Campground review: Allegany Mountain Resort at Rainbow Lake, East Otto, NY

2013-07-19 21.01.36.jpg Like most Americans, when I think of New York I think of the sprawling city that defines urban life in this country,  That vision is about as far from western New York as one can get.  This is gorgeous, wooded territory that reminds me more of the Smokey Mountains than anything else.

IMG_20130724_110333_712.jpg We’ve been at Allegany Mountain Resort for the past week and have really enjoyed the setting.  The property is situated around Rainbow Lake.  My guess is that a walk around the lake is about two miles.  There are 700 or 800 sites here, most of them permanent; a nice getaway from Buffalo, around 50 miles to the north.

There are plenty of amenities: two pools (one indoor), canoes and kayaks, tennis and volleyball courts, mini-golf, and much more.  Over the weekend the place was packed and there were many activities, especially for teens and children.

IMG_20130724_110237_024.jpg Now, all the above doesn’t mean everything is just wonderful here.  This is an old campground and that is quite apparent.  The campsites are small, obviously planned before people traveled in the larger RVs of today.  I tried three different campsites before I managed to get into one.  In fact, I got stuck in the first one and thought for awhile that I would need a tow to get out.  Also, the roads are narrow and some are very steep.  Making one turn I nearly took out a post and then, making another turn I managed to drop the driver’s side camper wheels into a fairly deep ditch.  Damage was minor and it could have been worse.   Damage was moderate – bent an axle, found months later when a tire began to show considerable wear, around $350 for the repair.  The “overnight” campground area has no sewer sites and power is 30 amps.  The power and water hookups aren’t where you expect them to be.  I had to get out a water hose I’d never used to reach water and I had to borrow an electric extension cord from the campground to reach the electric.  Then, over the hot weekend, the voltage kept dropping below 102 volts which caused my trusty surgeguard to shut the camper’s electric down. Once the weather cooled, the electric settled down.  Word is that this section is slated for a 50 amp upgrade.  One lesson I learned from my arrival here is to never let anyone (even people with the best of intentions) talk you into trying to park in a spot that you feel isn’t suitable for your rig.  They may tell you that “people park here all the time” but when you get stuck or manage to damage your rig, it will be you who pays for the repairs.

If you have a small camper you’ll love coming to this resort.  If you have a bigger one, try to arrive on Sunday-Wednesday when there are plenty of campsites, then, in the overnight area, head for the first two roads up from the lake for the best chances of getting a site you can get in to and that will be somewhat level.  The farther up the hill you go, the harder it will be to find a spot.

Would I return?  Yes!  That is, unless I had to arrive during a busy weekend!  In that case, I’d find another place.

Meanwhile, I think a couple of issues with the F350 have been fully resolved.  The truck had an overheating problem when towing in heavy traffic in Dallas.  It had never repeated until the day we came here.  As we pulled up a long grade near this campground it overheated again.  I took the truck to a nearby Ford dealer and they found that the fan clutch wasn’t engaging.  It is supposed to spin the fan at a much higher speed when towing on a long uphill.  The repairs were covered by warranty so, while we were out $100, we didn’t have to pay the full cost which was several times that amount.  Then, as I drove, I felt a familiar shaking of the steering wheel.  While on one of our first tows we had a tire tread separate and we ended up buying two new tires.  Now one of the remaining two originals (which should have given us at least a year’s more service) had suffered the same failure.  We put the spare on and found matching tires in Buffalo.  This time, there was no warranty, so we dropped a big chunk of change on the new tires.  Hopefully, we’ve now solved the biggies and we will get a break (knock on wood) from these kinds of issues for awhile.

We’re finishing up our time here tomorrow, but the move will be just a few hours to the east.  The adventure continues.

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