Campgrounds And Boondocking Spots

This is the page where we put our reviews of both boondocking sites as well as any RV parks that we happen to stay in. If you have any questions about a particular place feel free to ask and we’ll let you know what we saw.

Thanks!

Santa Rosa State Park – New Mexico

While we were here we went to a nearby RT 66 Auto Museum that we got a kick out of.  It was only $5 and there are about 30 cars on display, mostly from a time when RT 66 was a thriving cross country road with many dsc00454webbusinesses. It still exists but has long since been bypassed by the Interstate. I can imagine the consternation of the business owners along the highway as they saw their livings go by the wayside to make room for “progress”.

We had seen references to “The Blue Hole” in town.  A natural spring “swimming hole”.  dsc00468webSo far it seems to be the most overrated tourist destination we’ve run across.   The small pool is used mostly by classes from the local dive shop. If you wanted to swim there I would suggest going before or after business hours.  It certainly did look tempting though!

The park itself has very nice views to the lake and is very clean with showers and bathrooms.  There is electricity but water has to be drawn from a centrally located spigot and carried back to your site. The host was very friendly and helpful. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Sawyer RV Park – West Memphis Arkansas

I have to admit that this was my first experience in a park where the campground map you get when you check in reminds you that their insurance company wants them to let you know that the park grounds are home to rattlesnakes, fire ants and chiggers.  That said, we didn’t see any of those things during our stay.  The area surrounding the park was the last place you would ever expect to find a park.  The immediate area is mostly industrial.  Nothing fancy about the park.  It does have free laundry however which is nice.  The staff was very friendly and escorted us to our site.  The park is directly on the shore of the Mississippi River.  We  spent some time just sitting on a bench watching huge barges go by.  Nothing like it in Vermont that’s for sure.

Aux Arc  Park – Arkansas

This Army Corp Of Engineers park was very nice and very quiet. The price was quite reasonable and there were showers, bathrooms, trash and dump stations.  Each site had a pole with a 5 gallon bucket hanging from a hook.  Some people were using them to put a lantern inside but I don’t know if that was their actual purpose or not.  If anybody knows we would be interested in hearing from you.

A1 Mountain Rd – Flagstaff AZ

This is a very nice place to boondock on National Forest Service land. Access is very easy off of I40. When you get off the exit you will pass a small development.  The road makes several switchbacks.  There are several sites along the left side of the road that would fit most sized RVs. If you go beyond that open area the roads start to get rougher and get worse the further you go. We tried that. In the near dark.  I wouldn’t recommend it unless you just have a camper van or will be tenting and have a 4WD.  
We had a branch wack our rear window and break it.  I don’t know where they come from but there are some 18 wheelers that actually come down that road from somewhere but they are few and far between.  Otherwise traffic is fairly light and the area is generally very quiet.  Not to mention beautiful!

Mission View Resort – Tucson AZ

We really enjoyed staying here while in Tucson to visit my father. It’s a very clean well kept park with good laundry facilities, large spaces, friendly staff and best of all, a swimming pool and a hot tub!  Both of which we  used daily. We used to have a hot tub in our sticks and bricks house and we always knew that was going to be the thing we missed most of all. The sites are big enough to park your truck next to your RV if you have that type of rig. Oh and double bonus! Since this is on an Indian reservation you don’t have to pay tax!

Three Dreamers RV Park – Salome AZ

I don’t know where to start with this one. We usually only go to parks because we have to. In this case the weatherman was predicting rain and given the mud-fest we had experienced in Cottonwood we figured we would get to a park for the storm and a couple of days after and avoid the mess. We also had a bunch of laundry to do. When we got there we were greeted warmly by the person at the front desk and shown where our site was. We also had a couple of nice folks come up while we were setting up who welcomed us.  It kind of went downhill from there.  Passport America had listed the price as $16 per night, but when we got there we were told that we also would be charged an extra $5 a night for electricity. I believe the deal was that you would get some of it back if you didn’t use the whole allowance. To me that seems a bit cheesy. If you go to a motel you kind of expect that electricity is part of the room cost. But we were tired and my back was killing me so we just ignored it.

We got set up and decided to turn on the TV and see what was happening in the world while we were away. This park has cable TV as part of the price. We picked this park because we could get the Passport America discount. Anyway, the cable TV was unwatchable due to snow.  And not the fun kind.  Oh well no biggie.

The next morning my wife decided to get some laundry going. There are about 5 washers and 4 dryers in the laundry room. When she got there they were all full but no longer washing. The person put their stuff in the washers and went away, so my wife decided to come back later.  A half hour later she went back to try it again. Same clothes in the washers still sitting there.

Now let me break off to a point of courtesy.  When we do our wash in a public laundry we put the clothes in the washers and leave, but when we leave we set a timer in the RV and when it goes off we go back and move our stuff along. It’s called thinking about others.

