2021 edition of "Just the facts Ma'am"!

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
Robidoux RV Park
Gering, NE​

This was a short layover stop after we left Estes Park, CO in route to Custer State park, in Custer, SD. Gering is a small town in NB and was just about half way between our two destination parks. I really didn't expect much honestly as the park is city owned and operated, and doesn't have much in the way of amenities.
P1150432.JPG
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the park while fairly small, 49 sites and 10 overflow sites, was in wonderful condition. All the roads in the park are paved and the RV pads are cement, and each has a small concrete patio. There is spacious room between the sites, and lush green grass surrounds all of the sites. The grass is neatly trimmed and each site also has healthy well maintained plants surrounding the patio.
P1150430.JPG
We paid just under $30 a night for our 50 amp FHU site. Site #8 was a spacious pull through end site. The only hitch was the turn getting into the site. The two roads on either side of the site are at a 90 degree angle but the spaces are at a 45 degree angle, so we unhooked the Jeep to make the tight turn into the site. It wasn't a big deal though as we planned on disconnecting the Jeep to do some shopping the next day. Without the Jeep attached I turned hard into the site, but had to back up once to have enough room to navigate the turn. Exiting the site with the Jeep hooked up was not an issue.
P1150435.JPG
There is not a lot of extra amenities at the park, in the way of a pool or hot tub, but there is a half court basketball area and a playground set for the kids. There is a bath and shower house, but I didn't get the chance to inspect them. This park is right next to a city owned Amphitheater with a large gravel parking lot that I am sure see's a lot of use throughout the year. It is also in great condition and looked ready to host an event at any time.
P1150436.JPG
Our on board Wifi worked well here, and video streaming was not a problem. The park does not offer Wifi or cable. There is no fenced dog run, but with so much grass walking Heidi was a breeze.

Interestingly the little town isn't just a flat spot in the corn fields either. The town is surrounded by hills and sandstone bluffs and peaks. In fact a local attraction is within a few miles of the RV park. Scotts Bluff National Monument is a few miles from the park and entry into the park is free. It stands as a 500' tall monument that the early settlers and trappers used as a guide to find their way across what was otherwise a relatively flat surrounding landscape, and worth the time to stop for an hour or so to visit.
Scottsbluff Nebraska.JPG
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
Custer State Park
Custer, SD​

We stayed at two different campgrounds within the park, 2 days at each one. Not because we wanted to, just because the days we wanted were not available at just one campground. There are nine different campgrounds available within the park. The two we stayed in were Game Lodge, site E6 and Grace Coolidge, site 8E. The E in the site indicates an electric site. The sites have 50 amp electric, but no water or sewer at the sites. The Game Lodge campground is 57 sites, and has a dump station with water, but it is located in a back loop of the campground which also has camping sites all around the loop. If the sites are occupied getting around the loop can be tight. We didn't hook up the towed car until after exiting the loop. We did find that the potable water hose connection had worn out threads so hooking up to get fresh water at this location wasn't possible for us. There is a secondary dump station which is much larger and easier to access just up the road from the Game Lodge campground. Right turn out of the campground to Airport Road, and up the hill about 100 yards to 2 dump stations and potable water.
GameLodge2.JPG
The campground sites themselves looked identical in both campgrounds. Paved roads with narrow paved sites. The patio areas are grass. The sites also had picnic tables and fire rings. In Game Lodge campground I was able to get sufficient T-Mobile signal but needed to extend the outside antenna. There is no wifi offered by the Park. There were no over the air TV channels available, but the cell signal was strong enough to stream off our Fire Stick. The sites are mixed together with RV and tents sites, and can be next to each other. The campground still allows wood fires, so getting smoked out by a smoldering campfire is not unusual. It rained daily, sometimes a little, sometimes thunder and lightening storms.
Game Lodge Handicapped site.JPG
Grace Coolidge campground is only 2 miles away from Game Lodge, but had no signal of any kind on T-Mobile or Verizon. There was no dump station or potable water available in this loop. This loop is also heavier shaded with more trees and taller cliff faces so there can be less breeze to cool you off.
P1150461.JPG
Both campgrounds had restrooms and showers available, and were handicapped accessible. We paid $30 plus tax per night, plus there was a $20 entry fee to enter the park that was good for 7 days. This was on top of the campground fees. There were many cool sights to see and drives to take within the park, so I wasn't too bothered by the entry fee. The tent only sites (no electric) are $15 a night, and Camping Cabins are $55 a night.

