I spent a week in Oasis, Thanksgiving week, as I prefer to not travel during holiday weeks. It’s such a hassle with the traffic and the last minute RVers who suddenly decide to invade a RV park leaving no spots available for us full timers. I learned this was a problem in the first two years I was traveling. You need to plan in advance of a holiday and get your ass parked before the crowds flock to the parks. Now, depending on how popular the area I’m staying at is for particular holidays, I’ll get to where I want to be a week or two in advance. Sometimes a month in advance. This gives me squatters rights at a RV park and also time to scout the area for other RV parks that might have better accommodations, or are closer to services and stores. And I especially look for parks that are closer to sports pubs. So I can watch my favorite teams on a big screen, or with other fans.
Although there are online resources like rating systems for RV parks, they never tell you everything you’d like know and there’s no substitute for actually parking there for a few days. If it’s not a holiday week, usually I’ll pay for 1-3 days, depending on what my research has shown about the park and area. If it turns out good, I’ll roll that over to a week stay. Some parks will not allow that, so I don’t get the weekly discount that I would have if I’d just initially sprung for the weekly rate, but staying at a bad park is much worse then paying more than you’d like for those days.
Make no mistake…many parks flat out lie about their features. Both online, and over the phone. Even attempting to baffle you with bullshit when you call them on their inaccuracies. This is the main reason I so seldom call for reservations. I’m not going to fork over money to someone for what may turn out to be wholly inadequate accommodations. Luckily, many parks allow you to reserve a spot without taking your CC info though. Others have really strict rules about it and sometimes suggest on their web sites that they require reservations. BS usually. I just show up. I think I’ve been turned away 3-4 times in 12 years.
So, you’re protecting yourself when you only pay for 1-3 nights to begin with then roll over to the weekly after deciding it’s an OK park. I’ve read so many hilarious accounts of people who failed to check out a place, paying for a week or month to save money, only to discover the park did not meet their expectations, then ranted and raved about the park refusing to give refunds. I try to avoid that unpleasantness. It does cost a bit more over the long run but not enough to be a concern. My spreadsheet shows I’ve been averaging $332/month over the last 12 years for RV parking spaces. I’ve spent the majority of my time in what would be called 2nd tier RV parks which tend to be less expensive, but doing so has given me the funds to occasionally splurge on fancy, expensive parks. One problem with expensive parks that annoys me to no end is that they often can afford to pay some outside company to completely control their WiFi system. And generally, it doesn’t work worth a damn. And complaining to staff brings up the oft repeated, “We don’t handle the WiFi here so we can’t do anything”, or my favorite dodge, “It’s slow when too many people are all online at the same time”, and you’re in a nearly empty park. Gah!
So here are two examples within two weeks. I called the Oasis RV park before leaving Rosamond and found that they ‘knew’ they had a very good WiFi signal. So when I arrived at the park, the guy was kind enough to rung Speedtest.net on his office computer and show me the results. As a result, I spent a week with them over T-Day holiday. Turned out they handled their own WiFi and it was blazing fast. Like cable fast. I really enjoyed the video streaming I was able to do, but the park was soooo far from anything. So I moved on, headed south to El Centro.
First though, on my travel day, Dec. 1st, I thought I’d try to visit the Salton Sea. But I’d checked the air pressure in all my tires that morning and there was one that was 40 PSI low. See the tire story here: Tire Low Dec. 2015.
Crap. It’s the inner dually on the driver’s side. My destination of El Centro is only 1 & 1/2 hours away so I took my time on the road since you can limp along with one of the dual tires a little low. Gotta be careful and keep your speed down though. Meanwhile, I wanted a few pics of the Salton Sea so tried to drive over there just across the freeway from the RV park. Turns out the road is private and this is as close as I could get.
Here’s a look at how dry and desert like it is here in this below sea level valley.