Boondocking vs RV time shares

Have I Got A Deal For You!!!

Have you ever been invited to a Time Share talk? You know the ones I am talking about, you get lured in with all the special gifts they will offer and hopefully you will buy into a vacation time share condo. I have never gone to one. Today, however, I went to a 5 star RV resort near the town of Julian, CA, called the KQ Ranch. This ranch is part of Colorado River Adventures. Yes they tried to lure me in with all kinds of gifts but the real attraction was 20 free stays  in the next year, if I sat through the 90 minute talk.

How did I know about this? When I bought my RoadTrek Agile SS I was given a brochure from Holland Motor Homes. I thought it might be fun to check it out and so, I did. It was  a great day to drive into the mountains when it was in the low 80’s and brilliantly sunny. If I wasn’t nursing a broken toe (don’t ask me about this minor calamity) it would have been great to stop and do some hiking.

K.Q. Ranch Camping Resort near Julian, CAThe KQ Ranch sits in this lovely bowl in the mountains at about 4800 feet. It had everything you could possibly want:

  • Open year-round – only to campground members and their guests
  • Large clubhouse with fireplace, large screen TV, and pool table
  • Swimming pool (heated from late spring to early fall) and Jacuzzi
  • Fishing for bass and catfish
  • Over 200 RV campsites – mostly full hook-up
  • Miniature golf, children’s playgrounds, horseshoe pits, baseball, volleyball, tetherball, ping pong table, shuffleboard, and tennis courts
  • Security gate
  • Country store
  • Laundry facilities
  • Barbecues and picnic tables at every campsiteRV & Tent Campers welcome!
  • RV storage available
  • Trailer & cabin rentals for members
  • Cookouts, pot lucks, summertime Saturday night barbecues
  • Outdoor amphitheater with fire pit
  • Secluded from the highway, but only four miles to Lake Cuyamaca and four miles to the beautiful and historic little town of Julian California
  • Pine trees, oak and clean air at over 4,600 feet elevation in the Southern California Mountains

I have discovered I am always going to be a certain type of camper in a tent or in my RT. I have hiked and backpacked all over the western US. I love remote. I love getting as far away from the noise and commotion of the city as I can. I like to find those dirt roads out in the Anza Borrego Desert and camp where there is no one around. I like to camp near trail heads so I can go off and explore. There is magic in the silence of the wilderness…and, oh those stars at night. Those open, quiet spaces help me to live and survive in a big city. Even if I can’t always get to those spaces it helps just to know they are out there.

I enjoyed the drive around the KQ and I will go back for my 20 free nights this year (no holidays or weekends). This type of camping is not a right fit for me. I can just imagine on summer weekends and holidays all the people and noise. I left there with a better idea of who I am. If I camp at an organized RV campground I will always look for the state parks, national parks or the BLM. I have found that these campgrounds tend to be quieter, shadier and less packed in. My experiences with the state parks have been great.

Boondocking in Maine

Boondocking in Maine

I am also glad  I am now getting more comfortable with boondocking. When I first bought my RV I thought I would never dry camp. After a brief lesson from friends, on my trip last summer I began to test out dry camping. I am getting better at it all the time. I am planning on heading to the desert this coming week. No campground for me out there. I have some favorite places that I know I can get the  RT in. I am looking forward to it. Me the coyotes and the stars. Hmm, sounds really fine to me.

Please don’t get me wrong, I know people who camp at RV resorts like this one and love them. It is good we are not all alike. If the price had been a little more reasonable and the yearly dues not quite as high, I might have considered it. I think, though I will always be drawn to the wide open spaces and I will always be looking for that remote spot that very few people know about.

Happy RoadTreking out there and be safe all you southerners that are wondering what that white stuff is. Have fun with it. Enjoy the moment.


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6 comments

  1. Campskunk

    yes!!! stay away from the campgrounds full of screaming kids and bad barbeque. if i had spent the last 3.5 years in campgrounds rather than out in the wilderness, i’d have been ready to hang it up and get a real house long ago. i think these places fulfill a useful purpose though, since they keep all the folks who like to cluster together in a safe place away from the real camping locations.

    Reply
  2. Laura Robinson

    Love it! I like my own space and quiet. (I have to admit, though, that sometimes I like company, a pool and some ice cream!)

    Reply
  3. stephanie

    Can anyone tell me the difference between boondocking and dry camping? I thought boondocking meant camping in undesignated areas that are not actual camp sites whereas dry camping is simply camping without electric etc, but in a regular campground in a camp site. Or is it one and the same??

    Reply
  4. Debbie Broadstreet

    Thanks for the nice article. I appreciate that your article is open-minded and informative. How would we know what we really like best without trying out the choices? It is refreshing that you have described choices in RV camping without criticism. Choices are the spice of life. Like you, we love the solitude of more remote places. I am glad there are resorts for the social folks…keeps the wilderness quiet!

    Reply

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