We had a great time dry-camping (no water, electric, sewer) in our RV this Labor Day weekend near Pine Flat (exact location: 35.051240, -112.154390) with a nice group of relatives, friends, and friends of relatives. It was a perfect, cool, 78° in the afternoons at this 6,500' high elevation about 20 miles south of Williams, AZ. Pam and I took a rigorous 12-mile day-trip in our Jeep Cherokee tow-car, but it was worth the jostling around because the views were spectacular overlooking the Red Rock Wilderness Area.
4-Day Weekend Trip to Show Low, AZ
We wanted (needed!) to get out of the Phoenix heat so we went to one of our favorite spots in Arizona for a few days this past weekend. We stayed at the Woodfield RV Park, which is a brand-new RV park in Show Low, conveniently located right next to the White Mountain Vacation Village RV planned community. The weather was perfect around 80° for the highs and 60° for the overnight lows. Pam and I took a nice ride in the Jeep on Saturday and enjoyed watching the zip-line riders and the dark, black clouds, thunder and lighting at the Sunrise Park Ski Resort. We took the long way back home on Monday via Holbrook and Flagstaff to avoid the many up and down hills on Highway 87.
Places the RV has been!
Thanks to the RV, we've been to some beautiful places and stayed in some great campsites.
Some of the best sunsets we've ever seen are right from our RV campsites!
Medford, OR to Peoria, AZ
After five weeks away from home, we were ready to go back. We drove the 1,000 miles from Medford to Peoria in three days, staying the first night at the Flag City RV Park just off of I-5 in Lodi, CA, which is a perfect RV park for us to stopover at on the way to and from Oregon. It has nice, wide paved spaces and all the normal RV park amenities such as sewer, water, 50-amp electric, pool, spa and a big dog park. For the second night, we stayed at Valencia Travel Village in Castaic, CA. It's a very tight park and I probably wouldn't stay there again. We had major smoke from the "Sand" fire in L.A. all the way through California, then blowing dust in Arizona, which didn't make for a very pleasant drive, so we're very glad to be home. Now, time to start planning our next trip!
We left rainy Seattle on July 10th for the better weather east of the Cascade Mountains. Once we cleared Snoqualmie Pass, the sun came out the rest of the way. Temps were in the 70s and 80s, including a perfect 70° at 6,178' high Crater Lake.
We stayed at a cute little RV park right on the Columbia River in Goldendale, WA named Peach Beach RV Park. It was fun watching the kite surfers, which this area of the Columbia is famous for.
From there, we drove south and stayed five days in Bend, Oregon at the very upscale Crown Villa RV Resort. I've never seen so many top-of-the-line class A motorhomes in one park. There was even one with a trailer for their Porsche Cayman GT4 tow-car! The park was great because it was beautifully landscaped, nice wide spaces, the driveways were all paved with pavers, excellent wi-fi, and a great dog area for Spanky!
One evening, we took a drive on the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway, which takes you up past Mt. Bachelor and several beautiful high-mountain lakes. We ran out of time to take the entire loop, which would probably have been as spectacular as the first 30 miles that we took from Bend to Elk Lake. Maybe next time!
On Friday, July 15th We drove the 100 miles from Bend to our camping spot at the Diamond Lake RV Park, just outside of the entrance to Crater Lake. It was a very nice forest camping spot with a peek-a-boo view of the lake. No sewer, no cell phone service, no cable TV, no antenna TV, not even satellite TV because of the large trees. We rented a movie for $1 from the park office one evening and then enjoyed the peace and quite of the park for the two nights that we used this park as home-base to explore Crater Lake.
Saturday, July 16th was a perfect day at Crater Lake with the temp around 70°. Didn't even need a light coat! There was still some snow on the ground from the heavy winter snows they had this year. Until you see it for yourself, you just can't believe how clear and blue the water is in Crater Lake.
Seattle to Bend Slideshow:
Crater Lake Slideshow:
Crater Lake, Oregon Video:
Seattle, WA. June 21-July 10, 2016
Easily drove the 290 miles from Depoe Bay, Oregon via Lincoln City-to-Portland-to Seattle, WA in one day, where we spent a wonderful two and a half weeks staying at the Lake Pleasant RV Park in Bothell, WA. We love this park, except for the fact that they have TERRIBLE wi-fi. In fact, it's absolutely worthless! But, there aren't any other RV parks in the entire Seattle area that are half as nice, so we spent our working hours at the local Starbucks, library and our nieces house.
We took a day-trip to Friday Harbor, in the San Juan Islands. The weather was perfect with temps about 70°, even out on the open water! Dave, Krista and the grand kids rented kayaks and had a great time paddling around Friday Harbor while the rest of us enjoyed dining and shopping around town.
Because we stayed so long in Seattle this trip, we were able to visit with all our relatives and even took my 92 & 93 year old parents out to dinner at Ivars Salmon House on Seattle's Lake Union.
