Swan Lake Campground, Carroll, Iowa

  • RATING – 3.4 of 5
  • WIFI – No
  • ATT – Yes, but spotty, pre-WeBoost
  • VERIZON – No, pre-WeBoost
  • OTA TV – Not used
  • COST – $19 Nightly  
  • DISCOUNTS – Stay a week get the 7th night free
  • SERVICES –  15/30/50 AMP – Water, sewer at site, dump station and dumpsters available but you will require at least 20′ of sewer hose
  • COORDINATES   42.04245, -94.84319
  • REVIEW – This park is a little different. All of the camping sites are located under hundred year old Oak trees. Rather than put slabs down that would make the trees unhealthy the entire campground is graveled beneath the trees. Sites are a bit tight and the sewer connections require at least 20′ of hose so be prepared for that. The parks namesake lake is a beautiful prairie lake that features Trumpeter Swans and Bison in the surrounding hills. Very picturesque place. The locals flock to this gem so book early.

Advetureland Campground, Altoona, Iowa

  • RATING – 3.5 of 5
  • WIFI – Yes
  • AAT – Yes, 2 bars, pre-WeBoost
  • VERIZON – Yes, 2 bars, pre-WeBoost
  • OTA TV – Des Moines stations
  • COST – $45 Nightly (during the Iowa State Fair)  15/30/50 AMP FHU’s
  • DISCOUNTS – None we are aware of
  • SERVICES -15/30/50 AMPS, water, sewer at site, dump station available, dumpsters
  • COORDINATES – 41.6544, 93.4955
  • REVIEW – A very crowded park. It is near Adventureland Theme Park. It has 120 RV Campsites and is well used meaning that with that many campers it’s a little tired but for the most part quite pleasant. There is a lot of traffic if you are assigned a site near the main roads of the park, There is a shuttle that runs during Adventureland’s hours that will pick you up and bring you back pretty much at your own schedule. The shuttle picks up at various places located throughout the park. Sewer hook ups are a little different here in that they exit the ground on a 45 degree angle. It’s not a problem but you need a sealing 90* fitting here so be ready for that. There are mature trees that provide good shades at most sites but end of row sites don’t have them

Lakeside Casino RV Park, Osceola, Iowa 

  • RATING – 3.5 of 5
  • WIFI – Yes
  • ATT – Yes, 2 bars, pre-WeBoost
  • VERIZON – Yes, but spotty 1-2 bars, pre-WeBoost
  • OTA TV – Not used
  • COST – $20 Nightly  
  • DISCOUNTS – Good Sams
  • SERVICES – 15/30/50, water and sewer at the site
  • REVIEW – This is a crowded park due to the proximity to I-35 and the casino.  It is a first come first serve pay on your honor park.  The sewer utility is a little weird here. They are put to the side of the power pedestal and sanitary water hook up by about 15-20 feet so you will need at least two 10′ sewer hoses to reach them depending on the length and placement of your RV.  The sites are not all level and if you have a long vehicle length you will be ok but it is a bit tight. However $20 for FHU’s make this a great rest stop or overnight place when you stop for the day or just to gamble. The casino is typical with a snack bar, restaurant and bar. It’s really a smoky casin

Spring Lake Park – Jefferson, Iowa 

  • RATING – 4 of 5
  • WIFI – NO
  • ATT – Yes, 3 Bars, 5 with Weboost
  • VERIZON – Yes,4 bars, 5 with Weboost
  • OTA TV – Not used
  • COST – $17 Nightly
  • DISCOUNTS – None
  • SERVICES –  1530/50 Amp, no water or sewer on site, dump station and potable water available near the dump station
  • REVIEW – Great family park, 125 campsites, many right on the lakefront. First come, no reservations. Despite the wet weather and the accompanying fly infestation, we really liked the park. Clean, well maintained. Showers were clean, even with a full campground on Labor Day weekend. They have a concession stand with boat rentals for $5 a half hour or $10 an hour. A roller skating rink open Friday and Saturday nights. $4 admission. A swimming beach and a 9 hole disc golf course. A couple of short hiking trails and a boat launch (electric motors only). Definitely a family friendly place. Close to two golf courses and a casino. An hour or so from Ames or Des Moines.


