5 Exceptional RV Campgrounds Close Enough for Weekend Getaways!

cougar bicycle scene(Photo courtesy of Keystone RV)

With the daily hustle and bustle to “get things done,” it can be hard to unplug and unwind after a hard days work, or two, or five!  Our Senior Fun Specialists (and Folsom Lake RV owners), Debbie and Charlie, have spent their lives, and careers, RVing around the United States, and have found some of the best places to set up camp, unplug, and unwind.  They’ve shared 5 of their favorite local RV campgrounds below.  They are all within a few hours drive from Sacramento, making it easy to getaway with the family for the weekend!  Of course, all of these campgrounds are dog friendly, so you can bring the entire family.

Your super easy, and super fun, family weekend awaits!

Placerville KOA

Located in Shingle Springs, this campground is located in California’s historic Gold Country, and is a great starting point for touring the “Wild West.”  Visit Coloma (the site of the first gold discovery in California) for Gold Rush history, hiking, and river rafting trips.  Head up to Placerville (13 minute drive from the campsite) to see why its nickname is “Old Hangtown,” and continue on to Apple Hill for apples, pears, and pumpkins in the Fall, and Christmas trees in the winter.  Plus, some of El Dorado county’s best wineries are literally minutes away.

Placerville KOA also has free movie nights, bike rentals, and a free 24-hour shuttle to Redhawk Casino, just 5 miles away.

49er Village RV Resort

Ready to venture out just a little further into the countryside?  Take a trip down Highway 49 to Plymouth and stay at the “Gateway to Shenandoah Valley.”  Plymouth was founded in 1871 as a mining town, and is surrounded by historical sites.  There are cavern tours, gold panning experiences, and at the Chaw’Se Grinding Rock State Historic Park, in Pine Grove, you can visit a reconstructed Miwok village and museum.  For even more Gold Rush history visit Historic Jamestown, or head over to the town of Columbia to immerse yourself among the highest concentration of gold rush-era buildings in California.

The 49er Village RV Resort has 2 swimming pools, fishing, and games/activities available on site.

Petaluma KOA

The San Francisco North/Petaluma KOA is surrounded by adventures for all types, including visiting the world-class city of San Francisco, touring Napa and Sonoma wineries, checking out the Sonoma Raceway, and exploring Point Reyes National Seashore.  Petaluma KOA has all kinds of on-site amenities available as well, so if you decide to stay in, there’s plenty to do.  In the summer, on-site activities include a rock wall, Jumping Pillow, pool and spa, mega playground, karaoke, hayrides and live weekend entertainment. They also offer guided tours of San Francisco and the wine country.

And don’t forget to dine at one of Petaluma’s fine restaurants.

Below: Wally loved to hang out at the campgrounds and people-watch (Courtesy of Debbie and Charlie at the Petaluma KOA).
wally cycle

Casini Ranch Family Campground

Tucked into a bend in the Russian River, you can enjoy the wilderness at Casini Ranch Family Campground in Duncan Mills, CA.  Just little over 2 hours from Sacramento, you can really unplug here as there is 1 mile of beach access for swimming and fishing, and a launch for canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards.  You can “get lost” on the miles of trails at the Willow Creek State Park, or visit the majestic redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, just 18 minutes away by car.

But don’t worry, there are hookups and WiFi available if you want them.  They also have movie nights, hayrides, and ice cream socials.  Call for schedule.

Durango RV Resort

Thirty minutes south of Redding, in Red Bluff, CA, Durango RV Resort is another highly recommended campground.  The resort sits along the Sacramento River and is centrally located for excursions to Shasta National Forest, Lassen National Park, and Whiskytown Recreation Area.

Like all of Debbie and Charlie’s favorites, this resort offers a host of on-site activities and amenities, including a basketball court and putting green.  If you are looking to really relax and unwind, the resort offers a spa for massage services to promote deep relaxation and ease stress.  Now who wouldn’t want that?

These campgrounds are all open year-round, so you can potentially camp on any given weekend.  The best way to make your trip the easiest as possible is to plan ahead!  Book your reservations early, especially for the summer season, to maximize your weekend fun!

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(Folsom Lake RV did not receive any contributions or compensation for the recommendations in this article.  All sites have been personally camped at by Debbie and Charlie, and their recommendations come from their experiences.)

