Tucson RV Park Reviews – Desert, Casino, or Resort?

Desert Trails RV Park

We stayed at the 40+ Desert Trails RV Park, west of Tucson, during Thanksgiving week 2019. The weather was typically between 60 and 72 for highs, with overnight lows into the low 40s. We had a bit of rain with a flash flood watch, which they say is abnormal for that time of year. The park itself didn’t seem susceptible to major flooding as we only had a few puddles after a several hours of hard rain. The skies were otherwise typically clear or just partly cloudy.

Space C22 about an average width and long enough to fit our 40 motorhome and short bed truck. The park has an overall sense of feeling a bit crowded even though the RVs aren’t on top of each other. We did have a problem on a high wind night with the thorns on a tree scratching our RV during the bigger gusts, but we left the next day; so we didn’t do anything about it. The neighbors were friendly, with many there for the season. In fact, the entire park seemed to be mostly long-term or seasonal people with very few short-term spaces.

Space C22

Our cell service (AT&T and Verizon) was excellent since there was a cell tower nearby and the utilities all seemed good – decent water pressure, etc.

The staff were friendly and accommodating. They accept mail and packages, and plan tons of activities including tai chi, yoga, pottery, woodworking, photography, bocce ball, good trucks, and even live bands twice a week. Their calendar was packed full!

View from space C22. Desert trails lead to Tucson Mountain Park.

The pool is small, but heated year-round. There are two rec halls, a sewing/craft room, a game room, and more that we didn’t have time to investigate. Multiple trails lead to Tucson Mountain Park with one trailhead about 40 feet from our site. The RV park itself isn’t amazing to walk through unless you want to check out all the RVs or socialize. There is, though, an old water slide that you can walk to the top of and get a nice view of the surrounding area.

View from the old water slide

Desert Trails is west of Tucson, near Tucson Estates and the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum. There’s not a lot out there, so expect at least a 20-minute drive for groceries and errands. Coyote Pause makes a great breakfast and is only about ten minutes away.

If you’re looking for a lot of easy to moderate indoor and outdoor activities, Desert Trails is a good place to stay.

Casino Del Sol

The Casino Del Sol RV Park, southwest of downtown Tucson, just launched in August 2019 and they still had many things to complete while we were there in December 2019. The weather was about the same as at Desert Trails – sunny and mildly warm to cloudy and rainy to some colder overnights. The only thing shielding the park from the stronger winds was the casino buildings themselves, but they’re far enough away that they didn’t help a whole lot. Otherwise, you’re out in the open; but the pro is that there are no trees to worry about falling branches or scratched paint.

We were parked in space B53, which is closer to the casino than the check-in (which is the gas station) and just a few spaces down from the hot tub, bathrooms, and laundry. The space was a good width and long enough for our 40-foot motorhome and truck (parked sideways.) The landscaping is new, so small and sparse. The space had no landscaping with an asphalt pad and rock ‘patio’ with no table or chairs.

The neighbors who were out and about mostly seemed nice and friendly, though there were a couple of people acting a little ‘off’ that we kept our eyes on. Those people only stayed one night, so it wasn’t a big deal. Even with security driving around once an hour, we still maintained awareness. Construction crews were still working on various projects, including putting in the perimeter fence; so the gates were left open during the day and anyone could drive between the fence posts at any time. Once they have the fence built, I’m sure it’ll feel more secure.

GeoAstro RV pulled out their telescope for people to do some stargazing.

The cell service was good, though not nearly as excellent as at Desert Trails. We did have a little buffering a couple of times during early evening. Water pressure seemed great the entire time we were there, and we had no problems with the electric or sewer.

The staff were nice, though largely untrained. Check-in is a little odd in that you go to the gas station’s mini-mart where it seems only one or two people know how to handle the reservations system and the policies are unknown or miscommunicated between the hotel and the gas station personnel. Our only issue was being undercharged (he’d left off a zero), while friends of ours had larger issues with miscommunication and extra charges. As of this writing, their issues are being worked out with the casino and I’m hopeful that future customers will have better interactions. I will say that security and the people in charge of the property were great and very responsive to questions and requests (such as the hot tub being too cold or hot.)

You can have packages delivered using their address. Be sure to include your space number as your package will go to their warehouse, then be delivered to your RV from there. It took anywhere between two and five extra days for them to deliver our packages after being received in their warehouse, so keep that in mind when placing orders.

