I just returned from an 8 day trip through the Big Bend area of Texas. We stayed the 1st 3 nights in the campground at RGV, without hookups. The campground is very nice and the facilities are typical NP, and well maintained. I picked out a large site for my 43' toy hauler. I was able to view all the sites on Campsitephotos.com
. That is not my rig in the photo but it was large enough to accommodate my rig with the patio down on the back, and park my truck and Mule. It was a corner site, so I only had neighbors on one side. Quiet hours are strictly enforced. Generators can be used from 8 am - 8 pm except in the "generator free" zone. Wildlife roams around freely. we saw javolinas within 20 feet every day and they have no fear of humans. Dog owners beware. The dump station is very nice but an extremely tight squeeze for a large rig.
On the other hand, the RV Park with hookups is literally a paved parking lot. The spaces are tightly packed and you have to back in at 90 degree angles. There are sites opposing each other on both sides of the parking lot. I could not get my rig into a space if there was another rig on the opposite side. It may be a good place for some, but I am glad we chose to boondock in the Campground instead
I grew up going to Big Bend from my west Texas home, in the 60's and 70's. I have fond memories of it. We tent camped on the Rio Grand and floated the canyons during the day. I don't know how my grandparents ever got their TT's into those locations. It was very unregulated and we rarely ever saw other people, including Rangers, for up to a week at a time. This was my 1st time back in 35 years. The rules have changed. I was not allowed to drive my Mule on the gravel roads that are basically 4WD. They require street legal vehicles to drive on unmaintained trails that even a normal 4WD pickup or SUV can not pass. I find it ironic that off road vehicle are not allowed on back country roads. I understand their not wanting people to drive off the established paths, but really?. Also, dogs must remain on leashes at all times. I understand this too, due to the wildlife issues. However, they are not allowed anywhere you can not drive. no hiking trails, not even the short trails down to the river or the hot springs. This virtually eliminates doing anything with your pets, and depending on the weather, whether you can leave them in your RV and go hiking without them. I suppose this is NP policy across the board and maybe NP's just are not for me at this point in my life.