Texas Campgrounds

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Plan Your 2016 Adventure with our Free Camping Guide

Posted on: January 14th, 2016 by admin No Comments

Happy new year from TACO! For you, it may mean new resolutions and goals, and for your schedule it may mean a blank calendar. Fill up your year with fun by seeing the state of Texas in your RV. Grab our new 2016 campground guide to start planning your perfect getaway.

guideThe Official 2016 RV Travel and Camping Guide is here, and it’s FREE as always. You can check it out online with our interactive guide, or you can register to receive a physical copy by mail.

Our comprehensive guide includes a variety of campgrounds and RV parks throughout Texas to suit every type of camper, whether you have a fifth wheel, big-rig, trailer or want to stay in a cabin or tent. The guide is organized by region, so if you know you want to spend some time soaking up the sun on the Gulf Coast, you can check out our parks near the Port Aransas and Galveston in South Texas.

Along with details about each park’s location, contact info and amenities, you’ll receive a ton of ideas for fun things to do all over the state. From catching a Cowboys game in Dallas, to attending a folk music festival in Kerrville, our guide will help you make this year anything but boring.

If you’re in the market for an RV, or need parts and repairs, you can find vendors and RV superstores in our guide as well. So don’t miss out on this incredibly valuable FREE guide. For more information on TACO parks, visit the Texas Campgrounds website.


Four Texas RV Trips for Adventure Seekers

Posted on: December 17th, 2015 by Joe Laing No Comments

Image 1 EMR W01 264 (1)Have a thirst for adventure and plan to come to Texas by RV? Don’t leave that daredevil mentality at home! RV travelers to Texas soon find there are plenty of places to pump up their adrenaline. Here’s a quick list of the best RV trips for adventure seekers in Texas.

  • Go Bungee Jumping —Love the feel of a free fall, with a snap that pulls you up short at the last minute? There’s a place in the heart of Dallas that understands! Zero Gravity Park has a wide range of thrill rides to please the boldest adrenaline junkie. Whether you choose the Skycoaster (triple-passenger, 100-foot lift and drop), the Blastoff giant slingshot or the 16-story bungee jump, your heart will do plenty of pumping.

Insider Tip: Park your RV at a Dallas-area campground, so you can stay close to the action. For a scenic campsite less than 30 minutes away, try Loyd Park on Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie.

  • Go Hang Gliding — Always wanted to learn how to hang glide? Come to Lake Conroe in East Texas on your next RV camping trip and learn with the best. An hour north of Houston on I-45, Lake Conroe is home to Lakeshore Hang Gliding, where certified instructors will take you up in-tandem behind the tow boat and let you experience the big, blue skies of Texas in a whole new way.

RV campgrounds around Lake Conroe make it easy to relax after a day of hanging high above the lake. Just be sure to book your campsite before you show up!

  • Go Mountain Biking
    Keep the thrill alive on your Texas trip—bring along a mountain bike and hit the trails. A favorite place for Dallas area mountain bikers is Sansom Park on Lake Worth. It may not be in the mountains, but the tight turns, quick descents and rocky terrain make it well worth a visit. Here’s a handy link to Dallas-area RV campgrounds to help you plan your trip.

Another hotspot for mountain biking Texas RV campers is Caprock Canyons State Park, about an hour and a half southeast of Amarillo. The beautiful red rock canyons and bluffs in the southern Panhandle prairie are crisscrossed with miles of trails to challenge even the expert mountain biker. Inexpensive electric and water campsites within the park make it easy to spend your whole vacation exploring Caprock’s mysteries.

Insider Tip: While you’re there, keep an eye out for the Texas State Bison Herd. For an amazing sight, make your way to Clarity Tunnel at dusk, when thousands of bats take flight.

  • Go Canyoneering
    Here’s an idea for experienced aficionados of rock climbing and rappelling: a week-long RV trip to Big Bend National Park. Park the RV at one of three developed campgrounds inside the park and make that your base camp for the trip. Crank up your four wheel drive towed vehicle, get your backcountry permits and head for the awesome, rocky mountains that sprawl across this park on the border of Mexico and Texas.

Follow slots cut through multilayered rock by the Rio Grande and rappel down into 15-story canyons where few have dared to climb. This is West Texas at its most lonesome, so if getting away from it all with a little canyon-climbing thrown in sounds like a perfect vacation, Big Bend is the place for you!