There is an actual Game Lodge building right by the campground that we had dinner at one night. Dinner was good, and the lodge picturesque. They also have facilities for events, we saw two different weddings take place during our stay. The park has many recreational activities available, boating, swimming, hiking, and biking among others. 4 group camping areas are also available.
20210716_130557.jpg
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
8,085
Location
Westminster, Colorado
We did find that the potable water hose connection had worn out threads so hooking up to get fresh water at this location wasn't possible for us.
This might help in some cases, Marty:
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
Yep, I have a water thief and it's OK if I don't need a lot of water, but I would have been filling 90 gallons of fresh and gripping onto the water thief for that long would be tough.
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort
Spearfish, SD​

We had stayed at this campground about 5 years ago when it was still pretty new. At that time the entire park only had about 6 sites occupied, including us. And that was out of over 200 sites. Things had changed a lot this time as the park was near full every day. We had shortened a previous stay in a prior campground and wound up here for 2 extra days. So we spent two nights in a pull through site, #37 and paid $67 a night for that spot. Then we moved to a back in site at the other side of the park, #290 and paid $57 a night. Both sites were FHU 50 amp with a concrete pad and a small concrete patio. The pull through site was plenty long for the RV and Jeep, either front or back. Both sites also had a spacious grass area as well between you and the next rig. One difference in the sites was that the location of the patio was more to the rear of the site. On the pull through we could adjust the position of the rig to step out onto the patio. The back in sites however placed the patio's towards the back as well, so they were set up more for a TT or 5th Wheel. That put or door in the grass, and that meant stepping out into the grass or mud when it rained. I wound up putting out a piece of AstroTurf grass by the door to cut down the mess inside the rig. The sites also had picnic tables.
P1150543.JPG
The water pressure on the north side of the park where the higher numbers were was quite low, so we filled the fresh water tank to supplement the low pressure. One issue that was prevalent all around the park was the road noise from the nearby Interstate and highway that runs in front of the park. There is a large pool area with several game courts available in the center office area. There is north and a south shower house with 6 bathroom/shower rooms in each one. They each had a handicapped accessible stall as well.
P1150551.JPG
P1150548.JPG



Wifi was a bit dicey here, at least for us. This is an AT&T home area, so our T-Mobile and Verizon devices were marginal. Free wifi was offered that worked OK for checking email and such, but for streaming you need to upgrade to a paid plan. You could buy just one day, 3 days, a week or a month. A week was about $12 and the speeds were about 10-12 Mbs download and 1-2 upload. We purchased the 3 day plan for $5 so we could stream in the evenings. It is important to note that the plan only covers ONE device. 2 extra devices could be added for $2 each. Even the paid plan the network would slow down in times of congestion. We were able to use our on board systems either late at night or early in the AM. There is also a large fenced dog park in the back that is divided into a large and small dog side. And if you don't RV, there are cabins and tents for rent as well.
P1150549.JPG
There is a golf course near by owned by the same company as the RV park, and a large area was being prepped for a large housing development. Spearfish is about a 15 minute drive to stores and restaurants. The park is also conveniently located to a short drive to other tourist locations like Deadwood, Belle Fourche, and the Black Hills scenic drives.
P1150546.JPG
There were a few downsides at the park. One for us was the golf carts that were always used in the park brought by guests. They were often driven by pre-teens with or without a responsible adult with them. No oversight was provided by RV park personnel. The other was there seemed to be a significant issue with black biting flies. I don't know if it was just the time of year, or just common for the area.
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
The Longhorn Ranch Lodge and RV resort
Dubois, WY​

