Commercial Parks

Commercial Campgrounds

Our least favorite type of camping is in commercial parks. However, there is no avoiding them when other options are not available. They can be quite expensive, but discounts are available through various discount clubs. We belong/have belonged to Passport America, Escapees, and Good Sams. However our most valuable discounts come from Resort Parks International (RPI), which is an extension of our Thousand Trails membership. As RPI members, we can stay at RPI parks for only $10-15 per night.

Below are the commercial campgrounds we’ve stayed in most recently. Click here to see all the commercial campgrounds we’ve stayed in since going full-time.


Oaklawn RV Park - Biloxi MS

RATING: ♦♦♦
  • Length of stay: 3 days
  • Cost of per night: $29/night
  • Discount: Good Sam
  • Hook ups: 50 amp electric, water, and sewer. Has cable TV.
  • Site number/quality: #123. Narrow site, but level. Gravel and grassy. No shade.
  • Park Quality: Quite nice park for short-term stays. Paved loop road, pull-throughs and back-in sites. Shared with mobile home park, and has a similar look and feel. 
  • Access: Very easy off I-10.
  • Connectivity: Verizon strong, AT&T strong, T-Mobile strong. 
  • Return yes/no?: Possibly
  • Notes: The park is only a fifteen minutes from the beaches and casinos in Biloxi. It’s also close to a large shopping area in D’Iberville and just a block away from a new Camping World. The town of Biloxi is situated on the Gulf Coast. US-90 runs directly along the beach between Biloxi and Gulfport with miles of unblocked views of the water. Biloxi is not a big town and is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Much of the town was destroyed in 2005 by the storm, including hundreds of historic homes. But there are many signs of rebirth. The casinos are rebuilt, the beach is clean and inviting, and all along the highway, dead trees had been carved into works of art. The day we were there, it was very sunny , and we had a nice lunch at Shaggy’s Restaurant on the beach. 
  • Website: Oaklawn RV Park

River's Edge RV Campground - Holt FL

RATING: ♦♦♦
  • Length of stay: 3 days
  • Cost of per night: $15/night
  • Discount: Passport America
  • Hook ups: 30 amp electric, water, and sewer. No cable TV.
  • Site number/quality: #56. Large site, level and mostly sandy, some shade.
  • Park quality: Older park. Lots of older rigs with long-term campers. A bit rustic. Surprisingly similar to a typical Thousand Trails, so we felt right at home.
  • Access: Easy access off Log Lake Rd, near I-10.
  • Connectivity: Verizon none, AT&T and T-Mobile were very weak even with antenna. OTA TV reception is very poor.
  • Return yes/no?: Maybe
  • Notes: Fairly close to Crestview FL, which is where our mail forwarding service is located. This is the closest to our legal address we’ve been since full-timing. The park is also only about 45 minutes away from the Gulf Coast beach towns of Destin and Fort Walton, and made a nice day trip.

    P.S. On the third day of our stay, it rained for several hours, often hard. NO LEAKS! Thank you Tom at Tri-Am RV Center for fixing our leaky slides.


  • Website: River’s View Campground

Beaver Lake Campground - Quincy FL

RATING: ♦♦
  • Length of stay: 1 day
  • Cost of per night: $20/night
  • Discount: Passport America
  • Hook ups: 50 amp electric, water, and sewer. No cable TV.
  • Site number/quality: #2. Modest site, but level and mostly grassy. No shade.
  • Park Quality: Barely qualifies as an RV park. More of a grass field behind a gas station with some hookups at a couple dozen sites. Despite the name, there is no lake and no beavers. That said, it makes a decent overnight stop.
  • Access: Very easy off I-10.
  • Connectivity: Verizon strong, AT&T strong with antenna, T-Mobile strong with antenna. OTA TV reception is OK.
  • Return yes/no?: Possibly
  • Notes: Nothing special about this place except to say it’s better than a Walmart. There is a casino nearby, but we did not visit it.
  • Website: Beaver Lake Campground

