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Old 07-24-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
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Question Arizona on our mind.

Where to spend the winter in Az. ? Need to book 3 months soon and having a difficult time deciding. This will be our first trip to Arizona .
As of now we are looking at Casa Grande, Tucson, and Apache Junction.
We like to golf, mountain bike and explore, Does anyone have any advice
for us? Don't want to move too much so 3 months in same campground
would be just fine. Appreciate any comments.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:46 PM   #2
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If you look up top of ASForum website there is a button called "Reviews". Clicking on that will take you to a page that divides into areas. The Southwest section included Arizona and has several that might be to your liking. They are reviews of members here who have used the campground or some may be from the campground owners/managers themselves. See what you think!!
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:43 PM   #3
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Hello tin hut;

We will be wintering in Arizona for the first time this winter. There are several A/S that winter in Quartzsite, AZ which is about 110 miles W. of Phoenix. The group gets Q about mid October and stays on BLM for 6 months at a pretty decent price. There is a thread on here that discusses Thanksgiving in Q. Go on the search mode and type in Thanksgiving and it should pull it up.

Right now there looks to be 30+ units there for Thanksgiving. Anybody in Phoenix and in the Four Corners Unit would be able to help you. You can go online and pull up Airstream and all units are under their links.

Wish you luck in locating a spot.

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Old 07-24-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
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Arizona

We are new to Airstream having just bought a new 2007 Safari SE 20 here in Minnesota. For many years we have traveled with VW campers and have enjoyed the mobility and economy very much. Before that, backpacks. This Airstream feels huge, so perhaps space is a matter of your reference point. The past few winters we have been at Apache Junction and Tucson so can comment on those places. We also enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and exploring.

Apache Junction is at the edge of the gigantic, overly-populated Phoenix metropolis. Unlike the other stuffed-shirt BMW suburbs, it still retains lots of the rough character(s) of the western towns of 50 years ago. Lots of Harley's, pickup trucks, and horses as well as plenty of bums. And lots of snowbirds. We kept our doors locked after dark but generally enjoyed the friendly locals. We stayed at Lost Dutchman State Park (no hookups but has a dump station and bath house). Beautiful, private sites right out in the lush Sonoran Desert, wildlife everywhere, but the bath house is not kept clean. There is a stay limit but they seem willing to renew if not busy (Nov, Dec, Jan). Located on the edge of the wilderness so plenty of biking, hiking, and exploration.

Tucson is much smaller in population, a really nice western city. It is higher elevation than Phoenix so a bit cooler and more rainfall. Unlike the Phoenix area, it is very bicycle friendly. Lots of hiking and biking in the deserts and mountains and plenty of open country to explore. We are retired Navy and camped at the Air Force Base there, but there are many RV parks.

We like the Southwest in winter, and Arizona best. Looking forward to November with the Airstream.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:08 AM   #5
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My vote would be for Tucson, Hmm,...wonder why? It sounds as though Southern Arizona is right up your alley. There are a couple of places on the S.E. side of Tucson that you might look at. For a "high end" asphalt and concrete type R.V. park look at Voyager RV Park. A more low key but appears clean and well kept would be Desert Oasis RV Park. I live close to both parks. Lots of services nearby without fighting City traffic. Frys and Safeway Supermarkets, Walgreens some resturants, urgent care, auto repair, Ace Hardware, got a nice rythm going there.
Day trips could include Bisbee, Tombstone, Wilcox, Ramsey Canyon if you birdwatch. There's also Sonoita, Patagonia, Tumacacori, Tubac, Green Valley.. golfers paradise, as well as Tucson. if you miss the cold, weather permitting, you can be at 10,000ft in an hour or so. You could also visit Kitt Peak National Observatory. Lots of exploring to do. Plenty of Mt. Biking opportunities, we have some nice trails.
No, I don't work at the Chamber. I just like it here. It's a tad warm now but come late Sept. we have 6-7 months of very nice weather. Off the soapbox now. No matter where in Az you end up, you're going to love it. Go ahead and make plans now to come back the year after.
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:04 AM   #6
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Besides some of the attractions mentioned above, Tucson is a great location for seeing the state and surrounding SW areas in the winter...and there are a bunch of nice camping opportunities as well... Gilbert Ray Campground right next to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and Saguaro National Monument on the west side, Patagonia Lake State Park, Picacho Peak Stare Park, Karchner Caverns State Park, Roper Lake State Park, Catalina State Park, the Chiricahua National Monument, Organ Pipe National Monument, and as mentioned above, Lost Dutchman State Park near Apache Junction...all of which are best seen in the winter when it's not so warm. And those are just the places you can camp! If you want cold, snow, and skiing, there is Mt. Lemmon within an hour of Tucson in the Catalina Mts...or the White Mountains. Southern NM, Southern CA and Mexico are short trips, too. If you're in the area be sure to come to the 4Corner Unit New Year's Rally at Picacho Peak State Park between Tucson & Phx on I-10...this year will be the 2nd annual. (If you're not in WBCCI, that's OK, just contact someone who is going and join us as a guest...) Winter is our "high season" for camping in these parts! Hope to see you down the road in sunny AZ!
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:30 AM   #7
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Thanks for the timely replies folks. It truly is appreciated as it can be easy to make a mistake based on Campground Web Sites only....Some occasionally meet the grade, but most do not.... One place that looks great is Palm Creek in Casa Grande. Has anyone been there ? It appears the consensus is Tucson. We received their Visitor's Guide recently and it is a wealth of information. What about the close proximity of Nogales. Is
that an issue to anyone. I spent 10 yrs in Reynosa, Mx. So I am familiar to culture and people of Mexico. Are passports required to shop in border towns now ? I have one but wife does not. Thanks again folks !!!!
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:46 AM   #8
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Things are not well in Nogalas.
State Dept. urges travelers to beware of Nogales

