Good Sam RV Parks with Creative Accommodations

You don’t need to drive a motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel to enjoy the RV park experience.

petsMore than one third of RV parks across North America offer alternative accommodations, from park models to yurts, enabling travelers to participate in the campground community without bringing their own set of wheels, according to a Good Sam news release.

To help travelers find the RV parks that offer the best RV accommodations without wheels, the editors and consultants of the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory have compiled a list of the top RV Parks featuring park models or other stationary dwellings.

Featuring parks from across North America, the list is tailored for travelers who don’t arrive at the park in an RV or would like non-RVing friends or family members stay with them in the same campground.

The Good Sam RV Travel Guide’s top parks with non-RV dwellings are:

Camping At Charlotte Motor Speedway Concord, North Carolina
Camping At Charlotte Motor Speedway
Concord, North Carolina

Dwellings That Stay Put

The most prominent non-mobile dwellings in RV parks are park models, which are transportable trailers primarily designed for long-term or permanent placement at a destination where an RV or mobile home is allowed. These have grown in popularity in recent years.

Limited to a floor plan of 400 square feet, park models average around $45,000 in price and often resemble small houses. Park models are built in styles ranging from faux colonial to log cabin and feature all the amenities found in a small residence

Guests can rent a park model for around $100 a night. Some campgrounds sell their park models to travelers who seek a seasonal dwelling.

More exotic lodgings can be found in yurts, circular, tent-like structures that owe their original design to the nomadic Mongolians, who have used Yurts for thousands of years. Commonly built with durable fabric around sturdy frames, many yurts are equipped with bathrooms, and some even have lofts.

Many campgrounds offer more traditional cabins, which range from spartan dwellings to luxurious accommodations.

Some campgrounds push the envelope when it comes to non-RV accommodations. At Mt. Olympus Zeus Village and Camp Resort in the Wisconsin Dells, guests can stay at simulated tree houses, complete with trunks and whimsically tilted windows. The eye-catching structures provide all of the amenities of a hotel room but give guests the feeling that they’re in a fairy tale setting.

Good Sam Guide

RV travelers can find more information about parks with non-RV accommodations in the 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory, which combines two of the RV industry’s most popular and respected brands—the Trailer Life Directory and Woodall’s Campground Directory—into one comprehensive volume.

The guide contains detailed information about 14,967 RV parks across North America; each campground is personally inspected and rated by the Good Sam’s consultant teams.

The guide also includes lifestyle features, regional trip guides, and essential travel facts. Readers can get vital tech tips, learn about must-see points of interest in all of North America’s states and provinces, follow a meal and fitness planner, and get Road Ready with a special products section.

Camping at Winstar RV Park Thackerville, Oklahoma conveniently located next to the Winstar World Casino
Camping at Winstar RV Park
Thackerville, Oklahoma conveniently located next to the Winstar World Casino

Also included are guides to RV-related state laws and information needed for trouble-free trips into Canada and Mexico.

For more information about the 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory, click on www.goodsamcamping.com.

Please Note: This is Part 1 of a 2-part series

Part 2: More Parks with Creative Accommodations

Worth Pondering…

We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.
—Konrad Adenaur

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Palm Creek Resort Sold to Sun Communities

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, long one of the premier operations of its type in the United States, has been sold to Sun Communities, owner or operator of more than 170 manufactured housing and recreational vehicle communities in 18 states.

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort
Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort

Palm Creek is a 5-star institutional quality, age restricted resort with 1,863 sites located in Casa Grande, Arizona, just forty minutes south of Phoenix. Amenities include an 18-hole golf course, pools, spas, and a world class pickle ball and tennis facility. The resort is rated very high with a 29 out of 30 rating by Woodall’s/Good Sam Club.

Sun Communities acquired the resort and related improvements, personal property, and associated intangibles for $70.4 million and a contiguous parcel of land being developed to add approximately 990 recreational vehicle, or approximately 550 manufactured housing sites, for $15.0 million.

The aggregate purchase price of $88.0 million includes the reimbursement of $2.6 million for certain construction costs incurred in connection with the development of the land described above. The Company assumed $41.7 million of mortgage debt secured by the community.

