Holidays at South Toledo Bend in Louisiana
Well it is official, after nine days camping last week I think we finally got the hang of RV living. We met some friends at South Toledo Bend State Park for the Christmas and New Year holidays and had a wonderful time! Our friends were driving from Baton Rouge and us from the Austin area, so we needed to pick somewhere convenient to both locations. We knew we wanted to be on a lake, so South Toledo Bend State Park it was. We arrived on Christmas Day and stayed through January 3rd. We were worried about towing such a long distance in a new truck. Side note… did I mention we already traded up our vehicle for towing purposes? Good bye Grand Cherokee and hello Chevy Silverado. Anyway, we were nervous about towing so long for our second trip, so we decided to travel on Christmas Day when the roads were less crowded.
It was cold and raining most of the trip. But, we knew this trip was going to be all about relaxing, and that it was! Even though this is only our second campground, we knew right away site would be hard to beat. It had a large private deck and then you walk down to the picnic table, fire ring, and a tent pad area that we used for our hammock set up. Then there was a pathway to the lake, where a floating dock sat. Not to mention two of our favorite people were camping with us.
We spent most of the time on the deck, because everything else was wet from the rain. I am not a big sports fan, but everyone else watched the playoff games while I cuddled with Sadie. I made the mistake of letting all 50 pounds of her in the hammock and gravity chair with me, and now that is all she wants to do. The park was pretty empty, assuming due to rain and holidays, but it was perfect! Great trails and just the relaxation we needed. With all the rain in the forecast, I decided ahead of time to leave my camera at home. So this was truly a vacation. We didn’t get to explore much of the area, but had great takeout from Curtis Grocery about 15 minutes away. We pretty much had a fire going the entire time, so it was pretty convenient that we found someone to deliver firewood to us at the campsite. Pretty sure this isn’t a regular thing, but our friend manages to meet a new friend everywhere she goes.
We quickly learned this trip how to conserve water and waste. Our goal was to only break camp once to dump our tanks and we managed that fine, with the help of the very clean park showers. We also learned how much we loved group camping! We always vacation with this other couple, but this is the first time we each had our own spaces and it was so nice. They actually don’t own an RV, but used the Outdoorsy app. It is basically like airbnb, where individuals can rent out their RVs. It was perfect, especially with walkie talkies that Nicole has been dying to use. These were a must since we didn’t have cell reception. Plus, who doesn’t love a good handle name.
Trip Isn’t Over until I Fall…
But… in true Nicole and Monica fashion the trip did have its hiccups. I fell once again down the RV steps. This time I fell backwards and caught myself with my elbow. Nicole didn’t get to see this one, but my best friend got a front row seat. My ankle and elbow were pretty bruised the next day. But the big whammy was picture this…. middle of nowhere basically, New Year’s Eve night, and we locked ourselves out of the camper. Apparently, if our door is locked it will still allow you to exit but then you can’t get back in. Luckily, we found a bedroom window that wasn’t latched and hoisted tiny Nicole into it. Whew, that was a close one! So it looks like a wireless lock and some upgraded steps are on our 2019 wish list. Ha! Plus, you can’t really call yourselves RV owners until you had a water leak… which we had at at the end of our trip. Found some water in the kitchen under the stove. Good thing we belong to the Minnie Winnie Facebook group and knew going into this what to expect. Unfortunately, the RV industry quality control is nothing like automobiles. There is a lot lacking, but luckily we purchased from a great dealer and that is what warranties are for. Despite, all the hiccups we absolutely love RV living and it is all worth it! Don’t get me wrong, we are happy to get back home and have space. But don’t think we aren’t already planning a year of full time RV living in the future to see the US and Canada. We just may have to upgrade in size before then!
Campground Review: South Toledo Bend State Park (Anococo, LA)
We were trying to decide between the North and South state parks on Toledo Bend. But, a quick google search of South Toledo Bend State Park showed some pictures of a wooden deck at a camp site. That quickly made the choice for me, plus it was a closer drive. Prior to making our reservation online, we called ahead of time to get a list of all the sites that offered the deck. Because we were trying to find two side by side. We ended up staying in Site 44 and our friends in Site 45. We lucked out with Site 44, because it had our friends on one side and a wooded area on the other. Very private! We absolutely LOVED our site! And at $20 per night it was a steal. Plus this state park didn’t have the daily fees like Texas does. We have a 28' Minnie Winnie and a Chevy crew cab truck. Everything would have fit on the main drive as it was a 47' site. But we wanted our outdoor kitchen to be on the decked area so we pulled the trailer up some and parked off to the side. The deck was a must during our stay because it rained almost every day we were there. So we were able to sit under the awning on the deck and stay dry. We did have to use a few leveling blocks towards the back of the RV. There was a pathway in between our two sites that walked down to the floating dock. The floating dock was tiled and even had an outlet.
Both sites had 30/50 amp options with two water spouts. There is a dump station on site. The front gates lock at night but a code is provided. The showers were very well taken care of, with plenty of hot water and private dressing areas. There was also a laundry mat, playground, boat ramp, and plenty of walking trails. Pets are allowed as long as they are on a leash. Our AT&T only had one bar at the site and sometimes none inside the trailer. But luckily, the WIFI at the park worked great for us to get some work done on our laptop. But it did block any TV streaming. We were able to use our AT&T hotspot for streaming on the outdoor TV and sometimes inside. The closest big grocery store is in Leesville about 40 min. away. So get your groceries on the way in. The park staff was so nice. Would definitely return!