Just because you like your camping comfortable doesn’t mean you don’t have the need for adventure. Camp your RV in Texas and bring along your mountain biking, rock climbing, bungee jumping spirit. You’ll find plenty to keep you from being bored.

About the Author

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, a nationwide RV rental company. Joe has been on the road working within the travel industry for over 20 years, and greatly enjoys exploring the outdoors. Joe has been camping across the United States, from coast-to-coast, and makes a point to stop at national landmarks along the way. He is also actively involved in numerous campground associations, including RVIA’s Go RV’ing committee, as well as travel industry association.

Your Free Guide to Winter Camping

Posted on: November 6th, 2015 by admin No Comments

It’s that time of year again. Snow may be looming on the weather radar, and temperatures are dropping. It’s the perfect time to get away for the winter season and catch some sunny, mild weather. Escape your winter blues at TACO campgrounds.

interactive guideNot sure where to camp? Stop by our website and request your free camping guide. The RV Travel and Camping Guide to Texas is available online in an interactive format for easy viewing, but you can also provide your mailing address and sign up for your free physical copy of the guide and the Texas Saver Card.

The guide highlights our parks by region and includes articles about some of the main attractions in each area. You’ll be able to easily view what kind of amenities and facilities each park offers. So whether you’re RVing, tent camping or looking for a cabin rental, this guide has everything you need to know in one place.

Need to repair your RV before your big trip? No problem. TACO encompasses select RV dealerships and repair services. So travel south to the Rio Grande Valley and enjoy spectacular sunsets and bird watching, or venture east to the beautiful Piney Woods. The Texas Hill Country offers wine, live music and some of the best Texan food. Your opportunities are nearly limitless.

For more information on winter camping, our free camping guide or TACO parks, visit the Texas Campgrounds website.


Traveling with Horses – Six Things You Need to Know

Posted on: October 23rd, 2015 by Joe Laing No Comments

shutterstock_170961542Whether camping with horses at trail rides, horse shows or on your next vacation, knowing how to travel safely is the first step to equine camping enjoyment. Here are six questions to ask yourself before traveling with horses.

How Will You Haul Your Horses?

Today’s horse-loving campers have so many options for hauling their four-legged friends. From first-class LQ (living quarters) horse trailers to simple bumper pull trailers towed behind a truck, motorhome or SUV, there’s a trailer for every type of horse camper.

Before you ever load your horse into a trailer, however, you’ll need to know whether it was built for your size of horse. Basically that means, “Is the trailer large and sturdy enough to safely haul the horse (or horses) you own?” Most horse trailer manufacturers offer specifications on the size of horse that can safely and comfortably be transported in each of their models.

How Much Does Your Trailer Weigh?

Knowing your trailer’s actual weight, both when loaded and when empty, is essential to choosing a safe tow vehicle, as well as the right hitch and ball mount. Weigh your trailer empty at a grain store or sand/gravel yard first and then calculate the Gross Vehicle (or Total) Weight by adding your horse’s weight and the weight of all tack, feed and water you’ll be carrying (don’t forget your own clothes and equipment if it’s going to be hauled in the trailer.)

The sum of all this, plus the loaded weight of your tow vehicle, cannot exceed your tow vehicle’s GCWR (gross combined weight rating), or the amount of weight it can safely haul. You also will not want to exceed the recommended maximum axle weight for your trailer. Knowing your trailer’s empty weight allows you to adjust your calculations if you bring different horses or equipment.

What Tow Vehicle is Best?

Wouldn’t it be nice if any vehicle with a tow package could safely haul our fellow equine campers? Unfortunately, it takes a little more preparation to choose a tow vehicle that will keep you out of trouble on the road.

Whether you’re going to tow your horses with a pickup truck, SUV or recreational vehicle, it has to pass certain requirements. As we mentioned, you’ll need a tow vehicle with a GCWR high enough to cover the weight of trailer, horses, human passengers and tow vehicle. This ensures that the tires, axles, transmission and engine are adequate to withstand the extra pressure of hauling your trailer.

Has Your Tow Vehicle Been Maintained?

Speaking of tires, transmissions and engines, it’s always a good idea to make sure your tow vehicle and trailer are in top shape before taking off on a horse camping excursion. Having to change a flat or deal with an overheated engine or transmission on the road is one thing; having to unload your horses to do it is something none of us wants to do.

