Camping Facilities
(Military FamCamp, Passport America, Wal*Mart, FlyingJ, etc.)
that we have visited, along with our opinions of the place


Send questions, opinions, updates and disagreements to:

Comments of interest will be added at the end of this listing.

To find military facilities we use which is free but requires registration or you can get a copy of the info for your computer, without having to access the Internet every time, for a $11.95 per year subscription--click here for info. Military Living’s “Military RV, Camping & Outdoor Recreation” is available at any military exchange or from Amazon by clicking the link. I have found the Military RV, Camping & Outdoor Recreation book to be very dated, incomplete and in many cases simply wrong. Some people swear by it, I don't use it.

Passport America

Most of the civilian campgrounds we used are participants in the Passport America program which offers, for a small annual fee, a 50% discount on camping fees. It's about the best deal out there and well worth your consideration. We no longer have a membership to Passport America because we don't use a lot of commercial campgrounds.  If you do, we recommend Passport America highly.

We use Wal*Mart, FlyingJ and the like for Safety Stops, while en route to specific destinations, not for "camping." We pull in, usually late in the day to sleep and usually pull out early the next morning. If you pull in to one of these free locations, drop the jacks, pull out the slides, extend the awning and disconnect the dinghy, you are a certifiable jerk and are spoiling it for the rest of us who use the opportunity. If you disagree with this, do yourself a favor and do not email me to argue the point, it will only make you a bigger jerk. And if you open up and dump your black tank into a public drainage system I will do my best to get you put in jail for a very long time.


When we started fulltiming I was not yet old enough for the National Park Service's Golden Age Passport so I had been paying full price at federal facilities.  I learned, from my sister Jann, that my VA Disability qualified me for a Golden Access Passport, which is exactly the same thing except that it is free rather than the $10 that is collected for the age-related card. The  Golden Passports have been replaced by the America the Beautifulcard.  It comes in a number of varieties including an age related card and an "access" card. They are essentially the same as the Golden Passports which are no longer available but which will continue to be honored. You can only get them from a facility that honors them (National Park, National Forest, National monuments, etc.  Corps of Engineers honors them but does not sell them.).

Our Home
Please be aware that we are social nudists and from time to time we will stay in a nude park or clothing optional area. They are plainly marked in the list below.






Daily Fee

Date of


Overnight parking at rest stops OK unless posted.

National Park Service


Grand Canyon
South Rim

Maswik Lodge
For Reservations:
Xantera South Rim LLC
(303) 297-2757 or
(888) 297-2757

From I-40 take AZ-64 north about an hour to the park entrance.

We did not camp here. We went here on Bev's birthday in January, for a break from the desert, and stayed at the Maswik Lodge, about a five minute walk from the rim. It's a basic motel but at $77 per night it was a bargain. There are more expensive rooms available if you want to splurge, and there is camping which, sorry, we know nothing about.


January 2007

Bureau of Land Management

Bureau of Land Management

Magic Circle
LaPosa South, Long Term Camping Area, BLM
Quartzsite, AZ

Yahoo Group:

Magic Circle


From Business 10 in Quartzsite (off I-10) turn south at US 95 toward Yuma. Drive approx. 2.8 miles to entrance on left. Just past office pull into parking area and pay fee. If you don't want to go to Magic Circle you can park anywhere. Continue on approx. 2.4 miles (first mile is paved) to small blue N on right. Turn right and follow blue N or white "Magic Circle" signs to Information sign near flagpole.
LaPosa South is one of about a dozen parking areas around Quartzsite run by the BLM.
There are also full hook up commercial campgrounds in and around Quartzsite.

Magic Circle is a clothing optional area within the massive Bureau of Land Management Long Term Camping area. BLM charges $140 for the entire year or $30 per 14-day stay. There are no "sites" so there are no services on sites. Sewer dump, potable water, trash receptacles and porta johns are available at central locations but there are NO electric hookups of any kind.  In January you can expect to wait hours to dump and almost as long in the potable water line. This is pure boondocking. We installed our solar panels and inverter here. If you have an interest in solar, go to Quartzsite and see Craig at Discount Solar. We were told by anyone we asked that he is the only honest solar dealer in town and he knows his stuff. (We have since been informed that Solar John is also honest and helpful). There is a lot to do in Quartzsite, particularly in January and February. Countless flea markets and gem dealers as well as experts on everything RV.

No Golden Passport Discount

December 2006
February 2007


Rest Areas: Overnight "resting" OK.


U. S. Navy

Fiddler's Cove RV Park
Naval Amphibious Base,
Box 357081
San Diego, CA 92135-7081
619 522-8681

32.651205° N
117.147646° W

From I-5 North or South, take Coronado exit and bridge across the bay. This becomes CA 75 which turns South. Follow 75 through Coronado, past the magnificent Del Coronado Hotel and the Naval Amphibious Base. Look for small sailboat on left which indicates the entrance. Check in inside gate or with Night Host after hours.

Great facility with marina, 30A electric and water as well as store, bathrooms, showers, laundry and super people. Reservations are absolutely necessary as this place fills up frequently. Spaces are very small. Our 35-foot motor home didn't quite fit on the concrete pad but there was plenty of space behind the coach for parking the dinghy. Not wide enough for both slides and awnings. Pull in spaces and dry camping are directly on the bay with fire rings and a magnificent view of San Diego. Mail is not delivered to the park so it must be sent to General Delivery at the Coronado Post Office. UPS and FedEx do deliver to sites.  Plans have been on the books for full hook ups and larger sites, but as it is this is a winner.

Military & Retired. Civil Service& Guests More.

December 2006

Safety Stop

Flying J

Flying J Travel Plaza 05090
Lenwood Road SE
Barstow, CA 92311
760 253-7043

34° 51' 14.5" N
117° 4" 56.5" W

I-15, Exit 178

Large, very clean, well maintained and extremely busy facility. Full set of RV islands. Very friendly people. Trucks lined up for blocks waiting to get in for fuel/service. RVs packed in to a large parking area. Quite noisy.


November 2006


Santa Maria Fairpark
937 S. Thornburg
Santa Maria CA 93458

34° 56' 20.7" N
123° 26' 35.6" W

Exit US 101 at Stowell St and drive west to fairgounds on right. Gate 7, past main entrance is always open. If late, find a spot and go to the office in the morning.

We worked here selling Christmas trees so our fees were paid. The bathrooms are very nice with great showers and plenty of hot (not scalding) water. 50, 30, 20 Amps. In town. Some pull thrus. Weekly rates.


December 2006

Safety Stop


Wal*Mart  #2507
2220 S. Bradley
Santa Maria, CA 93455

US 101, Exit on south end of town and drive west about a block to Bradley. Take it south (at one point it splits due to a large field, pick it up south of the field).

You must park only in the Wal*Mart parking lot. Security will make you move from anywhere else.  Wal*Mart management will not give you permission but security will not bother you if you are in the Wal*Mart lot. Be friendly and patronize the Wal*Mart store. This is not a 24-hour store and does not have RV supplies. Security will check to make sure you leave by noon.


November 2006


Rest Areas: Overnight parking is allowed but not encouraged. The Rest Area at Smyrna on DE-1 has a dump for which a fee ($5 when last checked) is charged. Toll roads and bridges accept Ez-Pass.



Dover AFB FamCamp
Equipment Rental
262 Chad St., Room 331
Dover AFB, DE 19902-7262
302 677-3959

39° 07' 10.6" N
75° 28' 22.4" W

On base. Enter via commercial (truck) gate. Follow that road to a T, turn right.  Just past the mortuary turn left onto Perimeter Road (failure to turn left puts you back on DE-1 headed north toward the commercial gate). Before the museum you will see the FamCamp on the left. After hours arrival get a form out of the black mailbox and find a spot.

Open year-round. 10 spaces, all back-in. Overflow is in the adjacent field. Spaces 1-3 do not have sewer. Space 2 floods in heavy rain. Friendly and helpful staff. No shade.  It is close to places of interest for us (including family)


April 2005


Rest Areas: No overnight parking.

