Tag Archives: campground

Azalea Acres RV Park

Address: 27450 Glass Road, Robertsdale, AL 36567
Telephone: 251-947-9530

Dates Stayed: 05/12/2017 – 05/13/2017 (1 night)

Rate: $36.38 per night (The do offer discounts for Good Sam, etc.)

Rating:

Location

Sweet Home Alabama

The second stop on our cross country trip, this park is located off of I10 in Robertsdale, Alabama. Our navigation system had no idea to get us here, so I had to call to confirm what I saw on the map. The roads leading to the campground are barely one lane each way, so it was kind of stressful making turns and having another car passing on the opposite side.

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Check-In

Office, clubhouse, laundry, and bath.

Checking in was a pretty quick. We were escorted to our site by someone with a golf cart. Amber drove this leg of our trip, she drove to the campsite, leveled and got the slides out while I went to the office with our escort. After checking-in, walked back to the campsite and got the shore cord and water connected before the rain poured down.

Camp Site

Campsite #3

The park is clean with 50 amp, water and sewer, everything we needed. We arrived during a rain storm, so the absence of any shade did not bother us. But in the summer I can imagine it gets HOT. They have planted trees which will make things much better in the coming years. We had a site with a concrete pad, but we saw other RVs on grass sites. With the rain, the ground was pretty saturated, so we were glad not to be sinking in the mud.

WiFi & Cellular

I worked on the ride to the campground, but I did have to finish work after we arrived. The WiFi was nonexistent when we arrived. I am working on this post on the WiFi and it’s actually working well. But it cur out again, so I had to finish this post using my AT&T hotspot.

Facilities

This is not a resort, but it does have the basics any camper needs. It has a clubhouse, laundry, and bath services.

Conclusion

We would probably stay here again. It’s a clean park, but the WiFi is a problem if we need internet.

Tallahassee RV Park

Address: 6504 Mahan Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32308
Telephone: 850-878-7641

Dates Stayed: 05/11/2017 – 05/12/2017

Rate: $45.00 per night ($50 – $5 discount for various memberships)

Rating:

Location

The first stop on our cross country trip, this park is conveniently located right off of I10 in Tallahassee, Florida.

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Check-In

The Office

Checking in was a pretty quick. Amber pulled Irving in front of the office while I checked in. I was in and out in about 5 minutes. Since Amber drove this leg of our trip, she drove to the campsite. The roads are a bit narrow, which we are finding in the norm with campgrounds for some reason.

Camp Site

Campsite #48

The park is very well kept and it is managed by a very friendly couple who Christopher and I talked to about our trip. Our campsite was very shady, with tall trees. There are no concrete pads, just hard ground with gravel. With that said, our automatic leveling jacks were able to level our coach on the second attempt.

The services included at the site are 30/50amp electric, fresh water (1 spigot with splitter), dump and cable TV with a wide range of channels.

WiFi & Cellular

I worked on the ride up to the campground, but I did have to finish work after we arrived. The WiFi is very good and plenty fast. I am working on this post on the WiFi and uploads pictures is a breeze. The woman that checked us in mentioned that they had just upgraded to fiber optic internet service and it shows.

Facilities

This is not a resort, but it does have the basics any camper needs.

Community Room
Laundry
Shower and Bathroom

Conclusion

We would definitely stay here again. It’s a clean park with cable TV and great WiFi.

Fort DeSoto Park Campground

Address: 23500 Pinellas Bayway, South Tierra Verde, Fl, 33715
Telephone: 1-727-582-2267

Dates Stayed: 12/27/2016 – 12/29/2016

Rate: $41.81 per night (including taxes and fees)

Location

This campground sits within beautiful Ft. DeSoto Park, a Pinellas County park. We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and, as expected, there wasn’t much traffic, so we got to the campground pretty quickly, which is right off the main road running into the park.

