2018 – Shortstop: Quinebaug Cove Campground – Brimfield, MA


We stopped off at Quinebaug Cove Campground in Brimfield, MA for just a couple of nights as we worked our way on north. One of our campground memberships is with RPI and this campground is included in that membership. We are supposed to be able to stay in RPI campgrounds for $10 but booking costs another $2 and, upon arrival I was informed that since I wanted electricity there is another $3 a night tacked on. It’s still a low price but a surcharge for electricity seems a bit over the top to me.

Anyway, our campsite was reasonably level and very close to our neighbors on each side. Really, there is barely room for an awning to be put out. Also, since the campsites are rather shallow, the only place to park our pickup was between us and the folks next to us. This makes the “packed in” feeling even more pronounced.

There are other sites for travelers at the top of a rather steep hill. I saw several campers up there, and the sites are roomier, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to pull our 5th wheel up such a steep hill. Since our stay was only two nights I was okay with the tight quarters where we were.

The campground has a nice big pool and several kids were enjoying it. The nearby town of Sturbridge is historical with lots of shops. We opted to spend our day going to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, about 40 minutes away.

My Verizon signal was great and I was able to get satellite TV by putting our tripod just outside our front door and raising it to its maximum height. This was one of those rare times when having a roof mounted dish would have actually been an advantage.

Everyone I talked to in the campground, especially the staff, was friendly and helpful. I think this place is okay for travelers who want a brief stop or for those who want a seasonal spot to get out of the city. As a traveler it wouldn’t be very high on my list as a place to spend anything beyond a night or two.

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Campground Review: Pride RV Resort, Maggie Valley, NC

As you can tell this place is quite a mixture of very nice and rather frustrating.  I think I’d return here simply because I love the area so much and because I think it would be easier on the budget than paying the rack rate would be elsewhere.  At the same time I’d lobby big time for a site away from the highway.

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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.

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

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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Campground Review: Sunset Lakes Resort, near Moline, IL

The resort has good WiFi but they charge extra for it.  I have a pretty good 4G signal and I’ve been using it for a reasonably fast connect.  They offer 50 amps for an extra price.

I can see why area people might want to make this a destination camping spot for a family camping trip.  For us, it has been a pleasant three day stop.

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