Reviews written by mmaycroft
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July 9-10, 2012
Based on the previous reviews we decided to stop here overnight on our way north. The park was relatively easy to find and although it is a fair drive off the Interstate that was not an issue. However, once we were in the park the signage was inadequate to help us find the office to sign in. We finally found it and the sign in process was relatively easy. Our biggest problem was that the power level was very inadequate. The park has 50 Amp service, but although the park was less than 50% occupied, power was marginal at best. It was VERY hot the night we were there and we were only able to run our small a/c. In addition, the sites are not well marked and the map they gave us was very inadequate. Luckily another resident was able to direct us to our site. Although we travel this way every year, we won't be staying here again.
We've stayed here many times before and not much has changed, except that the laundry room has been re-done with all new (and FREE) washer's and dryers. When we arrived (with a reservation) we were told we would have to settle for a site "down below" rather than on the paved sites we'd requested since there had been power problems and the power didn't work on about 6 sites. We drove to the park and realized that there was no way our large rig would fit into the site assigned. A fellow RVer suggested we check the board posted near the laundry facilities to see what sites showed as available. One site (41) was listed as available so we checked the power and found that it worked just fine. We called the office and the young woman working the desk told us that power didn't work on that site. When we explained that it DID work, she rather curtly said "fine, then take it"--which we did and stayed for 4 nights. During that time we realized that the "board" which lists available sites for late arrivals was never updated and it appeared that no one was working on the power problem. One major issue is that there is no host and the MWR office seems more concerned with running the Auto Hobby Shop--which is excellent--than dealing with the RV park. Other than that, the park is very conveniently located, the Exchange and Commissary are wonderful and there are lots of places to walk safely--including a walk way out to a platform along the river. Unlike on previous visits, we found that we had good signal strength from our Verizon Air Card and our phone.
19-21 July 2010
We stayed here 3 nights and have one major warning for anyone using GPS to get to the campground. In a word, DON'T. Use the directions listed on this site or in the book. We were coming from the east and GPS took us all over the place. We'd have been much better off taking Exit 7 (Blue Angel Parkway, although it isn't listed as such on the signs) which takes you right to the gate you want. Also,unless you get very lucky, you can forget about getting a satellite signal. There is cable TV available, but if you are used to using a DVR to record programs, you'll really miss your dish. Right now the beach is closed due to the oil spill--you can see small tar balls in the water. (Our rating does NOT reflect this as it's beyond the park's control, obviously.) Power was weak, even though the park was only about half full. This is a nice park, but it's 18 miles from the Interstate, so maybe not the best for an overnight. However, the camp host was pleasant as was the MWR staff. However, there is no information provided about the area, not even a base map, which would have been nice. We didn't use the Exchange or Commissary, so can't comment. Luckily we didn't need to use the laundry because it could have been a real hassle.
December 9-10, 2007
This park is appropriately priced for what it offers. We parked in the "back forty" and the cement pads are large and level. However, the electrical service is weak. We tripped a breaker, which required the service of an electrician to re-set as it took out the entire leg. This should NOT have happened (only the breaker on our pole should have tripped.) The young sergeant who came out told us that he has had repeated calls about electrical problems in this part of the park. When we thought at first that we would have to change sites, he pointed out the one or two sites that DIDN'T have a history of problems. Luckily, he was able to get ours working again so we stayed put for one more day, watching our electric usage carefully. While Outdoor Rec personnel are pleasant, there are no base maps available and no other information about the base, the CG or the area is provided. The camp host has one of the messiest sites and is right next to a space marked for transients--however the unit on that site appears to have been here for sometime and the space is also filled with junk. No one has figured out what the camp host does as most people never see him. This could be a great park if they get the electrical issues taken care of. We'd stay here again only on a transient basis (1-2 nights.)
I basically agree with vdub's review. It's a long way to drive, but it is quiet and it's also a way to avoid El Paso if you are heading to Carlsbad Caverns as we are. The auto shop here is very well equipped, including a hoist that easily handled our one ton Dodge dually. The staff at the auto shop was very helpful, not only with the work my husband was doing on the truck, but also with advice on the best route to Carlsbad! (Not the one we'd planned based on the maps we had.) My only real gripe is that the pet rules are not enforced. The gentleman (?) next to us has a large dog that has been allowed to make "deposits" all over his lot. If the weather were warmer, it could be quite smelly. I mentioned this to a man at Outdoor Rec a few days ago, but nothing has changed. My impression is that no one from Outdoor Rec visits the CG on a regular basis to check out the sites. Also (and this is beyond their control) the dumpster is emptied every morning before 0530--and the sound carries a long way! (Reville and bugle calls I expect--but it would be nice to postpone the "bang, bang, bang" until 0700 or so, at least. That said, for $10/night for full hook ups, it's a good deal for a short visit.
