Once again it was another early day for us since we had another 6 hours of driving to our next destination in Ashland, VA, a little north of Richmond. Leaving Twin Grove campground we turned right onto Route 443 heading towards Route 72 which would eventually intersect with I-81. It was a pretty ride, particularly in an area where an early morning fog had settled over the road. And then again after we turned onto Route 72 with the sun coming up over the mountains.
As we drove along, I called a campground located a short distance from I-95, Americamps in Ashland, VA which is owned by the same people who own Twin Grove Campground. Ashland is about 280 miles from Pine Grove. Due to the holiday weekend, the size of our rig and the fact that we wanted a pull through, we decided that we should check to see if we needed to make a reservation. We did.
Our plan was to continue south on I-81 and then head east on I-66 toward DC but to bypass the DC area congestion by taking SR17 over to I-95. We would pick up I-95 north of Richmond, VA but well south of DC.
Since we didn’t have any breakfast before our departure, we stopped at the Route 11 Diner in Carlisle, PA – breakfast was okay, nothing special. At least it was easy on/off and had a good sized parking lot.
Most of the roadways were good to excellent and relatively scenic (much more scenic than 95) although there was one fairly long stretch where the highway was in need of resurfacing. SR17 is divided highway with a few traffic signals but otherwise a pleasant drive. There was no traffic to speak of anywhere until we hit I-95, but even then it was minimal. I think that day we passed through four states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. Normally we only like to drive about three to four hours but on this day (Sunday, the 10th), we were on the road from early morning until late afternoon so it was a very long day.
After several other stops to stretch our legs, we took exit #89 off I-95 and finally arrived at Americamps. When we checked in the office, we were greeted by very friendly staff who assigned us to site E-13 which was a pull thru. If we had traveled our usual I-95 south from Rhode Island route, our 2nd day stop most likely would have been at the Carolina Crossroads Campground in Roanoke Rapids, NC. But from from Twin Grove campground this would have meant another one and a half or two hours of driving and would have made for too long of a day.
When we awoke that morning at Pine Grove campground, we were greeted with temps in the 30’s! As we drove along, we watched the temp slowly creep up. By the time we got to VA, the temp was in the high 60’s – woohoo! Oops, apologies to our friends and family back in New England suffering in the cold!
For amenities Americamps is big rig friendly, has a store, a swimming pool, a fitness center, free wi-fi, free cable, horseshoes, etc. The base rate for a full hookup pull thru site is $45 plus taxes. They do offer Good Sam, AAA, and AARP discounts. Our total for the night including a Good Sam discount plus taxes was $45.89 which we felt was quite high.
Once we had checked in, we were commenting that although Americamps wasn’t all that bad, the price was too high for an overnight stay. Plus it did seem to be suffering from some minor neglect and there were a few “seasonals” that apparently are exempt from the campground rules and bring down the appearance.
Our site was adequately long enough to keep the toad hooked up but it was narrow with no privacy. We wished we had gone the extra miles to Crossroads as it is at least as good if not a bit nicer – and much less costly – for an overnight stop. Americamps is definitely easy on/easy off since it literally abuts I-95 but there is a downside to that – there is a lot of traffic noise at some of the sites. We were not bothered by the noise however being a good distance away coupled with the good insulation in our Entegra.
Strong 4G Verizon here, no problem with Dish Network Eastern Arc reception (61.5/72) and a full complement of locals was available OTA (Over The Air). AC, sewer and water connections were all in good shape. The site required only minimal leveling. The interior roads were surfaced with crushed stone and each site had a small concrete pad, a picnic table and a fire ring.
Once everything was hooked up, we took a quick walk around the campground just to stretch our legs. It was another quiet night and an early bedtime for us.
More pictures from our day….