Entry to American Sunset RV & Tent Resort

Entry to American Sunset RV & Tent Resort

A convenient, but tight RV park right in bustling Westport on the south-central WA coast.

Link to park here: American Sunset RV & Tent Resort, Westport, WA
Link to map location here: American Sunset RV & Tent Resort, Westport, WA

  1. Site quality = 2/5
    There are two separate camping areas in this park with very, very different feels:

    1. FHU RV Sites -> The biggest negative in this park is that the main RV sites (FHU) are all very tight. Each site is flat, back-in grassy area with 50 Amp/water/sewer/cable, picnic table and fire-pit. There are 2 main rows of sites each with double-deep layers of RVs combining to a total of 120 sites. There is a decent sprinkling of mature trees, but only very minimal separation and no real privacy. When the park is not full it feels like you’re camped in a nice, large grassy lawn. However when the park is full you’re stacked back-to-back and side-to-side with RVs creating a very cramped environment.
    2. Tent Sites -> These sites are fabulous and feel like you’re camped in a spacious & relaxing state park. The tent sites are located in a large forested area to the left of the RV sites. They are very spacious with lots of trees for privacy. No hookups, but excellent separation & plenty of picnic tables. Several of these sites (#1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 32, 33, 34) are open to RV camping. Only negative? Mosquitoes can be ferocious here in season.
  2. Facilities = 4/5
    Decent facilities here. There are 2 shower/toilet facilities located in the park. They are a tad dated, but large with separate bench area and pegs. Shower head on the older side, but good pressure & temp. Toilets are kept nicely clean.
  3. Amenities = 4/5
    Very decent set of amenities here. The park has clean laundromats (but pricey at $2/load), book-swap (quite substantial), club house, pool (very small, but clean), large playground, fish-cleaning station, propane & office with supplies. Large grassy lawn near entrance which is great for doggie. Biggest ding was the WiFi -> it was workable when park is empty, but became completely unusable as the park filled up.
  4. Location = 4/5
    Location is probably the biggest asset here. You are right in the mix of Westport, only ~1 mile from the marina & beach, ~2 miles from the lighthouse and easy access to everything else in town. Only negative? No real hiking/walking directly from the park (you can walk to town, but it’s along the main road and not particularly pleasant).
  5. Pet friendliness = 5/5
    Very dog-friendly spot. Not much space in camp, but LOTS of space around the park including a large (huge) grassy area near the front and “trails” throughout the forested tenting area. There is also a dedicated “pet walk” area along the front of the park. Beach is only a few miles away and completely paw-friendly. Free poop bags at the office.

Overall rating = 3.8

Summary: This was a tough park to rate fairly mostly because we ended up with really mixed feelings about it from staying here through the big July 4th holiday weekend. There are certainly plenty of positives -> The park has two great open-space areas (a large, grassy area in the front and a large forested area where the tenters are located -> both great areas for doggie), the owners/hosts are very friendly & accommodating, the amenities are nice and you’re in a great location to visit Westport and all the associated sightseeing in the area (literally just a few miles from anything you want to see). The biggest negative is that the FHU RV sites are really tight. They are all stacked back-to-back in two long rows on a grassy area with a sprinkling of trees. When the park is not full (e.g. when we first arrived) it feels like you’re parked in a large, grassy lawn and it’s quite pleasant. However when the park is full (e.g. over July 4th week-end) you are squashed back-to-back and side-to-side with RV’s and pretty much zero privacy. Way, way too tight for our liking. On the other hand the tenting sites are lovely and spacious with lots of privacy & separation. No hookups and quite a few mosquitoes (depending on season), but lots of space to relax. Having driven around the area, I would say this is the nicest park in Westport proper (see other camping recommendations below), but if you come during any of the big holiday week-ends be prepared to get tightly packed in. Were we to come again I would either make sure the park was not full or (more likely) I would chose to forgo hookups and camp in one of the forested tent sites -> cheaper and much more relaxing. Note/ DO stock up before you come to Westport ‘coz the nearest “good” grocery is over 20 miles away in Aberdeen, WA.

Extra Info: Very good Verizon signal (4 bars of LTE), and OK on-site WiFi (it worked decently when park was empty, but became unusable as the park filled up). During summer season sites cost $37/night ($222/week) for FHU, $21.5/day ($129/week) for tenting sites (no hookups, but a portion of these are open for RVs). Total 120 FHU sites and 34 tenting sites.  10% Good Sam’s discount. On-site laundromat and propane.

Extra Info – OTHER CAMPING/BOONDOCKING? American RV is the nicest RV park in Westport proper IMHO, but if you’re looking for alternatives here are two opposites:

  • Cheap Roadside Parking -> The Hungry Whale is just a few hundred feet from American RV and offers no-frills camping on a small grassy area near the main road. It’s a tad noisy and nothing (at all) to write home about, but the price can’t be beat -> $5/night or $25/week. Not exactly boondocking, but darn close!! If you only need a few nights this is a great alternative. Click HERE.
  • Relaxing State Park -> If you’re willing to be slightly out-of-town, Grayland Beach State Park is a gorgeous (just lovely) state park ~10 miles south of Westport. It’s hard to get reservations here (there was zero availability when I was booking July 4th over 6 months ago), but very worth it if you can get in. I drove down to see it and give it the full WheelingIt thumbs up!

