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We've Stayed A Lot of Places!
It's been five years since we purchased our small travel trailer. We've traveled the U.S. coast-to-coast and into Canada, spent over 250 nights sleeping in it, and visited 80 campgrounds. Along the way we've written reviews of all of them with lots of photos to make it easy to remember. One of the best parts, is that we've been able to share everything with so many people through this website. (I'm so excited that our email list has grown to 1800 subscribers!)
While a few of the places we've stayed are RV resorts as well as a few small privately owned places, we like to stay in State Park like settings all we can. We love being among the trees and quite often on or near the water. The photo above was taken at Deception Pass State Park. It's located in Washington State, about as far northwest as you can get in the continental U.S. While we weren't on the water, we certainly had plenty of privacy among the big trees.
Choosing Our Favorites
To be honest, ranking the campgrounds is impossible. We've stayed so many great places it becomes just too hard to make the choices. Different things are appealing about different places. It's often about the scenery, most have shade, many have water, and some have mountains. But besides the scernery, everything else has to work well too. Having a small trailer, we don't always use our own shower. So if a campground has a nasty bathhouse, it's a big strike against it.
Neither Fay or I are interested in "roughing it", and we're not willing to add more equipment and supplies to make boondocking easier. We like to have our microwave, TV, cellphone service, computers with Internet access, and plenty of water. When possible, we also like to avoid the dump stations. So, hookups are really important to us. We always look for at least water and electric connections, and sewer whenever possible if we are staying more than one night. When we are on the road for several days, we also try to pick places with sewer hookups at least every few days so we can "catch up" without having to get in line at a dump station.
Our 5 Star ChoicesSo instead of ranking the places we've stayed, I'm focused here on our over all ratings. When we leave a campground, Fay and I fill out a form and evaluate all the items in our standard reviews. At the end, we just look at each other and ask "So, overall, how do we like this place?" It's just our gut-feeling; an unqualified reaction to where we've just stayed. We assign it an over rating based upon the following choices:
- 1 STAR - Hope to never see this place again Clearly we made a mistake ever deciding to stay here in the first place. It will never be our choice again...hopefully we'll never face it being our only option.
- 2 STARS - Would prefer not to ever stay here again Well, it's a bit better than our 1 star ratings, but not a lot. We could stay here again if we had to, but we'll certainly try hard to find a better option.
- 3 STARS - Fine for overnight or short stay There's nothing here to keep us away, just nothing much to attract us. If we're on the road looking for an overnight campground, expecially if it's right along route, this place will be fine. Quite often these are the less expensive places we select in order to save money if we aren't going to spend significant time there. However, if we are planning to stay longer, we'll drive a little out of the way to find a more enticing place.
- 4 STARS - Would like to stay here again We really like this place. If we are traveling anywhere nearby, we'll probably try to plan a stop here.
- 5 STARS - Would travel just to stay here This is it...the campgrounds we strive for. It's the kind of place we try to choose for our destinations. We'll even pay more if we have to just to stay here.
By the way...The Grand Haven State Park pictured in the photo above is not the kind of campground we'd normally stay at. There are no trees, no shade, no privacy - the sites are tiny and squeezed in close together, and they only have electric hookups. You have to have your water self-contained, and then there's the dreaded dump station!
But...People just love this place!
If you like the beach, this place is right on it. And it's not a small lake, it's Lake Michigan...one of the Great Lakes. It looks like an ocean, but the water is "unsalted" as the T-shirts proclaim around there. They have new bathrooms and private showers, so you can substantially reduce the need for water and sewer hookups if you choose to. On top of that, they have a great pier with a lighthouse you can walk out to, and a mile-long boardwalk to the wonderful downtown of this quaint town.
So for all these reasons we give it 5 stars.
Our Campground Reviews
So there you have it! You now know how we go about picking our favorites. Each of our reviews are of places we've personally visited. We have information on all the main items that are important to us as we are looking for a place to stay. Hopefully the information we have, along with the photos will help you pick out a few places you'd like to try. We currently have 80 campgrounds in the database, 18 of which we rated with Five Stars. As you know, this means we'd really like to go back and visit them again.
Of Course There's Still #1
All the photos in this article are from a few of our 5 star places. However, there are many more. The photo above was taken at Honeycomb Campground in North Alabama. What a great place to sit with our morning coffee or evening glass of wine. We discovered this place during our first year of travel and it is still our overall #1 spot. We've been so fortunately to include it in our trips once or twice each year. Not only is the location gorgeous, but the facilities and amenities are great and the staff is fantastic.
So check out our reviews
I hope you find these places as great as we have. Click on the button below to see our complete list of reviews. The star ratings are clearly identified in the list. All the reviews include photos...most of them even include photos of the bathhouses! (this is really important to a lot of us that travel with small trailers)
As always, be sure to drop me note if you have any questions. And please consider subscribing to my emails if you'd like to keep up with new information I add to this website.
Denny JohnsonAfter having spent most of our adult life in Orlando, my wife Fay and I moved to Knoxville, TN in 2020. We are loving the change of seasons and being near the mountains. Plus, this part of the country is loaded with great places to camp.
We camped years ago with a pop-up camper, but got serious about it when we purchased our Casita in 2014. There was a lot to learn as we started traveling with it, and a lot of conflicting opinions on line. That's when I decided that creating a website would be a good retirement project. I started tinyTowable.com to share things we've learned along the way that have worked well for us in hopes that the information would be of help to others.