The announcement that the Casa Grande RV Resort was sold to the Southfield, Michigan REIT, came from a Sun Communities news release and the Wolfswinkel family, originators of the park, in a letter to Palm Creek residents.

“We believe that this is in not only the best interest of our family, but for the benefit of our residents, guests, and the community as a whole,” Ashton Wolfswinkel wrote to Palm Creek residents.

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort Pickleball
Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort Pickleball

“Palm Creek started as a dream of my father, Conley, and has become one of the premier RV and mobile home communities in the United States. Through his vision, the hard work and dedication of many longtime staff members, countless volunteers, and the patronage of our residents and guests over the past 13-plus years, Palm Creek has continued to grow into a community that we as owners have been very proud of. I also believe this same pride and sense of community is felt deeply by our residents and guests.”

“The entire management team and staff will continue to serve our residents and run the property in the same fashion as it has always been, with a commitment to excellence,” Wolfswinkel wrote.

“Sun Communities is run by a group of high-quality individuals and they are committed to working to keep Palm Creek the amazing place it has become. I feel confident and am very comfortable knowing that Palm Creek will be in good hands and will build on the legacy that we have all been blessed to be a part of.”

Details

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort

Palm Creek offers luxury living, whether for a few days or a lifetime.

Address: 1110 North Henness Road, Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Phone: (800) 421-7004

Website: palmcreekgolf.com

Sun Communities, Inc.

Sun Communities, Inc is a premier provider of manufactured home communities and RV resorts and currently owns and operates a portfolio of 173 communities comprising approximately 63,600 developed sites.

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort
Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort

The company was established in 1975.

The Sun Communities has operations in Colorado (4), Delaware (2), Florida (27), Georgia (3), Illinois (1), Indiana (18), Iowa (1), Kansas (1), Michigan (70), Missouri (2), Nevada (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (11), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (18), and Virginia (1).

Florida properties include Buttonwood Bay (Sebring), Grand Lake (Citra), The Groves (Fort Myers), Indian Creek (Fort Myers Beach), Lake San Marino (Naples), and Siesta Bay (Fort Myers).

South Texas properties include Casa de Valle (Alamo), Kenwood (La Feria), and Snow to Sun (Weslaco).

Address: 27777 Franklin Road, Suite 200, Southfield, MI 48034

Website: suncommunities.com

Worth Pondering…

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

—George Bernard Shaw

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RVC Outdoor Destinations Adds Smokey Mountains Resort

Memphis, Tennessee-based RVC Outdoor Destinations, the leading provider of high-quality outdoor resorts in the United States, announces that River Plantation RV Park in Sevierville, Tennessee will be re-flagged as an RVC Outdoor Destination.

After ongoing renovations are completed, including the addition of a new lodge and fitness center, the property will be renamed River Plantation RV Resort in early 2013.

River Plantation RV Park, developed by Jimbo Conner over the last twenty years, is the preeminent outdoor hospitality property in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park region and one of the best performing RV oriented properties in the United States.

With extensive frontage on the Little Pigeon River, River Plantation RV Park provides great water views and close proximity to the many attractions within one of the largest tourism markets in the United States. Boasting 293 RV sites and 8 cabins, the property has ample room for hosting large groups and rallies.

“In our ongoing expansion efforts, we discovered that River Plantation RV Park shares our vision for a better guest experience. River Plantation is already the finest RV and cabin oriented property in the region, and we are honored and excited to have River Plantation joining our group of upscale recreational properties that are redefining the outdoor experience” said Andy Cates, RVC’s President.

“RVC understands the industry. They are striving to improve consistency and standards and we want to be a part of it. Also, they bring collaborative resources and a partnership that will allow River Plantation to grow and improve,” said Jimbo Conner, owner of River Plantation.

This partnership is the first Joint Venture for RVC involving flagging and operating a separately owned property. In addition to providing long-term management and branding, RVC is providing capital for improvements and expansion.

