Welcome to our (very personal) reviews of the campsites we have visited. If you arrived here from a link on our travel blog, Semi-True Tales of Our Life On the Road, you can click here to read all of our campground reviews.

If you would like to know more about me, or contact us, click on "Who are We?" (to the right). For more information about what you can expect to find in these reviews, click on "About These Reviews". Finally, a note about the photos: hover your cursor over a photo to read the caption, or click the photo to enlarge it.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Scoopy in Site 54, Top of the Hill RV Park Our Opinion: Recommend - but above our normal budget.

Date of Stay: January 25th through February 2nd, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  A real mix: sunny and warm, cloudy and cold, rainy, windy (even a tornado watch) and some sub-freezing nights.  We had it all.

Sites: The campground map shows 103  FHU sites, but the layout of the campground makes it seem much smaller.  The campground is on a hill, with several different tiered levels, so you see only a fraction of the sites from any spot.  Most sites are gravel, all reasonably level, and of varying lengths.  Our site and others in our area easily accommodate a 40’ motorhome and towed. 

Deck and pool. We had site 54, a LONG pull-through right on top of the hill.  Several trees in this upper area provided dappled shade and a relaxing ambiance.  All sites have 20/30/50 amps, water and sewer - and a small wooden picnic table.

The campground roads are paved, but narrow and somewhat potholed - access to the unusually long sites can be a slight challenge for some rigs.  Trees scattered throughout the campground provide some shade.  There is a large common room, a communal kitchen, a library, reading room, pool table and swimming pool.  Nice laundry room and restrooms, small camp store.

Rate: Rates vary depending on the size and location of the site.  Ours was a “Gold” site, regular rate $41.25.  For our first two nights, we paid half price using our Camp Club USA card.  Then we switched to a weekly rate, $198/week.  This much higher than we usually are willing to pay, but events conspired to keep us in the area and we didn’t feel like researching something cheaper when we liked our site so well.  Being lazy!

Hillside road and sites at Top of the Hill.Phone/radio/TV: The usually strong Verizon phone and aircard signals sometimes disappeared - a few of our calls were dropped.  Few obstacles for rooftop-mounted satellite TV.  A small number of independent stations available on TV antenna.   NPR available on 89.1.  The park has free WiFi, usually strong and speedy but, like our aircard, it sometimes slowed to a crawl.  Someone downloading movies or Skyping?

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Level parking on several tiers on and around a hill.  Views are of other campers, graceful trees, and forested rolling hills.  Elevation is 1650 ft.  This is a quite appealing Texas Hill Country landscape.

Lighting/Noise: Interstate 10 is just down at the bottom of the hill, and the noise floats up.  It is noticeable outside and in.  Because we stayed here during winter, the noise did not bother us at night with the windows closed.  It would be more intrusive in summer.  Night lighting in our area was very subdued.

Typical view at Top of the Hill. Favorite Sites: We really liked our nice long, level pull-through, and all of those in the same area (sites 50-60).  Lots of appealing sites here.

Hiking/Walking: Up and down the hills and loops, but nothing substantial without a drive.

Comments: Though the rates here are above what we usually pay, they are in keeping with other parks in the area.  Boerne is an interesting little town with both chain and independents stores and restaurants.  Many good day trips from here - San Antonio is a 25 mile drive.  We enjoyed the historic PoPo restaurant about ¼ mile away - very good fried chicken and fried catfish with a reasonably priced wine list and comfortable ambiance.  We would return to this park for at least the two nights available at the 50% off PA or Camp Club rate - perhaps even a month-long stay.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Our Opinion: Rave - if you don’t mind losing your cell phone coverage in the campground. A great stop in the wide open spaces of west Texas.

Overlooking Davis Mtn Campground Date of Stay: January 17 through 20, 2010.

Weather During Stay: Dry and cool. Lows near freezing; highs around 70. Very windy at times.

Site Description: We’re in a full-hookup (50 amp and cable TV included) pull-out, site 16. All the FHU sites are pull-outs, right alongside the loop road. Sites in the lower FHU loop (1-16) have more privacy and shade than those in the upper loop. Sites are spacious, with concrete patios, picnic tables, and fire rings.

The campground has 94 sites total: 33 W, 34 W/30 amp E; 27 FHU 50 amp. Some sites are shaded, some are in full sun, so pick your site according to the weather. Many sites are somewhat sloped, including site 16, and difficult to level a big rig. Dump station available.

Rate: FHU sites are $20/night, plus a per person day use fee ($4/$2 senior, over age 65). As we usually do in Texas, we bought the $60 annual pass - it covers the day use fee for both of us in every state park for 12 months, a good money saver for us.

Site 16 looking northPhone/radio/TV: No Verizon service in the campground - drive or hike to the scenic overlook for service. Free WiFi available to campers in the lounge of the Indian Lodge, an historic lodging in the state park. Some obstacles for roof-mounted satellites. FHU sites have cable TV. Only one radio station available, and it is NPR - 93.5!

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This campground is in a narrow valley in the Davis Mountains at 5,000 ft. elevation. Views are of dry grasslands, cactus, and woodlands along the (mostly dry) creek bed. Grassy, rocky mountains flank the campground on both sides. Lots of wildlife here – birds, tame deer, and families of javelina.

Lighting/Noise: No light at night except on the small buildings in the campground. Stars galore, as there is no nearby light pollution. NO noise.

Favorite Sites: For FHU sites, we prefer the 1-16 loop - more privacy and more trees.

Indian Lodge (WiFi hot spot) at Davis Mountain State Park Hiking/Walking: A variety of hikes are available from the campground, including a hike to the scenic overlook on the eastern ridge.

