We knew when we bought our 2011 Crossroads Cruiser 32' fifth wheel that we would eventually move into it and be full-timers. The fact that it was three years old was both an advantage and a concern. The advantage was that everything worked, far past the initial new RV break-in period when most mishaps occur. The concern was, besides being seven years old by the time we hit the road, that the older floor plans were not really set up for full-time living.
Each room needed upgrades, modifications and updates. I'm starting with the master bedroom and I'll work my way back over the next few parts of this blog series. I've numbered several items on the attached photos so you can see what I'm describing.
3. Battery fan with AC adapter
Definitely needed for warm summer nights.
4. Cup holders
I mounted a fold-up cup holder on either side of the bed.
5. Metal wall art (trees and a bear)
Nadyne found a piece of metal art to replace the large one we used to have over our bed in our sticks-and-bricks house.
6. White wooden cabinet
We utilized the space over the window with an inexpensive wall shelf and a couple of tension rods.
7. Mattress and bed spread
One of the things we did early on was replace the original RV mattress with a memory foam unit. We owned (and loved) a very expensive memory foam mattress before buying the fifth wheel but it was too large for the RV bed. The replacement we purchased was not as expensive but is good quality, comfortable and it fits. We wanted a little whimsy in the room and both liked the cute moose-in-the-woods bed set.
8. Bed window valances
RV window valances suck! Nadyne made these.
9. Quartz/Rock panel headboard
The bed definitely needed something to improve its appearance and the quartz laminate really classed up the room. Since the peel-and-stick panels are notorious for not coming off later, I stuck them onto a corrugated backing and put the headboard on the wall in one piece.
10. White vinyl linen cabinet
We saw this heavy-duty vinyl cabinet at an RV show and knew we could use it somewhere in the RV. In this case, we needed space for linens and had an empty spot over the bed we didn't know what to do with. The cabinet has a thin wood floor and ceiling inside and I attached it with double-sided foam tape and screws with 2" washers. After two years, it's still holding very well.
11. Wooden shelves
Never enough shelving in RV's...
12. Facial tissue holder
Installing this Kleenex box holder near the bed has been extremely convenient.
13. Fold-out hanging rod
We occasionally need extra room for hanging clothing, especially when doing laundry, and I installed a couple of retractable hanging rods that fold in flat to the wall to conserve headroom.
14. Various hooks
Like shelving, never enough clothing hooks in RV's
15. Headboard shelving
After installing the quartz-panel headboard, we thought that a couple of wooden decorative boxes and a shelf for knickknacks and souvenirs would finish the space.
16. Hanging laundry bag
With the air conditioner taking the space previously taken by a plastic laundry hamper, we had to get creative. It turns out the A/C unit is the perfect height to support the weight of a laundry bag hanging above it on the wall as it fills up. We actually have two bags and swap one out when it gets full.
17. & 18. Wire rack shelving and clothing bar
We decided we needed more options for the double-door closet that had two wooden shelves installed. I removed the shelves and replaced them with wire shelving on the right side and a clothing bar across the top for a backup spot for hanging clothes. We normally don't need the hanging space and found it was perfect for storing the vacuum cleaner, sewing supplies and other odds and ends.
19. Decorative wire bowl
This bowl is kept in place with museum gel.
20. Canvas cubes
11" canvas cubes fit perfectly across the top shelf of the closet and keep stored items from falling during travel.
21. Six-Cube cabinet
Not only did we find a cube cabinet that fits in the large closet, but I angled it back when I attached it and now clothing doesn't fall out of it. We also use canvas cubes in it to make swapping clothes in and out easier.
22. Thin clothes hangers
You'd be surprised how much more clothing you can fit in a closet when you use extra-thin hangers.
23. Bed pockets
The bed lifts up and has storage beneath it but the sides of the pedestal seemed to be wasted. The set of pockets attach across the bed frame under the mattress and hang down for filling on the sides. We use them for slippers, spare shoes and for bedtime storage of our phones (while charging), reading glasses and other items.
24. Next-to-bed protection
This baseball bat, a Louisville Slugger I got in Cooperstown, is a placeholder for our shotgun...
25. Bedroom TV
We are the kind of people who like to fall asleep to the TV (we use a timer), but there was no mounting in the room for one. I installed this LCD TV on a mounting bracket near the ceiling power and cable. There is also a pair of hooks to secure it with a bungee cord while in transit.