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Check-In

Since we do not currently tow our car, Amber and Christopher followed in our car while I drove Irving the 30 miles to the campground. Checking in was a pretty quick. I pulled Irving in front of the office while Amber and Christopher checked in. They were in and out in about 10 minutes. Amber drove the car to the campsite while I navigated to it, but finding my way to the campsite was a hair raising experience. The map was a little confusing and I ended up driving our 36.5 ft. motorhome to the south end of the campground, which is for vans, pop-ups, and tent camping only…no RVs permitted. I could not believe that I made it through that end of the park since the roads were extremely narrow, but I finally made it to the north end of the campground and our campsite.

Camp Site

Our Campsite

The site is back in and with the incredibly narrow roads, it was pretty difficult to get in the camp site. The camp site (223) is very level gravel and our automatic leveling jacks had no problem leveling quickly.

The services included at the site are 30/50amp electric and fresh water (1 spigot). For dumping, there is a dump station, but no sewer connections at the campsite. There is no cable TV, so you will have to rely on what you pick up from your over the air (OTA) antenna, if you have one. The county parks we have researched in Florida are pretty much no frills and this was no different. It is all about getting away here.

There is a picnic table and a grill at the campsite. We brought charcoal so we could cook hot dogs and s’mores and it was great to have the heat of the fire since the nights were cool while we were there. There was not a lot of light pollution and we could see the stars very well.

Our site backed up to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico behind our campsite
Horseshoe crabs are abundant

WiFi & Cellular

I was on vacation during the Christmas holidays, so I didn’t need to work during this trip. There is no public WiFi in Ft. DeSoto, so your only option is cellular. We have AT&T cell service and we could get a signal, but it wasn’t very strong. This is definitely a good place to get away from technology and spend time with nature. If you absolutely need WiFi, there are plenty of businesses outside the park, close by to poach from.

Facilities

Ft. DeSoto has beaches, kayaking and canoeing, bike trails, a historic fort and much more. There is more to see in the Tampa Bay area, but this campground could be a destination in itself. We were told a few times that this park was amazing for camping and it was true. If you’ve never been to Ft. DeSoto, it is an absolutely must camping destination.

There are buildings that we assumed were shower and bathroom facilities, but we didn’t use them this trip. We can’t comment on their cleanliness.

Conclusion

We very much enjoyed our stay at Ft. DeSoto Campground. Our campsite was tucked among mangroves and palm trees and great views of the Gulf of Mexico. It is very close to home and we would definitely stay there again.

Stage Coach RV Park

Address: 2711 County Road 208 Saint Augustine, FL 32092
Telephone: +1 (904) 824-2319

Dates Stayed: 09/21/2016 – 09/25/2016

Rate: $46 per night (10% discount for AAA & Good Sam)

Rating:

Location

This campground is just over 1/2 mile from I95 exit 318. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and there wasn’t much traffic, so we go from the exit to the campground pretty quickly. As the week progressed into the weekend, the intersection where CR208 meets SR16 meets got very busy, so plan your route well. With tall trees and lots of shade, this is the kind of campground we envisioned staying at.

Stagecoach RV Park
Stagecoach RV Park

Check-In

Checking in was a pretty quick. We stopped just past the front door of the office and got out. Christopher and I went into the office and told the woman we were checking in. She knew who I was and had a packet of information ready for us. She asked if were towing a vehicle and I said no, so we didn’t need the mirror tag for a vehicle. We given directions to our camp site (straight ahead) and off we went.

Camp Site

Campsite #40
Campsite #40

The site is pull through, so we were parked and lined up in a couple of minutes. The camp site (40) is a very level gravel and our automatic leveling jacks had no problem leveling quickly.

The services included at the site are 30/50amp electric, fresh water (1 spigot), cable TV and sewer. We attached a splitter to the water spigot to make it easier to clean our black tanks when we left. There is cable television at this site and when we scanned for channels, we were able to receive a handful of local stations and some cable stations. Not a huge selection, but enough to make some TV before bed a decent experience.

Patio with Picnic Table
Patio with Picnic Table

There is a picnic table at the campsite. No grill, unfortunately, but we are looking for a portable grill to bring on our trips to allow us to grill outside anywhere. No big deal.

