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Old 11-13-2020, 02:29 PM   #1
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We're new to owning an RV

We're new to RVing and are wanting to travel a short distance initially from our So Calif home just to test the waters. We have a 36' Holiday Rambler with pop outs. We have yet to purchase a vehicle to tow so we'll only have e-bikes. We're not interested in driving or camping in the snowy mountains either.
Any suggestions for places to go?
What are your opinions of the HOA sites/facilities?
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Old 11-13-2020, 04:57 PM   #2
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Never heard of 'HOA' sites. Do you mean KOA? If so, we don't stay at them because they're too expensive, commercialized. We enjoy nature and love state parks and other public parks.

From Southern California, Borrego Springs would be a nice place to visit. There's a state park there and also RV parks. Another would be Santee Lakes RV.

Check first to make sure there aren't any COVID restrictions. Some parks aren't fully open at this time.
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Old 11-13-2020, 05:08 PM   #3
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Welcome!

We stay at KOA campgrounds pretty frequently. We donít find the prices to be too bad, but they vary and some are quite a bit higher than others. Most are not ďdestinationĒ stops for us, just someplace to stop for a night or two while going to or from our destination.

Facilities/amenities vary too, but the basics will always be there - full hook ups, 20/30/50 amp service, toilets, showers, laundry room, and camp store. Most will have pull throughs and spots for big rigs. The tend to be clean and reasonably well maintained.

They can be a bit cramped, but for a night or two thatís not really an issue. If weíll be staying longer than that we try to get a deluxe or patio site. They are more expensive, but offer more room, and sometimes even a little privacy.

Regards,

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Old 11-13-2020, 05:25 PM   #4
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lionessrohr,

KOA campgrounds can be a great first trip. It's a great way to use all your systems in a safe space with helpful people around. If you have kids, they'll love the facilities. Once you've done that a couple times, you can branch out and look for some quirky places to camp. There's no wrong answer here really. Have fun and check in to let us know how it goes.


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Old 11-13-2020, 05:29 PM   #5
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I see youíre in Huntington Beach so give Pala or Pechanga RV resorts a look. Only about 80 miles from you.
Pechanga may have better bike riding but both are nice weekend get always.
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Old 11-13-2020, 05:42 PM   #6
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KOA: acronym for Keep On Adding


To be avoided unless you don't mind paying for things you don't use.
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Old 11-13-2020, 06:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrohr View Post
We're new to RVing and are wanting to travel a short distance initially from our So Calif home just to test the waters. We have a 36' Holiday Rambler with pop outs. We have yet to purchase a vehicle to tow so we'll only have e-bikes. We're not interested in driving or camping in the snowy mountains either.
Any suggestions for places to go?
What are your opinions of the HOA sites/facilities?
Sorry...meant KOA (was in real estate industry too long LOL)

Thank you everyone for the very helpful information! The navigation of this forum is not the easiest but I'm determined to overcome and become an expert! LOL
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:07 PM   #8
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We are also in So Cal. We have been to Anza Borrego State park (3 times), Joshua Tree (twice), Seven Oaks (cold now), state beaches, kern river, and a few other parks within a few hours. Another place I'd like to spend some time but have not in Red Rock State Park. I'd also like to go to Mojave National Preserve for a days a t some point.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:27 PM   #9
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Look at the KOA in a hula Vista (suburban San Diego). Far enough from Huntington Beach for a decent trip, but close enough to home if something needs managing. It is a relatively spacious park with lots of opportunities to Uber to the zoo or other spots.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:28 PM   #10
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With a rig of that size it won't be impossible, but should I say, challenging to find spaces to accomodate you in public owned campgrounds, which tend to have a variety of different sized spaces. There will be large spaces for you and small spaces that you cannot get into (meaning you will not always have your choice of any spot in the campground), so learn how to work your way thru the various state park web sites (Many are Reserve America operated web sites) and also Recreation.gov. In addition learn to scope out sites, fuel stops and such using Google Maps and the aerial/satellite views and street view (a good number of campgrounds are included in street view).

The suggestion to find a KOA or similar resort and enjoy it to test out all of your water, sewer and power was a good one. It will be a good test of what you do or don't want to do in the future.

Charles
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:14 PM   #11
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Look at the KOA in a hula Vista (suburban San Diego).
Chula Vista
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:48 PM   #12
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the first trip should be in your driveway, you will be amazed at the items you will need and finding out how to operate everything
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Old 11-14-2020, 10:20 PM   #13
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Stay in your driveway for a first overnight, see how it goes. I'm in so cal as well, vail lake is a nice place to stay, as is Ramona Oaks. We really like Ramona Oaks......The park at sweetwater is nice, that is Chula Vista. Also the park in borrego springs looks nice, although I've never stayed there. I have a 36' holiday rambler too, what year/model is yours? We mostly dry camp, been doing it for years.....
Any questions about so cal locations, or need a camp buddy, let me know.
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Old 11-15-2020, 09:01 PM   #14
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Our first RV experience was a 2 week rental. Didn't know any better so we did a bunch of KOAs that trip. KOA is like Denny's. Fairly consistent on what you are getting & most everywhere you want to go.

Many years & literally hundreds of different campgrounds later you will rarely see us in a KOA.

State parks, county parks, COE CGs, NPs, fairgrounds & a sprinkling of private CGs is where you find us now. It is a learning experience & you learn as you go.
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