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Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park

Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park

Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park is located in Salem, Missouri,  in a rural forested area. The property is half a mile from Montauk State Park, a common destination for fishermen to catch trout. Montauk State Park is directly accessible to guests of the RV park via a trail connecting the two places. Visitors can also float down the river with gear rentals at the state park. Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park has 25 rentable RV sites, plus two cabin rentals integrated into the establishment's store. The property is owned by Marcus Gorman and his father, Rod, and they have owned the RV park since February 2022.


Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park is an 8-acre property with 25 RV sites with full hookups, including 20/30/50 amps, fire pits, and picnic tables. Each site is comprised of gravel and is in an open area surrounded by trees. Marcus, one of the park's owners, describes the RV sites as "more spread out than your average RV spot." Seven of these sites are pull-throughs. Additionally, two cabins are located inside the property's store, one upstairs and one on the ground floor. One of these cabins has two bedrooms and one bathroom, while the other has one bedroom and one bathroom. Both have fully equipped kitchens and dining tables and can sleep up to four people.

A small on-site store sells t-shirts, souvenirs, fishing tackle, firewood, and ice. It also serves as Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park's main office. In addition to the store and the office, the premises is home to a playground for children. The rest of the property, aside from the RV sites, is grass. A few trees are scattered throughout, but the acreage is mostly open.

According to Marcus, one of the properties owner, Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park is the closest campsite to Montauk State Park, as they are half a mile apart. A walking trail leading directly from the end of his property to the state park connects the two destinations, and that trail is highly trafficked, according to Marcus. He explains that his establishment's proximity to the state park is what sets Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park from other places. It is also the nearest site with full RV hookups. Marcus notes that Montauk State Park is a popular destination for people to fish for trout while in-season. A fish cleaning station is available at the state park for anyone who catches trout. Concerning alternative dining options, Marcus recommends JB Malones in Salem, which serves wings, sandwiches, pasta, and desserts. Big Rock Candy Mountain is another restaurant he suggests as well as the Montauk State Park lodge.


Marcus, one of Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park's owners, wants guests to feel like they are at their "home away from home" while they stay at his property. He also wants them to feel welcomed and safe, with the additional goal of providing a place where "[visitors] can enjoy themselves." Marcus explains that he tries to build relationships with everyone who stays at his place and believes that aspect of his work has led to much of the park's success. The property's motto is that of being a place "where you're treated like family."

According to Marcus, the campsite's goal is to maintain itself as a quiet, family-friendly RV park. He says family reunions and retreats are often held at Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park whenever they warn him ahead of time. Although he comments that the property mainly caters to those of the older generations, children are welcome. Marcus notes that most visitors come from all over the U.S., predominantly from Wisconsin and Illinois. However, the campsite also sees visitors from Colorado, Utah, Florida, and other states. In the future, Marcus hopes to incorporate on-site events such as barbecue competitions. Currently, many of his patrons bring back their trout catches to the park to grill. Many guests have left positive reviews of Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park. One visitor said, "Been going here for years. It's like home away from home! We love that they have full hookups! The new owners are updating! Love this place!"

Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park owners ask that their guests adhere to their policies. Quiet time is from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM each night. Pets must be on a leash and cleaned up after, and no smoking is allowed indoors. Additionally, no tent camping is permitted; the property is strictly for RVs, except for the two cabins. Marcus says one of the main priorities is to keep the park a "clean and quiet" place.

Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park remains open year-round. Marcus explains that the park's best operating time is during trout season, which lasts from March 1st to October 31st. However, he says the property is almost always full whenever the weather is more favorable. He states that guests visit the RV park to go to Montauk State Park and fish or participate in other aquatic activities at the nearby rivers. According to him, most visitors consist of large family groups, and most guests are repeats. The park is designed to accommodate "almost anyone with an RV," says the owner.


Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park began as a post office after being built in 1962. It operated as such until 2010 when it was converted into an RV park owned by Bill and Glenna Ard. Marcus and Rod, the establishment's current owners, acquired the property in February 2022. Marcus says he grew up in the area and had always wanted to own an RV park, so he was willing to take the chance when it came. He had never stayed at Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park before buying it, but he loves the area and says, "it is important that everybody can enjoy their time here and cherish it like I do." He explains that his favorite part of his job is meeting the people that visit the campsite.

Since owning Happy Pappy's Montauk RV Park, Marcus and Rob have installed the cabins in the store. They hope to add more cabins in the future and incorporate certain activities onto their property, such as the previously mentioned barbecue competitions. 

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8787 MO-119
Salem, Missouri 65560
United States




Marcus & Rod Gorman

Owned Since
Previous Owners

Bill and Glenna Ard

4.8 (90 Reviews)
4.8/5 90 Reviews
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