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Luxury RV resorts pamper travelers

March 12, 2005|by JEFF JOHNSTON/Motor Matters

An RV is an escape machine that lets you get away from the rush and complications of everyday life. You can roam as far as you want to go to the most remote regions of the country and still enjoy the comforts of home in an RV.

There are those for whom "escape" takes on a whole new meaning when they aim for an RV adventure. There's no roughing it for them, although use of an RV eliminates the roughing it aspect of camping no matter where you go. When only the best will do, a luxury RV resort is the place to go.

Those who have only experienced state or national park campgrounds, or boondocking locations, might be amazed at what's available at the RV resorts that cater to the well-heeled segment of the RV fraternity.

There are various individual and chain-operated luxury RV resorts in the U.S. Some of the best examples of this type of facility are owned and operated by Outdoor Resorts of America Inc. (www.outdoor-resorts.com, 800-541-2582). This company's line of resorts delivers all the best that a traveling RVer might want.

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The photos with this story were shot at the Outdoor Resorts Pacific

Shores location in Newport, Ore., (www.pacificshoresrv.com, 800-333-1583) and that location is a good example of what a luxury resort is all about.

Sometimes a luxury RV resort is positioned in the heart of a popular tourist destination. Others are tucked in remote regions where quiet and solitude reign supreme. One detail sets some such locations apart from the average campground. Like some of its counterparts, Pacific Shores is for motor homes only, and that feature dictates to some degree how the facility is designed and built. Other such resorts are open to almost all comers.

A visitor to a luxury RV resort may get a feeling of Disneyland goes camping. Every aspect of such locations is carefully designed to accommodate the most demanding guest. As you approach the entrance, you're struck by the beautiful landscaping, floral arrangements, water features and the like - all done with an artistic touch. This is not your average local county park.

Just inside the entrance there's a manned security gate where your registration or guest pass is checked to be sure you belong there. This extra touch of security is a welcome aspect of the RV resorts.

Wide open, well-paved park roads with easily accessible sites and carefully manicured landscaping are standard. Naturally, there are full RV hookups at each site, and many resorts also feature wireless Internet connection capability. Staying in touch has never been so easy while on the road.

Each resort typically has a central clubhouse with pool, Jacuzzi, sometimes a sauna, game room, kitchen facilities and an event hall for larger gatherings. Because golf is highly popular with traveling RVers, most of these resorts also feature self-contained golf courses, not all of which are a full 18 holes. The golf pro shop may be part of the clubhouse. In many cases, some of the RV sites are designed to abut the course, and teeing off can be just a short walk or cart ride away from much of the resort. Tennis and other sports are also supported at these locations.

In some cases, there are "auxiliary" recreation centers in the far reaches of the park that offer more pools and Jacuzzis, so guests need not make the long hike to the main recreation area.

As you may expect, the rates at such resorts tend to be on the steep side as campgrounds go. For example, the peak summer rates at Pacific Shores start at $40/night for its Deluxe sites and range up to $80 per night for its prime Ocean Front sites. Considering the amenities of the average RV resort, the rates are understandable, even though they're in the same neighborhood as the rates for many affordable-but-decent hotels.

Many of the deluxe resorts are designed as site ownership locations. In such cases, each of the sites can be purchased and wholly owned - not co-owned as with a time-share - and each owner is free to customize the site based on any covenants and restrictions that come with the deed. Many of the privately owned sites are then made available for short-term overnight rentals to other RV travelers.

A luxury RV resort may not be to everyone's liking or fit one's budgetary restrictions, but now and then, such a location can be a welcome stopover during an RV adventure on the road.

Copyright, Motor Matters, 2005

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