I’m sitting on the couch in Redondo Beach, tired but happy. Laura and I just got through our third RV trip. This was another learning and shakedown trip. It was our longest to date – four days. I wish it could have been longer.
We tried out a couple of new facets of the RV lifestyle.
First, we decided to take our cat with us, as I mentioned in the last article. The Cat’s First Camping Trip
And second, we tried out our new membership in Passport America to get our nightly cost down to something a little more affordable.
This was not a “destination” trip, meaning that we didn’t go to a place that had lots of great sights and activities. We went instead to a Passport America park that had reasonable rates and was not unbearably hot in June.
The place we chose was Lake Park RV Resort and Lodge, which was one of two places that Passport America had listed on Lake Elsinore. We got two of our four nights for half price. The entire four nights cost just $105.
About the Lake
Lake Elsinore is in the Inland Empire, close to Temecula. It is the largest natural lake in Southern California. What does “natural” mean? Not man made. We didn’t build a dam and let water back up here. Lake Elsinore is in a natural basin. Water flows in from the San Jacinto River. Some work has been done over the years to keep the level of the lake stable via an outflow mechanism, but it basically remains a natural lake today.
My only prior experience at this lake was as a child, on an early boating trip with my family. I remember two things about this trip. Yards and yards of mud along the shore, and a mishap at the launching ramp that could have been a disaster. I don’t know what caused all the mud to be there, and there was no mud on this trip. The launching ramp incident was scary. My Mom was backing the boat down the launching ramp when the brakes in our ’64 Chrysler Newport gave out. The emergency brake was the only thing that stopped our car from rolling all the way into the water.
I remember reading about Lake Elsinore as a Jr High kid, mainly because of the famous dirt bike race that was held there from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. This race drew famous participants like Steve McQueen and Malcolm Smith. Honda named it’s first line of competition dirt bikes after this race….The CR250M Elsinore. In the mid-70s, violent outlaw bikers stared showing up to this event, causing so many problems that the City of Lake Elsinore had no choice but to shut it down. The event was brought back in 1996 and continues today, on a provisional basis.
About the RV Park
The campground turned out to be nice, but I would not call it a “Resort”. It’s a pretty large facility, and it does have some nice features.
There were the usual full hookup facilities for RVs on wide gravel spaces, with a mixture of 50 amp and 30 amp outlets that appeared to be randomly placed. There was sewer, water, and cable TV. Note long term “full timer” stuff next to us….storage lockers/sheds.
The Olympic sized swimming pool was nice. We used it a couple of times.
There are BBQ facilities by the pool with a large gazebo and tables. With all of the trees, it was fairly cool in here even during the heat of the day.
Two gazebos are next to the lake with tables and BBQs. This is a charming feature, but I didn’t see anybody using them. There was work being done in this area….note the bulldozer. They are spreading gravel on a large flat area towards the rear of this photo. Apparently this new area will be for RVs, but with no hookups.
There is a large grassy area across the road from the Pool, with rental “cabins” to the right.
Our dog enjoyed the grassy area.
The best spaces in the park overlook the lake, but all of those spaces contain park model trailers. Park models appear to be short single wide mobile homes. You can see one of them in the background of this shot.
It’s between 300 and 400 yards of walking to get from the regular RV area we were in to the lakeside.
There is no sandy beach……it’s basically dried dirt with rocks. Branches stick out of the water.
Next to the Lake Park is a launching ramp and parking lot belonging to another facility. It was busy on Sunday but deserted during the week days.
This facility has many full time residents. I saw a lot of Class A motor homes and 5th Wheel trailers that didn’t look like they had been moved for many months. There was a bus conversion next to us, which had flat rear tires and bricks around the edges.
There are three main “streets” that have RV spaces on either side. Here is a typical view. There were quite a few open spaces available.
I would say there were 30-40 RVs at the park while we were there, but only about 10 of these appeared to be short term guests.
The spaces here are very good sized, with ample room to park a TOAD, leaving plenty of outside space to sit with a group of people. No fires are allowed in the spaces, though.
The lake itself was larger than I expected. The water is like I remembered it from my earlier trip….brownish green. It looks a little muddy. I had planned to so some fishing, but never got around to it.
Free wireless internet was available, and worked well most of the time. There were a couple of short periods where we couldn’t connect, but speed was good enough to upload pictures for the last article on this blog.
The people here are friendly. Almost everybody waves to you as they walk by, and we had a couple of short conversations with fellow dog walkers (dogs are such a great ice breaker).
This was the first trip where the coach was situated at the right angle to use the awning. This provided shade in the middle of the day….mid morning to early afternoon. From about 3:00 to about 5:00 the shade goes away, and the sun is too hot to be outside. After 5:00 it got really nice, because one of the many trees in the park shaded most of the passenger side of our coach. This was perfect….sitting outside in the gentle breeze, having some beer and listening to music. Very relaxing.
The experiment with our cat Milhouse was a success. He was nervous at first, but by the end of the second day, he was into the swing of things. He liked sitting in the bedroom, on the little counter that has a window, watching the world go by. We will take him on our future trips.
We put the cat box in the shower, with a white plastic trash bag under it to insure no litter gets into the grey tank. It worked out really well, but you have to keep it scooped out all the time! The quarters are too close for a smelly cat box.
Laura and I spent a lot of time on writing projects during this trip, as we have on our other trips. I spent much of my time editing the first draft of a novel. Laura was working on writing exorcises and blog posts. This is one of the things I like best about RVing so far. Being able to write in various locations is very appealing to me, and has been working out well so far.
Overall, I’m pleased with this trip, and would visit this RV Park again. It had a nice laid-back vibe. There wasn’t any loud partying going on, and the people were nice. Facilities were good. There are a couple of mini-markets and an ice cream place that are walking distance from the park, but they are across Hwy 74 (the Ortega Hwy), so you have to be careful crossing. There is a Jack in the Box next to the park that doesn’t require crossing the Hwy, which is nice.
Our coach is now at the dealer’s service department. We are getting the damage repaired that happened during the recent break-ins at our storage facility. We are also getting a couple of warranty fixes done. Our black tank drain valve is leaking a little bit, and the housing for our water filter is stuck so tight that I can’t get it off. So Curious George will be laid up for a couple of weeks.
Can’t wait to get her back, and go on another adventure!