How’s Your Hitch Rated?

Did you know that the person who sells you a tow vehicle may have no idea whether its hitch is safe to haul your horse trailer? That’s because there are several variables in choosing the right hitch and ball mount for your trailer. If they’re talking only about the maximum weight the hitch on their vehicle can carry (tow), that’s just one of the numbers you’ll need to know.

Safe towing requires a hitch and ball joint, each with an adequate rating, for both your horse trailer’s Gross Total Weight AND the trailer’s Tongue Weight. Tongue Weight is measured by setting the actual trailer tongue against the scale to learn how many pounds of pressure the tongue exerts on the hitch components. The weight distribution limit of a hitch is only used when weight distribution bars are actually part of your tow package.

Last Word on Hitches: If you aren’t sure how to safely hook up your trailer to the hitch (including proper use of safety chains and sway bars, equalizers and other safety equipment), have an expert help you. Your horses are precious cargo and you don’t want to endanger them, yourself or other drivers on the road by improperly connecting your horse trailer to the tow vehicle.

What Can You Expect at Your Destination?

Once you’ve traveled safely to your destination, you’ll want to unload and relax! Before you go, find out what facilities will be available for your horses. We’ve found there can be a wide variety when it comes to “horse-friendly” campsites. Whether you’re visiting a state park’s equine campground or traveling to a regional horse show, knowing what to expect makes it so much more enjoyable once you arrive.

A few questions to ask: What water source is available, is there a corral on-site and will there be hook-ups for your camping or LQ trailer? Be prepared to be flexible, as what’s advertised may have changed.

Traveling, and camping, with horses can be a rewarding experience, once you’ve chosen the right trailer, the right tow vehicle and equipment and the right place to stay. Use these six tips to travel safely to your next equine camping excursion.

Joe Laing is the Marketing Director for El Monte RV, a nationwide RV rental company. He has been on the road working within the travel industry for over 20 years, and greatly enjoys the outdoors. Joe has been camping across the United States, exploring its vast countryside, and finding the best travel deals along the way.

TACO Sets Out on Fall Tour

Posted on: October 12th, 2015 by admin No Comments

Texas Campgrounds is kicking off their Fall Tour today! The 2015 TACO Fall Tour enables guests to take a behind-the-scenes look of three highly successful parks on October 12, 2015. Each park will provide an in-depth tour of the facilities, review fact sheets on park operations and conduct a robust question and answer session.

“For the first time, we’ll be getting the perspective of a KOA, a Yogi Bear Jellystone Park and an independent operation all in one tour,” said Brian Schaeffer, CEO/Executive Director of TACO. “Attendees will receive a ton of valuable information all in one place.”

This unique look at park business models enables TACO clients to optimize procedures. The Fall Tour also includes profit-producing presentations on topics like planning and hosting successful activities, when to increase rates, how to maintain unique operations and how cabins and cottages can increase profitability.

The tour bus includes only 50 seats, so interested guests had to register beforehand. Whether you’re looking to hook up an RV, rent a cottage or pop a tent, Texas Campgrounds include parks that offer a variety of sites and campground experiences. Stop by the Texas Campgrounds website to enter your name into a quarterly drawing to win a $250 Valero gift card, and to find more information about your next camping destination.

Enjoy Camping in Every Style all Year-Round

Posted on: August 21st, 2015 by admin No Comments

The Lonestar Sportsman is back! Tune in to Lonestar Sportsman on News Radio 1200 WOAI every Saturday morning from 5 – 7 a.m. to hear interviews from Texas Campgrounds (TACO) members as they weigh in on the RVing and camping lifestyle. Click play below to listen to the interview or visit the broadcast website.

rvThousand Trails RV Resort is located on Medina Lake in Lakehills, TX. Medina Lake levels have been low for several years, but now it’s back at lake levels! The lake holds a special place in the hearts of many San Antonio residents. You can enjoy boating, sitting by the water, fishing and water sports. The park is located on the east side of the lake on the river portion.

Thousand Trails opened in 1982 and has an excellent reputation, with many guests coming back year after year. The park offers 300 acres, with 100 acres of full hook-up campsites with water, electric and sewer hookups. If you don’t have an RV, enjoy one of the 17 cabins. You won’t be “rouging it”. These are 400-sqaure-foot park models with TVs, satellite and modern amenities. However, you can walk right out your door into a serene park with wildlife, vegetation and natural beauty.

