3,000+ mile trip to Seattle and back home via the Oregon and California coast. Turned out to be just a lot of driving and not a very relaxing vacation. Glad to be back home.
We enjoyed the cool San Diego weather over the 4th of July. Can't beat San Diego in the summer compared to 110°+ in Phoenix! We stayed at the new Sun Resorts San Diego Bay RV Resort with 3 spaces in a row for other family members. We ended up moving to a view site on the outside edge for the 4th so we could all see the fireworks better.
We had a fun trip from the Arizona desert to the shores of the Pacific Ocean this weekend. The winding roads between Borrego Springs and San Diego would have been better in a sports car or a motorcycle than in our RV, but we managed. We drove through the quaint little town of Julian but were unable to pick up a pie at the famous Julian Pie Company because of the lack of parking for an RV, plus there was a long line of customers waiting at the door. Of course, we had to get a shrimp sandwich and some smoked salmon at our favorite San Diego restaurant; Point Loma Seafoods. Temperature-wise, we went from 104° yesterday to 65° today, but it's a nice change from our always-sunny Arizona.
Click above to play video/slide show.
Wonderful two-week trip from Arizona to Washington via Utah, Idaho and Oregon and back via Oregon and California.
Places we stayed:
June 30th through July 6th, 2021 at the now-closed Chula Vista RV Resort.
We stayed three nights at the lush, green, Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, California March 27-30, 2021 and spent a couple of days exploring the area. We didn't plan on driving as far up the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, but once you start up the Pines to Palms Highway 72, there really isn't any room to turn around until you reach the viewpoint near the top of the road. It's an extremely curvy road, but well worth it for the view from the top.
The drive through the main drag in Palm Springs was fun since we usually just drive past on I-10. Even with the Pandemic still going on, there were a lot of people strolling through the shops and restaurants so we just drove through. Maybe next time, we can enjoy some good food at the restaurants.
On Monday, we took the advice of the tour websites and did a day trip to the Joshua Tree National Park. We're glad we did, because it was really quite a site to see with the huge boulders and large Joshua trees. Because of the crowds, there wasn't much room to park our RV, so we weren't able to get out and hike the trails except for Skull Rock, which was fun to see.
The drive back to Phoenix was very rough because of the high winds all the way through California and Arizona. I was wishing that our high-profile RV was a low-profile Corvette, but we just took it slow and made it home OK.
Click the Play button to watch a 7 minute video comprised of mostly dash cam footage (depending on your internet speed, it might take a few seconds to load).
We made our annual RV trip to Seattle, leaving Phoenix on August 10th and returning on August 25th, 2019. This time, it was in our new 2019 Winnebago 24D motorhome.
We're already planning our next outing. Possibly New Mexico to see the fall leaves turn.
Driving through Newport Dunes RV Resort to our space #1119.
Beautiful view from our space #1119.
Wildflowers in full bloom along the freeways of S. Cal.
March 16-23, 2019.
We had a wonderful 8 days in our spot #1119 at the Newport Dunes Resort over our granddaughter's Spring Break. While the resort is beautiful, it's a long way from Phoenix (375 miles) and the L.A. traffic made it seem like twice that far (stop-and-go traffic in an RV is no fun!). For a different point of view coming home, we drove down Highway 1 from Newport Beach to San Clemente, then took I-5 to I-8 back to Phoenix, thinking that it would have lighter traffic. Big mistake! Stop-and go-traffic on I-5 from San Clemente to San Diego was terrible. It took 10 hours to drive the 435 miles home this way! Because of traffic, we probably won't go back to Newport Dunes again. However, I-8 is way better than I-10 because of its lighter traffic and lack of semi trucks. The wildflowers were in full bloom in Southern California making for a beautiful drive.
Our new 2019 Winnebago Navion 24D handled perfectly over the 800 mile trip. Unlike our past Tiffin motorhomes, this RV still has nothing seriously wrong within the first 6 months of owning it. The only issue we had with this trip was the Sirius satellite radio cut out after driving over a very bumpy section of I-5. Something must have come unplugged behind the dash. If that's the only thing to go wrong with this rig, I'll be very happy!
We left Phoenix on June 29th and stayed through the 4th of July at San Diego's Campland on the Bay in space #I-7, which was right on the bay. It was a fun-filled 10 days with live music almost every night and several fireworks shows visible, all from our camping spot. From there, we drove to Pismo Beach and stayed for a couple of nights at Pismo Coast Village RV Resort. It was a very nice spot, although it wasn't right on the ocean, but you could walk to it. We stayed at the Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville, CA for one night. I wouldn't recommend this park. It didn't deserve it's high rating on Good Sam. The next day we drove up I-5 to Medford and stayed at the very nice Jackson County RV Park for four days and visited with our son and daughter-in-law. Then, it was on to a beautiful ocean-front space #162 at Pacific Shores Motorcoach RV Resort for three days (this is our favorite RV park that we've stayed at in our four years of RVing). We went on to Long Beach and stayed at Anderson's Oceanside RV Park for two nights, which had a nice, short walk across the dunes to the beach. Then, on to Seattle for three weeks (see the next blog post).
We reserved space #I-7 at Campland on the Bay two years ago, and already have a space reserved for a week over the 4th of July for the next two years. You have to reserve two years out to get a good spot right on the bay! This isn't the place to come if you want peace and quiet! It's crazy with kids, partygoers and the like, but it's been a lot of fun and it's a great place to stay for the 4th of July because you don't have to get in your car and drive anywhere to watch the fireworks. We just walked about 100 yards from our space out onto the jetty and watched five major fireworks shows from our patio chairs, all with a Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band playing live behind us, finishing with "Free Bird" as the fireworks from SeaWorld just across the bay were finishing. There's been a live band here almost every night. Saturday night will be a Journey cover band (really looking forward to that one!).
