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Old 12-18-2012, 06:08 AM   #1
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2015 30' Flying Cloud
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Evansville , Indiana
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Recent Trip West

I recently posted this on the Airstream List group and thought it might be fitting to post here. The trip was great and the motor home performed beautifully.


We just returned from a two and a half month trip out West. We drove a total of 4940.4 miles and used 533.978 gallons of gas for an average of 9.25 MPG in our 2004 Airstream Land Yacht, 30 ft. motor home with one slide and towing a Toyota Corolla. The trip took us from southern Indiana to the west coast and back to Melbourne, FL.

We attended the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Rally that was put on by the WBCCI Four Corners Unit. This is a fast growing, fun loving unit with members from across the US. Unit dues are $1 per year. We spent four nights on the Balloon Fiesta grounds with front row parking overlooking the balloon grounds. It was great on the cool mornings to sit in the front seats of the motor home and watch the balloons glow before sunrise and take off throughout the morning. There were no hookups available, but for an extra fee, water and pumping services were available. A small generator or a solar panel is almost a necessity to keep batteries charged during the event. Another WBCCI group also puts on a Balloon Fiesta rally, but this group camps at the fairgrounds and busses participants to the Balloon Fiesta grounds. Their rally was cancelled this year. We think it is much better to park at the Fiesta grounds. The Balloon Fiesta Rally is well worth placing on your "bucket list", but you need to sign up early.

After the Balloon Rally, we attended the Region 11 Rally in Cortez, CO. This rally was put on by a great group! Cortez is a good base camp for visiting some of the local attractions, such as Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners monument. Mesa Verde is well worth the visit. There are many stops along the route through the park. The tour can be made with very little walking, or trails are available for close up views of the cliff dwellings. A nice Passport America park is available in Cortez.

We made a stop at another Passport America park in Holbrook, AZ and visited the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. This is another visit worth considering for your "bucket list".

We had an extended stay at the Escondido RV Park in San Diego County, CA. It is a very nice park that is located on the north side of Escondido just off I-15. While there, we purchased an unlimited, senior, 30 day transit pass for $18 plus a one time $2 charge for an electronic ID card. This pass gave unlimited rides on bus, trolley and the train. There were extra charges to ride the coaster train or express bus to downtown. While in the area I went to a Tijuana dentist for some work. The southern, end of line, trolley stop was just a close walk across the border check point to the dentist's office. I was pleased with the experience.

Some observations:
1) We used SAMs Clubs for the vast majority of gasoline fills. We found them less expensive than competition. SAMs allows a $100 charge against Discover Card and Flying J only allows $75. You can get around the limit at SAMs by purchasing a gift card to use at the pump. This limit is a real hassle when filling an MH or a tow vehicle.
2) The Gas Buddy app is a "must have" app for finding best fuel prices.
3) In Arizona and California, wi-fi is not available at many parks without subscribing to a wi-fi service. I have a Verizon Jetpack mobile hot spot that worked every place I tried to use it. This allows wi-fi access, even while moving down the road.
4) Most of our overnight stays were at Passport America parks. The annual cost of membership can be recovered with only a very few overnight stays. Read the park descriptions carefully, since the amenities of the parks vary greatly.
5) Azalea Acres RV Park in Robertsdale, AL is the only park we found that was spending major dollars on facilities. They had a new office, rest room, meeting room building and a new building was being erected when we were there. This is a good stop when you are needing a spot near I-10 close to Mobile.

WBCCI 12557
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:04 AM   #2
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Common Sense , Texas
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Sounds like you had a really nice trip. Especially the Balloon Fiesta Rally. We were there, we saw you. We were in our Airstream. Did you see us?
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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We certainly "second" the addition of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta as a must see event. If you'd like water and electric, as well as a pump-out service, consider paying a bit more and reserving up on the Presidential area above the grounds. We had a nice stay up there, and walked to the edge of the mesa in the morning to watch and photograph from on high. Wow!
Greg Heuer, Spirit of Virginia Airstream Club
2011 31' Classic Ltd. - The Silver Otter III
2013 GMC Denali 2500HD 6.6 DuraMax - Sierra Blanca
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