Tri-Am RV Center - Ocala FL

RATING: ♦♦♦♦♦
  • Length of stay: 3 nights over 3 visits
  • Cost per night: Free
  • Discount: N/A
  • Hook ups: 50 amp electric, no water or sewer. 
  • Site number/quality: This is an RV shop, not an RV park. But we wanted to include them in our posts. We made three visits. The 1st visit, we stayed overnight. The second visit, we didn’t have to stay overnight. And the third visit, we stayed two nights.
  • Access: Just north of Ocala, about two miles east of I-75.
  • Connectivity: Verizon strong, AT&T strong, T-Mobile strong.
  • Return yes/no?: Next time we have some elective work done to our motorhome, we will try to have it done here. This was the best repair experience we have had since owning a motorhome. Highly recommended.
  • Notes: See below.
  • Website: Tri-Am RV Center

Our motorhome has latching mechanisms that stick out through the roof of our slide-outs to keep them locked in the retracted position when we travel. We have three latches: one on the driver’s slide , and two on the passenger’s slide. They operate through 8″ x 10″ openings in the slide-out roof. (This is such an obviously poor design that Winnebago no longer uses it.) 

However, our slide-outs are covered with toppers to divert the water away from the opening, and any water that gets in during storms is caught inside a rubber boot and drained out through a small tube. But over time, we started to notice some water leaks inside around the latch openings. So we decided to have the slide-out toppers replaced and the latch drains cleaned out.

We chose Tri-Am RV Center in Ocala to do the job primarily because they had the toppers in stock, and they had a very good online reputation. We were very fortunate to have Tom assigned as our technician. He’s been replacing toppers for years as well as other maintenance and repairs, and really knows what he’s doing.

On our first visit, Tom replaced our toppers without any issues and did some additional routine maintenance on the engine and generator. We stayed overnight so that Tom could finish up our checklist the next morning.

When cleaning out and testing the rubber latch boots, Tom discovered that the two of them were not draining properly. He suggested that we replace them. So we ordered them from Winnebago, and scheduled a return visit in a couple weeks to have them install after the parts came in.

On our second visit, Tom installed the rubber latch boots per Winnebago’s instructions. It was a time consuming job, since he had to remove the slide-out toppers to get at the latches. Since he didn’t finish until late in the day, we camped overnight about 30 miles away. We planned to begin our journey out of Florida in earnest the following morning, but it rained overnight, and our newly installed boots began leaking again. We called Tri-Am and scheduled a third visit the following Monday.

Tom did some more water testing, and discovered that the boots were not fitting correctly and were not sealing as they should. He decided to reinstall them after a bit of trimming and some additional sealant. It took two days to fix the problem, a day for each slide. We could have left earlier, but Tom explained the importance of giving the sealant ample time to dry, so we agreed to stay as long as needed. After more water testing the next morning, the slides finally worked without leaking.

All together, it took three visits and three overnight stays to fix a single problem, but we don’t regret it. Tom and the team at Tri-Am did a great job of keeping us abreast of what they were doing to find a solution for us, and they ultimately succeeded.

In particular, we want to commend Tri-Am for not charging us anything for the third visit to trim and reseal the boots, even though it wasn’t really their fault, and for putting us up at their shop overnight with free electric. We thank Tri-Am, and especially Tom, for going the extra mile to make our motorhome leak free.

Nature has subsequently tested the slides even more thoroughly than Tom. A few days after leaving Tri-Am, we got a major storm with heavy rain for several hours. No leaks.


Sportsman's Cove Campground - McIntosh FL

RATING: 
  • Length of stay: 4 days
  • Cost of per night: $36/night. Yipes!!
  • Discount: Good Sam
  • Hook ups: 50 amp electric, water, and sewer. No cable TV.
  • Site number/quality: #103. Narrow site, but long and level.
  • Park quality: This is not a very nice park. The word ramshackle comes to mind. However, if given a facelift, the park could be very desirable because it sits on the shore of Orange Lake near Cross Creek, and is quite scenic.
  • Access: Off US-441. 
  • Connectivity: Verizon OK, AT&T and T-Mobile OK with antenna. OTA TV reception was poor.
  • Return yes/no?: Hope not.
  • Notes: We didn’t plan on staying at this park as long as we did, but due to unexpected issues with our leaky slides, we had to stay the weekend until the repair shop could take us back in.

    We did have a nice return visit to the Yearling Restaurant in Cross Creek (we ate there two years ago). Cross Creek is the home of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, whose most famous book is The Yearling, hence the restaurant’s name. Not only does the restaurant serve good Old Florida style food, but it is also the regular venue for octogenarian bluesman Willie Green, who as the ad says is the “real deal”. We enjoyed him very much.

  • Website: Sportsman’s Cove Campground
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