26. Curtains and blinds
The bedroom window treatments were not ideal and when the blinds finally broke, Nadyne replaced the entire treatment, including blinds and light-blocking curtains.
27. Decorative wood bowls
One of the very first things we did for storage in the bedroom when we bought the RV was to install these rectangular wooden bowls on the wall. Four years later, they're still holding strong and being used as mini-valets.
28. Alarm clock
We needed an alarm clock in the bedroom but unfortunately this one is AC only. We're still looking for one that is LED and battery-powered for boondocking purposes.
29. 6-way outlet
Three outlets were installed, including two by the bedsides that have USB power outlets.
30. Not Visible (behind the TV): 200W inverter and Amazon Fire Stick
The inverter has helped so we can watch TV while boondocking without the generator running, and the Amazon Fire is how we stream TV, including Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, Sling and other channels.
31. Higher Hangers
For longer clothing and those that we hang in the short closet, the Higher Hangers hold the clothes about 4 inches higher off the floor.
32. Jewelry holder
In lieu of bulky jewelry boxes, we opted for a hanging holder and store it either in the closet or on one of the retractable clothes rods. No, there's nothing valuable in this holder.
Next up will be the RV entry-way. Let me know if you have any questions about any of our modifications or upgrades.
Address: 3064 SR 43, Mogadore, OH 44260
Phone: (508) 385-3616
# of sites: 120
Full hookup price: From $34/night
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Warnings: mosquitos, no sewer, few 50-amp sites
This family-owned and oriented campground has two small ponds, one for fishing and one for swimming and pedal boats in both. The park is incredibly green and the sites are spaced out with plenty of room. When we were there during 4thy of July weekend, the park had arranged a parade of thoroughly decorated golf carts for the kids in the camp, who seemed to love it. They scooted around the park a half a dozen times with patriotic music blaring from a couple of the carts. They also provide a tractor=pulled hay ride on the weekend evenings.
The price of this park is very reasonable for a large, clean, comfortable space.
Mosquitos! The ponds on-site and swampy land around the area are breeding grounds and we experienced many bites.
This is a smaller park with few amenities. About half of the sites are taken by seasonal renters, which meant that they maintained their own relationships and weren't interested in socializing with us interlopers.
The lack of sewer hookups in each site is a pain. They do have a central dumping station on the way out of the campground, which we used, but the opening into the septic tank was overly large and I lost the rubber seal from my Lippert sewer hose when it fell right into it.
We have been RV-ing for over five years now but only full-time since April. There have been many accessories and gadgets we did without when weekends were all that we had to worry about\ but would greatly miss now. Some we even had on hand but seldom used until we hit the road permanently. There are dozens of these items, but here are the top 9.
Note, I didn't include items that come with or are usual for a 5th wheel, like TV's, new hitch, awning, battery-powered fans, etc.
9. WorkMate (by Black & Decker)- With all of the work I've done on the rig, including organizing and installing shelving in the basement, making a rear bumper rack, and several interior projects, life has been much simpler with my WorkMate adjustable workbench. It provides a unique vise and other support for cutting, sanding, drilling, filing and all sorts of other treatments of wood, plastic, tile, etc. With the floor project coming in the near future, this will continue to be an extremely important accessory.
8. Air Fryer (by Dash)- We have only had our air fryer for a few weeks and it has already become one of our go-to kitchen appliances. We experienced its use when we visited family and found one that was sized better for our use in the RV. It fries wings, hot dogs, pierogis, tater tots, french fries, and just about anything else that we could have oil fried, and then some. It's also very fast in cooking time and easy to keep clean.
7. Amazon Fire Stick- Satellite TV is rather expensive and has the unfortunate requirement of a mostly unobstructed southern sky. Instead, we opted for the Amazon Fire Stick (two of them, actually) and have subscriptions to Sling TV, Netflix and CBS Online. We were already members of Amazon Prime, so all of that content is also available to us. We do need Internet but our AT&T Mobley device has been mostly successful for us in that regard.
6. Exterior RV Steps (by MORryde)- We did have steps that worked before, but the new MORryde apparatus is a dozen times more steady, since its legs are firmly on the ground. Nadyne actually fell to the ground from the original RV steps and we have always been worried about the possibility of injury with the rickety set. As a side benefit, we installed a locking toolbox in the original steps' storage frame. Here's my product review for these steps.
