RV Parks: Washington State

RV Parks in Washington that I have used.

Campgrounds and RV parks, in my opinion, are completely different.

To me, campsites are large and wooded. They offer privacy, picnic tables and fire pits. Some have hook-ups and some don’t.

RV parks are generally exactly that, a parking lot for RVs. They generally have at least the basic hook ups of 30 AMP electric and water.  The sites are usually close together, privacy is limited, picnic tables maybe, trees and fire pits..LOL.

The RV parks in Florida; however, are designed for the seasonal and full-time RVers. Winter visitors flock to Florida in RV’s and mobile homes. Some stay for 4-6 months or longer. Florida still has RV parks that are glorified parking lots, but many are resorts. They offer full hook-ups of course, cable, Wi-Fi, heated pools, workout rooms, large lots with picnic tables, monthly dinners, organized activities, clubhouses, craft shows etc.

I started my RV experience originally two years ago at Pioneer Village RV Resort in North Fort Myers, FL. This park/resort set my standards for what an RV parks should be. Then I left Florida and reality hit.  I haven’t stayed in an RV park remotely as nice as Pioneer Village since.  My standards have been adjusted. Nice is now one that is clean, has level sites,  full hook-ups, Wi-Fi and cable. A picnic table and waterfront view is considered a bonus. Large lots, privacy and trees are a super bonus! This page will have brief reviews and photos of parks that I stay while traveling from Washington State to Florida.  It will be updated when Wi-Fi access is available (and working).

Hoquiam River Park – 425 Queen Ave, Hoquiam, WA  (360) 538-2870 

(www.hoquiamriverrvpark.com)      6/8/2014 – present

Please click on photos for enlargement and slide show.

This is full service RV park in the small town of Hoquiam, WA just off of Hwy 101. It has 30 and 50 AMP hook-ups, water and sewer. Cable and Wi-Fi is included. Propane is available during the week. The sites are gravel and fairly level.

Good Sam is accepted. The nightly rate with the Good Sam discount was $35.09.

In the office is a small RV supply store. On-site RV repairs can be completed by Sun Country Services which is located on the property.

The park  provides guests with an “RV Park Map”. This is a nicely printed full-color brochure which shows the layout of the park, displays local business ads, lists area attractions and events and makes recommendations on things to do.

I drove into Hoquiam, WA on US101 south from Amanda Park. The drive was about 50 miles. I saw the signs for the park as driving into town, but it was too late to stop. It also looked questionable from the road. I could see a lot of older trailers. The roadside sign stated daily, weekly and monthly rentals. So I proceeded on.

About a mile up the road, I was able to pull off and let the parade behind me pass. I pulled out my cell phone, which amazingly was working and searched for RV parks. One popped up that looked interesting. Hoquiam River RV Park.  I navigated, with the help of my GPS to the RV park only to discover that it was the same one that I had passed up earlier. The older RV’s are parked together in a separate lot from where the newer RVs park.

Upon arrival, the park assistant manager, Tina, was waiting at the front door of the office to greet me.  I arrived at about 11:00 am which is an awkward time, as check out is 12:00 pm. A lot of guests were in the process of leaving.  Most of the sites were still full, but she was very gracious and found me a nice pull-through site with a view of the Little Hoquiam river.

The site is on an end by the road through the RV park. I’m not sure why, but there are large cement blocks on the left side by the hook-ups. Possibly the blocks are there to protect the hook-ups as people drive around when the site is empty. The picnic table is off to the right. Three kids were sitting at the picnic table. I didn’t want to get too close to them. I ended up way to close to the cement blocks.  This made for some creative wiggling around to get hooked up. One of my neighbors helped me with the slide-out so that I didn’t hit the cement blocks.

Otherwise the park is really nice, clean and quiet. So far, the cable has worked well. The channels are listed on the brochure.

The Wi-Fi has been touch and go.  From about 7-9 pm, it worked intermittently. I assume it was from high usage. The tower is located on the top of the clubhouse. I may need to sit closer to the tower.

My cell phone doesn’t work here. I can’t make calls and my GPS works intermittently. I have AT&T. My neighbor whom had Verizon reported a good signal. Tina, the assistant manager has Virgin Mobile and stated that she always has a good signal here.  I contacted AT&T on-line and they told me that I was in an area of no-coverage to moderate coverage. That’s a big difference! Point being, if you have AT&T you may not have service here.