As the name would suggest, this location is not just a RV park. As you will note driving in, there are two rows of “Lodge Rooms” that look a lot like a line of motel rooms in the front of the property with the RV sites to the rear and along the Wind River that flows next to the park. We had a FHU back in river front site. Many mature shade trees are all around the park which provided good afternoon shade. The roads are paved but the sites are gravel and the patio area is wood chips. There is a grass area in back of the rigs along the river that is about 50' wide. The river flows pretty quickly, so swimming may be a bit dicey. I did see several anglers trying their luck along the banks of the river for trout, but never saw anyone catch anything. We paid $55 a night for our site, but there are a variety of other sites like “big rig” sites and back in's and some pull in sites. There are also tent sites spread around the park as well.
P1150587.JPG
Our site, #44 was a spacious site with a lot of room all around the coach. US Route 26 runs in front of the park, but road noise was not an issue. There are restrooms and showers available and are handicapped accessible. They are clean, but not extravagant. The park offers Wifi but not cable. A list of the over the air stations is printed on the back of the park map, but our OTA antenna only managed 4 channels.
P1150583_LI.jpg
I used our on board Wifi, and Verizon had a stronger signal than did T-Mobile. My Verizon plan through FMCA is a 25 gig plan for $50 a month, but half way through the 6 day stay we hit the Verizon wall hard, and the signal was throttled to about .5 mps which is about fast enough to check email. I switched back to T-Mobile which still worked OK, but we would use the park Wifi to check email to avoid slow downs do to band width on T-Mobile.
P1150595.JPG
One unusual amenity available was stables and horse back riding on property, but we didn't take a ride. A fenced dog park was available, but due to long grass and shrubs in it we chose just to walk the dog around the park roads. Most of the rest of the park is well maintained, and the lawns and trees are trimmed regularly. The town of Dubois which is not a big town, is just about 3 miles from the park, and has shops, stores, and restaurants. This was a good stop on our way to Grand Teton National park.
P1150591.JPG
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
Colter Bay Village
Moran, WY​

Colter Bay RV park is the only campground in Grand Teton National Park that has full hook up sites available. There are other campgrounds available just outside the park that have electric service to the sites. This was our first time staying inside the park, and reservations for our site were made about 8 months ago. We were here 6 nights and the campground full sign was out every day. The campground has paved roads, but the sites and patio areas are mostly gravel. We paid $84 a night for our FHU site which was considerably sloped from back to front, and moderately shaded. There are restrooms available throughout the RV park, but I only saw restrooms, no showers available. The restrooms were clean but old, and were handicapped accessible. There are showers available in the laundry mat at the front of the park next to the camp store. They are pay showers, and are open from 8AM to 8PM. The camp store is large and well stocked, and the laundry mat is large and newer. The gas station also right in front of the park and had gas and diesel. It is usually pretty busy though as the next fuel station is about an hour in either direction.
P1150697.JPG
Our electric was 50 amp, but it did “glitch” a few times during our stay. We usually only knew by the microwave beeping when power was reestablished. It usually came back on within moments, but our Progressive Surge Guard would take about 2 minutes to allow current back to the rig. I thought is was just us at first until we were out walking the dog one day and walked past 4 rigs throughout the park that were running on their generators. I realized that the park power was likely dropping below 104 volts for an instant, and the rigs with surge guards were firing up the generators. Our gen never started as I have our Auto Generator Start set at 11.8 volts. Considering that the RV park was built in 1955, there is bound to be a few issues now and then.
P1150699.JPG
A drawback in this park is that cell signal about nil so most campers wind up going to the camp store area to use their free Wifi. There is no cable in the park and OTA signals are also non-existent. Even satellite would be dicey here do to the mature heavily treed sites. Good thing we had brought a supply of DVD's to watch movies most nights. We were lucky to be assigned a nice end pull through site in row C. This gave us a bit larger patio space and no one on our passenger side. It was just luck though as when you make your reservations you are granted a time slot, not a specific site. Sites are assigned by rig size and availability. There are no refunds on reservations.
P1150700.JPG
The sights in the park are amazing, and there is an amazing amount of stuff to see, places to hike, and small homesteads and towns to visit. We used the “Gypsy” audio program in the Jeep with a smart phone to provide facts and stories about the park and a site by site description of nearly every scenic spot available to visit. The narration is fantastic, and the information about the park and it's beginnings is remarkable.

Weather is always a mystery when up at these elevations even in August when you are so close to the mountains. Most of the days were beautiful in the mid 70's and sunny, but a weather system blew in and gave us thunder storms and rain for 2 days. It was lucky though, as the day we arrived we almost couldn't see the Tetons because smoke from various wild fires had blown in almost making them disappear. Two days later the rain came in and cleaned out all of the smoke and the vistas of the peaks was spectacular. We did have a lunch at the Jackson Lodge right by the park one day, but unfortunately they are still struggling with labor problems like many places in the country, and the meal was just fair.

