EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products PO Box Zone
Over The Network Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!  (Read 21093 times)

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9660
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2015, 10:38:24 PM »
One of our favorite seafood places is just north of Half Moon Bay.  The Miramar Inn was a speakeasy years ago.  Today it's right on the water and "just" a restaurant and bar.  We haven't been there in a while but the thought of their scallops makes my mouth water.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2015, 10:59:48 PM »
Thanks Ardra, we will put that on the list for the next trip through!
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2015, 11:41:06 PM »
This week we stayed in a state park in Folsom Ca.  We have been past here on the I-5 or 99 many times but have never stopped.  I admit to always having a preconceived notion of the Folsom area as being a little ink dot in the middle of nowhere, with just a prison in the city limits to sustain the town. 

Boy was I ever wrong! We stayed at Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, and it is a great state park. There are two loops, one full hook up and one dry camp for tents and small rigs. The roads and pads are asphalt, The sites are grassy dirt and gravel, but most are really good size.  There is good open space between rigs at most sites, and some have the parking pads for your rig, and a separate connected pad for your tow or toad.  The biggest negative to this park is road noise from a fairly busy 4 lane road that runs in front of the park.  Our site, #60 was probably the most exposed to the road as our curb side faced the road.  However, most of the traffic on the road is automobile, so you are not overwhelmed by big rig trucks going by.  And the road is lightly traveled at night, so there is no problem sleeping.  Our site was about 150 yards from the road with lots of grass and trees in between. 

Although Folsom lake and Dam are connected to the park, there are no lake view sites, except for a few peek a boo sites in the tent area, which is not the same loop as the FHU sites.  There are handicapped sites, and all restrooms are handicapped accessible as well. Showers are coin operated at 50 cents for 4 minutes.  The cell signal is off the charts strong, as there is a cell tower in the park on top of a electric line tower (the dam on the lake makes power).  My 3G air card was making 2.6 Mbps on Speedtest.net.  I have never had speeds like that with 3G! 

The town of Folsom and Granite Bay are amazingly upscale new.  Much of the shopping and restaurants are very nice and look brand new.  Many housing developments are in the area, but there is still an old town area with many original shops eateries.  The developers have left large green space areas with many mature trees to soften the residential and commercial areas.

One of the servers at a restaurant we tried, the Asian Palace, which was excellent by the way, explained how the community had grown. He said that the town had grown due to many of the employees of the major tech companies (and some of the businesses) in and around San Francisco started migrating east and built near Lake Folsom instead paying the mega prices in the Bay Area.  The result has been a very nice upscale community with all the amenities.  In fact, we drove past an “Intel” plant not far from the state park. 

There has been some surprises here though.  Due to the lake and all the green space still around, there are lots of critters.  One morning we were awakened by a banging on the RV.  Not like a person, but something unexplainable.  So at 6 AM I threw on a robe and went out the door in time to see a 3' tall turkey beating feet away from the back of the rig.  It appears he saw his reflection in the shiny paint on the rig, and was attacking the other turkey!  Welcome to central California. We seen them a few more times during the week walking through the brush in front of our site.  There were 4 of them, 2 males and 2 females, and all pretty good size. 

The full hookup sites here are $57 per night, but not all spaces are the same size so do some research on  line when selecting a site. A few of the sites are heavily treed, so if you want to get satellite reception that may be a consideration too.  We checked out a few other RV parks in the area, but none had the space of the state park, and all were more expensive.

While we were here, no visit would be complete without a visit to the infamous Folsom State prison (not as a resident fortunately).  The prison while not prominently mentioned anywhere around town, is but a few miles from the downtown area.  A few miles down some tree lined country roads and the the prison fences appear.  We went to the prison to visit the small on site museum and gift shop, just outside the front gates.  There is a security building for visitors going into the prison to visit inmates, but the museum is across the street, and is easy open access to the public.  You are permitted to take pictures of anything you can see from the front, as long as prison staff are not in the picture.  The museum was small but interesting, and prominently featured was the 1968 concert that Johnny Cash held inside the prison for the inmates.   Along with a collection of prison curio's and even some artistic stuff that was created by inmates.  All in all it was worth the 45 minutes or so we spent there, and admission is $2, which goes to the all volunteer staff which man the shop.  Some are retired prison guards with stories to tell.

