Like many RVers traveling across West Texas between Las Cruces (New Mexico) and San Antonio, we often stop for a day or two at Fort Stockton.
We’ve stayed at several RV parks in this West Texas crossroads town, none of which entirely suitable for our needs.
A new RV park has recently opened on the western edge of Fort Stockton. At first glance it appears that aptly named Hilltop RV Park will not only meet but exceed our expectations.
Head west out of town on Interstate 10, and on a rise on the northern side of the highway sits Hilltop RV Park. The yellow office building sits next to a fire pit overlooking a clear, sparkling pool, which in turn overlooks a beautiful view of the vast expanse of the desert.
The park’s owners, Jim and KC Newby, have done a lot to make their business successful, starting from the selection of the absolutely perfect site.
First time visitors to Hilltop RV are blown away by the view, but it’s the logistics and the creature comforts that promise a loyal clientele, according to a report in the Fort Stockton Pioneer.
Offering 47 big-rig friendly camping sites, a fire pit for campfire get-togethers, a pool to cool off from a hot drive, and a fenced area for dogs to run, Hilltop RV Park is an example of a well designed park.
The Newbys came from Midland five years ago and originally bought the land as a home for themselves, not an RV park.
“We bought this property to build our house on because we loved the view,” KC Newby said. When she and her husband first surveyed the property, she had reservations. The land was in very bad shape, and the grounds were overgrown.
The site was previously home to the Red Barn Trailer Park, and the original building was deteriorated so badly it had to be stripped down almost to its bones.
The Newby’s didn’t realize the place had been an R.V. park until Jim found parking sites and old infrastructure on the grounds. They both saw the possibilities and set to work.
They installed sixteen RV sites first, and those filled quickly. The realized they needed to refurbish and remodel the rest of the park so they could expand their business.
They made their home on the property so they can be at their business at all times.
Once the park was up and running, it quickly began to evolve beyond what they’d first foreseen.
“Our plan was to create an overnight business,” Newby said, “and then we found out there was a need for long term.”
Many local residents work in the oil fields, with wind turbines or are land men for the oil companies, and the housing shortage in Fort Stockton and surrounding areas created a demand that Hilltop could fill. Newby estimates that about 60 percent of her residents are long term, and many stay here simply because it’s the perfect situation for them.
Residents feel safe because there is only one way in and one way out of the park, and visitors must pass directly in front of the office.
The rural setting of the park means that rabbits, roadrunners, and other wildlife are common. Guests are asked to give the animals a wide berth, and not to disturb the native plants. Part of the appeal of the park is the natural beautiful setting, and the owners want to preserve that.
For the long-term residents, it’s like living in the desert with all the comforts of town.
Guest comfort is the number one concern. Along with the comforts of the fire pit and pool, are free Internet Wi-Fi, a satellite dish and clean bathrooms and showers. There are no generators allowed, and quiet hours are between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day.
To avoid aggression incidents or making other guests uncomfortable, the park doesn’t allow aggressive dog breeds such as Rottweilers or pit bulls.
Hilltop RV has grown due to customer references, online reviews, and good word of mouth.
“If they stay with us once, they usually come back.” Newby said, adding that she and her husband take a lot of enjoyment from the stories and photos her guests share from the road.
People can make reservations as far as 45 days out, or while they’re on the road. Drop-ins are always welcome, if there is space.
Hilltop RV Park
Address: 4076 I-10 West, Fort Stockton, TX 79735
Location: I-10; Exit 256 (easy-on, easy-off)
Phone: (432) 336-6090
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