WiFi & Cellular

We arrived just after I finished work for the day, so I didn’t need WiFi for the rest of the day. The WiFi was very strong and relatively fast. I had to work the entire day the next day and there were several disconnects, but it was reliable enough for me to work. As with any WiFi, the more people who are on it, the slower it gets and this is no exception. I noticed the WiFi degrade as the weekend approached, but I did not have to use cell service at any time during the trip. It’s a win when I don’t have to use cellular data to work!

Facilities

This campground is no resort. There is no pool, a few swings and a basketball court, that’s it. If you are brining kids and like a campground to have lots of amenities to take advantage of, this may not be the place for you.

Right before leaving and after cleaning our black tanks, I used the bath facilities to shower before checking out. It was very clean and well kept with toilets and showers.

Conclusion

Our 2016 Winnabego Vista LX at Stagecoach RV Park

We very much enjoyed our stay at Stagecoach. Our campsite was pull though, large with plenty of space between neighbors. We would definitely stay there again when we want to visit St. Augustine.

If you want to see the sights of St. Augustine in a campground that is about 7 miles to downtown, this is the place for you. We do not tow a car right now, so we relied on the trolly sightseeing tour to pick us up at the campground and bring us to the trolley depot to pick up the sightseeing tour. It was good for getting around, but when the weekend came, it got very busy and took ages to get from one place to another. We also used Uber for direct transportation to sights.

There are other campgrounds that will offer more amenities, like a pool and activities for the kids. If that’s what you need, Stagecoach is not the place for you.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground

Address: 3520 North Fort Wilderness Trail, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Dates Stayed: 08/25/2016 – 08/28/2016

Rate (Premium, Florida Resident): Thursday $70.50, Friday $70.50, Saturday $86, Average: $75.67

Location

Entrance To Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground
Entrance To Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground

This campground is on Disney property in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. To get there we went through the far right lane of the toll booth at the Magic Kingdom and then an immediate right onto the service road that led to the campground. If you haven’t been to Disney World, it is an enormous chunk of land with mature trees and lots of greenery. The campground is no exception, with tall trees and lots of grass. When we think about camping, this is the landscape we think of.

Check-In

Check-in Station. We didn't have to get out of our coach.
Check-in Station. We didn’t have to get out of our coach.

Checking in was a breeze. The first stop is a guard shack to present photo ID and then on to the chck-in station. We didn’t have to get out of our coach to check-in, all Amber had to do was open the driver’s side window. The Disney cast members requested that we turn off our engine, if we could, which we happily did. However, our generator was running to keep the coach’s house cool during the drive, which we kept on through check-in. We were handed a map and given directions to our camp site and off we went.

Camp Site

Campsite 1315 (Premium)
Campsite 1315 (Premium)

It was a bit of a challenge to back into the camp site. The road is pretty narrow and there are trees on either side of the road that made it hard to back in, but Amber did it pretty well. The camp site (1315) is a very level pad and our automatic leveling jacks had no problem leveling quickly.

Campsite includes 50/30 amp electric, fresh water, cable TV and sewer
Campsite includes 50/30 amp electric, fresh water, cable TV and sewer

The services included at the site are 30/50amp electric, fresh water (2 spigots), cable TV and sewer. The two spigots was nice for keeping the fresh water hooked up while cleaning the black water tank via the other spigot. There is cable television at this site and when we scanned for channels, we were able to receive numerous digital stations, including Disney stations, of course.

Our site had a picnic table and grill.
Our site had a picnic table and grill.

There is a grill and a picnic table at the campsite. Unfortunately, we were unable to use the grill this trip. We planned on grilling Saturday night and it rained, so Amber just cooked our steaks inside the coach.

WiFi & Cellular

Since we arrived during my work lunch break, I needed to finish working for the day. The WiFi is very strong and fast. As with any WiFi, the more people who are on it, the slower it gets and this is no exception. I noticed several disconnections and reconnections during internet sessions, but I did not have to use cell service at any time during the trip. When we have stayed in Disney hotels recently, we have had great WiFi and this was no exception.

