Originally Posted by SantinoDad
Just got to gush about our 2016 Minnie Winnie 22r purchased used in June of 2021. So far we have taken 10 short "discovery" trips from home base San Diego. Both with full or partial hookups and dry camping. Each trip we have learned something new. No disasters, just little "issues" we have learned to overcome and adapt too. We just returned from William Heise campground close to Julian, Ca.
No really poor weather so far on any trip. Trips have included 3 Rivers by Sequoia just before the fires, Carlsbad State Beach, (learned internal 110v plugs don't work without the generator being fired up) No problem, I made coffee for my spouse using the 110v plug in the campground bathroom just across from our camp spot! And I keep an old school percolating coffee pot onboard at all times
along with an electric coffee pot for my spouse. I have taken "Little Unko" out to the Anza Borrego desert to dry camp with my buddies at "Man Camp" on my own now twice. I used to camp in the back of my truck for 17 years! This is heaven!
Short trips to start seem to be the key for improving our learning curve. Spring will include a trip to Oregon.
I live up in Huntington Beach and went to William Heise twice this year, I love it. Hiked many of the trails there, a lot of fun. Went down to Guajome Regional Park a few months ago, it's only an hour drive from me, and that was pretty nice too. Also Dos Picos about 6 months ago. San Diego County has some really nice camping areas, and they're very easy to reserve online, and cheap!
You might want to try a trip out to Joshua Tree. It's hard to get reservations inside the park this time of year, but there's free BLM land outside the south entrance, and north of Joshua Tree as well. From highway 62 turn north on Sunfair, then drive a ways until you see a white picket fence on the right with a bunch of mailboxes, and turn right. Drive to the end of the pavement and you can park anywhere you want. You go right by a big solar farm. If you keep going on the dirt road there's also Coyote dry lake, great for off-road vehicles, but the road has quite a few potholes, and I kept seeing people getting stuck. But there's plenty of flat space just off the end of the pavement to park and spend the night, then you can drive into the park during the day. You wake up early each morning to coyotes howling, and the night sky is very dark. Great for stargazing.
The Cottonwood campground inside the southern entrance is often easier to get reservations. No hookups, and no cell service anywhere in the park. However from Cottonwood you can drive north and see all the sights, and as you get to the north end that's where the fun really begins. There's many places to park your RV and go on little hikes (or very long hikes) among all the giant rock formations and Joshua trees.
By the way, next time just fire up your generator to make coffee. Many campgrounds will say no generators allowed, but they actually don't mind if you use them for a little while during the day. Also one thing I do during the night if I notice my house batteries are getting low because of the heater (I have a voltage meter mounted in the bedroom where there was a cigarette lighter power port) I'll just fire up the chassis engine for a little while. It's very quiet, and will boost the house batteries up enough to make it to morning. Then if I'm boondocking I have solar panels I can put out. However on BLM land you can just run your generator.