Details

RVC Outdoor Destinations

RVC Outdoor Destinations develops, owns, and operates a portfolio of high-quality outdoor hospitality properties located within some of the country’s most beautiful natural settings and offering upscale services and amenities.

Memphis, Tennessee-based RVC is redefining the traditional camping experience with its original Outdoor Destination concept and upgraded RV resorts that provides guests with a comfortable, customizable, outdoor vacation through a variety of affordable lodging options, including RV sites, yurts, cabins, and cottages, all with enhanced guest amenities and recreational activities.

RVC operates eight Outdoor Destinations and RV Resorts in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Address: 429 N Main Street, Suite 100, Memphis, Tennessee 38103

Phone: (901) 432-4748

Website: rvcoutdoors.com

River Plantation RV Park

River Plantation RV Park (Source:tripadvisor.com)

River Plantation RV Park offers the ideal Smoky Mountain/Pigeon Forge RV Park location.

A blend of Eastern Tennessee hospitality, reasonable nightly rates, and majestic Smoky Mountain views as well as first rate amenities and services provide you the very best in Pigeon Forge campground life.

Located in Sevierville, Tennessee in a peaceful valley bordered by the Little Pigeon River, River Plantation is only minutes away from all that the Smokies, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Townsend, and Knoxille have to offer.

Two outdoor pools with hot tub, modern bath facilities, and cabins make the campground a Good Sam Club and Woodall’s favorite.

The River Plantation Conference Center and Catering enables the park us to handle many well known RV groups and rallies.

Location: 1004 Parkway, Sevierville, TN 37862

Directions: From Sevierville travel 1.3 miles south on U.S. 441; from Pigeon Forge travel 4.8 miles north on U.S. 441

Phone: (865) 429-5267 or (800) 758-5267 (toll free)

Website: riverplantationrv.com

Worth Pondering…

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.

—Peter Drucker

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Rand McNally Introduces new RV GPS

Skokie, Illinois-based Rand McNally introduced the RVND 7720, a new seven-inch RV GPS device with Wi-Fi connectivity allowing for real-time weather information and display, and new hardware with rugged casing, video input, and a brighter screen.

Rand McNally RVND 7720 GPS device with Wi-Fi connectivity

The new device—now available in stores, online retailers, and RV dealers and distributors—joins Rand McNally’s line of RVND GPS devices for RVers.

Rand McNally pioneered RV-specific navigation by launching the first GPS device designed specifically for RVers and campers, according to a Rand McNally news release.

RV-specific navigation is necessary to route large vehicles and towables around road restrictions, low bridges, and other physical hazards. However, like all Rand McNally RV GPS devices, the RVND 7720 can be used as a car GPS as well—merely by changing a simple setting.

One of the new features of the RVND 7720 is Wi-Fi connectivity, which enables the transmission and display of weather as well as other real-time information. With updated weather information, RVers will be able to anticipate delays and make plans by viewing current and predicted conditions displayed on the map and along the route.

Besides weather, other RV-specific connected services will be coming soon and will be available for this device.

The RVND 7720 has an all-new hardware platform, featuring a new rugged design with
ridged casing for added protection, a brighter screen that adjusts for low and strong light, and video input compatible with a range of back-up and rear-view cameras.

Rand McNally RVND 7720 GPS device with Wi-Fi connectivity

The base maps and overlaying content, such as campgrounds, parks, RV service, and other RV points of interest, also have been updated for the RVND 7720.

The new device ships with Lifetime Maps (see link below) so owners will be able to update their devices at no additional cost.

The RVND 7720 GPS includes the following additional new features:

  • Fully updated road data, including RV-specific information such as speed limits, legal, and physical restrictions, and all Rand McNally proprietary RV data
  • Fully updated points of interest necessary for safe and convenient routing, including travel centers and RV parking information at rest stops, exits, and other locations
  • Fuel logs, which are accessible from the Virtual Dashboard or via RV Tools; the feature enables drivers to record fuel purchases for a trip
  • Additional routing options such as “Avoid State or Province” and “Avoid Smaller Roads”
  • Address book icon enhancement, which enables unique icons to be created by group and shown on the map for imported locations; address book items can be sorted by name, distance from current location, or date added
  • Text-to-speech alert details for user-imported custom points of interest, such as red light cameras, to reduce driver distraction
Rand McNally RVND 7720 GPS device with Wi-Fi connectivity