During my stay here, I have had electrical issues with my truck and the staff has been very helpful. They have recommended mechanics, called them for me since my phone is not working, given me a map and directions, exhibiting great customer service, genuine caring and concern.

If passing through this area, I would recommend this park. It is conveniently located in Hoquiam which is between Ocean Shores (to the west), Aberdeen (to the east) and the Olympic Mountains to the north.  This location allows for easy access to all of the area activities, plus being on the river there is a beautiful view.

Quinault River Inn and RV Park – 8 River Dr, Amanda Park, WA (360) 288-2237

(http://www.quinaultriverinn.com/)  June 7, 2014 – June 8, 2014

Please click on photos for enlargement and slide show.

A little bit of heaven in rural Western Washington along US 101 between Forks and Aberdeen.

Amanda park is in unincorporated area of Grays Harbor County in western Washington and surrounded by the Olympic Mountains. The total population is about 252 people. The community consists of a few hotels, a school, a handful of restaurants,  internet café, general store, liquor/gift store and post office.  The one and only gas station is an unattended station with 24 hour access using a credit card.

Quinault River Inn and RV Park is conveniently located behind the general store, visitor’s center, pizza place and liquor/gift store.  There are only 5 RV sites which offer 30 AMP electric, water and a beautifully finished wood picnic table. The sites are gravel, fairly level and separated by large well mowed grassy areas.  Sewer hook-up and cable are not offered. Wi-Fi is questionable. It was not offered, but I noticed the Inn has it. If not, the internet cafe is with-in walking distance.  On-site, there is also a fitness center. The Inn faces the river and overlooks a view of a gazebo and large fire pit.

I had a little trouble finding the park. My GPS actually directed me right to it, but I frequently argue with my GPS.

I was traveling south on US 101, but the sign for the Inn is past the road that you turn on, River road. There may have been one before the road. The road is difficult to see. It looks more like an alley.  It is very narrow and at about at 45 degree angle off to the left of Hwy 101. The road is directly a crossed US 101 from the gas station. It runs between a building with the restaurant, internet cafe and post office and another strip of buildings that are the general store, visitor center, pizza place and a liquor store/gift shop. Immediately after turning onto River road it goes downhill. The RV park and Inn is on the right at the bottom of the hill. When you turn into the well manicured gravel drive of the Quinault River Inn and RV park, the fitness center is on the left, then the RV sites, a large grassy area, then the office, Inn and river. The Olympic mountains stand majestically above the river in the background adding to the beauty of the park.

I was greeted by the property managers, Dan and Lori Goodspeeds, in the office. They checked me in to the site that I had reserved and also provided me with a map of a scenic driving tour into Quinault and the Olympic mountains. Specific areas of interest were emphasized.

Throughout my stay, Dan and Lori were frequently seen working on even further beautifying the property.

I would recommend staying at Quinault RV Park or at the Inn. The property is pristine and  in a great location to explore Quinault and the Olympic mountains. All amenities such as gas, groceries and restaurants are within easy walking distance. The scenic drive starts about a mile a way. It takes you along the Quinault River, several hiking trails, the largest Elm tree in the country and several waterfalls.

Reservations are recommended since they only have 5 RV sites.

John Wayne Resort – 2634 W. Sequim Bay Road, Sequim, WA (360) 681-3853

(www.johnwaynewaterfrontresort.com)  May 31, 2014 – June 7, 2014

Please click on photos for enlargement and slide show.

This is a waterfront resort located just east of Sequim Washington off of Hwy 101. Signs along the highway say “John Wayne’s Marina”.  I had a little trouble finding it, because my GPS kept calling it Sequim Bay Resort. It appears to be one and the same.

Amenities included full hook-ups for RV including 30 and 50 AMP, water and sewer. Cable and internet was also included; however, the I only got 2 cable channels (may have been my TV) and the internet was in-and-out.

Several cabins are located in a wooded area next to the RV park. The cabins are up on a bluff overlooking Sequim Bay.

The cabins also have Wi-Fi, which I logged onto when the RV parks wasn’t working. It is possible that I was closer to the cabin’s internet router than the RV parks.