The park (and the base, for that matter) are in an out of the way location and not conducive to overnights unless, like us, you happen to be traveling across North Dakota on US 2. The main gate is called the "Magic City" gate and there is nothing on the signs that indicate that "Magic City Gate" IS the main gate. It is the second gate you come to if you are traveling north on US 83 off US-2. However, the traffic lanes are large enough to handle a large RV with no problems. We arrived early on a Saturday afternoon and discovered that four of the available sites had cars parked in them. There was an event taking place in the park and apparently some of the attendees had decided that the vacant spots made good parking places. There were no signs indicating that the spots were reserved for campers, which might have helped. There was one spot that didn't have a car parked in it and we backed into it with some difficulty. The "road" out front is very narrow and the light poles can present problems. Once we hooked up we discovered that the water pipe had an underground leak, so we ended up having to fill our tank and use our pump--not a major problem but we would not have chosen this site if we had been aware of this problem before hand. There is no place to register on a weekend. The sign on the Outdoor Recreation office informs you that you need to come back "during normal business hours." There is no way to do a night registration and since we were leaving early on Sunday morning we ended up sending a check to them for what we hope is the correct amount (based on the information we had.) Other than that it was a nice, quiet site (once the activity at the park had ended) and we spent a pleasant night there. It was just frustrating to have so much trouble backing into the one site that was available because cars (not RVs) were parked on the other spaces. The commissary was nice, but we never did find the exchange--unless it was the "mini-mall" that we saw. Everyone we did meet (including the gate guards) were very friendly.
This is a beautiful campground. The sites are large, level, and have excellent hook ups. However, it has some downsides that you should be aware of. The following comments are offered as information, not complaint. First of all, it is a long ways from the CG to any base services (hospital, PX, Commissary) and any community services (e.g. shopping.) If you want to go any place, you will have to drive a minimum of 8 miles--the distance to the commissary/exchange complex. Cell phone coverage is weak and the large number of trees rendered our satellite useless. There are sites where one could get a satellite signal, but they are few and far between. Our Internet connection (through Verizon Broadband) was spotty and slow at best, when it was even available. Of course, there were also frequent over flights of large military aircraft (there is a parachute drop zone close by), but to us retirees that's the "sound of freedom" and we didn't mind it. There were no night drops while we were there. The park does not enforce its pet rules (there were several dogs tied outside the rigs while we were there, and at least two of them were "barkers" who disturbed other campers.) Given how long it looked like they had been there (kennels on the site) there was little evidence that management objected. There is still evidence of "homesteading" which is technically not allowed. The problem is worse at the back of the CG, less noticeable in the front areas. The park was very busy when we were there, due in part to it being spring break and Easter weekend. Unlike many other military campgrounds, there were a lot of families using the park--it was good to see youngsters being exposed to the camping experience--and the ones we had contact with were well behaved. However, if the sounds of children playing and riding bicycles around bothers you, this isn't the place for you. Hope this is helpful.
The campground had been cleaned up considerably. The new pads are level and large, with both back in and pull through sites. It is quiet (aside from the helicopters flying overhead on occasion) and rustic. The bathrooms/showers desperately need updating and a good cleaning, but since we don't use them it wasn't an issue for us. A bigger issue (and one that would keep us from staying longer than a week) is the lack of sewer hook-ups. However, the power was strong and the setting is beautiful. There are still some old units on the old sites, but they appear to have been cleaned up. The issue of no signs indicating that you should check in at the MWR office at the marina is a big one. However,it would have been almost impossibe for us to park our 36' 5th wheel there in any case. I would suggest calling ahead on the day of arrival to get your site number so you can set up and then go check in. The gravel road is dusty, but otherwise in pretty good shape. At $7.50/day (with a Golden Age Passport) it is a great deal and we would stay here again.
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