The new RVND 7720 has all of the features and functionality drivers have come to expect from Rand McNally, including: Virtual Dashboard; junction view with lane assist; free downloads of Rand McNally’s proprietary construction information and software updates; Exits Quick View which shows RV parking and amenities at exits; RV Tools, RV amenities and locations such as campgrounds, RV services, and dumps; Woodall’s Campground information with searchable amenities; Rand McNally exclusive pre-planned trips with photos and video; and routing for 11 types of RVs as well as for cars.

Details

Rand McNally

Rand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content.

Rand McNally’s products and services include road travel review site (bestoftheroad),  interactive travel referral service (tripology), America’s #1 Road Atlas, TripMaker RVND GPS for RVers, IntelliRoute truck routing software and mobile communication solutions for the transportation industry, and the leading geography-based educational resources for the classroom.

Consumers, businesses, truckers, and educators depend upon Rand McNally to help navigate today’s world.

Address: 9855 Woods Drive Skokie, Illinois 60077

Phone: (800) 333-0136

Website: randmcnally.com

Best of RVing website: bestoftheroad.com/rv

Best of the Road website: bestoftheroad.com

Tripology website: tripology.com/

Lifetime Maps program website: randmcnally.com/lifetimemaps

Worth Pondering…

I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.

—Daniel Boone

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New Woodall’s/AAA Campground Guides Available

The new Woodall’s/AAA Official Campground Guides are now available.

The recently launched series of guides include 20 percent more campground and RV park listings, providing more content for outdoor enthusiasts, according to a news release.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of the Woodall’s/AAA Official Campground Guides,” said Bill Wood, executive editor, AAA Publishing.

“The new series combines the expertise of Woodall’s in RVing and family camping with expanded listings and travel content. This series reinforces our commitment to providing AAA members with accurate, valuable travel information for all their travel planning needs.”

AAA members love to camp, accounting for about 74 million camping nights in the United States annually according to recent data. Camping provides an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors—often with the added benefit of an affordable vacation.

Seven co-branded regional guides are now available to members exclusively through AAA/CAA offices. The guides have a cover price of $10.95 each with AAA members receiving discounted pricing.

The Woodall’s/AAA guides list more than 14,000 private and public facilities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Listings contain details needed to select the right campground or RV park, including location information, rates, Woodall’s campground ratings, hookup availability, handicap accessibility, pet policies, Internet access, and the availability of AAA member discounts.

To assist with trip planning, the guides also offer state and province travel information including climate, time zones, local events, attractions, and shopping.

For each privately owned campground/RV park listing, Woodall’s assigns two ratings—one for recreation and the other for facilities—both on a scale of one to five “W’s.” In general, a greater number of W’s indicates more extensive offerings and development. Other features include Woodall’s point-to-point “One Tank Trips,” green-friendly park listings, and Extended Stay listings for places to park RVs for a month or season.

The new co-branded guides include:

  • South Official Campground Guide (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee)
  • New York/New England & Eastern Canada Official Campground Guide (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec)
  • Great Lakes Official Campground Guide (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Ontario)
  • Frontier West/Great Plains & Mountain States Official Campground Guide (Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Mexico, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan)
  • Far West Official Campground Guide (Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Mexico, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Yukon)
  • Mid Atlantic Official Campground Guide (Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, New Jersey, Virginia, District of Columbia)
  • Canada Official Campground Guide (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon)

Also in 2012 AAA will begin displaying Woodall’s campground/RV park data in additional AAA travel information products that include campground information.

Online and mobile resources include the TripTik Travel Planner and searchable Travel Guide on AAA.com, AAA TripTik Mobile app, AAA Mobile Web, and AAA edition Magellan GPS units.

Printed products include the AAA Road Atlas series, Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook, sheet maps, and national park maps within the TourBook guides.

