Category Archives: RPI Parks

Heading South for the Winter… Again!

Well, we have started our journey South for the Winter.  This will be our second year out of the cold.  We are still on the East Coast so Florida is the destination.

We are taking a different route than last year, this year we stopped at Skyline Ranch in Front Royal, VA as our first stop.  Skyline is at the entrance to the Skyline Parkway.  This is a membership park that is part of RPI which we got as part of our Thousand Trails Elite Connection membership.  Cost of our 2 night stay is a whole $20.

Getting to the campground was a real trip.  It seems that the address for the GPS was, well different than the real address.  GPS took us off roading in a 39 ft 30,000 lb motor home.  As we traveled down this narrow dirt road, Daisy kept saying, “This isn’t right!”  Of course being a man, I had no problem with the ride.  We ended up after a few miles back on hardtop road and by dumb luck found the campground.  We checked the route that the GPS wants us to take tomorrow and again, it has lost it mind!  Maybe it is time to update the database.

The park is pretty nice.  Pool appears to still be open.  They have a nice cafe, chapel, adult lounge and playground.  You can tell it is end of the season as the store was minimal.  Speed limit is strictly enforced as is check out time.

When we checked in we were assigned a lot.  After some maneuvering, we started set up.  First was the electric, water and sewer.  Since we haven’t had sewer hook up for about a week, I took time to dump as soon as I hooked up.  While it was flushing, I did the electric.  First problem… voltage was high (138 volts on both legs of our 50 AMP service).  Our EMS would not power up due to the high voltage.  Quick trip to the office and I found out that this sight always has a problem.  Glad I had the EMS, could have damaged something and been really pissed!  They had us change sights.  So packed back up and moved to 121.  Electric was fine there.

On our one day to sight see we drove the Skyline Parkway, in the fog and rain.  40 some miles and at best we could see about 100 yards.  At times visibility was down to maybe 30 feet.  We only stayed on the parkway for about 40 miles, but was a relaxing ride.  Had lunch in Front Royal before heading back to the campground.

Tomorrow we head to NC and will be staying at Gaston Lake (a Thousand Trails park) for two weeks, before heading to Myrtle Beach and dropping off my Mother-in-Law.  Yes, I am up for Son-in-Law of the Year award again 🙂

Harts Ranch Review

Harts Ranch is on the outskirts of Rapid CIty, SD.  It is an RPI Park and one of the best places we have visited so far.

All sites are concrete slabs with picnic tables and full hook up.  Some or 30 and some 50 amp.  There are no fire pits and fires are not permitted.

Activities, security and staff make this place.  It has over 400 campsites and is a membership resort.  Many of the spots are seasonal and alot of them are longer term campers (21 days).  They also have a good many cabins.

There are activities every day.  Community campfires are 2 times a week, they have kid hay rides quite often.  They also seem to have nightly activities for the adults.

Security is constant.  The gate is manned 24 hours a day and they have a roving security process as well.  Also related to security is the insistence of keeping vehicles off the grass, including your rig.

The park is clean, well maintained and secure.  They have a nice little convenience store and gas station as well.

If you are going to be in the Rapid City area and sight seeing, this is a great place to hang your hat while you are here.  You are about 30 miles away from all the major attractions.  And the two major access routes are very convenient to the campground.

Thoughts on our travels

I was looking over what has been written about our travels and thought I would expand on it some more. We left Denver, PA on July 7th and headed West.  We are traveling about 200-300 miles per trip and staying from 3-7 days per location.

Most of our stays are at private club campgrounds (Thousand Trails).  However, once we hit the mid west everything changes as Thousand Trails does not have any campgrounds west of Mississippi until you get to the West Coast area.

Our stays have all been great (other than the breakdown).  We have seen a lot of the country side, taken day trips around each campground and tried different things.

Highlights so far have to be the County Fair in IL, Air Force Museum in OH and a toss up between Vinegar Pie and Sweet Cream Pie in IN.  Mall of America in MN was ok and a definite bucket list to visit once.

South Dakota is a huge state to travel across.  We stayed in Sioux Falls area for 3 days.  KOA in Sioux Falls is a very nice campground.  Open sky to the South for satellite, great crew greeting and escort to your site.  Site was level and we have full hook ups with 50 Amp service.  Walked around and meet several nice people and talked for hours.  Again staff was very friendly.  If money were not a concern, I could easily stay at KOA for extended periods of time.

