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Author Topic: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!  (Read 3560 times)

Alpena Jeff

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2018, 04:28:50 PM »
It really is Jackie.  I have seen the sign for the place several times as it has a sign advertising it when you make the turn off of Highway 46 onto Airport Road where the entrance for the RV park is. I made a mental note that I wanted to check it out one day, but in the back of my mind I just pictured a bunch of dusty, rusty old planes sitting in a dirt lot. 

Boy was I wrong.  It is very well done, and there is much to see including WWII uniforms and equipment, and even motorcycles.  I will have to go back now just so I can finish looking in the other buildings as well.

We have moved to the Santa Cruz area and are up in the Redwoods.  I will be posting about this park soon. We just got back from a 5.5 mile hike
That's a long walk for an old guy Marty!
Jeff & Judy
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Alpena Jeff

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2018, 04:41:11 PM »
He's probably napping.
Jeff & Judy
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jackiemac

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2018, 05:15:51 PM »
I would be 😀

Marty hope you got some photos of the small trees....
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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Alpena Jeff

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2018, 07:18:02 PM »
I get tired when I drive that far.
Jeff & Judy
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SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2018, 11:52:28 PM »
He's probably napping.

Correct on all counts Jeff! And not just the distance, but we climbed over 800' to a lookout observation deck!  It was about 2 hours total, and I am feeling it tonight. But the effort was worth it. Diane got some great pics I will put up shortly. Even our site at the RV park has 5 redwoods over 200' tall.  Just humbling.   
Marty--
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SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2018, 12:58:38 AM »
Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort
Felton, Ca

After leaving wine country we headed north again for a change of scenery. So we traded grape vines for 200' tall redwoods.  This is not a big park, about 100 sites total and that includes about a dozen tent sites.  The park does live up to it's name though, massive redwood trees, some 300' tall and thousands of years old are throughout the park. We had 5 in our site alone.  We picked this park not only because it has full hook ups, but also because it has a variety of sites that can fit a rig of our size.  In fact a 45' rig would fit in some of the sites. 

The park is a bit short on amenities, no pool or spa, no workout room, and the playground is a basketball hoop, and a tether ball pole. There is a clubhouse with a pool table and an up-rite piano, and river access on the back of the park to the San Lorenzo River. The park is pet friendly, but there is no dedicated dog area.  Many of the sites are pretty close together as they did their best to make as many spots as possible in a small park.  Diane made the reservation 4 months ago and was able to get us one of the nicest sites in the park.  Our site, #62 would easily fit a 45' rig. The curb side of the site has the redwoods and a large buffer area to boot.

Due to the giant redwoods satellite reception was impossible.  It did inspire me to break out my old Direct TV DVR I had been carrying around and figure out how to be able to play some of the hundreds of old TV shows we had recorded on it.  There is cable TV here, 25 channels to be exact.  Picture quality ranged from good to fair.  WiFi was also free, but the ability of it to keep up with the demand was sketchy. Our dual provider WiFi  also struggled here at times.  There are two sets of restrooms, one set is handicapped accessible, the other is not due to small doors and a 6” step into the shower area.

In spite of all this, I liked the park because of the ambiance provided by the giant trees and river flowing in the back. We paid $55 a night, but the sites that back up to the river are $10 more. Only one or two river sites are big rig friendly. There is a steep slope to get down to  the river that can be tricky.

Right next door to this park is the Henry Cowell Redwood State Park which also has a campground but is all dry camping.  The campground fees at the state park are $35 a night. We walked through the campground during one of our hike's (a six miler). Interestingly there were almost no redwoods in the park.  It is loaded with old oak trees though.  Unfortunately many overhang the roads, so I would never take the Bus into the park.  And most of the sites were way small for a 40' rig. They looked to be in the 25-30' length range with 3' vertical logs at the rear, so extending over the back of the pad is not possible.  Hiking in the park was fantastic though. The trails vary in length and difficulty, and range from paved dog friendly paths, to soft sand. The first one we did was 5.5 miles, and climbed up to 805 feet in elevation. It was strenuous but worth it. They charged a $10 entry fee per car into park, or a $190 annual pass. We paid the $10.