Comments: Scenic, historic Ft. Davis (4 miles away) has the old fort (a national historic site), shops, fuel, Hotel Limpia (looks like their restaurant would be good), a nice bookstore and an excellent natural foods market. This campground is a good base camp for explore the “west Texas triangle”: Ft. Davis, Marfa and Alpine. Renowned McDonald Observatory is not far from the state park.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Our Opinion: Recommend.  This is a pleasant, spacious, well-managed urban park - our usual stop in Las Cruces.

A broad access road on the north end of the park. Date of Stay: January 10th through 16th, 2010

Weather During Stay:  Dry and very cold at night.  Low’s in the mid-20’s, highs in the 50’s.  Mostly sunny.

Site Description: Sunny Acres used to be a mobile home park, but has been slowly converted to an RV park by the current RV’ing owners. The park has mature landscaping and trees, and most sites have grass. Most sites are shaded, but the new pull-throughs and some of the new back-in sites are in full sun.

All sites are FHU with 50 amps and cable TV.  Many have concrete patios; some have small carports.  Most sites are about twice as large as those in a typical commercial RV park.  New pull-though sites at the back of the park are less appealing to us than the older, well established sites back-in sites.  Squeaky clean restrooms and laundry facilities are available in the small clubhouse, which also houses a little “common room” and a large, pleasant porch.

Green space from the Clubhouse Porch. Rate: We paid $175 for a one week stay, the Escapees Rate.  Escapees and Passport America get 50% off during off season.  Non-discounted nightly rate is $35; non-discounted weekly rate is $210.

Phone/radio/TV: Excellent reception for phones; aircard on Broadband.  NPR on 90.7.  Cable has more than enough stations.  Our roof-mounted satellite was blocked by a tree in Site 62, but many sites have no satellite obstacles.  Free WiFi is advertised, but we didn’t try it.

Elevation/landscape/Terrain: Flat campground in an urban setting. Typical urban noise level, but the park is set back from the street.  Lots of mature trees and grassy areas.

Lighting: Night lighting is not particularly obtrusive.

Scoopy in Site 62 Favorite Sites: Any of the back-in sites EXCEPT the new ones along the east side, backing up to the Dollar Store parking lot. Pull-through sites on the west side of the park are less appealing to us than the back-ins.

Hiking/Walking: The park is large enough to walk laps, but a better walk is along the Rio Grande riverfront a short drive away.

Comments:  This is a pleasant, well-managed park in an urban area. Large, grassy, shaded sites are unusually spacious for an urban RV park (or any private RV park). Easy access to shopping (groceries, Mountain View natural foods coop, Target), medical facilities, fuel… typical urban amenities.  We find this to be a mellow stop in Las Cruces.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


View of Chiricahuas from site 21 Our Opinion: Rave.  Spacious sites, friendly owners, and beautiful vistas make this a winner IF you are looking for a remote yet interesting spot.

Date of Stay: January 3rd through 10th, 2010.

Weather During Stay: High desert winter weather.  Low’s at or below freezing; highs in the 50’s and 60’s - warm in the sunshine, cold in shade.

Site Description:  All the sites here are enormous; two rigs share a ¼ acre site.  A long, diagonal driveway though each “site” has two utility boxes (20/30/50 amps) and two sewer hookups, allowing two big rigs to share one driveway without peeking in each other’s windows.  During our stay, no one needed to share - each rig had their own ¼ acre.  Interior roads and sites are dirt.  Some sites have a small patio and wooden table; all sites have a large fire ring and dry firewood is sold onsite. 

Overhead of Rusty's, from their website        The campground is flat, landscaped with spare desert plants and small trees. All 40 RV sites are 200 foot long pull-throughs, very level.  No restroom buildings – this park is best for self-contained rigs – but a unisex restroom with shower shared with the office is available 24/7.  Two washers and two dryers in the clean laundry room attached to the office.  Basic food items (including milk and eggs) are sold in the office, along with minimal RV supplies.  Coffee and cookies are available there, along with comfortable seating, big screen TV, DVD’s, books, and friendly conversation.  Fenced dog run.

Rate: Standard daily rate is $24/night, but many discounts apply, including monthly rates.  We paid the the 50% off Camping Club (and PA) rate of $12/night plus a $2 electric surcharge per day, no restrictions, unlimited length of stay.  A true bargain.

Site 21 Phone/radio/TV:  No Verizon service, cell phone or aircard. No obstructions for TV satellites.  No radio stations unless you have satellite radio.  EXCELLENT WiFi is included in the rate.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  This flat park is surrounded by ancient, rocky mountain ranges with great views all around.   Elevation 4,100 feet.  Views are of other (distant) rigs, campground buildings, desert flora and distant mountain ranges.  Incredible star-gazing.

Lighting/Noise: One nightlight on the back of the office.  That’s it.  NO noise

Favorite Sites: Choose a site based on your view and sun orientation preference.  We were in site 21, without a patio or table - but with good morning sun to help heat us up after a freezing night.

Office at Rusty's RV Ranch Hiking/Walking:  Pleasant walking around the perimeter of the park.  Excellent hiking in the nearby Chiricahua mountains. 

Comments: This is a very remote area in the “boot heel” of New Mexico, well know for birding and for its “dark skies”, of interest to astronomers.  One gas pump in town, and two small grocery stores, a couple art galleries and an interesting museum. Rodeo has a population of 250+;  nearby Portal is even smaller.  The nearest large town is Lordsburg (pop. 3,000), too small for a Target or Wal-Mart!  Come here to savor the solitude and to enjoy exploring.  Great owners!  Huge sites!  Bargain rates! Website: Rusty’s RV Ranch