Our Fall RV Trip – Surprise, Arizona – RV Resort


11-20-15 Alamo Lake (2)
Our water front camp at Alamo lake

There are several other articles about our fall trip from the Canadian border down the Pacific Coast to California and east to Arizona click here to go to the first article.

Our group of three couples and three rigs has been on the road almost five weeks. It’s been great fun, the last four weeks we have been dry camping (camping in the desert without hook ups) or boon docking as it is often referred to.

Our boon docking locations were  Cahiulla Lake near Palm Springs, Squaw lake north of Yuma, AZ. on the Colorado River, Senators Wash Reservoir near Imperial Dam, LTVA (long term visitors area) and finally Alamo Lake State Park Arizona, between Quartzsite, Az. and Wickenburg, AZ. off hwy 60.

Directions to these dry camping areas are in previous articles by the same name. Or you can contact me through the comment box. I check my e-mails several times per day, I will reply promptly.

Alamo lake to Surprise Az.


After camping at Alamo Lake our next and last stop before we head home is Sunflower RV Resort.

The trip from Alamo Lake to Surprise was short, less than 3 hrs if my memory serves, a pleasant drive once off the gravel road and onto pavement.

We passed the Wayside Inn on the way out, a stop was necessary to dump our tanks. The charge is normally $6, but because it was Thanksgiving day no one was around to collect, a person from the RV park came by and mentioned that it was probably OK. We will catch them next time.

Our plan was to stop at the Inn for breakfast, but as we found out later everything in the US is closed for Thanksgiving. Breakfast for most of us became granola bars for ‘A’ and ‘H’, not sure what ‘R’ and ‘L’ had but Lynda and I enjoyed her famous banana peanut butter wrap. Fills the void.

Once on the pavement we quickly covered the 35 miles to Wenton and then left (north east) on hwy 60 to Wickenburg and south east on the same hwy 60 to Surprise.

Wickenburg 1
Wickenburg a wild west town

The drive was pleasant with some nice scenery, hay fields, cotton fields and some other mysterious crops. The trip to Surprise was uneventful which is of course perfect. We have had enough eventful drives on this trip. Check out this article on the disaster.

Our destination was Sunflower RV Resort in Surprise, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, the northwest corner. Sunflower is a large resort with about 1100 spots, most of them occupied by park models.

Our group seem to prefer dry camping, not only because of the cost, also the privacy and space, but camping is more convenient in a RV park or resort.

Sunflower RV Resort 036
The pool area at Sunflower RV Resort

Full hookups eliminates water rationing, power rationing, toilet restrictions, boondocking helps one appreciate a long shower and unlimited power use, maybe not a good thing for the environment. I guess if you boondock your carbon foot print has been reduced.

Modern resorts are packed with all the amenities one could imagine. Many resorts in southern US have so many amenities it would take a life time to enjoy them all.

Sunflower RV Resort 028
Dog park and boccie to the right

Our convoy arrived at Sunflower around noon. Lynda and I own a park model in the resort so we opted to stay there rather than pay for camping. Our unit is normally rented through the winter but as it turned out the renters for December were forced to cancel.

The rest of the group had made reservations, so on arrival they were quickly directed to “the transient area” as ‘A’ describes it. Most of these large resorts encourage long term camping, a month or more.

If you stay for at least a month your camping spot  is usually larger and in a nicer location in the resort as well as a reduced daily rate. The short term camping area in Sunflower is not a hardship by any stretch, it’s in a quiet area with a view of the Aqua Fria wash, a green area.

Sunflower RV Resort 031
Short term camping area at Sunflower

I should mention the short term area is adjacent to big red, the large dumpster for renovation refuse. Also next to big red is the recycling area and a large trash compactor.

Our stay at Sunflower was relatively short, about a week. ‘H’ and ‘A’ were heading to Las Vegas to meet family. ‘R’ and ‘L’ needed to be home the second week of Dec. for appointments.

We arrived  the day before Lynda’s B-day. The next day, Friday, the group and some friends from the park gathered at the tiki bar for a celebration. Many of the larger RV resorts have bars, usually outdoors with live music and a walk up bar.

The weather was too cool to enjoy most of the amenities, even the tiki bar had propane heaters at each table to shed warmth on the patrons.

The weather was decent although cool while at Sunflower, winter was definitely coming, the swimming pool was not an option. The group enjoyed Mexican and Chinese food at nearby restaurants. The guys and I played a round of golf one chilly morning. I won !!!!,……. I hope they read this. The ladies took advantage of the Thanksgiving sales in the area, picking up Christmas gifts for the grandkids.

Sunflower RV Resort 026
The cactus garden

The last week of our fall RV trip seemed to pass too quickly. It was time to plan our route home. It’s early Dec. so the threat of snow and icy roads is very real, I had been checking the highway forecast for the past couple of weeks. The indications were we had a window of decent weather for our four day drive home.

Lynda and I as well as the other members of our group live in southwestern British Columbia so we are accustomed to driving in adverse weather conditions including snow and ice, but that does not mean we want to put ourselves through bad conditions on the trip home.

It is one thing to take a day trip in the snow with your car, it’s entirely different to travel several days pulling a 5 ton trailer through adverse conditions.

I learned the hard way to check weather conditions before a trip. Lynda, myself and one of our granddaughters spent a cold snowy night on the side of the road while trying to travel through a high pass in Nevada. Poor planning on my part.

It is much wiser and safer to delay a trip or leave a little early rather than travel through dangerous conditions.

It was time to start our trip north.

Thanks for visiting

Gord B.

Sunflower RV Resort 029
Boccie ball area in quail hollow north side of Sunflower




6 thoughts on “Our Fall RV Trip – Surprise, Arizona – RV Resort”

  1. Hi, Gord B,
    I’m Japanese. I travel in the US by a rental RV sometime.
    I found your website accidentally while googling around for tips of the RV Dump Stations. It’s fun to read about the experiences of RVers like you traveling in the US.
    I am reading your posts with great interest. I love your photo of the “Sunrise at Senators wash” in prior post. Stunning!

    Have a safe travel!
    Fuji-maru in Japan (Sorry for my poor English)

    1. Hi Fuji-maru thank you so much for commenting on my site, I love to write about our adventures. I am writing an ebook of short stories of our travels I hope to publish on Amazon by next month. Please register on my site, I will be sending out notifications when its available.
      Thanks for your comments

  2. Great post. I enjoy reading your RV trip stories in Surprise, Arizona. It seems that Surprise is a great place to do dry camping. I never have an RV trip and by reading your adventure it seems so much fun. Probably try it in Surprise.

    1. Hi Cari thanks for your comment, Surprise is actually a suburb or Pheonix. We dry camp in the desert to the west mainly along the Colorado River.
      Thanks again

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