Where Can You Park that RV?

california traffic

RV’s are multiplying in numbers just like these cars pictured above.  Camp grounds, even national ones like Death Valley, require advance registrations. Parking in your relative’s drive way or in front of their house may require a parking permit.

There remain a few places where drivers can safely stop to park en route to their destination: highway rest stops or Wal-Mart’s which post “no overnight camping” signs, or, on Bureau of Natural Resources lands such as Quartzsite.

Quartzsite BLM Land
Drive right into desert beauty. Not far from Los Angeles or the Salt and Sea in Arizona.

Your favorite camp site may now have rules.  In the Tonto area near the heavily trafficked Apache Junction, now you need to purchase ahead of time a Tonto Pass, then, make a call to the campground to register for an additional fee.  If you haven’t purchased an advance Tonto Pass, the vigilant park policeman will stop by to hand you a hefty fine.

In the Phoenix area, if an RV has a mechanical or appliance problem, we found that the typical rv dealerships are booked out several weeks.  A happy option is to head to the Apache Junction area near the Superstition Mountains.  That area has attracted over thirty roving rv mechanics who have fully-stocked vehicles and ready to come to your aid immediately.

In the Quartzsite, the latest addition for rv’s is the opening of an entire service center.  You can drive to it and add water ($2 for small rigs and $5 for large), use their dump stations and buy propane, both essentials for dry camping.

On our trip to and from Arizona through California, Oregon, and WA. State, finding propane was difficult.  It seems stations which used to sell both fuel and propane fuel rarely have it anymore and  it can only to be purchased at a gas headquarters such as Amer-Gas.

Winter storms this year did mean empty camp ground spaces, no fires burning during a windy, snowy season.  Near Heart’s Castle the normally filled grounds had plenty of scenic spots open.  One brave woman stood in the rain washing her hair over a large dish pan; the cold wind and rain no problem.

Although going to a favorite camp grounds miles away is becoming more difficult than it used to be, the good news is that dry camping areas remain plentiful, scenic, safe and free of charge.