Queen Mine RV Park in Bisbee, Arizona

Queen Mine RV Park is about the only choice if you want to actually stay in old town Bisbee, Arizona itself. There is a cool looking place called the Shady Dell that used to offer hookup spaces, but now only rents out their own vintage trailers, but they are not within walking distance to anything worth walking to that I saw. There is another park that was more expensive down just outside of Naco, at a golf community but while it looked okay, the location didn’t interest us.

Luckily, the Queen Mine RV Park is a good one. It’s not fancy and there are no amenities to speak of, but the location is the best option besides trying to boondock on one of the side streets which would not be easy even in smaller rigs. One challenge of trying this would be finding a spot that is anywhere close to level so your appliances run efficiently, since nearly every street is sloped. Finding parking during busy season itself would be difficult, let alone something for anything more than a pickup with a camper.

Here are some pictures of the park, all of which are taken from the gravel lot toward town and toward the back of the park overlooking the mine. We also had an Airstream sibling at the park while we were there, and a twin of the truck, sans the canopy.

The Queen Mine RV Park is located just across the main highway from old town Bisbee, above the Queen Mine Tours location and there’s a tunnel for cars with a sidewalk that makes it easy to walk to town without having to dodge traffic. The arrangement of the trailers is basically in a big circle around the edge of the lot, with about 70% of the spots having a view out the back of either the mine (this was our view) or towards town. The lot is all gravel and kind of loose packed, at least in our area, so it has a bit of squish to it as you drive or walk which felt a little funny but didn’t cause us any trouble.

As far as amenities go, there is a laundry room, and bathrooms and that’s it. I think they might have had a book exchange in the office, and a small basket of DVDs you can borrow for free. They also have wifi that you need to get a password for and it was decent although not great, and cable hookup.

The daily rate is $28 per night and they offer weekly and monthly discounts. I believe we paid somewhere around $165 for the week, so it basically is like getting one night free. The monthly rate was $450 which I thought was reasonable. These rates included taxes.

There are a total of 25 spaces, and they fill up very quickly. We had to wait 3-4 days for a spot to open so we could get in. The park is managed by a very nice lady who stays in her own RV on site.

My only complaint about the park was that I had some items shipped to us while we were there, and the manager turned away the FedEx truck because she didn’t recognize the name, so I had to chase them down for about 15 minutes so I could get my stuff before we rolled out.

During our time in Bisbee, it was really, really cold a couple nights around 7 and 4 degrees, and the pipes for just about everything froze at the park and in town. I don’t blame this on the park in any way, the same thing was happening everywhere.

The Queen Mine RV Park’s website doesn’t give too many details about the park itself but there are a couple photos and the rates are on there too, in case they change by the time you’re reading this.

Stampede RV Park in Tombstone, Arizona

In my opinion, Stampede RV Park is the best park in Tombstone. A few of the reviews we read before checking it out made it sound pretty bad with ‘garbage’ all over the place. We first walked by while we were staying down at the Tombstone RV Park down the street to check it out. Yes, they do have stuff piled but it’s mostly in one spot off to the side of the office. Inside the office there’s stuff everywhere too, I would not consider it organized from that point.

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Wells Fargo RV Park in Tombstone, Arizona

We didn’t stay at the Wells Fargo RV Park but I thought I’d grab a few pictures since most of the information we saw online didn’t include any. These are all from the street surrounding the park, which is the closest to downtown Tombstone. It’s literally right there, but Stampede RV Park where we did stay at is only another 2-3 blocks and considering how close the spots are at Wells Fargo, I definitely would consider staying at Stampede instead. These spots are right on top of each other and even without slide-outs you’re going to be looking right at the back of your neighbor’s trailer.

I have no idea what the rates are, and their website is of no help since their ‘rates’ page doesn’t show anything.

They do, however have the only Airstream house addition I have ever seen. It’s actually an Argosy, but still made by Airstream so I figure that counts.

Deserts Edge RV Park in Phoenix

I’ve been struggling about whether I wanted to write anything about Desert’s Edge RV Park where we spent our time in Phoenix. We really liked the park, and thought the rate was quite fair considering the quality of the park. However, I’ve been having somewhat protective feelings since I don’t want the place to get so busy that we can’t find a spot next time.

This park is nice. The spots are a brownish-red gravel but very well compacted and level. Each space has a concrete patio and most have bushes or a tree separating the spot from the neighbor. Overall the spaces were very large, much more so than just about any place we stayed. We also got lucky to not have anyone in the space outside our door for almost the entire month.

They have a pool, a hot tub, pool table, gathering room (where they had breakfasts and other events) laundry and showers/toilets. There are also a number of fruit trees (mostly oranges) which you are free to pick from whenever you feel like. Everything was very clean and in good condition and maintenance folks were always running around doing some kind of cleaning and maintenance to keep the place in top shape. They are also very dog/pet friendly, although they did have quite a few rules that you had to follow. Rules suck, but they also do keep the appearance of the park in top condition so it’s understandable.

