Ed & Marilyn 'The Happy Wanderers' travel blog


Non-RV folks sometimes ask “What is the difference between a Campground, an RV Park, and a Resort?” Sometimes the difference is blurred and often one place may call themselves a “Resort” with very little to support that title.

We often spend time at the Mark Twain Cave Campground in Hannibal, Missouri. It is indeed a “Campground”. Normally quiet and peaceful, it is a place where tents, motorcycles, and families are welcome. That is as it should be as the wonderful tourist attraction, Mark Twain Cave, is within walking distance from your campsite. The sites are gravel as are the roads, the campsites vary in size, from shade to sunny, and are not always level. Wi-Fi works well most of the time, the bathrooms are old but well-maintained. The maintenance staff works hard to keep things looking neat and clean. There is a Camp store, winery, restaurant, gift shop, and various activities on-site. With all of this said, this is one of the best examples of what I think of as a “Campground”.

By far, the nicest “RV Park” we have stayed at is the J&H RV Park in Flagstaff, Arizona. It is Senior oriented and is a “No-Smoking” RV park. No tents or Motorcycles allowed, and has many, strictly-enforced rules. The owners patrol the Park frequently to enforce the rules and that is one reason it is so popular. It has been the National RV Park of the year three times. The sites are level pull through sites with full hookups. The Park has carry-in meals and many relaxing places to enjoy quiet time with a good book. It is relatively expensive but you do get what you pay for here.

Another great “RV Park” is Deer Creek Valley RV Park in Topeka, Kansas. This could almost be called a Resort as the only difference I could see would be the lack of on-site activities (Clubhouse). They have great Wi-Fi, Cable TV, level pull-through concrete pads with full hookups, and grassy areas between the sites. This is our “must stop” as we travel back & forth passing through Topeka.

We have spent many months at RV Resorts in different parts of the country. Llano Grande RV Resort comes to mind as we spent our winters there for seven years. It has all of the amenities you could expect of a first class place to stay. Retama Village is another resort although the sites there are “Owned” and any site rented must be rented from one of the owners.

Resorts normally have beautiful, well-maintained sites, common areas, nice roads, swimming pools, Wi-Fi, Cable TV, and a well-appointed clubhouse with many sponsored activities for the residents.

There are many other subtle differences but that is the ones we have noticed. We hope you enjoy your time with your RV no matter where you stay.

Life is Good!



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