The last day we took a narrow gauge old log hauling train from “Roaring Camp Railroads” for a 40 minute ride to the top of Bear Mountain (a hill really).  The train yard station is right next to the park, but not really a part of it. But they still charge $10 to park, but once there you can walk into the state park for no charge. The train ride itself was $29 a person (less $2 if you have a coupon) .  The train is a 1911 steam/diesel fired locomotive, and  pulls several open and partially covered passenger cars. The train steams up the mountain at a blazing 5-10 mph due to the steep grades, some as much as 10%.  But it takes you right through the massive redwood trees and the conductor narrates some of it's colorful history.  But if you go, sit towards the back where it's not as loud as being next to the engine.  All in all is was great fun.  During the summer months there is also a train that will take you to the beach to the Santa Cruz boardwalk.  After the train ride we stopped at a local eatery named the “Cowboy Bar and Grill” which is right down the street from the RV park.  The food was good, and the décor is as you may expect from the name. But what I didn't expect was the “unique” entry door to the restaurant. I must say I have never seen another one like it....

Pic 1) Our site #62. Diane has a good eye for a great pic.
Pic 2) A nice bit of privacy in our site. This is an end site looking in from the road.
Pic 3) That little fence is the edge of the next site.
Pic 4) Hiking, where am I again?
Pic 5) View from top of observation deck. That is Santa Cruz harbor in the background.
Pic 6) Our train ride to the top of Bear Mountain.
Pic 7) The Cowboy Bar and Grill
Pic 8) The entrance door "art". 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
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jackiemac

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2018, 02:35:38 AM »
Thanks for another great update and photos. The train sounds like a lovely thing to do.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
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Travelling in US until 30th October 2018

Alpena Jeff

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2018, 04:45:02 AM »
Another great read Marty and Diane. Please keep them coming!
Jeff & Judy
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SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2018, 10:18:47 PM »
Diane's most recent blog post just went live with more info and way more pics.
Marty--
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butchiiii

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2018, 10:36:01 PM »
Thanks Marty. I get to live vicariously thru you're travels until it's my turn.  ;) ;) ;)
Butch & Joanna
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SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2018, 10:18:06 AM »
Absolutely Butch. Good things come to those who wait!
Marty--
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Steve N Dee

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2018, 03:05:14 PM »
Marty:
   I've been enjoying following along.  We travel the same route frequently, although we usually stay at New Brighton State Beach in Aptos, CA.  I am interested to see where you go from here.  I am off work the last week of June and the first week of July and am thinking about heading up to Southern Oregon over the 2 weeks.  I looking forward to your commentaries on places to stay in Nor Cal and Southern Oregon.  Thanks for the great posts.  Hope we cross paths again.

Steve
Steve & Dee - Racing towards retirement
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On time.....is when we get there

SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2018, 01:17:54 AM »
I hope so too Steve. We will be out here wandering around!
Marty--
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SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2018, 01:09:38 AM »
Angels Camp RV Resort
Angels Camp, Ca

After leaving the really tall redwoods we headed towards the Sierra Nevada foothills. Angels Camp was the jumping off point to go see the biggest of the redwoods, known as the Giant Redwoods. Those are found in Big Trees State Park.

But first, a little about the RV park.  It is a rustic sort of park with about 80 sites of both pull throughs and back in's.  The pull through sites are longer. We were escorted to our site, and it's a good thing because we had to reject it upon seeing it.  The site was long enough, but the trees between the sites really needed some trimming.  I managed to pull into the site, but there was no way to open the slides without pushing them into the overhanging tree branches.  Our guide, James, was pretty understanding and called the office on his radio to get us a different site.  After a bit of arm twisting by James, he led us to a different site that was much more open.  The only drawback to the new site was that it was a group of sites that were cut into a terraced hill.  The site was wide enough for the rig, but the ground naturally sloped up towards the next site.  This made the outside space next to the rig too unlevel to put chairs on,  so we put the Jeep in back of the rig and sat in front.  All the sites are gravel/dirt so there is a bit of dust.

We were able to get satellite from this site, and it was FHU with 50 amp power.  We paid just under $61 a night, but the clerk in the office forgot to charge us for the $5 pet fee (darn).  There were handicapped accessible restrooms available. Wifi was offered, but our on board Wifi worked acceptably.  There are some cow grazing nearby, so there was the occasional “farm” smell drift by at times, as well as some fly's and mosquito's to watch out for.  One thing I wasn't crazy about was the layout of the pull through sites.  Even though the sites were terraced, they set them up “Jack & Jill” style. So that made our up hill neighbors patio face our patio. Even though there were light bushes on the hill separating the sites, we felt like they were in our conversations while sitting outside. 