U. S Forest Service
U. S. Forest Service

Big Bass Campground
Ocala National Forest
Seminole Ranger District
40929 State Road 19
Umatilla, FL 32784
352 669-3153

Mid-way between Weirsdale and Altoona on County Road 42. Unmarked westbound. Only one sign eastbound. On the SW corner of the Ocala National Forest.  Look for Forest Road 588 (dirt road) and take it north. Open Oct.15 to April 15.

Nice primitive campground with large and diverse sites. No hookups. Water is available at many locations throughout the campground and chemical toilets are also spotted around. The road noise from Route 42 is constant and pervasive.   My America the Beautiful card made this a real bargain. One of 28 camping areas in the Ocala National Forest.

America The Beautiful

Price Increase

April 2007

February 2008

January-February 2009

National Park Service
NPS Logo

Flamingo Campground
Everglades National Park
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034-6733
305 242-7700

25° 35.352' N
80° 56.551' W

From US 1, the park is located 12 miles SW of Homestead, FL along State Road 9336.

Flamingo Campground is 38 miles from the entrance to Everglades NP.  It is at the very tip of the Florida mainland. At night it is eerily quiet.  While they have very long pull-through pads there are no utilities although, while we were there a Ranger did question us about electric.  The restrooms are very nice and clean (ours even had complimentary coffee in the morning) but the showers are cold water only.  NO VERIZON SERVICE AT ALL.  No digital TV.  Long Pine Key Campground is only 7 miles from the main gate, closer to civilization.


America The Beautiful

877 444-6777

February 2009

State Historical Park

Florida State Parks

Fort Zachary Taylor Historical State Park
P.O. Box 6560
Key West, Florida 33041

US Route 1 becomes Truman Ave. in Key West.  Turn right on Whitehead Street and left on Southard St.  Go past the Truman Annex guard booth, through the next gateposts and turn left toward the Naval Station gate.  Just before the Naval Station gate, turn righ into the park's fee booth.  Be careful, the streets in Key West are VERY narrow and tourists do not know why those lines are painted on the streets at intersections.

We camped here during Civil War Heritage Days and parking was part of the participant fee.  They put us in a gravel parking lot right on the ocean in the shadow of the fort.  The beach here is considered the finest beach in Key West but the park is only open from 8 a.m. until dusk.  Overnight parking is not allowed (although we are leading a campaing to change that).  There are no utilities so this is totally dry camping.  Park volunteers however live in Volunteer Village with full hook ups for 20 hours per week of work.  Contact the park for info.

Not normally available

February 2009

Nudist Resort


Gulf Coast Nudist Resort
13220 Houston Ave.
Hudson, FL 34667
727 868-1061

From US 19 take County Line Road east for 2 miles.
From US 41 take County Line Road west for 8.5 miles.
County Line Road is also State Route 578.
Turn south on East Road, travel 2 miles and look for sign on left. Turn left onto Houston Ave to the resort entrance.

Family-friendly nudist resort with large pool and whirlpool on a concrete sunning pad. Resort has paved tennis courts, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, shuffleboard and other exercise facilities. A restaurant is open for three meals daily and a cabanna with hamburgs, hotdogs, beer and wine is open on week ends. Many scheduled events. We were there for the St. Patrick's Day activities and a meeting of the Escapees Buffs BoF. Full hook ups and laundry available.

Escapees Buff BoF Event Price

March 2007

State Forest

Holder Mine Campground
Division of Forestry
Withlacoochee State Forest
Recreation/Visitors Center
15003 Broad Street
Brooksville, FL 34601
352 754-6896

From the Gulf to Lakes Highway (State Road 44) west of  Inverness take State Road 581 south toward Brooksville.  After about two miles you will see a sign for Trail 10 to the right.  A half mile in the road turns to gravel for about a mile.  Campground is on the right just past the dump station.

The Florida State Parks have priced themselves out of the market.  We can get a full hookup site in a “resort” for $16.  Why would we pay $20 for electric and water in the boonies? We went to this campground from Big Bass because the temps continually dropped below freezing at night and without electric we couldn't keep warm and were spending a fortune on LP for the generator and catalitic heaters.  This is a beautiful little campground with electric and water as well as restrooms and hot shower.  No reservations, first come first served.  Pick a spot and pay the Iron Ranger.

65 or older AND Florida resident or 100% disabled.  Otherwise $20 per night

January-March 2009


January 2011



Key West Naval Air Station
Bldg. V932, Sigsbee Park
NAS Key West, FL 33040
305 293-4432

Soon after crossing the bridge into Key West, US 1 makes a  right turn then curves to the left.  When it straightens out look for signs to Sigsbee and turn right onto Kennedy Drive. Take the causeway and the road to the MWR office and check in.

Sigsbee has about 90 spaces with full hook up and a 14-day stay limit.  Waiting time in dry camping is 2-3 weeks and they will never run out of space.  If you are not waiting for a full hook-up site they will probably move you over to Trumbo Point, adjacent to the Coast Guard but only a long walk to the Schooner Wharf, Mallory Square and Duvall St.  The Trumbow Point campground is sparse with a shower at the pool along with two washers and dryers.  But you are in paradise--the Conch Republic. Go downtown, take a cruise, populate Mallory Square or just stroll down Duvall Street.  If you sit in your coach on your grass spot you deserve to be bored.

Dry Camping

Full Hook-Up

Camping on the economy is in the $120 per night range.

February 2009

Nudist Resort


Lake Como Nudist Resort
20500 Cot Rd.
Lutz, FL 33558
813 949-1810
877 TRYLAKE (toll free)

Just south of the intersection of US 41 and State Route 54 turn west onto Cot Rd and follow it to the Lake Como entrance.

Rustic family-friendly resort with large pool, whirlpool, sauna, competition-quality clay tennis courts, free canoes and paddleboats on large lake. Everything from full hook ups to boondocking at the same price.

With coupons.
Nudism is not cheap!

March 2007

U. S. Air Force

Manitee Cove
Outdoor Recreation
1629 Atlas Avenue
Patrick AFB, FL 32925
321 494-4787

From I 95 take Exit 191 (Wickham Rd). Follow signs to Patrick AFB. There is one left turn onto Pineda Causeway. Go past first entrance to Patrick AFB. Turn left on FL A1A. About a mile and a half north turn left into truck entrance (if after hours call security for entry). From gate turn right onto main road which eventually turns left. Go through two stop signs and turn left on Rescue Road which crosses the end of the runway and terminates at the FamCamp. After 9 p.m. stay in the parking lot before the playground and wait for morning.

Beautiful facility, well maintained and well managed. Plenty of rules but they are all enforced for everyone. Site 69 is reserved for wheel-chair bound handicapped. Facility has full and partial hook-ups and a fleet of blue-boys for those in no-sewer spots. Some spots are right on the Banana River. Nice beach, restrooms, showers, laundry room.
This was also the first place we found the Air Force Frequent Camper Program and were able to sign up.

30A, W

April 2007

National Park


Monument Lake Campground
Big Cyprress National Preserve
33100 Tamiami Trail East
Ochopee, FL 34141-1000
239 695-1201

Along the Tamiami Trail (US 41) about 10 miles west of  the Oasis Visitor Center north of the highway.

We stopped here overnight on our way from Key West to Fort Myers Beach.  It is dry camping with a bathhouse.  The lake is full of very large gators who are curious but not agressive.  Beautiful location and very friendly volunteer staff.  However, if we were going to spend more than a night we would go to the Midway Campground, about three miles east of the Oasis Visitor Center where we can get a full hook up and shower for $10 a night (Interagency Pass rate).

Interagency Pass Rate
$15 normal

No Amenities

February 2009


Nude Campground

Paradise Pines Nude RV Park

20300 Leonard Road

Lutz, FL 33558


sales and rentals

Exit I-75 at FL54 and head west.  Turn left onto US41 and make an immediate right onto Leonard Road.  Drive past Lake Como and look for the sign on the left.  You will need to have someone let you in through the gate.

Very friendly, laid back nude campground that costs less than the nearby “textile” resorts.  All spots are privately owned and most are available for rent or purchase.  A pool is available next door at Lake Como (for a fee) but there is discussion about putting one in the park if the owners can agree.  Membership in any recognized national or international nudist organization is required to keep out the gawkers.

