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Old 04-29-2011, 04:16 PM   #15
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Getting back to Gringo's original question...

All our trips originate in Houston, and almost all go north or west (pretty hard to go south from Houston ) We've never stayed in a TX state park that wasn't clean, well maintained and spacious.

Here's some suggestions.

Most state parks can be reserved at www.reserveamerica.com
Texas has its own recently set up reservation system on their website at Texas Parks & Wildlife Department | Welcome
National parks are at www.recreation.gov

When we don't feel like planning ahead, and are travelling at times we're reasonably certain campgrounds won't be full, we just wing it with our laptop. Use www.rvparkreviews.com. Pick the town or city you think is as far as you want to drive to, and search for campgrounds within 25 miles. The campgrounds are user-rated, and we have generally found the ratings to be very accurate. This is how you'll find the little gems that are city or county-run campgrounds. Places like Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park in Fredericksburg, TX, the Lincoln Parish Park near Ruston, LA, or the The Vineyards Campground in Grapevine, TX (Dallas). That last one is, in our opinion, one of the finest campgrounds we've ever visited in a major city.

Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:09 PM   #16
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National Park and National Forest campgrounds are generally "dry" camping -- no hook-ups. There are some exceptions but not many.

Many State Parks are at least 2 way hook-ups (water, elec) but, again, there are exceptions.

There are lots of city and county parks that are often overlooked.

My favorite online reference is:

www.rvparkreviews.com

If you read the reviews carefully, you can winnow out the obvious plugs and the angry slams. Generally, it has never led me astray.

By the way, be sure and check out Palo Duro State Park up by Amarillo. Great views/hikes and lots of wildlife. And, a free brake check as you carefully drive to your campsite from the entrance station.

Good luck and enjoy

Mike
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:29 AM   #17
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Thanks,
That place in Grapevine looks real interesting to us. Perfect place to stop after a month on the road, to put the trailer in order before she goes back into storage in north Dallas.

I do plan to do Palo Duro, too. early on. I have only been there once, in 84, and it was just passing through. I bought the first '84 Bronco II sold in Houston and took it on a shakedown cruise that included south Padre and Rocky Mountain national park.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
I know a lot of people airstream for the social aspects, and like being with other trailers. I am more interested in a bit of solitude. That's more what I look for.
If solitude is what you are looking for, guides wont be of much help. Guides are distributed to lots of people, lots of people and solitude is a mismatch. So, what you might want to think about is boondocking. You have to learn how to find the spots on your own, but it is a much more peaceful, and in my opinion, more satisfying way to travel.

National Forests can be a gold mine where boondocking is concerned- BUT MAKE SURE YO KNOW THE RULES IN THE LOCAL FOREST. These regulations vary widely from forest to forest and even within a forest. I generally stop in at the District Ranger station to double check with them. Also, if you ask them about boondocking, they will have no idea what you mean- ask about disbursed camping as that is the term they use.

Solitude is harder to come by in National Parks. Avoid the vendor run campgrounds (big/tightly packed) for the smaller park service run campgrounds. Yellowstone is a perfect example of this. Within Yellowstone there are a handful of mega campgrounds that are vendor run, however, there are smaller ones that are run by the park. The smaller ones are quieter, have more space, and generally less chaotic, not to mention cheaper. Some National Parks, although most do not, offer boondocking: Padre Island offers beach camping, Big Bend has some spots on the river. Alternatively, the National Forests surrounding the destination parks generally have excellent lower-traffic campgrounds, but you will have to drive further to see the park.
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:11 AM   #19
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I received this book for Christmas, it seems pretty detailed. I am sure there are books that cover other regions. I think my wife got this at Borders.
"Frommer's National Parks of the American West".
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Diesel View Post
Getting back to Gringo's original question...

All our trips originate in Houston, and almost all go north or west (pretty hard to go south from Houston ) We've never stayed in a TX state park that wasn't clean, well maintained and spacious.

Here's some suggestions.

Most state parks can be reserved at www.reserveamerica.com
Texas has its own recently set up reservation system on their website at Texas Parks & Wildlife Department | Welcome
National parks are at www.recreation.gov

When we don't feel like planning ahead, and are travelling at times we're reasonably certain campgrounds won't be full, we just wing it with our laptop. Use www.rvparkreviews.com. Pick the town or city you think is as far as you want to drive to, and search for campgrounds within 25 miles. The campgrounds are user-rated, and we have generally found the ratings to be very accurate. This is how you'll find the little gems that are city or county-run campgrounds. Places like Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park in Fredericksburg, TX, the Lincoln Parish Park near Ruston, LA, or the The Vineyards Campground in Grapevine, TX (Dallas). That last one is, in our opinion, one of the finest campgrounds we've ever visited in a major city.

Good luck.
Doing our searches can agree wholeheartedly with this info. I have found over time we can wing it Sun to Thursday but Friday and Saturday are usually booked solid. Only saving possibility is that few spaces are left open for driveups and the other is arrive at 4 to 5 AM park at the gate and check cancellations and no shows when ranger opens gate.
Good Luck.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:29 PM   #21
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If you are looking for something near North Dallas then check out the Lewisville Municipal Park on Lake Dallas. A very nice place on the lake. Water and electric with a dump station. The rates are very low.
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