- Published: Saturday, 02 December 2006 13:00
In April of 2006, we spent a few days at Fort Bliss RV Park, TX. Besides some heavy traffic going through El Paso, we didn't have any problems finding the RV Park. However, all directions had previously stated to use exit 5 from US-54. Note: It is now exit 25. I know all maps and atlas' show it being exit 5, it is definitely marked exit 25 on the highway signs. The RV park is located off base, so there's no problems with gate security or obstacle courses. If you follow the directions on the Ft. Bliss information page on this web site, you'll go directly to the RV park. When you arrive, turn left inside the park gate and there are long diagonal parking spaces to use while you check-in. If the office is closed, the camp host is directly past the office.
We paid by credit (debit) card without issues. Since this RV park doesn't accept reservations, we planned to arrive early. The usual routine is many guests pull out each morning, then new guests start arriving. The park seemed to get full each day by 3:00pm. When we arrived at 1:00pm, there were 6 or so sites available. They have a 14 day stay limit, which helps keeping the rotation moving. There is no overflow, so if the park is full, you'll need to find another location to stay for the night.
Our first impression of the sites was WOW! All of the 73 sites are about 70' long pull-through sites on level concrete pads, spaced far apart. There are trees and other landscaping at the end of each site. They are all complete with Water, 20A,30A, and 50A Electric, and Sewer. Each site also has a metal (plastic coated) picnic table and BBQ stand on a concrete patio. Between sites is 1" gravel with bushes and trees. To say the least, these are very nice RV sites. During our 3 day stay, they got full every night.
The RV Park is right along highway US-54, which is a 6+ lane freeway. There was no getting away from the highway noise, even in the sites furthest from the road. Directly across from the RV Park entrance gate is a shopette and Class VI store. The main facilities on Fort Bliss are about 2 miles away. There, you'll find a large Exchange and Commissary, the gas station, library, post office, museums, and everything else you would find on a large base.
Fort Bliss is HUGE! Their primary mission is Air Defense training. This is the home of the Patriot missile. Fort Bliss also has a long history, starting in the mid 1800's as an Army post for settler protection during the Indian wars. The base is actually the sixth location of Fort Bliss, constructed in 1893. We visited each of the two museums on base. The Air Defense museum has been moved into new facilities (looks like the old Exchange) and is still slowly being expanded. They've done a good job of showing the history of Air Defense and have numerous exhibits and weapons on display, both inside and outside. We also toured the old Fort Bliss museum. It's supposed to be a representation of life at the early Fort Bliss. It's okay, but we weren't impressed. It was a series of bad displays of various life settings in the early 1800's. Nothing to do directly with the history of Fort Bliss. Outside of the Air Defense museum, which is located next to the Commissary, is a box with self-guided driving tours of the fort. This was a pretty good driving tour that took you around the older buildings of Fort Bliss. Explanations of when the buildings were built, their original use, and their current use was covered.
The famcamp has their own laundry facilities, which were clean and modern. There's 5 washing machines available at $1 each, and 5 dryers for 75 cents for 45 minutes. Directly next to the laundry is a very nice recreation room. Here, you'll find free WiFi and dial-up connections. There's a TV, comfortable couches and some games. But we didn't expect to see a set of exercise equipment. There were about 6 pieces of treadmills, exercise bikes, and other similiar equipment. There's also a large, fully equipped kitchen for guests use. I could see some pretty good party's, social hours, or get-together's in this room.
Ft. Bliss is right in El Paso, which is full of history and culture. Almost anything can be found in El Paso. Juarez, Mexico is just a mile down the road. Although not on this trip, we've enjoyed trips into Juarez. To just visit and shop, there's "The Trolley", which is a commercial service that takes you across the border and drives around Juarez, making stops at various locations. You can get on and off as you please.
We rated this campground with 4 stars. In our opinion, the poor location of the RV park is it's largest downfall. Fort Bliss covers many thousands of acres. We understand the old park was further into/on base. We wonder why the new RV Park wasn't built further away from the busy highway. Otherwise, this is a very modern and clean RV Park that we highly recommend. We see the policy of not accepting reservations as a good thing, as it allows many travelers to stop and enjoy this great park.