2018 – Rocky Point CoE Campground – Queen City, TX

When we lived in this area we drove past the road to this campground many times but it was only after we became fulltimers that we actually stayed at it. I wrote a review on the campground then and it is still pretty accurate.

A few campsites have been added since our last visit and we stayed in one of the new spots, enjoying a 50 amp/full hookup site. If we were coming in for a shorter stay we would head for one of the many terrific sites along the lake. However, none of them are FHU and we opted for convenience rather than view.

Once again, we give Rocky Point Campground on Lake Wright Patman a two thumbs up and will return when our journeys bring us to northeast Texas.

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2018 – Maumelle CoE Campground – Little Rock, AZ

We had a shorter stay at Little Rock’s Maumelle CoE Campground in 2015 and looked forward to this return visit. This is a terrific Corps of Engineers campground located along the Arkansas River in the Little Rock metro. I reviewed the campground on our previous visit and I think everything I said then still applies now.

The campsites away from the river are great sites. The ones along the river are, well, excellent. Most of them are 50 amp, paved, back in spots. A few are pull through. Many motorhomes pull in rather than back in so they can enjoy the beautiful river view. A good rule of thumb when reserving is that the riverfront sites on the western end of the campground have their river view blocked by a big marina. Those on the eastern end are 30 amp only. And – unless you are coming in for only a night or two, you will need reservations if you want one of these prime sites.

Otherwise, I think it would be a challenge to get satellite TV in many of the sites away from the river. To be fair, most of the Little Rock broadcast TV stations towers are very near the campground. Without even raising our TV antenna we got nearly 40 channels! I also got satellite so there was no lack of TV for us. Also, my Verizon 4G signal was a good one.

As you can tell we really like Maumelle and give it a two thumbs up.

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2018 – Sightseeing Little Rock, AR and vicinity


Sometimes in our travels we stay at a campground that is, in itself, an “attraction.” We’ll review Maumelle Corps of Engineers campground in a separate post, but it’s one of those campgrounds that’s so pretty with such great campsites that we enjoyed just hanging out at the campground rather than heading out to see the sights.

We did, though, spend the better part of a day at the Arkansas State Fair; our second big fair this year. We entered the fairgrounds through the midway but we quickly made our way back to the exhibit areas. We walked through a building with a wide variety of vendors and items for sale and then visited the cattle barn. My favorite building was arts and crafts. I’m always amazed the beautiful throws, pillows, clothes and quilts people make. In the same building the end wall was full of canned foods but it was the blue ribbon gigantic pumpkins and watermelons that got my attention. Our final stop of the day was at the arena where they were judging cattle and giving the ribbons. This was a new experience for me and very interesting.

Pinnacle Mountain State Park was very near our campground. We visited this park a couple of years ago and remembered that it is a terrific place to visit. As we arrived at the park near the Visitor’s Center we saw some beautiful early fall colors in the trees by the pond. We then climbed the stairs to the observation deck and were rewarded with a great view of the wetlands with the Arkansas River below us. There was no one else there and I enjoyed not only the view but also the quiet away from traffic and crowds. After a pleasant time there we went to the Visitor’s Center. I enjoyed seeing the wildlife dioramas and the live beehive behind glass. For those with with children there are interactive displays, color pages and other activities. This is a great place and surprisingly close to Little Rock.

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2018 – Agricenter RV Park – Memphis, TN

We stopped off for a long weekend stay on the east side of Memphis, TN at the Agricenter RV Park. The Agricenter hosts everything from Agriculture-related education to sports events. During our stay a corn maze was in operation, there was a Harvest Festival with Farmer’s Market, plus an event in the sports arena. The campground is adjacent to all of this – just a few steps away.

Campsites are long enough but very close side to side. To get an idea of just how crowded it could be one only needs to look at the section given over to long term residents. During our stay there was no one on either side of us so we had a reasonable amount of room. I confess that I was a bit concerned when, as I checked in I was cautioned to park fairly close to the power pedestal in case someone needed the site by our front door. Had someone taken that site we would have been face to face with hardly room to put an awning out. Judging from the campers around us, the plan is to use every other site for overnight campers. During busy times, though, the situation would be as crowded for overnighters as it is for long term residents.

Campground WiFi was decent most of the time and there’s a cell tower right on the property, giving us full scale Verizon 4G. There are no trees so satellite was easy enough. During hot summer months the campground must be pretty hot.

Everything is handy with all kinds of shopping just minutes away. There’s actually a steakhouse on the property and just across the street there’s a well known BBQ restaurant named “One and Only.” We tired the ribs there and I think they were the best I’ve ever eaten.

Knowing some of the negatives, I think I’d still return to the Agricenter RV Park – not for a longer stay, but for another long weekend.

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2018 – Seven Points CoE, Hermitage, TN

Everything we read about Seven Points CoE campground on J. Percy Priest Reservoir at Hermitage, TN was positive, so we looked forward to this stay on the east side of Nashville. The campground lived up to its billing. The campground is in a beautiful wooded area along the big lake. The campsites are long and deep with large patio areas. If you want to stay more than a chance night or two (and even that won’t be possible on weekends) you’ll need to make reservations well in advance as this campground is very popular and it fills up night after night. Our stay was for a week and the “no vacancy” sign was up for our entire stay.

Seven Points is close to I40 but it feels farther than it is because you have to make several turns through residential streets to get to it. The roads are plenty wide enough for any RV, though, and not really a problem. Follow the directions on the campground website and you’ll be fine.

