, 03:00:39 PM
Yep, better to stay planted until all the weekenders are home. Makes travel a whole lot easier.


Made it from Acadia down to Newport RI yesterday, traveling around Boston. Traffic actually wasn't too. bad.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Jeff on July 03, 2016, 06:57:27 PM
Marty,


Ken and Sheila Kuch arrived at Normandy Farms today.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Steve & Linda on July 03, 2016, 09:41:08 PM
Jagnweiner, where did you sty in Acadia? We need to meet friends at end of Appalachian Trail by mid-August. Any input welcomed.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on July 03, 2016, 09:50:33 PM
Steve/Linda-

We stayed at the Schoodic Woods campground that is brand new and run by the NPS. It is absolutely beautiful and Loop B is suitable for big rigs. It is on the Schoodic Peninsula and is about a 35 mile drive from Bar Harbor. Probably would be tough to get in this August though.  It is reservation only and seems to fill up. Wouldnt hurt to check though.

I'll do a full review when we get back home and im not typing on my phone.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Ken & Sheila on July 04, 2016, 06:35:39 AM
Marty,

Ken and Sheila Kuch arrived at Normandy Farms today.

We arrived yesterday coming from Liberty Harbor. We had a great time in NYC, Philly and DC. This stop is primarily for family, but will go into Boston to see the changes since we left New England (Vermont) in 1997. Next stop, Portland Maine (Fred and Daisy), then Belfast and Bar Harbor.

Marty, we'll be happy to share info on NYC and DC if your interested.

ken
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 04, 2016, 08:30:21 AM
Thanks Ken, we will keep that in mind.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 09, 2016, 09:09:41 PM
Salisbury Beach State Recreation Area
State Reservation Road
Salisbury, MA 01952
For our first stop in Massachusetts we went to the beach.  Salisbury Beach State Reservation Area to be exact.   This is a huge park with 481 sites with water and electric, which are mostly 30 amp, but there are some 50 amp sprinkled around. There is a dump station on site.  The sites are paved as are the roads. Each site has paved patio attached as well.  If you come here, bring lots of water hose, at least 50' and maybe an extension for your electric cord.  All of the utilities are lined up in a row at the very back of the sites, and separate the rows.  As such the water pressure is pretty low, so you may have to fill the water tank on the rig and use your on board water pump to get a good shower.

The beach is nice, and there is access to a bay area where dogs are allowed on leash, and the beach area as well if it after 5 PM.  There is a small store/concession stand in the middle of the park that has a few camping necessities.  There are no-see-ums here, which I  learned early the second morning as we were outside working out. That was about 10 days ago and I am still sporting all the little red dots on my legs. The breeze's at the beach every afternoon are really refreshing though.

There is a lot of extra parking around the beach as it is a public access beach. That also means a lot of  folks walking around the beach and  campground area, so make sure that your stuff is secured when  you are away for a length of time. If you are into boating there is also a public boat ramp connected to the campground. The location is pretty much in town, so trips to pick of supplies is fairly easy.   

We paid $33 a night for the park, which isn't too bad for a campground by the beach. There are no real water views, but the beach is only a few minutes walk from your campsite. We did get Verizon signal at the campsite for the WiFi, but the antenna tower was across the bay, so signal could be a bit sketchy depending on the time of day. The restrooms are handicapped accessible,  but they are a bit on the old side.  We camped next to a gentleman who camp hosts at the park. There are several camp hosts, which  stay from 1 to 4 weeks at a time. Since none of the sites have sewer, there is a honey wagon that will come around to pump you out for $15 if you desire. 

Normandy Farms
72 West Street
Foxboro, MA 02035

This is a very highly rated park, and with many good reasons. There is an extensive list of amenities for family's and kids to keep them busy all day long. Some of them include 4 different pools, a Frisbee golf course, a bike park with hills and ramps, soccer and baseball fields, and planned activities.  There is an adult lounge for hanging out and socializing, and a work out room. 

They do keep a tight reign on who goes in and out though. A manned gate with keypads require you to punch in a code to get or out.  Children are required to wear wrist bands at  all times when in the park, and are also required  to wear helmets when bike riding (very loosely monitored).

We were here over the 4th of July holiday, so the park was sold out. The sites are decent size, but Diane is always on the look out when reserving a camp site, scored an end site for us, #811. If you get an end site on the curb side there is a big grassy corner area for you to hang out on.

Now my only real gripe about the park, we paid a good price for a “premium” site, $71 a night for week stay, came out to $499 for the week.  I  was dismayed to see that all the roads and sites in the park are gravel and dirt. This can  make for a real dusty day when sitting outside if cars fail to observe the posted 9 mph speed limit.  Three of the higher number rows, 1100 – 1300 have concrete patios on their sites. But they are priced the same as the all dirt site that we had. About 60% of the sites are labeled “premium”, but there are other levels of sites with 30 amp power, or just water and electric only.

Even the new sites the park  is adding will be just gravel pads.  Too bad. Our Verizon air card worked OK here, but I  needed to  raise the antenna  mast to get a better signal for dependable WiFi.  I imagine a lot of effort for the WiFi was sheer number of folks trying to be on line at one time.  The park does have free WiFi that I did use occasionally. The restrooms are handicapped accessible and clean.

We were also about 4 miles down the road from “Patriot Place”. That is Gillette Stadium where the New England Patriots play. They have done a good job with the stadium area though. There is a huge commercial area  surrounding the stadium with lots of  different stores and restaurants to choose from. On the last day in town we took in a movie at the cinema there. It was a pretty upscale movie house, and the prices  reflected that too.

We ventured into Boston a few days to see the city. On the advice of Steve (Steve and Linda on the forum) we went to the Sam Adams brewery for a tour on July 4th during the day. The brewery was cool, and the samples were even better. On the advice of our tour guide we went to lunch at “Doyle's”.   Great food, and a historic location.  Doyle's also runs, or is affiliated with a “party style” tour bus that takes you around Boston.  Since we were already there we took the tour.  The “party style bus” meant that your favorite beverages were allowed on the bus, and between stopping  at various historic sites around Boston, the driver was blasting classic rock-n-roll on the buses audio system. It was fun, but I wouldn't  recommend it for someone looking for a “conservative, sedate” tour of Boston.  We had fun though, and it lasted about 2  hours and was $25 a person. Tips  are optional.

No real issues with the RV lately, things have  been working pretty will.  That is up until “the great AC filter debacle”.  I already made a post on it on the forum, so I won't repeat it here.  But here is the link if you need a chuckle. http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,96256.msg868093/topicseen.html#new

 Over all we really enjoyed Massachusetts, and next we head up into Maine.  And Diane has just updated her blog with more in depth info on our stops. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: blw2 on July 14, 2016, 03:02:14 PM
Marty
I have to say, your posts and Diane's blog are really inspiring me..... as I dream about retiring "early".

I read with interest your posts for last year's trip.... and now this one.  The lifestyle, the pace that you are making, they types of stuff you're doing along the way is right up our alley I think.  Hit a few museums and attractions along the way, check some local restaurants, enjoy a beer now and then.... PERFECT!

Just this morning, i received a statement for one of my retirement accounts, and on it there was a link to one of those calculators.  I was plugging in some what if numbers, just to get an idea.... and I was thinking about your trip.  I realized that I'm going to have to sit down and try to get a better idea of how much the monthly expenses are for doing some extended RV trips like you're doing.  I'm just about to hit 50, and I am oh so ready to do it, but with young kids I'm in a different boat.

In the meantime, I'm living vicariously.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 14, 2016, 05:43:27 PM
Thanks Brad, I appreciate your kind comments! We are attempting to pass along the world of sight seeing this great country of ours. Careful planning and having a realistic budget are key. It sounds like you are going about it the right way. You won't regret it!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tom and Margi on July 14, 2016, 07:50:18 PM
Time to compliment Diane again, Sarge.  She does a great job with the blog and I look forward to both the travelogue and the pictures she posts.  Thanks, Diane!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 14, 2016, 08:01:13 PM
Thank you Margi! You just made her day!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on July 15, 2016, 10:25:07 PM
Yes I will second that. Thanks, Diane! It sounds like you had a great time in bean town.
We made it to Bismarck today.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on July 16, 2016, 06:20:46 AM
We to appreciate your posts and Dianne's blog Sarge.  It was great running into you guys in Maine. It was a nice surprise to be parked just a few spots apart.  While we were there we got news from our daughter that she is to be married this weekend so we did an about face and are headed back to GA.  I guess Canada and PEI will have to wait till next year.  We are about 200 miles from GA right now and be there tonight if all goes well for the wedding on Sunday. Been trying to keep up the photo blog at least on my Facebook page.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 17, 2016, 07:54:38 PM
Shore Hills Campground
553 Wiscasset Road
Boothbay, Maine 04537
Our first stop in Maine was in Boothbay. We drove up from  Foxboro, MA and the trip was just under 200 miles.  In that stretch  we were on 3 different toll roads and spent a total of $19 on tolls. Not near as bad as say driving through Chicago and paying their toll fees.  While Maine is working to improve their roads, some of them were pretty rough due to the winters that they get this far north. We never had to slow down due to road conditions though. (That is usually my barometer of how bad the road conditions are). 

Shore Hills Campground had about 150 sites, all of which are dirt/gravel. Most of the roads are the same so if it rains, some parts can get pretty muddy.  I think that we were in a newer loop, as the sites were a little bigger, and some had wood deck patios next to the parking pads.  They have about 20 pull through sites in the loop that are advertised as “No rig too big”, and they are about 100' long. We had a back in site with patio and fire pit. There is also a picnic table on the deck. Not all sites are full hook up though, some closer to the water are W&E only.  We paid $53 a night for our site, and even though we stayed for a week, there was no break on the daily fee. One notable issue though, they do not accept any electronic payments. Cash or check only. Even when Diane was making the reservation months in advance, she had to mail them a $53 check.  The utilities at the sites worked well and were placed  conveniently.

The restroom facilities though older were clean. However they are NOT handicapped accessible. Raised entry's at the doors and narrow doors would be difficult to navigate. Their showers are also pay showers, like .50 for three minutes.  They offered WiFi, but our Verizon air card worked OK, but the antenna mast helped quite a bit.  They did have a nice big dog yard for off leash dogs, but Heidi doesn’t like dog yards too much. They smell too much like dogs.....

There is a lake at the campground, but the older wooded sites are on quite an incline. I know how steep it really is, as I ran the hill half a dozen times during our stay! It seemed to make sense at first until about half way up the hill my thought changed to “what was I thinking?'. 

On the RV side of things, a few issues popped up that I needed to deal with. The seal in the toilet that keeps the water in the top part and the yucky stuff down failed. Not badly yet, so I have a new seal  and  waste ball in route from Thetford. And the patio awing is acting up again, not wanting to retract every time. So I am still trouble shooting that, and so far my emails with Carefree have not been productive. 

The nice part about this campground is that  we were only a few miles from Boothbay proper and we made several trips in to various shops, stores, and restaurants. On the recommendation of several friends, I tried Lobster Rolls. But after 3 different sea food places each made a little differently, they never just impressed me all that much.  And if you are going to eat them, you should really like them because they are not cheap, running anywhere from $16 to $24 each.  We also took a boat tour out to “Egg Island” where Maine is trying to reintroduce Puffins, to the north Atlantic.  Diane's blog goes into more detail about these unique sea birds. The tour was $35 a person, and was about 2 !/2 hours long.  And we also visited a Botanical Garden in Boothbay to see some of the native plants and trees growing in Maine. A cool way to spend an afternoon.  The entry to the Botanical Garden was $16 per person.

