Tag Archives: Army Corps of Engineers

Reflecting on our 2018 Adventure

Schoodic Woods Campground – Acadia National Park, Maine

Our 2018 Adventure included lots of travel. We towed the 5th wheel over 5100 miles, visiting 34 campgrounds in 17 states. Our average travel day was 150 miles and our average stay was about 11 days (although that is skewed a bit because of two longer winter stops).

We had lots of opportunities to enjoy our upgraded Thousand Trails membership, spending 120 nights at their properties. Our membership saves us a lot of money and much of my travel planning consists of stitching together a route that includes these campgrounds.

We also stayed 45 nights in Corps of Engineers campgrounds. These are our favorite campgrounds: almost always well laid out, spacious, and in beautiful locations. With our America the Beautiful pass we average paying $11-12 per night. Really, the CoE campgrounds spoil us for staying in tighter, urban campgrounds. If there is any negative at all it is that these campgrounds often offer only water and electric hookups and are generally rather out of the way, off the beaten track.

Generally speaking, we like alternating our stays between campgrounds right in the middle of the action and quieter, more laid-back spots. That approach was really evident during our two weeks at Acadia National Park in Maine. The first week we were in a commercial campground located in the heart of the action on Mt. Desert Island. The second week we were at Schoodic Woods campground located in the “quiet side” of the National Park. That week was our favorite week of the entire summer. In fact, we enjoyed our month in Maine very much. It is a beautiful state with friendly people.

We also spent quite a bit of time in Pennsylvania.  We had been there before, but this stay was longer and we had time to get acquainted with more areas.  It is a great state to visit with lots to see and do.

One change for us is that after volunteering at Battleship Texas and San Jacinto Monument the past several years, including the opening months of 2018, we decided to take a break upon our return to the Houston area. Instead we settled into a residential RV Park in Dickinson, TX for a few months.

This year, in spite of the enjoyable travels, wasn’t trouble free. Right off I knew I needed to take the 5th wheel in to the factory for service. It was a major repair and rather expensive. Then, in Indiana I had the pickup in the shop. I knew the repair was coming, but there was another big hit to the bank account. A couple of months later the pickup was back in the shop not once, but twice, for both maintenance and work again. All in all, this was our most expensive vehicle/5th wheel year to date. These expenses will be obvious when I release our 2018 expense sheet in a few weeks.

We’ve been reminded in unwelcome ways that traveling in a RV doesn’t take us away from real life as we’ve had our share of doctor’s visits and expenses. Happily, the outcomes to this point have been reasonably good although the final chapter hasn’t been written on some issues. One silver lining to these clouds is that we’ve had a chance to affirm that traveling fulltimers can walk into most any Urgent Care and get help. Another is that all the money we spend on insurance actually gets us decent coverage. Still, I’d rather just buy the insurance without needing it!

We still enjoy the nomadic RVing life and hope to continue for the foreseeable future. With both 5th wheel and pick-up being in the shop this year we’re thinking about doing some trading, likely to a motorhome. However, at this point we’re just thinking about it. Stay tuned on that front.

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.


See individual photos with captions here.

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.


See individual photos with captions here.