5. Countertop Ice Maker (by RCA)- Our RV refrigerator does not have an ice maker built in and I am a huge fan of ice in my drinks. Before purchasing the ice maker, we were buying a bag of ice about every other day, when we could find it, and that has been all but eliminated. When we know we're going to be boondocking, we store some ice in freezer bags to get us by. The ice maker we bought makes a few cubes every 12 minutes and it recycles melted cubes so we can leave it on indefinitely, adding more water as needed.
4. Portable Air Conditioner (by newair)- Our single A/C rooftop unit takes a ton of power, so much in fact that anything lower than a 50 amp supply renders it unusable. Unfortunately, we were heading to the hot, humid northern midwest and then New England, moochdocking in a driveway and finding only 30-amp service available in more than a few campgrounds. Nadyne is not pleasant to be around when she's overheated and we decided we needed an alternative. After exhaustive research we chose a newair brand portable free-standing A/C unit that runs on a 110v circuit. While in the driveway, we ran a 2nd extension cord from the house to accommodate the A/C and otherwise it runs great whether we're hooked up to 30 amps, 20 amps or to the generator. Much unpleasantness has been averted.
3. Washing Machine (by Giantex)- Laundry facilities are a great unknown on the road, often difficult to find, and even more often in disrepair or ill-kept. That's not even counting the number of times the machines took quarters but didn't provide change machines. We don't have washer/dryer hookups, so that wasn't an option, and we didn't like the hand-crank style of machines that were available on the market. We came across the Giantex unit, which is a real 110v +washer that is slightly smaller for RV use. It has water intake, a spin cycle and a drain. We wanted to place the unit in the shower (see this article for my water solution) but found out that the weight of the machine would eventually crack the shower floor if we left it in there, so I re-purposed some bedroom wall cabinet space and made a support base there.
2. Cell Signal Booster (by weBoost)- A Godsend, the weBoost enhances cellular reception, both voice and data, by up to 40 times. In other words, a 1-bar signal can be boosted to 4 or 5 bars. We use an AT&T Mobley with an unlimited plan and a Verizon Mifi with a couple of dozen gigabytes of data. Between the two, and our WifiRanger wifi booster, we have only been in one spot with no Internet or cell service at all in over 4 months on the road, and that was on a cliff overlooking the Badlands in South Dakota. The weBoost won't boost 0 signal, but we've nearly always had some signal on which to perform its magic.
1. 2000W Inverter Generator (by Wen)- Evidently we're power hogs. During the night on almost every boondocking session, we woke up in the morning to zero battery power. We usually found out by needing to flush the toilet and had no water pump. Even after upgrading my lead-acid batteries to Lithium-Ion, our comfort level requires all the power we have. I purchased a very quiet 2000W inverter generator (the 56200i) and all our problems were solved. Last week we boondocked at Walmarts in back-to-back nights and were able to use the induction burners, air fryer, portable A/C, large-screen TV, cell booster and toaster oven (not all at the same time), as well as keep our batteries charged until we were ready for bed. I think we left it on for 4.5 hours at one stretch without it overheating or being distressed.
That's the Top 9 list. We probably could have a Top 30 list, but most people probably wouldn't read it. Additional Top and Bottom 9 lists will be coming out in the next few weeks as our full-time RV life becomes more and more normal for us. Please use the social media links to share this with all your camping and RV buds, or to anyone thinking about the RV lifestyle.
A major shift in residency has taken place in this country over the last few years. Like ourselves, many couples have taken to the road full-time, and not just retirees. More and more families are selling their houses and moving into RV's to embrace the nomadic lifestyle. Along with an outdoors lifestyle, fishing is of great interest to a good portion of these people. One big difficulty is the non-resident status for fishing licenses, wherever we may be.
This isn't as much a cost issue as inconvenience. Cost is certainly high, with three-day freshwater licenses upwards of $20 in many states ($23 in Maine plus $2 seller's fee, $23.50 in Massachusetts, $15.59 in Illinois, etc.) and more than half that for a single day. But actually purchasing the license within the time frame desired can be extremely difficult when you're on the road.
Here in Maine, where I'm currently camping, I'm about 11 miles to the nearest fishing store (actually a Walmart). I knew I wanted to fish but didn't know when the weather was going to be good enough during my 2-week stay, so I waited. When the weather finally cleared, I didn't have the license and I had to wait. Sure enough, rain returned. I ended up not fishing at all during my stay here, even though the campground I'm in is on Patton Pond, a great fishing lake. In fact, I haven't actually fished anywhere since I left Colorado four months ago.
