2018 – Clinton Lake Recreation Area – DeWitt, IL

We spent some time at this nice campground last year as we traveled east to west. This year, we are back for another stay as we travel west to east. There’s no need for me to write another full review, but I’ll give you a few more photos.

My previous review is here.

Our stay this time was over Memorial Day weekend and the campground was filled to capacity. The weather was hot and all the air conditioners put a strain on an already needy electric system. Our electric was on and off all Sunday afternoon. By early evening it had cooled down enough that the system could keep up and we were fine the rest of our stay.

Last year, we were in a 30 amp FHU site. This time we were in a 50 amp electric only site. Honestly, these sites are great and I think I liked this spot best.

Again, as it was last year, we actually spent most of our time visiting family. We had a blast seeing Jim and Phyllis, plus a quick hello to their son and family. On Monday evening, in a mostly empty campground we hosted a cookout with Jim and Phyllis plus friends Todd and Connie who live nearby. It was a terrific evening, a real blessing to us.

My Verizon data was usable only with the cell booster.  The satellite TV signal was fairly easy to get.

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2018 — Indian Creek CoE Campground – Morgan City, MO

We really liked Indian Creek CoE Campground, located near Morgan City, MO (about 35 miles west of Hannibal). The campground has many great, wooded, paved sites with nice separation. This corps facility is on Mark Twain Lake, but none of the sites are actually on the lake. A few overlook the water down below but most are in the woods. The roads are excellent and the individual sites are a mixture of electric only and full hookups. I think all the sites offer up to 50 amp service. The sites are long and pretty level side to side but most have a slope front to back. To get level our 5th wheel was “kneeling down” significantly. In the Eastern Campground my Verizon 4G signal was very good.

There are a few things you might want to know. First this campground is out in the boonies. Once you leave Morgan City you are still about 15 miles out into the country to the campground, much of that on smooth, but speed limited roads. It is around 45 minutes to the closest Walmart in Hannibal. Second, we battled both ticks and swarming gnats. Third, if you want satellite, pick your campsite carefully. Generally, you want one on the north side of a road. Those on the west side of a road would be especially blocked from having an eye to the sky.
We almost always like the CoE campgrounds and this one is no exception. We give Indian Creek two thumbs up.

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2018 – Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum – Hannibal, MO

We had a fun afternoon at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Missouri. Our visit began at the museum where we enjoyed going through the interactive dioramas with monitors playing clips of movies based on various books written by Samuel Clemens. The ones I enjoyed most were the cave where Tom and Becky were lost and Tom’s raft where he and runaway Jim had their adventures. Many of his other popular books are represented by film clips and dioramas. We saw a mockup of a pilot’s wheelhouse with a whistle and other items from the Mississippi Steamboat era that inspired Samuel Clemens to write his books. The museum also has first editions of all his books, original Norman Rockwell illustrations from them, and personal memorabilia from his life. From the Museum we walked a few blocks to Clemens boyhood home and the Becky Thatcher house which was actually the home of Laura Hawkins who was the inspiration for Becky. We also saw the Huckleberry Finn House which was home to Tom Blankenship who was the inspiration for Huck. Finally, we toured the John M. Clemens Justice of the Peace office. From there we returned to the museum for the highlight of our time in Hannibal. A very talented actor entertained us for around 30 minutes as Samuel Clemens. We thoroughly enjoyed his presentation and highly recommend it to all, young and old alike.

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2018 – Bucksaw CoE Campground – Clinton, MO

We came to Bucksaw CoE Campground, near Clinton, MO because it gets good reviews and happens to be at about the right place for a few day’s stop as we begin to journey east and north across the country. This campground gets good reviews and is located on Truman Reservoir. It is a bit off the beaten track, especially for those traveling west to east. The north/south route into the area is more traveled and a better road. Clinton is close by; about 20 minutes.

There are many campsites at Bucksaw ranging from tent sites to water-electric to full hookup. Most of the FHU sites are in Loop C. If you want to be close to the lake, though, you might opt for electric only or water/electric sites in Loop B. Also several of the tent sites are close to the lake. When I was booking the site I specified FHU and noticed that one of the available sites was a pull through so I took it. There aren’t many pull through FHU sites (maybe just this one). When you reserve pay attention to site size. Not all sites will accommodate a larger RV. However, many of them will handle any sized rig. Also, the mixture of hookups is surprising – one side of the road, FHU – the other side, electric only. –Or- the section of FHU sites with just one W/E only pull through in the middle of them. The FHU sites were filled with reserved tags on them all the time we were at Bucksaw, so if you want one of these sites you might want to reserve one and not arrive assuming one will be available to you.

This campground is so big that several tenting loops are closed off. Really, I doubt that this place is ever full. Not only is it a big campground, but it is surrounded by lots of other campgrounds, both public and commercial.

The big draw here, is, of course, the lake which actually feels more like a river in the vicinity of the campground. In addition to all the fishing and boating opportunities (there’s a nearby marina) the campground has a nice swimming beach that, I think, is pretty popular. B Loop is in easy walking distance of the beach and A Loop isn’t much farther. C Loop isn’t as close but is a walkable distance.

One thing you might want to know is that Verizon cell service is poor. I ran my cell booster and managed to get a semi-usable data signal part of the time. Without it there was almost nothing. A lady told me that AT&T was better here. Satellite TV was fairly easy to get but, as it always is with satellite, campsite location does make or break it.