All in all we found the Folsom area comfortable and enjoyable.  We didn't even get into Sacramento on this trip, an it seems that we had so much other stuff to do.  We were here for a week and never got bored. Hiking and biking trails are all around the area, and are frequented by the residents.  I will come back to this area again. 

Next we head to Bodega Bay for the holiday weekend. We are on the beach for 4 days in a no hook up spot. This should be interesting.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

cadee2c

  • ---
  • Posts: 782
  • If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane.
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2015, 12:31:16 AM »
Quote
Next we head to Bodega Bay for the holiday weekend.

Just keep an eye out for unusually large flocks of birds. :D
Caryl- Pilot
Bob- Navigator
Mister Hank - homeland security
Buddy the Dog-  Soul Mutt, forever in our hearts.


1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
2010 Jeep Liberty

Follow your arrow, wherever it points

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2015, 12:41:30 PM »
I'm good as long as they aren't 3' tall!
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9660
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2015, 04:04:15 PM »
Peacocks also will attack the "other bird" in a shiny bumper.  We had quite a time leaving a Texas campground because the peacocks were in mating season.  I felt like an idiot chasing the bird away while Jerry was trying to drive the opposite direction.  Probably the most exciting exit we've ever experienced!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2015, 05:42:53 PM »
We also had an experience at a campground with peacocks. It was at a campground in Ojai, and they had about 15 of them wandering the campground.  At first it was fascinating, but that soon changed.  As it turns out, when in mating season, the male peacocks will fan their remarkable tail feathers, and "scream".  It sounds like someone yelling for help, and they like to do it starting at around 5 AM. 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2015, 09:53:32 AM »
Diane just updated her Trip Journal with lots more pictures of Folsom and the surrounding area. 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 4075
  • I don't know what I don't know so I look here...
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #38 on: May 24, 2015, 06:29:47 PM »
I have no been able to get Johnny Cash out of my head since I read the first post about Folsom...curse you, Marty!

 8)

Kim
Kim & Christi Bertram
SKP 106183
FMCA 420913
----------------------------------
2012 Thor Damon Tuscany 42RQ
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel
Taos Monte Bello RV Park, El Prado, NM

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2015, 06:33:44 PM »
Don't feel bad Kim, me too! Folsom prison blues plays through my head every day since I did the museum! 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2015, 12:08:52 AM »
For the Memorial Day weekend holiday we wanted to be on the coast, and considering our location in northern Ca, (and the availability) we spent the long weekend dry camping at Bodega Bay. We stayed at Westside Regional Park. We had a site on the front row which looks right out on the Bay.  The Bay opens to the ocean, so when the tide goes out much of the bay drains out with just a narrow channel in the middle for small boat traffic.  We paid about $35 a night. Oh, and the ranger came around as we were arriving and collected another $2 a night for our dog.  There are no amenities for the dog, just the fee.  The park has a threaded water faucets scattered around the park, and the dump station is double sided.  The other real bummer is that they charge $7 to use the dump station. It is credit card operated, and supposedly you only have 16 minutes to dump your tanks, although I am not sure how they track that.  And if the next guy waiting to dump is standing nearby, he may get a “discount”......

The sites are paved as well as the road. There are handicapped sites available, and the restrooms, although not attractive are in decent condition. Both the restrooms and the showers are handicapped accessible.  The showers are pay showers and are $1.50 for the first 5 minutes. The cell signal in the park is OK, but not great.  There is no Wifi offered.  It was pretty cold while we were there, with average high temps in the 50's and low 60's, so much of the time we were in cold weather gear. 

