Missouri's National Ozark Scenic Riverwayss - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2015, 09:50 AM   #1
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Missouri's National Ozark Scenic Riverwayss

Of course I am biased being a native, but I like to plug Missouri's greatest natural treasures once a year on here with summer winding down and RV travellers starting to make plans to move from summer locations to fall and winter locations that may take you thru Missouri.
Located is southern Missouri Ozark Mountains are the Current River, Jacks Fork River, and the Eleven Point River. All are federally owned and protected National Scenic Riverways that offer multiple developed campgrounds and boondocking opportunities. Crystal clear streams with large sections that are totally undeveloped with no cabins or houses along the streams. Streams are spring fed with some of the largest, most beautiful springs in the country. Small towns along the rivers are Van Buren, Emminence, Alton, and Doniphan where you will find developed campgrounds with electric and water near all the towns, and very cheap rates, though electric and water are usually shut off by Nov. For those preferring to boondock, there are multiple camping areas w/out electric and water either for a nominal fee or free.
The fall is a wonderful time of year in Missouri. The rivers are situated in the Mark Twain National Forest with the trees turning color, and mild fall daytime temperatures, and cool but not cold nights. It's the time of year when we turn off the AC, and open the windows at home. Fall temperatures usually last until about Thanksgiving. You will find friendly people who will make you feel welcome and love to talk. You can grab a map of the rivers and camping is allowed at most of the river accesses.
If you find yourself passing thru the Show Me State in the next few months, do yourself a favor and spend a few days or weeks along one of our rivers. Once school starts and the summer floating season is over, the rivers become desolate of people. For the adventureous types, there are sections of the rivers that are easy one day floats (with great fishing) on slow meandering streams thru the forests and river bluffs that are perfect for even the novice canoeists. Each little town will have canoe rental places and very accommodating people to help advise you on a trip to suit your needs and abilities.
Anyone interested in more specifics, don't hesitate to ask. Just my small way of saying thanks for all the advice I have gotten on this forum.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:04 AM   #2
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Very interesting, thanks for taking the time to share this.
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:14 AM   #3
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Now that sounds like something we'd really enjoy. Thanks for posting and we'll be calling on you.

Al & Cindy
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Old 08-06-2015, 05:35 PM   #4
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Glad to pass along any info. Just let me know what you are looking for from developed with water/electric/showers/restrooms, to simple campground with outhouse only, to primitive camping. If you want to research, the 3 developed campgrounds are Big Spring CG and Round Spring CG on the Current River, and Alley Springs CG on the Jacks Fork River. After Labor Day, you'll be able to drive in any time and find a site right on the river with your own private gravel bar. Beautiful area and the size of the springs will amaze you. If you want something off the beaten path, I have other suggestions. The little towns of Van Buren and Eminence, both around 1,000 population, have private campgrounds on the river if you prefer to be close grocery store and restaurants. You will quickly find that people live life at a slower pace - no hurries, no worries.

I see you are from North Carolina and have a Scamp. I am researching for my retirement fiberglass RV. The Lil Snoozy made in St. Matthews, SC has caught my eye - I'm 6'5" and the Snoozy is one of the few brands that have enough interior height. I have never seen one in person. Have you and do you have any impressions on the Lil' Snoozy?
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:22 PM   #5
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Years ago we spent a few days camping atroaring River near Cassville MO. It was a real nice setup with good camping. I'd like to get back down in that country and your inviting information gives impetus. Thanks for the great report.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:50 PM   #6
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Hey Dave, I see you have an Escape 19'. I have been researching for over a year now, and I've gone from leaning towards an Egg Camper, to Lil' Snoozy, and then figuring that for a couple thousand dollars more, I could upgrade to now thinking about an Escape 19' or an Oliver 19'. The Egg Camper is the only one I have ever seen in person as I visited the plant last summer. Do you mind sharing the good and the bad (if any) about the Escape 19'?
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:04 PM   #7
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Mark, sorry but I'm of no help on the Lil' Snoozy. My only knowledge of them is what I've read on these boards and their website. I'm 6'4" and on the wrong side of 250#'s so can relate to your concerns over the height. Actually, it hasn't been that bad even with our 16' Scamp std (five years in that before the current D19).

Other than sleeping, we spend very little time inside. If we'll be at the same site for two or more days, we set up the Paha Que screen room which is a great shelter in any kind of weather other than winds in excess of 20 knots.

If you get down this way to check out the Lil' Snoozy, drop us a line and I'll be glad to share some of our favorite camping spots.

al
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:29 PM   #8
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We have had the Escape for about 2 years. We bought it used from a couple in Arizona and drove down to pick it up. We like it a lot and have towed about 20,000 miles with it behind the Highlander. It's been basically trouble free. We are not small people so the queen bed is nice and the ability to pass in the trailer is good too. We enjoy attending fiberglass trailer rallies and will be at the Niagara Wine Escape and the Mississippi River Rally yet this fall. If you're ever in Eastern Iowa give us a call.
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:19 AM   #9
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Just replying to bump original post back to top of page. Fall is beautiful in Missouri Ozarks and especially beautiful on southerm Missouri streams. You will find campground vacated this time of year.
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:10 PM   #10
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Very interesting reading, Mark, and we will hopefully get down to that area. Have been to Mark Twain country at Hannibal more than once and the places you mention sound very inviting.

