2021 edition of "Just the facts Ma'am"!

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SargeW

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Where ever we park it!
This trip report has become a bit of a tradition with me. I have done 4 of these type of travel blogs before. They mostly settle around the nuts and bolts of our stays, and some of the local flavor. Diane is doing a travel blog with much more in depth info about the areas in which we stay. Personal Trip Journal - 2021 THE DEPLORABLE WESTON'S

You are welcome to follow along, ask questions and give your own opinions and suggestions. As always, life is all about the journey and having as much fun as possible.
 

SargeW

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Sun Outdoors
San Diego Bay
Chula Vista, Ca​

After dealing with some serious heat already in Lake Havasu City, AZ we decided to start the first leg of this trip off in a cooler location. This is a brand new resort owned by the corporation Sun Resorts. They have bought and remodeled several other parks recently, but this one was built from the ground up. It is just about a mile from Chula Vista RV resort, a location that they also bought a while back. Chula Vista RV resort is due to be closed in October of this year, and what the plans are for that location I am not sure of.
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This is a first rate resort with amenities and prices to match. The RV sites are all the same size, (45' +) concrete pads and large patio's with colored concrete to boot. All sites have gas fire pits with the difference being that in the “standard” rate sites the fire pit doesn't include the propane bottle to fire it up. You can get a bottle from them, (a deposit + a propane fee is charged) or you can use your own. The standard sites have a picnic table and chairs around the fire pit.
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A premium site has an outdoor dining table with chairs instead of the picnic table, and may also have propane included, or some have natural gas plumbed to the fire pit. An “Elite” site will also include a full size “grill station” that includes fuel to run it. Pricing for all the sites is “dynamic” which means that site prices vary not only by location (water front views of the bay or ocean are on the perimeter and the most expensive) but also changes from weekday to weekend or holidays.
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We had a standard back in interior site which was the least expensive of the bunch, and we paid a weekly rate that was $98 a day during the week, and $122 on the weekend days. Non weekly rate would be higher.
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What you get for that price is a large pool, 2 hot tubs, a splash pad for the kids, arcade and game rooms, Community Center, Clubhouse, several outdoor sports and recreation areas, and a restaurant (not open yet). There are also 40 “Cottages” for rent which are 1 or 2 bedroom, some with a loft and outside view deck. The gym is amazing, with one whole glass wall that opens to the outside with a view of the bay. All exercise equipment is new and plentiful.
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Bathrooms are well appointed and handicapped accessible. Wifi is included throughout the park, and you can pay an additional fee for faster speeds. Our T-Mobile worked great here, with 5G speeds of over 150 meg download. There are two dog parks, both with artificial turf, trees and seating. So although not cheap, this truly is a real resort in every sense. The temps while we were here hovered in the low 70's with ocean breezes everyday.

The only negatives I can come up with is there is traffic noise from Interstate 5 and the metro trains run by often, so you can hear the dinging of the bells on the trains as they cross intersections. Both are about ¼ mile from the park, so it's not overwhelming. All utilities worked well, water pressure is a bit on the low side at 40 psi at the hose bib. Sites are surrounded by smooth small gravel and several plants and young trees. Be careful backing in to your site if you have a longer rig, as each site has a number post in front that is close to the street.

Next to the park is the “Living Coast Discovery Center”. There is a variety of live birds, reptiles, and fish on display, and is pretty interesting for the whole family. Normally it is $16 admission for adults, but with proof of registration at the park, entry is free (we used our vehicle window tag for entry.) You do have to take a free shuttle that picks up right outside the gate of the RV park to take you to the center and returns you as well. There are also some walking trails there with info on the bay, and the old “Gunpowder factory” that was on the site in the 1920's.
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Coronado island is close and we drove over one day for lunch and to walk around the historic “Hotel Del Coronado”. There are also bike trails which we rode one day to various locations on the bay front, and hundreds of shops within a few miles that are all open and hungry for visitors after the Covid shutdown. A few places still required face masks to enter but mostly it was all optional now. None are required at the RV park, and it is optional if you desire.

This was a great first stop to get this years journey off right. Pricey, but worth it.

Diane just uploaded to her new blog post as well and can be found here Personal Trip Journal - 2021 THE DEPLORABLE WESTON'S
 
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viceprice

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Mar 10, 2016
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282
Location
Maine
I am glad you are back to travel and sharing your adventures. I really enjoy these and have missed them . Safe travels!
 

viceprice

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Mar 10, 2016
Posts
282
Location
Maine
I also enjoy Diane's blog. Thank you for sharing and thank you both for your years of public service.
 