The town itself is pretty small, so if you plan on staying in the area it would be wise to bring what you need with you. There are several restaurants in the area, many are sea food related. 

We went on an outing one day to Fort Ross State Historic Park.  It is the location of a 1800's Russian settlement. It eventually sold several times and now is mostly restored with a few original buildings left. Diane is making a more in depth description in her blog with lots of pics.  Getting there was a drive up Highway 1.  While beautiful, it was about 25 miles of switch backs and twistys. I don't recommend doing it in your RV unless you are shorter than 25'. 

If we are back in the area again we would probably try to stay on the opposite side of the bay at Porto Bodega Marina and RV park.  The rate there was $50 but at least you would have FHU spots and a view of the bay as well.   

On the up side our dry camping went well. I had installed a Battery Minder Kit (BMK) from Magnum Energy, the maker of our inverter/charger back in April. The BMK monitors the status of the battery bank and gives several different read outs from Amps used, Amps in/out, DC voltage and State of Charge (SOC), which tells me precisely how much useable energy is remaining in the battery bank.  Before I kind of guessed at that, based solely on the what the battery voltage readout was. It would fluctuate widely depending on what appliance would kick on.  This time I kept the SOC between 50% and 85% by running the generator.  50% SOC is approximately a 12.0 over all voltage remaining in the battery bank.

In four days of dry camping I ran the generator for 13 hours, which comes out to about 3 ½ hours a day.  That was usually 2 hours in the morning during breakfast, and 1 ½ hours at night during dinner.  We still had all of our usual appliances plugged in, both computers, our Wifi, and watched 2-4 hours of satellite TV a night.  I figure at $3.50 a gallon for diesel, I spent $45.50 in the 4 days of dry camping, or about $11.50 a day.  That brings the real camping cost to about $48.50 a night. 

We almost never use campground showers, so we both showered daily in the rig (camping showers). Diane even washed her hair a few times. I did BBQ all the dinners outside on the grill though to save on clean up dishes.  At the end of the stay we had about 15% left in the fresh tank (probably about 8-10 gallons of water).

From here we head north/east to Oroville to a KOA at Feather Falls Casino.  Yea, warm weather!
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

John Beard

  • ---
  • Posts: 2554
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #41 on: May 29, 2015, 05:59:19 AM »
$2.00 for the dog and they probably didn't even have Doo-Bags hanging on a pole. I am amazed at how folks (especially California) are coming up with bizarre fees to free us of our hard earn cash.

Where are you guys off to now? Oops, I missed the last sentence...
John & Susan
2014 Winnebago Aspect 30J
2005 Jeep Wrangler X, Toad, a little modified
Northwest Las Vegas, NV

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44404
    • RV Forum web site
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #42 on: May 29, 2015, 06:52:21 AM »
Thanks for the report Marty. We might make a trip up there. Were you able to reserve online?
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #43 on: May 29, 2015, 08:53:38 AM »
Yeah Tom, but since it was a county park we had to reserve on their site. Here is the link to reservation page: http://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/

Yeah, you are right John. And this particular park didn't have a camp host due to a paper work mess up.  The host site was there, but no hosts. Rangers were trying to fill in the duties, but were not around much.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44404
    • RV Forum web site
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #44 on: May 29, 2015, 09:11:44 AM »
Thanks Marty.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2015, 02:21:49 PM »
Just a heads up, Diane has just updated our travel blog.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Tom and Margi

  • ---
  • Posts: 3070
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #46 on: May 30, 2015, 08:30:31 PM »
Please thank Diane for her efforts.  I've really enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, reading her blog.  We lived in Sebastopol for about 10 years circa 1980-1990.  Pictures brought back lots of memories of Bodega Bay.  We loved The Tides restaurant when in was "the old Tides".  I wonder if it is still the same or the victim of progress and tourism.  Tom took our boat out through the harbor entrance many times to go fishing and crabbing.  It can be very dicey at times.  :)