Aside from the sounds of kids having a wonderful time over the weekend, this is a very quiet, out of the way campground. We most always favor the CoE campgrounds and Bucksaw is a good example of why this is so: nice big sites, a well-kept campground, for an excellent price.

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2018 – Harry S.Truman Dam and Reservoir – Warsaw, MO

Truman Reservoir Visitors Center sits on a bluff at the east end of the dam, high above the beautiful reservoir. The visitors center is a place for the whole family to enjoy. The panoramic view of the lake and dam from the upper level is amazing. There’s a short film that gives a quick overview of the history of the dam and a timeline with more information about the people and events that shaped this area. The display of replicated mastodon bones was interesting as well as information about the animals indigenous to this area. There are artifacts and other displays. Across from the center there are some historic buildings and trails that are open to the public. We thought this was an interesting and enjoyable place to visit and gain a greater appreciation of the area.

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2018 – 5th Wheel Service in Chanute, KS

We’ve fulltimed in our 2007 Hitchhiker II for five years now and have been pleased with how well it has held up. Last year we decided to keep it for a few more years and upgraded to a Bigfoot hydraulic leveling system. We love it. This year we had a couple of bigger repairs to do so we made our way to Chanute, KS, where our NuWa Hitchhiker was built, for factory service. We dropped the camper off early on Monday morning and moved into a nearby motel for the duration. While this isn’t a review of the motel, I will mention that we were very pleased with the helpful service we received at the Chanute Knights Inn and recommend it.

The big ticket item on the 5th wheel was the big slide out that had some water damage and needed to be completely removed and basically rebuilt from the floor up. Another job was replacing the rider’s side lower-front panel that had an unfortunate run-in with a big boulder in North Dakota last summer. Also, it was time to replace all the slide seals on the camper; a bigger job than you might think. All that plus a few other minor projects were on the schedule.

On Thursday the service center, true to their word, reported repairs complete. Happily, no other big problems were found during the work. After deflating our bank account we were ready to move back in. All in all it was a positive experience and we are pleased with the service we received. When I thanked the service manager for their work I commented that I hoped not to see them again for a long time. He laughed and said he hears that a lot.

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2018 – Shortstop – Santa Fe Safari Campground – Chanute, KS

We’ve spent a couple of nights at Santa Fe Safari Campground in Chanute, KS as we prepare to drop our 5th wheel off for service at NuWa. These are the folks who made the camper and we are looking forward to having a couple of things repaired on it. Just a few minutes from the manufacturer’s service department is this nice city campground. My guess is that over half the RVers who come to this city campground are here because of NuWa service and sales. No one can argue with the price: free for the first two nights, then just $10 a night after that. The campsites are basically parking lot sites with 30/50 amp electric and water. There is a dump station on site.

This city campground even offers free WiFi! There are two sections. The east side is closest to S. Santa Fe Ave. and has all pull through sites and has the good WiFi signal. The west side sites are all back in and are close to restrooms (not well kept) and beyond the range of the WiFi. However, the sites are a bit wider and longer. They are also close to the dump station. We spent one night in the eastern section and then moved to a back in spot so we could stay hooked up and be ready to report in to the service center early the next morning.

Some of the pull through sights are are just barely wide enough for two RVs. People who are trading RV’s park the two rigs “face to face” so they can more easily move their belongings to their new digs. This is perhaps the only time you’ll ever see a RVer happy to have another rig parked very close by!

While Chanute isn’t exactly a tourist destination, this is a great small town campground for a great price.

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2018 – Shortstop – Warrior RV Park – Tulsa, OK

We don’t do many one night stops. Our lifestyle as fulltimers is shorter moves and longer stays. When we were vacationers we did the opposite: longer moves and shorter stays. However, there are always exceptions so once in a while we do a “shortstop” of just a night or two. In this case we’re taking our Hitchhiker to its birthplace in Chanute, KS for some long overdue repairs and just needed a spot to land for the night.  One plus for us is that we have some long time friends in Tulsa and we enjoyed some time with them.

All of that to say we did a one night stop in Tulsa at Warrior RV park. Really, it’s a nice place for a short stay; located right on I44 and near Hwy 75. This is an older park, mostly pull-throughs. Our site was barely long enough for pickup and hooked up camper. All the connections are at the back of the site so I had to get out an extra water hose and add a sewer hose connection. The water connect is underground. I had to get down on my knees to connect the water hose.

The owners are friendly and accomodating. I asked about parking and they directed me to some nearby sites that they didn’t expect to use and told me that any of them are fine. They also offered to help me hook up the water if I was having trouble getting to the spigot. Yes, you can hear the traffic, but when you pick an RV park beside an interstate you can’t expect much else. The restrooms are older. When we were there they needed cleaning, but it looked like the need was the result of recent activity.  Our Verizon signal was good, campground WiFi worked fine, and I had no problem getting a satellite TV signal.

If you are visiting Tulsa and need a spot or traveling across Oklahoma and just want a stop for a night or two, this is a good place to land.

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2018 – Lake Texoma Thousand Trails, Gordonville, TX

We spent time here at Lake Texoma Thousand Trails near Gordonville, TX just a few months ago. In fact, this is our third stay at this Thousand Trails. There’s not a lot of sightseeing to do here, but since we have many friends in nearby Denison, it’s a good north Texas stop for us. Since I already have two longer reviews on this campground, I’ll just add a few photos here.

All Lake Texoma Thousand Trails reviews are here

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