Families love staying at Thousand Trails, as it offers a serene vacation spot with access to San Antonio attractions like the River Walk, Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld just 45 minutes away. Fishermen also come out to Thousand Trails all year-round, and starting in about October, Winter Texans venture south for the colder season.

Thousand Trails offers a variety of sites and amenities for every camping style. The park is associated with Texas Campgrounds, a community of campgrounds all across Texas. For more information, visit the Texas Campgrounds website.

Lone Star Itinerary: 10 Essential Texas Stops

Posted on: August 11th, 2015 by Joe Laing No Comments

When you hear “Texas road trip”, what images come to mind? Cowboys? Beaches? World-class music venues? All of those are accurate, plus there’s so much more to experience when you come to the Lone Star State. Come along on a whirlwind tour of ten essential Texas stops no visitor should miss.

Lone Star Essential #1: Stockyards National Historic District-Fort Worth

This vibrant cultural and historical district has shopping, dining and plenty of Texas cowboy-themed attractions, so why not make it #1 on your Lone Star Itinerary?

Lone Star Essential #2: Dallas World Aquarium

From the red-backed bearded saki to mysterious seadragons and giant clams, the creatures here will captivate the most jaded Texas travelers.

Lone Star Essential #3:  – Austin Live Music Venues

If you’ve only got a day or two to explore, order tickets for Austin City Limits at the Moody Theater. You should also plan to crawl the Warehouse District, 2nd Street District and East Sixth venues to hear your all-time favorite musicians plus up and coming stars.

Lone Star Essential #4: San Antonio River Walk

Five miles of shops, restaurants and Spanish architecture along the San Antonio River have thrilled visitors for decades. Whether you hope to find artistic treasures or the best Margueritas in Texas, you’re bound to find them along the River Walk.

Lone Star Essential #5: USS Texas – La Porte

If history’s your thing, the Battleship Texas is a ‘don’t miss’ Lone Star attraction. The only remaining US battleship to have served in both World Wars, it’s an enormous floating museum worth spending a day exploring. You’re also a quick walk away from the San Jacinto Battleground, making this a double-dip Houston area essential.

Lone Star Essential #6: Palo Duro Canyon – Texas Panhandle

Did you know the country’s second largest canyon is tucked away in the Texas Panhandle? Palo Duro Canyon is a wonderland of hiking, biking and riding trails and the view is breathtaking everywhere you turn.

Lone Star Essential #7: Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

There’s no shortage of theme parks in Texas, but if you’re hoping for classic, family-friendly fun on the Gulf of Mexico, head to Galveston. The Pleasure Pier has been rebuilt to match its World War II era glory, with eateries, rides and amusements for the whole gang.

Lone Star Essential #8: Padre Island/Corpus Christi

So much to do here, you’ll want to stretch your vacation. South Padre Island with its beaches, hotels and attractions, Padre Island National Seashore—undeveloped dunes and beaches teaming with wildlife, and Corpus Christi’s Bob Hall Pier and adjacent Padre Balli Park offer a world of fun on the water.

Lone Star Essential #9: Texas State Railroad-Rusk to Palestine, TX

Tour the East Texas Piney Woods Region by vintage railcar on a twenty-five mile trip from Rusk to Palestine. Lots of options for excursions, but book your tickets early, this one’s popular!

Lone Star Essential #10: Lake Sam Rayburn, Jasper, TX

At more than one-hundred-thousand acres, this lake in Deep East Texas is sure to deliver on fishing, boating, swimming and just plain relaxing on the water. Bring the bass boat—the largemouth population is epic!

Round up the family and make tracks to Texas—these ten essential stops are just the beginning of a memorable Texas adventure.

Joe Laing is the Director of Marketing for El Monte RV and has worked in the travel industry for over two decades.  He has been exploring the outdoors most of his life and enjoys spending time camping throughout the United States. Joe has also been involved with the RVIA’s Go RV’ing committee, campground associations, and many travel industry associations. 