The weather held out for the first week, but then turned to typical Seattle gray clouds most of the second week.
June 26, 2016 day-trip to Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands, Washington.
Oregon Coast. June 17-21, 2016
I was a little worried about driving the 36' RV and Jeep toad on little-old Highway 42 between I-5 and Coos Bay, but we made it just fine (except for following a very smelly diesel semi truck most of the way). We stayed two nights at the Oceanside Beachfront RV Resort in Coos Bay (we've stayed here before and loved it). Kyle, Crystal and Jason rented one of their cottages while Pam, Krista, our grandaughters and I stayed in the RV. The cottage worked out great.
Kyle, Crystal and Jason drove back to Medford while the rest of us drove 125 miles up the coast on Highway 101 to the Sea and Sand RV Park just north of Depoe Bay. We stayed two nights at this absolutely beautiful RV park right on the ocean. I want to go back here and stay a week next time!
Our oceanfront spot at the Sea & Sand RV Park in Depoe Bay, Oregon.
Made the 1,062 mile trek from home in Peoria, AZ to Medford, OR in a 3-day/2-night drive. Stayed at one of our favorite RV parks in the L.A. area, the East Shore RV Park and had a beautiful spot at the River Point Landing Marina & RV Resort along the Sacramento River in Stockton, CA.
San Diego's Campland on the Bay
We had a wonderful stay in space #I-3 in San Diego's Campland on the Bay for 6 days in April. This space worked out great because it was deeper than the other spaces along the fence in the I-group. My favorite spaces are still the H-group because they face directly south overlooking Mission Bay. I enjoyed riding my bike around Mission Bay on the great bike paths. We had a delicious dinner on the waterfront at Anthony's Fish Grotto (I had the seared scallops). We ended up staying an extra night in San Diego because the wind was forecasted to have 60 mph gusts in the mountains and deserts. The winds subsided on Tuesday for our drive back to Phoenix (too bad - I don't need much of an excuse to stay longer in San Diego!).
It's our third annual Bill Luke Bass Days 4-day weekend at Lake Pleasant, Arizona, located less than 10 miles from our house. This is the perfect place for us to get away for a short RV camping trip. Our son-in-law usually wins something in the $50,000 Bass Tournament but he and two friends struck out this time. Needless to say, they were very disappointed! The rest of us had a fun day kayaking and Paul took his Hobie Sail-Yak out for a sail. We've already reserved our spots for 2017.
Two years ago, when researching which motorhome to buy for our first RV, I told myself after reading everybody's comments about gas-vs-diesel that a gas RV would be sufficient for us. Boy, was I wrong! Peoples comments in the RV forums all said that if you just drive it around your home state for short weekends or one-week trips, then the gas coach would be fine, but if you live it in or drive it long distances, get a diesel pusher. Well, I couldn't justify spending $75,000 more just for a diesel pusher at the time, so I went with a brand-new 2014 Tiffin Allegro 35QBA. After putting over 10,000 miles on it in the first 18 months, I now know why people said to get a diesel pusher. Our new 2016 Tiffin Allegro RED 33AA does everything head-and-shoulders better than our gas RV did.
Just like we did with our 2014 Allegro motorhome (click here to view blog post), we went to Lake Pleasant this past weekend for a shakedown cruise to organize everything in the new motorhome. Good news...even though this one is slightly smaller, everything fit! Towed the Jeep behind it for the first time, you couldn't even tell it was back there. The diesel engine makes a huge difference in power over the gas engine in the last RV. And, it handles like a car because of the Freightliner chassis and air shocks. So far, we love this coach.
Out with the old, in with the new.
After our last big trip to Yellowstone, Seattle, Oregon and back (see blog post here), we decided that the 2014 Tiffin Allegro 35QBA gas-coach wasn't cutting it on the long distances that we're tending to travel and we started looking for a diesel pusher replacement. After looking at Thor Palazzo, Forest River Berkshire, Newmar Ventana LE, Fleetwood Excursion 33D, Winnebago Solei 36G and more, we decided to stick with Tiffin and traded our 2014 Allegro in for a new 2016 Tiffin Allegro RED 33AA (RED = Rear Engine Diesel). The deciding factor was an 80-mile test drive up to 2,500' high Sunset Point and back on I-17. The difference in handling and power was HUGE! Our gas coach takes that hill at 40 MPH with the engine revving way up to 5,000 RPM. The diesel coach took it easily at 55, even with the cruise control on! Plus, no swaying when passing or being passed by big semi trucks. I don't know which impressed me more, but I fell in love with this coach on this test drive. We made the trade today, transferring all our gear from the old coach to the new one. So far, it looks like everything will fit into the new one, even though it's 8" shorter. We'll be organizing everything in it this weekend in preparation for our next trip.
States We've Trekked To