Another popular location for winter visitors is Ajo. It's a small former mining town located west of Tucson.
Ajo Chamber of Commerce
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:16 AM   #9
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A spot that we have stayed at at least a half dozen times in Tucson is the
Rincon Country West RV Resort - it is to the south west of the city centre within easy commuting distance of everything, being located on Mission Rd about a mile south of
Ajo Rd.

It is a large and very well run park with every imaginable faciity and lots of organized events if you are into that sort of thing. I must admit I don't take enough advantage of those features!

I would recommend it without hesitation.


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Old 07-25-2009, 01:28 PM   #10
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I believe I read that the NF campgrounds at Roosevelt Lake and Bartlett Lake are now open to long term campers with monthly rates.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:57 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Sedona

Right in the middle of everything is a great RV park on Oak Creek. Has all the things you mention plus the red rock!! Google Sedona /RV parks.
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:36 PM   #12
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Palm Creek & Casa Grande

Palm Creek is a very large, manicured RV resort, with walls & security gates. Although we've never stayed there, we have a friend from Alberta that regularly rented a park model in the resort for $2500 per month, fully furnished. So, there is a mixture of park models, transient big motor homes, etc. This park is very close to the Casa Grande big box stores & restaurants "strip."
Palm Creek has a 10 year old rule, although we've found that management generally exempts the shiny Airstreams from this rule. Just depends on how empty the resort is.
Several years ago, the nightly rate for this park was around $75 +. Last winter, our friend was told that they may be running a one month special rate of $199 per month for the first month. In the height of the winter season last Jan/Feb, Palm Creek had a lot of vacant spaces.
The Escapees have a park about 8 miles west of Casa Grande. Members only but it's fairly reasonable & the folks are friendly. Western Horizons/Resorts of Distinction have a park on the north side of town. Have to be tied into one of the membership campground deals (or have someone sponsor you for the 4 nite free thing)
Casa Grande is really a bedroom community with a small town feel. It is close enough to Tempe if one wants to visit Costco, Trader Joe's, or rush hour traffic.
Sedona is, well, Sedona is to be experienced. The only rv park in town is nestled along Oak Creek. If you park backed along the creek, you have to have a support for your sewer hose. Even though it's close to town, it feels far removed. However, Sedona does get snow in the winter & can be cold as it's around 4000' in elevation. We've been there in mid March & had snow! Summers can be 100+ - so, my favorite time is late spring/fall.

If you've never been to AZ, I think I'd go for Tucson 1st - agree with the thread consensus that there's lots more to do & see around there - Desert Museum, Bisbee, Tombstone, missions, missle silo site, Talesian (sp?), etc, etc. Who knows, we may see you along the AZ highways this winter . . .
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:59 PM   #13
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Phoenix has a lot of air pollution from time to time. We've been there when it was hard to see very far, other times when it was clear. I don't want to spend more than a day or two in that atmosphere.

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Old 07-25-2009, 08:30 PM   #14
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I tried to post this before and it vanished into the ether, so apologies if two rather similar versions show up!

Anyway, I just wanted to comment that several people have mentioned Bisbee (South East of Tucson & South of Tombstone, not far from the Mexican border) and I just wanted to add that it is one of my favorite spots, and we stop in for a couple of days at Bisbee every time we visit Arizona!

Bisbee, nestled in a valley among mountains with all the homes perched on the mountains around the town centre in the valley, grew as one of the largest copper mining centres in the world.

In The nineteen sixties, after all the mines closed, it pretty much became a ghost town, then, hippies moved in buying up the real estate for next to nothing.

These days, artists and an eclectic mix of interesting folk have moved in, displacing the hippies (there are still aging ones around!) making it a really interesting spot to visit in my view.

An interesting historical note about Bisbee concerns the Phelps-Dodge Company, the major mine operators in the area.

When the "International Workers of the World" otherwise known as the "Wobblies" moved in and unionized the mine workers who then went on strike (I think it was in the twenties or so) Phelps Dodge responded by rounding up about 1300 strikers and shipping them out of town by train in cattle cars!

The miners were unceremoniously dumped in the desert in New Mexico with instructions not to return to Bisbee under penalty of being shot! I guess that wouldn't happen today!

When in Bisbee, we always stay at the Copper Queen RV park which is right in town, hanging precariously on the edge of the now-defunct Lavender Pit open pit copper mine.
(don't climb over the fence!)

It doesn't have a pool, nor tennis courts, and can only accommodate maybe 30 RV's in a circular gravel car park, but it is very well kept, priced right, and is a 5 minute walk from the town centre - it is all you need!

If you go, be sure to stop in for a drink at the historic Copper Queen Hotel, visit the excellent Mining Museum affiliated with the Smithsonian, go on a tour of the Copper Queen Mine, and go for brunch at the Bisbee Breakfast Club, only open certain days a week.

You won' t be sorry!



Brian.
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