The amenities at the park itself include only the showers, laundry, and hot tub. You could also count the gas station’s mini-mart, which is quite large. Of course, the best amenity is the casino with multiple restaurants ranging from cafés and pizza to fine dining, a few bars/lounges, and a spa offering dozens of bodywork services. Unfortunately, the RV park customers are not allowed to use the pool. The casino has concerts regularly in the main building and in the amphitheater during the warmer months.

The amenities at the park itself include only the showers, laundry, and hot tub. You could also count the gas station’s mini-mart, which is quite large. Of course, the best amenity is the casino with multiple restaurants ranging from cafés and pizza to fine dining, a few bars/lounges, and a spa offering dozens of bodywork services. Unfortunately, the RV park customers are not allowed to use the pool. The casino has concerts regularly in the main building and in the amphitheater during the warmer months.

Casino Del Sol is a little closer to groceries (about ten minutes), but farther from the north side of Tucson where most of the nicer restaurants, stores, and activities are located (20 to 30 minutes or more.)

Overall, we had a pleasant stay at Casino Del Sol’s RV Park with restaurants and amenities within a short walking distance as well as groceries and Tucson Mountain Park a short drive away.

Tucson KOA

We stayed at the Tucson KOA, in southeast Tucson, over New Year’s week 2019. The weather was about the same, though a little cooler than earlier in December. The park is secure, with two gates and a fence all around. If you’re looking for a resort, this is definitely the place to be!

We were in a standard space (#1324) with a cement patio and bistro style table and chairs – and a lemon tree abundant with fruit. The space itself was just above your average width and was long enough to park our 40-foot motorhome and truck (lengthwise.) The neighbors were friendly or just kept to themselves, and the park was quiet even on New Year’s Eve – likely because they held a party with a DJ so all the partiers were corralled into one location. We had full hook-ups with only occasional reduced water pressure and good cell service (even with a packed park.)

The staff were pleasant and efficient, which is usually what we find at KOAs. They do accept mail and packages, and schedule a large variety of daily activities including Zumba, Qi Gong, group bicycling, RC racing (yes, they have a track), water aerobics, bingo and poker, pickleball training, and a number of arts and crafts. They also have an on-site barbecue restaurant (BBQ Rush) that has amazingly tender meat and a full bar. BBQ Rush will even deliver food and drinks (and ice cream) to your RV. They have two pools and hot tubs, both of which are heated and available year ‘round.

Walking around on the property is an exercise in RV-admiring and socializing. I preferred to get my exercise in the pool or by exploring outside of the park. Groceries, pharmacies, and other stores are within a 5 to 10-minute drive, and you have easy access to northern Tucson where the nicer restaurants and points of interest are located. When you’re in the area, try Sunny Daze for a fantastic breakfast and Pastiche for an amazing dinner. We had Christmas dinner at Pastiche and it was a wonderful experience.

Overall, we enjoyed our short stay at the Tucson KOA. It’s spendy, as is typical for the brand; but it was nice to relax into that resort feeling for a few days.

So…Desert, Casino, or Resort? Where Would We Stay Again?

Each of these parks has their pros and cons. For us, where we’d stay would largely depend on our mood and how long we plan to be in the area.

The casino was made better because we had friends camping next to us the whole time, but we’re not gamblers and the restaurants are too tempting for our keto lifestyle. The park itself offers nothing other than the hot tub. If I needed an inexpensive place to stay, or had people coming to visit who’d need a hotel; I’d think about the casino again.

If we wanted to do a lot of socializing and group activities, and would be there for more than one or two weeks; I’d stay at Desert Trails.

If it was to be a shorter stay – less than two weeks – I’d stay at the KOA.

If money were no object regardless of length of stay? Definitely the KOA. Who can resist a clean pool and hot tub with fresh lemons or grapefruit right outside your door?

2 thoughts on “Tucson RV Park Reviews – Desert, Casino, or Resort?

  1. Yes, but are you still having fun? Will you go home, one day, or is this now and forever “home”? Do you miss mowing the lawn? Planting a vegetable garden? Talking to the letter carrier?
    Old Uncle Allen

    1. Hi Uncle Allen! Yes, we’re having fun! I don’t know that we’ll do this forever, but we still want to be doing it and will stop when we can’t or don’t want to anymore. We absolutely do not miss mowing the lawn. I do miss having a vegetable garden and fresh herbs. I could try the herbs in pots, but Coyote would eat them down to nubs. We were always working when the letter carrier came, so we never had the chance to talk with them. 😉 Love you!

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