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Eagle Ford brings life to the parks — RV parks, that is
Donald Airheart readies his barbecue pit at the Oak Hills RV Park near Floresville. RV parks and other accommodations are springing up across South Texas to cater to the needs of workers lured to the area by exploration in the Eagle Ford shale.
WCN CorrespondentJune 27, 2012 3,798 views 1 comment
It is impossible for anyone traveling through the Eagle Ford area of South Central Texas to miss the latest entrepreneurial trend across the area -- RV parks.
RV parks have sprung up throughout Wilson County and surrounding areas, with local residents eager to cash in on the demand for housing by petroleum workers and others lured to the area by the oil and natural gas exploration in the Eagle Ford shale.
Although some RV parks have garnered a negative reputation, others have proven comfortable places to stay for a while, and many of the workers inhabiting the parks have brought their families along for the ride.
Dean and Laurie Duckworth are renting a space in an RV park outside Poth. Originally from Louisiana, Dean and his brother, Ronald, have brought their spouses with them in their RVs to South Texas.
“We decided to purchase an RV recently, because we were just tired of motel rooms,” Dean said. “I was sick of having to pack and unpack my stuff all of the time, so I decided to go ahead and get one. It’s honestly a great investment, because there were some motels that were charging us $500 per week, which is just crazy. We are people, too, and we are trying to make a living like everyone else.”
Dean said his RV is just like living at home.
“This is great for us, because the kids are all grown,” he said. “Whenever we leave home, we have everything we need.”
“I love it,” Laurie said. “Having an RV and staying in one of these parks means we get to go out and see and do different things. We are not city folks, we’re country folks so we like it here. All of the people are friendly and kind. We’ve, of course, gone to San Antonio and done the River Walk thing, but we really like to go out and explore the countryside, to go down back roads and see the parts of small-town Texas that don’t always get to be experienced.”
Many RV parks only offer tenants basic necessities, such as power and water connections. But some, such as Oak Hills RV Park, have gone further to make the parks feel more like a residential area.
Donnie Airheart, a welder from Mason, said he loves staying in his RV at Oak Hills.
“This park is by far the nicest in South Texas,” Airheart said. “I have been staying in RV parks for the past three years and from Carrizo Springs to Gonzales, this one feels more like I am in a residential area.”
Oak Hills RV Park, located on C.R. 331 north of Floresville off U.S. 181, offers its tenants gated entry, picnic areas, and shade, courtesy of local trees.
“Owning my own RV is the best investment I have ever made,” Airheart said. “It’s a difficult thing to be on the road working all the time, but having your own RV really makes a difference. Being out on the road and meeting new people is great; this is my home away from home. Leaving family behind can be tough, but being able to have a semi-permanent place I can take with me really helps.”
“Living in the RV is really just like being at home,” Dean said. “I have got my wife and my pets with me; we are enjoying life.”
Wilson County is not unique in the appearance of RV parks.
Karnes and other surrounding counties also have seen many oilfield employees bringing a home with them.
Arnold Smith lives with his wife in an RV park in Kenedy.
“It’s been great to be able to have a place to lay your head that is yours,” Smith said. “Staying in hotels can be tiring, because you are always unpacking and you’re staying in someone else’s property. Since I have my own RV, I can bring my wife along and it’s just like home, but smaller. We love it here in South Texas.”
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June 28, 2012 5:53pm
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