SargeW

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Willow Wind RV Park
Hurricane, UT​

After a few one night stops we made it to Utah. We wanted a park that made it easy to access Zion National Park, and Willow Wind fit the bill. The drive to the Zion gate is about 20-30 minutes. There are other parks closer to the Zion gate, but they don't have the nearby amenities that Willow Wind has. Willow Wind is an established park with lots of mature shade trees which worked out well as the late June daily temps were in the 90's and 100's. As such, if satellite reception is important to you, you may want to request a satellite friendly site, but you will be in mostly full sun. We reserved a “super site” which really means that the cement parking pad is a bit wider than a standard site. The site was plenty long for our 40' rig with room to park the Jeep in front. There was also a nice grass area on the curb side that our dog loved lounging in. Most of the sites are back in's, but there are 12 pull through sites. If your RV has slide outs on the curb side, a standard site may not fit your rig and a place to put a few chairs on the cement. Usually there is also a grass area next to the cement pads.
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For a 50 amp full hook up site we paid a weekly rate of $369, or about $53 a night. We did make this reservation last year, so the rates may have went up some. The park is well maintained, the lawns are green and trimmed, and the interior roads are paved and in good condition. The draw back to green lush lawns is that they are watered almost nightly. The sprinklers however may water the rig as well, so I used “sprinkler guards” to eliminate water spots on the drivers side. In walking around the park I noted that several other campers were using the same guards on their sites.

Cable TV and Wifi are included in the price of your site. The cable TV worked well and had about 40 channels supplied by Direct TV, but I didn't try the Wifi. Our 5G T-Mobile router worked well, and I easily had 100-150 meg download speeds. Streaming various TV apps was easy. One down side for me was the lack of a pool or hot tub. There was a small air conditioned gym with some aerobic machines and a small cable weight machine. The restrooms are in great condition and some are easily handicapped accessible. There is a club house and a community fire pit available without Covid restrictions. A small laundry room is also available.
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There are 3 pet areas available for dogs. One behind the office which is well shaded is fenced, has a concrete walkway and gravel area with many plants for rover to sniff around. The other 2 areas are around the outside area on the south side of the park and are dirt and trees and not fenced. Dog waste bags are provided at various places around the park. There are pet restrictions for some large breed dogs, so make sure to ask when making a reservation.
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The staff working the park was very friendly and helpful. In fact we received an escort to our site, upon seeing the very shaded pad I had some concerns about some of the branches contacting the side of my coach on the drivers side. The escort driver immediately left and returned within minutes with a tree trimming pole and trimmed some branches back far enough so that when my slides were extended they wouldn't drag on the tree limbs. Great attention to detail. Although the park is close to a main thoroughfare (Highway 9) the park was quiet and peaceful at night. The local area has a variety of shops and stores, and the city of St. George is about 20 minutes away. The park is surrounded by all kinds of outdoor activities available. I can recommend this park when in the area.
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There are even Teepee rentals if you want to rough it!
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garyb1st

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Dec 31, 2010
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3,954
Location
Southern California
We stayed at this park maybe 6 years ago. At the time, it was a Passport park. We've noticed a number or parks we've stayed at no longer offer Passport discounts. Kinda makes sense when you consider the ever increasing number of RVers. If I were an owner and was turning away RVers on a regular basis, I'd have to think twice about offering a discount.
 

SargeW

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Where ever we park it!
We considered it but ran out of time with all the stuff there is to see in Zion. We did hike the Narrows one day which was fantastic. Our neighbor did go up there intending on hiking the top, but changed his mind do to wind and rain starting. We will be back.

Diane also updated her blog with lots of pics, so more info there.
 