A national license would be of great help to me and my fellow nomadic fishermen (and fisherwomen). I would easily pay $200 per year to be able to fish wherever I am on the road, especially when I am often in rural areas where licenses aren't readily available.. Fees collected could be split between all 50 states, so all those governments would get their share.
What say you, BASS (Bass Anglers Sportman Society) or Professional Catfishing Association? Are you on board, Good Sam? How about you, Escapees or Xcapers? Heck, even AARP should help pave the way. How can we make this happen?
I have a nice Wen 2000W inverter generator and since we bought a portable A/C unit that will run on generator power (the main A/C won't), we've been using the generator almost every time we've boondocked this summer. It has been amazingly helpful to be able to cool off the rig instead of suffering in the heat and humidity on the eastern seaboard.
However, retrieving, setting up and re-storing the 40-pound machine has been more than a small headache. We recently sold our motorized bicycles and still had the bike rack installed on the rear bumper and thought we might be able to purchase a generator box that would fit on one of the rack supports, but could find nothing under $400 that would work. Undaunted, I located a steel storage cabinet for garages and patios that locks and decided to make it work. This project cost me $85 for the cabinet and another $75 in wood, water seal and hardware.
I had a lot of options for securing the cabinet and decided to build a shelf across the bike rack supports (pic A). I bought three 2x6x8 boards and cut them to 78" long, which is the distance from the left edge of the rig to just off the left edge of the ladder. I drilled holes in the board closest to the rig so that I could easily place it over the nuts and bolts holding the bike rack to the bumper.
I purchased some water seal and applied approximately five coats on the wood boards (pic B), then let them sit overnight. I wanted to attach the boards using 1/4" x 3" lag bolts but the hardened steel rack presented a little difficulty in lining up the bit to go through the wood and into the 1" steel rails. Instead, I drilled the holes in the rack first, the drilled upwards through the holes and into the wood from the bottom. That worked very well. Pics C and D show the first board placed and the 1/4" holes drilled for the second board.
To attach the second board, I used mechanical pencils as spacers (pic E) similar to building a picnic table, then clamped them to facilitate the drilling from beneath the rack (pic F). The second plank was bolted in (pic G) and the process was repeated for the third board (pic H). The bumper shelf was complete.
I selected the cabinet while considering several factors: price (under $100), steel construction, lockable, adequate inside space, modifiable for venting and height (I didn't want the top of the unit to block any portion of our rear picture window). The Homak SE Series (pic I) seemed to fit the bill at 27"x27"x12", however when I built it, the inside depth turned out to be only 10.75". The generator is 11" deep. But my solution of adding 1" spacers between the sides and the back (pic J) actually killed two birds with one stone -- making enough interior room for the generator to fit and providing airflow all around the generator so that it could run while locked in the cabinet.
I used four 5/16" x 4" lag bolts, washers and nuts to secure the cabinet floor to the shelf, then added some wood board to give a better support for the generator's base (pic K). I used a wide bit to drill out the spots on the wood base that cover the lag bolt heads so it would sit flat on the cabinet floor.
The final result was a storage cabinet that locks and allows the generator to be easily connected and run without dragging it out from basement storage. There is also more space on the bumper shelf for future storage (cooler?) or other use. Since the cabinet is not waterproof, my wife will be making a cover that can be tied down over it for the road.
A Thousand Trails Resort
Address: 310 Old Chatham Rd., South Dennis, MA 02660
Phone: (508) 385-3616
# of sites: 251
Full hookup price: From $80/night
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Warnings: mosquitos, no laundry services
The first and foremost benefit of this resort is its proximity to Cape Cod. We had only visited the Cape once before, a half-day visit several years ago, and we took advantage of our two weeks here this time around. This park is well-maintained and they have daily trash pickup (just set your trash bag out before 11am). The sites have some space between them and most are well-shaded by mature trees.
We explored the Cape in all directions, including driving all the way to the tip at Provincetown to the north and the southmost roads in Falmouth. Besides the Cape itself, So. Dennis is in proximity to ferries to both Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. After a short half-hour ride to the island, we did a 2.5-hour bus tour on the Vineyard and it was enlightening.
The sites are pretty tight to back into in this resort, and even though they say there are a lot of amenities here, we didn't really see that. There is a swimming pool but it was only open until 5 or 6 pm and did not have a hot tub or jacuzzi. It also shows that it has Wifi, but it was an extra charge and we passed on the service. There was only gravel in the campsites -- no grass.
