From a custom body shop in Portland, an entrepreneurial couple take to the Oregon Coast
In 2001, Frances and Norman Hartwell made the decision to leave big city life behind and move to the Oregon Coast. The Hartwells were experienced recreational vehicle campers, so when their realtor showed the couple a listing for a Tillamook RV park, they sold their Portland auto body shop and pocketed the keys to their new business.
“At the time, my husband and I did not have a lot of faith in the stock market,” said Frances Hartwell. “But since we always had had a great time taking the family on the road in our RV, it seemed as though the park could be a good fit for us—something we could take a lot of pride in running.”
The Hartwells have successfully owned and operated Tillamook Bay City RV Park for the last 11 years. The park accommodates all sizes of recreational vehicles and campers, and features extra wide diagonal spaces with individual lawns and picnic tables.
Along with standard RV full hook-up amenities, the park offers a coin-operated laundry, showers, and a community fire pit where families can gather to roast marshmallows or tell stories. The park also sells ice and RV supplies such as extra wires or coaxial cables. A convenience store is located a half mile away in case travelers run out of groceries or other sundries.
Camping for cyclists, hikers, and motorists
In addition to space for RVs and campers, bicyclists and hikers are welcome to take advantage of the well-tended grounds as well.
“We have four tent sites near a treed area,” said Hartwell. “And we’re actually right on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. The trail starts in Astoria and ends in Coburg, so if a cyclist has the map route on their phone app, we’re a great place to stop overnight.”
A good night’s sleep
Convenience and location are not the only park benefits, Hartwell said. She wants prospective guests to know how quiet, clean and comfortable the property is, and how she and her husband strive for a peaceful ambience.
“Although we’re located close to Highway 101, we’ve installed concrete sound barriers to minimize traffic noise. We’re not a big park, so people will enjoy the cozy feeling and personal attention that Norman and I can provide.
“Another big part of what we do is help our guests explore the surrounding region,” Hartwell explained. “There are so many things to see that it takes more than one day to do it justice. A little while back I handed out a Three Capes Scenic Route map to a couple who was only intending to spend one night. After they checked in and looked over the map, they came back to the office and said they were going to stay another night because there was so much to do.”
Hartwell said the following attractions (and more) are located within easy motoring distance from the park: Alderbrook Golf Course, Cape Meares Lighthouse, Tillamook Pioneer Museum, Tillamook Cheese Factory, Tillamook Air Museum, and a new interpretive nature walk (across the street from the park). Other activities include fishing, crabbing, clamming, hunting, and antiquing. A treasure trove of eateries is located nearby if park guests tire of picnic fare.
If you go
Tillamook Bay RV Park is open year round and RV enthusiasts are welcome to spend the winter months at the park. Hartwell noted the park is not only full of enthusiastic sportsmen during Chinook fishing season, but also fishing guides who know the secret spots where the fish bite.
There are 30 full hook-up RV and camper slots available and several campsites along the perimeter. Guests should not be concerned that the beautiful trees surrounding the park will interfere with satellite reception—there shouldn’t be any problems assured Hartwell. In addition, 30 and 50 amp service, level pull-throughs, and cable television complete the amenities.
You can reach the Hartwells at 503-377-2124 or make reservations toll free at 1-800-200-2075. Send email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The park address is 7805 Alderbrook Road, Tillamook, off Highway 101, near milepost 61.5. The park’s website address is www.tillamookbaycityrvpark.com.