Tag Archives: Escapees

2017 – Campground Review: Raccoon Valley Escapees, Heiskell, TN

20170421_193013.jpg We’re just finishing up a one month stay at Raccoon Valley Escapees RV Park at Heiskell, TN, just north of Knoxville. The setting of the park is scenic, in a pretty valley with tree covered ridges on either side. Of course, this is eastern Tennessee, home of the stunning Smoky Mountains. Without doubt, this is a great area. The campground itself is basically a gravel parking lot. Sites are very close to one another with one’s neighbor’s utilities in your front yard. The grounds are well kept, the rest rooms clean, and there’s a nice activity center.

The campground hosts a weekly gathering of local musicians who sing and play for a few hours each week. Anyone who plays an acoustical instrument is welcome to join in. The music ranges from pretty good to “not pretty good” (if you get my drift.) However, everyone is having a good time and it makes for a friendly, easy going evening.

The monthly prices here are quite good and that has drawn a variety of residents. There are traditional Escapees who travel in their RV’s full time and there are working people who had never heard of Escapees, but joined to get the discount rate as residents of this park. Most everyone is friendly or at least cordial. Because of price, location, and limited sites the park stays pretty busy.

My Verizon signal was good. Our satellite TV is via Dish Network. There are plenty of over-the-air TV stations but the primary Dish channels are on the Dish “eastern arc.” Since my dish is a western arc one, and since the trees pretty much blocked my western satellites I decided to bite the bullet and buy the replacement LNBs. I found them on Amazon for around $25. After swapping them out and aiming the dish to the eastern satellites I had all my channels again. From what research I’ve done, I’ll be using the eastern satellites for another month or two and in the future I’m sure I’ll be glad to have the option of switching between satellite sets when we travel east.

Honestly, a month was too long for us to be at this park. Had the campsites had a bit more elbow room we would have liked it better but it still would have been longer than we really wanted. I’d return here for a week or maybe two, but that’s about it.

20170410_103440.jpg20170410_103444.jpg20170410_103512.jpg20170411_201942.jpg20170411_201959.jpg20170421_193013.jpg20170423_191840.jpg20170409_182841.jpg20170409_184449.jpg20170409_184458.jpg

2017 – Campground Review: Escapees Rainbow Plantation – Summerdale, AL

20170303_130911.jpg We really like this campground. The Escapees club is the largest (maybe only) organization for fulltime RVers so when we are at an Escapees park we enjoy the company of like-minded people. This campground, being in the sunny south and in such an interesting area, attracts lots of folks who maybe aren’t RVing fulltime but are at least “long-timers” who spend the winters as “escapees” from the cold north. Everyone is friendly and welcoming and there are lots of walkers who enjoy stopping for a chat.

20170307_093549.jpg Not only are there many people in RVs, there is also an entire neighborhood of houses occupied by folks who have “retired” from RV travel or at least have decided this would be a good place to put down some roots. There are a variety of houses but nearly all of them have some kind of accommodation for a RV. It’s fun to walk around and see all the innovative ways people have built houses that also provide for RV parking and use.

20170313_183016.jpg The RV area is grassy on packed sand. We enjoyed the spacious site and a nice shady oak tree. In the past we have parked under oak trees in the fall and didn’t enjoy the acorn bombardment on the camper. This being spring we mainly had to put up with leaves falling (the oaks don’t shed leaves until new leaves come in and “push” them out).

There are lots of activities in the park’s activity center: everything from a music group to quilters to a chair “caning” group. Of course, there are plenty of eating opportunities as well.

Let me include in this review a special mention of Robertsdale Church of the Nazarene. We worshiped with these fine folks the past month and enjoyed it very much. Pastor Melissa and her congregation made us feel right at home and I recommend this church to any who visit Escapees Rainbow Plantation.

20170303_130911.jpg20170303_130934.jpg20170303_130934.jpg20170303_142649.jpg20170307_093549.jpg20170307_092810.jpg20170307_093610.jpg20170307_094150.jpg20170307_094219.jpg20170307_094320.jpg20170313_183016.jpg20170315_125613.jpg20170319_175836.jpg

Campground review: Turkey Creek RV Village, Escapees, Hollister, MO

100_3963.JPG Our week at Turkey Creek RV Village, the Escapees Park in Hollister, MO, has been an interesting one. We’ve had extremes of weather, with lots of rain, including flash flood warnings, and then the hottest days we’ve seen in a long time with our a/c not being able to keep up with the heat and super-high humidity.

