Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Camping Costs In California and Happy Birthday

Welcome Aboard!  I just noticed 2 new “Followers” and I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to Dave and Remi.  I appreciate the interest you are showing in my RV lifestyle blog.  I hope you enjoy it.

Recently I wrote an RV park review for a California park and stated that the cost for camping there was $38 to $42.  In a comment left by Judy from Travels With Emma, she asked if all the parks in California were that expensive.  So, in this post I thought I’d give a very few examples of the differing costs depending on where you go and what you are looking for.  There are literally thousands and thousands of parks and campgrounds here in California and I’m only give you a few examples.  I’m not giving park names….just towns and costs.  You can do the leg work by looking in the T.L. Directory or similar places for the RV park suitable for your needs.

It also happens to be Annie’s 13th birthday today.  What a trooper.  13 months ago we weren’t sure if she’d still be here with us.  She is!

                                            A birthday walk on the beach in Pismo.DSCF6613

Let’s start with a few of the pricey ones just for fun.  I think most everyone knows that when you stay in, or near, a large metropolitan area you’ll pay higher nightly rates.  San Francisco is certainly no exception.  In the past, we have stayed just south of S.F. in the town of Pacifica.  You can have a site on the bluffs with an ocean view or in an area with no view.  Price range:  $50 to $82 per night.  Sad to admit, but we’d still stay here the next time we want to visit San Francisco.  We’ll just have to save for a while, I guess.  North of the city, along Hwy. 101, is another option at $55 per night.

                                            Annie checks out the birds wishing she could chase them.DSCF6615

If you want to stay down in Anaheim, near Disneyland, you’ll pay a hefty price there, too.  In the last 4 years we’ve had reason to be in Anaheim 3 different times and stayed at a different RV park each time.  The price ranges for all of those parks:  $45 to $75 per night. 

If you want to stay in Long Beach down by the Queen Mary and the shore you can stay for $50 to $62 per night.  Down in Huntington Beach there is a choice of a private park with rates from $55 to $80 per night. 

There are some “resort parks” in the Palm Springs area that can run up to $95 per night, and others that are as low as $35 per night and they are still “resorts” in every way!  It just depends on what you are looking for.

A couple of the real “whopper parks” in my opinion, can be found in Newport Beach and in the San Diego (Mission Bay) area.  In Newport Beach you can stay at one park where the nightly rate can run from $55 to $280.  In San Diego’s Mission Bay area there is a park with rates from $35 to $400 per night….YES….you are reading that correctly. 

               Annie knows she needs to take time to “smell the flowers” because time can be fleeting.DSCF6621

OK, we’ve had fun looking at those dream RV parks so let’s get down to reality.  There are still plenty of affordable RV parks and campgrounds, not to mention the California State Parks, to choose from.  Let’s look at a few areas for that type of budget.

Also in the greater San Diego area (leaving the Mission Bay area), I saw a public country park with a rate as low as $19 with no hook-ups.  Other private parks, a bit out of the city, have rates as low as $35 with FHU sites.  There are also a few more county parks with hook-ups starting at $26 per night. 

Let’s get away from the big cities and see what there is to offer the camper in California.  The Golden State has a lot of National Forest parks, no hook-ups for as low as $10 per night.  It seems that the California State Parks and Beaches with camp sites have had some rate hikes over the past couple of years, and some rates are up to $35 per night. Some of the parks have hook-ups while others do not.  Some of the state parks up along the Redwood Coast range from $15 to $20 with no hook-ups. 

Here are 3 different areas in California for comparing:

* Near Mammoth Lakes and Bishop I saw an ad for a private park with rate of $20 per night with hook-ups.

* In Bakersfield you can get FHU sites at a number of parks as low as $27.

* In Crescent City you can get FHU sites also beginning at $17.

Again, this is just a smattering of areas in California and a small sampling of RV park or campground options.  I know there are probably many others with low rates and FHU’s but I could not possibly include them all in a blog post.  In the past couple of years during our two cross country travels we found few (if any) private RV parks with FHU’s for less than $25 per night. 

                      An old, sick “birthday girl” gets a helping hand making it back to the motorhome.DSCF6630       

Hopefully, this will give you all just a bit of information on what it may cost for campsite fees if you are planning a trip to California.  The smaller your rig, the more options you will have at the public campgrounds, but that is the same in any state.  Check it out online or in the large campground directories for places you like and will meet your budget! 

Until next time… long for now!


Rick and Paulette said...

Happy Birthday, Annie!! Molly and Rylie are really looking forward to meeting you in a few months! You are going to be a "Lucky 13"!!

Great round-up of RV park costs in California, Margie. I'm already looking up those $400 joints to find out why I won't be staying at any of them! Wow!

We've always had good luck and reasonable rates for RV parks during out travels in California. It's a huge place and there seems to be a park to fit everyone's budget.

Karen and Al said...

Annie looks darn good for an older girl!

K and D in the RV said...

Happy Birthday to the loveliest Lady! I hope an extra treat came her way.

Sue and Doug said...

happy happy birthday Annie!!!..from your BC buddies!
Sue Doug and Tucker

Sarah said...

Happy birthday, sweet Annie! I wish I could pat that cute little belly of yours. :)

Gypsy said...

I would imagine if you come to California for a longer stay to escape the northern cold, you can get cheaper-per-night fees by geting a monthly rate. California is espensive in all aspects though.

Margie M. said...

Gypsy makes a great comment about monthly rates getting you the best deal. No matter where you travel, if you can stay put for a month or longer you can save some $$$. Thanks, Gypsy for reminding everyone of us about that.

Judy and Emma said...

Holy Schmolly! Most of those rates are way out of my budget! Thanks for posting them, though. I may just have to change my travel plans to get to Texas from Oregon. I will check my directories before making a final decision. Until I do that though, I'm hoping travel on 395 along the Eastern part of California will be more affordable for me. :( $400??? Egad!!!

Carol K said...

I don't usually sing happy birthday to dogs, but I'll make an exception for Annie. I'm glad she is still traveling with you. Those are great pictures of her on the beach at Pismo.

The good thing about all those expensive RV park rates is that most of them have lower rates available, too. I truly wonder, though, how many people are willing to pay those highest rates?

JODI said...

Happy Birthday Annie. Looks like you have a teenager in the house...dare I remind you what living with a teenage girl can be like? Na, I have a feeling this one is just like the ones at my house--loving to lay around. ;-)

Keep enjoying the CA sun!

Kenny And Angela's Adventure said...


From:Annie,Max and Lady

Jerry and Suzy said...

And of course there are lots of membership parks scattered about, but so very often they have to be destinations of their own, as they aren't located near what you really want to visit! Then again, some are only a few miles out and are a good place to land for a while.

You guys have been SO good TO and FOR Annie!

pidge said...

Happy birthday to a very happy Annie. I hope I look as good at her age. Thanks for the review on prices for rv parks. We want to get out that way to see Don's sister, and its good to know we might be able to afford. The prices are very high back east too.

Gail Durham said...

Happy Birthday, Annie!


I'm afraid if we had to stay in RV Parks with money figures like that our RVing days would be over right quick!!


P.S. Happy Birthday to the furry kid:))

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

(from Duke and Duchess wishing Annie a Happy Birthday)

Wow... camping sure gets expensive out there. We are usually in the $10 to $15 night a range here, and once in a great while we will pay $25 for an elect/water site for a treat. Too young for the Golden Age to cut that in half.

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

NOLA's Lost Son said...

Merci for the welcome & the pup looks amazing for her birthday :)

-- Remi