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Old 04-05-2014, 07:56 AM   #15
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That's encouraging to hear, I'm interested in just how impromptu one can be RVing heading south in the winter.

Robby
We've taken a couple of different routes down to the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of South Texas and have always stayed at RV parks that had open spots for people to just show up on the spur of the moment. Arriving at a park early in the day (say 4-5PM) helps also.

The RGV has like 500 RV parks-there are always open spots all winter long that you can just drive in and rent.

There are WalMarts that you can always pull into and stay overnight.

Basically, you could camp the rest of your life and never have to make an advance reservation-just show up!
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:58 AM   #16
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Hi Robby-Altoona, IA here. We do some local camping so I can help out a bit there. One of our favorites is Saylorville Lake (Corps of Engineers), Prairie Flower Campground, Loops C & D. These sites have concrete pads for the RV and toad and concrete patios with firepits. These can be reserved online. You can reserve government campgrounds through recreation.gov. Here's the site for Prairie Flower Campground:
Facility Details - PRAIRIE FLOWER RECREATION AREA, IA - Recreation.gov

We've also camped at the local KOA and at Adventureland RV Park and some state and county RV parks.

KOA's are easy to reserve online (and most others are also) :
Find a KOA Campground | KOA Campgrounds

We've spent winters in the Rio Grand Valley of South Texas and in Southern California. So I can give you some pointers there.

One of my toads is a Wrangler also. Just make sure that you understand what position the ignition key has to be in for towing and the procedure for putting the transmission in park and the transfer case in neutral for towing. I screwed mine up once and ruined the two front tires on the Jeep. Thankfully I needed new tires anyway!

Congratulations on your motorhome! I'm sure that you will have a blast!
Thanks for the info. I think our first trip will be to one of the Saylorville campgrounds, getting in seems to be the hard part. Love your Jeep, ours is a stock '07 JK. I think I got a handle on the procedure but I will read the manual a few more times before the first hookup.

Robby & Donna
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:04 AM   #17
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Welcome from Eastern Iowa. Hope you enjoy the RV lifestyle as much as we do...
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:19 AM   #18
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Thanks for the info. I think our first trip will be to one of the Saylorville campgrounds, getting in seems to be the hard part. Love your Jeep, ours is a stock '07 JK. I think I got a handle on the procedure but I will read the manual a few more times before the first hookup.

Robby & Donna
You will be able to just show up and get a site at one of the campgrounds. Besides Prairie Flower there are Cherry Glen and Bob Shetler that is below the dam. I'd take a drive out there in the jeep and check them all out before showing up in the MH. Looks like they all open up May 1st.

I got my federal Senior Pass so the camping up there is $8/ night.

An 07 JK sounds pretty great! You'll love how it tucks in behind the MH and tows with ease! They make great toads!
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:28 AM   #19
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Thanks Guys,

Are there an parks that overlook "Old Muddy" in your area? That would be awesome.

Robby & Donna
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:30 AM   #20
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You will be able to just show up and get a site at one of the campgrounds. Besides Prairie Flower there are Cherry Glen and Bob Shetler that is below the dam. I'd take a drive out there in the jeep and check them all out before showing up in the MH. Looks like they all open up May 1st.

I got my federal Senior Pass so the camping up there is $8/ night.

An 07 JK sounds pretty great! You'll love how it tucks in behind the MH and tows with ease! They make great toads!
I'm 63, can I get a senior discount too?

Robby
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:37 AM   #21
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I'm 63, can I get a senior discount too?

Robby
You bet. The day I turned 62 I went out to the Neal Smith Natural Area over by Prairie City and got mine. You have to get them at a Federal site.

http://www.recreation.gov/marketing....%20Series.html

They work at Corps of Engineers campgrounds as well as the other agencies listed on the website.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:07 AM   #22
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Thanks Guys,

Are there an parks that overlook "Old Muddy" in your area? That would be awesome.

Robby & Donna
I don't mean to butt in on your question to someone else, so if you'll excuse me I'll mention that we have stayed at a couple of parks at Buffalo that are right on the Mississippi.

One is Buffalo Shores CG (Scott County) and the other is Clark's Ferry (COE). Had great times there and watching the tug boats come up the river at night from the shore is something else!

I'm sure that "Chief" will have a bunch more info for you.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:26 AM   #23
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I don't mean to butt in on your question to someone else, so if you'll excuse me I'll mention that we have stayed at a couple of parks at Buffalo that are right on the Mississippi.

One is Buffalo Shores CG (Scott County) and the other is Clark's Ferry (COE). Had great times there and watching the tug boats come up the river at night from the shore is something else!

I'm sure that "Chief" will have a bunch more info for you.
Please, jump right in! That sounds really great, I can already see myself sitting in a lawn chair watching the tugs go by.

Robby
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:37 AM   #24
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Hope you enjoy your new Motorhome. We have relatives in Indianola and plan to camp again at the State Park there. In the south we have enjoyed both State Parks and Corps of Engineer Parks and there are lots of State Parks. We like the "West Burns Run" COE park on Lake Texoma near Denison, Texas. I am not sure how long your motorhome is but that definitely plays a park in your finding places.
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:48 AM   #25
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Please, jump right in! That sounds really great, I can already see myself sitting in a lawn chair watching the tugs go by.

Robby
OK, great! Funny that you should mention "sitting in a lawn chair watching the tugs go by". That's exactly what my brother and I did. We did it in honor of our father who was a civilian COE employee at the Rock Island Arsenal and was responsible for federal land along the river. He would cruise up and down the river inspecting the land from a COE boat. What a job!

I'm taking the pictures with my brother being in some of them.

The following pictures were taken at Buffalo Shores CG with our previous motorhome.
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:04 PM   #26
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OK, great! Funny that you should mention "sitting in a lawn chair watching the tugs go by". That's exactly what my brother and I did. We did it in honor of our father who was a civilian COE employee at the Rock Island Arsenal and was responsible for federal land along the river. He would cruise up and down the river inspecting the land from a COE boat. What a job!

I'm taking the pictures with my brother being in some of them.

The following pictures were taken at Buffalo Shores CG with our previous motorhome.
That place looks awesome, that's going to be high on my priority list of places to go this summer. I went to the website an it looks like it's first come first serve, has that ever been a problem?

Robby
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:28 PM   #27
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That place looks awesome, that's going to be high on my priority list of places to go this summer. I went to the website an it looks like it's first come first serve, has that ever been a problem?

Robby
Just got back from running out to the motorhome and exercising the generator and chassis engine-it's in storage about four miles from us.

I was at that campground just the one time and it was just before they were going to close it down for the winter. We were there during three weekdays so that's probably why it wasn't busy. There was just one other RV in the whole campground besides us. I would imagine that during the summer it is packed.

However there are a couple of other Corps campgrounds along that stretch of river so if it is full then there will be others that will probably have some spots open. All Corps and State of Iowa campgrounds have about half of their sites that are walk-up (cannot reserve).
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