MO/OK halfway point (IL to TX)

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scottydl

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As the snow falls and ice accumulates today, there's no better time to start talking about Spring camping! Right?  :eek:  ;)

We're planning an Illinois-to-Texas RV trip to visit family in late March, and looking for a halfway stopping/camping point. Springfield, MO and Joplin, MO have both been mentioned... also a place or two in northern Oklahoma. Anyone have specific suggestion in those places, along I-44? We don't need anything fancy for a 1-night stopover, but also want to avoid something trashy. (I considered a Walmart or Cracker Barrel parking lot, but the stop will be a little longer than that and with a family of 5 it's nice to have hookups available.)

Our destination is northern Dallas area, and we're are looking at Anna Country RV Ranch for proximity to family and positive reviews online. I have a Texas Campgrounds camping guide on the way (snail mail) that includes a "TACO" card worth a 10% discount at some camping spots, including Anna.
 

Old_Crow

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I travel back and forth from Cali to Arkansas a lot.  I also tend to stay on roads other than I-40.  My two favorite spots in OK are Keystone Lake, near Tulsa. and if forced to be on I40, either Lake Eufala, or a nice little park I found  in OKC called Roadrunner RV park.
In TX I like Lake Meridith state park northeast of Amarillo.
All of those except Lake Meridith have hookups available.
 

Isaac-1

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I can't help with any place directly on your route, but I just wanted to say that many small towns have low cost public RV parks, I stayed at a few of them while passing through Kansas on the back highways and saw signs for several others 3-4 years ago.  One of these was not too far off your route in Parsons, Kansas, it was an small loop of less than a dozen mostly back in RV sites in a public park by the baseball field, self pay kiosk I think $10-$15 per night with water and 20 amp electric.  I don't remember too much about it other than a wasp nest in the electrical post, and somewhat loud long term neighbors across the way even though the place had a 14 day limit, several people looked like they had been there for months.  Out of 3 such campgrounds I used across Kansas this was the only one with such a problem, it was also the most ran down, though probably the most scenic being on a camping loop with trees in a park vs a parking lot behind a community center, it was also the only one with 20 amp electrical, the others had 30-50 amp.
 

Molaker

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There's not much right at Springfield. There is a KOA a short distance off I-44 that looks okay. We spent 1 night there where we had to evacuate the block due to a "suspicious package" left on a neighbor's porch. Other than that, you have to get further off the main roads and more down toward Branson. There is a nice rest stop on I-44 at Conway, Mo. It is well maintained and has RV spaces as well as big rig spaces.
 

scottydl

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Isaac-1 said:
I can't help with any place directly on your route, but I just wanted to say that many small towns have low cost public RV parks, I stayed at a few of them while passing through Kansas on the back highways and saw signs for several others 3-4 years ago.

Good reminder and I'll definitely look more into this option, as it would fit our needs fine for a stopover. Joplin, MO has a town park with camping but after some online digging I found it only has tent sites.

Molaker said:
There is a nice rest stop on I-44 at Conway, Mo. It is well maintained and has RV spaces as well as big rig spaces.

Also could be a good idea based on your description. Any idea if the RV spaces offer any power hookup? I'll see what I can find online. The rest areas in IL aren't exactly places where I'd want to spend the night with my family, and I'm not too familiar with what other states have to offer.
 

Molaker

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scottydl said:
Good reminder and I'll definitely look more into this option, as it would fit our needs fine for a stopover. Joplin, MO has a town park with camping but after some online digging I found it only has tent sites.

Also could be a good idea based on your description. Any idea if the RV spaces offer any power hookup? I'll see what I can find online. The rest areas in IL aren't exactly places where I'd want to spend the night with my family, and I'm not too familiar with what other states have to offer.
I'm pretty sure there are no hookups at the rest stop. However, it is a very nice recently revamped rest stop. It has the old Route 66 motif and is well done. Being out away from heavily populated communities makes it a fairly quiet and safe stop - except for truck noises, of course. At least that's my recollection of the place from a couple of years back.
 

LarsMac

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Coachlight RV Park, just east of Joplin is pretty nice. Just north of the I-44 I-49 intersection.
They have an older section with lot's of shade, and a newer section without much shade.
Definitely a step up from Cracker Barrel
 

Lou Schneider

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Quapaw Casino is SW of Joplin at Miami, OK.  It's a small casino with 8 widely spaced pull through water and electric sites on the edge of their parking lot.  Take Exit 313 from I-44 and go about 4 miles north, then right on E 64 Rd. to the casino.  Free for 3 nights, then $10 a night after that.  I stayed there a few years ago and it's a nice, quiet overnight spot.

Coordinates are 36.921009, -94.835709  Click on this for a satellite view, then zoom out to see the route from I-44 Exit 313.
 

scottydl

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My kids are too young to enter the casino, soooo... ;) I'll have to see if they have a reservation system or if it's first come, first serve.

I checked Recreation.gov hoping for a nearby Army Corps of Engineers park,  and there's a few around Branson, MO but that would be too far to detour.
 

camperAL

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Hi Scottydl,

One place we have stayed in northern Oklahoma is at Big Cabin.  Cabin RV Park (exit 283) S. on US 69 and has ten places to pull through. The nice thing about the stop is there is fuel before you get to the RV campground. There is also a diesel repair shop that is located where the campground is. It is an overnight stop, nicely groomed campsites, with full hookups.