Facilities

As you can expect, Disney does family activities right. There are lots of things to do at Fort Wilderness. We feel the campground itself can be a destination and, in fact, we plan on returning during our annual pass blackout period to simply enjoy all the campground has to offer.

Being so close to Magic Kingdom, there is boat service directly from the campground to the park. That is not the only transportation, however. Since the campground is so big, there are buses that will take you to various stops in the campground itself, as well as to the front entrance where you can get a bus to other places on Disney property. Some trips are not direct routes and you have to go to one place and switch buses. We found Fort Wilderness to be very centrally located, so trips to Disney Springs and Epcot were very quick bus rides.

Just before we checked out of our camp site and I was cleaning our gray and black tanks, Christopher had to go to the bathroom. Amber took him to the comfort station just a quick walk from our site and she reported it to be very clean and in great condition.

Disney does a great job with pools for kids of all ages. Fort Wilderness has a large pool with winding slide and a smaller kids splash area. Life vests are provided for kids who are not strong swimmers, this allowed Christopher and I to go down the slide separately without Amber having to be at the bottom of the slide to help him swim to the side.

There is a general store with various groceries and Disney items. As usual, prices are high, but they have things that everyone needs. Driving off property to save a few dollars is a tough sell since it would be a hike with traffic.

As far as activities go, there are quite a few. We went to the nightly fire lighting where you could roast marshmallows and make S’mores. We stayed at the Contemporary Resort and they provided marshmallows, but Fort Wilderness does not. We learned when we got there that we had to bring our own or buy a S’more kit at the store. Needless to say, Christopher was pretty upset. There are more activities available. If you are planning on staying at Fort Wilderness, check out what is being offered during your stay.

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, Fort Wilderness Campground is what we see in our minds when we think of camping. Christopher struck up a conversation with a family from Canada and they mentioned that it was a very economical way to stay at Disney and we’d have to agree. For what it offers, Fort Wilderness is a great value.

If Disney is your destination, this campground makes a lot of sense. We looked at other campgrounds in the area and they are nearly as expensive and offer none of the activities. There are much cheaper campgrounds that offer nothing but a place to park. If you do stay offsite and plan on going to the Disney theme parks, you will have to drive, park and take a tram to the gate. At the Magic Kingdom, you have to take the tram to the transportation and ticket center, then take more transportation to the gate. Getting around is much less stressful when you stay at Fort Wilderness. If you really want to take a vacation and avoid the stress of getting to and from theme parks, Fort Wilderness is for you.

If your destination is not Disney World, then it may be cheaper staying at another campground. However, you will still have to drive to other areas of interest. We have done this many times with hotels and if you know the area, it’s not that bad, except at time with heavy traffic or rain storms.

St. Petersburg / Madeira Beach KOA

Back-in, Full hookup, 50 amp
Back-in, Full hookup, 50 amp site that backs up to Long Bayou.

Address: 5400 95th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33708

Dates Stayed: 07/29/2016 – 07/31/2016

Location

This KOA is located close to lots of restaurants and only a few miles from Gulf beaches. There is a lot to do near this campground.

Getting here should not be a big problem even for large RVs since the campground is close to a major roadway (Bay Pines Blvd.) However, the road that leads to the KOA entrance (95th Street N) is very narrow, cutting through an industrial-type area. I was a bit worried turning onto 95th street, but I took my time and turned the way I was taught in the driver’s confidence course we took. No incidents.

Check-In

There are a few lanes in front of the main office where you check-in, big enough to park even big rigs. Amber checked in while I waited in the coach and it took about 5-10 minutes to get checked in. Keep in mind that we checked-in at about 1:00pm on a Friday, so if you are checking in during a busier time, you may have to wait longer.

Amber came out and told me that someone would be coming to escort us to our camp site. He arrived in a few minutes and off we went. I thought this was a nice touch since this was the first time we stayed at this campground. Amber and I checked out the map before heading out and told the escort how we wanted to show up to the site so we could park how we were taught. He obliged and off we went.

Camp Site

It was a bit of a challenge to back into the camp site. There are people that live at this KOA and some have erected permanent lawn structures that were in the way when I tried to back in. Even with that hiccup, I backed in pretty well.

