Regarding your visit to CA...I had no choice given the short notice of purchasing our AS and I had to go to CA anyway so I paid the big bucks! Rest assure that after my one excellent and expensive stay in Long Beach I have booked all my trips until the end of the year!
A couple of thoughts, on your way there save money and drycamp at Walmarts. They are safe and I have yet to have a problem. Next, IF you can, try to stay a week in one place and just use it as your heaquarters. Weekly rates are a lot less than daily or even just weekends.
Also, you can get a $12.00 membership to Good Sams (thru Camper World) and lots of places give you 10% discounts.
Also, Fairgrounds around the country often have limited RV parking etc.....normally these are unpublished and really cheap ($10.00 for hook up).
I know they do it at the Orange county fairgrounds....check into that.
Lastly, as a last resort I stayed at a great place in Long Beach with a view of the Queen Mary at the Golden Shores RV Resort 562 435-4646 it was expensive $37.00 a night but pool, spa, laundry, lawns and the works, plus it was the only place I could get in on.
(If you do end up there, say hello to Larry (the resident nightman and mechanic) who really helped me out with my maiden voyage and little issues I had)
Also, on onother occasion I chose to stay in Oxnard (Malibu and all were to much$$$$), I stayed at a place called Paradise Villas, right off the 101 and Vinyard, with a weekly rate of $185. Good Luck
P.S. Everyone before is correct, I used to live there and San Onfre Beach as well as Doheny Beach are great surfing!