From $350 per month + electric

(Typically $500 per month)


50-30 Amp, Water, Sewer

February-March 2011

December 2011- April 2012


Parkway Tire Campground
412 N. Tyndall Parkway
Callaway, FL
850 785-6300

Between Panama City and Tyndall AFB on US 98.

It's actually the parking area behind Parkway Tire and Service, Inc.  We spent a week here getting our brakes done.  We had to replace all four rotors and other problems and the people here were just great. If your RV needs service they will do it for a reasonable price.  They have promised us a dedicated camping spot when we come back next year for tires.  We can not recommend Neil and his staff too highly.  Not a very good campground but a great place for RV service and tires.

No Amenities

February 2008

January 2009

Air Force

Raptor Ranch
101 FamCamp Road
Tyndall AFB, FL 32403-1045
850 283-2798

South of Panama City, just as you enter Tyndall AFB on US98, second right at FamCamp sign. Just off the highway.

Very nice, well maintained and excellent management. This one is a winner. No reservations but fast turn-around from overflow to sites. Beautiful, wooded location directly on the river. The community building was built by campers and events are held frequently.

30-Amp Rate

$10 in Over Flow

March 2007

February 2008

Nudist Resort


Riverboat Nudist Resort
6901 Caliente Boulevard
Land O' Lakes, FL 34637
813 996-6008

North of Land O' Lakes turn east off of  US 41 onto Caliente Road and pass Caliente Resort--paved road ends. Riverboat is on the left.

Very rustic. Pool and whirlpool were dirty. Friendly people. Parties, parties, parties. Do not take children here, this resort is friendly to alternate lifestyles.

Week-end Special

March 2007

Safety Stop

Wal Mart

Wal*Mart #988
21703 Village Lakes Shopping Center
Land O'Lakes, FL 34639

On the north side of State Route 54 just east of US 41. Just a few miles west of I-75.

This is a Wal*Mart, not a Super Wal*Mart so it closes at night and has no grocery department.  However, there is a Sweetbay Grocery Store in the same shopping center.  Parking is OK but they ask that you park close to the highway.  Walking into this store is almost like walking into a museum--this is one of the originals.  If you want to get a manicure or pedicure go to Rose Nails, not the overly expensive other nail shop.


February 2009


Rest Areas: Overnight parking is not allowed. Some Rest Areas have dumps at the exits.

PA Campground


Bell Acres REsort
158 Bell Acres Road
Maysville, GA 39558
800 432-1436

34o 17' 20.7" N
83o 29' 44.1" W

I-85 to Exit 149 (Do NOT use the Maysville Exit), go north on US 441, approximately one mile, cross Grove River Bridge and take first left onto McDonald Circle. Drive 1.7 miles to Hembree Road (gravel) on left. Take Hembree Road .6 mile to Bell Acres Road on right. With a good driver this can be negotiated with big rigs.

Nudist Resort open year-round. 10 camping spaces, 35 long term camper spaces. Friendly membership resort with week end activities, pool (May-Oct), hot tub, hiking trail, clubhouse, horshoe and volleyball courts. Pleasant wooded acres. Sites can accompdate up to 45-ft rigs but there are only a few 30 amp sites (no 50). Water and sewer on site. Get there soon if you plan to go because the owner does very little maintenance and the place will soon fall apart and go back to nature.

$21.50 PA

March 2006

National Park Service

NPS Logo

Fort Frederica National Monument (FOFR)
6500 Frederica Road
Saint Simons Island, GA
912 638-3639

On Saint Simons Island, GA, a barrier island east of Brunswick, GA.  Take the causeway to the island and turn left at the first light.  At the next light trun left and continue to the circle.  Take the second exit off the circle and the park is just past Christ Church on the left.

One pad for volunteers (scheduled up to three years in advance except for July and August which are almost always open).  Work is diverse from interpretation to construction to costume repair to living history and just about anything you can offer.

4-days on (9 am to 4:30 pm) three days off per week. Very flexible.

November - December 2008

National Park Service

Fort Pulaski National Monument (FOPU)
US Highway 80 East
PO Box 30757
Savannah, GA 31410
912 786-5787

About 12 miles east of Savannah on US 80 just before Tybee Island.

Four full-service pads for volunteers.  You work four on, three off in various jobs for the National Park Service. This may be the best volunteer campground in the NPS. The Coast Guard station within walking distance allovs volunteers to eat in their galley for a fee. You can watch the big ships pass within a couple hundred yards on their way to and from Savannah. Your dining companions are deer and racoons and when the park is closed, the bridge is locked and you are pretty much alone on Cocksput Island.

28 hours per week per person

April to July 2007



Robins FamCamp
Outdoor Recreation (SVRO)
Bldg. 1305
Robins AFB, GA 31098-1468
478 926-3193

32° 38'  25.4" N
83° 35' 41.9" W

On base. Drive to the commercial (truck) gate and ask for directions, a map and an escort, if possible. The site is on a lake and is breathtaking. Well worth the search.

Open year-round. 18-hard stands, 4 of them pull-thru. 50A/Sewer/Water. Friendliest staff on the planet. We were there a few days before a FMCA event nearby and had to dry camp for half price. Base services are a short drive away but the campsites are very secluded in a nice wooded area. Our second visit was just as enjoyable.  A great place to relax.


March 2005

January 2009


Rest Areas: Overnight parking is NOT allowed.

Safety Stop


Lebanon, IN 46052
765 483-9755

I-65 Exit 139 at IN-39.

Very busy, next to a truck terminal. RV islands to the left of the auto islands. Diesel, gas, LP, dump, air. Only four RV overnight spaces, located next to auto islands. Standard Flying J facilities. When we were there they had the lowest diesel prices in the nation.


May 2005

Safety Stop


Flying J # 05085
I-80 & I-94 Exit 15B
Lake Station, IN 46405
219 962-8502

Also Indiana 51- Ripley Street South.
East of Gary.

NO RV FACILITIES. Go to truck fueling islands. The sign that says "Cars Only" is for real. A big rig can not maneuver in the space provided.


October 2006

U. S. Forest Service

U. S. Forest Service

Hardin Ridge Campground
Hoosier National Forest
6464 Hardin Ridge Road
Heltonville, IN 47436
812 837-9453

39º 01' 14.4" N
86º 26" 41.7" W

A few miles off Indiana 446 south of Bloomington on Lake Monroe.

Golden Passports

We arrived the week after school started and essentially had the whole place to ourselves. Fabulously beautiful, great hosts, spotless, improved parking spaces with 30Amp electric and water. The showers are very clean, they work extremely well and are worth the price of admission. The price with the Golden Access Passport was listed as $13.50 but if you stay 3 days during the week you get the 4th day free. I didn't realize that the U. S. Forest Service is part of the Department of Agriculture.

Golden Access Pass

August 2005


O'Riley Raceway Park
Was Indianapolis Raceway Park
10267 E. US 136
Indianapolis, IN 46234
317 291-4090
Speak to Katrina Black

39° 49' 12.9" N
86° 20' 22.7" W

U. S. Route 136 in Crawfordsville, northwest of Indianapolis.
Not to be confused with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, IN where the Indianapolis 500 is held.
(The Indy 500 also uses Workampers but we have never worked there--if you are interested contact us and we will get you in touch with people who have)

Not a campground--a workamping assignment. We work here each year for the MAC Nationals of the National Hot Rod Association, selling and taking tickets. Before the race starts we work a few days putting up signs and cleaning facilities. No electricity (In 2007 they left us hook up to 20 amps if we could find a plug). Honey wagon takes septic and water is delivered when requested for free. The appeal here is the other Workampers. We have a lot of fun and make a little money. There are also other events for Workampers throughout the year so contact Katrina (very nice lady & super boss) if you are interested in a brief assignment.

No Fees

August 2005

August 2006

August 2007

Private Spot

White Oak Ranch Campground
Old Farm Road
Springville, IN 47462


Along Old Farm Road between Springville and Fayetteville west of Bedford.

Bev's sister, Leslie, and her husband, Jeff, are the always genial hosts. We have a 30 Amp connection, water and plenty of woods to drain the gray tank. Their horses add an interesting ambiance to the parking spot. They always welcome us and it is a beautiful, quiet idylic setting for resting. Unfortunately, for anyone looking here for a place to camp, this is another of our network of friends and relatives who have driveways in excess of 35 feet long and welcome us.

