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Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Checking Out the Rio Grande Valley (RGV)

We left the Ransom Road RV Park in Aransas Pass, TX about 10:00am on last Sunday morning, and headed the 200 miles south to the RGV.

We had two purposes for this trip.  First, we wanted to check out South Padre Island and the Slitterbaum water park for a possible vacation destination for our grandkids this summer. 

Second, we have been wanting to visit the Retama RV Park near Mission, TX since we visited their sales booth at the Tampa Fl RV show in January 2010.  They have been sending us emails every since, and we did not stop them because we were somewhat interested.  We also have some RV friends that own a lot at Retama.

We were offered two nights free camping at Retama in exchange for a 2 hour tour.  We needed to stay someplace, so we accepted and arrived at about 4:00PM on Sunday afternoon.  Here are pictures of our ‘site’:


After we got set up, we picked up keys to the park, and left for South Padre Island.  Here are some pictures of the trip across the causeway to the island:


We drove through the local KOA campground, where we would be staying, and took a look at the water park.  Both were less than impressive, and we quickly agreed that there would be better waterparks for us to visit this summer.  The following are pictures of the KOA park, including the blue tanks that serve as the office and the activities center,  I also took a picture of the inside of the “building”…… they were authentic tanks because I have been in a lot of industrial tanks………….


You could not see enough of the waterpark to take a picture, except for a very shoddy parking lot.

The next morning, we took our tour of the RV park, and looked inside several of the RV homes.  The park had a variety….. from the basic concrete pad with unfinished ‘casita’ building to a 3-bedroom home complete with an RV garage.

The following is a picture of our friends site, similar to what we parked at, except that they are in the process of finishing out the interior, and they had built on a nice patio area behind the casita.


Some people have taken the basic site, and made very nice improvements.  Here is an example where a large pergola has been added along with a nice garden area in the back:


The next step up are the complete homes with RV garage (actually a carport) in either a 1, 2 or 3 bedroom model.   You could get the garage with a large storage area at the end of the garage.  My biggest disappointment was the lack of any kind of garage for automobiles.  Similar to a condo arrangement, the landscaping is put in by the RV park, and the grounds are kept maintained by a monthly maintenance fee.  Here are a few pictures:


The above was my favorite.  Two bedroom model with the large, two story storage addition.

Here are some finished homes with people living in them:


My opirion of Retama is that it is a very nice RV neighborhood concept that I like, but I would want a two-car garage, and the location being in the RGV is a big negative for us.  Too much wind and to close to all the turmoil along the border with Mexico.  In fact, we were told of nearly daily visits in the neighborhood by Border Patrol Agents!!

We left the RGV on Tuesday, and actually ‘camped’ in our driveway in Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and left for our rally on Thursday morning for La Grange.

More on this rally later……………..

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