On the other hand, we thoroughly enjoyed time with our son and family as they timed a trip to Branson to coincide with our being here. We especially liked our day with them at Silver Dollar City. In spite of times of rain downpours courtesy of the remnants of tropical storm Bill it was a lot of fun. One good thing about it was that we didn’t mind getting wet on some of the water rides since we were already pretty wet as it was!

PHOTO_20150619_203642.jpg The campground itself has around 70 sites, most of them back in, with one row of pull-throughs. The sites are somewhat small and your neighbor to the back of the campsite is within a couple of feet of you. I think all the sites are full hookup and several are 50 amp. There’s a bit more space side to side. We’ve found Escapees members to be some of the friendliest RVers around and it’s easy to strike up a conversation here. There’s an activity center, office, and laundry but really, the draw here is Branson and all it has to offer rather than the campground.

PHOTO_20150619_201720.jpg Near the campground (at Hollister City Hall) there’s a short, paved trail to Hackett Falls. It’s a small, pretty waterfall. After all the rain we had, the water flow was great when we went there. Even without all the rain, you might want to check it out.

The campground is bordered by Turkey Creek and because of all the rain we’ve kept an eye on the water level. The creek has been a few feet above its banks all the time we’ve been here. Then, when the deluge of rain finally stopped and we thought we were home free, the officials at Table Rock dam announced a water release to take pressure off the dam. That meant another night of keeping an eye on the creek water level. That, thankfully, turned out to be a non-concern.

If nothing else, Turkey Creek is handy to Branson, with one of the primary shopping areas, Branson Landing, being only minutes away.

My satellite TV was easy enough to set up and I enjoyed a good Verizon 4G cell signal. All in all, this has been a good place for us, especially because of our Escapees connection and the camping discount we got here. We’ll likely return here on future trips to and through Branson.

100_3957.JPG100_3959.JPG100_3960.JPG100_3961.JPG100_3962.JPG100_3963.JPGPHOTO_20150619_203642.jpgPHOTO_20150619_201720.jpg100_3998.JPG100_4000.JPG100_4033.JPG100_4034.JPG

Campground Review: SKP Saguaro Co-Op – Benson, AZ

We loved it at the Escapees SKP Saguaro Co-Op in Benson, AZ. In some ways it is my favorite campground to date. The resort was designed by and for fulltime RVers who are members of Escapees. The fulltime philosophy and common sense approach is evident everywhere from the wide, paved roads to the excellent and much used activity center.

PHOTO_20141009_164903.jpgThe sites are both deep and wide. Almost all of them are leased and sport various levels of improvements. Many have “casitas” which are small buildings with porches. Every improvement, though, is subject to a strict set of rules that allow for some personalization, but at the same time, maintain a level of conformity. Most casitas have a living room and a utility room in them. The sites are all gravel but leaseholders decorate them with cactus gardens and other decorations. Here’s the deal: when the leaseholder is out seeing the country, they can put their site in the rental pool. Travelers who rent don’t have use of the casita, but generally there’s a nice porch and other upgrades to enjoy. Many of these sites can be rented monthly if a person desires a longer stay. The lease program is so popular that there’s a years-long waiting list for an opportunity to buy in!

There are other sites that are set aside, some for short term visitors and others for long term visitors who come in for the winter. There are even paved no-hookup overnight spots.

PHOTO_20141013_194512.jpg Escapees are known for their friendliness and that is quite evident here. There are get-togethers every day and many activities. People go out of their way to introduce themselves and it’s quite easy to strike up a conversation. We especially enjoyed the daily 4:00 fellowship gathering in the activity center. Our stay was in mid-October and daily leaseholders who had been touring in cooler places arrived to settle down for the mild Arizona winter.

100_3438.JPGThe property has no pool or spa and reservations are not accepted. Escapees facilities are famous for always finding a place for a traveler to park their RV even it has to temporarily be a spot with no hookups. The activity center has a large meeting room with a full-sized commercial kitchen, a large library, a workout room with modern equipment, and a crafts room. There’s also a nice porch with a view of the valley below and the Dragoon Mountains. This view is especially pretty at sunset.

If you get the idea that I like this place you are 100% right!

PHOTO_20141009_164839.jpgPHOTO_20141009_164903.jpg100_3437.JPG100_3438.JPG100_3439.JPG100_3440.JPG100_3441.JPG100_3442.JPG100_3443.JPGPHOTO_20141013_194503.jpgPHOTO_20141013_194512.jpg100_3470.JPG100_3471.JPG100_3472.JPG100_3474.JPG100_3475.JPG