In Sullivan, MO. (exit 225) Gas Stop on way in, is a automated campground called RV Self Park. While a clean set up that has pass port America discount, for a new RV park the sites I have parked at were very un-level. if you can get over that not a bad place to stay. Oh one other thing with that park, they have about a billion candle power of lights so it stays daylight all night long. Might be a good stop on the way back.

Saint James, Mo. has some nice parks just a bit off the interstate. You have to go through town to get to the parks. They have a pretty good winery there. Safe Trip and have fun.
 

scottydl

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Great info everyone, thanks! This year probably won't our only time making this trip, so all these options are good to have handy.

Anyone know/remember what the I-44 tolls are like through Missouri and Oklahoma? Or maybe it's after breaking off to Rt. 69 from Oklahoma into Texas. Google Maps says "this route has tolls" but I don't know the details. Unfortunately my Illinois I-Pass (on the EZPass system) is not compatible with toll systems in any of those states.
 

RRR

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https://www.whatshalfway.com/ Plug your start and stop points into it then search the closest campground on https://www.campgroundreviews.com/
 

Molaker

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scottydl said:
Great info everyone, thanks! This year probably won't our only time making this trip, so all these options are good to have handy.

Anyone know/remember what the I-44 tolls are like through Missouri and Oklahoma? Or maybe it's after breaking off to Rt. 69 from Oklahoma into Texas. Google Maps says "this route has tolls" but I don't know the details. Unfortunately my Illinois I-Pass (on the EZPass system) is not compatible with toll systems in any of those states.
No tolls in Missouri on I-44.
 

LarsMac

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scottydl said:
Great info everyone, thanks! This year probably won't our only time making this trip, so all these options are good to have handy.

Anyone know/remember what the I-44 tolls are like through Missouri and Oklahoma? Or maybe it's after breaking off to Rt. 69 from Oklahoma into Texas. Google Maps says "this route has tolls" but I don't know the details. Unfortunately my Illinois I-Pass (on the EZPass system) is not compatible with toll systems in any of those states.

Oklahoma toll starts almost when you hit the State Line on I-44.
https://turnpikeinfo.com/maps-and-exits.php?state=oklahoma
 

Larry N.

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LarsMac said:
Oklahoma toll starts almost when you hit the State Line on I-44.
https://turnpikeinfo.com/maps-and-exits.php?state=oklahoma
Thank goodness I don't live in Albuquerque any more. Back then we used I-44 between Tulsa and St. Louis frequently when headed to Illinois or points east. Wonder when they started the tolls.
 

WILDEBILL308

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Scott, where are you leaving from? I have stayed at the Casino Queen RV Park, 200 Front St, East St Louis, IL 62201, https://www.casinoqueen.com/stlouis/rv-park/
Another place along the way Downstream Casino Resort, 69300 E Nee Rd, Quapaw, OK 74363.https://downstreamcasino.com/
If you want to save some time/distance when you get to Tulsa take 75/64 south look at the map and see what you think. It will take you closer  to the area you want in Anna. What part of the north Dallas area are you visiting? Anna is a ways out North of town.
I live over West of the big airport in North Richland Hills, I might know a deferent place closer in.

Larry, They have had tolls on I-44 between Tulsa and OKC since it was built. It is called the Turner Turnpike. It has been open since 1953. The Will Rogers has been open since 1957. So when were you driving I-44 that there were no tolls?
Bill
 

Larry N.

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Larry, They have had tolls on I-44 between Tulsa and OKC since it was built. It is called the Turner Turnpike. It has been open since 1953. The Will Rogers has been open since 1957. So when were you driving I-44 that there were no tolls?
This was in the 1970s, Bill, and I sure don't recall any tolls, though I do remember the Kansas Turnpike tolls, from both earlier and later. Could my memory be that faulty? (Well, possibly...  ::) :D )
 

Molaker

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Larry N. said:
This was in the 1970s, Bill, and I sure don't recall any tolls, though I do remember the Kansas Turnpike tolls, from both earlier and later. Could my memory be that faulty? (Well, possibly...  ::) :D )
And, they're still trying to find you.
 

scottydl

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WILDEBILL308 said:
Scott, where are you leaving from? I have stayed at the Casino Queen RV Park, 200 Front St, East St Louis, IL 62201, https://www.casinoqueen.com/stlouis/rv-park/
Another place along the way Downstream Casino Resort, 69300 E Nee Rd, Quapaw, OK 74363.https://downstreamcasino.com/
If you want to save some time/distance when you get to Tulsa take 75/64 south look at the map and see what you think. It will take you closer  to the area you want in Anna. What part of the north Dallas area are you visiting? Anna is a ways out North of town.

We're leaving from the middle of Illinois, so Casino Queen in St. Louis is only 2-3 hours into the drive. Downstream Casino RV park in Quapaw looks like a good backup plan if Quapaw Casino in Miami doesn't work out. They're only about 10 miles apart. Anna, TX is our final destination, which is what led me to Anna Country RV Ranch about 5 minutes away. There look to be some other nice parks in the general area, but I'd rather not have to drive 25-30 minutes every morning and evening to/from family visits.
 
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