This has not hurt business in the park though as the crowds in many of the popular trails, sight seeing locations, and scenic drives was heavy. But even with all of the various small issues, I highly recommend visiting the park, as long as you can make reservations in advance and plan accordingly.
P1150711.JPG
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park
West Yellowstone, MT​

We have stayed at Grizzly several times, and it's always an enjoyable place to stay. With about 300 sites they get a lot of business, and this time was no different. From previous stays we know that there are different levels of sites at different price points, depending on amenities you want. We chose a motorhome friendly site that was a pull through, had a cement patio, and a concrete strip that ran the full length of the site next to the gravel parking pad. That way no matter where your exit door wound up you would always step out onto a concrete walkway. But like everything else, the better the site, the more you pay for it. Our 50 amp FHU site was about $95 a night including taxes and fees. The site was spacious, had a nice manicured grass area and a mature tree that provided shade in the afternoons to sit outside and enjoy the weather.
P1150883_LI.jpg
There are several restrooms with showers throughout the park, and all are in good shape and handicapped accessible. One of the complaints we had read from previous reviewers was the lack of cell signal in the park. The park does offer free Wifi for basic internet use, but it is not guaranteed at every site. Our T-Mobile router worked well here though, and the newer 5G equipment worked best. I speed tested both the older router with the older 4G LTE bands, and the newer router that had both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz bands. As expected the newer bands were much faster and more reliable than the older router bands. A few different cell signal apps I use identified the main usage band as band 66. We were able to surf and stream easily, but there were periods of some buffering in times of heavy usage, like around dinner time. The pic below shows the differences in Wifi speeds with different equipment. The top line is our older 4G router with older bands. The next two lines are the new router with the new bands. The middle test is the 5Ghz band.
InkedWifi speed 1_LI.jpg
The park has a store on site, a pavilion for groups, and playground for kids. A pet walk area is all around the outside perimeter of the park, and is easily accessible through several openings in the fence.
P1150881.JPG

One feature I didn't get to work was the park cable. Apparently it didn't like my antenna booster system on the OTA antenna, and it interfered with the channel search. But we usually just streamed for our entertainment needs, so the loss of cable was not an issue.

A big benefit of this park is it location to the west gate entry of Yellowstone park. At just 4 blocks away you can be there in minutes, but that is all dependent on the amount of traffic waiting to get into the park. They usually had 4 entry stations open, and one being on the far right that is just for pass holders and prepaid entries. The other three lines were for passes or persons paying cash or buying passes for entry. The longest we waited in line to get in was about 10 minutes, as the park personnel do their best to keep the lines moving.

Once inside the park all bets were off as crowds at favorite geologic attractions could be packed, or even a sudden “animal jamb” could stall traffic for ½ to a full hour while spectators scrambled for views and pictures of various roaming wildlife.

The park is also very close to all of the West Yellowstone downtown area, and can be easily accessible by walking or bike. Although the crowds could be tough at times, I highly recommended putting Yellowstone park on your bucket list. Just leave lots of time as there is an amazing amount of stuff to see.

Diane's blog is also posted with tons of pics and info on our visit.
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
West Glacier KOA Resort
West Glacier, MT​

This was another stay at a highly desired location just outside the gate of a popular National park. And as expected, the rates reflect the popularity of the location. This is a very nicely equipped KOA and many of the amenities are well presented. First about the RV sites. The entire park is gravel, the roads and the RV pads. Some of the premium sites like we had, came with a large concrete patio complete with a dining table and 6 chairs, propane BBQ, and a wood burning fire pit with benches (no fires were allowed, wood or propane due to a burn ban). There was lush landscape all around the edge of the patio, and our site, #21 was an end site so we had no neighbors on the patio side and gave a feeling of privacy. The park is heavily treed with a variety of different mature trees so the views are wonderful. The view of the nearby Rocky Mountains is spectacular if it is not raining or smoky from fires in the area.
P1160057.JPG
P1160063.JPG
We paid $116 a night for our premium patio pull through site. The range for sites is about $80 to $120 a night. That includes a “resort” fee of about $10 a day plus taxes and fees. We are also KOA members so that price includes a KOA 10% discount. Some of the amenities at the park are 2 pools (one is an adult only pool that has 2 hot tubs next to it), a cafe, an ice cream shop, a small general store, laundry rooms and bath and shower rooms. At least one of the restroom facilities is handicapped accessible. There are rental cabins, and tent and group sites. A walking trail surrounds the park, and there are 2 fenced dog areas. This park is seasonal and is only open from May 1st to October 18th.
P1160059.JPG
P1160066.JPG
There is free Wifi offered by the park, and there is some cell signal from various carriers, but it can be spotty. I used a Verizon wireless plan for basic web browsing and personal needs. T-Mobile did have service as well, but my T-Mobile router did not have an antenna to help with the distant signal. I don't know if AT&T had service or not. The park Wifi worked OK, but did get slow with some drop outs in times of heavy usage.