As with other parks we stayed in this summer, mosquitos were vicious. Walking the dog was always an adventure, and we ended up not spending much time at the picnic table, nor did many other RV'ers there.
Like many other Thousand Trails resorts, this park had many seasonal or permanent residents. What was odd about this one was the sheer age of the mobile homes and park models people were living in here -- many were circa 1960's or older. They did have several new or nearly new park models as well, but most were very old. What we don't particularly care for in these resorts with semi-permanent residents is that they don't tend to socialize with us vagabonds that come and go. That's really unfortunate since the social aspect of camping was something we had been looking forward to.
We would definitely recommend Old Chatham as a clean, comfortable park with proximity to many sights and attractions. But if you don't care for sightseeing in Cape Cod, there are better options elsewhere.
Here is a video I shot this morning at Patten Pond. One corner of the campground is right on the shore of the Pond, with it's own beach, docks, fishing, etc. It was so peaceful this morning, I thought you would enjoy seeing it.
It's been three months since we ditched the stationary lifestyle and moved into our RV. There have been setbacks and a learning curve, to be sure, but neither of us would ever be satisfied sitting still in a house again. Wanderlust is a real thing and we've both always had it.
Since April we have stayed in 13 states: CO, NE, SD, WY, UT, KS, MO, IL, MI, OH, PA, NJ and MA. That's over 8,000 miles, 14 parks (4 of these were Thousand Trails resorts, 2 moochdocking visits (friends and family) and numerous boondocking stops, including Walmarts, city parks, a Cracker Barrel and a marvelous 3-night stay on the cliffs overlooking the Badlands.
I keep getting the question, "What has been your favorite place to camp?" By far, for sheer serenity and solitude, the Badlands has been our favorite stop. There's something about not only being in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature but having such a panoramic view of the isolated region from your doorstep ... well, it was special.
Several of the items we purchased for full-timing have worked out well. Our generator has been extremely valuable, as has been the lower-power portable air conditioner (that runs off the generator). How the humidity on the eastern Midwest and the eastern seaboard itself affects the heat index cannot truly be appreciated until you live in it. In a couple of the parks we actually used both air conditioners to dry out the air in the 5th wheel as much as possible. We decided early on to purchase a washing machine that was a smaller version of a regular home-style washer and the Giantex machine is great, running in the shower and stored next to the dresser in the bedroom when not in use. I even made a Y connection in the shower so we didn't have to disconnect the shower head.
The air fryer has been a hit, unlike the disastrous purchase of the Instant Pot, as have the portable ice maker, the dual-burner induction stovetop, the ice cream maker and the manual K-cup press. The recent purchases of the MORryde steps and the additional awning screens have also worked out much better than expected.
Electronically, we've got a pretty nice set-up, with the new Wifi Ranger pulling double duty as our Wifi booster and our internal network router. Along with the WEboost and our unlimited Internet from our AT&T Mobley device, I can't imagine how we could have worked on the road as well as we have been. The omnidirectional TV signal booster from King Connect has been useful, but when we haven't had any signal to boost, our Amazon Fire devices have worked well to stream Sling, Netflix, CBS Full Access and YouTube. In addition, I installed two 12v Lithium Ion batteries to replace my lead acid pair and added a Victron battery monitor that is accessible on a cell phone via Bluetooth.
I also recently organized my basement to 1) increase my usable storage space and 2) make accessing my stored bins and items much easier. I not-so-simply added two shelves from door-to-door across the rig's primary basement, and time spent on set-up and put-away has been reduced greatly. I'm thinking now about installing a locking generator box on the back bumper of the 5th wheel to free up some space in the front basement compartment and to make it more convenient to use the generator when needed.
Last month our TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) sure came in handy. We installed a PressurePro PULSE and had it running when a bolt punctured a tire on the driver's side. The alarm allowed me to pull over before any further damage was done, and the tire itself was able to be repaired.
sWe have spent thousands of dollars on our rig getting it ready to full-time in, and there have been far too many important purchases to list them all in one post. You can find some of those reviewed in my Product Review section and several are listed on our Amazon Affiliates page, RV Products.
