Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happiness is California in the rearview mirror

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My husband will not spend much time in California. I have family there and I love visiting the Redwoods. We arrived for a visit this spring and our first fill up was $4.99 a gallon. Our first campground was $35.00 a night with electric service so low our surge protector would not allow it to fire up the motorhome. As we left the campground we went to dump and it was $10 extra to dump. My husband refused to pay the additional fee. Later that day we found another dump for $12. He was ready to head for the state line, but I made him settle down. Can you explain to him that California is no different than any other state.
--California Dreamin’ in Lee Vining

Dear Lee:
I’m sure if you continued on, you would have found cheaper gas on the other side of the Sierras. I can’t say that California is like all other states. It’s all about supply and demand. Since there are 20 million+ people living in just the southern half of California, everything is more expensive from taxes to dump stations. Wait until you stop at a California state park - don’t forget Redwoods National Park campgrounds are all state campgrounds. My only advice would be to plan ahead as much as possible. Buy gas before crossing the border, use your RV dump apps to find cheap or free dumpsites. Some California rest stops have free dumps. Use apps that help locate the cheapest gas, campgrounds, and propane. Cost will continue to rise, so your best offense is a good defense. California is not like Vegas. What happens in California does not stay in California. Just remember, in ten years these will look like bargain basement prices. The good ole days are now. Enjoy them while you can.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink

11 comments:

Dr4Film said...

In addition to the above, California has some of the nations WORST roads to travel on with your RV. If you spend any amount of time there make sure you go through your RV and re-tighten every screw and bolt you can find.

Anonymous said...

I thought a shrink was supposed to help with depression. After reading the last sentence of your reply, I'm ready to be really depressed!

LMS said...

If I pay for a campsite, I expect to dump for free. $35 per night seems like they could include a dump in the price (or already did and are double dipping). I personally will not go to CA. There is nothing there I want to see. It is not a welcoming state to anyone on a budget, which we are. Far too many other places to see. as far as the wife is concerned. perhaps she can drive on her own to visit family. Or maybe they can have a get-together just across the state line in a neighbouring state.

Sharon Brandt said...

A good campground guide is essential when visiting out of your familiar territory. Lets you know what amenities are available at the campgrounds for what price. We stayed at a private RV Park near the redwoods last January for $30.00 per night. Full hookups, cable TV and wifi also worked well. The price of the campground guide is usually offset with the savings and lack of surprise.

Anonymous said...

We've been fulltiming for close to 5 years and the only states we don't visit are CA, DE, NJ, and RI; the east coast states because of population density and CA because everything costs so much. CA is going bankrupt soon and there are far too many interesting things to see in the other states rather than spending our hard earned dollars in overpriced and overhyped CA.

Anonymous said...

California is a beautiful state but the people for the most part suck. Everything is overpriced and the government is broke. The California roads use to be the best now they're the worse.
Save your obey and visit elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Yes California state parks are costly,50 dollars most with our any hookups. Oregon is the best at about 25-28 with full hookups. and the parks are great.

Penny said...

It depends on where in CA you go and whether or not you're a member of either Good Sam or Passport America. We are going to leave for a trip north (from Vegas) along the CA coast and, except for a few campgrounds, will be paying less than $20 a night courtesy of Passport America. There's not much we can do about diesel; it is what it is. But with Gas Buddy, we'll at least be able to find the cheapest stations.

It just doesn't sound like this couple was very prepared re: club memberships, apps for the phone, etc.

Anonymous said...

We camp for 0$-$20 in CA due to our national campground memberships. These are a bargain since we spend about six months a year on the road. While CA has its unpleasantries, it has some of the most spectacular sights and events in the world.

Passport America is about $44 a year and often pays for itself in the first two nights used.

If memberships are impractical due to location or amount traveled, just calculate the "California premium" and see that you really shouldn't pass it up.

I DO agree that the extra dump fee was over the tip.

Anonymous said...

California has to charge high prices because all the Californians are in Idaho hogging up all the camping places there. Just like Texans in Colorado, they flood the state, think they own the place and drive all the locals nuts or out of the state to camp.

Frank Posillico said...

We spent last Spring in California traveling from South to North and we were not happy about the highest gas prices in the Nation. However we did find a nice campground in Klamath, on the River, that was only charging $15 a night with full hook up and wifi. It is a fish camp that charges double that in season, but gave us a great deal with their off season pricing.