Monthly rates range from $549 to $850 and include electricity which is a great deal. You can use your AC or electric heaters as much as you want and not have to worry about paying extra. If you really want you can have electricity billed separately for long term tenants, but that’s a pain for those who don’t plan to stay very long.

Our only complaint was that there was nothing in the area to walk to, and the park is basically next to the freeway in an industrial neighborhood. However, the immediate ‘neighbors’ are empty lots and there is a huge sound retaining wall by the freeway which kept the noise to a minimum, plus I-17 has recently been repaved with rubberized asphalt which kept the sound level way down. We were also at the end of the park furthest from the freeway. Walmart, Best Buy, Lowes, restaurants and a lot of other shops are only about 3 minutes north via car. Theoretically you could walk there, but as with almost everything in Phoenix, its a long distance.

Overall I didn’t notice the freeway noise at all, but the small prop-engine airplanes which flew in and out of the nearby (about 5 blocks) municipal airport were annoying around 4-6pm. I didn’t hear them in the mornings, but in the afternoon and early evening it seemed like some people were choosing to commute by plane instead of car because there were so many of them during this time.

Valley of the Sun / Ramada Hotel RV Park in Phoenix

When we first got to Phoenix we were looking for a place to spend a month and had heard of the Valley of the Sun RV park, aka the Ramada Hotel RV Park on the border of Peoria and Glendale so we decided to check it out.

We didn’t stay here. The area was pretty much industrial / heavy commercial with nothing to walk to, and the area was not that great. The park itself was not very nice either. While they do offer access to all the Ramada Hotel amenities, the park looked like it was in disrepair. There was caution tape around what looked to be the laundry or restroom facilities, the asphalt was very rough with big potholes in patches, and there was no gate or office. I was concerned that it would not be very safe to leave anything out if you weren’t here, such as camp chairs, table, etc.

It seems like it’s an afterthought for the hotel. My guess is that Ramada bought the property with the park already built out and they continue running the RV park because it would be a waste not to, but their focus is far from RVers. I don’t remember the exact rate off hand, but I want to say their daily rate was around $32/night. Their website is of no help at all, and should be a big sign of how low on their priority list the park is.

The place was pretty much completely empty other than maybe 5 or 6 rigs. No one looked like they were set up for staying very long, and there was no grass, tables, trees or anything else besides gravel separating the spaces from each other. While the spots were paved, the paving is very worn and has a lot of holes – it would have been better to have well packed and cared for gravel instead.

Cactus Country RV Park in Tucson, Arizona

After Sedona we stopped in Tucson and stayed at the Cactus Country RV Park for 2 days (photos at the bottom of this post) and one day in a Holiday Inn. Tucson kinda didn’t impress me at all. It was just like Phoenix except not nearly as nice. I’ve been there once before, in a nicer part of town but even that time it wasn’t great.

We would have gotten on the road much quicker, but the Airstream was in for service at the only dealer in Arizona, and if we would have moved on then the next dealer choice on our route is in Texas which would have been a long way. Turns out it was a good thing we had this appointment. On our way from the RV park to the dealer which was about 12 miles away, the rear cabinet above the bed decided it was done hanging on for dear life to the 2 (only 2!) screws holding the bottom of it in place and jumped on to the bed. We got it fixed, along with some routine service, a new vent fan cover so we can have the fan open even if it’s raining, fixed the toilet so the bowl seal holds water and some other misc things. Instead of pulling the trailer back & forth for the night so we could stay in it, we just opted to find a hotel. Lucky for us there was some gem show (I’m talking bead type gems, not where Tom Shane buys his diamonds directly from the supplier) so even the budget hotels that are normally $49/night were up to $150 or so.

Cactus Country RV Park is nothing special. It’s out in the desert SE of Tucson about 8 miles on I-10. They are surrounded by desert, yet the spots are quite close. As one might expect in this part of the country, the lots were gravel but the roads in the park were paved. Our lot was not level, and depending how I parked it would have been 2-3 inches off side to side but I managed to get it around 1.5 inches and roll up on the trusty 2×6 blocks and it did okay.

The showers and bathrooms are dated but clean although they had a peculiar smell of some kind of detergent I couldn’t place. The pool is nice but not fancy, and they had a small hot tub too. At least they had them open, some places thought it was “too cold” to have their pools open since it was only 68-ish during the day.

Sans End RV Park in Winterhaven, CA

Sans End RV Park in Winterhaven, CA is right across the border from Yuma, AZ. It’s kind of odd to think that a city can be a suburb of a city on another side of the border, but that’s kind of what Winterhaven is. Not so much in the sense that many suburbs are only bedroom communities to the actual city, but in the sense that WInterhaven has almost no services and you’d have to drive across to AZ to get whatever you need.

Our little patch of dirt for the night

I think the bigger benefit of where this park is located is that it’s about a 10 minute or less drive to the border crossing into Los Algodones, Mexico. There is an RV Park that is closer to the border, like almost in the parking lot of the US Border Patrol, but it was expensive and basically a bunch of trailers on a dirt site. Some people chose to camp out in the desert off the road too, which is cheap or free but not very comfortable unless you like being in a big sandbox.