Details

American Automobile Association (AAA)

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services. Since being founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Woodall’s

Woodall’s is the producer of 10 annual Campground Directories and Guides plus several specific-interest books and digital publications and applications. Woodall’s has been Everywhere RVers go for 75 years, and enjoys popularity in an array of different segments of the RV and camping marketplace. Visit woodalls.com for more information.

Worth Pondering…

To travel is to live.

—Hans Christian Andersen

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Rand McNally Introduces Woodall’s Campground Data in GPS Devices

Rand McNally, a leader in travel and navigation, and Woodall’s, part of the Good Sam family of RV clubs, community, and publications, are partnering to include Woodall’s campground data in Rand McNally’s TripMaker RVND GPS units for RVers.

Rand McNally's TripMaker RVND GPS units for RVers. (Source: Rand McNally/Joe Rockey)

The data will be pre-loaded in devices shipping mid-April, and also will be available to current owners of TripMaker RVND devices—both the 5 inch and 7 inch models—via a simple and free download in early Q2. Rand McNally will be reaching out to existing owners to ensure that they are able to download the new content.

“Woodall’s is North America’s leading source of campground information for RVers and campers. We are very pleased to offer this very valued content as part of our industry-leading RV GPS devices,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally.

Highlights of the Woodall’s Campground data include:

  • Listings for more than 12,000 RV parks and campground locations, with amenities:
  • Family-friendly campgrounds and pets-allowed locations
  • “Big Rig” parks
  • “Green parks”
  • Site information such as extended stay sites available, typical site width, and pull through information
  • Services such as fees, escort to site, dumping
  • Essential information about seasonality and rates
  • Importantly, the data also includes the proprietary “5-W” ratings, which reflect the views of unbiased inspectors who visit and rate every possible private campground each year.

“We are excited to bring together two well-known brands in the RVing community—Rand McNally and Woodall’s. Our carefully researched data will certainly enhance the value of the TripMaker RVND GPS to RVers, especially those who have been loyal users of Woodall’s for decades,” said Ann Emerson, Vice President and Publisher, Woodall’s and Trailer Life Directory.

According to Muscatel, market research and direct feedback from current users indicates that the ability to find RV specific information on campgrounds is one of the top three features that RVers want in a GPS.

“And 65% of those surveyed told us that ratings, such as the 5-W ratings, were important. The Woodall’s data will augment the 12,000 campgrounds currently in the product, making our TripMaker RVND the most robust provider of campground information with RV specific information available,” added Muscatel.

Rand McNally’s TripMaker RVND line of GPS products, launched in 2011, include:

  • RV-safe and -easy routing—navigation for 11 types of RV; includes entry for weight, height, length, and propane on-board; routes based on legal and physical restrictions, such as low bridges, roads with weight limits; warnings for sharp turns
  • RVer amenities and tools—13,000+ RV parks and campgrounds with amenities such as dump stations, electric hook up, 6,000+ travel center locations with searchable amenities such as parking, dump stations and showers, 24,000+ pet-friendly locations, and more than 150,000 places just off the interstate, organized by exit number
  • RV-friendly trips and content—12,000 Rand McNally Editor’s Picks, including Best of the Road 3-4-day adventures, regional trips, scenic tours, weekend getaways, plus photos and videos of destinations

Rand McNally’s TripMaker RVND GPS units are available at Camping World SuperCenters nationwide, at CampingWorld.com, and through Rand McNally’s retail channels.

Details

Rand McNally

Rand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content.

Website: randmcnally.com

Good Sam Enterprises, LLC

Rand McNally's TripMaker RVND GPS units for RVers. (Source: Rand McNally/Joe Rockey)

Good Sam Enterprises, LLC (GSE) and its wholly owned subsidiaries, serve the safety, security, comfort, and convenience needs of the North American outdoor and recreational vehicle market.

The corporate headquarters is located in Ventura, California. Subsidiary operations and divisions can be found at multiple locations throughout the United States.

Website: goodsamclub.com

Woodall’s Publications

Woodall’s Publications including Woodall’s Campground Directory and website are part of the Good Sam Family, and devoted to enhancing the lifestyle of recreational-vehicle enthusiasts.