From here we head further north into Maine. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Ken & Sheila on July 18, 2016, 06:17:48 AM
Marty,

Do you have the EZpass? Going south to DC you will be on numerous Tollroads. Some are cheaper with the EZpass, but also its just easier - especially in the places where they have rolling tolls. BTY EZpass and the Illinois Ipass are interchangable. We have had the Ipass for many years since we go to Chicago every couple of years.

Just to forewarn you the tolls in Maryland are high. The I-95 section was $24 and the the Francis Scott Key Bridge was $48 for our 5  axles rig (Motorhome and jeep). Maine tolls, Mass tolls, Del and NJ are all reasonable. Florida Tolls aren't too bad, but EZpass doesn't work. I got the Florida Sun Pass.

ken
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 18, 2016, 07:02:12 AM
Hey, thanks Ken. We don't have any of the toll passes as yet. So far Diane has navigated us around some of them by putting us on secondary roads. At those rates I may have to revisit the idea. Thanks for the heads up.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Ken & Sheila on July 18, 2016, 07:15:51 AM
You can avoid the Francis Scott key bridge toll by taking the 695 western route (a little longer). All other Interstates thru or around Baltimore have toll bridges/tunnels.
Were in Belfast, headed to Bar Harbor Thursday.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 18, 2016, 07:18:49 AM
Good info, we don't mind driving a little farther to avoid the toll. She is checking her map as we speak planning the attack!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on July 18, 2016, 03:48:39 PM
We used EZpass on our trip out to Maine, etc. last month and it was SO much more convenient just to zip through the EZpass lanes than wait in line to pay cash to the attendants.  Ours was actually the Illinois Ipass, but it was accepted on all the EZpass toll roads.  Not sure how much we saved, because the discount in most states is not nearly as significant for RVs towing cars as it is for just a passenger car, but the convenience was totally worth it.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 18, 2016, 07:37:12 PM
That was part of the problem with some of the toll roads we have been on. If you are towing you can't just zip through the EZ Pass lanes. You have to go through the attendant lanes. The automated pass doesn't work.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Ken & Sheila on July 18, 2016, 07:48:13 PM
That was part of the problem with some of the toll roads we have been on. If you are towing you can't just zip through the EZ Pass lanes. You have to go through the attendant lanes. The automated pass doesn't work.

I have both the car and Motorhome registered to my I-pass Illinois version of EZpass  (compatible with all EZpass toll roads). I always go through the EZpass lanes, including rolling toll lanes. They always manage to charge me for 5 axles when towing. I use it for just the car and get charged for 2 axles. I know in the past the NY thruway required a different EZpass for towing, but I used mine in NY many times with no issues.

ken


Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on July 18, 2016, 10:17:58 PM
That was part of the problem with some of the toll roads we have been on. If you are towing you can't just zip through the EZ Pass lanes. You have to go through the attendant lanes. The automated pass doesn't work.
When my car is being towed behind the motorhome it is charged as a trailer and it is less than when driven. They instructed me to remove the transponder from the windshield in the car when it is being towed. They gave me a special shielded bag to store it in.
The easiest way is to go to one of the walk in EZ Pass offices.
I recommend getting one because it saves money and how much you need to have (cash) on hand. When I was going North the George Washington was $76.00 Cash only if you didn't have a pass.
Bill

Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on July 19, 2016, 07:51:09 AM
That was part of the problem with some of the toll roads we have been on. If you are towing you can't just zip through the EZ Pass lanes. You have to go through the attendant lanes. The automated pass doesn't work.

Hmm, not sure about that.  We successfully used the EZ Pass lanes in IL, IN, OH, NY, ME, NH NJ and PA on our trip a few weeks ago.  The first couple times we entered a new state I went through the attendant lane at the first toll plaza just to make sure it worked in the new state, but as soon as I pulled up the light turned green and the attendant waved me through.  After that, I just went straight to the EZpass lane and got the green "approved" light.  I believe the cameras determine how many axles you have and bill accordingly.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 19, 2016, 08:01:52 AM
We have been through a few in other states (I can't remember which) where posted signs said "Vehicles with trailers must use cash lanes".  I have been through too many states and highways to remember where that applied though.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 25, 2016, 09:15:49 PM
Smuggler's Den Campground
20 Main Street
Southwest Harbor, Maine 04679
From Boothbay we drove 160 miles north to Southwest Harbor. This is the furthest north we will be going in the country on this adventure.  Southwest Harbor is on Dessert Island, and is right next to Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is on the opposite side of Dessert Island from Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is the touristy side of the island, and Southwest Harbor is the “quiet” side.  We picked Smuggler's Den as Diane's research was the best park in the area.  The sites are decent size, but the interior roads are a bit narrow.  One issue here was that the hookups were all way in the back of the site, so extra sewer hose is a good idea here. 

We had a premium site that was a paved back in with patio.  The trees were a little thick, but we managed to get satellite by using my cell phone app to locate the Direct TV satellites. I find that I am using this app nearly every stop here in the northeast.  Due to the location of the satellites, I parked towards the front of the site, even further from the hookups.  The restrooms were clean, but not handicapped accessible. High thresholds and small doors would make it impossible.

We paid $67 a night which is a bit pricey, but this is one of those places where location is key. This park is in close proximity to Acadia National Park, and we went into the park several days in different directions.  Our National Park Pass saved a good bit of money.  I think we paid $80 for the annual pass, and if you are traveling and visiting several of the parks is is well worth it.  This area is amazingly scenic and we did a lot of driving and hiking to take in the fabulous vistas. Exploring Bar Harbor was also a lot of fun, we sampled some of the local eateries. And while a lot of the country was sweltering, we were enjoying cool 75 degree days with light breezes.  This won't last when we head south!

We had an end site, #122 which is also right across from the pool. Sometimes a site near the pool is noisy, but we never had a problem even though the pool was popular all day long.  The campground offers good strong WiFi, which was important as the Verizon air card struggled during the day. We used the park WiFi during the days and at night like after 7 PM I could switch back to our WiFi for more sensitive issues like banking.  Even with the antenna mast extended, response from the distant cell tower was slow. Without it, most of the time the web sites would time out before a connection could be made.

One unusual feature here was that the area's municipal bus line ran into the park to pick up and drop off passengers.  If you were a bus rider it was convenient, but seeing the bus go by our site several times a day was a bit odd. I got used to it after a few days, but being from CA I think we “entertained” some of the bus riders as we worked out, or had cocktail hour with Heidi relaxing on the patio. 

I did get the parts from Thetford for the seal replacement on the toilet. It took about an hour but all is back to normal in the throne room.  The patio awning is still intermittent, but I am still trading emails with Carefree. 

From here we head south to our last stop in Maine. 



Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: viceprice on July 26, 2016, 05:47:17 AM
It sounds all too familiar (and special)!  It sounds and looks like you are enjoying Maine. We are returning to Maine tomorrow after making our way to South Dakota to visit George, Thomas, Theodore and Abraham and though we have seen some beautiful parts of the country, we are happy to call Maine home. Have a great time with the rest of your visit in Maine and safe travels.

PS. I have had a New York EZ pass for years. After I inquired, they sent me a special one to use in our pickup when towing the camper. We used it for every toll booth including in Illinois - never had to stop!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 26, 2016, 07:12:43 AM
Yep, Rushmore is one of our favorites too. Seeing pics of it just don't do it justice.  We are still investigating the EZ pass to see if it will be worth investing in.  Maine has been great. We love the coastline up here with it's rocky shores and surf.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on July 26, 2016, 09:59:31 PM
When I was there last summer I was talking to a ranger at Cadillac Mountain. Did you know if you are on Cadillac Mountain when the sun comes up you can be the first one in the US to see it? I looked at the times schedule posted and where I was camped and how long it took to get there. Well I decided to be the first person in the US to see lunch!
Glad you are having a good time.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 27, 2016, 07:23:35 AM
Too funny Bill! Yeah, the ranger told us that info too.  I decided that I could wait until the sun got a little higher in the sky to avoid the crush of folks rushing up the mountain. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on July 27, 2016, 07:40:27 AM
When I was there last summer I was talking to a ranger at Cadillac Mountain. Did you know if you are on Cadillac Mountain when the sun comes up you can be the first one in the US to see it? I looked at the times schedule posted and where I was camped and how long it took to get there. Well I decided to be the first person in the US to see lunch!
Glad you are having a good time.
Bill

Ditto.  When I did the math and realized I'd have to be up by 0300 to make it to Cadillac to see the sunrise, I decided I was on vacation and could see the same sun any time of the day.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Jeff on July 27, 2016, 10:56:32 AM
We did make it up there one year and the sight is really something as daylight reaches all the islands.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on July 27, 2016, 01:01:14 PM
What time of day did you have to get there?
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on July 27, 2016, 01:40:43 PM
What time of day did you have to get there?

Boy, I think when we were there in late June (longest days of the year) sunrise on Cadillac Mtn was around 0420. It was posted on the whiteboard in the visitor's center.  Since we were staying on the Schoodic Penninsula, an hour's drive away, it was a no-go.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Jeff on August 01, 2016, 10:39:39 PM
Smarty I beleive we left Hadley's Point around 4:00AM. ::)
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 02, 2016, 07:15:51 AM
I haven't done 0400 mornings since I retired!  Used to be by 0400 I was already leaving for the train...
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Becks on August 02, 2016, 09:24:39 AM
Thanks Diane, very much enjoying your blog.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 02, 2016, 09:20:09 PM
And another installment of Diane's blog just posted!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on August 03, 2016, 08:03:48 AM
Another nice entry.  My wife's only disappointment in our stay in Down East Maine is that she didn't hear any Maine natives say "ayuh."  (Just my daughter and me, as we started saying it incessantly, to my wife's great annoyance)
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on August 03, 2016, 06:17:10 PM
Ayuh, we went way down east.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 03, 2016, 09:59:18 PM
We went to our last stop in Maine in Old Orchard Beach, or “OOB” as the locals call it. This park was billed as a RV Resort, but reality is it is more of a mobile home/seasonal park with a few over night spaces.  We were attracted to the park by the positive reviews, and the fact that they honored Passport America.  Since we have been running  into some pretty pricey RV parks in the New England area, a Passport America value was pretty attractive.  But now we know why.

The park itself had many family amenities, pool, kids water park, play ground, and even  an outdoor theater that played kids movies or cartoons most days. If you choose this park, be prepared for LOTS of kids, not always being monitored or supervised.  The electric scooters and bikes were most troublesome, often in the hands of 6 – 10 year old's. Not getting hit or run over during our week stay was an accomplishment in itself.  The roads of the park are paved but the sites are gravel. They are good size however.  We had an end site, #68 that we spread out it.  However that  didn't stop the neighbors and their kids from  strolling through on their way to the pool.  Weekends were particularly crazy, with tons of kids going every which way.  The noise level in the park was pretty loud most nights, and just about always it was the permanent residents whooping it up until the wee hours. And there was no one to complain to as most of the workers in the office were young teens. 

We had a full hook up site which was fairly heavily treed, but with the help of my android app was able to get satellite from the roof top satellite dish.

We didn't see any dedicated handicapped sites, and the restrooms although new, were fairly cramped inside.  Interestingly, the wash basins were on the outside wall of the restroom, and many mornings we were treated with watching various male campers shaving.  There were also 2 washers and 2 dryers available at bathroom area, but those too were outside under a roof overhang. 

There was WiFi available at the park, but we used our Verizon service when we could. Signal on the island was pretty slow during the day, but was better at night. The other thing that bugged me was that even though this was a huge park (nearly 300 sites) there was no pet walk area.  That left you walk your pet down the many permanent lined streets, with the residents keeping an wary eye on you.  It just didn't feel comfortable.  We paid just over $42 a night with the Passport America discount.  To get to the OOB beach area a shuttle picks up right in front of the entry into the park and I believe was only $1 per person to ride. 

