We are in the beginning of week 3 of our first "winter Texan" year at Winter Ranch (WR) in Alamo, TX. Sandee and I are just starting our FT adventures after retirement so our experience is rather limited and our budget is pretty good but not extravagant. With that in mind here is my rookie review.
WR is an older park in design. It is well kept and organized. Directly to the west of RV is Trophy Garden a "sister" operation run by Wilder. They do have combined activities to some extent and share an "open boarder" so folks can go between them without leaving through one main gate to get to the other main gate.
Being an older park there are still lots of 30 amp service locations and we did have to search a bit for a lot that would accommodate both our 43' MH & have 50 amp service. Even then, we were lucky there was an unused spot (WR doesn't use it because it is too narrow) directly behind us to park our toad. We are happy with our location but it does take a couple sets of eyes and a trip over the grass to get our MH into that slot. Obviously, shorter RVs will be less challenged.
At current rates a typical 3 month stay at WR is about $482/mo plus electricity. 4 months works out to $433/mo plus electricity. This works well within our budget allow us to spend more on CGs when we head out in April.
WR seems to be popular with IL, IA, MN and Canadians. Everyone we have met has been nice but I really feel the IA/IL rivalry building up in me. LOL GO ILLINI!
WR has no lacking of activities! You can drive yourself crazy trying to do too many.
WR, like most operations here, has a healthy contingent of full timers with park models through out the park. There are always some for sale and perhaps even rent. I'm not sure I would like to live here year round but for now we have a wander lust that over rides being planted anywhere.
I have met several Veterans who have relocated to this area because of VA facilities. Medical facilities in general seem good with lots of recommendations. I may need knee surgery and have been given very good recommendations from recent patients to an orthopedic surgeon that has high marks. I also wanted to be in this area for dental work in Mexico but haven't have time to research the recommendations we have received so far.
Like all of the better resorts in the RGV, WR is pretty secure. Access is controlled 24/7. That being said, I don't mind venturing "outside the wire" at all. There are some areas I would avoid but what large metro doesn't.
We like the location for access to McAllen shopping and eating. There are TONS of taco places and Mexican oriented restaurants close by but there are sufficient other kinds of restaurants also close by. Clearly, the entire RGV is oriented towards Mexican clients from both sides of the boarder. In the smaller taco places they often speak enough english that you don't have to resort to sign language but through out the RGV language is not a barrier unless you get in an accident with a Mexican driver. LOL
Traffic...what a shock.
There is both a Business 83 and a HWY 83 running through the RGV area we are in The Business 83 parallels HWY 83 about 1-2 miles south and still has some places you will want to visit. HWY 83/I-2 is a typical Texas design with a parallel frontage road with lots of on and off ramps and U-turns under it. Posted speeds are 65-70 MPH but because of the constant mergers and drivers diving for the off ramps the 2 right lanes seldom seem to be faster than 55 and there are lots of speed changes/brake applications you will need to make in those 2 lanes when it is busy. The far left lane is generally closer to the speed limit but you will have some real fast folks weaving in and out of that lane. While driving on the frontage roads you will have to be extremely careful about traffic swooping off of HWY 83 into your blind spot to your left. The drivers here are extremely aggressive in stop and go traffic and will force themselves into nonexistent gaps between you and the car in front when they "merge".
Christmas Eve and New Years Eve...well...let's just say they take their fireworks around here SERIOUS! New Years Eve started at around 10 PM and I think I had a small inkling about what it might sound like in an urban war zone. I'm talking non-stop from 10 PM to about 1215 AM! A few more "rounds" around 1 & 2 AM also.
All in all...we are pleased with our selection. Because I plan to have dental work done over the course of a couple years we will probably return to WR.