No Fees

As often as possible


Rest Areas:


U. S. Army

Toledo Bend Recreation Site
1310 Army Recreation Road
Florien, LA 71429-5000
316 531-1974
888 718-9088 toll free

From Ft. Polk take US 171 north to Anacoco and turn left on LA 111. Follow this road (LA 111 makes a left turn--go straight) until it comes to a T at the river. Turn right and drive 4.8 miles, pass the state park, and look for the sign on the left. Once at the site, DO NOT go down the hill to the office with your rig--it is on a peninsula and very difficult to turn around. Recommend you go through the "Back Gate" if you have a big rig. This campground can not handle anything bigger than 35 ft.

Rustic fishing camp with electric and water on site. CATV is available for $5 per week (on some sites). No TV reception, no Verizon service.
Boats for rent, swimming area with lifeguards in the summer. The friendliest and most helpful staff we have ever run into. Week ends can get a bit rowdy with soldiers from Ft. Polk letting off steam with bonfires and heavy drinking. Bathhouse has excellent showers with plenty of pressure and hot water. There is only one washer and one dryer at 75¢ each.

Plus $5 per week for CATV

February 2007


Rest Areas:


U. S. Navy

Shields RV Park
Navy Construction Battalion Center
176 Holloway Drive
Gulfport, MS 39501-5000
228 437-0941

From I 10 Exit 34 take US 49 south for exactly 4 miles to Pass Road. Turn right, Pass Road ends at the gate. Ask at the gate for directions as the park is being moved.

This park is in transition. Its current site is being closed to build military family housing. The temporary site is a former FEMA trailer park in the industrial section of the base until the new site is completed at an abandoned trailer park. Interim site has all back-in on gravel with 30 amp service, water and sewer. There is also a laundry house with free washers and dryers, part of which is to be converted to bathrooms.

Weekly rate per day

March 2007

Safety Stop


Wal*Mart #3528
1053 Frontage Drive, E
Wiggins, MS 39577

US 49

We tried to get in at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg but it was full with no overflow due to its Iraq War mission. We decided to go to the Sea Bee base at Gulfport but it was getting late and we were tired so we spent the night here.


February 2007


Rest Stops: Overnight parking NOT allowed. Some Rest Stops have dumps.


Chalet Bearmouth
1610 W. Drummond Frontage Rd.
Clinton, MT 59825
406 825-9950

46° 41' 53.2" N
113° 25' 23.1" W
3694 ft elevation

I-90 at Mile Marker 138. 33 miles E of Missoula & 97 miles W of Butte.

We were tired after driving the passes in rain, sleet, snow, slush, etc. all day and saw this place along the Clark Fork River. The scenery is magnificent and it is open year round. We had a 30 Amp (50 is available) hook up plus water (water is shut off during winter). Sewer is central due to the age of the park and proximity to the river. The Lodge has rooms, dining, a bar, casino, large showers, bathrooms, laundry room and gas pumps. The restaurant is open for breakfast (which was outstanding), lunch and dinner. There is also FREE WiFi but no TV. New motivated and very friendly owners. Planning to go PA.


October 2006


Rest Areas:  Overnight parking OK. 24 hour limit.

National Park

National Park Servicd

Lake Meade NRA
Boulder Beach Campground

36° 48' 16.5" N
114° 5' 42.8" W

I-515 SE of Las Vegas until it ends. Continue on US93 and take Boulder City by-pass. Before  Hoover Dam will be a left turn to beaches and camping. Boulder Beach is first campground on right past the Ranger Station.

Golden Passports

Drive through campground and pick a spot (none are reserved). Then return to pavilion at entry, obtain an envelope, fill it out with  site number, name, address, license number of RV and Golden Passport number if you have one. This campground charges $10 per night ($5 for Golden Passports). Restroom facilities with sinks are provided as are fire rings and water (not garden hose compatable). There is a beach and a dump station. Enforced quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Golden Access Pass

November 2006


Oasis Resort Casino RV Park
897 W. Mesquite Blvd.
Mesquite, NV 89027
800 216-2747

36° 48' 16.7" N
114° 5' 42.6" W

I-15 Exit 120. Drive down Mesquite Blvd  past Oasis Casino, RV park entrance on left. Check in at office. Pull-thrus on left, back-ins on right. Showers in far right corner.

Nice fully paved area with 50 Amp electric, water, sewer, cable. Very tight spaces, slide outs are problematic. We were here for a conference (and a celebration of the Marine Corps Birthday). It is a little more than we would like to spend and if we are in the area would probably go to Zion National Park. If this is your kind of camping this place gets a good grade. Very nice clean showers. Get a key to the heated pool and two whirlpools at the hotel lobby. If you are a serious gambler they will comp your site. Try not to drink the water, it is nasty.


November 2006


Rest Areas: Overnight parking is NOT allowed. Stays limited to 3 hours except in emergencies.

New Hampshire


New Boston Recreation Area
317 Chestnut Hill Road
New Boston, NH 03070
603 471-2234

42° 56' 56.1" N
71° 37' 22.4" W

West of Manchester on New Boston Air Force Station. They bill it as the best kept camping secret in New England and from our experience they are right.

Nice improved spaces with 30A and water. No on site dump. Showers are in a small trailer at the entrance to the site and the rest rooms are porta-potties. No military exchange or commissary  but Wal*Mart is only 8 miles away. A good percentage of the spots are filled with semi-permanent (3-6 months) campers so reservations are absolutely required. For some reason they don't allow overflow parking even though there is plenty of open space.


August 2005


Rest Areas: Overnight parking allowed only in emergencies. Normal stops limited to 3 hours. Toll roads, bridges and tunnels almost all accept Ez-Pass.

New York
State Park

State Park

Cherry Plain State Park
Box 30
Cherry Plain, NY 12040
518 733-5400

SE of Albany near the Mass. border. Waaaaaaaaaay back in the woods. Very poorly marked with miniature signs behind trees etc. Single lane gravel roads for miles.

This is not your basic overnight stop. You have got to want to come here and, quite honestly, as far back in the boonies as it is, you should plan to stay a week and plan to pay plenty for it. Quiet, serene, big beautiful clean lake with swimming and boating. NO hook ups, small RV spaces (I barely made it between some of the trees and had to sacrifice my awning to get out). But if you want rustic, this is the place to be. Friendly staff but a very confusing fee structure. As I write this I have no idea how much this is going to cost. One of the reasons we stopped was the note that they gave discounts for golden access holders  (according to the brochure we got at the Welcome Center on I-81)  but now it appears as though that is "New York State Golden Access" holders. If you have a rig over 20-feet, DO NOT let them send you into the first loop--you can't get out.


August 2005

New York
P.A. Campground

Passport America

Cortland Country Music Park
Rt 13 North
Cortland, NY 13045
607 753-0377

I-81 Exit 11. North on Rt.13 1.5 miles on the right. Note: It is the second Country Music Park, the first is a real dump (even worse than the dump we ended up in).

AVOID THIS PLACE. The campground is an after thought to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Saturday and Sunday live entertainment and the Monday Bingo. When we arrived they told us to park anywhere so we selected a level spot. Two days of rain and our spot turned into a mud bog. We were informed that the tractor was broken and we had to have a commercial tow truck jerk us out. The management was not only not helpful, they were belligerent. The place is crowded with semi-permanent residents with plywood additions. Many of them are around the lake so that you can't even see the lake.


June 2005

New York

U. S. Army

Fort Drum

Near Watertown

Remington Lake Campground is CLOSED. The option was dry camping with zero facilities on site for waaaaaaay too much. But I can't really complain because this is the home of the 10th  Mountain Division which was the vanguard on our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That part of their job they do great.


June 2005

New York
P.A. Campground

Passport America

Sleepy Hollow Lake
13800 Siehl Road
Akron, NY 14001
716 542-4336

Between I-90 and NY 33 west of NY 77

200 sites with 30 and 50 Amp service and anything to do from BINGO and quoits to a petting zoo and a beach. Some shaded sites, some in the scorching sun. This is one of the few P.A. campgrounds that is worth the regular fee. This is a resort setting with plenty to do. They did  manage to squeeze out an extra $2.50 per night for air conditioning--it was not in the P. A. brochure.