The camp site (DW2) is gravel with a very hard base that backs up to Long Bayou. There is a cut out in the tall bushes at each camp site for putting a boat, kayak or canoe in the calm bayou water. We could see little crabs scurrying at the shoreline and fish jumping out of the water.

The services included at the site are 50amp electric, fresh water (2 spigots) and sewer. The two spigots was nice for keeping the fresh water hooked up while cleaning the black water tank via the other spigot. There is no cable television at this site, but we were able to pick up numerous over the air (OTA) digital stations.

We were disappointed that there is no grill at the campsite. We were actually looking forward to grilling out one night.

WiFi & Cellular

Since we arrived during my work lunch break, I needed to finish working for the day. The WiFi was great that afternoon. Not incredibly fast, but good enough for me to work effectively. As the weekend brought more campers, the WiFi became nearly unusable. I ended up using my iPhone as a hotspot (AT&T) and even though I was seeing two signal strength dots, the hotspot was much faster than the campground WiFi.

Facilities

In addition to being able to partake in water sports in Long Bayou, the campground has a few other amenities. Since this was the first time we had been to this campground and only the second time we had camped, we wanted to take advantage of what this KOA had to offer.

The pool has a shallow end and a deep end and is pretty big. We used it on Saturday and it was relatively busy. We were surprised that alcoholic beverages and smoking were allowed at the pool and since we are not smokers, we only stayed a little while. With loud music and some rowdy people, we don’t consider the pool very family friendly.

After the pool, we decided to try out the 9 hole miniature golf course. It’s a bit old, but Christopher loved it and we had fun. The game took us about 30 minutes and the cost was $2.50 for each of us.

Christopher wanted to rent one of the four wheel bikes, so we rented one for him for an hour for $5.00. It was pretty hot on Saturday, so we didn’t use the whole hour, but he had fun. Renting or bringing a bike for this campground is a great idea since the awesome Pinellas Recreation Trail crosses the entrance to this KOA.

Conclusion

We learned two things during our stay at this campground. One, we are not “campground people.” What I mean by this is that we are not camping just to stay at campgrounds and take advantage of their facilities. We are camping to see the country and interesting places and sights. Two, this campground did not cater to us and that’s fine. Any business needs to cater to customers that pay their bills and they are doing a good job at that.

If you are looking for a campground that is close to a lot of restaurants, shopping and Gulf beaches, this may be the place for you. As far as price goes, as Florida residents, we can stay at a full hookup site at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground for the same or just a little more. There is way more to do and better facilities at Disney than this KOA. There is no drinking and smoking at the pool either.

Our Second Night

Our first campground stay at Lazydays in Seffner, FL.
Our first campground stay at Lazydays in Seffner, FL.

The dealership was great about addressing the issues with our coach, so we got to spend the night at their campground last night.

We got some good practice getting hooked up to electric, water and cable TV. We were disappointed that the TVs in our coach (one in the bedroom and one in the living room) were not showing cable channels. We called our dealer’s 24 hour help line and they suggested scanning the cable signal for channels. That worked just fine. We held off hooking up the sewer line, more on this later. We were hungry and tired after a long day, so we went to dinner.

While at dinner, a pretty significant thunderstorm blew in and dumped heavy rain on us. We didn’t feel like hooking up the sewer line in the rain, so we went inside to get ready for bed. Christopher and I finished our shower and Amber wanted to get in next. I checked the level of the gray tank and it showed full. Oops. If we had hooked up before dinner, we could have, at least, dumped enough water out to allow Amber to take her shower. To make things worse, this morning when I went to hook up the sewer line, I discovered that the previous occupant had screwed the lid on way too tight and I couldn’t take it off. We didn’t have any tools, so we had to wait until 9:00am to call the office and have someone help us take it off. This really cut into the time we had to get our tanks dumped so we could check out of the park at 11:00am. Fortunately, it all worked out and we were able to dump all of our tanks before heading out right at 11:00am.

Lesson #1: Set up all connections as soon as your arrive at the campsite to address issues right away.