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #47 on: May 31, 2015, 01:21:34 AM »
Thank you so much! Diane puts a lot of heart into her blogs, and loves knowing that someone is enjoying them too. Gives her great incentive to continue!
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Betty Brewer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 4586
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #48 on: May 31, 2015, 07:45:11 AM »
Like Margi, I am following Diane's blog.  I lived  in California most of my life  and it is fun to see your reports on adventure in  places I have been and  places now  on my  list to visit.  It is indeed interesting  to watch  you stay longer, drive shorter  distances and soak up the local trivia! 

Keep those facts coming! Maam!
Betty Brewer

see where we are

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #49 on: May 31, 2015, 10:17:26 AM »
Thanks Betty, we are having a lot of  fun on the slower pace and shorter distances. Not to mention it is way more cost effective. And the pattern we have been taking zigzag back and forth from the coast to inland locations has been a great way not to get burned out on any one climate. After Bodega Bay where it was really cool, windy and damp, Oroville has been a nice change for it's 80+ degree days. But the next location is a cooler climate and I will be ready for the change.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #50 on: June 04, 2015, 07:38:32 PM »
This stop we went to Oroville, Ca to the Feather Falls Casino and RV Park.  Oroville is next to Chico in northern Ca.  While not a bad area, Chico is nowhere near as nice and upscale as the Folsom area was.  We didn't find the Chico area to be near as interesting as the Folsom area either.  We didn't do a lot of exploring in the area though, and to be honest a lot of the reason was my fault that I will get to in bit. 

Feather Falls Casino, while nice enough is not to be confused with 7 Feathers casino and RV park in Canyonville Or.  This Casino and RV park is way smaller, doesn't have the amenities that 7 Feathers does, and is in a lower class area.  The  RV park itself has about 45 spaces or so arranged in 5 rows. The outside rows are back in's and the 3 center rows are pull through.  We selected a back in site, #41 as we thought that it would give is a bit more outside room. Well that didn't wind up being the case, and we didn't realize what the downside would be of the outside edge perimeter spot.  First there was a lot of noise from a roadway about 20 yards away that runs in back of the park. Heavily traveled and high speeds made for constant traffic noise.  Even though the traffic did become lighter at night, it was still audible. 

The real problem came from the residences that abut the road on the opposite side of the road.  The houses are close to the road, and many have dogs that obviously live outdoors all night.  From the first night we were there the chorus of barking dogs would start around 2-3 AM and continue for hours. One set of dogs would get the next set going, and it would just continue.  Since we were backed in with our bedroom in the back, the noise was constant and sleep was difficult at best.  We had paid for a week stay at the park, but after the 3rd night we went to the office to request a site change.  We got the last site available in the park, a pull through which also flipped the rig 180 degrees putting our bedroom away from the dog noise.  Finally a decent nights sleep.

The roads in the park are wide as well, which is a good thing. The sites themselves are not too long, and most all of the RV's had to park in front of their sites with their tow vehicle or toad. The bathrooms and showers were all new and handicapped accessible, and the cell signal in the park was good. They did offer their own free wifi.  The days were warm, and the evenings pleasant. There is a free shuttle that will take you back and forth to the casino, but it was so close, we just usually walked.

We paid $282 for the 7 night stay, which was just over $40 a night.  That included our KOA discount.
One pleasant part of the stay we went to the Casino on a Saturday night. They have an actually Brewery on premise that makes it's own beer.  There is also a stage inside the brewery where various acts appear.  This night was a Stevie Nicks, tribute band. She was one of the female lead singers of Fleetwood Mac.  She was close in vocal style to Nicks, but didn't have the range. The band however was good, and since we went in early for dinner we just sat and enjoyed the band.  The prices in the brewery were remarkably reasonable as well. We had cocktails, dinner, and desert and with tip it was about $60.  With no cover for the show it was pretty reasonable.  We took a drive up the south fork of the Feather river one day. Nice but not overly remarkable.