We did do two site seeing trips, one to the redwood state park, and another to Mercer Caverns. There are many underground caves in the area and Mercer was rated well. Our guide on the cave tour, Jerry, was a bit eccentric to say the least.  Jerry was kind of throw back from the 60's and probably did way too much recreational drugs.  He was entertaining though, but I am glad we were the only two people on the tour with him.  Diane's blog has a write up about the caverns and Big Trees park as well. 

The Mercer Cave tour was $17.50 a person, but you got a free Mercer Cavern's bumper sticker when you finished the tour (which we politely declined).  I will say this about it though, the cave goes down some pretty steep steel stairs, about 200' below ground, then back up.  So wear good shoes if you go and be able to climb. Even the guide had to stop and get his breath a few times.

We also did a 5 mile hike through Big Trees SP while we were sight seeing. Some of the trees we saw had a circumference of over 25' and 150' tall.  The park is at about 4500' in  elevation, so you may need a sweater even in summer depending on the time of day. It is important to note though, that due to lack of regular maintenance, the hiking trail through the trees had about a dozen downed trees randomly across the trail. Some could be easily stepped over, but a few were really big and required a bit of climbing and  jumping to get by. One was so big that a short “tunnel” was dug under it and crawling on your hands and knees was required.  It is obvious that CA is not spending much on the state parks for upkeep. 

We were only at the campground for 3  days, so it slipped my mind to get a pic of the campsite, but we did get some great pics of the hike and cave. 

Pic 1) Family portrait at Angles Camp
Pic 2) Standing inside Chimney Tree
Pic 3) The biggest tree in the park
Pic 4) Our cave tour
Pic 5) Angel wings on the tour
Pic 6) Steep stairs on the cave tour
Pic 7) Crazy Jerry, our tour guide
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
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SeilerBird

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2018, 01:18:04 AM »
I love the first photo of the dog Marty. :))
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #45 on: May 25, 2018, 12:20:55 AM »
Jackson Racheria RV Resort and Casino
Jackson, Ca

We made a few quick stops while on the way down back to So. Cal.  We have stayed at Jackson Rancheria several times, and it's one of our favorite campgrounds. It is very well maintained and the spaces are all cement with lush grass at each site.  This time was to attend an RV rally with a bunch of folks that we got to know from when we had a brief fling as 5th wheel owners about 8 years ago. We had made some good friends and still keep in touch and RV with them. 

Jackson Rancheria has a nicely appointed RV pool and spa area, a good size putting green with about 10 different holes.  There is a walking path that surrounds the campground that is 2/3 mile in length.  The restrooms are modern, clean and handicapped accessible.  Wifi is offered at the park, but our on board Wifi worked well. The views of the surrounding hills is great and the area is quiet and peaceful.

I have to admit though, after staying at the campground several times we have yet to visit the casino. Those that have visited the casino have indicated that it too is well appointed and maintained.  The casino is about a half mile from the RV park, but a free shuttle makes regular trips between the two. 

We paid $45 a night for our stay, but this may have been reduced somewhat due to the 20+ rigs that were part of the rally.  The only minor issue that we had there was that someone crashed on a nearby road, and took out a power pole that supplied the RV park. We were without power for about 12 hours. It didn't affect us with our generator, but some folks were skimping to get by with battery power. 

I can highly recommend Jackson Rancheria if you are in the area.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
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SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #46 on: May 30, 2018, 12:06:50 AM »
Bakersfield River Run RV Park
Bakersfield,  Ca

This RV park is a bit of a surprise as you drive towards it, winding through an industrial area.  Then  making a turn, the road dead ends into the park.  The park itself is nice and well maintained.  The roads are paved and the sites have a concrete patio, but the sites themselves are packed DG and dirt.  The grass is nice and green but in Bakersfield that means a lot of watering, almost every night.  Since the sites are DG, some of them can get a bit muddy from the constant watering.

There is a nice pool and spa area, a small exercise room had a few aerobic machines but it didn't get much use.  It looked like there was a fair amount of longer term residents there, but their sites were mostly clean. The “River Run” name of the park is because  it backs up to the Kern river. Unfortunately  it is just a dry river bed right now, and looks like it has been that way for quite a while. We did use a walking trail out the back gate of the park that stretches along the river bank and goes for a few miles. If you wanted to you could cross the river bed to a park on the other side.