Additional Sources:
http://www.historichwy49.com/amador/plymouth.html#plymant
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=553
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=450
Google Maps
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Ultra Light trailers enabling more people to go RVing

Buying an ultra lite travel trailer is not an easy task.  Defining what IS an “ultra light” trailer is as important as the sticker on the side of the trailer calling it an ultra light travel trailer. Today’s RV manufacturers are quick to label a trailer with graphics calling it “ultra light” or the words “half ton towable.”  You can never assume that if the manufacturers call the unit an ultra light that it is suitable for your vehicle to tow.

Here at Folsom Lake RV we take seriously the professionalism required to determine whether your vehicle can tow safely the vehicle you are considering purchasing.

We found these 8 tips from Jim Gorzelany (CTW Features; link here) to determine what you can tow and if you can do so safely.  We’ve listed them below:

  1. Know your limits. Read your car or truck’s owner’s manual to determine its recommended towing capacity as equipped (this can vary depending on the engine, transmission and other components) and be sure to stay well within the stated limits. This includes the weight of a boat, trailer and cargo. Overloading a vehicle can cause significant mechanical issues, and a too-heavy trailer can sway excessively behind the tow vehicle, causing control issues and encroaching on adjacent lanes of traffic.
  2. Check the hitch. Be sure your vehicle’s hitch is up to the challenge – if you’re hauling something that weighs more than 5,000 pounds, you’ll need a weight distributing or fifth-wheel hitch to safely handle the load. Once hitched and with the wiring harness connected, verify that the trailer’s brakes, brake lights, and turn signals are synchronized with the towing vehicle.
  3. Spare me. Ensure both the tow vehicle and the trailer are equipped with spare tires and that they’re properly inflated.
  4. Pack accordingly. If you’re pulling a camper, make sure the load to be carried within it is evenly distributed for optimal stability. Aim to place 60 percent of the cargo weight in the front half of the trailer, and distribute items evenly on the left and right sides of the unit. Be sure to tie down everything securely.
  5. Tend to the tow vehicle. Always have your car or truck checked out by a mechanic before hitting the road, especially fluid levels, brakes and tires; it’s a good idea to have the oil changed before embarking on a long trip. Be sure to inflate the tires to the proper air pressure specified for towing (again, check the owners’ manual for this information).
  6. Take a test drive. Even experienced haulers should practice pulling a load around town or – even better – within a large empty parking lot to get a good feel for how everything behaves before hitting the highway. Be sure to rehearse accelerating, turning corners, stopping, backing up and parking.

Folsom Lake RV has the ability to test tow before you buy an ultra light trailer.  This is not offered at other dealerships.  Folsom Lake RV has invested in tow vehicles to test trailer towing for both Teardrop and folding camper trailer.  We also have a heavy duty truck with a Fifth Wheel hitch already installed.  Or we can install a brake control in your vehicle and we will test tow in your Truck or S.U.V. or S.U.T!

  1. Know the laws. Towing regulations vary from state to state, and you may require a special permit or license depending on what you’re hauling, or special equipment including larger side- and rear-view mirrors. Those taking longer trips should consult bordering states’ towing laws to make sure the rig won’t be violating specific towing restrictions.
  2. Take it easy. Once you’ve departed, proceed at a moderate pace and allow sufficient distance for safe stopping. A sudden stop at excessive speeds can cause the trailer to skid out of control or flip over. If you feel the trailer swaying at highway speeds, take your foot off the accelerator to reduce momentum, but do not apply the brakes. It’s a good idea to pull over every hour or so to ensure the trailer’s lights and brakes are working, the tires are at the proper inflation level and that the load within the trailer remains secure.

List Source: http://www.nwitimes.com/business/transportation/cars/tips-to-know-before-you-tow-gauging-the-weight-your/article_88303d84-83a0-57b1-975a-c9d074a069e2.html

Video: Property of Folsom Lake RV

2018 ALiner Giveaway

Folsom Lake RV, Rancho Cordova, Northern California, has been a proud ALiner dealer for 5 years, and are excited to share their incredible giveaway.  We sell a variety of new 2017 Columbia Nortwest products including the Aliner Expedition, Aliner Classic, and Somerset Chesapeake tent trailer. Check out how you can win a new ALiner by following the link. https://www.facebook.com/2018AlinerClassicGiveaway/

Smart ideas for packing your refrigerator for a week long trip from gorving.com

HOW TO PACK YOUR RV REFRIGERATOR FOR A WEEKLONG ROAD TRIP