SargeW

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Glenwood Springs West/
Colorado River KOA
Silt, CO​

This week we continued moving north up into Colorado. We don't stay at a lot of KOA campgrounds, usually because they often have a lot of amenities we don't use (kids stuff). But we liked the location of this one as we wanted to check out Glenwood Springs and Rifle just to name a few. We hiked Rifle Falls one day, and visited the resting place of “Doc Holiday” in Glenwood Springs.
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The campground itself is typical KOA in some aspects. The interior roads are gravel, and the RV parking pads are as well. There is a new and an old side to the park. The older side the sites are a bit smaller, and not all have cement patios. There are grassy areas on most sites, some of them need reseeding as they are a bit sparse. The newer side sites all have patios and most are pull throughs, except for the deluxe river front sites which are all back in's. They are all well appointed, with Bar-B-Que's, shade structures, tables and chairs, and fire pits.
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We had a FHU 50 amp pull through site with a patio and a fire ring (which couldn't be used do to a burn ban for open fires), and a metal table with 4 chairs. We paid $66 a night with taxes. There was also a grass area next to the patio. Lots of water pressure here and they warn you to use a regulator at your site.
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One slight negative is that the developer here is building an area of “Tiny Houses” that are directly across the road from the RV sites. The houses are for sale, and the first 2 phases are already sold out. The houses will have a regular mortgage, but the land it sits on will be a 60 year lease. The building was going on during our stay, but the workers were very respectful and the noise was not excessive.

The amenities here at the park are a pool and hot tub, a “splash pad” for the kids, and a play ground. There is also rental tents and cabins. There is a very large fenced grassy dog park, and waste bags around the park as well. The Colorado river is right in back of the park and there is a dirt/gravel boat launch, but from the looks of the river it may not be feasible as the river is moving quite fast. The showers and bath house is quite nice, and one of them is handicapped accessible and large. Wifi and cable are provided, but streaming is not allowed on their system. Our 5G T-Mobile router worked well here, but there was the occasional signal drop out when the park was busy. We were using the 5 GHz band for streaming, but the 2.4 GHz band may have had a more reliable stronger signal.
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The Golden Gate Truck and Auto plaza is right in front of the park, and has 4 large truck/RV lanes along with the usual auto islands in the front. It is a reasonably short drive to stores and restaurants in the nearby communities. One downside for the noise sensitive is that the I70 runs right in front of the park, and is a constant back ground noise. At night it quiets down some, but is still there.

We did manage to get a puncture in one of our Jeep tires somewhere along the way, but it was a slow leak. It was detected by the on board TPMS on the Jeep. I had just replaced the tires in February, and we were due for a tire rotation. So we found a Big O tire store in Glenwood Springs, and they did the rotation and patched the tire in about 45 minutes. I was surprised when I checked the mileage we put on the tires already in just 5 months. Jeep driving and pulling behind the MH was just over 7000 miles. I usually rotate at 5000 miles, so I need to pay better attention.
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From here we head up towards Rocky Mountain National Park, on the West side.
 

SargeW

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River Run RV Resort
Granby, CO​

This is a brand new resort located on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). This is a true all encompassing and enormous resort and it is still growing. Site options include paved sites with paved patios/fire pits, gravel sites with patios/fire pits, premium sites with BBQ’s/patios and firepits, tent sites, Airstream Village, Conestoga Wagons, Adventure tents (not available yet) and Cabins of all sizes. Sites are space with plenty of room. Landscaping and trees are young and will take time to grow. This resort is almost at 8000’ elevation so the summers are very pleasant. Property amenities include a pool, gym, basketball court, 2 dog parks, pickleball, beach volleyball, restaurant, bar and mini bowling - just to name a few. You can rent a golf cart, bicycles or paddle boards for the lake. The resort is surrounded by stunning mountain views. It is about a 30 minute drive to the west entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. The resort is open year-round and the RV site rates range from $68 - $115 a night based on the season, site amenities and holidays.
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This is another property owned by Sun Resorts. And Sun Resorts still knows how to give (most) of the public what they want. This resort has over 400 RV sites and is still expanding. This doesn't count the 50 or so camping cabins that are already built with more on the way. Family's are flocking to the location, as there is an amazing amount of activities available for all ages. Even with 400 sites, you don't feel cramped in your site. We chose a deluxe pull through site which gave us a cement pad about 80' long, and a cement patio space about 50' long. We were there over the 4th of July weekend, and the majority of the license plates were from Colorado. So the locals have recognized what the park has to offer. The park had live entertainment a few of the days, and they assembled a “parade” on the 4th that had about a hundred decorated golf carts, and many family's on their bicycle's all celebrating the independence of this great country.
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We paid $92 a night including taxes for our 50 amp FHU site. They have handicapped restroom facilities, which are modern and easy access. There is free Wifi and cable, and premium Wifi is available for for a fee. Our T-Mobile 5G worked well here, but there were some freeze ups while streaming. I believe it was due to the distance of the cell tower from the RV park. Actually our older 4G technology worked better, as the exterior antenna made the trip to and from the cell antenna much easier.
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This park allowed us access into the west entrance of RMNP, and we enjoyed that immensely. From here we move to the east side of the park and get a site in Estes Park to visit the east side of RMNP.
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Only a few minor dings at the park. Much of the landscaping is large river rock and individual plantings of trees and shrubs. However, some of the attractive river rock areas are being taken over with weeds and grass. I do understand that a property of this size is a major undertaking to keep looking top notch, but the area in front of our site was in dire need of weeding. The other issue was the width of some of the interior roads, most notably in ingress and egress lanes to the resort. They are fairly narrow, and as evidenced by the black rubber scuff marks on several of the curbs, they should have been widened by 2' for most modern RV's are 8' wide.


