Located just east of Tampa off I-4, Rally Park is an odd place, but one we would return to in a heartbeat. Our van looked like a miniature rig compared to some of the big rigs in this place, which is essentially a huge parking lot with about ten foot green grass borders. They have all back-ins, but any size rig can do it if this newbie guy (about my age) who must have been driving for the first time could do it with his 40-footer
The sites are big and level! You get good cable, a free morning paper, and lunch and breakfast on the house. The buffet is a good three quarters of a mile across the complex, so it’s better to drive. Also, watch out for the oddball longhaulers hanging around the Flying J and be careful walking to the Flying J because of the dangerous traffic! Rally Park has a nice pool, and a great rally pavilion! An added bonus was walking around and looking at the dozens of Class A’s, Cs and some trailers (no vans while we were there) without having any sales people “offer assistance.” We’d go back and buy there because of that freedom.
I took one of the dogs and ventured offsite to run in the morning… a mistake! I ran north on the three digit florida highway (Rally Park is about a tenth of a mile north of I-4…very easy-on/easy-off). There’s a grass-covered (but nonetheless) municipal dump (you cannot smell it at all) across the street which, unbelievably was the place I would have preferred to run in with my good dog.
Just north of the campground (and you’ll never know this if you stay on the campground) is an industrial complex, and after that noisy aesthetic nightmare you find pit bull-guarded singlewides that only someone looking for a hit of meth would venture into. I turned right around, went back to Rally Park, and ran around the campground… getting in a 45 minute workout in a much more pleasant place. The other campers are friendly transients like us and had a variety of nice dogs for my fool to sniff and stare at. And this place is CHEAP! Like 12 bucks cheap!
We went again this year and traded up our van to something nicer. We won\’t plug sales here–although it was a smooth and enjoyable experience–but instead will describe the camping experience, which, over three nights, we fully engaged. Those back-in sites are almost universally level, there\’s a good cable selection and a free paper. I opened up my morning run to include the sales lot at Lazy Days and was able to enjoy a good forty or fifty minute run with one dog. The pool and laundry facilities are very clean. The price went up from last year (although we were reimbursed when we purchased our new unit) to about 25 bucks a night. The free breakfast and lunch is served cafeteria-style at Lazy Days–good if you like the lack of a bill at the end, but pretty much what you expect–a hamburger and fries for lunch. It\’s also a very safe place, with security there all the time and no problems or hassles at all, which is great given the traffic and number of sites and almost-urban location. (it\’s just minutes from Tampa.) There\’s a Hard Rock Casino just down Rte 4 toward Tampa that\’s worth visiting. Don\’t eat at the Flying J cafeteria–put your politics aside and go to the homophobic Cracker Barrel. We enjoy looking at RVs, so Rally Park and the adjoining Lazy Days (not to mention the on-site Camping world) make for almost endless diversions–we walked into a hundred RVs, looking at layouts, and when we weren\’t with our friendly salesguy (Al Haynes), nobody else badgered us or anything. Some other reveiwers on other sites have complained about the sales people bothering them, but we just never saw that happening and we were there for a long time. Another thing that\’s nice about here is if you buy a lower-end priced unit you go through the same process as the million dollar buyers–it\’s busy and smoothly operated and that makes staying there pleasant, but it\’s also quiet enough, especially at night.