In the office is a small store. Bike rentals are available also. There are showers on the property (but the building is not heated). A volleyball net is set up, as well as horseshoes and there is a large fire pit with several chairs around it.

Their website states that group and wedding discounts are available.

I stayed for a week and paid $230.07 which calculates to about $33.00/night.

The RV park is built on hill, but offers fairly level gravel sites with grass separating the sites. Each row of sites are a little higher up the hill. I was in the middle of the 3 row.  During the weekend, the park was fairly full so I could not see Sequim Bay. On Sunday, the park cleared out significantly then I had a great view of the water from my side window.

Sequim Bay is used by a lot of fisherman and kayakers. They tend to get up early to get out onto the water. Most of them were very quiet and respectful of those still sleeping. I was awakened a few times to voices or the crunch of the gravel as people walked by, but generally it was a quiet, peaceful place to be.

Within a mile of the park (up a big hill) is access to the Olympic Discovery Trail. There are a few parking spaces at this trailhead. The trail is a 126 miles and stretches from Port Townsend to the Pacific Beach.  The trail website is great. It offers maps that are broken up into sections. Having a map is recommended as the trail isn’t always easy to follow (per a cyclist in the RV park).  The Olympic Discovery Trail website is: http://olympicdiscoverytrail.com/index.html.

I used my road bike and rode from the RV park into Sequim. The hill up to the trailhead is quite significant (putting it nicely). Once on the trail I pretty much coasted into Sequim. I took note of this because I knew I would be riding back the same direction that I came. Once in Sequim it was a flat ride on a trail through a park. Beyond the park the trail ended and the bike path continued onto the road. I am out-of-shape, so I took this as my signal to turn around and head back. The ride east out of Sequim wasn’t as bad as anticipated. The grade of the hill was pretty low.

Sequim is at the base of the Olympic Mountains. There are lots of options for driving tours, hiking and biking in the mountains.

From John Wayne Waterfront RV Resort, I was able to easily go and explore the mountains.

I recommend John Wayne’s Waterfront Resort. I enjoyed my stay. The staff was friendly. The park offers a variety of amenities, has a good view of the water, is clean, quiet and it is in a great location to enjoy the area attractions.

Port of Port Townsend/Port Hudson RV Park

103 Hudson Street, Port Townsend, WA   (360) 385-2828

(http://www.portofpt.com/)   May 27, 2014 – May 31, 2014

The Port of Port Townsend is a marina, boat launch, ship yard and RV park by the Admiralty Inlet. This is the water passage where the Strait of Juan De Fuca enters the Puget Sound. Major world shipping passes through here and can be seen from the shore.

Please click on photos for enlargement and slide show.

The RV park is located pretty much right on the beach. It offers full hook-ups, 30 and 50 amps, water, sewer and cable, but no Wi-Fi.  Two RVs share one site.

The hook-ups are located in a grassy strip that hasn’t been cut for quite a while. So you have to wade through deep grass and move weeds around to hook-up.

My initial reaction was not good. The sites are cramped. The weedy strip between the sites gave the park an unkempt look. Then I checked in at the office, the lady taking care of me was very concerned about finding me a good site with a waterfront view. There were only 3 sites open, so the options were limited. Her concern about getting me the best view possible helped to change my opinion of the RV park.

So I got set up. The mobile home to the right of me was huge, but on the left side (by the beach) the motorhome was fairly small. I was able to park back far enough that I had an ocean view from my kitchen window. I even had a view of the Port Wilson lighthouse.

The RV park is located at the north end of downtown on Hudson Street. The local historic sites and attractions are close. It is an easy walk or bike ride into the historic downtown of Port Townsend.  A slightly more strenuous walk will take you into uptown for the Saturday market or you may choose to walk along the beach to Fort Worden or the Point Wilson Lighthouse.

