Talk about a dichotomy. To go from a deserted piece of BLM land to camping at Circus Circus right on the strip. Well when the Perkins’ change it up, we really change it up. So what does a girl do when she has full hookups for the first time in over a month? Well I would love to say that I continued on with my conservation ways, but that would be a total lie. What you do if you are me is wash dishes with a full sink of water, start the ice machine, log into the free WiFi, turn on the TV for no particular reason, pull out the electric heaters, and take long, hot showers. Basically all the stuff you couldn’t reasonably do when boondocking. You also start cleaning things, not only because there is dust everywhere, but because you have unlimited water to use while cleaning. The shower needs a good scrubbing, the windows are a mess, and everything needs swept or dusted. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way a neat freak, but the combination of dusty conditions with limited cleaning resources even goes beyond my comfort level. What does Lee do on full hookups? He fills and dumps the black tank…5 times! Lee’s method of keeping the black tank clean is to drive some with the tank somewhat full to loosen everything up and then dump it when we get to full hookups. Then he uses the johnny chock in the toilet to hold the valve open and fill. He has timed it and it takes a little more than 10 minutes to fill the black tank this way, so he sets the timers and then stops it when its full, dumps, and repeats until the water runs clear. This may seems a little like overkill, but I never have to worry about the dreaded poop pyramid forming and we have very clean black tanks, as these things go. Have you noticed how all of my blog posts keep coming back to poop lol.
Getting here by the way was pretty easy. We drove 95 north through the Mojave Desert and came in on the east side of Vegas pretty near the strip. We turned onto Circus Lane and then into the parking lot that is the RV park. Yes it is a parking lot with some rock dividers between the sites, but my expectations were so low that really it’s not so bad. Our little divider next to spot 42 even has a tree. The only bummer is because we are a 40 foot fifth wheel the back-in sites with lower rates cannot be used. So we had to pay for a pull through site which upped the ante for 9 days to $494. YIKES!! That is the most we have spent anywhere (except for one night in a KOA in Napa for $56). The only good news is it is tax deductible and because Lee is working right down the strip at the Mirage will be easy to get him back and forth to work. Plus I am within walking distance from a few casinos and of course right next door to Circus Circus. And the view isn’t bad. I will say that they really need a security gate here though, because we get walk through traffic and I keep the doors locked during the day. I don’t exactly feel unsafe, but it’s not a residential area by any means and the security guy in a golf cart that rarely patrols at night doesn’t exactly instill confidence.
Lee and I have been to Vegas many times, but we have never lived here, so although this time we stayed on strip this time we both know if we came back we would be staying farther away. We believe this is a serious contender for our winters, because of the relatively warm weather and hopefully work for both of us, but before we can make that decisions we needed to check out some RV Parks in the area and see what the rest of the town was like. We started out by looking at the camp grounds here. There are less than you would think (we visited 9) and only two of those would I consider for a long-term stay. The ones associated with casinos are parking lots and pretty expensive, the inexpensive ones are combination trailer parks and most were on the scary side. The two nicest were the Oasis (which is the most expensive and aside from the gorgeous pool area was not that great) and my favorite The Las Vegas RV Park. Lack of security was an issue in almost every park, but not only were we stopped at the Las Vegas RV Park, but directed to the office to get a pass before we drove around an took a look. The woman working at the office was extremely nice and we got a wonderful tour. They have a work out facility (first time I’ve seen that in a park anywhere), two laundry rooms with clean and most importantly functional machines, a nice club house, decent pool area, and the deluxe spots have some landscaping in between them. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a state park or anything, but I really liked the people at the front desk and really liked the vibe. Plus the monthly winter price ($655 including tax) was reasonable for this area. They also charge straight city rates on electric with not to exceed amounts of $100 in winter and $150 in summer which is great. The electric costs can add up. And although the Oasis was ok, I much preferred The Las Vegas RV Park because it is in a neighborhood of condos and apartments with a nice Wal-Mart right down the street. If we are going to live in an area then I want it to be livable. Anyways, it was a good exercise because we really got to see more of the city outside the strip and also saw the stark contrasts between parks.
After touring parts of the city we still weren’t feeling like the “new us” here until Lee decided we should go see the Valley of Fire. Both Pam and Cori mentioned it to us as a day trip and Cori was married there, so we made the 1 hour drive north, paid our $10 per vehicle admission and wow. This is definitely the type of place we like to be now and the day was not only beautiful, but it helped ground us in a way we really needed. So here are the pictures. you can tell by the smiles on our faces what fun we were having. We absolutely want to go back and stay at the campground we saw there. Plus there are two hikes we weren’t really equipped to do, although we did take the petroglyph trail which was really amazing.
Seriously, put this place on your bucket list. I had heard people talk about it, but never expected anything this great and we are definitely going back. They also have an RV campground with big sites with electric/water (dump station on site) for $30 and a smaller campground with no services for $20 a night. The campsites are right in the rocks and was pretty empty in February . It was a wonderful day and I can’t believe that as many times as I have been to Vegas I never went here. One of the many benefits of really staying in an area instead of just passing through.
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