 

View of our site (#75) early in the week. Lots of empty sites around us.

View of our site (#75) early in the week. Lots of empty sites around us.

Another view of our row from further back. As you can see we had lots of space early on in the week.

Another view of our row from further back. As you can see we had lots of space early on in the week.

Another view down the middle of the two RV rows. Again this was early in the week so lots of open space.

Another view from early in the week

Typical site-view. This is #77 in the front. Sites are stacked back-to-back so site #78 is right behind it.

Typical site-view. This is #77 in the front. Sites are stacked back-to-back so site #78 is right behind it.  You can just see the back of our RV to the right in #75 and another RV behind us in #76.

View of our site during July 4th week-end. We were really packed in here...

View of our site during July 4th week-end. We were really packed in here…

Another view down the row during July 4th. The park was completely full.

Another view down the row during July 4th. The park was completely full.

Picnic table and fire-pit at each site. You can see site behind this and another to the back right.

Picnic table and fire-pit at each site. You can see site behind this and another to the back right.

View into tenting area. This was during July 4th week-end. Cars on right are parked in site #1.

View into tenting area. This was during July 4th week-end. Cars on left are parked in site #1.

View of spacious & private tent site. This is #3 which is open to RVs.

View of spacious & private tent site. This is #3 which is open to RVs.

Another spacious tent site. This is #28 also open to RVs.

Another spacious tent site. This is #28 which is also open to RVs.

View of playground

View of playground

View from back of tenting area towards playground and RV sites. Lots of open space here.

View from back of tenting area towards playground and RV sites. Lots of open space here.

View of facilities (right) and fish cleaning station (left)

View of fish cleaning station (left) and facilities (right)

View towards park entrance showing club-house & propane (front) and office (back)

View towards park entrance showing club-house & propane (front) and office (back)

http://www.americansunsetrv.com/images/2005parkmap.jpg

Park map from American Sunset RV & Tent. Tent sites on left. FHU RV sites on right.

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18 Responses to RV Park Review – American Sunset RV & Tent Resort, Westport, WA

  1. John says:

    We have found only a few places along the Washington coast that were not peeling, old, and terribly dated. And the generally gloomy weather doesn’t improve one’s outlook, either.
    Sorry to be a downer, but in all honesty, we avoid the area and head for the Oregon beaches.

    • libertatemamo says:

      To be honest this was actually a pretty decent park, apart from the crowded week-end. But granted, it doesn’t compare (at all) to the state parks on the OR coast. If we’d stayed at Grayton Beach State Park we probably would have been very happy, but sadly we couldn’t get a spot there.

      Nina

  2. Mark says:

    Hi there – I’m researching the RV lifestyle and thinking about going full-time when I retire in a couple years. I’m also new to your newsletter and enjoy your writing so thanks for all the posts.

    Regarding this particular post I have to say I wonder why any sane person would stay in a park on any of the 3 summer holidays since it seems like everyone and their uncles would be out at the parks creating parking lots like the one you experienced in Westport. If it were me I think I’d find family or friends and arrange to park at their house for the holiday weekend rather than spend my time dealing with crowds of strangers. Lacking that I think I’d much prefer dry camping (Hungry Whale style?) or boondocking somewhere in the wild to minimize the RV parking lot effect. Just my thoughts as a non-RV’er thinking about the future…

    • libertatemamo says:

      Well all those are relevant suggestions, but it just depends on your situation & where you’re travelling. For example we have no friends or family here in WA so staying somewhere like that wasn’t a possibility for us. There is really no boondocking on the coast in WA -> no national forest in this area plus most towns don’t allow overnight parking so that wasn’t a possibility either (and frankly most of the easy/accessible boondocking areas get over-run on holiday’s too). And lastly, I didn’t know the Hungry Whale was a reliable option until we actually came here to check it out in person. So, rather than be left without any choices on a fully-booked week-end we booked ahead.

      During the holiday’s “winging it” with our size is just not practical & I don’t want to have to deal with the stress of calling around &/or driving long distances out of our way to try and find an empty spot. For this reason I always book the holiday week-ends (the only major dates I’m careful to book ahead). If we were smaller in size or travelling in less populated areas we might look at other options, but during the summer on the coast we make sure to book ahead.

      We’ve managed some decent holiday week-ends in the past, mostly at private parks in more remote locations, but this time around it didn’t work out.

      Nina

      • ROB says:

        I agree with Nina. We are also fulltimers with a 43ft RV. We love perfection, but with a big-rig, it’s hard to be perfect. And as Nina stated, one cannot simply drive around because of the cost of diesel and size of our rig. We never like planning our stops, but like Nina said, holiday weekends must be booked and they are almost always packed. We book 2 or 3 months ahead. One thing is for sure, technology with the Internet sure does help. I couldn’t imagine trying to plan travels 15 years ago.