We toured the OOB area, and mostly it was older and a bit run down in many areas.  In sharp contrast we drove to the Kennebunk area which was obviously the “high rent district”.   We also drove past the “Bush compound”, home of the senior President and Mrs Bush.  It kind of sits out on it own little spit, or island but is easily visible from the road. 

I think if we are ever back in the area we would look for someplace a little more RV oriented, and less mobile home community. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on August 04, 2016, 09:57:54 AM
We stayed just down the road at Wild Duck Campground, 39 Dunstan Landing Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074, wildduckcampground.com, (207) 883-4432.
Smaller campground but no problem with noise or kids. The area known as Dunstan in Scarborough, Maine, has a rich history. Settled by Europeans in 1651
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on August 05, 2016, 06:19:41 PM
This park was billed as a RV Resort, 

A rose by any other name Sarge. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on August 05, 2016, 06:41:39 PM
OOB is an old school summer resort area typical of places like that on the coast. We went to a rally at Moody Beach a couple years ago and it was nearly impossible to move on Highway 1. Any place on the shore is a prime destination in the New England area.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 05, 2016, 06:46:29 PM
You are right Gary. My standards don't necessarily equate to other folks. But I do reserve the right to complain about it!!

Exactly right Bill. We found that any place on the NE coast was in high demand, and "beggars can't be choosers" as mom used to say.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Jeff on August 07, 2016, 09:27:04 PM
Double OB is also a favorite of the French Canadians from Quebec which really strains the available RV spaces.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 07, 2016, 09:34:09 PM
Yep, a whole lotta Canadians here on the east coast right now Jeff. At least 25-40% of all the rigs here in Liberty Harbor are from Canada.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 10, 2016, 03:49:19 PM
Wawaloam Campground
510 Gardiner Road
West Kingston, RI 02892
Sometimes you just can't go by what the brochure says (or the on line reviews).  This campground was also highly rated and reported to have many amenities.  Well this campground would also qualify as a very family friendly place, as long as your rig is not too big.  This campground is very similar to the one we just left in that most of the sites are long term/seasonal campers.  Diane made a reservation for this campground back in January when she was planning the trip.  She specifically provided our RV size and that we requested FHU and a “lightly treed” site.  They assured her that is was no problem, and we made the reservation for a week stay. 

Upon arrival that wasn't exactly what we found.  The sites we were given was up at the end of a long narrow road in a cave of trees.  When I got backed in we quickly figured out that the site was too small for the motorhome to fit on the pad.  The site had a cement RV pad that was on a site that was uphill from the road. Only the pad itself was semi level, and the dirt at either end dropped off quickly.  No matter where I put the RV,  one set of jacks was not on the pad, and into the very off camber dirt. 

We went back to the office to discuss the issue with the staff (which were very friendly by the way).  They looked at their campground map and  declared that the site was “too small” for our size rig.  With few options available, we took  another site, W&E only.  I  dodged some tree limbs to pull in, and found it too was pretty off  camber in both directions. I was able to block the jacks to get us level, but we still were not overly pleased with the site.  This one backed up to a large green moss covered water hole, and was next to the play area and campground store which made our site the “pass through” for all the campground traffic to go through. 

We quickly decided to cut the stay down to 3 days, just long enough to get us through the weekend and move on down the road.  The site was $50 a night, which included a $3 a day pet fee, which I think is excessive.  The restrooms were clean, but old and not handicapped accessible. WiFi was offered for checking email only. The cell signal here was also very weak, so the Verizon air card struggled as well.

Fisherman’s Memorial State Park
1011 Point Judith Road
Narragansett, RI  02882
After deciding to cut the stay short, Diane went on line and checked Fisherman’s Memorial State Park. A really popular place she had tried to get into before settling on Wawaloam.  Surprisingly she found a site that was available for the 4 days that we needed to  fill.  It was in loop 2, a W&E site, but it fit or needs nicely.  The park is so in demand that most of the sites sell out year to year with the same folks reserving far in advance.  The roads and pads are paved, but the patio area is all grass.  When we arrived at the park, it was mostly sold out. We found our site and after a little shrub trimming by me, we settled in. 

While hooking up I had a nice surprise. The on line web site lists only loop 1 as FHU, 2&3 as W&E, and 4 as dry camping.  While hooking up I quickly realized that we had sewer as well! It appears that loop #2 had sewer added last year, and the web site has not been updated.

The sites were good size, and some had trees and shrubs between the sites. Even though the park is on the coast, only a few sites in loop 1 could actually have a small view of the bay area off of the main body of water. The restrooms are clean but small, and may be handicapped accessible to some extent. The Verizon air card worked pretty well here, and better with the antenna mast extended.

The prices were better too, we paid $35 a night for the FHU site. The worst part about this location is that we noted that some of the sites are extremely out of level.  The campground is slightly terraced so one end of the site is higher than the other.  If you get lucky enough to get a site here, try using Google earth to scope out the sites first.  Our site, #51 was one of the more level sites.

There were some pretty strict rules that applied to this park, although in the 4 days we were there, not one ranger or park employee came by or patrolled the park.  One that almost no one cares about in the east, is “absolutely no parking on the grass”.  The other was “no alcohol permitted  in the park”.  I did actually see folks not exactly adhering to either rule, but no one ever did  anything about it. 

While in this park we did a tour of the mansions in Newport, RI.  While many of the “cottages” as the wealthy owners referred to them are pretty spectacular, it is interesting that many are now owned by the the state, or the Preservation Society. Apparently the owners couldn't afford to keep them, so they just let them go, or sold them on the cheap.  Many of the mansions are open and available for tours.

Either way, if you are going to stay in RI, this is a top choice to stay.

Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: HappyWanderer on August 10, 2016, 09:01:42 PM
Fisherman's is one of our favorite campgrounds, and we do make reservations a year in advance. Area 2 was redone last year, but they did a lousy job. Sites are not level, and some of the sewer connections are a foot or more above ground level.

Area 3 is tents only; Area 4 is W/E. We like Area 4, because the sites are large, level and secluded. It's a great home base to visit Newport and Block Island.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on August 11, 2016, 12:04:00 AM
I have not been able to get in Fisherman’s Maybe next year. We have stayed a a place in Road Island on Warden's Pond. You are right Fisherman’s  is a good location.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 11, 2016, 07:13:26 AM
Area 3 is tents only; Area 4 is W/E.

Thanks for the info, I was going from memory (which isn't great at times).  We heard some complaints from a neighbor that some of the new sewer sites were not installed correctly. Fortunately that was not our site. Ones across the road had some really steep drives that a motor home would have a tough time leveling on.  It doesn't seem to keep anyone away though, as the place was packed.

Maybe next year.

Better start early Bill, it sounds like trying to get into the Keys in January!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Dance Chick on August 11, 2016, 08:29:40 AM
We just recently stayed at Wawaloam since we couldn't get a site at Fisherman's. We didn't have the problem with our site that you did, but we were in the front on a gravel/dirt site with no trees. While it wasn't the best place we've stayed, it wasn't the worst....just okay, I'd say. Our bad experience was we ate at the "restaurant" on Friday night as the lady in the office said they have the best meatloaf in RI. Well, I guess that's subjective because just like the site, it wasn't bad, but wasn't that good, either. DH got fried clams and got food poisoning. We had a horrible night until about 3:00 a.m.. So, our Wawaloam experience wasn't a great one either.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 11, 2016, 08:58:08 AM
Ouch! Now I don't feel so bad! At least we didn't get food poisoning during the brief stay!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on August 11, 2016, 11:49:59 PM
Sarge, This happened the day after we drove this road. I saw a bunch of rocks that you wonder how they stay in place.
 http://fox13now.com/2016/08/10/zion-mount-carmel-highway-closed-after-huge-rock-falls-on-road/
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 14, 2016, 05:06:02 PM
Liberty Harbor RV Park
11 Luis Munoz Marin Blvd
Jersey City, NJ 07302

It has been 6 years since our last New York/New Jersey experience.  We were hoping that the park had improved in that time period, as it was a bit rough last time we were here.  Well, not so much. In fact, things are in a little worse shape than the last time we were here.  For those that don't know, this park is a great place from which to visit New York city, as the Path train picks up about 5 blocks from the park and delivers you to a variety of stops in NYC, including the World Trade Center and Memorial. 

So they get LOTS of business here, even though this park barely rates “parking lot” status.   Since we were here last, the park added RV site markers bolted to the ground to define parking spots.  Actually it just allowed them to wedge as many rigs into the available space as possible.  The park is W&E only,  with a dump station.  The sites are heavy small gravel, and the road is paved.  A RV site here is a whopping $90 a night.  We stayed for 7 days and got one day free, which brought the price down to $83 a night. There is a bath house on site, but is in serious need of updating.  It looks to be handicapped accessible, but there is NO AC in the building, so they are hot.

The electric service is easy to see, as all of the wires for the sites are strung overhead on a low wire. Even though we were connected to a 50 amp pedestal, we spent the whole week surviving on 30 amp power.  Apparently all of the sites are wired on the same line.  So with 50 amp electric consisting of 2- 120 volt feeds, line #1 is carrying all of the rigs in the park that are using a 30 amp plug, which is 1- 120 volt feed. 

That was apparent the first day when our Progressive Industries surge guard took us off line several times. When I checked the digital display, Line 1 was hovering around 105 volts, but Line 2 was showing 120 volts.  But that doesn't help me, if either line drops below 104 volts, the surge guard takes us off line to protect all our 120 volt appliances.  The first day I ran the generator for about 1 1/2 hours to get through the heat of the day.  The second day I started the rear AC unit early, and since the rear AC is wired on line 2, we never dropped below the 104 volt threshold on line 1. But for the rest of the week we were restricted to 1 AC unit in the heat and humidity, and doing laundry and cooking was a juggling act for Diane.  Not really acceptable for $90 a night and gravel.  The last day was a real stretch. The heat index was at 103 degrees and 1 AC wasn't cutting it. So turned off every possible draw  I could find in the rig, including the battery charger, and fired up AC 1.  It worked kinda, but we still went off line half a dozen times.  This and the park has many empty spots.

The surrounding area has boomed in the last 6 years, and views of The Statue of Liberty are difficult at best now. A high rise office building (60+ stories) on the back fence of the park creates a back drop of construction noise all day long. The road into the park is more “mine field” looking than  road, and there are NO signs to let you know that the park is at the end of the road.  The office staff are security guards for the parking lot, and fill in registering people in.  They do their best, but not really well equipped for this function.  The Port Authority which owns the site and adjoining Ferry Terminal have abandoned maintenance on the area. Even though a dock area where various sail and power boats are docked is adjacent to the lot, foot high weeds and trash are everywhere.  If it sounds like I am being hard on this place, you would be right! This is one of those places best described as “It is what it is”. 

We did make several trips into and around the city during our stay, so it was not a wasted stop. But given the state of the park, the cost, and the conditions walking the city streets, and the amazing lack  of signage on streets around New Jersey, it's a good bet this will be our last trip to NYC. Kinda “Been there, done that”.   

Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 15, 2016, 07:27:36 AM
BTW, Diane's blog was updated as well. Lots of pics and quite and interesting point of view there!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: blw2 on August 15, 2016, 09:27:28 AM
Wow, that really is a "you're there for the destination" sortof campground, isn't it?