At the time of this writing the park service required an additional pass to enter the park as a method of controlling the crowds. The “Going to the Sun” pass needed to be purchased in advance, and still didn't guarantee admittance to all areas of the park if they were at maximum capacity. The pass could be displayed on paper or by “Q code” on your cell phone. You still needed the appropriate park admission pass to enter as well.

There were several other RV parks in the area, but we didn't check their prices or availability. The small town of West Glacier is about 2 miles from the park and has some amenities, but for any real shopping we drove the 30 minutes to Columbia Falls for more store and restaurant choices.
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
Ravenwood RV Resort
Athol, ID​

This was our only stop in Idaho, and it was a bit unusual. The park itself is nice and well maintained. The staff is friendly and helpful, and there are some amenities like a pool, playground for the kids, volleyball and basketball court, and a good sized fenced dog park. The unusual part comes from what you won't find. The campground has 113 sites both back in and pull through. We were in loop “D” which are the FHU premium sites. They are site numbers 91 through 113. The other 90 sites in the other 3 loops are water and electric only. All of the RV pads are gravel, and there is one main road from the office to the end of D loop that is paved. All the rest of the roads in the park are gravel.
P1160070.JPG
P1160077.JPG
The unusual part is that there are no bathhouses or permanent restroom facilities available. At the end of each A, B, and C loop is a portapotty. There is also no laundry facilities in the park. I can only guess that their septic system is not big enough to handle running sewer to the rest of the campground. This also turned into a bit of a traffic jam when we were leaving the park as the dump station is located in a lane next to the exit road of the park. The day we were leaving our site the only way out was to drive up the paved road past the office. The road was lined with RV's of all kinds waiting in line to use the one and only dump station. Some in line just gave up and left rather than wait for the line to move.
P1160079.JPG

We were in site #102 and with taxes and fees paid about $60 a night. The site had a reasonable size space around the RV. However there is no designated patio space and since we are not fans of sitting in grass, we threw a small rug by the front door of the rig, just big enough to put a couple of chairs. One other irritation was the constant presence of wasps. Sitting outside in the afternoon was a challenge as the wasps could be aggressive, and we were chased inside more that once to avoid getting stung. A few campers that were bar-b-queuing looked like they were dancing, in reality they were just swinging at wasps.
P1160068.JPG
The outside area was lush grass and lots of trees. The park is right off of highway 95 though, so traffic noise is always present. The park is located about 2 miles from Silverwood Amusement park, which incidentally has it's own RV park, but always looked pretty full. One nice feature was that directly across the street from the park is a brand new bike/walking path that you can take to the amusement park if you wanted.
P1160071.JPG
The park offered free Wifi, but our T-Mobile 5G router worked well here, and streaming was easy. The park was an easy drive to Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint, but there are some trade offs to stay here.

Diane also just updated her blog with pics and info on Glacier NP
 

uchu

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Posts
193
Location
Ontario, Canada
One other irritation was the constant presence of wasps. Sitting outside in the afternoon was a challenge as the wasps could be aggressive, and we were chased inside more that once to avoid getting stung. A few campers that were bar-b-queuing looked like they were dancing, in reality they were just swinging at wasps.
This.

I guess it's happening everywhere. This year, wasp activity has been off the charts. Pretty much all the sites we went to (Ontario and Quebec) were wasp packed. Luckily, they haven't been more aggressive than usual, but more numerous, for sure.

Even when returning home, unpacking can be challenging because they come down to feast on all the dead bug casualties from the road.

Thank you for the informative blog, BTW. Cheers.
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,155
Location
Where ever we park it!
Thanks for the heads up. Nice to know it just wasn't where we were at. Usually one of my set up duties is to clean the front of the rig to cut down on the feasting on dead carcasses.
 
Top Bottom