Website: woodalls.com

Related

Worth Pondering…
As you go through life, when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

—Yogi Berra

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Trailer Life & Woodall’s Campground Directories to Merge

Trailer Life Directory and Woodall Publications (of the Good Sam family), the publishers of North America’s top two campground directories and leading campground search websites and mobile applications, announced Monday (November 21) that they will be uniting to form a single “Super Directory” North American print edition in 2013.

The two giants in the camping and RV industry will join forces to inspire travel by bringing the highest quality, most complete and accurate information about RV and camping travel to the most engaged RVers and campers in North America, according to a news release.

On announcing the merger Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Good Sam Enterprises, said, “The consolidation of the two directories into one ‘Super Directory’ will provide our customers with a single source for their RVing and camping travel planning. The coming together of these two brands enables us to serve as more than a directory, and will represent an ‘everything RV guide’ for the consumer to be inspired to fully explore the RV lifestyle across North America.”

“This merger will also allow us to drive more business to our RV park and campground advertisers and to our network of Good Sam Parks,” continued Lemonis. “We know that our success is predicated on the success of our customers, and combining the strength of the industry’s two leading directory brands is just one way in which we can ensure we are serving the needs of our campground, RV park, and resort customers. Advertisers have asked us to consider a unified directory so that they can focus their marketing spend in one powerful vehicle. Thus we made this decision with our park and campground partners very much in mind, to provide them one ‘super directory’ which will be the ultimate marketing showcase for them.”

Beginning with the 2013 edition, a new Campground Directory under the Good Sam brand will emerge from the best of both Woodall’s and Trailer Life Directories, representing nearly 130 years of combined industry service and campground expertise. This new directory will offer higher circulation and even more online and mobile application marketing opportunities to campgrounds and parks. This combined directory will utilize the Trailer Life 10/10*/10 rating system, with some enhancements borrowed from the Woodall’s rating system. The ratings as always will be based on personal visits by directory representatives.

Other improvements to the 2013 Combined Directory will include state and provincial points of interest, the RVers “Bucket List” for 2013, tips to improve your RV and camping lifestyle, 10-Minute Tech Tips, RV maintenance advice, how to buy or sell an RV, dealers and service station locations, games, puzzles, recipes, coupons, and more. The directory will also spotlight the Good Sam RV Park and Resort network, the largest affiliated park network in North America, featuring more than 1,700 RV parks and resorts where Good Sam members can save 10 percent on nightly camping fees.

Both the Trailer Life and Woodall’s brands will continue into 2013 and beyond according to the company. Woodall’s regional directory editions will continue to be published in 2013, in an exclusive partnership with AAA, and Trailer Life magazine, one of the leading RV enthusiast magazines in the industry, will continue to be published on a monthly basis.

Likewise websites, online directory search, and mobile applications will continue to exist for both brands.

The combined 2013 combined directory will not affect the distribution and circulation of the 2012 Trailer Life and Woodall’s Directories, websites, and mobile applications, as both the Trailer Life and Woodall’s 2012 Directory editions will be available to consumers in 2012 just the same as past years.

The 2013 combined directory will take advantage of the previously separate circulation strategies for each brand. The Woodall’s Directory has been distributed through bookstores, mass merchant chains, Camping World stores, RV dealers, and campgrounds, while the Trailer Life Directory has been primarily distributed to the Good Sam Club members and through internet sales. The combined directory in 2013 will utilize both these distribution strategies to reach all the active, affluent RVers and campers that each of these brands reached separately in the past.

Details

Woodall Publications

Woodall Publication’s is the leading publisher of Campground Directories and Guides plus several specific-interest books and digital publications and applications. Woodall’s has been Everywhere RVers go for 75 years, and enjoys popularity in an array of different segments of the RV and camping marketplace.

Website: woodalls.com

Trailer Life Directory

Trailer Life Directory is part of the Affinity Media family of publications and services devoted to enhancing the lifestyle of recreational vehicle enthusiasts. The Trailer Life Directory, known as “The Ultimate RV Travel Resource” is the official Directory of the Good Sam Club.