So after going back a second time she took the clothes out of two of the washers and placed them in baskets that were there, then put our stuff in. The owner of the clothes, a gentlemen, finally came back and we explained that we had moved the clothes and he was fine with it. All was well until my wife went back (after our timer went off) to move our clothes to a dryer. She was met by a furious woman who began yelling that we had some nerve touching her clothes and she was going to complain to the park owners, which she did. The owners asked my wife not to touch anybody’s clothes.  Rather than fighting over the reason my wife just apologized and the owner was ready to go. The angry lady then said that my wife didn’t appear sorry… enough. OK whatever.  But then she went back again and the man was there and proceeded to gripe to my wife again making her uncomfortable. She just let it slide. And if you know my wife you know that that goes against her nature 🙂

It was slightly ironic given the signs everywhere saying to clean up after yourself  because “Maintenance costs money”. Apparently that does not include moving your laundry along. Now we always clean up after ourselves.  It is the courteous thing to do but again it makes me think of the motel analogy. You would be surprised if the motel left notes saying to make your own bed every day because maids cost money.

No one big thing but several little things combined to make this a less than stellar stay for us. We ended up leaving a day early. If you are just looking for a place to stay overnight and crash it’s fine but I wouldn’t stay here again.  NOT the fault of the management but it only takes one Oscar the Grouch to ruin a stay.

Plomosa Rd – Quartzsite

This is about as easy as boondocking access gets. Plomosa Road is newly paved and in perfect condition. There are miles and miles of road to camp on, and in late November/Early December there is plenty of room and you could hear a pin drop most of the time. dsc_0005web

I’m sure that soon it will be crowded as people come in for the big show. Gas, LP, Water and RV dump are all available a few miles down the road at the RV Pitstop for a price. We haven’t needed to use it so far so I can’t report on the prices.dsc_0007web

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplies of some things like groceries are limited in town unless you want to drive up to Parker where there is a Walmart Supercenter, and of course the Colorado River. All in all we really like it here and will certainly return in January for our first go at the big event.

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In the mean time we have photos of the natural beauty to look back on.

 

 

 

The Scenic Road RV Park – Quartzsite AZ

For our last night in Quarzsite we decided to stay in an RV park to refresh our tanks and use the facilities. We chose The Scenic Road RV park for our stay. This is a nice little park right opposite the RV Pitstop where you can get water, dump your tanks and fill your LP tanks. We had used it to get some water when we were staying at Plumosa Rd. The owner of the park Jeff was very friendly and helpful. He showed us to our site, helped us with an extra pair of eyes while we were parking and even greeted Eva our kitty. The facilities were nice and clean. Even their laundry philosophy jived with ours. They had signs in the laundry asking people to be present when their laundry is done so others have a chance to use the facility. It even said that if you are not there that you should expect that others may have moved your clothes out of the machine in order to access it.  If any of you read this post you will know why this matters to us. Although it is right on the main drag the noise was never a factor. The sites have a concrete pad, 30 or 50 Amp service, water and sewer, all of which were in pristine condition. I am sometimes shocked at the condition that I find electric pedestals or water spigots in. Here I was pleasantly surprised and it shows the owners have pride in their place and keep it in good shape. As we were getting ready to leave Jeff came by to make sure everything went according to our expectations and welcomed us back whenever we were passing through.  All in all it was a very nice experience and The Scenic Road RV Park gets a thumbs up from us!

PS Bring cash. This park does not take credit cards

Saddle Mountain BLM – Tonopah AZ

We’ve been here almost a week now and this place is already high on our list. It’s not far from I-10 but you can’t hear a thing. There is a road that is a bit closer that has some trucks on it but the sound is not an issue as they are far away enough not to be a bother. It’s only about 50 miles from Phoenix if you get the urge to see civilization. We accessed the area via Courthouse Rd. Just past mile marker 13 there is a turnoff on a dirt road that you can follow right up to the base of the mountain.  As you approach it will be easy to see how it got it’s name. We have seen some beautiful sunrises and sunsets here.  We can only see 2 other campers anywhere near us, both are about a mile away. We have been getting 3 bars of Verizon 4G since we got here.  If you are into geocaching there seems to be quite a few around here. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere but that’s how we like our boondockin spots 🙂

Prince Of Tucson RV Park – Tucson AZ

We stayed at the Prince of Tucson RV park for two nights while we were in Tucson visiting my father for the Christmas holiday. The park was clean and the desk staff friendly. This is a odd review to write because while the park was fine it’s really just not our thing. We aren’t really into staying at parks to begin with. Prince of Tucson is an urban park and as such comes with things you would probably expect. For starters it is right up against I10. While there is a huge wall separating the park from the interstate it really doesn’t do much against the constant highway noise. The other thing we found odd was the amount of street lights within the park. Make sure you have room darkening shades for going to sleep at night. The price with Good Sam Discount was $38 per night. We weren’t there long enough to avail ourselves of any of the amenities with the exception of the laundry which was set up very well and was very clean. It also had a decent number of newish machines and we had them all to ourselves while we were there.
If you don’t mind staying in parks in general or urban parks specifically I would recommend Prince of Tucson. While the more permanent residents seem to have pretty tight spacing, there was plenty of room in the overnight pull through site we had.

