Tag Archives: Thousand Trails

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 – Fall Stay at Lake Conroe Thousand Trails, Willis, TX

No need to do yet another review of Lake Conroe Thousand Trails in Willis, TX as we’ve done several reviews through the years. We like it at this park and, most years, our Adventures either begin or end at Conroe (often both, as it was this year). I’ve added a few photos to the slide show – they mainly show the new “B” section campsites. No doubt, we’ll be back at Lake Conroe.

You can find all our reviews of this campground here.

Click this for full screen photos

2018 – Gettysburg Farm Thousand Trails – Dover, PA


Gettysburg Farm Thousand Trails is actually located around 18 miles northeast of the historic town of Gettysburg, but it is, indeed, a farm. There are fields, barns, and lots of farm animals. There are posted petting zoo times for those who want to get up close and personal with many of the animals. The baby goats are a big attraction. In keeping with the farm theme there are wagon rides through the corn field and around the campground and lots of antique pieces of farm equipment on display.

We arrived right at the end of the campground’s second flooding event of the season. Conewago Creek skirts the campground and with all the rain Pennsylvania has had this summer, the creek has gotten out of hand at times. Most of the campsites aren’t impacted by the creek, but one section is right along the creek. It was closed because of the wet conditions all the time we were at Gettysburg Farm. I think those campsites and a few others are the only water/electric only spots in the park. The campground does, though, offer free “honey wagon” service to those without sewer. It was my impression that bigger rigs would fit better in the “city” portion of the campground, wet conditions or no.

The majority of the campground is about equally divided between 30 and 50 amp full hookup back in spots, except for one row of back-to-back sites. In those, the first person to arrive gets what amounts to a pull-through site. The next one has to back in.

Aside from the site differences I just described, I felt that the spots in the campground were pretty much equal with an adequate amount of space and level sites.

As usual, many spots have been leased out to long term residents. That, along with having many creekside sites out of service, caused the remaining sites to be mostly all occupied over the weekends. During the week, though, there were a few vacant spots for travelers.

We arrived the week after Labor Day and the pool was already drained for the winter. There’s a cute mini-golf course and nice basketball/pickleball area. There’s a small store that also serves food.

My Verizon signal was weak but usable most of the time. One afternoon and evening it dropped to the point that it was unusable, but later that night it came back even stronger than before. My guess is that some work was being done on the tower and my phone was trying to pick up a more distant one. I had no problem getting satellite TV.

This being a nice campground that is near some interesting attractions makes, I think, Gettysburg Farm Thousand Trails a real winner.

Click this for full screen photos
See individual photos with captions here.