Campground Review: Skyline Ranch Resort – Front Royal, VA

Our journey down interstate 81 included miles driven in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia.  That sounds impressive but really, it was only a 3 hour or so trip.  The drive was an easy one without any traffic to speak of and no big hills to pull.  By early afternoon we had arrived at Skyline Ranch Resort near Front Royal, Virginia.

2013-08-15 16.29.53.jpg We are here as RPI members and I expected a rate of $10 a night.  However, upon arrival I was told that since my rig is wired for 50 amps I had to take a 50 amp site (normally 50 amp rigs have two air conditioners but ours has only one so we do just fine on 30 amps) and that it was going to cost me another $5 a night.  Then, when I paid with my credit card I was charged another $6.  Our $10 a night quickly turned into almost $17 a night.  That’s still quite a bit less than I would have paid elsewhere, but a lot more than I expected to pay.

My site was already assigned.  The majority of the campground is in nice woods with a view of the mountains which pretty much surround the campground.  However, we found ourselves in the corner campsite parked in a small field.  This spot, it turns out, is a bit of a mixed blessing.  On one hand, there are no trees at all – on the other hand, I was able to get satellite TV almost instantly.   On one hand, we are pretty much at the most distant corner of the campground – on the other hand, we have a big front yard, something hardly any other campsite here offers.  The only negative that doesn’t offer an “on the other hand” scenario is the inability to see the mountains.  Bummer!  Within a 15 second walk up the road there are mountains.  Here…zero view.

2013-08-16 16.55.23.jpg There are several nice features here: a nice activity center, a big pool, a nifty mini-golf course, a min-chapel that hosts regular church services, and several activities scheduled for the weekend.  We’re literally 10 minutes from Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park and about an hour from Washington DC.  There’s strong WiFi but it’s $3 a day.  I’ve opted to stay on my Verizon hotspot even though it’s a weak 3G.

If I return here I think I’ll lobby more strongly for a site with a bit of shade, 50 amps or not.  I’ll also mention that several reviews of this place reported stinky water. (update: according to a comment from the campground the water system has now been upgraded)  We haven’t found that however my external water filter is now very dirty and needing to be changed after just a few nights here.

With the unexpected fees, the field parking spot, and the dirty water balanced by nice amenities and a pretty good location, I’d give this place a score of 6 or 7 out of 10.

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One response to “Campground Review: Skyline Ranch Resort – Front Royal, VA

  1. Awful Experience

    I have never been one to give a review but when an unfortunate experience turns into a insufferable day I feel I must give in and join the reviewers of the world. In order to fully comprehend the situation there must first be a background story. Our family has owned at said establishment for many years. Of those years they have given freely of their time and talents. Fixing broken water pipes, building several buildings, providing tools, refinishing chairs and a wagan and building decks. Over a year ago the family camper was sold to this campground at a low price with the written understanding that the family may use the camper periodically. After being denied use several times over the past year; we asked what they would like the proper procedure to be in order to use the camper. It was told to us by the director that all we needed to do was call ahead and if there was no reservation on said camper then our family could reserve. So three weeks ago we made a call and reserved lot 2. We were told that Friday was booked but Saturday was open. So as anyone who knows me can imagine I was excited to be able to spend much needed time with my husband whom I hardly ever get to see. We called the night before and left a message to again confirm and then the next morning we packed the truck, the dog and all other camping necessities and drove to Skyline Ranch. After arriving we parked and started unpacking only to be told that oops they have no record of our reservation and that they double booked. They then changed their story and said that it was their camper and they were not going let us stay because they had no record of our reservation. When they were approached as to how they were going to handle it they said a decision couldn’t be made due to the director not being available. So they promptly turned us away with no apology as to their lack of customer service, communication and not to mention a ruined weekend for my family. As of yet we never received back a phone call with an explanation as to why they kept changing their story and we have not received an apology. I am disqusted by this establishment and their treatment of guests. If they double booked then we deserve an apology for them not giving us a call. If they didn’t want to let us use the camper then we deserve an apology for them not giving us a call. If they are so disorganized that they lost our reservation and lost our phone call and caused us to waste a weekend of driving, packing ect…then we deserve an apology. Yes, our family has done alot of free work for this campground and no I don’t expect anything for free; but I do expect an apology. Again I don’t wish this experience on anyone and maybe we were treated like trash because they know our family and take advantage of us but either way wether it was a horrific mistake or pure prejudice please call it what it is and own up to it.

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