Probably the biggest issue I had with the park was it's proximity to highway 99 which was always busy day or night.  It seemed particularly loud and night, and could be a bit intrusive if you are a light sleeper.  We made sure to get a back in site, as the pull throughs are “Jack-n-Jill” style that we really don't care for. 

The park restrooms were nice and handicapped accessible. The park offered Wifi, but our on board Wifi worked OK but not great. We paid $44 a night and stayed 5 nights. The weather was pretty pleasant during our stay, but it can get scorching hot come July. One nice feature was that they didn't  mind if you washed your RV, which I took advantage of. 

On the other hand, this may have been the most  expensive RV park I have ever stayed in.  OK, not so much for the park itself, but we did  wind up buying a new Jeep while we were there!  A 2018 Jeep Sahara JL.  We had been talking about it for a while, and due to Diane's research, it all fell into place one day.  When they offered me a decent price for our current Jeep, we took the deal. 

A lot of it was on me though. After having the Rubi for 10 years, I was ready to get into a vehicle with and automatic transmission. And we went with the Sahara model this time. We don't do much in the way of hard core rock climbing anymore, and I have to admit the higher end interior of the Sahara is nice.  Now I just have to get it ready to pull behind the RV.........

One pic of the new Jeep before I start taking it apart.  I know, sounds crazy huh?
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
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SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2018, 12:31:17 AM »
Canyon RV Park
Anaheim Ca

We made it back to So Cal in time for the family reunion. It is also centrally located in the heart of the “OC”  (Orange County) which was easy access to all kinds of parts and supplies for the Jeep.

Canyon RV park is located in Featherly Park which is part of the 795 acre Featherly Wilderness Preserve. On the up side, most of the sites are very large and can easily fit large RV's. They are all FHU, but the parking pads and patio areas are gravel.  There is a lot of green space around most of the sites so there is a lot of room for outside activities.  We had one of the family get  togethers there for the reunion.  One of their rules however because it is a County Park, visitors must pay the gate fee to get in to visit UNLESS you are staying at least a week in the RV park, then the visitors will get in free to visit you.

Even though there is a significant amount of grass at the park, it was well cared for and routinely mowed and trimmed. All of the roads in the park are paved.  There are 5 bath houses available for guests. They are handicapped accessible, but could stand some updating. The park has a variety of activities available, including a pool, playground, pickle ball courts, and the Santa Ana River Bike Trail runs through the park. We had 2 different sites during our stay. Site 96 and 123. Due to the many large  older trees in the park getting satellite from the roof mounted dish was a challenge. Site 96 needed my portable dish and tripod, but site 123 I could use the roof top dish, but just barely.  There is no Wifi offered at the park, but our on board Wifi worked well. Between T-Mobile and Verizon, T-Mobile had a  stronger signal. 

The down side to the park is noise.  The 91 Freeway, and 241 Toll Road intersect right at the park, and one of the access ramps for Gypsum Canyon  Road actually has an overpass that runs through the park. Even though the traffic noise was always present, it quieted down considerably at night. So much that it was not disturbing to a good nights sleep.

The daily rate for a site is $75 a night, but the weekly rate is $375. This is like paying for 5 days and getting 2 free.  That brought the daily rate down to about $54 a night. 

It had been a few years since we were here last, and the staff and their attitudes have changed considerably. The previous staff was “squirrely” at best, and usually rude and condescending. We hesitated going back for a long time for that reason. The new staff is pleasant and helpful. Quite a change.

We wound up staying here about 12 days total, just so I could get some time to work on the Jeep to get it ready to pull behind the motor home. Thankfully my son was available to help me with a lot of the installs. We managed in one day (once all the parts were there) to install a “Rock Hard” after market steel  bumper with tow points, the brake cable for the “Ready Brute Elite” braking system, and the “Cool Tech” wiring harness to hook the motor home lights up to the Jeep. It was a long day and I never would have made it without his help. Thank heaven for youth!

Pic 1) Site 123 at Canyon RV Park. Plenty of space to spread out.
Pic 2) Nothing like taking apart a Jeep with less than 500 miles on the clock!
Pic 3) During the tear down. Too late to turn back now!
Pic 4) The finished product at the end of a long day. Woo Hoo!

Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchick2018
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SargeW

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Re: The western US in the new rig, fulltime! Just the facts Maam!
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2018, 11:45:04 PM »
Redlands RV Park
Redlands, CA
(Really Redlands Truck and RV Service)

The first stop after the family reunion was to get the annual service on the RV. It's hard to believe that we have been back full time for nearly a year already. Finding competent service shops can be difficult at best, and there are scant few choices in So. Cal, even though there are so many RV dealers around.