        • libertatemamo says:

          Totally agree with all your points!

          Nina

          • Mark says:

            Hey Nina – given that all parks everywhere are packed on the summer holidays have you ever considered staying at a hotel for those days? Just imagining since I’m not yet into the road life, but a few days at a hotel with unlimited hot water, cable TV, bar & restaurant etc seems like it might be a nice change of pace from full-time RVing. What say you?

          • libertatemamo says:

            No, we’ve never considered it. With a dog and 2 cats moving into a hotel is not really comfortable. Plus, despite the crowds we’re more comfortable in our “home”. Worst case we draw down all the blinds and pretend we’re alone. I’ve known RV folks who do the occasional hotel stay and really like it, but it’s just not us.

            Nina

            P.S. Not all parks everywhere fill up during the holidays, but in summer many of the places we like to go (e.g. The coast) get very full. I suppose we could go spend the summer in the desert (where we would most certainly would be alone), but it wouldn’t be comfortable :) Sometimes RVing is a compromise, despite the freedom to go anywhere we want.

  3. steve says:

    Great review. After following your blog for a little over a year, I can understand your comments about the closeness of the RV sites in that park. I can picture in my mind many of your awesome pics when you guys were boon-docking the winter in Arizona. Lots of space in those pics.
    On another note. I was looking around your site and cannot find how to view posts prior to the few you have listed in the menu on the right side of your pages. How can I view a list of past posts?

    Thanks,
    Steve

    • libertatemamo says:

      About half-day down the right-hand side of my main blog page there is a drop-down box labelled “archives”. It has the full list of all our monthly posts since 2010. Just drop-down and select the month you’re interested in. If you want to see posts related to a specific topic or state you can also use the tab/menu selections at the top of the blog (underneath the Wheeling It title picture).

      Interestingly enough most folks probably wouldn’t be troubled by RV sites this close. For us, it’s a different story.

      NIna

  4. Kelli Hoel says:

    Hi Nina –
    We’ve stayed at American Sunset before although not during a holiday weekend and it wasn’t bad. Sorry to hear it was a bit tight. One time we stayed in the Coca-Cola cabin they have there, very cute if you can manage to sneak a peek. We were down at Cape Disappointment for the holiday weekend (missed you guys by 1 day!) and it was awesome. The camp host that was in the spot close to us (we were in 21) ended up leaving after the first night. Wasn’t his cup of tea with all the people. Didn’t take them long to find a replacement – another couple was there the next evening. Amazing that the campground was full but you’d go on the beach and there hardly seemed to be anyone there. Saw the fish n chips place in Raymond and now I wish we would have stopped there!!!
    Safe travels,
    Kelli

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sorry we missed you guys, but glad to hear you had a good time at Cape D. Surprising that the camphost left, but I guess everyone is different. I love the beach there…well, and the lighthouses of course :)

      Nina

  5. keepinontruckin says:

    Your photos of the congested period say it all!
    It’s interesting to see the different versions of the RV experience. Some people want all the amenities, but prefer their bedroom to be on wheels.
    We were at the barbershop recently, and mentioned that we had a week planned at Ft. Stevens in August for a recumbent bicycle retreat. The stylist had stayed at the Hammond KOA, and didn’t know that Ft. Stevens SP even existed. Seriously? Ft. Stevens can be at capacity, and it’s still super-nice.
    Looking forward to your Olympic Peninsula and San Juan islands posts. Hope you get an opportunity to visit other islands by ferry in addition to Orcas.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I do find it interesting how different people perceive the same place. That’s part of what makes campground ratings so difficult to do. I might find these sites way too tight, but someone else would look at them and think they were just fine. I prefer space to hookups, whereas others wouldn’t trade their hookups for anything. In the end it’s a very personal preference.

      We made it to our first forest service campground on the OP this afternoon and squeezed the beast in. No hookups, but lots of trees and lots of separation. Life is good again :)

      Nina

  6. Nina your response to Mark was spot on. We are currently in Mitchell, SD (kind of in the middle of nowhere), but we didn’t want to be searching for a CG over the holiday. During the week, there were very few rigs here. During the holiday weekend, packed.
    Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and make reservations during holidays.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yeah, the holidays are kind of a crapshoot. Even the nicest of parks can become mad houses over the holidays. Boondocking spots often get overrun too. In the end it’s only a few days and then things settle back to normal.

      Nina

  7. Doug says:

    The huge convention center-style sign out front almost shouts “we will pack you in like sardines”! I am glad the long weekends are over for a couple of months. Can’t wait til you get to Orcas Island. Hurry up! :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Patience, patience :) you’d like our current spot too…nice forest campground on the beach in Kalaloch. Took some squeezing to get in, but we are beyond happy.

      Nina

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