We can tell you whatever you want to know about Escapes but they cannot be ordered at the moment as the 2016's are sold out. You can always look for a used one. About all used ones are fairly new and would save a big wait time. We ordered our 21' in October and just picked up last month but now the wait is longer. They might get more space soon and then possibly catch up a little.
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Old 10-02-2015, 04:28 PM   #11
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Mark, what's the Rea like in early May? Is kayaking something you'd do then?

Thanks for the descriptions. Sounds lovely!

-- Anne
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Old 10-02-2015, 06:21 PM   #12
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Mark we just travelled through the Ozarks with the HC1 on our cross country trip . Took what I thought would be a shortcut from Tulsa to Branson (boy was I wrong ) but it was a beautiful drive through the Mark Twain Forrest and worth the extra drive.
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:58 PM   #13
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Anne, I assume you had a typo and was asking about the area in May. May is usually a beautiful time in Missouri with spring showers ending, foilage blooming, and before the summer heat and humidity. If you are a kayaker, you may want to research the Jacks Fork River. The upper 25 miles of the Jacks Fork River runs thru a canyon and enjoyed by kayakers when the water levels are ideal. Prone to flooding due to the canyons, the JF is not a big river. USGA provides website with water levels. 100-300 cfs is considered ideal for floating, 500 cfs is considered floodstage. Personally, I have made plans the past 2 years to float in early June in my canoe as I am a fisherman, (the JF is known as an excellent smallmouth fishing stream), but have had to cancel due to drought 2 years ago, and due to high water last year. So it's all about timing on the JF. The Missouri Department of Conservation website also provides mile by mile descriptions of most Missouri streams that will provide help with accesses and campgrounds. Camping on gravel bars is permitted and free. With your TT, plenty of private and Forest Service campgrounds from primitive to full service. I highly recommend Alley Springs CG, site of a restored old time grain mill. I've linked a May 2013 kayak trip from Youtube to give you an idea of the river. I am guessing the water level is about normal for May in the optimal 100-300 cfs range.

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Old 10-04-2015, 10:08 PM   #14
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Although I do not kayak, Missouri has some great creeks and rivers, especially in the Ozarks where I live. I am currently camp ground hosting at Montauk State Park located between Licking and Salem, Mo.. This park is one of 4 st. trout fishing parks. Because of a fishing tourney this week-end we were booked solid for all camp sites. It looks like Columbus week-end is almost going to be booked solid. There are several 1st come sites but these are usually taken thursday afternoon or early friday morn. One can usually find a site Sun. afternoon on. Our trout season closes at sunset on Oct. 31 for catch and keep; reopens 2 weeks later for catch and release until march 1st when the cycle begins again.

Missouri Mark, come on down this month......we are the Casita in host 3 site for October. I'll either be on the river fishing or doing my rounds in the golf cart. Anyone else is welcome. The entrance booth keeps me informed when a "moldable towable" arrives...LOL.
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:28 AM   #15
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I've been to Montauk a few times. Frankly, trout parks are not my thing. For me, fishing is something done in solitude. But I am curious about being a campground host when I retire. How does one go about it? Do you have any say so on where you are hosting? I assume you have free electric and water. Do you get a per diem as well? Are you on call 24/7 or do you have free time to perhaps get away for a day or two here and there? Definitely something I would consider at a state park in Missouri.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:40 PM   #16
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Mark, the St. Park website has information regarding volunteer opportunities. Application process starts in November, selections made in January. Based on my experience camping in 15 parks and visiting several historic sites, volunteer duties are based on the needs of individual parks. A lot of CG hosts live close to the area, a few come from out of state (very few), most return to the same park, year after year, especially if they enjoy a particular park. At "our" park, we pull tags, put up 2 day vacancy signs on reserved sites (if a vacancy for 2 days), work in the fee booth 2-3 hrs. per day 2 days, check bathrooms for t-paper on final swing thru CG prior to darkness, tidy up camp sites, answer questions, refer guests to fee booth/office for questions beyond our pay grade. We do not clean bathrooms, sell fire wood, close gates, act as emergency personnel or law enforcement. We basically show a presence to our guests. Benefits include free camping for a month with full hook-ups, a voucher for 1 nite free camping in any Mo. state park, 4 days on with 2 days off, on call in case of an emergency where our presence is needed ( evacuation in case of flooding), a free clean out the freezer day pot-luck sponsored by the lodge open to staff/volunteers, and a $38 check for our trip of 80 miles RT between our home and the park.
Each park has individual managers and assistants so it pays to visit several parks to find one you would be comfortable dealing with, talk with the hosts, observe their responsibilities along with the paid staff....some parks have difficulties finding hosts or getting repeats. The important characteristics of a host is liking people, guests, other volunteers, and all park staff. On days off one of us stays at CG while one of us goes home to get mail, check on dogs, wash clothes, the mundane stuff....the other goes shopping in ajoining towns. Solo's are accepted as hosts but it is twice the "work". Imogene.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:31 PM   #17
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Two years ago, on our way to visit our son at Mizzou, we were able to visit Elephant Rocks and Johnson's Shut-Ins state parks. Very scenic and well worth the time.
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