On the morning of the 4th, we packed a lunch, rented a pontoon boat and cruised around Mission Bay for two hours.
I can't think of a better place to hang out with the RV for the 4th of July!
Phoenix to Seattle:
Jason joined us for a 3-week trip up to Seattle and back March 11-April 2, 2017 to celebrate my parent's 94th & 95th birthdays. My brother had a 30-amp service put into his garage so we squeezed the RV into the tight driveway between some businesses and enjoyed a week "camping" in his driveway. On the way up, we stopped at the Pomona Fairplex KOA (very poor wi-fi - worthless!!!). Otherwise, a decent park) for a night, drove to Lodi, CA the next day and stayed at the Flag City RV Resort (which we like because of the paved pull-through spaces, good wi-fi, and is a nice, mid-way stop between L.A. and Medford), while in Medford, we stayed at the very convenient brand-new Southern Oregon RV Park (no wi-fi but my Verizon phone as a hot-spot works well here) while visiting our son and daughter-in-law. Last stop before we got to Seattle was at the Pheasant Ridge RV Resort (super nice park with paved terraced spaces with a good distance between each one (Wi-fi was very slow but they're currently installing a faster version with 15 poles throughout the park. They have good fast ethernet internet in a room by the office. My Verizon phone as a hotspot works great here. They have cable TV but it's very fuzzy and has limited channels. No antenna TV channels available because of the mountain behind the park. No satellite channels because of the trees).
We averaged driving about 350 miles per day, which is the most I like to drive the RV at one time. The hills throughout California and Oregon were unbelievably green because of all the rain they've had over the Winter and Spring. We had good weather most days, except for the drive from Medford to Wilsonville, where it rained the entire way. Seattle weather was typical for March - mostly cloudy and raining about every other day. Kyle and Crystal drove up and stayed with us in Issaquah for a couple of days. We all enjoyed dinner at our favorite restaurant; Ivars Salmon House.
Seattle back to Phoenix via S. Cal. Coast:
We left Issaquah and drove the entire 450 miles to Medford, Oregon in one day, which is more than I like to drive, but we made it OK. We stayed at the Southern Oregon RV Park for a few nights, then continued on our trip back home. We decided to change directions after leaving the Flag City RV Resort in Lodi because the winds on I-5 were very strong and the forecast called for wind speeds up to 60 mph in Arizona, so we headed out to the coast on highway 152 and stayed a couple of nights at the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA, where the winds were forecasted to be minimal. The park was great, except for the roads leading to it were not made for 35' long, 13' tall motorhomes. I wouldn't stay there again because of that. Our satellite radio wasn't working well the rest of the trip, I suspect, because of being scraped by low trees. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with day trips in the Jeep to Santa Cruz, Monterey and Carmel, where we took the spectacular 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach. Our timing was perfect to return home (with an overnight stop at the Pomona Fairflex KOA again) because the wind died down for two days. The day after we returned home, the winds were howling again!
Overall, we drove 3,235 miles over 3 weeks, averaging 9.5 mpg.
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!
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 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!).
We took our first long trip in our new motorhome to San Diego last weekend. Our daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters had a great time at SeaWorld and playing on Mission Beach. The weather was a perfect 76° on Saturday. The weather forecasters kept warning everybody about rain and high winds for Sunday and Monday, but it really wasn't bad. I was worried about driving our 35' motorhome across the desert after hearing the NAV in the Jeep give a warning saying "treacherous driving at mile 163", but this new motorhome handled the wind like it wasn't even there. Our old one would have been blown off the road!
We stayed at Campland on the Bay this time, and I'm glad we did. We drove through the park last summer and said to ourselves that it was too crowded and busy but we had a nice, wide pie-shaped space right on the bay this time so it was perfect. They have a very nice dog park and kids play area. We'll definitely go back there again, if we can make reservations far enough out to get a good space. I inquired about a space for the 4th of July and they said they're 95% sold out already.
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.
Assorted photos from the trip:
Grand Tetons and Yellowstone photos:
We went to Laughlin, NV for the first time since we moved to Phoenix, Arizona over 25 years ago. That's what we love about the motorhome - we are exploring areas we've never been to before because we were always just going to our favorite places like San Diego, Sedona and Showlow. Now we can go and stay anywhere!
The drive was 215 miles and took about 4-1/2 hours. We drove through Laughlin, then headed south about 15 miles to the KOA RV Park at Avi Resort & Casino. We had two nice spaces next to the grass for our motorhome and Dave's parents rented trailer. We lucked out with the weather as it was only in the upper 80s with lows in the 60s during the four days we were there. Laughlin is usually in the 100s at this time of year!
We took Dave's boat and Dave's parents two jet-skis about 30 miles south on the Colorado River to Topock Gorge, which is a beautiful, rocky canyon between Laughlin and Lake Havasu. There were a ton of boats, making the ride a little rough at times.
Avi Resort put on a fantastic fireworks show on Sunday night, which we watched right from our chairs in our RV space.
We took the long way home on Tuesday, following the Colorado River south through Needles, CA, Lake Havasu City, AZ down to Quartsite and back home via I-10.
All-in-all, it was a fun-filled four days!
States We've Trekked To