After moving onto Sequim, I returned to Port Townsend to explore and photograph the historic buildings in town. I finished my day up by driving through Fort Worden State Park and out to Point Wilson Lighthouse. I have previously been to visit Fort Worden on a hot summer weekend and there was so much traffic going out to the lighthouse that I turned around and left. This time, it was a Tuesday evening. There was no traffic and it was an easy drive out to the Port Wilson Lighthouse. To the right was the beach and the lighthouse. To the left was a campground with really large sites. The grass was nicely mowed. It was beautiful!  According to the Fort Worden website, there are actually two campgrounds on the property. Full hook-ups and huge beautiful sites.  (http://www.parks.wa.gov/511/Fort-Worden)

Despite finding the Fort Worden Campground. I am glad that I stayed in the Port of Port Townsend/Port Hudson RV park. I moved my travel trailer out of the park on a Saturday, which would have been hard to do with the traffic and pedestrian congestion at Fort Worden. Plus Fort Worden was having an open house that weekend, meaning there was even more traffic than usual. The Port of Port Townsend has a couple of restaurants on-site, but there  still isn’t the traffic that Fort Worden State Park has over the weekends. Port Hudson RV park is also closer to downtown and more convenient for sight-seeing. I was able to walk into uptown to the Saturday market, explore a little of downtown and get back to the RV park by noon to check out. This walk however made me realize that I had not scheduled enough time to explore Port Townsend as much I wanted.

I think Fort Worden State Park would be a really nice place to stay during the week, but on a weekend I would recommend Port Hudson. Reservations are recommended during the summer as they are really busy even during the week.

StaySail RV Park, Oak Harbor, WA     April 27, 2014 – May 27, 2014

(Please click on photos for enlargement and slide show.)

This is a self-service RV park offered by the City of Oak Harbor. It is located next to Windjammer Park on City Beach in Oak Harbor. It was renovated in March of 2014.

The park offers 30 and 50 amp electric, water, sewer and Wi-Fi with excellent reception. No cable is provided and TV antenna boosters are not permitted. I’m not sure about shower facilities either, as I have a shower in my travel trailer.

At the entrance to the park is a little shelter. Payment envelopes can be picked up there. The envelope has a registration form on it. You simply fill out the envelope and place it in the “slot”.  There are no formal attendants at the park, but city employees are frequently seen throughout the day and the police drive through regularly. Some of the sites are reservable and others are on a first-come-first-served basis. The reservation schedule is posted in the schedule, but didn’t make a lot of sense to me, so I parked in sites based on accessibility.  These sites are along the road, but I never had any problems with road noise.

The RV sites are level and gravel. They are large and have picnic tables at each site. All of the spaces are back-in. There are trees around the perimeter of the RV park. You can see the windmill in Windjammer Park from a lot of the sites, as well as City Beach. On clear days I could see the Cascade Mountains and Mt. Ranier.

Windjammer Park is quite large (28.5 acres) and offers a walking trail that starts at the RV park and runs along the beach the length of the town. The trail meets up with the town sidewalks and provides easy access to downtown shopping and restaurants. The park also has several playgrounds, picnic tables, baseball fields, a windmill to celebrate the Dutch heritage, a small lake,  covered shelters that can be reserved for parties or cookouts and lots and lots of the biggest seagulls that I have ever seen! (Wearing a hat is recommended!)

A crossed the street from the RV park is a nature preserve with a nice walking trail. Bald eagles and many other types of birds can be seen from the trail.

Oak Harbor is a Navy town. Jets fly over on a nearly daily basis and can also be viewed from anywhere in the park (or town).

There is a 30 day stay limit. This I believe has to do with a Washington State law where the RV parks have to pay hotel taxes if you stay longer than 30 days.

I stayed the full 30 days as I was trying to move back into my travel trailer after living in an apartment for the past year. The weather was horrible the first week that I was there. It was raining and the wind was really strong. A lot of the sites flooded during the heavy rains but drained fairly quickly when the rain subsided.  The RV park was really quiet. The most significant noise that I every heard were the seagulls (and the rain). In the mornings, the seagulls would get into the tree behind my trailer and drop stuff on my roof.  It was more entertaining than disturbing.

Windjammer Park appears to attract a lot of homeless people on the RV park end, but they kept to themselves. There is a gazebo in Windjammer Park that can be seen from Stay Sail RV Park and it frequently was full of people hanging out, fixing bicycles and drinking.  I generally avoided getting to close to the gazebo.

Overall my stay was very nice. It is cooler and generally very windy along the waterfront, but the park was clean and quiet.  I enjoyed the central location, the walking trails and the views. I also appreciated the great Wi-Fi reception that should not be taken for granted!