Our Pacific Coast RV Trip – The Itinerary

north of LA
Oregon Coast

The group is ready to hit the road, ,……… I hope? We are Canadians so it means crossing the US border before we can head to the Washington State Coast. Of course crossing into the US means answering many questions, and maybe a search of our vehicle and RV.

When we crossed the border with our large class ‘A’ motor home pulling a 25′ trailer full of toys we always got pulled over for a  search and once we were even sent back to Canada because of some firewood with bugs in it. We just stacked the wood on the side of the road near some mail boxes and headed back across the border. Someone got some great seasoned firewood.

Not sure what it was that got us pulled over, (probably Lynda)  but we changed our border crossing to a less busy one and haven’t been pulled over in a couple of years, go figure?

cross borders

Even though we have crossed many times in recent years it still is stressful, entering a foreign country is not a right, it’s a privilege and you can be refused.


We are crossing the border together on Saturday. We picked that day because the traffic through Seattle is not as congested as during the week.

2015 Fall RV Trip Itinerary

Our plan is to travel 4 to 6 hrs per day, taking our time to enjoy the scenery, stopping occasionally. We will communicate from vehicle to vehicle with walkie talkies, we are hoping that will work better than texting, phone calls for us in the US can be expensive.

-Day 1 – Cross the US border – stop at Walmart in Bellingham, Wash. stock up on groceries &  refreshments, (no perishables may be brought into the US). When traveling we often visit Walmarts, all the stores are almost identical, which cuts down on shopping time, after all we are not on vacation to shop………at least I’m not.

Overnight at Quinault Beach Resort & Casino on the Washington coast about 4.5 hrs from the border. The casino allows overnight RV parking and that would put us about 6 hrs from Florence, Oregon and the Oregon sand dunes, our first adventure. Maybe someone will win the jackpot. I won it last spring heading home with 6700 pennies, if I had only bet green backs…wow.

ATVs loaded & ready for the dunes.

– Day 2 & 3 & maybe 4. Florence, possibly Three Rivers Casino, we can park at the casino and drive to the dunes or stay at an RV park. Riding the dunes is our plan, I brought 2 quads, the other couples have 5th wheels so they are limited as to what they can bring. They are talking about renting side by side ATVs. Note – in order to ride an ATV in an Oregon State Park you must posses an Oregon State ATV safety card. The online course is free, we all passed, even me. However if you rent a machine you don’t need the card,…. strange.

Another attraction near by is the world’s largest sea lion caves, just north of Florence, if time permits???

– Day 4 or 5  we leave Florence we can overnight at (you guessed it) another casino Bear River Casino (free) 5.5 hrs from Florence. Another chance to win the jackpot……..I’m in!!! Casinos are a great place to stay, you can gamble, have dinner, and they usually supply shuttle service and security. It’s our favorite place to stay when on the road. We are not big time gamblers like one couple in our group, but it can be fun if you don’t lose your $20 in 5 minutes.

The secret to having a longer time to gamble is to get a players card. It’s free and the casino usually adds money to your card, of course you will need to gamble with your own money to activate the card, Unfortunately it is a one time opportunity.

Last year we were at a casino in Tucson when we signed up for the players card they credited us with $50 and a free buffet,…… wow talk about jackpot, most times its $10 and no buffet. That time it happened to be my birthday, Lynda and I both won as well…….a great time, enough so we could retire………… oh yah we are already retired..LOL.

Back to the Itinerary.

The route from Florence to Bear River Casino has many state parks along the ocean with great scenery, I didn’t notice any attractions other than the view. The last part of the day will be through the Redwood Forest State Park, I haven’t been through there in 30 years.

-Day 6 – Bear River Casino to Napa valley Expo RV Park 4hrs 33min. change of plans, originally our destination was Marin Park RV Park next to the Bay area ferry, run down and too expensive, so we decided to stay at Napa valley Expo RV Park, 2 or 3 nights – $50 per night full hook ups, the heart of wine country, 1 hr drive to the ferry to San Francisco.

Of course staying in the middle of wine country a wine tour must be on the agenda. We have checked out a few tours, expensive, so we will wait until we arrive, maybe someone’s brother or sister will take us on a tour.

We are also planning on taking the ferry from the Golden Gate bridge side past Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf, looking forward to it, should be fun with the group, I think it will be Halloween night if all goes according to plan.

My son says that in SF they dress straight on Halloween night……not sure what he means????

– Day 9 – San Francisco to Pismo Beach Oceano Dunes. 5.5 hrs – 1 night, maybe, we will see how things are going and how the weather is.

-Day 10 – 17 – Pismo Beach to Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area, east of Palm Springs Cahuilla Lake, La Quinta 5.5 hrs 1 week – Full hook ups $175/week, dry camping $75/ week. A nice spot we found several years ago, a good place to use as home base while exploring Palm Springs.

-Day 18 – 25 – Palm Springs to Senator’s Wash 15 miles north of Yuma 3hrs – 1 week, dispersed desert camping $40 min. for 2 weeks, central water, sewer and trash – camping on the lake $75 per week.

-Day 26 – 40 – Senators Wash to Alamo Lake 3 hrs – 2 weeks. Free dispersed camping overlooking the lake. Water and sewer dump 5 miles away, Town with limited services 1 hour – Phoenix is 2.5 hrs

-Day 41 – 48 – Alamo Lake to Surprise AZ Sunflower RV Park 3 hrs – $330/ week – Passport America membership $44 US – 50% off .

H & A leaving for Vegas, Dec. 2 or 3.

No breakes

Lynda and I will be staying in our park model trailer at Sunflower RV Park, our renters cancelled due to health problems.

We will then head home the first week in Dec. for Christmas, and probably traveling back south Jan. or Feb. ahhhhhhh retirement. L & R will also be heading home about the same time. I’m not sure if the other couples  are planning on traveling south in the spring, they have been non-committal, meaning I think they want to see how it goes this fall.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and it helps with traveling ideas, Watch for my next article on our trip.

For your convenience I have compiled a comprehensive list of equipment and items you may need for your RV and camping travels, complete with product  links, click here to check out my list & links.


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Thanks for visiting.

Gord B.

One thought on “Our Pacific Coast RV Trip – The Itinerary”

  1. Great post! We haven’t crossed the border in an RV and were wondering about food restrictions. Very helpful information. Firewood we already guessed at because of the cautions in Ontario Provincial parks. The tip about staying at casinos is very useful, too! We have long ties in Washington state and honeymooned on the Oregon coast, so it was fun reading about your trip.

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