Saddle Mountain RV Park – Tonopah AZ

I’ll say one thing for the Saddle Mountain RV Park. We were SOOOO glad it was there. We were headed back to Saddle Mountain after coming from Tucson and it started pouring cats and dogs. By the time we got to Tonopah we were pretty sure that we wouldn’t be able to get into BLM land again without sinking into the mud. We have a big 4WD truck but that is not something either of us wanted to deal with during a storm. Much of the desert we had seen was already under water. But we knew that Saddle Mountain Park was there because we had passed it in during our earlier visit to town. We were always surprised how big and nice it seemed but it also had so many empty spaces. It has tons of palm trees and looks quite inviting. We had read a couple of reviews that complained of the smell of a nearby chicken farm but when we were in town previously we had never smelled anything. Anyway, we got there around 2 in the afternoon and it was already pitch black. We didn’t even bother to unhook from the truck. I plugged in the power and called it good.
Most of the spaces seemed pretty tight but there were so many empty that it really didn’t matter. We didn’t use any of the facilities and were gone the next morning. Oh and BTW when I stepped outside that morning, that’s when I finally caught the chicken smells. It was pretty strong. We have lived the last 30 years living in rural Vermont surrounded by dairy farms. The smells never bothered us at all. In fact there was a kind of aroma therapy thing to it. It was home. Chicken I have to say smells more like human to me than cow manure. They have self check in after hours and We paid $27 for the night with our Escapees discount. It was worth every penny and then some.

Oasis Palms RV Resort – Thermal California

Oasis palms has a lot going for it. It’s a very cute little park that feels more like you are staying at a “park” than a parking lot. There is grass between all the sites and there are even citrus trees everywhere that the guests are allowed to pick fresh fruit from. The oranges were very good too! Of course we saw some people abusing the privilege by picking garbage bags full of them. Some people.

We stayed here for three nights as the area was expecting a huge rain storm with possible flash floods. We didn’t want to be stuck in the desert during that. It ended up being no more than a drizzle for us but I guess the LA area got hit pretty good. They had nice clean bathrooms and a small laundry room with one washer and a couple of dryers. The only knock on the place was when we went to use the hot tub and pool we found that both were filthy. The water appeared clear enough but there was a ton of debris floating in the water and laying on the bottom. All it would take is the occasional few scoops with a net and vacuuming the bottom on occasion to make the place really nice. We have Passport America so we only paid $20 per night which made it a pretty good deal overall.

We would go there again if we are ever in the area.  BTW there is not much in the area.  It’s near the Salton Sea which is not much to Sea OR See

Distant Drums RV Park

We decided to stop here for a few days because I was still recovering and needed a break from the day to day chores of boodocking.  When you arrive you pull into one of several lanes they have for RV’s that are checking in. It’s nice to see some order to that process which can sometimes be a bit messy and or the spaces available for it are not nearly big enough. 

We checked in and were escorted to our site but two guys who worked there. Everyone who worked there was very polite. They helped me back in which was a much bigger deal than need be because the spaces are made without an inch to spare on either side if you expect to get your slides out.  We finally got in there, got leveled and put out the slides. That was when one of our cables snapped. But that’s another story. 

Once I disconnected the truck and parked it next to Firefly on the pad there was no other space available.  There was a picnic table behind us on a 45 degree slope but we couldn’t tell if it was ours or the people behind us.  Nobody could have used it at any rate.

The whole park is very nicely landscaped and kept up very well by the staff there. Unfortunately the tiny spaces make it seem very claustrophobic. If you want to sit outside you had to either sit under the pin area on a 5th wheel or just about in the road.

Like many RV parks it is built right on a highway which provides pretty much constant noise. Not enough to keep us awake though. And of course the WiFi is unusable unless you are down at the club house.  But again this is true of most RV Park WiFi.  If you are thinking as we usually do that you will just use your own Jetpack for internet access you can forget that too.  We went back and forth between no bars and one bar of Verizon 4G. I imagine if you had a cell booster antenna you might be able to get by but we don’t have one. There is also a very nice swimming pool that we took advantage of several times while we were there. It’s always very clean and vacuumed.  Next to the pool is a hot tub.  Best of both worlds.  There is no shade so I imagine it can get pretty hot poolside if the weather is very warm. 

All in all it’s a very pretty and well kept park. I would probably give it 3.5 stars because of the small spaces and poor WiFi

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