A Thousand Trails Resort
Address: 4085 Bear Cave Rd., Buchanan, MI 49107
Phone: (269) 695-3050
# of sites: 135
Full hookup price: From $54/night
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Warnings: mosquitos, first-come-first served
Sitting on the St. Joseph River, this campground is lush. There are several areas in this park to camp and the first section we stayed in had full hookups, including sewer. We actually left this park in the middle of our stay to travel to Mackinac Island for a few days, then returned to continue our stay. On the grounds is the only naturally-formed cave in Michigan. This cave has a lot of history, with its connection as a stop on the Underground Railroad and having the silent film, "The Great Train Robbery," shot here.
Michigan has many, many lakes and there were probably a hundred or so within 2 hours' drive. We were also a half-hour from Lake Michigan and several tourist stops and eateries on the shore.
If you are a motocross fan, this is a perfect RV park for you as the world off-road racing championships and other major races are held at the nearby Red Bud racing complex. They were getting ready for the championships while we were there.
This is one of the few "first-come-first served" campgrounds we've used, meaning that you can reserve space in their resort but no site is assigned. It was disappointing that there were no full-hookup spots our first night or during our stay after we returned from the U.P. We were able to find 50-amp sites (most have only 30-amp in these areas) but we did not have sewer hookups. When you spend all that money with Thousand Trails, it's upsetting that you aren't even guaranteed a full-hookup site when reserving months ahead.
Another con was the mosquito problem, something they face all over Michigan because of all the lakes and standing water in the region. I had 5 bites just walking the dog one evening, and that was after using Off!
The famous cave was closed due to flooding, so no opinions about that attraction, and the heavy rain caused there to be no swimming or fishing in the river as well.
Overall, this is a decent park and we really enjoyed our neighbor's fully-stocked bar one Saturday night. Evidently they own their space and have a permanent trailer set there and decked out for weekend use. This is basically a buyer-beware park. I would make sure to start any camping stay on Sunday afternoon to make sure premium spots are available and bring lots of DEET.
A Thousand Trails Resort
Address: 970 Green Wing Rd, Amboy, IL 61310
Phone: (815) 857-3860
# of sites: 636
Full hookup price: From $75/night
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Warnings: Rust in water, mosquitos
This is a very well-groomed resort with a lot of family activities. It's on a lake and the fireflies are abundant. The biggest advantages for us were the amount of space between sites, probably 20 feet on many, and the thick green grass throughout the campsites. Amenities include inexpensive laundry facilities, paddle boat and kayak rentals on the lake and plenty of green space.
The number 1 con was the amount of rust in the water. After just 2 days our hoses were brown (see photos) and there were stains in the bathroom toilet, shower and sink, as well as on clothing we washed in our own washing machine, and that was with a brand new water filter on the incoming line. Obviously we had to stop using the water for cooking, drinking, making ice and iced tea and for laundry.
We talked to other campers who said that they had rust damage during past campouts here. When we complained about the rust damage to the manager, he told us we couldn't prove our damage in the photos wasn't already there before we came to his resort. While that may be true, how many people take photos of everything while setting up camp in case there's damage? He refused to give us his insurance information and said that no one had ever complained before.
There are other cons as well. There are over 2,000 sites in this park, and all but 636 camping sites have permanent setups, either trailers and motorhomes set up with full-time hookups, decks, etc., or park model homes. There are as many residents here as the whole town of Amboy, which makes it feel you are camping in town.
This park is very much set up for families with kids. Noise like screaming kids or loud music isn't regulated or limited in hours, and kids were never told to leave the adults-only jacuzzis. Most of the activities were for families as well, not much for adults-only. In fact, there was nothing for adults to do on the grounds in the evening.
Bugs! There were many flies, mosquitoes, gnats and "no seeums" everywhere in the resort when it wasn't raining. We were bit up quite a bit, even by some of the flies and even though we were using Off. I finally started wearing sweat pants and sweaters even when it was hot when I walked the dog to help protect myself, but even then I got bit as they must have crawled up under the clothing. The rain did help, but it only rained a couple of days (though we did get 6 inches over that time).
This is also an expensive resort to stay in. If you aren't Thousand Trails members, the cost of a site with full hookups starts at $75 per night, but our site, with 50 amp electric in the section we were in, was $108/night.
I would highly recommend this park to families with small children (not so much teens) as long as you bring and use your own water. Adults without kids can skip this park unless you have a Thousand Trails membership and it's on the way somewhere else on your trip.
Jack Huber is a novelist with 5 mysteries published, along with several books of poetry and photography. Now retired, he and his wife, Nadyne, are free to travel the country in their 32' 5th wheel and 1-ton Ford pickup.