It took a year, but we finally arrived at Liberty Harbor RV Park & Marina on April 1st. In 2005, we cancelled our stop in NY/NJ when we developed respiratory viruses prior to our schedule stop and didn’t want to pass NC/DC “bugs” to NYC friends.
This year, we arrived mid-day on a Saturday and traffic was not a problem. DeLorme’s Street Atlas USA 2006 still does not show an exit 14C off the interstate but we followed the directions on the park’s website confirmed by verbal instructions when we booked our reservation in Jan. We approached NJ on Interstate 95N and took I78 east toward Jersey City. We were instructed to follow signs for exits 14A, 14B, 14C. The 2nd off-ramp was labeled “Christopher Columbus” which dumped us onto a frontage road. Three left turns took us to Grand Ave. which lead us through a very shabby-looking neighborhood over bumpy streets to Munoz Marin Blvd. where we turned right for two blocks over some of the highest speed bumps we have ever seen.
The RV park (as the name implies) is part of a marina along the Hudson River. It is essentially part of the parking lot used by commuters who utilize ferries that run between NJ & NYC. Depending upon where you park, you can see the upper fourth of the Statue of Liberty over nearby buildings. So much for atmosphere, unless you count the pleasure boats moored in the adjoining marina and lots of seagulls – warning – don’t look up.
Because the park has no sewer hookups, only water & electricity, we had planned to use the park’s showers to minimize the number of times we would have to pull to the dump station. When I approached the receptionist to check in, she asked if we knew about the water situation. Well, no, what about it? I wondered if it was an April Fools joke (see above). Seems they hadn’t yet turned on the water to the sites because there were leaks remaining after winter freezing. However, we could fill our fresh water tank using a faucet beside the office building and we would receive a significant discount -- $40 a day rather than $60. We decided to give it a try.
We had already planned to leave the TV hooked to the A/S and use public transportation. A rapid-transit stop was located only one block from the RV park past which trains ran around the clock to and from Hoboken station where we caught Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) subway trains to Manhattan.
On several occasions, we returned to NJ and the park late at night (almost midnight) and never felt unsafe. Because there was no late-night traffic to/from the RV park/marina and no residential units near the rapid-transit station, there weren’t any other passengers debarking at our stop. Across the street from the train stop, several luxury condos are being constructed so the area may improve in coming months. Also, we tried to “blend in” with the locals by wearing casual clothing and trying to look as if we knew where we were going. We decided that next year we need to add back-packs to complete the “look”.
We would definitely utilize Liberty Harbor again even if there were no water hookups. We liked the easy access to public transit and the proximity to NYC. Travel time to/from the Big Apple was usually about an hour, even at the height of the a.m. & p.m. commute. Only one morning did we have to stand while riding the PATH train. When we were there in April, we did not see any place to eat near the park.
The showers were only adequate and there didn’t seem to be any heat in the rest rooms. By experiment, we discovered which shower heads produced only a trickle of water and which ones worked. We did not use the laundry room.
On the NJ side of the river, we were located only two rapid-transit stops from Liberty State Park with its access to the ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.