The project that kept me busy for a few days was I pulled the trigger on a new TV in the living area. I replaced the 40” Panasonic for a 48” Vizio Smart TV.  Now mind you there was nothing wrong with the Panasonic, but being slightly nerdy, we wanted to be able to watch the various programs available as a subscriber to Amazon Prime.  The new TV was actually decently priced at Target, and with some good advice from our forum members, I placed the Panasonic on Craigslist in Chico, and had a buyer that night.   I was surprised how simple it was to hook the new TV up to the net.  During the simple set up procedure it asked about my wifi, found the router and after entering the password we were on line. 

We were watching Star Trek during dinner that night! Next stop, a KOA near Mt Lassen national park.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Wendy

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12483
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #51 on: June 04, 2015, 08:19:20 PM »
When you were at Morro Bay, did you check out the state parks ? We're thinking of Morro Strand this winter which has added hookups, I believe ? Pismo Beach was also a choice but apparently it's going to be closed for remodeling ?

BTW, we have reservations at Crystal Cove for December. Love that park, awesome sunsets.

Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #52 on: June 04, 2015, 08:50:08 PM »
We drove past the state parks, but we didn't go in. We did stay at the Strand, and it does have FHU spaces.  As for Pismo, we have stayed at Pismo Coast Village a few times. Decent park, but spaces are really close together.

Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44404
    • RV Forum web site
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2015, 02:10:11 AM »
Marty, you probably missed the great videos they run on request at the state park in Oroville. Lots of stuff related to gold mining and other local history. Also, you're a few months early for the annual salmon run and seeing the salmon in the viewing windows into the fish ladder up to the hatchery. Here's a few bites (no pun) in a prior report.

Oroville also has the "Greenline Tour", allowing you to take a self-drive tour of local attractions and landmarks by following the green line painted on the road.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 02:14:55 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2015, 09:43:31 AM »
I did Tom, we will have to make another pass when I am not so distracted! We have discovered that even in June, some attractions and places are not quite fully operational yet. Timing is different in Nor Cal than it is in So Cal...
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Handyman

  • ---
  • Posts: 15
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #55 on: June 06, 2015, 12:48:33 PM »
Hello Marty,

Liked, reading your travelstory!

We also visited LV and Furnace Creek this year.
It was both different but both wunderfull.
We had in Mai a temp of 100 F, in Furnace Creek.
Daniël and Marjon, and our labrador Doortje
_____________________
Always remember, the World is full of nice people ....
So, if you can't find one, be one !

Hymer Tramp T698CL - MH

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2015, 11:14:35 PM »
We arrived at the Mt Lassen/Shingletown KOA just down the road from Lassen National Park.  This is a nice KOA but very similar to the standard KOA formula.  This one does have "premium" sites though. We opted for a premium site because of the large concrete patio. It also came with a 6 seat table and chairs, fire pit, and a free standing gas BBQ.  The site we selected also afforded us a bit of privacy from the rest of the campground, which is nice.  Nearly all the sites are heavily treed, so I got practice setting up our remote satellite dish.  Boy, it's been a long time and it took me a while to remember how to adjust the DVR setting on the box to get a picture.  But I did write down the instructions so hopefully I will remember to read them the next time. 