Praire Flower Campground – Saylorville Lake – Polk City, Iowa 

  • RATING – 4.9 OF 5
  • WIFI – No
  • ATT – Yes, 4 Bars – 5 bars with Weboost
  • VERIZON – Yes, 4 Bars – 5 bars with Weboost
  • OTA TV – Yes, Des Moines Stations
  • SERVICES – 15/30/50 AMPS, Water in the camp ground loops but you need long hoses. Sewage dump on site, dumpsters on site
  • COST  – $22 nightly $11 with a Senior Pass
  • DISCOUNTS – Senior Pass
  • REVIEW – Hands down the very best Corp of Engineers Park that we’ve been to. Things are maintained expertly, grass is mowed, power pedestals are maintained and work without negative grounds or opens.  The volunteers and work campers are excellent and care about what they do. I had occasion to talk with one of the rangers and she told me that the entire staff takes great pride in the park. It shows!  The only reason I didn’t give it a rating of 5/5 is there is no sewage or water on the sites. I’t a minor inconvenience compared to how nice the park is. Sites are spaced widely. 
  • Our site almost provided a full view of the lake but there were trees blocking the full view. Went for a drive to see the rest of the campground and the C loop seems to have the best views. Very clean. Huge sites. Playground, shower house, bike trail and swimming beach close by.
  • Close to Ankeny and Des Moines.  The only concern is one dump station for all the campsites. Sunday could be slow going. 
  • The other half of the campground has sites where the RVs parallel park around a loop with a central area that has a picnic shelter in the middle. Great for big groups


Yellow Smoke Park County Park – Denison Iowa

  • RATING – 3.0 out of five (due to park layout)
  • WIFI – No
  • ATT – Yes, 4 Bars – 5 bars with Weboost
  • VERIZON – Yes, 4 Bars – 5 bars with Weboost
  • OTA TV – Yes, 2 stations
  • SERVICES – 15/30/50 AMPS, and water only. Dump in another camping loop
  • COST  – $20 nightly
  • DISCOUNTS – None
  • REVIEW – Back in sites near the lake, pull through sites on the hill above the lake. Roads are narrow, the layout of the pull through sites were really strange. Water and electric is provided but you really have to plan to be able to use them on your site. The hookups are randomly placed and make no sense as to where they are located. If you choose to go to the pull through sites do yourself a favor and walk up the hill first and inspect them. Coaches or Fivers over 40′ will have difficulty getting turned around to exit once up there. We had to unhook our toad and dolly to make the turn around. Really baffling as to why it laid out so badly because there is plenty of room to have done it correctly. Shower/toilet building is amazingly clean, dumpster on site.

Cherry Glen C.O.E Park – Saylorville Lake – Ankeny, Iowa

  • RATING – 4.5 of 5
  • WIFI – No
  • ATT – Yes, 4 Bars – 5 bars with Weboost
  • VERIZON – Yes, 4 Bars – 5 bars with Weboost
  • OTA TV – Yes, 12 stations
  • COORDINATES – 41.7313889 -93.6800000
  • SERVICES – 15/30/50 AMPS, and water only. Dump in another camping loop
  • COST  – $22 nightly
  • DISCOUNTS – $11 nightly with American the Beautiful pass
  • REVIEW – Great Campground, heavily wooded, well kept, most sites are very level and concrete. Water available in camping loops, grocery and all manner of services available in nearby Ankeny, Iowa. Dump station is accessible from both sides. Potable and non-potable water available at the dump site, water spigots are placed through out the camping loops but you will need 100′ or more of hose.