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.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


30 amp FHU in back-1Our Opinion: Neutral.  Though dusty, the fairgrounds are convenient when we are passing through Tucson and want to overnight or spend an extra day stocking up on supplies.

Date of Stay: January 25, 2012 - our fourth stay.

Weather During Stay: High was just under 70, low was 35.

Site Description: We have parked in two different areas at the fairgrounds.  This trip, we are in the main lot, in a 50 amp FHU, back in site (406).  The majority of sites in this area are back to back, closely packed on level dirt (or dust or mud, depending on the weather), some of the sites 30 amps, others 50 amps.

Since we don’t stay here more than a night or two, we prefer to park in a different area (the 500 row, not available today due to repaving), a strip of somewhat grassy 50 amp W/E sites that back up to a row of trees.  Very level, with more grass than dirt. No sewer hookups in this row, but there is a dump station available.

Kinda Crowded-1In both areas, sites are very tight when they all were occupied, but feel reasonably spacious when you don’t have neighbors (which is why we prefer the 500 row for short stays).  Access roads are wide.

Rate: All sites, back-in or pull-through, 50 amp or 30 amp, FHU or W/E are the same rate: $20/night.

Phone/radio/TV: Though our cell phones have 5 bars, we had a very difficult time with our MiFi today – finally gave up.  Local NPR on 89.1.  Several local TV stations on the antenna, including PBS (channel 6).  No obstacles for the satellite.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Elevation is around 3,000 feet.  Terrain is flat desert, but palms, evergreens and grass have been planted at the fairgrounds - welcome green.  Arid mountain ranges frame the distant views.

Lighting/Noise: Various fairground activities can be noisy during the day, but it has been quiet at night when we have been here.  We are far enough from the light poles that the night lighting is unobtrusive - but this would not be true in all spaces.

Site 514 Pima County FG-1Favorite Sites: The 500’s, with 50 amps and water.

Hiking/Walking: This is a large fairground with plenty of space for walking. 

Comments: Typical fairgrounds, with an arena, many large buildings, restroom blocks, pavilions, lots of parking for RV’s and cars.  Because of the horse and livestock events held here, we noticed lots of flies on one stay, and we frequently notice an unpleasant sewer smell.  A few miles off of I-10, it is not luxurious, but is a convenient, reasonably priced spot to overnight or stay a few days to stock up at Costco and Trader Joe’s in Tucson.  A large Fry’s grocery store is about 5 miles away.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Holts lineupOur Opinion: Recommend – with caveats.  We use this only for overnight stops and post boondocking cleanup.  Convenient, inexpensive, FHU with excellent laundry facilities. 

Date of Stay: Many times.  Date of this review is January 24, 2012.

Weather During Stay: Sunny and calm; high 68, low forecast for the low 40’s.

Site Description:  24 level sites on gravel at the back of a truck stop ¼ mile off I-8 and a mile from the center of Gila Bend.  19 sites are very large pull throughs, 5 are large back-ins.  All sites have 30/50 amp service, water and sewer.  Dumpster in the center of the park at the laundry room.  4 washers cost $1.00 each; dryers at 75 cents for about 40 minutes. 

No office in the RV park.  Pay for your site at the fuel station/convenience store up front.  There are also a couple of fast-food type restaurants and a hotel next to the truck stop.

Rate: Regular price is $24/night.  Passport America (with some date restrictions) and Escapees pay $12 night for 50 amp FHU. 

Holt's Cell TowerPhone/radio/TV: Verizon service, both phone and aircard, is excellent in Gila Bend (check out the cell tower in the photo - you park right under it).  Nothing is available on the TV antenna.  No obstructions for TV satellite dish.  Their advertised free WiFi worked well.  NPR on 91.5 (with a little or a lot of static, depending on???).

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: Flat gravel roads and sites at 790 feet elevation.  The little park is surprisingly nicely landscaped with some native trees and flowering plants; the surrounding area is scrubby desert.  Distant views are of arid mountains to the east, the truck stop to the west.

Lighting/Noise: Some noise from the nearby interstate and from the trucks coming, going and settling in at the truck stop, but not enough to overcome the appeal of the low price and convenient access.  Night lighting in amazingly unobtrusive given the proximity to the truck stop.

Favorite Sites: Any of the pull throughs… all are long and spacious, easy in and out for our rig.  No need to disconnect the Jeep, another plus.

Hiking/Walking: Nothing special.  We usually plan to walk elsewhere.

Site 9 at Holt'sComments: Gila Bend is a convenient stop for an overnight and thorough cleanup with traveling between Catalina State Park in Tucson and boondocking in Yuma or Quartzsite.  To empty the holding tanks, get out the dirt and have a nice, long, hot shower, we want a level, FHU site with 50 amps.  Holt’s Shell RV Park (Exit 119 On I-8 Gila Bend) provides all of that at a low, low price, along with easy access to fuel and propane.  No reservations, but plenty of convenience.  Wish there were more solid, secure, no-frills, low-cost RV parks like this!