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Old 03-22-2013, 03:36 AM   #1
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Northern California without reservations?

I've just purchased a 1974 27 foot over lander and am anxious to use it this weekend. I'd like to take it somewhere this weekend within a few hours of San Francisco and don't necessarily need hookups. My intention is to shake out the various systems and learn my new rig. Does anyone have suggestions for places I can spend a night or two without making reservations somewhat close by? Am I crazy to think I can do this without reservations? I know I've camped off the side of highway 1 in Big Sur without getting hassled by CHP, but have been told they'll bug you if you're there for more than one night.

Your advice is appreciated.

Greg

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:54 AM   #2
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I have NOT stayed at this campground before, but the reviews on Anthony Chabot Family Campground (9999 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, CA) sound interesting. You might want to research campground reviews for yourself, to see if this will work for you.

The San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica is convenient, but it's basically a relatively expensive parking lot with a beautiful view. I wouldn't consider this a camping destination; just a convenient place to stay that's close to the City.

There's a KOA in Petaluma that's nice (typical KOA amenities). However, it's a longer drive; and it's a little pricey, if my recollection is correct.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:31 PM   #3
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I have NOT stayed at this campground before, but the reviews on Anthony Chabot Family Campground (9999 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, CA) sound interesting. You might want to research campground reviews for yourself, to see if this will work for you.

The San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica is convenient, but it's basically a relatively expensive parking lot with a beautiful view. I wouldn't consider this a camping destination; just a convenient place to stay that's close to the City.

There's a KOA in Petaluma that's nice (typical KOA amenities). However, it's a longer drive; and it's a little pricey, if my recollection is correct.
I second the nomination of Lake Chabot. I have stayed there the past 4 Christmas weeks and it has never been full. It has both full hookups and no hookup spots. I usually take an electricity only spot, as it is in a eucalyptus grove and my solar panels don't get enough sun. As the weather gets warmer, reservations might be a good idea. Very close to San Francisco and Oakland, but beautiful scenery, great hikes and bicycling.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:00 PM   #4
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Coastal camping

My family enjoys Ocean Cove campground on hwy. 1 near Jenner. It is a no reservation campground right on the ocean. It would be real close to you in San Francisco. There are no hookups and we like it that way. There is a honey wagon that comes through if you need a pump out. The only thing is it is only open April 1st. through November 30th. Although it doesn't help you for this weekend April is nearly here. Maybe we will see you there.

The McCoys


Ocean Cove Store & Campground
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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Golden Gate Bridge has no toll takers!

For fellow travellers heading for Norcal/SF Bay: Sad to report that after 76 years the last toll takers at the Golden Gate Bridge signed off for the last time at midnight last night. if you don't have fast track a new system will capture your plate # and send you a bill. I think that process might cost more to administrate in the long run. I do like the announcement cards though. Not sure how it will work with an out of state trailer but there are penalties if you ignore the bill when it arrives.

The toll is only South Bound BTW!

Here's a link with More info:

All Electronic Tolling on the Golden Gate Bridge
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:58 AM   #6
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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For fellow travellers heading for Norcal/SF Bay: Sad to report that after 76 years the last toll takers at the Golden Gate Bridge signed off for the last time at midnight last night. if you don't have fast track a new system will capture your plate # and send you a bill. I think that process might cost more to administrate in the long run. I do like the announcement cards though. Not sure how it will work with an out of state trailer but there are penalties if you ignore the bill when it arrives.

The toll is only South Bound BTW!

Here's a link with More info:

All Electronic Tolling on the Golden Gate Bridge
Thank you for the update. I sincerely hope that this new situation does NOT affect anyone in this forum, because no one pulling an Airstream trailer should ever think of going into San Francisco. The narrow roads are congested, there is no freeway or suitable way to cross the city, and the street plan is confusing. It is too easy to get lost, turned around, and cursed at. Even seasoned natives get confused when there are detours, and there are always detours.

It is easy to avoid San Francisco; it sits on the point of a peninsula. I-80 takes you right around it. If you want to visit San Francisco, and I recommend it highly, park at a BART station or other suitable lot, and take the excellent public transportation where you want to go. The vintage streetcars, like the cable cars, are an attraction in their own right and take you to the best tourist sites. I am sure there will be several folks here who will say the pulled their AS trough SF without incident, but they are still being cursed at by those who were late to work as a result.

For your own sanity as well as that of the commuters around you, don't take your RV into San Francisco.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:48 PM   #8
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Airstream Through SF

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashSilver View Post
Thank you for the update. I sincerely hope that this new situation does NOT affect anyone in this forum, because no one pulling an Airstream trailer should ever think of going into San Francisco.

I am sure there will be several folks here who will say the pulled their AS trough SF without incident, but they are still being cursed at by those who were late to work as a result.

For your own sanity as well as that of the commuters around you, don't take your RV into San Francisco.
Well, sorry but I do tow through SF when heading south because the 580/80/880 has some of the roughest pavement I've run into in the bay area. Now, I don't head through the middle of town (although I have taken my Excursion down Lombard st which was pretty funny). I find the travel from the bridge to 19th ave to the 280 to 101 south a delightful ride as compared with Oakland and I can always meet the demands of the traffic speed. Just have to be sure not to block an intersection with my 50' of rig. I also commute into the city every day and I don't curse RV's unless they head down to Union Square and get stuck. I agree that if this makes you queasy, don't do it. Watching my Airstream bounce on the 880 buhdump buhdump buhdump of the concrete slabs makes me queasy so I head to 19th st to go south. I've seen many more commuters and pedestrians in SF smile at the Airstream than grimace. - Brad
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
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Living on the Peninsula, our only northward route is through SF. We've pulled our Airstream through SF, both via Van Ness and 19th Avenue, a number of times, avoiding rush hour if we can. The muni buses in the right lane can be a bit of a trick because they sometimes take up more than their lane.

We go with the flow of traffic and we don't block intersections. If someone has a problem with us being on their road, they can take a chill pill and relax.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:13 PM   #10
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Be careful where you park at San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica. I totally fried (smoke and all) my external surge protector on my Interstate there last month. I would stay away from the seaside rows. Power boxes are very corroded.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:56 AM   #11
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The KOA at Costanoa (20 minutes south of half moon bay) had room last weekend.

There are at least three parks in Santa Clara county which have RV campsites - see here County of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department - Camp Here - Camping: RV Camping (water and electrical hook-ups) - Parks and Recreation - County of Santa Clara

This time of year, I would be shocked if you could not get spots either near the russian river, or near the delta.

I'd also check out rvparkreviews.com and start calling around.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:22 AM   #12
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You can go north with no issues. We just spent an awesome week in Humboldt County in the redwood forest with no full campgrounds. Its still early.
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