Those tent sites are wonderful there, in your 2nd picture.....
and the upskirt photo of the hot chick in your 4th photo..... I just had to chuckle about that!

and I love the idea of the captions in your last couple of photos.... that would make a great pub crawl tour/trip..... George drank here and so did I!  Sign me up!!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on August 15, 2016, 09:57:39 AM
We thought about staying at Liberty Harbor for convenience, but I'm pleased with our decision to stay up the Hudson at Croton Point SP.  Full hookups, much more scenic, and a 50 minute train ride into Grand Central.  We only made one trip into the City, though.  I may have felt differently if we were there for several days.

Edit:  Just read Diane's blog.  Re: NYC, we concur.  The lowlight was when I desperately needed to use the facilities after a subway trip, so I ventured into a NYC subway station men's room.  It was literally 120 degrees inside, it stunk to high heaven and the floor was filled with what I thought to be trash, but later discovered to be the earthly possessions of the gentleman in the single stall.  As I started to take care of business at the urinal next to the stall, said gentleman started aggressively panhandling me from underneath the partition.  I zipped up and beat a hasty exit.  I didn't bother to wash my hands because I figured further time in the restroom would be a less sanitary option.

Diane would not have liked it.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tom and Margi on August 15, 2016, 10:25:46 AM
BTW, Diane's blog was updated as well. Lots of pics and quite and interesting point of view there!

I got lots of chuckles from Diane's NY blog posts.  As a country girl, I would probably react the same way since I don't like crowds and I don't like rudeness.  I was feeling claustrophobic just looking at the pictures!   ;D
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 15, 2016, 03:07:56 PM
The lowlight was when I desperately needed to use the facilities after a subway trip, so I ventured into a NYC subway station men's room. 

I agree Scott! I was feeling like I could need the facilities as well, I just couldn't bring myself to venture in one. 

Wow, that really is a "you're there for the destination" sort of campground, isn't it?

It sure is, and they make no bones about it. But they don't mind hosing you down for the privilege though.

I was feeling claustrophobic just looking at the pictures!   ;D

Yeah, it's not the place to go if you are not into crowds. Everything is packed, and every place you want to go, a few hundred people got there before you.

Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Robert K on August 15, 2016, 07:18:47 PM
I was born and have lived in WNY 56 yrs .Never set foot in NYC.Hope I never do.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: HappyWanderer on August 15, 2016, 07:46:40 PM
Everyone should visit the Statue of Liberty at least once. Even more important is Ellis Island, which pretty much tells the story of America.

Christmas time used to mean taking the train into NYC: checking out the window displays, the tree at Rockefeller Center, Times Square.

I will admit that the city lost its appeal after 9-11. I'd only been back a few times for work, and had no desire to visit. We finally went to the 9-11 Memorial and located the names and photos of a couple friends lost that day. That was pretty special. Maybe we'll even go back for Christmas.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 15, 2016, 07:51:50 PM
NYC definitely has it's appeal. But you really have to WANT to put up with the rest of the stuff.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Jeff on August 15, 2016, 08:42:37 PM
NYC definitely has it's appeal. But you really have to WANT to put up with the rest of the stuff.


Marty


That sort of sums up our thoughts. We enjoy Braodway shows and some of the sights but it gets harder to endure Liberty Island each time we go. Stayed up in Florida, NY a couple of times but it is 2+ hours of commuting so we did West Point and some of the sights up there.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 15, 2016, 10:29:38 PM
Yeah, we considered a place further away, but we knew we were going to make almost daily trips into the city for a week. And part of it is we don't like leaving the pup in the rig for more then 5-6 hours tops.  I didn't want to burn half of it commuting in and out of the city.  So we bit the bullet and stayed in Jersey. It was a trade off.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Ken & Sheila on August 16, 2016, 08:03:03 AM
We were recently at Liberty Harbor to visit NYC. I have to say this was the first trip to NYC that I have enjoyed. I made many many trips to NYC for business (often twice a month for 5 years) and never enjoyed going. Not having to stay in hotels, fight crowds at the airport, find taxis in the rain or snow made taking the Path Subway and staying at Liberty Harbor was OK. Particularly since I got to stay in my own MH. Liberty harbor RV Park was exactly what I expected as was the traffic to get there. But the drive to Liberty Harbor certainly doesn't rank as one of my favorites!

That said, having done the sight seeing we wanted, any return trip would be for Broadway plays and I might just stay north and take the train.

ken
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 16, 2016, 08:24:40 PM
I might just stay north and take the train.

I think if I ever went back, that is the way I would do it too.......
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 23, 2016, 08:48:24 PM
Timberlane Campground
117 Timberlane Road
Clarksboro, NJ 08020

After leaving Liberty Harbor, it wouldn't have taken much of a RV park to improve on our last stop.  We were only making a 3 day stop to visit an old neighbor that used to live across the street from us in Ca.  We didn't have a lot of choices as we were trying to stay within a certain  area to be  close enough for our visit.  We were a little sketchy about this campground because some of the reviews it got were pretty rough.  In fact one reviewer called  it a “dump”.   

But we figured even if it was a bit run down, we were not going to be there that long.  So we rolled in expecting the worst.  What we found was not that bad. The worst part about the park was that the sites were pretty close together.  As for the condition, it looked pretty well taken care of.  The grass was cut, and the facilities were freshly painted.  The pool and spa were clean and in good order. 

The restrooms were clean and handicapped accessible, although a little dated.  There is wifi offered,  but our Verizon air card worked acceptably. There is a front and a back loop,  and the back loop sites are a bit bigger than the front.  However, the back is also heavily treed, and we preferred a more open site. We paid $44 a night for a FHU with a gravel pad. The electric was a little weak, but this time it was on Line 2, so we never did have too much of an  issue with it. We just metered our use of the rear AC and the washer/dryer, and  didn't  run them both at the same time.  Not a great park, but fortunately  not as bad as other reviews had stated. 

Cherry Hill Park
9800 Cherry Hill Road
College Park, MD  20740

Our next stop was really highly rated, and we were anxious to check it out.  And this was going to be our base camp to check out many different sites in DC.  Maybe our expectations were too high for this park, because we were not that impressed with it.  The park itself was huge, and this was one place where an escort to the site would have been  nice.  The roads were paved, but all the sites are gravel. We paid $70 a night for a premium site.  The other site that were not “premium” looked almost identical to ours. The difference  was a small brick patio on our site was a $10 a night bump.  We had a FHU 50 amp site, and all utilities worked well.  The bath house was clean and handicapped accessible. However, we saw no handicapped accessible camping sites.  All the sites were loose grave and would have been tough to get around on with a wheel chair or walker. 

The pool and “splash pond” for the kids looked nice, but with all the trips into DC we never got the chance to use them. The maintenance around  the park was a bit lax, and the grass was long and weedy. One of the regular complaints about the park was that the employees seemed a bit aloof.  That was especially true for the office staff.  I had to go into the office several times during the stay to pick up packages.  We always got the feeling that we were bothering them.  There is a small on site gym that we used one day. However the AC never came on, and the temps and humidity was a killer. It was a one time experience.

Our Verizon air card worked amazingly well here, but a cell tower was located right next to the park.   One downside to the park was that it is pretty noisy. There are freeways all around the park, and there must have been some construction going on nearby as well. Several times during the night we were awoken by a low rumbling noise that was similar to a low bass speaker.  It would continue for an hour at a time, stop and then restart randomly.  We never did locate the source of the noise.  The park itself is also not located in the best of neighborhoods, so for casual dinning or grocery stores you  needed to travel a ways. 

To get into DC we drove to College Park Metro station about 4 miles away. We bought a Metro Card that you flashed at the turnstiles to gain admittance to the trains. The system was pretty easy to figure out,  and it cost us between $3 and $4.50 one way to get to the Metro station that was closest to the “Mall” area. From there we walked to Lincoln's Memorial, Washington's Memorial, and the American History Museum.  The crowds were not bad, and getting around the city was a breeze compared to NYC. On another day we drove the Jeep to the Pentagon Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.  All the sites are remarkable, and some quite moving.  DC is one place I could come back to again as even staying a week we just scratched the surface of the things to see and do.  Our next trip to visit DC we will search out a different place to stay. 

One thing I did get accomplished while here was I changed out the hydraulic pump motor on the rig.  After much searching to try to get my motor rebuilt, I soon learned that getting replacement brushes for a 12 volt, high amp motor is like finding hens teeth.  And I spent one whole day calling around the country talking to various rebuilder shops.  The copper triangle shaped brushes used in this motor make it an anomaly.   I finally found a distributor in Texas that stocked the motor.  Best part was that I purchased it for less than half of what Camping  World wanted  to sell me for.   I had it shipped to the RV park for just over $200.  Camping World  wanted $480 to have one drop shipped to me.  It's installed and all is happy in RV land again. 

Diane has just updated her blog, and has lots more details and  pics.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on August 23, 2016, 11:41:20 PM
The best thing about Cherry Hill is it's location the worst thing is it's location.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 31, 2016, 08:46:51 PM
Gettysburg/Battlefeild KOA
20 Knox Road
Gettysburg,  PA 17325
After leaving DC we headed back to PA to make another visit to Gettysburg.  We were here 6 years ago and enjoyed it then.  Plus this time we wanted to make the drive to the Flight 93 memorial to see the last of the 3 memorial sites from the 9/11 tragedy. 

We picked the KOA over the other campground in town because of stellar reviews.  Nope, fooled again.  I wouldn't say that this is a bad KOA, there was just nothing special about it.  When Diane had made the reservation a few months ago, she requested a deluxe patio site, and one that was not too heavily treed.  Well we didn't get either when we showed up.  It turns out that there are only 3 patio sites in the park, and all are long term seasonal people.  And there is no such thing as a “lightly treed” site in the park  either.  The whole park is kind of “tropical” looking with large trees blocking out the sun (and breeze) and foliage between most of the sites.  Kind of a good thing/bad thing kinda feature is that the whole park is heavily graveled, which keeps the dust down.  The bad part is that every car or person that passes by the rig sounds like they are going to drive right into the living room. 

Getting to the park is a bit dicey as Knox road is on a blind corner.  So making a left onto Knox road requires a great deal of attention to any traffic that may suddenly appear. This is especially true if you are turning with your slow moving RV (like me). 

Our deluxe site ($60.00 a night) was FHU and came with a new glider style rocking chair, and a fire pit (the 90 degree days insured that it was not going to be used).  Our Verizon air card struggled to get signal amongst the heavy trees, but it was still miles ahead of the free Wifi offered by the park.  In fact their campground brochure stated “the Wifi may not be reliable, but it is free”.  That usually means a small personal size router in  the office with a guest channel.  One positive of this park is due to it's location, the nights were dead quiet.  And with the heavy trees, pitch black at night.

The upper bathroom was handicapped accessible, but getting there through the gravel would have been a chore.  They do have the usual “family oriented” activities, but some were a little difficult to use. The “pedal cars” that rent for $5 for a half hour are usually pretty popular, but because most of the park is on a steep gravel incline, kids usually lost interest after pedaling once up that hill. 

Satellite was also impossible from anywhere in the park so we reverted to cable. Unfortunately the cable signal had most likely been split so many times that all the channels were fuzzy at best.

On the up side, the park is close to Gettysburg making many day trips easy.  We toured the battle fields, Soldiers Cemetery where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, and one day made the 2+ hour drive to the Flight 93 memorial in the farm country of PA.  The memorial is very well done, and the visitors center, although  difficult at times because of the graphic reality of the event, is excellent.   

Like Washington DC, I would return to Gettysburg again as there is so much to do and see here. But  I think I would search out a different RV park,  as this one was overpriced for what you get. 