This park offers a lot for kids, as do most KOA's.  A pool, playground, bikes and carts you can rent if you don't bring your own, and there is even a dirt/gravel “motocross style” track in the back for the kids to race around on their bikes.  The restrooms and showers are all handicapped accessible and in good condition.  The camp store is well stocked and carries not only camping needs but also a selection of food stuffs. There is a nice big fenced in dog park as well that is also shaded. Cell signal is difficult here. Our Verizon air card and booster was able to get a weak signal, but it wasn't reliable.  The park offers free wifi but it is dependent on how many folks are on it as to how fast it is. On the weekend it was mud slow.  The sites are pricey, especially since we stayed in a premium site. We paid $62,10 per night, but that included a $50 off discount due to accumulated KOA points. This place has no problem filling up though. It's location just outside park boundaries makes it the only park for a good distance that has FHU sites.  When we arrived on 6/2 most of the campgrounds in the park were not open yet. 6/5 was their opening weekend along with some of the trails.

The reasons for coming to the park are many. Lots of great views and things to see and do in and around the park. We took scenic drives, visited water falls, and hiked some of the trails. There was a giant outdoor sculpture display nearby that we stopped to see, and the views of Mount Lassen are amazing.  We even hiked through ancient volcanic lava tubes that were formed after Lassen's big eruptions a hundred years ago. This is definitely a park to put on the “visit” list, you won't be disappointed. 

There are a few grocery stores in Shingletown four miles down the road, but the prices are high and the selection is limited. I would recommend doing a big shopping before you get here, and just use the local stores to replace needed items. I did drive back to Shingletown on occasion when I needed a reliable signal on the cell phone.  It seemed like parking in the Cheveron station parking lot was a good place to get reliable signal. 

Diane has already updated her blog with many more details and tons of pics. I will include just a few to whet the appetite. 

I did tackle a small RV project here. One of the annoying issues that bugged me with the rig was the layout of the gauges on the dash panel. The vehicle information center (LBCU) supplied by Freightliner was placed all the way at the bottom of the gauge cluster making it impossible to see while driving. Even though I run a VMSpc display on the dash that displays many engine readouts, some of the info on the LBCU are warnings about thresholds that are getting close to limits.  It also has many other readouts that are useful to the driver while rolling down the road.  Enough folks complained to Tiffin about the issue, so Tiffin offered a redesigned dash panel free of charge.  I had it sent to me a few weeks ago and have been waiting for a down day to do the install.  It took about 3 hours to do, since all the gauges are plug and play, the most effort was getting the old panel out. I look forward to taking the drive with the new arrangement to see how it looks.  Next stop, Emigrant Lake, Ashland OR.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Kevin Means

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 3748
    • Tactical Flying
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #57 on: June 13, 2015, 05:05:22 PM »
That's one of the nicer KOAs we've ever been to. What did you think about that 9% grade you had to climb to get there? When we drove it last July, towing Cyndi's MDX, it was 105 degrees and I saw the warmest engine temp I've ever had. It was the only time I've ever manually down-shifted to bring the RPMs up and the temps down (worked great too). Thankfully, the 9% part isn't that long. The drive through the National Park itself is well worth it - a beautiful drive. We love the updates Marty - here and on Diane's blog.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6307
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #58 on: June 13, 2015, 05:31:07 PM »
yes, it was a good grade. But fortunately the temperature was only in the eighties when we hit the hill so we didn't have those kinds of extreme temps to deal with.The owner that has the park now is a Southern California guy. He's only owned it for about 3 years. He bought it after retirement is kind of a retirement job but now he is questioning his decision.

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. Diane loves to know that somebody is actually reading it!

So Kev, when and where is your next long trip?
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Kevin Means

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 3748
    • Tactical Flying
Re: The Western US trip, Just the Facts Maam!
« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2015, 02:22:56 PM »
So Kev, when and where is your next long trip?
Well actually, I just got home yesterday from a work trip in the Dominican Republic, and I leave for another one in Houston in about three weeks (but I'm sure you were talking about our next RV trip). Believe it or not, we're taking the motorhome on a two week trip to Northern Idaho and Utah in late July. We'll be boondocking with a bunch of family members. As you might imagine, we are REALLY looking forward to it. By the way, Cyndi is retiring. Her last day at work is next Friday.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

 

Hosted by Over The Network