Thousand Trails at Lake Whitney is Open for Summer Fun

Posted on: June 26th, 2015 by admin No Comments

Due to recent flooding, Lake Whitney State Park is currently closed. But that doesn’t mean summer vacation is cancelled! Thousand Trails is still open for the season, so call today to book your stay.

cabinLake Whitney State Park will be closed for most of the summer, or until further notice. You won’t be able to boat on the lake, but you will still be able to unwind at Thousand Trails. You can enjoy nature at a primitive campsite in the shade, a cabin or a pull-thru RV site. Take a dip in our pool to cool off this summer!

If you want to get outdoors and soak up the summer sun, you can go for a horseback ride on one of our equestrian trails and enjoy the view of Lake Whitney. Our RV resort includes a fitness center, clubhouse, hot tub, mini golf, shuffleboard and more! Enjoy free Wi-Fi and cable TV at all sites. Feel free to bring your four-legged friends along, because pets are always welcome!

Thousand Trails at Lake Whitney is located north of Waco and south of the DFW metroplex, near Hillsboro. Hillsboro is home to a variety of restaurants and an outlet mall that brings in visitors from all over Texas. To reserve your vacation with Thousand Trails, call 1-877-570-2267 or visit their website.

Whether you’re looking to hook up an RV, rent a cottage or pop a tent, Texas Campgrounds include parks that offer a variety of sites and campground experiences. Stop by the Texas Campgrounds website to enter your name into a quarterly drawing to win a $250 Valero gift card, and to find more information about your next camping destination.


TACO Community Helps Rebuild After Severe Flooding

Posted on: June 16th, 2015 by admin No Comments


With the recent devastation of flooding ripping through Texas, many communities, churches and organizations have come forward to help those in need as the sun begins to shine on this tragedy.

sunsetThis week’s interview on the Lonestar Sportsman features David Rowley from Pecan Park Riverside RV and Cabins, one of the many places damaged by severe flash flooding. You can listen to the interview below, or visit the SoundCloud channel.

David speaks of the challenges faced during this traumatic experience. During the month of May, Texas saw record-breaking water levels, and the San Marcos River quickly flooded. Thankfully, Pecan Park owners and residents had a few hours to grab their belongings and evacuate the park. But when they returned, they returned to irreversible damage and flooding. Five cabins were damaged and the owners’ home was flooded with eight feet of water.

Though Pecan Park is still open for business, they are in the rebuilding stage, and have seen something truly amazing. Because TACO parks are outstanding with incredible customer service and satisfaction, Pecan Park has created a community of supporters. Many people have stepped forward to volunteer time and money to put toward rebuilding the campground.

Pecan Park is truly a gem of an RV Park near the San Marcos River, providing a peaceful and fun-filled destination perfect for families and children. Faithful TACO customers like you make miracles like this happen, and we couldn’t be more thankful. To learn more about Pecan Park, stop by their website.

Whether you’re looking to hook up an RV, rent a cottage or pop a tent, Texas Campgrounds include parks that offer a variety of sites and campground experiences. Stop by the Texas Campgrounds website to enter your name into a quarterly drawing to win a $250 Valero gift card, and to find more information about your next camping destination.

Summer Vacation is Still On

Posted on: June 3rd, 2015 by admin No Comments

Rain, rain, go away! Our hearts go out to the families impacted by the floods. If you’re concerned about your summer reservations, we have good news. Many of our parks are free of flooding and are ready for you to come enjoy the summer.

heartTexas Campgrounds is an association of campgrounds and RV parks all across Texas. Whether you’re eyeing San Antonio, dreaming of strolling down the River Walk, or wanting to head south to the Rio Grande Valley, TACO has a place for you to feel right at home. Swing up to North Texas and enjoy many sports events, from Rangers baseball to hockey and more. Or venture out to East Texas and enjoy the beautiful pine trees. As always, the beautiful hills and delicious wines in the Texas Hill Country might be calling your name.

Don’t let the rain put a damper on your summer vacation plans. Feel free to call any of our parks to check their flooding conditions. To search for a park, simply visit our website and select “Find a Park.” You can search by park name, city or region. Each search result will pull up an information page that includes contact information for the park, as well as their website. So simply call, then pack your bags and have a new adventure this summer!

Whether you’re an RVer, a tent camper or a cottage renter, Texas Campgrounds includes parks for every type of adventurer. Travel somewhere new, or revisit your favorite destination. Stop by the Texas Campgrounds website to enter your name into a quarterly drawing to win a $250 Valero gift card, and to find more information about your next camping destination.




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