Diane has also updated her blog, and has even included an uncharacteristic “rant”.  I love it!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Jeff on August 31, 2016, 08:51:45 PM
Artillery Ridge RV Park is a couple of miles from downtown Gettysburg. One of the nicer PA parks at $30.00 per night during the week.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on August 31, 2016, 10:30:53 PM
That will definitely go on the list! Thanks.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Ken & Sheila on September 01, 2016, 05:28:14 PM
KOAs do not appear to even read the comment you put in the reservation system.
Our last stop was a KOA in Streetsboro, OH (Cleveland). I had requested a satellite view site (they had quite a few) in our online reservation made months ago, but the site they gave us did not have a satellite view. They said they had no other sites available for the 5 days that we were gong to be there and they were unwilling to take the trouble to "juggle" reservations even though they admitted they missed the comment. A camp ground worker even showed me the reservation info they got from KOA. He said they often don't see the comments because there at the bottom of the form, but it was clearly there and easy to read. I was told by the same worker that I need to call the campground if I have a specific request. So much for KOAs online system. Second bad experience with KOA this trip ( actually 2 for 2).
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 01, 2016, 05:47:00 PM
That seems to happen often enough that KOA corporate should be stepping up.  It seems to boil down to the competency  of the person reading the reservation request.  Some are really good, many are not.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on September 01, 2016, 09:00:43 PM
Where are you headed next? What rout are you taking?
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: RVnChick on September 02, 2016, 07:26:14 AM
Where are you headed next? What rout are you taking?
Bill

Currently, we are just north of Richmond, Virginia at Americamp.  Our next stop is unusual and I'd love to hear if any of you have stayed there before.  It is "The Colonies RV Park" in Fort Monroe, Virginia.  It appears that it used to be part of a military base - but is now open to the public.  There are only 13 sites....all named after the original 13 colonies.  I am watching the weather closely - especially the tropical storm working its way up the eastern coast - because this park (and the whole peninsula is rests on) is prone to flooding, according to their web site.  We don't arrive until early next week so hopefully by then the threat will have passed. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on September 02, 2016, 09:30:30 AM
Glad your continuing to enjoy the extended version of your Yellowstone trip.  Ours ended two weeks ago after 14 weeks on the road.  Today we're headed to the Jojoba Escapee park in Aguanga for a few days.  Grandsons Bday on Sunday and then back to the big city.   
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 02, 2016, 09:45:09 AM
All good things must come to an end, unless you are retired!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SeilerBird on September 02, 2016, 09:57:01 AM
All good things must come to an end, unless you are retired!
Even retirement comes to an end. A very abrupt end. ???

I hope you are driving west Sarge. Right now is not a good time to be on the east coast. Hermine is coming your way.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on September 02, 2016, 11:10:44 AM
I hope you are driving west Sarge. Right now is not a good time to be on the east coast. Hermine is coming your way.

It's pretty dicy here in the West as well.  There could be a few morning clouds late next week.  :D 

 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 02, 2016, 12:21:19 PM
I hope you are driving west Sarge. Right now is not a good time to be on the east coast. Hermine is coming your way.

Figures, our next stop is the Virginia coast..........
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Ken & Sheila on September 02, 2016, 07:18:41 PM
Currently, we are just north of Richmond, Virginia at Americamp. 

We also stayed at Americamps. Could be we use the same criteria when choosing Campgrounds, but of course for most of these places there is much of choice for large rigs. How far south are you headed?

ken
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: RVnChick on September 03, 2016, 06:57:20 AM
How far south are you headed?

ken

Ken - We will be spending the next month or so in North Carolina sightseeing and visiting family.  We aren't going any further south than Georgia and will be taking I-20 westbound.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on September 03, 2016, 02:26:35 PM
You might look at going west to visit The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As you know it is in the western end of North Carolina. I have been there a couple of times and will be going again, probably next year.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Ken & Sheila on September 03, 2016, 03:56:35 PM
Watch that storm and stay safe!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 03, 2016, 05:30:03 PM
Watch that storm and stay safe!
yes, Diane called the park in Virginia today. They said everything was looking good, no problems
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on September 03, 2016, 09:06:00 PM
I think it is kind of fun you are East and I have benn West. We were almost in your back yard last month, at Steckel Park, Santa Paula, CA. ;)
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 07, 2016, 03:39:42 PM
Americamps RV Resort
11322 Airpark Road
Ashland, VA
Our first stop in Virginia was in Ashland, which is just north of Richmond.  This was another highly rated RV park.  While it did have the amenities listed on the web site, the place could really use some sprucing up.  Some of the interior roads were paved, but most are gravel, so vehicles can make a bit of dust going by.  We were in the “B” section, which  was near the front of the park and the pool.  The pool was never a problem, but what was a huge detractor for us was the close proximity to I-95. 

The freeway noise could be overwhelming at all hours of the day and night, and because it is a major highway, even at 2 AM the sounds of trucks and cars racing by was constant.  We were parked next to a couple that stays there often, and their solution was to turn on the AC fan in the bedroom and run it 24/7.   

On the up side, our Verizon air card was blazing fast as the cell tower was only a few hundred yards from the park. The park did offer free Wifi, but I never had the occasion to try it out.  The restrooms and showers were clean and handicapped accessible.  They also had a new fitness center that is one of the best that I have seen in a while.  It is stocked with the usual treadmills (2) elliptical bikes (2) and a full set of free weights.  The lighting was good, 2 large ceiling fans moved the air well, and really important was that the AC was always on and cool.  It also had a large TV mounted with an attached DVD player that Diane used for her workout DVD's.  All in all a very nice set up.   

We had a premium back in site with a patio, and paid $55 a night.  All the utilities all worked well, and there was a reasonable amount of room between sites.  The rear loops of the park are where most of the long term residents stay, and I must say was much quieter than the front.  Some of the interior roads are pretty tight to navigate as well, especially in a larger rig.  I  had to move our Jeep for one fifth wheel pulling in as he couldn't make the turn to get down the road. 

The owners are very nice, and on Labor Day Sunday they brought in a bounce house for the kids, set up a variety of games like Corn Hole, and Ladder toss.  Tables were also set up, and starting at about 1 PM a mobile food truck showed up and cooked free burgers and fries for everyone in the park. 

This park was originally a KOA, so you get the idea of the set up of the park. In spite of the positive points of this park, the freeway noise was just a bit too much for us,  and if in the area again we would scope out a different park to stay in.

For activities we took a Trolley Tour around Ashland, and unfortunately it was just “fair”.  We paid $35 a person for the tour and picked it up at the Ashland visitors center.  The trolley which was about empty  was advertised to have AC, but I don't think it was working well.  Our narrator, an older gentleman tried to have lots of enthusiasm, but his tone of voice and slightly slurred speech made it only possible to understand about every other word.  Sadly, this tour isn't recommended.

We did visit Hollywood  Cemetery in Richmond.  Hollywood Cemetery is the resting place of many Confederate soldiers, Jefferson Davis, and two US Presidents.  In many ways, Hollywood Cemetery seemed much more elaborate than the Union Soldiers Cemetery in Gettysburg.  It is also a must see.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 14, 2016, 01:39:23 PM
The Colonies
501 Fenwick Road
Fort Monroe, VA 23651

After the noisy last park, we opted for a smaller, more removed park removed from the sounds of the interstate.  Diane located a small RV park (13 sites) that is on a decommissioned Army Fort, Fort Monroe. The fort was decommissioned in 2011 and is now a National Monument.  It's called the Colonies because each of the 13 RV sites is named after one of the original 13 colonies when the nation was in it's infancy.  Our site for the week was Massachusetts.   The fort is surrounded by water, and was first commissioned in 1861, just months after the start of the Civil War. 

The park itself does not have many of the regular amenities, like a pool, spa or game room. What it does have are paved sites and paved roads.  The sites are widely spaced and are full hookup.  At the current time only 5 of the 13 sites are 50 amp, but the new owners are in process of adding 50 amp to the remaining sites.  Some sites are shaded, but others are more open and sunny.  One of the oddities of the sites is that the water hook up is located on the passenger side rear of the site, so at least a 25' water hose is required for hook up. 

There are some amenities, like some playground equipment, lots of surrounding open grassy area that was well trimmed, and a walking path that ran along next to the seawall on the Chesapeake Bay.  We rode the length of the seawall path  one day on bikes. The total length of the trip up and back was right at 3 miles.  The restrooms/showers are clean and handicapped accessible, but there is just one for men and one for women.  In between the shower areas is one washer and one dryer. 

There is a club/restaurant on the site, called the Paradise Club which serves food and beverages. They also had a “VIP” area where you could go out onto the beach and sit in beach chairs some with tables and umbrella's.  A live band was playing out in the VIP area while we were there.  There is a charge for the VIP area, but we didn't ask how much.  However, the day that we went was our first day arriving at the campground, and it was also the last day of operations for the club as it was closing for the season.

On the up side the RV park was spacious and dead quiet at night. On the down side, the heat during the days, and the presence of various biting bugs kept us from spending much time outside. They were not the usual mosquitoes', but Midges,  and  biting flies that bit right through your clothes. Poor Diane had welts all over her from the last few days there.  And she was usually covered from head to toe in long pants, a long sleeve shirt and hat. And that was with daily temps in the high 80's to low 90's and 80% humidity.   Maybe at a different time of year things would be better in that respect.   

We paid $49 a night plus tax.  There is also no Wifi offered at the park, but due to the close proximity of a cellular tower, our Verizon air card was blazing fast.  The surrounding area was interesting, and we did a bit of exploring.  When we left we wound up taking a tunnel under the Chesapeake Bay that is about 1.3 miles long.  There is a requirement that all propane is turned off prior to entering.  Diane was not thrilled with the thought being under water in a motorhome for over a mile, but we managed to make it out the other end without issue. 

One of the attractions in the area was the Chrysler Museum of Art.  It was having an exhibit of a modern photographer, Herb Ritts.  He had photographed many Rock-N-Roll starts, and some of them were my favorites.  Plus there were exhibits of modern art (some of which is just goofy to me) but still interesting.  And it was free admission so there was nothing to lose.  It was a cool way to spend an afternoon.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 16, 2016, 08:05:00 PM
Diane just updated her blog for a different slant on our adventures...
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Kevin Means on September 19, 2016, 01:29:04 AM
I read it while I was working in Amsterdam last week (was homesick for RVing.) It sounds like the bugs got her pretty bad. Interesting, the point she made about east coast vs. west coast humidity.

Kev
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 19, 2016, 07:24:28 AM
Yeah, it seems as though the humidity has been worse this year, but I am sure the folks that live here would tell you it's just an average year.  It's just tough on us westerners that aren't used to it!  And the bugs weren't bad in Maine and up north, but really got voracious when when we hit the New Jersey area. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Tom and Margi on September 19, 2016, 08:15:16 AM
Diane just updated her blog for a different slant on our adventures...

I always enjoy Diane's blog and especially like it when she "tells it like it is".  ;D
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: jagnweiner on September 19, 2016, 11:41:50 AM
Yeah, it seems as though the humidity has been worse this year, but I am sure the folks that live here would tell you it's just an average year.  It's just tough on us westerners that aren't used to it!  And the bugs weren't bad in Maine and up north, but really got voracious when when we hit the New Jersey area.

In the Midwest, the humidity has definitely been worse this year.  We just kept getting rain in July and August, so it was always humid.  It's not just you westerners. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 24, 2016, 08:35:29 PM
Camp Hatteras RV Resort
24789 NC-12
Waves, NC 27968

Well after many visits to  the east coast, this was our first visit to the Outer Banks (OBX).  While  this was a very well rated RV park, we honestly didn't see a lot of difference from many other beach locations on the coast.  As a matter of fact, we were in site #95 which was in the third row.   The spaces that are on the first row cost the most, but honestly there was no difference in views or amenities. 