I have used Redlands Truck and RV in the past and was very happy with their work. Looking at recent reviews on line they were very well rated. They have recently put in a 10+ space FHU RV park (waiting area) about a half block from the shop. If you are waiting for a service appointment the lot is free. Not real luxurious, a gravel lot with pull throughs and a small patio next to each one. But why look a gift horse  in the mouth.  We stayed two days there and our service was 1 ½ days. That covered a full chassis service along with the generator. We also had them do some minor warranty work as we are officially out of warranty at the end of the month. They are a bit pricey but their work product is usually spot on. And they did all of our warranty billing with Tiffin without charge.

As for the RV, looking back at the first year of ownership we have been pretty happy overall. There were a few wrinkles to handle, but Tiffin stepped up on every one. We are still  extremely happy with the Bus.

Orangeland RV Park
Orange, CA

After leaving the service we had a day to kill before heading north so we went back to be close to the grand kids for day. This particular park is not all that remarkable, but it draws a lot of business as it is the closest RV park to go to Disneyland in Anaheim. The sites are on the small side and close together, but are all paved with small grass areas and some trees. The park was built in the middle of an old orange grove and many of the old  trees are still throughout the park. You are free to pick as many oranges  as you can carry for free.  The sites are FHU and have cable and Wifi. Our on board Wifi worked will here. We paid $69.50 for the one night stay, and was with a Good Sam discount. It's not cheap, but a hotel room in the area would be at least double that to start. There are handicapped restrooms and some sites are designated handicapped. There is also a decent size pool to cool off  in.

Probably the odd part of this park is that the 2 dog walk areas that they have are pretty small, and if there are lots of pets in the park, they can get pretty ripe smelling at times. We also noted that there are signs posted at the entry on the way out that say you are not allowed to walk your pet outside of the park on the sidewalk and grass medians. I can only imagine that the locals complained about people not picking up after their pets when walking outside the park.  Usually some pet owners are their own worst enemies.  I just don't know how that could be enforced though. The signs were probably a peace offering for the locals.   

Cava Robles RV Resort
Paso Robles, Ca

Our first stop when heading back north was to check out a brand new park in Paso Robles. It is down the road from Wine Country RV, a favorite of ours in wine country, and is in fact owned by the same group, Sun Resorts. Cava was having it's “soft opening” as all of the sites and facilities were not completed yet. What we did see was quite impressive though. Very large sites but the RV parking pads are hard packed DG. The sites have very large concrete patios, and some brand new landscaping between them. All sites are FHU and everything works well. Like Wine Country RV, the park is built on a tiered plot of land. Some of the sites are on top of the hill (where we were) and some are lower. The large pool, bar, club house, spa and  meeting rooms are down below in the lower area. Interestingly the lower sites near the pool and club house are a “premium” site with a bump in price. We would prefer to be up the hill, especially in summer when it hot, The higher up sites get better breezes than the ones down the hill.

Part of the resort still under construction and there will be more RV lots and another club house. They are probably still a few months out on opening that phase. We received a discount on the regular price because they are still in the construction phase, and workers and trucks are still using the park roads.

We stayed 3 nights and paid $66 per night which included all taxes and fees. I am sure that the rates will go up considerably when  the place  is finished. 

The club house area also has room for events and live entertainment. They did have some live music the days we were there, and one of the local winery's came in had had a free wine tasting on the patio for 3 hours one day.  The restrooms that were open all looked like high end casino facilities and were of course handicapped accessible. 

I didn't find too much to be critical about while staying there, other than the heat in Paso can be stifling. I think we hit mid 90's on one day, and  summer hasn’t started yet. This will be another good option if heading to the Paso Robles area to do some wine tasting. 

Pic 1) Redlands RV campground waiting area.
Pic 2) Campground patio and waiting area.
Pic 3) The sites are a bit tight at Orangeland RV Park
Pic 4) Lots of sites, and lots of orange trees.
Pic 5) The sites were bigger at Cava Robles. Lots of brand new plantings.
Pic 6) Looking down from the top on the Cava club house.
Pic 7) The Cava pool, club house, wine bar, and banquet room.
Pic 8) The banquet room.
Pic 9) The wine bar. Opens onto the rear patio where the live entertainment is set up. 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
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