August 2005


Rest Areas: Overnight parking NOT allowed. Stay limited to 3 hours. Ohio Turnpike does NOT accept Ez-Pass but I am told some rest stops have electric hook ups and dumps. Interstate speed limit 65 except for big trucks and big rigs (55 mph) and enforcement is fanatical. This forces you to either constantly pass trucks or drive at the slower speed--this can not be safer.

P.A. Campground

Passport America

Kool Lakes Family RV Park
PO Box 673
Parkman, OH 44080
440 548-9436

41° 20' 47.3" N
81° 02' 26.1" W

Off of US 422 south on Ohio 282 less than a mile. In Portage County

Beautiful old campground with fishing and boating lake and separate swimming lake. Plenty of  campsites with various options from primitive to full-hookup. Some pull thru's. Very good shower facilities except that when we were there the hot water was limited or non-existent. Quiet, wooded. The folks who helped us get set up on Sunday were very friendly, other staff was much less helpful. Many  seasonal and permanent sites with their plywood add-ons gives it a ramshackle appearance. We probably won't go back because of their erratic policy on visitors. We had visitors on two days--just to chat, not to use any of the facilities, and on the first day they were charged $1 per person and on the second day $3 per person and were sternly warned to be out of the park by sundown (despite their rules which said 10 p.m.).


June 2005

Corps of Engineers

Corps of Engineers

Mill Creek Recreation Area
7400 Bedell Road
Berlin Center, OH 44401
330 547-8180

41° 00' 42.2" N
80° 59' 10.6' W

From Deerfield, OH 4 miles East on US 224, 0.5 miles South on Bedell Road, on right.

Golden Passports

30 Amp (50 available in a few sites), no water, no sewer on site (dump in park). Beautiful wooded setting, level hard surface. Giant lake, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, group camping, showers (in need of repair), marina, playgrounds, central septic dump. Corps of Engineers facility. Friendly people. We WILL be have been back. Best sites in the park are Aspen 76 & 78 as they have electric and are right next to the showers (which have been repaired).

Golden Access Pass

August 2005,
September 2006

Safety Stop


Wal*Mart #2362
3606 Mayfield Rd
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Closest Wal*Mart to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which has NO parking of any kind for RVs. Hard to find.

Not a very nice neighborhood and the Head Cashier said we needed permission from the manager who just went home. We checked with the roving security guard who said it would be OK. This is not a 24-hour Wal*Mart and we would not do it again. The IHOP nearby was a blessing in the morning.


June 2005


Rest Areas: Overnight parking OK up to 12 hours. Some rest areas have exercise rings for horses. They are also serious about not passing snow plows on the right. Some rest areas have dumps.

Stupidity Stop

Rest Area

Dead Man's Pass Rest Stop
(Not near anything)

I-84 Exit 224

From the west it is a full hour's climb, in 3rd gear to the summit. As a result, I ran out of fuel pulling into this rest stop. The closest diesel is at the FlyingJ in LaGrande. Have you ever had to prime a diesel engine on a hill at night in the rain?  Trust me, it ain't fun.
While I was there, two other vehicles ran out of fuel and had to call for service. This would be a great place to put a fuel stop.


November 2006

Safety Stop

Flying J

PO Box 3298s
LaGrande, OR 97850
541 963-3432

I-84 Exit 265

This is a franchise, not a Flying J owned facility. No RV island, no dump, no propane. Parking is on gravel among the trucks. EXTREMELY noisy from trucks running all night and a train track next to the parking area. This is also a Greyhound Bus Depot. VERY FRIENDLY and helpful people who didn't even make fun of me when I ran out of fuel on Dead Man's Pass. Heading east I would spend the night at the rest stop about 4 miles down the road. Heading west I'd go to Dead Man's Pass rest stop.


November 2006


Rest Areas:  Overnight parking NOT authorized but not enforced. PA Turnpike accepts Ez-Pass.

Private Spot

Camp Carpenter Bee
Brunnerville, PA 17543

Private residence, sorry

Greg & Martee allow us to stay at their place in Brunnerville. It is a well forested lot overlooking a large farm and a valley. They allowed us to put in a dedicated 30 amp service and we park on the edge of their parking lot. Super people, we are lucky to know them.


Whenever we are in Lancaster County, PA


Private Spot

Deerlick Campsite

Orrtanna, PA 17353

This is our family get away site in the mountains between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA.

Just a small hunting cabin on rented land.  We have put in two parking spots, one for out motorhome and one for friends.  The lot in in a wooded high valley between Pine Mountain and South Mountain, 2.5 miles north of US-30 between Gettysburg and Chambersburg.  It is a wooded 2 acres with a stream, fire pit, deck, tree house and zip line. We think it is paradise north.


Summer Months

Available to fiiends--please call first

Safety Stop


1501 Harrisburg Pike
Carlisle, PA 17013

North of Carlisle just off I-81 at Exit 52.

Typical FlyingJ except that RV parking is in the lot outside the door to the restaurant. There are no pull-thrus so bigger rigs need to park sideways on the marked lot.


August 2005
October 2006

Safety Stop


Wal*Mart #1945
1169 S. Main St.
Mansfield, PA16933

Off I-99 about a mile.

Nice quiet spot. Be sure to ask manager.


June 2005

Private Spot

Walker Compound
Milesburg, PA

Private residence, sorry

Most of Bev's brother's family live on this large lot on the edge of two streams and bordered by the Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad. We have a dedicated 30 amp service in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania. It is great until the floods.



Corps of Engineers

Corps of Engineers

Youghiogheny River Lake
Outflow Campground
R.D. 497 Flanigan Road
Confluence, PA 15424-1932
814 393-3944

39º 48' 15.6" N
79º 22' 3.8" W

On PA Route 281 about five miles north of US 40, east of Uniontown PA

Golden Passports

We are convinced that the Corps of Engineers selects their campgrounds by following the Verizon guy around and when he asks "Can you hear me now" and there is no response the CofE builds a campground. They  have full hookups but we selected electric only.  It was the last week of the season and everything was in working order and very clean. Sleeping to the sound of the water coursing down from the dam was a real pleasure. We will be back. The town of Confluence is less than a mile away and has a nice market, laundry, post office and library. And if you drive to the top of the hill your cell phone will often work.

Golden Access Pass

September 2005
September 2007


South Carolina
National Park Service

Kings Mountain National Military Park (KIMO)
2625 Park Road
Blacksburg, SC 29702
864 936-7921

Take NC Exit 2 off I-85 and head back into South Carolina. This road will take you past the Headquarters and the Visitor Center.

They parked us behind a historic house and installed a 30 amp plug.  We had water and access to the washer and dryer in the house.  The Chief Ranger scheduled us for five days on and two off. That is too much for the amenities provided and we would have complained if we planned to return.

40 hours per person per week

November and December 2007

South Carolina

Double J Camping Spot
Honea Path, SC

Private Camping, sorry.

Jeff and Jann Minich, Bev's cousins, allowed us to use the 30 amp plug, water and sewer connection they used for the trailer they lived in while they built their beautiful house.  Great hosts and good friends.


As often as possible

South Carolina



Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Building 1018 Saint Mihiel Road

Parris Island, SC 29905

843 228-7472

To check graduation dates go to:
Call ahead and make arrangements (payment by credit card is best).  They will give you a combination code. Enter the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, drive to the first circle (you may be directed to the security area for an inspection)  Take the first right to the T intersection, turn right then just past the PT fields take the first left.  Past the water tower be on the look out for Saint Mihiel Road on the right.  Find your assigned spot then go to the service building with the code you have been given and retrieve the keys to your water and electric.

Bev and I met and got married while we were both stationed here near the middle of the last century.  We go back as often as possible to watch a Friday graduation parade.  The campground opened in  2010.  It was built on part of the old Tarawa Terrace trailer park and has full utilities, a new service building with fantastic showers, bathrooms and laundry facilities.  One of the best campgrounds anywhere and open to civilian families of graduating Marine Recruits as well as  retired, active duty, reserve military and select others.

