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Gorden - Dana Point

Dana Point, Calif. — Oceanside parking for RVers

Absorb the ocean view just outside the door of your RV. Sailboats, motorboats, fishing boats, skidoo’s, swimmers, picnickers, walkers, joggers, bikers, all accentuated by the awesome green- blue-green ocean and white capped waves rolling across the smooth beach stones and up against the sandy beach.

Rest in the shade of your RV or under the palm trees, gaze across the vast ocean spread before you, appreciate the cool breeze and ocean mist. Enjoy life, contentment, relaxation and being totally complacent. Where may RVers approach this level of luxury for a low daily fee?

The Doheny Beach in Dana Point, Calif., near San Juan Capistrano and midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, is a location that I’ve recently experienced. RVers may park their RVs on a paved lot, directly next to the beach and the ocean. Many RVers have been parking in this superb location for up to 15 years while enjoying the awesome sights and sounds of the ocean waves.

Most of the regular RVers have developed a routine which works for them and offers a satisfying day-use situation. These RVers are in special locations and are enjoying the awesome ocean views, for which others have paid millions to build or buy homes on the bluff along the Pacific Coast Highway. If one were to pay the current rate the daily cost would range from less than $35 per day at the Doheny State Park Campground.

However, this campground is nearly always full during the season. Hotel rooms directly across the Pacific Coast Highway have prices as high as $200 per day. For example, the daily rate at the Riviera Spa and Resort, where I am staying in a timeshare, is  $150 to $200 per day.

However, RVers who park in the day-use section of the park directly between the motel and the ocean must develop a routine which enables them to come to the beach each day, but then takes them to a secure overnight location away from the beach. While talking with several RVers I learned the following helpful points.

Gorden - Dana Point 1

Hints for RVing beside the ocean at Dana Point, California.

  • RVs may be parked in the day use lot from dawn until 10 p.m.
  • Annual costs may vary:
    a. $5 per year if you qualify, by having an income less than $900 per month.
    b. $95 per year for seniors who have an RV less than 25 feet in length.
    c. $275 per year for seniors who have an RV greater than 25 feet in length.
  • City laws have recently been changed to prohibit overnight RV parking in public areas in the city.
  • These laws were changed or are enforced because a few RVers caused disturbance problems with noise, drugs, alcohol or with theft and violence.
  • Regular RVers develop a daily routine in which they have one or several places where they can park overnight. These overnight places range from their store, their job or among friends.
  • All regulars seem to enjoy the beauty of the ocean, the beach and the entire environment.
  • These RVers were very open, helpful and happy regarding their lifestyle and routines.
  • Toilets and outside showers are available for day-use RVers and other.
  • Vans, truck campers, Class C and Class B motorhomes are predominant. There are a few bumper-pull trailers and larger class As.

Although RV parks are available nearby at rates of $35 per day and up, the RVing regulars prefer their life at the beach.

About Dr. Bob Gorden

Dr. Bob Gorden is an RVer, hiker and writer. He has a PhD in microbial ecology from the University of Georgia in Athens. He is a retired research scientist from the University of Illinois Natural History Survey. He has owned and operated more than 55 RVs of various types, and has visited every state, except Hawaii, in his RV. He also traveled by RV in New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. He currently owns and travels in a 1978 GMC 26-foot Class A and 2013 Thor ACE 30.1 Class A motorhome. He has a compelling desire to be “On the Road Again!”

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