While all the sites are very nice the lakeside ones are something special. All of them feature long driveways off the road and great lakeside camping in the trees. The rest of the sites are nicely wooded and if not for comparing them to the premium lakeside spots they would be considered prime real estate in most campgrounds.

So, right off, you want a lakeside spot if you can get it (I reserved four months out and they were all taken). If you can’t get a lakeside site, there are a few on the inside loop that afford nice lake views. They are, I think, sites 26-30 and 38-44.

There are no sites with sewer, but all do have 50 amp electric and water. There is only one shower house and it is a bit of a walk from both the north and south opposite ends of the campground. I found it strange that there’s a nice gravel trail from the back of the shower house, through the woods to the opposite side of the campground. However, once you get there you find yourself in the back of someone’s campsite with no further trail. It seems like a lot of effort to service just two or three campsites.

The dump station was designed by someone who obviously never drove a larger RV. The turns are sharp and the roadway is narrow. You’ll likely end up with wheels “cutting the corner” but no worries, it’s obvious that it has happened many times before.

Satellite TV will be easy for people with portable domes and lakefront property. It will be considerably harder for those with rooftop units or who are camped on the inside loop. It will be impossible in several sites. I made it, but the window was very small. Our Verizon signal was decent.

The campground is close to some major shopping areas, especially at nearby Mt. Juliet. Also Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is nearby. All the Opry-related attractions are less than 30 minutes away.

We most always like Corps of Engineers campgrounds and this is a great example of why. We hope to return the next time was come to the Nashville, TN area.

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2018 – Sightseeing the Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee

We always enjoy returning to the Smoky Mountains. This visit was just for a week, so we had a short but busy stay. A highlight for us was the opportunity to attend the Saturday afternoon sessions of the National Quartet Convention at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. Thanks to some friends who were attending the convention, we got tickets for the Gerald Wolfe Hymn Sing. This was a fun “sing along” event with a full choir and several other southern gospel singers. Then, we attended a concert featuring several male quartets. As you can guess Scott was right in his element and I enjoyed my first NQC.

We spent one day enjoying the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Years ago we spent some time camping at Cades Cove and we haven’t been back there since. It was as pretty as we remembered. We took the scenic loop drive, stopping at three historical spots along the way. Our first stop was at the Primitive Baptist Church. We could see the space where the heating stove sat and the roof vent where the stovepipe vented outside. There is a large cemetery in back and we could see some the names and dates of the people buried there. One thing that stuck me in both cemeteries was the amount of children’s graves; especially those that died on the day of their birth. I was surprised to see several more recent graves there, apparently family plots still being used by families to lay loved ones to rest.

We also stopped at a Methodist Church. The building has an old upright piano. As we arrived a young lady was playing the piano and after she left Scott played his trademark “When the Saints go Marching In.” Several came in as he played and they asked for an encore! Scott said this was his day of fame! It really did sound good in that old church.

We stopped at the visitors’ center to eat our picnic lunch and then walked around the historic farm there. Next month the National Park Service will be using the historic equipment on site to demonstrate how to make sorghum which they have on sale in the store. The house is large with several rooms on the main floor and an upstairs. We also saw an old barn, corn crib, and a working mill where a man was grinding corn into cornmeal. The mill wheel was turned by water from a nearby stream. We loved the drive through the park that follows a beautiful mountain stream that features many impressive rapids. We thoroughly enjoyed our day in the beauty of God’s Creation.

There’s so much to see in this area that it would take months to really do it justice. We enjoyed returning to the Apple Barn for a meal as well as exploring the shops there. We’ll look forward to future visits here.

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2018 – Project: Wide Angle Lens for hitching the 5th Wheel


I know that there are nifty bed mount cameras for this, but I was looking for a low tech solution and found one that I am sharing with you.

The challenge is backing the pickup up to hitch the 5th wheel. In our setup, the only way to see out to back window down to the hitch is to prop yourself up at a strange angle in the seat, twisting around while keeping your foot on the fuel peddle, ready to switch to the brake. My neck and back don’t work very well for that kind of Jujutsu move anymore so I looked around for a cheap alternative.

My solution was a wide angle lens that sticks to the back window of the truck. The lens “bends the light” letting me look through the rear-view mirror and see the hitch. To help things out, I put some fluorescent tape on both the edge of the hitch and the front of the hitch.

Once I put the wide angle lens on the window and tried it out, I took scissors and cut it in half, using only the bottom half on the window. That kept the lens low enough that I can look through the rear view mirror when driving without the camper and not see much of the lens at all.

This setup has been surprisingly helpful. I line things up without turning around at all, just looking in the mirror as I back up to the 5th wheel. Admittedly, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but this set up works well, especially when you consider the low cost.

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2018 – Douglas Dam Headwater Campground – Sevierville, TN


We really liked it at Douglas Dam Headwater Campground, just north of Sevierville, TN. The campground is located right at the dam with great access and views. There is also a Tailwaters campground below the dam. We didn’t get a chance to check it out.

This is a TVA campground, very similar to a Corps of Engineers campground which are favorites of ours. The campsites have water and 50 amp hookups. Many of the campsites are large enough for most any camper. We were in a pull through site on the hill overlooking the lake. The only negative was that the site sloped left to right. There are also several beautiful back in sites down close to the water – I’d likely try to get one of those on future trips. Not all sites on the hill will accomodate all rigs, so be sure to pay attention when booking your site. Aside from size, we thought we would have been happy in most any of the spots we could fit into.

I had no problem getting a satellite signal and our Verizon 4G was good. We think this campground is a real winner and will happily return on future visits to this beautiful area.

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