Branson, Branson, Branson!

There’s only one Branson Missouri and this was our third time seeing it.  The largest and most convenient campground in the area is the Branson KOA.  Everybody knows KOA, who are, like McDonalds, fairly consistent wherever you see them.  Most KOA campgrounds were built 20 to 30 years ago and many are still trying to catch up with modern times.  Any new campground today will have full hook-ups (FHU) which will generally mean on-site water, sewer, 50 Amp power, and possibly cable TV.   Some of the older sites actually had telephone lines to each site, but these have gone the way of the dodo bird as cell phones have taken over the world.

The Branson KOA, while somewhat older, is well maintained by an excellent staff.  Most sites, even though considered FHU, are pretty spartan and have few frivolities such as grass.  This s a typical spot in the area that we camped:

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The dual concrete tire tracks are a sign of an old park.  This was undoubtedly done to save concrete rater than to serve a particular purpose.  A good, sturdy bed of river gravel fills the entire space which does provide for excellent drainage in the rain.  The relative lack of trees also means that its likely that you’ll not have any satellite reception problems.

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We got really lucky with our spot (above) in hat it was located adjacent to a small community firepit and gathering area.  Even luckier was that the large, satellite blocking tree was opposite the direction our dish was pointed so again, no problems!   We hate to miss an episode of The Deadliest Catch because of some dumb tree!  The dog also enjoyed plenty of fresh grass for his needs.   On top of that was a doggie bag dispenser and dump can (center-right of photo) that made things very welcoming.

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The streets within the park are very wide, which is always a good thing.  Prevost bus rallies have been held here with more than 50 buses in attendance.

 

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The convenience of the camp’s location to the Branson strip cannot be understated.  It’s practically walking distance from the park however the traffic is almost always heavy around town.  Did we mention how friendly the staff were?   It’s worth noting that one perk of KOA’s s that most of them will pick up your trash in front of your parking site on a daily basis.   This, while a small concession, always makes campground life just a little easier!

 

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Disclaimer: we have nothing whatsoever to do with this RV, which we spotted nearby.  It was simply a beauty that was built on a Kenworth truck chassis that really looked and sounded great!

 

Location:

Twin Fountains of Oklahoma City

It’s rare these days to find a decent RV park anywhere near a major city.  Twin Fountains RV Park in Oklahoma City, OK, is just that – a beautiful park with easy access to the heart of the city.IMG_2586

This park is wonderfully green and has lots of family activities including a pool, a putting course, fishing, and a well appointed clubhouse.  Another feature which we’d not seen before was a small pizza delivery service right in the park itself.  The camp store was also well stocked which means that for a lot of simple requirements you don’t even need to leave the park.

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Above is one of the typical campsites.  Everything was spotlessly clean and well groomed.  All of the parking sites were 100% concrete and plenty long enough for a 45 footer with a tow.

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Access to the sites is easy even for the largest rigs.   Some hillside sites, however, can present a problem if your rig is particularly low to the ground.  As the picture below shows, there can be an angled break over in the pavement which can strike he bottom of a long vehicle such as ours.

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This was our spot (above) and although we parked easily and was nice and level, we did opt to back out of the space rather than pull through due to the angle of the concrete.

 

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Our spot.  It had jst rained and the old bus never looked better!

Location:

Amarillo Ranch RV

Amarillo is the biggest city in the Texas panhandle.  In popular folklore its most famous landmark is Cadillac Ranch, a place where seven cadillacs are buried nose first in a line in the middle of a field along Interstate 40.  And then, there’s the Big Texan Steak Ranch, which is a long standing tourist attraction that has withstood the test of time.   They are famous for a 72 oz. steak which is “free” if you can eat it all in one sitting.  I don’t really know many people who will willingly eat 6 pounds of beef like that but it makes for a good slogan.  Several people have apparently done it.  Go figure.

In any event, Amarillo Ranch RV is a great place to stop and park for a while.   The park has medium shade, and some very large (long) spaces.  Upon registering the first thing you’ll notice is how friendly the staff is and how they will do everything possible to get you situated in a great spot.

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Our spot, which was right next to the entrance of the park, was quiet, level, and free of satellite antenna obstructions.

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Some of the larger sites above, which can accommodate rigs of well over 80 feet in length.

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The park also offers a free limousine service that will take you from your campsite to the Big Tex Steakhouse, only a few miles away.  Oddly, there are a fleet of at least 6 of these limos so catching a classy ride to dinner is as easy as picking up the phone.

Location:

Acoma New Mexico’s Sky City

Located just 60 miles west of Albuquerque, NM is the town of Acoma and the location of the Sky City Casino and RV Park.  We’ve stayed here several times and this stop is all about convenience

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The spaces are nicely trimmed with concrete curbs and are long enough for our 60′ coach and toad.  The spaces appear to be in the 80+ foot range.  All of the spaces in this park are identical.  There are no trees and only a few bushes.   The spaces are equipped with 50-30-20 amp service, good water pressure and easy sewer hookups

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One unusual aspect of these spaces is that the power and water are locked with padlocks.  You get the key when you check in.  We can honestly say that we’ve never seen this before but it may have to do with the fact that there is no campground host on site.  There is a small check-in office that closes at 5pm.  After 5, you must register at the nearby casino, which was easy enough.  There is a courtesy car that will pick you up at your RV space and take you to the casino, at any time of the day or night, which is handy.  Best of all is the rate, only $25 per night.  Since our RV can easily use $25 worth of electricity per day, it’s a great deal for us.

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You’ll not likely have any trouble finding a space, ever.  This park exists by and for the casino and we’ve never seen very many RV’s here.  One note, however, is that the place is known to fill up during the  Annual Albuquerque Balloon Week.  Luckily, our stay wasn’t during these times.

We’ll definitely come back to this spot again as it’s about a day’s drive to our home in Scottsdale, AZ.

Location:

 

 

Our Coach

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Pictured above is our 2004 Marathon Coach.   This is our second Prevost coach.  Our first was a 1997 Liberty Coach that served as our “learner” in which we learned the ropes of big motorcoach travel.   Both coaches were bought used since new ones are are simply out of reach.  At age 10, our Marathon was truly just getting broken in as its existing 100,000 miles were just a preview of the distance this coach could travel.  It isn’t unusual for an active coach to rack up a million miles or more during its service lifetime.   Most motor coach conversions seldom see this many miles and as a result are nearly all in pristine mechanical condition.

 

Prevost Car, Inc., is a long established Canadian manufacturer of large passenger buses.  The modern Greyhound fleet uses Prevost coaches, for example.  In addition to passenger buses, Prevost also makes a motor home version that is identical except for the omission of several windows and the seated interior.   Prevost also makes the slide-out mechanisms that provide a great increase in living space.  Prevost coaches are also widely used by the entertainment industry as the touring platform of choice countless bands, performers and celebrities.  Even Dolly Parton’s Prevost coach is a popular tourist attraction in Dollywood.

When new Prevost motor home coaches leave the factory they are fully functional and certified road machines and are typically driven to their delivery destination.  They are supplied with no interior and a plain white paint job.  Custom coach converters order these “shells” directly from Prevost and its interesting to note that it can take up to a year to complete their transformation into a luxury living space.

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Above, a Prevost H3 “shell”, ready for conversion to a motor home.

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Above, the coach interior, ready for conversion.  Platform in the rear is the sliding master bed tray.

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And finally, the interior (of our coach) after conversion.

There is simply no comparison between a Prevost conversion and any other motor home.  That’s why they are often referred to as the Ultimate Class of motor home.  These coaches interiors are completely hand crafted using only the finest materials, cabinet making and craftsmanship.