These things aside, I highly recommend this park if your are in the area, you won't be disappointed. Diane will be updating her blog after we conclude our visit to the east side of RMNP and have pics and descriptions of our visit. I will post when her blog becomes available.
 

SargeW

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Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Resort
Estes Park, CO​

We moved from the west side of Rocky Mountain NP (RMNP) to the east side, and Estes Park is the town close to the east entrance of the park. Elk Meadow was the highest rated park in the area. We reserved an end pull through site, #G14. We were there for 5 nights and paid $376, or $75 a night. There are pro's and con's to this park, so it all comes down to what you want. The term “RV Resort” was a bit over the top. We stayed at this park 13 years ago when we first started to full time. Unfortunately the park looks exactly the same as it did then, no improvements have been made (visible ones anyway).
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The pro's of the park is that you are surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and the views from the park are spectacular. Some of the mountain tops still had snow on them, and the front gate to RMNP park is only about a 10 minute drive. However at this writing, the National Park service was requiring reservations to enter the park, and you had to pick certain date and time in advance. We had made 2 prior reservations for park entry. But back to the RV park. The personnel working at the park are all friendly and helpful and do their best to care for the park, and even though busy at check in time, the employees are efficient to move the line and get you to your site. The town of Estes Park is only minutes from the RV park, and although it can be very crowded especially on the weekends, it is still a cool little town to explore.
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As for the RV park itself, there were issues. All of the roads in the park are either very deteriorated asphalt coated with dirt, or just plain dirt (very dusty). The RV sites are on a hill, many with minimal room outside the door of your rig. They are dirt with minimal gravel, and the area around the RV pads are rangy grass, mostly uncut and 6-8 inches long. Some of the pads can be hard to level on side to side, and I saw a few rigs with the passenger side rear tires off of the ground to get level. My site was a FHU 50 amp site at the end of a row. The electric worked OK, but the water pressure was a bit low, under 40 psi. The cable TV hook up was just a cable that stuck up in the dirt, and the reception was snowy at best. An inside type cable splitter was on the end laying in the dirt. It needed to be on there though because site G15, a diagonal site that backed into my site, shared all of my hook ups. When a rig backed in to that site, they would be within 5' of my bedroom wall. The sewer connections are put in on a 45 degree angle and right at the dirt level. But because of the sloped nature of the sites, the sewer connection may be higher than your sewer outlet (as mine was). A 90 degree sewer elbow wouldn't screw on, so I needed a bayonet type screw fitting for the connection.
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I used my own Wifi which worked well, but the speed was still fairly low, around 3-4 meg download speeds. I wound up using my older generation 4G LTE equipment because it has an exterior antenna that improved reception a lot. The park does offer free Wifi, but I don't know how well it works. The bathrooms were clean but old, and there was one that was marked handicapped accessible. There is a pool on site, but it was closed with a cover on it and a sign on the gate indicated that it was closed due to Covid. A drainage type pond is next to the entry drive and looks mossy and buggy as the water doesn't move. There is a large off leash dog park, and a small playground for the kids. A small mini golf course is next to the dog park. There are cabins to rent and tent sites. Several of the tent sites were behind our site.
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We did note that the park filled up most nights, so regardless of the condition of the park, they are getting business, even at $75 a night. Typical for RV parks in an in demand tourist area.
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phil-t

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Jul 10, 2017
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1,070
Location
Ogdensburg, NY
Thank Diane for the great photos. Some brought back memories of our 2018 trip there with nearly identical views. We also visited the park from the West side. Wonderful country that we just can't get tired of looking at.
 
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