One tip if  you come here, try to get a site that puts your windshield facing away from the dunes.  If you face the dunes like we did,  you get full sun all day, and puts the patio side of the rig  in the sun all day too.  Since the view doesn't matter, you may as well be shaded on your patio.   

There are no difference's  in views because similar to other beach RV parks we have stayed in the east, there is a 10' sand berm that separates all of the sites from  the beach and the ocean.  There are wood “bridges” that span the dunes that create access to the beach.  They are spaced about 100 yards apart. 

We stayed during the “Fall Rates” and were in an Ocean Premium site.  That is any row that is not the front row against the dunes.  The rate was $69 a night, but on a weekly rate, we paid for 7 nights and got one free.  The front row sites are $73 a night.  All sites are paved and have a small patio, but the surrounding areas are grassy sand.  That was a great place for the bugs to hide, and there were many.  I am sure that the time of year played a part, but the weather was hot and humid during the days, and the AC got a good workout day and night.  The sites are FHU, but we did lose AC power one particularly  hot and humid day when the voltage on one of the legs dropped out.

All of the parks in the area were similar in layout and design, but the KOA next door was even pricier in the $100 a night range.  They do have more kid friendly activities for families though and their pool has two water slides on it. 

A check of the restrooms showed them to be handicapped accessible, clean, but could have used some up dating.  Wifi was offered at the park, but not guaranteed to work.  I was in the office picking up a package one morning when another camper was complaining that his wife couldn't get on the Wifi.  Instead the only one her computer would see as a possible was at the KOA next door.  The employee told him that the Wifi was not consistent, but should be back eventually.  Our Verizon air card worked well here due to a nearby tower. 

Dogs are allowed on the beach on leash, and walked Heidi several times. The Saturday before we left we took a walk of about 1 ˝ miles on the sand.  The breeze completely stopped though and she  was starting to overheat as she is also afraid of the water.  That ended our beach walks.  There is the possibility of being able to drive the beach, and we have in many other places. However,  a “Beach Permit” was required to drive the sand here, and the cheapest permit was $50 a week.  We would probably only do it once, so I passed on the $50 one way tour.

One other tip, if you come here, or any of the parks in the area, be sure to stop at the store on  the way in.  The park is 24 miles off of the main highway, and stores of any kind are scarce.   All in all the park was OK, but for the price I doubt there is a return trip in our future. 

One interesting side trip was to the Wright Brothers airfield and visitor center.  I had forgotten that aviation as we know it got it's start right here in Kill Devil Hills, NC.  It is the spot where the first 4 engine powered flights took place, helping to launch an entire world wide industry.  Pretty cool!
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: HappyWanderer on September 24, 2016, 09:30:04 PM
Marty - if you want to learn more about the Wright Brothers, I can recommend David McCullough's excellent biography.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on September 25, 2016, 06:20:15 AM
Thanks, I may look into it when my reading time settles down. Lately all of my free time has been taken up fixing stuff and keeping up on the forum.  It's funny how little down time there seems to be.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on October 05, 2016, 09:32:06 PM
New Bern KOA
1565 B Street
New Bern, NC 28560
We stayed at another KOA on this stop still in North Carolina. Diane checked her records and we have stayed here before, but it was about 6 years before.  I also rated this park very highly on a RV park review site.  So it was interesting to go back and see if my opinion of the place would change after 6 more years of staying in hundreds of different RV parks since then.  Well, it did slip a little bit in my recent trip, but some of that was probably weighted by current conditions like weather and bugs. 

This RV park is right on the Neuse river, and even has it's own boat dock and launch ramp to the river. The boat dock and launch are in very good condition, and there are even a few swing benches that let you sit out and view the river from close up if you desire.  We were in a premium patio site that was  the closest to the river, and our front windshield looked out on the river.  However,  in the 6 years since we were here last, a lot of the foliage was allowed to grow up in front of the sites, and that great view is almost completely obstructed.  The site was dirt gravel, but the patio was cement.  Normally that is not an issue, but the dirt of the RV pad has been allowed to build up higher than the patio,  and during the regular rains we got during our week stay, the white alkaline mud would wash over the patio, turning it a milky white slippery substance.  I think that erosion from the rains carried down dirt from the rest of the park and deposited it there.  I stopped by the park office and asked them to send someone by.  An employee showed up after a while and hosed the white stuff off of the patio with a hose. Right on the side of my RV. It's hard to find good help these days I guess. 

The site came with a wire patio set, which was nice as I didn't have to get out our chairs.  We didn't get to spend too much time outside though, the heat, humidity, and bugs kept us inside a lot. The KOA had all the usual family friendly stuff, pool, playground and bike rentals. There is also a small “catch and release” pond on site, and a mini golf course as well.  We paid $58 a night for our FHU site. 

The park offered free Wifi, but our Verizon air card worked well here.  I was a little surprised to see that the bathhouse closest to our site was not handicapped accessible due to small doors and raised entries on the entry door and  the showers.  There was another facility in the main building, but I didn't get a chance to check it out.  The location does have some road noise from Route 17 that fronts the park.

So while this park is not quite the “10” that I recall from years past, it is still a nice, well cared for KOA, especially if you have children. 

A cool stop in New Bern was visiting the museum of the CSS Neuse.  It houses a Confederate built Iron Clad battleship built during the Civil War.  It was a formidable ship for its time, housing 2 large guns and a crew of up to 65 soldiers.  However, due to the Union controlling the North Carolina ports at that time, they had to build the ship inland on the Neuse river and planned to float it down river to battle the  Union.  But the main problem with their plan was that after being built, the ship  was too large with too much draft (ship under the water line) to make it down river.  So she got a mile out of dry dock before getting stuck on a sand bar for the rest of the war, and was later partially skuttled to prevent the Union from taking possession.  Diane had lots more detail in her blog.  It was really cool to see what was left though. 

Diane has also just updated her blog with lots of other info and pics.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on October 14, 2016, 09:12:30 PM
Raleigh Oaks RV Resort
527 US Highway 701 S
Four Oaks, NC 27524

Our next stop was at a park that used to be a KOA.  I say this to give you an idea of some of the usual amenities and won't re-list them all.  There was not a lot to complain about at this park, but a few things could have been better.   This park has over 150 RV sites, and 30 cabins. We stayed at the front of the park in a large site with about a 75' long pull through.  The RV pad and roads were layered in a heavy white gravel. It was heavy enough to keep the dirt from leaching through, but it was still white dirt at the edges.  The biggest ding on these sites are that none of them have any kind of patio surface for your chairs.   So although there was not a lot of rain, when it did the grass got wet and soggy for a while afterward.  That and since the rain tends to excite the flying critters, sitting on the wet grass was not much of an option.  We spent most of our outside time squeezing the chairs onto the gravel next to the motor home. 

There are two very nice pools at the park, each at the front, and right across the entry drive from each other.  Both looked pristine and well cared for.  One of our favorite spots was there air conditioned work out room next to the pool.  It was large, well appointed with free weights, machines, and several aerobic machines.  We did our morning workouts there to avoid the humidity outside. 

Besides the size of the grass area at our site, the other thing that made it a premium site was it's proximity to all the amenities.  We were only steps from the pools, work out room and laundry.  There was a bit of road noise being up front though, and as we walked the park many times with the dog, we noted that it was considerably quieter in the back of the park. 

Our site was FHU with cable and we paid a weekly rate of $270 for a week (site #2).  That came out to $38.57 a night, compared to the $45 rate for a daily stay.  The sites farther towards the back  and in the $35 to $40 range.  The only real draw back to the front premium sites is that the dumpsters, although fenced in, are right on the corner where everyone in back of you drives out, stops and dumps the trash before leaving.  That means that every few minutes most mornings, it sounds like someone is driving on the gravel and is coming to your RV site and stopping in front to see you.   Kind of annoying if they are early risers , and you (me) likes to sleep until 7 AM.   

The park offers free Wifi, but due to a close signal tower our Verizon air card worked extremely well.  The shower houses were wonderfully clean, new, and handicapped accessible.  This was the best value that we have had at a park in a while, and really enjoyed the amenities.   I can highly recommend this RV park. 

At this stop we visited the Bentonville battlefield.  Bentonville was the last major battle of the Civil War, and involved General William Sherman for the Union, and General Joseph Johnston for the Confederacy.  Sherman had already marched his army to the sea leaving a path of destruction through Georgia.  He then turned and headed north through the Carolina's.  He encountered Johnston in Bentonville, North Carolina and after battling for several days, Johnston withdrew, and later surrendered his army to Sherman.  This was shortly after Lee had surrendered in Appomattox.   

There is so much Civil War history in the South, that nearly every state you visit has it's own story to tell, and historic sites where American lives and American history were changed forever. I encourage everyone to put it on their bucket list to make a Civil War tour at some time during their travels. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on October 22, 2016, 02:33:38 PM
Tanglewood RV Campground
4061 Clemmons Road
Clemmons, NC 27012
We stayed at Tanglewood by a recommendation from a camp host on a Facebook RV site that Diane visits. And I must say, it was a great referral.  The RV park is maintained by the county and is part of a larger extensive public park. The RV park itself is not huge, just 44 sites laid out in 4 rows. All roads and sites in the park are paved and include a paved patio. We were in the first row, site #3 which is the best place to be.  In this row the back of your site backs up to a huge grass area, and about 200 yards away is the County parks off leash dog park, which was always busy. 

This also worked out well for us because to the many mature trees in the RV park, roof top satellite was not possible from almost all sites.  Due to the large grassy area behind the site I was able to set up the remote satellite dish and just shoot over the tops of the tall trees.  The middle rows of sites, say the 20's and 30's can be a real challenge to level on.  The sites slope off dramatically to the back, and since all  of their sites except #10 are back ins, motorhomes need to be careful when leveling as to not get both rear wheels off of the ground. 

The park is located in a great part of town with lots of shopping and various retail within minutes of the campground.  Since the large public park is connected to the campground, it also puts many activities in the park nearby, like golf, horseback riding, mountain bike trrails, and hiking.  There is a great paved bike/walking path around the park that is about 2 miles long that we ran on.  The maintenance on the park is regular and well done, so it is kept in good shape. 

The campground restrooms are older, but are clean and handicapped accessible. The Verizon air card worked here, but signal could be sketchy due to the distance from the nearest tower.   We paid $33 a night for our FHU 50 amp site. The sewer connection is a bit high (about 8” tall) and the water pressure can drop to the 20 psi range when the park is full,  but these issues are minor compared to the pluses of the area.

The campground's season runs from May 1 thru November 30 and then shuts down for the winter.  However, the last week of November the County constructs a “Festival of Lights” in the adjoining park and should be quite spectacular.  We left while it was being set up so we didn't get to see it. 

One issue that bears mentioning is that there are NO motorcycles allowed in the RV park, or the county  park.  In fact one of the campground hosts had a stacker trailer with a Can Am in it, and he wasn't even allowed to use it while hosting.  Alcohol is also not permitted in the park, but discreet consumption outside on your patio is over looked. All in all this is a very nice park, and I would come back here anytime in the area. 

We did go to a County Fair while here in Clemmons.  In fact we went with one of the campground hosts and his wife.  They were great tour guides and showed us all over the area. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on October 29, 2016, 09:03:38 PM
Campfire Lodgings
116 Appalachian Village Road
Asheville, NC 28804

We used this location in Asheville to meet up and camp with family from Georgia and do some sightseeing. It is an “intimate” little RV park, only 18 sites.  The first 6 are their “premium” sites and are cement with patios. They also have wonderful view of the valley in back of the sites.  The rest of the sites although on a hill are heavily treed, making views impossible.  We paid $50 a night for our site which was a “deluxe” site.  Dirt gravel sites with trees, and the site had a picnic table and a fire pit.