Sans End RV Park itself is decent, not fancy but what you get for the price of $29/night is okay. We stayed one night, just to cross into Algodones for some budget shopping. They have showers, a swimming pool and quite a few spaces.

If you are traveling with pets (we are of course) then you get to (have to) stay in the pet side of the park. This side has no grass between the spaces, so it’s just dirt. It’s not so bad, but somehow the part where you look over the fence to see the spots with grass makes you feel like you’re a lower class person just because you travel with pets. I wouldn’t stay here for all that long because of that.

Another alternative off the same exit, but south of the interstate (we were north of it) is Rivers Edge RV Resort. It’s a much much larger place and was pretty much packed to the gills. We didn’t see it until we were already settled in at Sans End, but I wouldn’t have wanted to stay there anyway. All the spaces were right on top of each other, and there was just too much hustle and bustle going on, but apparently it’s a popular alternative for many, many people. I think they had something like 600+ spaces but I don’t remember for sure.

The Roads around the park are loose gravel, and the buildings are what appears to be 60’s vintage roadside-special. We didn’t use any of the other park facilities since we’re self contained so I can’t comment on those.

When we were picking the place to stay, some of the reviews mentioned a train that goes by across the street, and the busy street that the park is on being an issue for those people. First, the ‘busy street’ is the main street off I-8 into Winterhaven from the west side. Sure, there was some traffic occasionally and it is by far the busiest street in Winterhaven (I think they have like 6 streets total) but nowhere even close to what ‘busy street’ means to anyone who’s from a more populated area. It’s more like a quiet country road.

As for the train, yep it does go by at night. I heard them blowing the horn a few times, somewhere around 8pm. After that I was sound asleep and didn’t hear it again so maybe they went by and maybe they didn’t. The Airstream is very soundproof compared to most other RV’s I’ve been in and even in truck stops or other loud places we barely hear anything from outside unless a window is open.

One of our neighbors – we had about 4 of them on the pet side of the park, all at least 5 spaces away – was an older gentleman who’s wife had recently died. His daughters had set him up at the park for the winter, and I guess he’d been coming for years. He knew all the ropes about getting to Algodones as most people call it, skipping the “Los” part and wasn’t shy in striking up a conversation about anything on his mind. It struck me like he was the type that needed to keep moving and busy with something, but didn’t really have much to keep him busy and nothing to tinker with. We talked with him 4 or 5 separate times over the course of our less than 24 hour stay, and at the end he gave me a zip lock bag full of what I thought originally was fried chicken. Ugh! Well, on closer look it wasn’t fried chicken at all, it was a bag full of heavenly tasting peanut butter cookies. These were awesome, and I don’t even like peanut butter cookies! Mr. Iforgetyourname, thank you!

Here’s a few more quick photos we grabbed of the park:

Quick snap of the office out the truck window. The building is not actually crooked.

Driving through the park

Indian Wells RV Resort in Indio, CA

Indian Wells RV Resort has been one of our favorite spots so far. The location in Indio is very close to everything you would need. By close I mean California-I-drive-everywhere close, not the urban I-walk-everywhere close. We walked to a lot of places, but the blocks are like 1/4 mile long or even more, so it feels like you go no-where very slowly. However, Starbucks and a couple other places are right down the street so they’re about a normal walking block or two away.

There’s a bunch of photos below too, mostly nuts and bolts types of photos of the resort itself. We’ll be posting another set showing the stuff around Indio outside the resort.

The staff at Indian Wells RV Resort were very friendly and accommodating. We signed up for Passport America on the day we got there and they honored the discount immediately for the week. That was a really good deal for us. They also had a LOT of events and stuff going on all the time. Chicken Wings contest, hamburgers once a week, bingo all the time, etc. We didn’t go to any events, but those who wanted to could be occupied a lot.

I think my favorite part about is that they pick up the garbage from your lot every day if you have  your bag ‘at the curb’ by 11am and they will sort your recycling out for you too, but that you have to drop off by the gate to the storage / overflow area yourself.

The park itself is about 50/50 split between RV’s and single wide mobiles that are more or less permanently fixed to the spot. These are commingled throughout the grounds. That sounds worse than it is, as most are in very good condition even if they are older. So there’s quite a few residents that are either full time or part time here, and we talked to a lot of people who come here year after year and it’s easy to see why.

Faria Beach Campground in Ventura, California

Outside Starbucks in Bakersfield, ready to head out

After our grueling 126 mile drive from Bakersfield (which by the way isn’t worth stopping at) we settled in at the Faria Beach Campground just outside of Ventura. It’s a small campground, something like 42 sites but it does not feel that big. Good thing it’s empty because it if was full it would feel really crowded.

First spot in from the beach

We decided to not do the full hook up since that costs quite a bit more, something like $15/night, and we don’t really need it for a couple nights especially if the weather is warmer. Ironically, it is raining and this place feels more like the Oregon coast than it does California. Tomorrow is supposed to be better and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

The location of our camp site is fantastic though, one could not ask for a better spot and view.

Candlelight dinner
View from the door