I consider this my greatest victory as I was one of the voices that got them to put in a campground.  I love this place.

$15 per day April 2010
November 2010
March 2011
December 2011
April 2012


This is the best state for fulltimers to use for their address for reasons discussed below. Rest Areas:  Overnight parking is not only NOT allowed there are signs posted stating that any stay over 3 hours (8 hours for commercial truckers) is a misdemeanor. That's why we "live" here but don't visit often.

South Dakota
Safety Stop

Flying J

FlyingJ #05035
I-29, Exit 83
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
605 977-1438

Located one exit south of I-90.

Excellent facility with two complete RV islands and a third with only dump and air. LP is located so that jockeying around is not necessary and you can get LP while someone else is in the islands. Very busy location with only 6 marked RV parking spots but the lot is very large. Cleaner than most Flying Js we have seen.


October 2006

South Dakota
P.A. Campground

Passport America

Famil-E-Fun Campground
25473 403rd Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301
605 996-8983

43° 41' 30.5" N
98° 08' 46.3" W

I-90 at Exit 325, west of Mitchell.

65 sites, open April-October. Jerry and Sharon have had this family park for 18 years and they care for it like a child. It has pull-thru sites that will handle the largest rigs, 50A and 30A service, on-site dump, water and a phone at the office for Internet. There is a large, beautiful pool, mini-golf, laundry, showers, and some of the friendliest people on the planet. Plenty of shade trees. The Passport America rate is listed as there is no stated limit, only that they reserve the right to limit the rate (if, for instance, you are a real jerk).


April 2005


Rest Areas: Overnight parking NOT allowed. Two hour limit.



Arnold FamCamp
656 AEDC/SDV (FamCamp)
Community Center
4174 Westover Rd.
Arnold AFB TN 37388
931 454-6084

On base. I-24 exit 117 west. Follow signs to Recreation Areas.  At Gate 2 turn left onto Pump Station Road.  Go to end, turn right (at 3-way stop check in at gate but do not turn in). Continue1 mile to FamCamp on right. Camp host is in the middle of the camp. Be careful, entrance is a switch-back and up hill.

Open year-round.  Facilities not well maintained. Fee too high for services available. Quite a few seasonal or permanent units. Some with gardens, some with gray-water dumped on ground. Beach, boat launch, large lake. No sewer, central dump. Sites with 30A and water. Small AAFES, base is mostly civilian contract. The whole time we were there the laundry room was locked and the camp hostess was unavailable.


May 2005

P.A. Campground

Passport America

Maple Grove Campground
6878 Granville Highway (Rt 53)
Granville, TN 38564
931 653-4486

I-40 Exit 258 take TN-53 north about 9 miles.  Look for signs.  When you see the one that says Maple Grove Campground 7/10 mile slow down, it is just over the crest of a hill on the left and the sign is hard to see. It's a trek over some challenging road but it is worth it.

This is a diamond in the rough. For years it was a well known local campground but it fell on hard times and mismanagement and into foreclosure. The new owners bought it in 2004 and are bringing back the luster. Shaded, rolling grounds with 48 grass and gravel sites each with full hook up, some with 50A. Gigantic pool, building a small store and laundry (not included in PVI). Nice clean bathrooms with showers, pavilion with fireplace. Pay phone (which is good because there is no cell phone service--hey Verizon, "Can you hear me now?"). Adjacent to a Corps of Engineers lake. Spend a week or more here--open year-round. In the winter this place is crowded with hunters.


May 2005


Rest Areas: Overnight parking OK. Rest areas have free WiFi but I have never been able to get it to work and no one at the rest areas seems to know anything about it.

Safety Stop

Wal*Mart #285
141 I-45 South
Huntsville, TX 77320

I 45 Exit 109 (the Wal*Mart map book says Exit 118 but it is wrong)

Nice secure location. Security was both helpful and friendly.


February 2007


Rest Areas: The state is closing the rest areas and replacing them with "Public/Private Partnership Rest Areas." These are service stations and other commercial locations that are close to exits.

National Park

National Park Service

Zion National Park
Springdale, UT 84767-1099
435 772-3256

37° 11' 43" N
112° 59' 20.9" W

I-15 Exit 27 at Toquerville. Drive through Verkin, Virgin and Springdale about 20 miles to entrance. Campground is first right after the Ranger Station.

Golden Passports

The view from under our awning is awe inspiring. A small mule dear watched us as we set up and later the whole family came by to check us out. The buck had a rack that would make our brother-in-law Jeff drool. We WILL be back when we can stay longer. Even the pop-up in the pull-thru spot couldn't dampen my enjoyment of this venue.

Golden Access Pass

November 2006


Rest Areas: Overnight parking is NOT permitted. Two hour time limit.

National Park Service

NPS Logo

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (APCO)

From Lynchburg or Farmville take US460 to the Appomattox by-pass where you will take State Road 24 east for about two miles, the Visitor Center is on the left.

They have no camping facilities so we parked next to the house that houses part-time rangers and plugged in.  I worked here as a Seasonal Park Ranger and Bev worked as a volunteer to pay for our parking expenses.


May - October 2008

Living History

Fort Pocahontas
At Wilson's Wharf
PO Box 8
Charles City, VA 23030
804 829-5377

37° 18' 30.2" N
76° 59' 48.9" W

Exit I-96 onto VA 5 at Exit 22, east to Charles City County. About 1.5 miles past Sherwood Forest Plantation turn right at small sign and follow signs.

Not a campground. We stayed here during the Civil War reenactment held anually in May. While we were parked in the public parking lot, during the evenings it was quiet and dark with trees. Great camping, too bad it is not open for that purpose.


May 2006

May 2007

May 2008

Safety Stop

Flying J Travel Plaza #05033
Ruther Glen, VA
804 448-9047

I-95 Exit 104 between Fredridksburg and Richmond

Very busy. Limited RV parking. Pavement poorly marked, overnight parking very haphazard. Friendly staff.


May 2006


US Navy

Little Creek MWR RV Park
Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base
1432 Hewitt Drive
Norfolk, VA 23521-2231
757 462-7281

From Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel take US60 West to Gate 4 (you will pass Gate 5) on right. Enter base, make first left drive about a mile on left. Report to cabin.

Nice little park. Crowded but plenty of shade. All 45 pads are level concrete and are assigned by length up to 35 ft.  Some have 50A all have sewer, water, CATV although we couldn't get ours to work. No overflow so it is probably best to call ahead. Some seasonal sites but they are all clean and there is no plywood construction. Showers were worth the price of admission.


July 2005

(Open to public)

U S Army

Pickett RV Park
Fort Pickett
Blackstone, VA 23824-5000
434 292-8444

Campground Operated by Nottoway County
434 298-0366 and speak to Miss Kitty.

Reservations Required

37° 03.703' N
77° 58.064' W

From I-95 South of Petersburg take Exit 51, US 460 West (it will also be I-85 until the Fort Pickett Exit) From I-85 it is another 30 miles or so (it just seems like 100) to a left turn just before Blackstone, then several more miles to the main gate. Drive on post to 10th St. and turn left (Just after the left, turn right into the parking lot for the office. After 4:30 p.m. continue past 10th St. to the MP office on right). Campground is about a block down 10th St., turn right.

Well kept secret. 11 RV sites with full hook ups (50 amp) and phone lines available for long term. Over 30 days @ $8 per day. No showers on site but showers at billeting are available free. Laundromat at billeting. Armed Forces Exchange, bowling alley. Wal*Mart, shopping center & fast food about 2 miles. Pets alowed on leash.
Site 7 has the Glenn Knight Memorial Water Hydrant since I clipped the old one off backing in.
Not recommended for motorhomes over 35 ft. All sites are back-in and all are lower at back. Motorhomes will have trouble leveling front to back


July 2006


US Navy

Stewart Campground
Norfolk Naval Support Activity, Northwest Annex
Chesapeake, VA 23322-5000
757 421-8264

The NSA has covert locations that are easier to find than this place. Find your way to I64 south of Norfolk and take US17 south to Ballahack Road, turn left. The base will be on the right a few miles.
Or, from I64 take VA 168 south to Ballahack Road, turn right at the 7-11. The base will be on your left a few miles.