We arrived at Harts Ranch in Rapid City today around 3 PM (Mountain time).  This is a great campground.  Large as well with over 400 campsites.  No pull troughs.  We have 50 amp full hook ups but did have to pay a utility fee along with our RPI fee.  But $15 per night with full hook-up and 50 amps was well worth it.  Lots of activities every day for when we are traveling around the area.  Bible study, aquatic exercise, Bingo, Poker night and more.  However, I am not sure what kind of free time we will have.  This area is full of things to do.  We want to visit Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Bad Lands, Wall Drug Store (again), as well as other attractions.  Blog updates will be every couple of days while we are here.  Make sure you sign up so you will be notified.

Roaring Run Update

I checked in at the office on Tuesday with some questions.  Before I post the answers here, I do want to say this is a really nice park.  It is a quite, well kept park with plenty of room for each site.  It is definitely a place I would come back to.

We are a member of RPI so our camping rate is $10 per night.  The park is all 30 Amp service with no sewer on any sight.  They do have a honey wagon that is $12 per dump.  You sign up at the office.  If you sign up before 2 PM they dump the same day, otherwise it is the next day.

There are lots of different activities available and they have an adult lounge for those times when you just want to get away from kids.  All in all this is a nice stop on our trip around the country.


Roaring Run!

Well we are ON OUR WAY!  We moved out of our old campground (we have stayed there almost 12 years) and started our adventure.  In June we moved to Lancaster, PA area and stayed at PA Dutch Country (part of Encore).  Then we went to the Jersey shore area for a couple of weeks and stayed at Sea Pines (also part of Encore).  Both of these trips were a shack down of the rig, driving and setup just incase anything was needed to be repaired before starting out on our 5 year trip.

Fourth of July was with family at Hickory Run Campground in Denver, PA.  On Monday, July 7th, we left Hickory Run and headed out West.  First stop is Roaring Run Campground.  The trip is not without issues however.

If anyone ever asks you if they should a diesel puller, tell them NO!  The noise is something you might get use to, but the heat is something else.  I am not sure what the issue is, but the heat in the front of the bus is unbearable.  We have to figure out how to get cooler air in this area.  It was only 90 degrees outside, but we had to take several breaks to cool off it was so bad.  We had the generator running and the front AC on but that didn’t help.  It did keep the puppies cool.  I have a 12 Volt fan and tried to blow air into and out of the drivers area, but the heat was just too much.  I didn’t have a thermometer but I would guess it is over 150 degrees in the drivers area.  The RV dash AC stops working the faster the rig goes (not sure how that happens).  If we are sitting idle we have nice cool air, as we start driving the air gets warmer and warmer, until at 65 MPH it is pretty warm and not helping with the heat issues.

I am going to post this issue on Facebook in the RV Tips page.  Maybe someone can explain why and what to do about it.  Maybe this is a ‘feature’ of the rig to make sure you take frequent stops (not to rest, but to cool off).

As a reader you probably won’t understand how hot this front area is, but I was actually concerned about starting a fire due to the heat.

Now the campground, Roaring Run is a private membership campground a few miles off the PA Turnpike at the Donegal exit.  The area is beautiful.  It is mainly a ski area from what we have seen so far.

The campground is nice.  Lots are easy to get into and fairly level.  However, there is no sewer service.  It was explained to us that it is due to the trout creek near by.  There is a dump station.  I am going to check with the office to see if there is a honey wagon service, which would make sense since there is no sewer service.  Our site is only 30 Amps and looking at the campground map, it doesn’t look like they offer 50 amp service.  But we are here on our RPI membership at $10 a night so I really can’t complain.

I love the log cabin designs for many of the buildings.  They have plenty of games, including an 18 hole miniature golf course, basketball and tennis.

A quick trip around the area last night, showed that this is beautiful country.  Stopped for dinner at a local restaurant (about 20 miles away).  Picked up some of those ‘What to do’ cards and found a lot of interesting stuff.  Flight 93 memorial is about 20 miles from here, so that will be on the ‘To Do’ list.

More to come as we explore the area and campground.


Roaring Run Campground: