By the River Campground, Kerrville, TX

25 03 2020

By the River Campground, Kerrville, TX

We’re parked in site #44 at By the River Campground in Kerrville, TX.  We’ve explored several RV park options around Kerrville and always end up back here. Site #42 is the last site along the non-riverside row and is probably the best in the park.  We’re just 2 sites over from there and enjoy some of the same good river views.  However,  #44 is a Water/Electric crossover site meaning the water and electric must be threaded under the rig and connected on the “wrong” side.  Nearly every other site along this row is a cross-over which would be perfect if you had friends in the next site and wanted to share a common area by parking 1 rig backward and 1 rig forward.

Arriving on March 19th, this is the first place we’ve seen Corona Virus precautions.  The office is locked, payment is taken by phone the day before arrival and the map and campground navigation is left in an envelope at the gate.  None of the last 3 places (Alamogordo on March 14th, Van Horn on March 17th or Ft. Stockton on March 18th) have any front-desk precautions in place.  Employees are requiring guests at the front desks and freely sharing conversation, credit cards and signature pens.  Only at Ft. Stockton did we see a glimmer of precaution used when the on-site restaurant dining room was closed on the day we left.

However, Kerrville is a much different place.  Store shelves are barren of even some of the basics, eggs, milk, many meats and of course the ever-empty paper and cleaner/hand sanitizer aisles.  On Friday we enjoy the patio at the Wild Ass Hey Barn (a favorite located next to the RV park) on their last day of operation. On Saturday March 19th we joined friends at Mamacita’s  on their last day before going “Take Out Only”.  Needless to say, precautions continued to ramp-up in this fairly isolated Hill Country town.  By the time we left on March 26th, all restaurants that were still open had moved to deliver or take away only, non-essential businesses had been shut, store inventories were becoming a bit better and traffic around town was quiet.

As lock-down orders went into place across Texas county by county, we weighed the options of curtailing or continuing our trip.  But, the ultimate goal was to meet family in Harlingen and then move out to South Padre Island for the month of April. Our hope was that the small island community would be a more pleasant and ultimately safer environment to ride out this storm.  We were in nearly daily contact with Cameron County park officials who continued to assure us that our reservation would be honored and their outdoor beach and boardwalk facilities were open to campground residents.

After a week in Kerrville with great friends, it was sad to depart, knowing that they were headed home to the north and that we had made the commitment to continue south toward South Padre island.  After a quick one-night stop at Lake Corpus Christi State Park we’ll arrive in Harlingen.  More from there…

‘By the River’ in Texas Hill Country

11 04 2019

By The River RV, Ingram, TX

From San Angelo we’ve made the relatively short trip to Ingram, TX – just west of Kerrville in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.  We’re back at By the River RV Park where we first stayed in the truck camper in 2010.  We visited this area last year when we enjoyed dinner with friends at the Wild Ass Hey Barn right next door.

We’re parked in site #31, a spacious “Premium” back-in site overlooking the Guadalupe River.  Facilities here are top-notch, with a club house, laundry room and shower facilities.  Across the river, there’s even an island of tent sites.  After experiencing several other campgrounds in the Kerrville area, By the River is our favorite.  And, with Wild Ass Hey Barn within walking distance, never a need to drive and park for a good burger a cold beer and some Hill Country music!

Kerrville/Ingram, TX

21 03 2018

Along I-10, Texas Hill Country

Ah…the Texas Hill Country!

Like no where else in the state, with wooded hillsides, beautiful limestone formations, deep caverns, and valleys of wandering creeks, this is one of our favorite spots in the US.  Starting at the Llano River valley at Junction, the hill country extends south to Uvalde, and east all the way to northern sections San Antonio and western areas of Austin.  Centered nearly in the middle of the region is Kerrville, a city of about 25,000 established along the Guadalupe River.  We’re parked in Ingram, TX just west of Kerrville at Johnson Creek RV Park.  We last visited this park in 2010, PARK REVIEW and this year have joined friends from Montrose, CO as they spend time in Kerrville before heading back to Colorado.

Johnson Creek RV Resort, Ingram, TX

Surrounded by an active pecan orchard, Johnson Creek has expanded from 50 to about 70 sites and with another 10 or so planned, this is still a relatively small park.  On the banks of Johnson Creek, a small tributary of the Guadalupe, this RV park offers a quiet retreat for winter Texans, full-time residents and a few overnighters.  Initially arriving without a site available, we’re assigned the “overflow” site at the far south side of the campground.  Equipped with water and electric service, this site is quiet and very private.  Later in the week we move to site #34 that provides additional services of sewer and cable TV.  Currently site #33 serves at the “exit” for the last row until it’s extended to the main road.  Initially this seemed like it might be annoying – but in fact the extra space afforded by this “drive-by” site improves the view and privacy of #34.

“Overflow” Site, Johnson Creek RV Resort

With virtually no OTA TV and only 12 channels of cable, the satellite comes in handy and despite having an orchard all around, is fairly easy to set-up.  There are a handful of WiFi access point around the campground.  Our WiFi booster helps select the best and overall the service isn’t too bad.  Nothing close to video streaming quality, but workable. During our stay we joined friends for several outings.  On Friday night we all enjoy huge portions of fried catfish at a bar/restaurant next to By The River RV Park PARK REVIEW where we stayed in 2010.  Over the weekend we explored Bourne with a stop at the creekside Dodging Duck Brewhaus for hand crafted brews and snacks of fried green tomatoes.  Later in the week we enjoyed Mamacita’s Mexican restaurant in Kerrville – perhaps the closest we’ve found to Uncle Julio’s – one of our all-time favorites in the Dallas area.

Johnson Creek RV Resort, Ingram, TX

After a very quick 5 nights in Kerrville, we’re back on the road headed for the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  More from two overnights enroute to the valley…

Buckhorn Lake RV Resort, Kerrville, TX

24 04 2017

Buckhorn Lake RV Resort

We’ve decided to skip San Antonio and continue to the Texas hill country. With the kick-off of Fiesta San Antonio on Thursday, the RV parks are full, the streets are packed and we’re ready for something a bit more quiet than the urban setting of Travelers World RV park south of town.

Instead, we’re parked at site 6028 at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort, just outside Kerrville at exit #501 of I-10. This is a spacious corner site, but nearly as close as you can get to I-10. In fact, we can see the East/West entrance ramp signs from here. This is a beautiful resort – well planned, plenty of space, nice wide concrete pads and patios, blacktop roadways and well positioned full hookups and spotlessly clean. Most of the main sites are organized in two loops of pull-throughs surrounded by back-in sites. There are also coach sites (pull in with hookups on the opposite site) along the small creek that runs through the property. Beyond is the “Adult-Only” area with 6 pull through sites, each with shared utility areas, surrounded by 14 mostly coach pull-in sites.

Across a bridge over the creek is “The Club”, a 60 site, very exclusive residential community for Class A Motorhomes. Sites without buildings are in the $70,000 range. Built-out with a casita, these sites are listed for up to $270,000.

As an added benefit, and completely unplanned, we’ve met up with good friends from Dallas.  Here at Buckhorn Lake for a weekend rally, we enjoy spending an evening with them and fellow-ralliers from all over Texas. Safe Travels M&C – it was great seeing you again!

Standard back-in sites run $39.60/night with Good Sam discounts. Water-View sites are $44.10 and Adult-Only sites run $48.60. Monthly rates get the nightly rate on a standard back-in site down to about $18/night plus metered electric. As nice as this resort it, the noise from I-10 is nearly always in the background. Arriving on Sunday there was a slight breeze from the north that effectively cut the traffic noise. But as the winds shifted from the south, the traffic was always noticeable. Even back in the Adult-Only area, furthest from the highway, you could hear the traffic, especially the drone of the 18 wheelers. For a Hill Country Resort, where you expect peace and quiet, Buckhorn Lake doesn’t measure up to other parks in the area.

Tomorrow we’ll pack and travel west about 50 miles on I-10 before turning north toward San Angelo. More from there…

The Texas Hill Country

26 03 2016

WP_20160326_010cWe’ve just spent 5 nights enjoying the company of great friends at Guadalupe River RV Resort in Kerrville.  We’ve reviewed this park before, but overall things haven’t changed much in the last year except for new ownership. The park is now a Yogi Bear “Jellystone” park, part of a group of locally owned parks and a national franchise.  We’re parked in site #154, right next to friends in #153 and just a few steps from one of the large assembly buildings and the River Rock Saloon.  This is the first time we haven’t been in one of the Riverside sites – they were all full this year.  And, it appears that this increased occupancy is starting to drive up the pricing here.  Regular sites go for $42 per night and $50 on weekend nights (here they count Fri, Sat and Sun as weekend nights)  and $55 on holidays.  Premium sites – those with a bit more space on row ends are $45, $55 & $60. Riverside sites are $52, $63 & $70.  Add to these fees $4 per day for Cable TV (there’s very little over-the-air here) and $3.50 for Wifi and nightly rates are approaching excruciating.  Monthly rates are significantly better, running about $18.50/day including WiFi and TV.

There are many very nice sites here, plenty of large grassy space, some nice bushes and great shade trees.  But, exploring a bit more you find significant deferred maintenance.  In the Adult Spa/Pool area, the steam room has had an Out Of Order sign for several years. The hot tub is also not working.  Of 4 washers in the laundry area, only 3 are operational.  Hopefully the change of ownership will also introduce some cash to improve these types of items.    So far, the majority of activity seems to be the addition of park models.  New spaces are being built to accommodate these – right down the center of the resort and another row behind the saloon along the river.  We’re hopeful for this park  -but with their top-tier rates, it seems that they need to start showing improvement.

We’re headed to Lake Corpus Christi State Park for a quick overnight before headed to Harlingen, TX in the Rio Grande Valley.


Kerrville, the Texas Hill Country

25 03 2015
River Rock Saloon

River Rock Saloon

We’re parked in site #61 at Guadalupe River RV Resort, a beautiful resort that backs to the meandering Guadalupe River in Kerrville, TX. A complete review of the resort is here. Kerrville offers many RV resorts, but this one is perhaps the nicest with the most amenities and even an onsite social club called the River Rock Saloon.  We were here last year and met good friends from Montrose, CO – Dave and Mary currently staying in site #59.  They have been here since early February, and have introduced us to more great new friends.  These new “biker” friends are off on a 4 day trip to Big Bend early on Wednesday morning.  The two days in Kerrville go by quickly and by mid-day on Wednesday we’re bound for San Antonio after firming up plans to meet Dave and Mary over the July 4th weekend back in Colorado.  We’ll spend a couple of nights just south of downtown San Antonio, more from there…

Guadalupe River RV Resort, Kerrville

18 03 2014
Guadalupe River RV Resort

Guadalupe River RV Resort

We’re parked at Guadalupe River RV Resort, just on the edge of Kerrville, TX considered by most to be the heart of the Texas Hill country.  We’ve arrived early, around 10:30AM, but the reservation staff was very helpful allowing us an early check-in to a premium riverfront site.  This is a large park with about 200 sites, 3 laundry rooms, 2 pools and even an on-site bar called the River Rock Saloon.

We’re in site #56, a back-in site with views out over the Guadalupe River as it wanders through the property.  These premium sites are level, each with a tree or two, a concrete patio pad with a small table and benches, and water, sewer and electric hookups.  The nightly rates range from $39 to $49 not including a 10% available Good Sam discount. TV cable is not included in these rates but available for an extra charge.  WiFi is also not provided in the nightly rate, and available for around $4/day from Tengo Internet.  While rig and car washes are permitted on the property, they charge $5 per wash.  With nightly charges plus these add-on fees, their premium rates which could exceed $65/night seem a bit over the top. But, the facilities are in general very good.  The pool areas are immaculately clean (maybe because they don’t get much use yet) and the laundry rooms and showers/restrooms are neat and in good repair.  The River Rock Saloon seems to be hit with many residents, especially on Friday’s for Karaoke and Saturdays when live bands are performing.  We enjoyed the $1.25 beers on Tuesday night and the company of new friends Dave and Mary from Montrose, CO. Thanks for buying the beers Dave!

Sites to the east of the main building (#1-#45) offer the best shade trees and lawns – however some of these sites backup directly to highway 27, which may present a noise problem.  Sites on the far west side (#173-#188) lack any type of shade trees and not much in the way of lawns either.  Sites in the center, (#45-#114) all have ample space, some trees and some lawn areas.   Cell phone service isn’t great in this location, our T-Mobile phones constantly have full 2G bars.  The Verizon broadband works best with the Cellular Booster, providing adequate 3G services.  All of the over the air TV network broadcasts come from San Antonio, and are not available from here on an RV wing antenna.  We did manage to find a local CW and ION channel.

Services are very convenient from this park, we resupplied both groceries and propane while here.  There are also numerous restaurant choices nearby and the San Antonio River Walk is only about an hour away.  After arriving early on Monday, we’ve spent 2 enjoyable nights here in Kerrville.  We’ll hit the road on Wednesday for the 3 hour trip down to Laredo.  More from there…