Monthly Archives: September 2015

Campground Review: Wilmington, OH Thousand Trails

100_4664.JPG This was our second stay at Wilmington, OH Thousand Trails. We were here over two years ago and, in fact, stayed in a site just down the road from where we stayed this time. Our first stay, though, was a rather wet and stormy one. This time, we’ve enjoyed ideal weather. We still like this place and now that we’ve stayed in so many Thousand Trails I think we can say that this one is above average.

Other reviews of this campground are here:

100_4667.JPG The common Thousand Trails issue of many of the more desirable sites being rented out to long term residents is in play here. I think it’s kind of sad that there are so many nice sites with empty trailers sitting on them while traveling members have just a few spots to pick from. This is nothing against people who take advantage of the deal but I do wish more consideration was given to regular members.

We’ve enjoyed the company of our good friends Ron and Theresa Corwin. They are traveling from the east and we are traveling from the north and we met here for these two weeks. Ron willingly took on some projects on our camper and for that I am very grateful. We also enjoyed lots of fun fellowship with them during our stay. To make things even better, Jackie’s brother Jim, and his wife, Phyllis came to visit her mother who lives nearby. It was lots of fun to spend time with them.

This is a quiet campground – a nice place for leisurely walks and evening campfires. We also enjoyed a concert by the Weaver Believer band.

Since we did a review of this campground with lots of photos and some of the area sights, especially our time at the National Museum of the Air Force, on our previous visit I’ll not repeat the same information here but I will mention that I’ve added some photos to the campground photo album. We do like this campground and expect to return for future visits.

Project: Sewer hose security

PHOTO_20150920_153101.jpg We’re in a site in which the sewer hook up lacks the screw in fitting – its just an open pipe. I’ve seen other solutions – some commercial – and others like filling a sock with sand. However, that gives you one more thing to carry around. Here’s my solution – two tent stakes and an old bungee cord. I’m thinking of patenting it and selling the kit….”this deluxe sewer hose security system can be yours for just $19.95 – but wait! We’ll send you two of these systems for the price of one, just add shipping and handling.” Think I’ll make any money?

(Serious note: don’t drive the tent stakes in too deep – you might hit the sewer pipe)

Shortstop: Ottawa Metro Park Campground – Lima, OH

100_4654.JPG Ottawa Metro Park Campground is a nice campground located just a few minutes off of I75 in Lima, Ohio, making it a great two night stop for us. The roads and the spacious, level campsites are paved. There are both back in and pull-through sites. The trees in the campground are smaller, so they don’t offer much shade but, as a result of their size, getting satellite TV is no problem. Some sites offer 50 amp electric but the majority are 30 amp. All sites are water/electric and there is a dump station in the campground. The restroom/shower building is modern and clean. During our stay the price was $25 a night with an over-60 senior discount price of $20. There are some terrific, paved walking trails and a swimming beach in the park. The only negative I saw about the campground is that it’s all first-come/first-served with no reservations possible. For RVers out on the road this arraignment doesn’t work very well. We arrived the weekend after Labor Day and had no problem getting a site. If you plan on coming to this park during busier times, you might want to try arriving on a weeknight; or at least you will want to have a backup campground in mind. My Verizon 4G signal was a usable 2 bars. This place is a real winner, especially if you don’t mind taking a chance on getting a site when traveling during busy times of the year.

100_4654.JPG100_4655.JPG100_4656.JPG100_4658.JPG100_4659.JPG100_4660.JPG100_4661.JPG

Campground Review: St Clair, MI Thousand Trails

100_4620.JPG We arrived at St. Clair, MI Thousand Trails the week prior to the Labor Day weekend, hoping to be in a suitable spot and settled in before the holiday rush began. Since it was supposed to be hot and humid I opted for a 50 amp site and also one more out in the open so I could get satellite TV during our planned two week stay. That limited us to one of two sections of the campground. There are several tight pull through sites in which individual rigs are pulled in facing alternating opposite directions. Then, there’s a “field” section that is wide open and reasonably roomy, but a little rough. We picked the field, found what looked to be a suitable spot and settled in. Our biggest problem there was that, once we began walking around our “front yard,” we realized that underneath the grass it was rather rutted. Some workers brought me a big piece of plywood to use as a walk way over one especially bad spot right at the front of the camper. We decided we would make do with that. Soon we had neighbors, nice folks filling in the remaining field sites. To our dismay, after a big rain we had a pond just outside our front door. Our plywood walkway became a sort of bridge getting us out to the road.

PHOTO_20150907_153959.jpg After the big weekend, and with more rain forecast, we spotted an empty site up near the Activity Center. Apparently, a seasonal renter had just vacated. We moved to that site for the remainder of our stay. The weather had cooled, so we were okay with 30 amps. This second site was fine, although with I94 about 300 yards away the sound of the traffic was pretty much non-stop.

There are other areas of the campground that might have worked better for us. Some of the 30 amp back in sites near the pull throughs could have worked – and they are farther from the Interstate. On future visits I might see what is available in that area.