There is a seating area where you can sit and look at the view or a sunset that is available to all campers.  There is also  a grass area in back of that for general use. 

One of the difficulties of getting to this park is the ˝ mile steep winding dirt road that takes you up the mountain. The last turn going into the campground is a hairpin.  Go slowly if you have a larger rig. Either way, the dusty road will make a mess out of your tow. 

The restrooms are clean, but dated.  Each one is a separate room with a toilet and shower. One is handicapped accessible but there is a small bench by the door that could make entry with a wheel chair tricky.  We used their campground Wifi here as our Verizon air card struggled.  We did get satellite with the help of my phone app satellite finder.  I scoped the satellites between a gap in the trees.   

If you come here and stay in any of the sites down past the premium sites, when you leave your site there is a turn around at the end of the road you need to go through to head towards the exit.  Do not hook your car up if you are in a motor home as you will need to backup at least once to get turned around.

All in all I liked the campground, but the only way I would come back is if I could get a premium site with a view and a cement pad. 

There was a lot to do in the area though.  We toured the Biltmore mansion one day, visited the North Carolina Arboretum, and drove to the “Wheels through Time” museum. The Arboretum is much more than just plants and flowers, there is about 5 miles of walking trails through native forest and fauna. We walked about 3 miles of it.  There were also some fantastic displays that were made entirely out of Lego's!  All nature theme of course.

And the Wheels through Time museum is a motor cycle museum but has different types of motorcycles from the very beginning of their invent to the present.  It was another pretty cool way to spend an afternoon.

Diane got plenty of pics of the attractions, but we forgot to get campsite photos.  Sorry, next time.

I also had our entry steps fail on us here.  I started work on them to see what was needed. I wound up with a new step  motor to make  them right again. In the process of making the steps right, I took them apart and sanded off a bunch of rust, then repainted them.  Afterward they worked better and are quieter than they have ever been.  I also replaced a broken bolt on the roof top ladder.  Since I had  it off I also painted the antenna mast black to match the ladder.  It looks way better now.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on October 30, 2016, 09:13:29 PM
I found 2 more pics for Campfire Lodgings. One of the campsite, and one of the handicapped restroom.  What do you think, useful or not?
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on October 30, 2016, 09:38:16 PM
A lot would depend on how wide the opening is between the shelf and the wall on the right. I would also depend on how wide the wheel chair is. ;)
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: Sr Fox on October 31, 2016, 09:13:46 AM
If you are still in Asheville and have some time, to up to Bristol, VA and check out the Crooked Road.   We spent some time there this past summer and loved the music scene.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on October 31, 2016, 09:40:19 PM
Sorry Fox, we are moving right along since leaving Asheville. We just pulling into Texas this afternoon.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on November 01, 2016, 09:22:16 AM
Where in Texas?
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on November 01, 2016, 10:01:21 AM
Grapevine Texas.  Vineyards RV Resort.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on November 01, 2016, 07:20:39 PM
You are lucky that place has been closed most of the year because of spring floods. What are your plans for the area?
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on November 01, 2016, 08:56:53 PM
We are here visiting family, and Vogt RV is having a Tiffin rally starting Thursday to Saturday. We signed up for the rally.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on November 01, 2016, 09:03:40 PM
Is the rally at The Vineyards? Great you have family to show you around. There is nothing to see or do in the area. ;D
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on November 01, 2016, 09:09:01 PM
Yep, we are staying at the Vineyards Bill. Diane's niece just moved here a few months ago, so we are spending some family time together.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on November 07, 2016, 04:01:43 PM
The Great Outdoors RV Resort
321 Thumpers Trail
Franklin, NC 28734
This is one of the highest rated parks in North Carolina, and with good reason.  The owners keep the place immaculate and go out of their way to help you out. It's not a huge park with only 66 sites, but they have done well with what they have.  The whole park is terraced so each one of the 4 camping rows steps up a little further up the hill.  This makes for nice views and a roomy feel, but there is a down side.  Walking the park can be challenging if you have trouble with  hills, especially if walking the trash out at night as the dumpster is on the top level. 

The other issue is that the highway that brings you to the entrance to the park is at the bottom of a long 7 to 8% grade.  Since the park is close to the highway,  if you get a top row spot, the unmistakable aroma of heated brakes can be detected occasionally wafting through the rows.

The roads in the park are paved, but the sites and patio's are gravel. We put a rug out on the patio to soften things up a bit, but had to be careful not to overlap and kill the grass. We had a FHU 50 amp site for a weekly rate of $42.71 per day. We also were impressed to learn that they offer a 30% Law Enforcement discount on top of the weekly rate.  That is pretty rare, but was much  appreciated. 

They had a small gym with  some weights and 2 treadmills that we took advantage of, but the pool had already been  drained for the winter.  Thankfully they offered some terrific WiFi, because our Verizon air card struggled at best.  One of the hosts said that this was an AT&T home area, and gets great signal. The  restrooms were very nice and handicapped accessible.

There is another section even further up the hill of large RV lots that are for sale.  We drove  up the hill, and it looked like a hand full of them were already sold and developed. The views up on top were really spectacular.   I'm not sure what they were selling for though.

Freightliner Service Center
103 Campus Drive
Gaffney,  SC 29341
After Franklin we stopped  by the Freightliner Service Center.  We were do for our M3 Bi  Annual service.  It's an extensive service that is do every other year, and if I am any where close, I  will go to Gaffney.  We arrived on a Sunday afternoon, and  our service appointment was Tuesday morning.  You can also take your chances at a walk in appointment, but may be there for a few days waiting for your turn.  Their customer service is terrific, and we are always treated wonderfully.  There is a 16 space gravel campground in the back of the service center with 50 amp electrical.  There is also  water and a dump  station on site. If you show up for service, the campground is free, and the techs will come out to your coach, discuss it's' needs and take it to a bay. When they are done they bring  it back and put it back in your space.  They have a nice pet  friendly customer lounge with TV, tables and chairs, and restrooms.  And there is a 5% discount off  of any parts if you are a Freightliner Owner Chassis Club (FOCC) member.  A highly recommended place for service. 

Chattahoochee Bend State Park
425 Bob White Way
Newnan,  GA 30263

After we got serviced we stopped for a few days in Georgia's newest state park.  It is a nice well kept state park, and has been open approx 5 years or so.  We were visiting family in the Newnan area, so  the park seemed like a good idea.  We didn't realize until we got there just how far out of town this park was!  It's was a 20 to 30 minute drive through country roads to get  into Newnan proper. Once there the stores and shopping are everywhere, but it is a drive.  If you come to stay at the park be sure shop and stock up, as there no just running down to the corner store if you forgot something. 

We had a Gravel back in site with a gravel patio off of a paved road.  There are a few pull through spots available.  There is lots of foliage around the sites, but not too close to feel cramped. Each site has a fire pit and a picnic table. There is also lots of mature trees, so pick your site carefully if you want satellite reception.  Upon entry you pay your fees, and then take your tag to the campground (about a mile away) and pick a site. Just put your tag on the site post and it's yours. The sites are 50 amp and water in loop one (large RV of any size), and 20 amp and water in loop 2 (small RV's and tents).

Interestingly, our site said that it would hold up to a 40' RV.  When we pulled in, the driveway pad had to be at least 100' long not including the tow car parking spot next to it!  Why it's listed at 40' is beyond me.  Even being fairly remote, our Verizon Air Card worked pretty well, and even better with the antenna mast extended.

We paid $26 a night for the site, which I thought was more than fair.  The  restrooms are in good shape and handicapped accessible. One thing to be aware of though, there is a Law Enforcement qualifying range in the area. We did hear some early morning gunfire on a few occasions, which always freaks Heidi out (the dog).  A few times there were a few shots from some really big gun, which a host said may have been deer hunters in the distance. 

There is a kids playground in the RV park, and lots of hiking trails, some of which are still being built. The nights are quiet and dark, great for star gazing.  It's a great park if you want to get away and enjoy nature, but rest assured you will never just accidentally wander into  it.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on November 08, 2016, 08:26:37 PM
Just located a pic of the Gaffney Freightliner RV parking area. It's not paradise, but it's free, flat, and has 50 amp  power. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on November 12, 2016, 09:07:56 PM
Benchmark RV Park
6420 Dale Drive
Meridian, MS 39342
We don't usually make a lot one night stop overs, but sometimes they are necessary. This was one of them. This is a Passport America park, and as such we paid $20 cash for the site, no checks or credit cards when using Passport America. That worked out fine for what we needed. The site was a paved pull through with dirt roads, and a skinny grass strip between sites. We were able to leave the Jeep hooked up for early departure in the morning.

The office doesn't open until 4:30, and just long enough to collect fees and close up.  We had 50 amp service, but didn't bother hook up sewer. The park was pretty quiet at night, but there was some train noise.  I didn't get to see any restroom facilities, but our Verizon air card worked OK.  Not a place for a long term, but  OK for an overnight-er.

Shreveport/Bossier KOA
6510 West 70th Street
Shreveport, LA 71129

This was another overnight-er to get some mileage done. We had first planed to stop at “Diamond Jacks Casino” Shreveport.  We pulled in and got a too small site, but quickly discovered that a giant sink hole had opened in their RV driveway, and they dug out the hole and put a cone on it. It just so happened that that was the only way out of the RV park for us!  They had suggested we drive out through an opening about wide enough for a car, with a light pole at the left edge. Uh, no. While deciding what our options were, I plugged into the pedestal only to find that our surge protector wouldn't hook up do to a missing ground wire.  We hastily unhooked the Jeep and backed out of the site until we were able to drive over a grass meridian into another parking lot and escape.   

We went down the road to the KOA that we had stayed at before a few years ago.  It has changed hands since then, and has slipped a bit. The sites were gravel and dirt, and the grass is weedy and long. The site did have a small cement patio with some patio furniture. Even though Diane asked the desk  guy for an open site that we could get satellite reception from, we still wound up in the trees.  As it turned out, the clerk was filling in for the wife, and didn't have a clue how to register anyone in. He came by later and asked if we wanted to move to one of the other open sites. I was already set up and hooked up, so, no. 

The restroom was clean and the Wifi was present, but we used our Verizon air card. We paid $41 for our one night stop, but at least we could get out of the site in the morning. The area was quiet at night, and they had a good sized dog yard for Heidi to wander in.

The Vineyards Campground
1501 Dooley Street
Grapevine, TX 76051
We made it to our destination for the RV rally we were attending.  It was a Tiffin rally sponsored by Vogt RV.  It was small as rally's go, about 40 rigs, mostly invited to attend by Vogt RV.  There were 8 new Tiffin RV's to tour, and the owner of Tiffin Motorhomes, Bob Tiffin was there shaking hands and socializing. A really nice man.  The RV dealer also fed everyone at the rally 3 meals a day, had some seminars, and even brought a service team from the dealership that went around to attendee RV's and made minor repairs or adjustments for free.  One night they had a “Casino Night” and a company showed up and  set up various Vegas style gaming tables including Black Jack, Poker, slot machines, and even a Crap table.  I spent my time at the Crap table, and won tickets that you later used as raffle tickets.  I even won  a new $100 patio rug in the raffle!

We really loved the campground as well.  Large paved sites, most with views of Grapevine lake, FHU with cable, and many shaded by mature Olive trees that were on the perimeter of the site, but not overhanging the RV itself. The restrooms were clean and modern, and easily handicapped accessible.