Website: trailerlifedirectory.com

Good Sam Club

Good Sam Club is the world’s largest RV owner’s organization with over one million member families. Founded in 1966, the club offers its members a wide variety of services, including the Good Sam Extended Service Plan, Emergency Road Service, RV and Vehicle Insurance, RV Financing, Good Sam Visa Card, and member discounts at parks, campgrounds, and RV events. Good Sam Club members also receive a subscription to Highways, the club’s popular RV travel magazine. Additionally, the club represents more than 1,500 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together.

Website: goodsamclub.com

Worth Pondering…
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will lead you there.

—G. Harrison

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New RV Resort for Winter Texans

One bit of exciting news for Winter Texans is the addition of a brand new “state of the art” RV Resort, on the Coastal Bend in the quaint seaside community of Port Lavaca.

Groundbreaking for a new luxury RV park in Port Lavaca has commenced.

Construction is underway at Texas Lakeside RV Resort in Port Lavaca, Texas. (Credit: texaslakesidervresort.com)

The new Texas Lakeside RV Resort, located midway between Houston and Corpus Christi and just inland from the Gulf Coast, will feature 97 sites in the first phase of development, according to a news release. The fully fenced and gated Texas Lakeside RV Resort is located one mile off of Highway 35 at the corner of West Austin Street (Highway 238) and County Road 101.

Developer Doug Jensen undertook this project several years ago with a lot of intensive research, his goal being to find the quintessential amenities for the ultimate RV facility.

Jensen traveled the state of Texas, speaking with RV park residents, managers, and owners. His goal was to discover the most-wanted features and seek out bright ideas that would help build “a new generation” RV Parks. Additionally, the staff of Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) has provided essential insight to the project. After the many hours of travel and phone calls, Jensen says he is pleased with the final plans.

“This RV Park has been engineered and designed with all campers in mind. The Resort has been built to achieve the highest ratings from both Good Sam’s Trailer Life Directory and Woodall’s,” says Doug Jensen. “I’m excited that it’s going to help more people discover that Port Lavaca is a great little seaside town with a lot to offer everyone.”

The park will include a 4000-square foot clubhouse with an essentials store, exercise room, media area, and pool tables will be the center hub of the community. A stocked fishing lake, a swimming pool and hot tub, a walking and jogging track, and several picnic areas, and dog runs lead the list of the park’s highlights.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort is a brand new "state of the art" RV Resort on the Texas Coastal Bend. (Credit: texaslakesidervresort.com)

Private restrooms and showers, security cameras, two laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, and satellite TV are some of the many amenities. The fully-fenced and gated resort will feature 24-foot wide concrete roads leading to extra wide and long concrete RV pads that include a small yard space.

All sites will have full hook-ups with water, electricity, and sewer. Four site options will be available:

  • 60-foot back in
  • Big rig pull through
  • Waterfront
  • Deluxe waterfront

Initially, 35 waterfront and back-in sites are expected to be open by November. The balance of 62 sites will be under construction as well the clubhouse. All sites will have full hook-ups with water, electric, and sewer.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort is already a member of ARVC (National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds) and TACO and plans to join Good Sam and Woodall’s.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort’s Texas-sized amenities include:

  • Full hook-ups
  • 15/30/50-amp electric service
  • ADA accessibility
  • Free Wireless Internet
  • Daily trash pickup
  • Dog walking parks
  • Gated Access
  • Hot tub
  • Oversized RV sites
  • Picnic tables at every site
  • Premium Waterfront Sites
  • Private Lake
  • Rally facilities
  • Stocked fishing lake
  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub

Note: This is the second of a two-part series on Wintering on the Coastal Bend

Part 1: Texas Coastal Bend Readies for Winter Texans

Texas Spoken Friendly

Details

Texas Lakeside RV Resort

Wetlands viewing boardwalk, city park and wildlife sanctuary, Port Lavaca, Texas. (Credit: picasaweb.google.com/chef.asmith)

Address: 2499 West Austin Street, Port Lavaca, Texas 77979

Phone: (281) 648-7121

Rates

Daily: $30-45

Weekly: $175-275 + electric

Monthly: $375-550 + electric

Note: Special discount rates are available during construction

Website: Texas Lakeside RV Resort

Worth Pondering…
No matter how far we may wander, Texas lingers with us, coloring our perceptions of the world.

—Elmer Kelto

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Tips for Choosing RV Parks/Campgrounds

Choices for RV parks and campgrounds include luxurious RV resorts, activity-filled family destinations, 55+ parks, secluded natural settings, and basic parks conveniently located for an overnight stay. Prices also run the gamut.

Campsite at Devil’s Garden Campground in Arches National Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There is a variety of campgrounds, each offering different amenities and activities. These include private RV parks; casino camping; membership parks; national, state, and county park campgrounds; Army Corps of Engineers parks; national and state forest campgrounds; and service club facilities.

Consider Your Needs

What are the best tips for choosing a campground and campsite that you and your family will love?

Nothing can make or break your RV trip like choosing a campground not suited to your family’s needs and interests. When selecting a park, think about your camping style and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you camping with a young family?
  • Are you an active couple looking for outdoor adventures?
  • Are you snowbirds who enjoy on-site activities and the opportunity to meet new friends?
  • How large is your RV?
  • What amenities do you require? Full hook-ups? 30- or 50-amp electric service?
  • Are you looking for a rural or urban setting?
  • What is your nightly/weekly/monthly camping budget?
  • Do you travel with pets?

Locating and Researching Campgrounds

Bay Colony RV Resort, Dickinson, Texas (located between Houston and Galveston). © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The photos on the RV park website and brochure look amazing. Too bad they didn’t show the busy railroad tracks 50 feet away, the biker club next door, or the “shopping plaza under construction” sign.

Whether you plan to stay one night, a weekend, a week, or longer, there are campgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada to meet your needs. All are unique. No two parks are the same. Each campground will provide something a little different.

There are numerous ways to locate and research campgrounds. A good place to begin is a campground directory such as Woodall’s or Trailer Life Directory.

Ratings help you select the appropriate park for your particular needs and interests. Keep in mind that the final ratings are a composite of several different areas of interest.

Woodall’s assigns two ratings to each privately owned campground/RV park. One rating is assigned to the facilities at the park—sites, roads, service buildings, restrooms, and hookups. A separate recreation rating is also assigned. Both facilities and recreation ratings range from 1 W to 5 W with 5 W being the best.

Trailer Life Directory uses a triple-rating system—completeness of facilities, cleanliness and physical characteristics of restrooms and showers, and visual appearance and environmental quality. All three ratings are on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. Less than one percent of parks or campgrounds receive a rating of 10. Campgrounds with a 10/10/10 rating have more facilities, are better maintained, and are more visually appealing than 5/5/5-rated campgrounds.

Camping at Catalina State Park, near Tucson, Arizona.© Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Contact the Campground

Contact the campground and ask specific questions about their policies and their park. Questions to ask include:

  • Rental rates (nightly, weekly, monthly per your needs) including taxes? Any discounts available?
  • Availability of Wi-Fi and cable TV?
  • What is included in the above rate—full hook-ups, 20-30-50-amp electric service, Wi-Fi, cable TV?
  • What are the park’s amenities—club house/activity room, pool, spa, rest room and shower facilities, laundry?
  • Is the park big-rig friendly? Length and width of sites?
  • Are sites relatively level?
  • Do the sites have concrete pads, grass, gravel, or dirt?
  • Will I have difficulty obtaining a satellite TV signal?
  • What is your pet policy? Restrictions on certain dogs breeds?
  • What is your reservation policy? Is a credit card required to hold a site? If so, is it processed immediately?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • What are your office hours? Check-in procedure for late arrivals?
  • Make note of the name of the person you talked to.

Note: This is the first of a two-part series on Selecting an RV Park/Campground

Part 2: Selecting a Campground/Campsite Checklist

Worth Pondering…

But do not ask me where I am heading,

As I travel in this limitless world

Where every step I take is my home.

—Eihei Dogen

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