100_4648.JPG However, good sites are hard to find at St Clair because so much of the campground has been sold to seasonal residents. Most often these sites have RVs on them, but no one is at home. We did met a few of these folks and aside from one person who saw it as her mission to protect the seasonal’s turf from outsiders, we were welcomed by nice people who are just taking advantage of the long term prices. Obviously, their gain is weekenders’ and travelers’ loss with the pool of available, nicer campsites shrunk down to puddle-size.

PHOTO_20150910_113922.jpg Our only other primary issue in the campground was the poor condition of the water which is very rusty. I went through two of our whole house water filters in about 9 days. One of these filters often lasts me two months.

Aside from these issues we found the campground staff to be good folks who want to make members’ stays enjoyable. The facilities are dated but clean. The pool is nice and slated to be updated during the off season. Roads are typical Thousand Trails roads with a nice, paved entry road and then, once you are in the campground not so good. The road back to our first campsite, in particular was very rough and even worse, one way without any warning of oncoming traffic. We met a motorhome as we came in and had we not gotten to the spot where we met, he would have had to disconnect his toad and backed up or I would have ended up backing a long ways down and up a hill.

100_4646.JPG The campground is near lots of shopping and eating places. We especially enjoyed driving to St. Clair and watching the big ships on the river, traveling between Lake Erie and Lake Huron. Detroit is less than an hour away and Canada is just a short drive away. I had a cell signal that fluctuated between 3G and 4G. Campground WiFi is available and works if you are a very patient person.

I can’t give this Thousand Trails a great score. I’d come back because, as members, it’s a great deal financially for us. Still, some of the issues I’ve mentioned really need to be addressed.

100_4620.JPG100_4622.JPG100_4624.JPG100_4626.JPGPHOTO_20150904_102611.jpgPHOTO_20150904_103026.jpgPHOTO_20150904_103136.jpgPHOTO_20150904_103532.jpgPHOTO_20150904_103557.jpgPHOTO_20150907_153959.jpg100_4642.JPG100_4644.JPG100_4646.JPGIMG_4127.JPGPHOTO_20150910_113922.jpg100_4647.JPG100_4648.JPG100_4649.JPG100_4651.JPG100_4653.JPG

Sightseeing Review: The Henry Ford Museum – Port Huron, MI and area

IMG_4110.JPG Our primary sightseeing attraction during our stay near St. Clair, MI was a fun day at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. We spent five hours walking and looking and still didn’t see every exhibit. The museum focuses on the history of the automobile and its impact on history. There are race cars and famous Presidential limousines, classic cars and experimental models that never reached production. Other types of transportation such as stagecoaches, early horse carriages, trains, early gasoline delivery trucks, and airplanes are also on exhibit. They even have early RVs, hotel rooms, signs from food chains, an operating diner, and many other interesting artifacts from American History. We were tempted to return another day to see Greenfield Village (a living history village) or take the factory tour. We decided to save them for a future visit to the area. You can actually buy combined tickets, but honestly, just seeing the museum takes a full, exhausting day.

100_4644.JPG In addition to visiting the museum we enjoyed time in nearby in Port Huron where we visited the Great Lakes Maritime Center. It is an excellent place to watch large ships on the St. Clair River. The Blue Water River Walk there is a popular walking and bike path. I was very pleased to see another Little Free Library on the walking trail making books easily available to everyone. I also recommend the Blue Water trolley as a fun way to see the primary sites of Port Huron – with a fare of just ten cents you can’t go wrong! Just to the south of Port Huron is St. Clair which is another great place to walk a nice boardwalk and enjoy the river.

100_4627.JPG100_4628.JPG100_4629.JPG100_4630.JPG100_4632.JPG100_4633.JPG100_4634.JPG100_4636.JPG100_4637.JPG100_4639.JPG100_4640.JPGIMG_4077.JPGPHOTO_20150903_112757.jpgPHOTO_20150903_114651.jpgPHOTO_20150903_115404.jpgPHOTO_20150903_115501.jpgPHOTO_20150903_120654.jpgPHOTO_20150903_122159.jpgPHOTO_20150903_123121.jpgPHOTO_20150903_132313.jpgIMG_4055.JPGIMG_4070.JPGIMG_4073.JPGIMG_4074.JPGIMG_4075.JPGIMG_4076.JPGIMG_4084.JPGIMG_4089.JPGIMG_4091.JPGIMG_4094.JPGIMG_4095.JPGIMG_4096.JPGIMG_4100.JPGIMG_4101.JPGIMG_4102.JPGIMG_4104.JPGIMG_4106.JPGIMG_4109.JPGIMG_4110.JPGIMG_4111.JPGIMG_4112.JPGIMG_4117.JPGIMG_4118.JPGIMG_4119.JPGIMG_4121.JPGIMG_4122.JPGIMG_4049.JPGIMG_4048.JPGIMG_4051.JPG100_4642.JPG100_4644.JPG100_4646.JPG