There was strong Wifi throughout the campground, but our air card worked well here.  There is no pool here, but there is a swim beach on the lake, and is also available for small boats and fishing. They were in the process of building a large playground area down by the lake, and it should be ready next season.
There was no gym facilities here, but we did run the park roads as the place is fairly spread out on the peninsula that it sits on.

There is no fenced dog yard here for your pet, but they did have an area they designated as “puppy point”.  It was a little finger of land with water on both sides.  It is an off leash area that you can  let your dog run free, as long as they are under voice control.  The only down side of this area was the ground cover looked to weedy, but it was green.  Unfortunately in the summer dry months it may turn into a large “sticker” field.   

We liked this park a lot, and would definitely come back here again.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on November 12, 2016, 09:42:06 PM
Glad you liked the Vines. How is San Antonio?
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on November 12, 2016, 10:24:10 PM
Nice area Bill. Lots to do and see, but we have been in the area before so we haven't done a lot of sight seeing this time around.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on November 12, 2016, 10:41:12 PM
What's next? 
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on November 13, 2016, 07:53:52 AM
An overnight then on to Las Cruces.  Heading to Vegas for Thanksgiving and meet up with a few friends.
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on November 13, 2016, 09:16:33 AM
Nice pix of you, Diane and Mr. T.   Thanks for all the photos. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on November 18, 2016, 09:59:28 PM
Blazing Star RV Resort
1120 West Loop 1604 North
San Antonio, TX 78251

This RV park bills itself as a “Luxury RV Resort”.  Maybe at one time, but the sheen has wore off a bit through the years.  This is a very highly rated park on RV park reviews.  While it is well maintained, it could use some sprucing up. Also some of the reviews list the park as having 900 sites.  Actually it has 9 rows of sites, numbered 100 through 900. The park has 260 sites. 

The park has paved roads and cement sites with smallish patios, about the size of a picnic table.  There are many full grown well maintained oak trees in the park, which gives it a lot of shade and character.  The problem with the sites is that they were most likely put in when not a lot of RV's had slides.  The parking pads are just wide enough for the wheel base of the rig. If your rig has slides on the passenger side, you will walk through the dirt, grass, and mud when it rains to get to your RV door. 

Many of the sites have overhanging oaks, which is good for shade in the summer, but in the fall with trees dropping leaves and acorns, it can sound like a drum solo on the roof of the RV and the aluminum   picnic tables.  Fortunately Diane secured us a site that the trees only covered the slide toppers, so it was not as bad.  Ask for one of these sites if you need to get satellite reception. 

I did note that about 80% of the sites here are long term or permanent residents. Most are more towards the back of the park with the daily rentals in the front.  There is a fair amount of traffic noise here as well.  A major highway runs in front of the park and the 60 mph traffic is pretty consistent.

There is a decent size pool and a hot tub by the office in front, but sadly the hot tub was never heated while we were here, so I guess that makes it just a tub.  There are many large oaks by the pool as well and the maintenance crew spends lots of time sweeping the acorns up.  There is also a gym with some free weights and a few aerobic machines, but it is pretty small. 4 people in there make it pretty tight quarters. There is also a good size dog yard separated into a large and small dog sides.

The restrooms are in good condition and handicapped accessible doors, but the shower did have a 3” lip  to get over.  Oddly they close from 9 PM to 8 AM.  If you have to use the restroom in the middle of the night I guess you are out of luck.  They offer Wifi here, but when I looked at it, the sign in required way too much personal info, like phone#, home address, and email address.  The Verizon air card worked well enough, but it did slow down in peak times.  We were still able to stream Netflix though. 

We paid $53 a night for a premium site. I think is was premium because the grass area was larger than some of the others that were very close to the neighbors.  There are also many “cabins” for rent, but I was not able to find the rates.  The park is a part of “Sun RV Resorts” so when you call, you get a general reservation service instead of the park itself.  After the reservation is made, the park may try to contact you for further details. 

All in all not a bad park, but not quite the “luxury” resort for modern standards. 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on December 31, 2016, 03:05:08 PM
As  usually happens with us, when we get close to home several of the stops are over nighters. Partly to get through much of the desert area that we have been in before, and partly to make it to predetermined holiday reservations.  I will give just a quick recap to some of the over night locations. 

First was Fort Stockton RV Park, 3604 KOA Road, Fort Stockton, TX. 79735.
Good over night stop, flat gravel sites with grass and trees.  Good space between sites, mostly pull throughs. A full hook up 30 amp site was $33.75 a night. They did have a large grassy dog park. The roads were gravel, and there was some freeway noise. 

Next was Hacienda RV Resort, 740 Stern Drive, Las Cruces, New Mexico. 88005.
We were here for three nights to shop and catch up on some laundry.  We have been here before, so it was a good restocking location. Flat sandy gravel pull through's. Most are “Jack and Jill”, so we asked for a end site to not have a neighbor too close on our drivers side. Had some noise from the freeway, and a nearby train at night. No shade to speak of. We paid $44.82 a night for a 50 amp FHU site. There is a Walmart across the freeway from the park.

Tucson/Lazydays KOA, 5151 S. Country Club Road, Tucson, AZ 85706.
Our 5 day stay at Tucson/Lazydays KOA was trimmed to 3 days to dodge an incoming storm. Normally not a big deal, but we also liked the idea of adding the days to one of the next stops. We have stayed here before, and love this park. While truly a desert campground, they have done an excellent job making this park comfortable and well appointed.  The park has installed and operates a covered RV parking section.  The cover is formed out of a huge section of solar panels that cover a section of the RV spaces.  We didn't stay under the cover, as the sun felt good on the cool fall days.

We stayed in a premium site which had a paved patio and grass, and was surrounded by a 3' hedge that gave Heidi the pooch a natural barrier to patrol. We paid $60.95 a night for a 50 amp FHU site. The pool and hot tub are good size and well maintained, and they have a huge well appointed gym. For the 3 days there I used all the amenities as often as possible.  I will be back to this park. 

Fort Beale RV park, 300 Metcalfe RD, Kingman, AZ 86401 was our next over night stop. Gravel and sand sites are mostly pull through's.  They are long and flat, great if you don't want to unhook the towed. A very clean well maintained park, and the road noise from the freeway was minimal. We paid $33.68 for a 50 amp FHU site.  Good over nighter.

Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort, 8175 Arville Street, Las Vegas, NV 89139.
We have stayed here before also, this is a Class A only resort, and I believe that there is a minimum length, but I am not sure of what it is so call and find out if you are not sure. There are owner “built out” sites, and “standard” sites with just pavement and some grass. We like the unimproved sites as it gives us a lot more room to spread out.  On the improved sites, many of the owners have some of the amenities covered or locked so they are not accessible to use, so why pay the extra for them. 

The location of the park is good, far enough off of the strip to not have too heavy traffic, but close enough to allow easy access to entertainment and shopping. We stayed on a week rate, plus 2 extra days. It averaged out to $73.55 a night. It is not much more than a premium site at the Oasis RV park which is the opposite side of I-15 on Blue Diamond Road.  For the different rate you get a gated, guarded community, a large club house with gym and custom showers.  There is also 4 different pools with hot tubs in the park, so getting to one is never very far away.  If I were only staying a day or two, the Oasis would be perfectly acceptable, but for a longer stay the extras are nice. We met friends here for Thanksgiving, so for places to dine there were many choices to pick from.
 
The last stop of this adventure was to go back to the mountains and have a family reunion of sorts for our oldest son's birthday. And that also meant getting to see the grand kids! The only choice we had due to the time of year was Big Bear Shores RV Resort, 40751 North Shore Road, Fawnskin,  Ca 92333. This was our first time here, and hopefully the last.  This is another of the owner occupied RV sites, and some are put into the rental pool.   They are in various stages of development, and have different amenities on each site as well.

At the time of year we stayed 11/29 to 12/6, the place was nearly deserted. There was only us and one other renter there most of the stay. The rates are still way expensive for what you get, we stayed in a lake front site (even though the water level was extremely low).  The drought and lack of snowfall has hit the area pretty hard.  We paid $125 a night, which was way excessive, in my opinion. Even though we made our reservations weeks before, when we arrived we almost didn't get in. It is gated, and fortunately we got the maintenance guy about 15 minutes before he was due to leave for the night. There was no paper work for us, and no one had prepared for our arrival.  He would later tell us that the owners are going through a divorce, and the couple is fighting about the park.  No one is paying any attention to the day to day business.  If we didn't already have significant plans to see family for several days, we would have left and drove home. 

The clubhouse was closed, and the gym equipment was out of order, the pool and hot tub were out of order, and little had been done to clear the roads of snow. But they still want to sell you a lake front lot for $399,000.  Sure, don't hold your breath waiting for my check...

Normally when we stay in Big Bear we stay as the Forest Service campground, Serrano, which is across the street from this park.  And the rates at Serrano are about $30 a night.  But Serrano is not open year round any more, so we had no choice.

THE WRAP UP

After the family visit we headed home. We left on this adventure on April 1st, and returned back home on December 6th.  It was a great trip, and we stayed in 51 different campgrounds.  We covered 10,006 miles from start to finish.  We went coast to coast, and seen some new sights, revisited some previously visited places, and met up with several RV Forum members along the way. 

There were some bumps along the way, various minor repairs, and just the day to day experiences that make the Rving life so much fun and rewarding.  We have been back at the stick and brick for about 3 weeks, and the holidays are in full swing.  I have already had to jump in and handle several maintenance repairs on the the house, and even some of the vehicles that sat quietly in the garage while we were gone.  So either on the road, or at the homestead, there are chores to keep me busy.

And yes, Diane has already started planning the 2017 travel season and making reservations.  Not even a month at home and we are already looking forward to the next trip.  But for now we are happy to make contact with all the friends and family we haven't had a chance to sit down with for a while. And I am sure that I will come up with another project to tackle here at the house.  But getting the RV ready to roll is always in the back of my mind.........
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: WILDEBILL308 on January 01, 2017, 10:43:56 AM
Glad you had a great trip. Happy New Year.
Bill
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: garyb1st on January 01, 2017, 11:30:49 AM
I have already had to jump in and handle several maintenance repairs on the the house, and even some of the vehicles that sat quietly in the garage while we were gone.  So either on the road, or at the homestead, there are chores to keep me busy.

And yes, Diane has already started planning the 2017 travel season and making reservations.  Not even a month at home and we are already looking forward to the next trip.  But for now we are happy to make contact with all the friends and family we haven't had a chance to sit down with for a while. And I am sure that I will come up with another project to tackle here at the house.  But getting the RV ready to roll is always in the back of my mind.........
 


Stick built maintenance, the down side of home ownership for extended travel RVers.   As much as I enjoy having the house, it's difficult getting back into the home ownership swing of things.  Especially when I'm constantly thinking about an RV upgrade and when we'll be back on the road and not doing the things that need to be done.  Like painting, and weed pulling, and putting new carpet in the motorhome.  It's a difficult balance.   ;) 
Title: Re: The Maine and Eastern Seaboard Trip, Just the Facts, Maam!
Post by: SargeW on January 01, 2017, 01:54:30 PM
Glad you had a great trip. Happy New Year.
Bill
Thanks Bill, you too.

 
Stick built maintenance, the down side of home ownership for extended travel RVers.  ;) ]
 
I totally agree Gary. As soon as I start getting within 100 miles of home, my mind starts drifting to all the projects there waiting for me.  Being a fulltimer for a few years was really nice in that regard.  Nothing to worry about except what you had with you.