This place was my personal playground. With a dozen sites there were only three of us there. It is back in the boonies, and you can't even see your fellow campers. Sites have 50A electric, no water, no sewer but both are available at a central location. Nice little base with a 4-lane bowling alley, exercise facilities, pool, nice little Navy Exchange and gas station. For a week you pay for 6 days. Super bathrooms and showers. Active security and, oh yes, there is the small problem with bears--but generally they won't bother you if you don't bother them. Great people at MWR and everyone on base is extremely friendly. If you qualify to get on base this is a really great deal. Open May-Oct.


July 2005

National Park

National Park Service

Wilderness Road Campground
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
National Park Service
606 248-2817

From the West (Kentucky) take Route 25E through the tunnel and then right on US 58 a couple of miles, into Tennessee and then immediately in to Virginia. Watch for signs for campground. At the welcome cabin take an envelope and go park.  All sites are back-in. Rows B and C have 50A electric but no dump or water (both are available on the campgrounds).

Golden Passports

Wow!!!! Secluded, wooded, quiet, pristine, natural sites with picnic tables and fire rings. The comfort stations are almost sterile and the showers are TO DIE FOR (you know, the type with a strong yet caressing stream of water, easy to set temp and it even has a hand-held wand that you can switch to in order to rinse off).  Hiking and bicycle trails, plenty to explore and you can barely see the next site. With the Golden Access Passport and 50% off the camping fee, this is a winner.


May 2005


Rest Areas: Overnight parking OK. Most have dumps. All have WiFi for a fee.

Safety Stop

Rest Area

Indian John Hill Rest Area
I-90 near MM 89

West of Ellensburg

Located within the Cascade Range. Beautiful spot. Very windy. Dump at truck exit.


October 2006

Safety Stop

T/A-Travelcenters of America
North Bend, WA 98045
425 888-1119

I-90, Exit 34, West of Snoqualmie Pass

We stopped here to get air for our tires. We couldn't find the air hose so we asked and it was pointed out to us. We couldn't get there because the area was being used for employee parking and no one would move their cars. The place is filthy, the people are surly and it is obvious that they do not want our business. Pass this place up.


November 2006


Rest Areas: Overnight parking is NOT permitted.

Safety Stop


FlyingJ #05124
Oak Creek, WI 53154
414 761-0482

I-94 Exit 322, South of Milwaukee

Fuel is cheaper than Illinois but more expensive than Indiana. As usual the card machine at the pumps didn't work. Overnight parking very limited.


October 2006


US Army

Pine View Recreation Area
2187 South J Street
Attn: Pine View Recreation Area
Ft. McCoy, WI 54656-5000
608 388-3517

44° 02' 09" N
90° 42' 50" W

On post. I-94 exit 143. Take WI-21 west approx 9 miles to Ft. McCoy Gate 19, turn right and follow signs for several miles. Host is just past main pavilion.

Golden Passports

Open year-round. Excellent facilities. Well maintained. 50A/sewer/water/CATV. Discount to Golden Age Passport holders.  Rating is reduced because we don’t rate anything over $15 very high (this may change on our next visit because they honor Golden Passports  which we now have).


April 2005

Canadian Campgrounds
Prices in Canadian Dollars with U. S. Equivalent in Parenthesis

P.A. Campground

Passport America

Kawartha Trails Resort
Peterborough, ON K9J 6Y3
705 745-4077

44° 11' 20.2" N
78° 19' 59.3" W

From Port Hope on 401 go North on County Road 28 16 miles (26 kilometers) to County Road 21. Turn right and go 2.5 miles (4 kilometers). Campground is on the left after crossing the river.

Nice park. Quite a few long term sites but extremely well maintained. Excellent pool. Bathrooms clean and well maintained but shower stalls are WAY too small (apparently there are no fat Canadians). The host couple were very friendly and helpful. We were even invited to participate in a pot luck dinner and were treated like old friends. Be careful as the P.A. price is not available on Canadian holidays nor in the months of July and August.


June 2005



1.  Your comments, if helpful and polite, will be added here. Send comments to:

2. "Thank you for this insightful webpage.  I am in the process of researching campgrounds in the hopes of building one, and your reviews really help get a grasp on what other people like to find at their stops.  The comment about not being able to get into a site is especially helpful.  When my site is finally built, I hope it's worthy of a decent rating by your scale.


What is Fulltiming?

We have been fulltiming in our 35-foot, 1993 Winnebago Vectra, diesel pusher since April Fools Day, 2005. We are true fulltimers in that we have no "stick house" or "base" to come back to. We are on the road 365 days per year which probably makes us homeless veterans. We got tired of paying for a bad education for other peoples' kids so  without property there is nothing to tax.  Our vehicle registration goes to fix up the roads in South Dakota. People have asked us how we do it, so here are some answers to some specific questions:

What state is home, and why?

We selected South Dakota for the following reasons:

  • No state income taxes
  • Vehicle registrations and re-registrations can be done entirely by mail
  • Vehicle registration fees among the lowest in the nation
  • Vehicle insurance rates, lowest in the nation
  • No vehicle inspections
  • Drivers license requires only a current license and vision test
  • Drivers license fee $8 for five years
  • Only required to visit state once in five years
  • Good remailing services

There is a state sales tax, but since we only spend one day there every five years (to renew our driver's licenses) the sales tax does not really apply to us. This is also a good deal for South Dakota as we pay fees and don't use the roads and we do business in Emery (we even have an account at the Security State Bank in Emery and subscribe to the weekly Emery Enterprise).

How do we get our mail?

We use a re-mailing service.  Our mail goes to a house in Emery, SD where it is placed in a box until we call or email them to mail it to wherever we are at that time. We use campground addresses, friends and relatives addresses or General Delivery at small Post Offices. For this service we pay about $100 per year plus the cost of postage. (Of the 649 people who live in Emery, 1,400 of us live in the same house).
If you are interested in the mailing service we use contact:

My Home Address, Inc.
411 N. 6th St.
Emery, SD 57332
Toll Free: 888 494-4499

If you decide to use the service, give Ron or Judy the number 1436 as a referral so that we get the $5 credit to our account.
For a $20 fee, they will also register and re-register vehicles for you.

How do we pay bills?

First of all, we try not to have many bills. We pay cash whenever we can. The rest we pay on-line.

How do we do our banking?

On line!  We have a credit card that we use for emergencies only and a debit card for day-to-day purchases. When we need cash we use the "cash back" option at a grocery store or Wal*Mart.

What about telephone service?

We have a Verizon account that allows us to have two telephones and calls between those phones do not count toward monthly minutes. Also, calls to other Verizon phones don't count toward minute limits. In addition, while our address is South Dakota, we got our phones at the Verizon store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania so that it is a local call for our kids, no matter where in the country we are at the moment.
After trying a Mobile Office Kit with my Trio PDA we transitioned to a Verizon air card then got one for Bev's computer.  Then we established a wireless network for the coach so we could share one air card and one printer.  We also added an external antenna and signal amplifier (the whole thing cost about $500) and we are often able to get on line even when we don't have phone service.

How do we get our email?

We have Yahoo and Gmail accounts that we can access from anywhere, including public libraries and friends' computers.  We also have Wi-Fi capability and from time to time we are able to get into a Wi-Fi link.  FlyingJ, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and McDonalds have access that you can buy a day at a time using a credit card while other businesses (Krystal Restaurants, Panera Bread Co., many hotels, airports, libraries and campgrounds) have free hot spots. The state of Texas now has free WiFi hot spots at all of their highway rest stops--we hope this is the start of a trend.

What clubs and groups are helpful?

Good Sam Club was a good idea when it was started many years ago by a few campers disenchanted with the National Campers and Hikers Association. Today it is part of a camping conglomerate that includes Camping World, insurance companies, roadside assistance, refinancing and Trailer Life Directory (they are all under the umbrella of the Affinity Group). If you like junk mail you will love Good Sam. Their magazine, while informative, is not very professionally done. Good Sam was one of the first groups we joined and one of the first we decided not to renew.
Good Sam Club
P.O. Box 6888
Englewood, CO 80155-6888
800 234-3450

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) was the first group we joined. It is for snobs who own expensive Class A rigs that they use less than 30-days a year. We got a Coach-Net roadside assistance membership through them and little else. This is a club for people who own million dollar rigs and use them a couple of weeks a year, the fulltimers club consists of less than two dozen people (out of a membership of hundreds of thousands). The magazine is quite informative but not enough to keep us paying annual dues that seem to go up every year. Now that we have found an alternate way to get Coach-Net we have dropped our membership and do not miss it at all.
Family Motor Coach Association
8291 Clough Pike
Cincinnatti, OH 45244-2796
800 543-3622

Passport America, for just a few dollars a year gave us a 50% discount on camping fees at thousands of campgrounds. We have given this up too because we don't use that many commercial campgrounds.  We stick with National Parks, National Forests, military campgrounds, Corps of Engineers and similar locations when we are not mooching off of friends.  We'd rrecommend Passport America for anyone who frequently uses commercial campgrounds.  You need only spend a couple of nights at reduced rate parks to get back the annual fee.
Passport America
18315-A Landon Road
Gulfport, MS 39503
228 832-9199

Escapees® (SKP). We think this group was formed by some people who escaped from Good Sam Club and its increasing forced merchandising. Every place we went people  told us we MUST join SKP. We were reluctant because of the cost but have finally joined to test the waters. It seems that most of its members use the remailing service and it almost seems like a Texas Chamber of Commerce group. There are a lot of very active special interest groups (called Birds Of a Feather--BOF) within SKP--everything from a chapter of Habitat for Humanity to traveling nudists. Another keeper for us.  UPDATE--In December 2006 we became Life Time Members.
Escapees® RV Club
100 Rainbow Drive
Livingston, TX 77351
888 757-2582

Coach-Net roadside assistance service is designed for the big rigs. Unlike AAA or most insurance-offered services they will not send Joe's Garage out in his pick up to repair a motorhome. They keep in touch and make sure the service arrives. They also have certified RV technicians on staff who can talk you through minor repairs on the phone. And another service we just learned of is their emergency notification service. If we tell them where we are each time we stop and lower the jacks they will keep that information on file, then if family or friends have an emergency and need to get in touch with us they can call the CoachNet number and they will dispatch someone to give us the message (often a state trooper) within two hours. This is a real keeper and is cheap at about $100 per year.
900 N. Lake Havasu Ave.
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
800 273-1110

Winnebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT) is for owners of those coaches.  It is less expensive than FMCA and offers more useful services. It even offers Coach-Net so there is no longer any reason to hold on to the FMCAmembership. The annual Grand National Rally is at the Winnebago factory in Forest City, Iowa and they have an active 365 (Fulltimers) group.  UPDATE: We found an alternate way to keep Coach-Net so we have also dropped WIT as we really got very little out of it.
Winnebago-Itasca Travelers
P.O. Box 268
Forest City, IA 50436
800 643-4892 x1

Life On Wheels(LOW) is the best $200 (per person) I ever spent. It is a series of seminars held at various colleges during the summer that deal with lifestyle and maintenance issues. In 2006 conferences were held in Bowling Green, KY; Moscow, ID; Bethlehem, PA and Ankeny, IA. The instructors are among the best in their fields and no one is trying to sell a product (other than the LOW pins and books and shirts and hats). If you are just starting out, this is a MUST event.  (UPDATE)  Gaylord Maxwell, the founder of this event died in December of 2008 and it is our understanding that the whole project died with him.  Escapees is trying to fill in the void with a thing they call RVing 101.  We'll keep and eye on it.
Life On Wheels
University of Idaho
P.O. Box 443224
Moscow, ID 83844-3224
866 569-4646

Gypsy Journal is the unofficial newspaper of the road. Editor/Publisher Nick Russell, and his stalwart staff, Miss Terry, publish this bi-monthly newspaper while on the road in their converted bus. It is a continuous travelogue with letters to the editor and plenty of helpful tips. It is kind of the New York Times for Fulltimers, a lot of fun to read and a reminder that we are not alone out here.  Sorry, no crossword puzzle.
Gypsy Journal
1400 Colorado St. #C-16
Boulder City, NV 89005-2448

Workamper® News is a help wanted program for Fulltimers. It offers short-term and long-term employment opportunities in campgrounds, the hospitality industry, national and state parks, and a wide array of other businesses to give Fulltimers some income and fill out the staffs of businesses and organizations. You can even volunteer and be paid with a full hook-up at many places.  There are also jobs as concession stand operators, carnies, Christmas tree and pumpkin sales as well as helping out at events. Auto races in particular (NASCAR, CART, NHRA, IRL and others) use workampers to park cars and take tickets. We plan to spend the summer volunteering with the National Park Service at Fort Pulaski, near Savanah, GA and we have also sold Christmas trees in California.
Workamper® News
709 W. Searcy St.
Heber Springs, AR 72543-3761
501 362-2637

Special Military Active-Retired Travel Club (S*M*A*R*T) sounded like a good idea. We found nothing of value to a Fulltimer. Even the idea of meeting like-minded people couldn't get us past the difficulty we had in signing up, and the impossibility of obtaining information.  The magazine is a purely amateur product and it is obvious that there is factional in-fighting within the national organization. We let our membership expire but they haven't noticed and continue to send us the magazine.
Special Military Active Retired Travel Club
600 University Ofc. Blvd. #1A
Pensacola, FL 32504
800 354-7681

Air Force Frequent Camper Program for active duty, reserves, National Guard and retired military of ALL SERVICES plus Medal of Honor recipients the program gives you your first night at an Air Force FamCamp free. You must join at an Air Force FamCamp. It costs $25 and you get the current copy of "Military RV, Camping & Outdoor Recreation" as well as a decal, two cloth patches, two hat pins, a logbook and five coupons for one free night of camping. Each time you visit a NEW Air Force FamCamp you get your logbook stamped. Ten stamps and you send a photocopy to the program manager and they send you five more coupons along with more decals, pins and etc. If you visit all 60 Air Force FamCamps you end up getting 30 free nights of camping (and a bunch of other goodies).

Isn't Camping Expensive?

Yes it is. But that is why we don't "camp." What others call camping shows up on our budget as "parking fees."  Camping is a vacation and like anything dealing with a vacation, it is expensive.  When others camp they willingly pay for things like pools and game rooms and directed activities--while we are looking for a place to rest the wheels for a couple of days or a week or a month or longer. Every now and then we will go to a "campground resort" for a vacation but most of the time we are simply seeking a respite from the highway. Our "parking fees" budget is $300 per month which works out to about $10 per day--because we are not looking for camping amenities.  We use Wal*Mart parking lots and FlyingJ facilities because they are free and they offer everything we need for one night, particularly when we are enroute to someplace else.  They are easy to find (unlike most campgrounds which are someplace out in the boonies) and we won't  bother others when we pull in late at night. At a campground we would not use the pool or the exercise room or the miniature golf course so there is no reason that we should pay for them.  If campgrounds had an overnight pull-in area for a couple of bucks, we would use them too. Fulltimers are not campers, most of us can't afford to be on "vacation" every day.
For this reason we recommend Passport America for those who use a lot of commercial campgrounds and are always looking for other major discount options.  The Good Sam and FMCA 10% discounts are for campers.  Fulltimers need other options.  Federal facilities, like National Parks, National Forests, Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and others all have camping facilities and they are priced for vacationers EXCEPT that the America the Beautiful card offers a 50% discount and that puts them in our "parking fees" category.  The America the Beautiful card has replaced the Golden Passports program which is no longer available but the cards will be honored.

SPECIAL NOTE:  There are two types of America the Beautiful cards.  One is for U. S. citizens 62 years or older and costs $10.  The other is for U.S. citizens with a disability (HINT-the person requesting the card can self-certify his or her disability, a doctor's certificate is not required) and it is FREE.  Find more information, including an order by mail option, at

You can also obtain them at the entrance stations at all National Parks--they issue them on the spot.  However, while the Corps of Engineers gives the discount they do not sell the cards.  You must obtain a card BEFORE you get to the Corps of Engineers campground.

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