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Comments for Mike asks about boondocking on Southern CA coast

  • Interstate 8 exit 131 go N over the freeway turn E on the service road cross the canal and on your left is the Holtville HotSprings LTVA. Just before you exit California there is a Casino on the South side of the freeway and lots of Boondocking in the area.

    • Neither of Seann’s recommended sites are near the coast or San Diego! Better bet is to get into the Discover Owners group MegaPOI file that works with Microsoft Streets and Trips; if you are an SKP member, consider the Day’s End directory for “cheap” and safe overnight places along your travel route. The MegaPOI file has a huge collection of various options that might work… we’ve stayed on the coast in places like Manhattan Beach and San Clemente using the state or county “en route” option for single overnight boondock site.

  • Sadly, there’s no place to boondock in coastal San Diego. Most municipalities prohibit even camping on your RV in front of your own house. You will get ticketed along the coast if you’re parked in one of the parking lots between 2am-4am. Other than a select few state parks which are booked months in advance, San Diego is not budget coastal camping friendly at all. I have lived here my entire life.

  • You have selected the one area of the country (outside of San Francisco and Manhattan) that is least friendly to boondocking. You can get on the beach with your rig in Pismo Beach, but from there south to the Mexican border, it’s nothing but paid camping (and even those are rare and expensive). Beware of any night street parking, it’s usually illegal, even for residents of those towns. There are some times you will see semis queued up along some industrial road, but these are often in very frightening areas. Also, most every coastal Wal-Mart is NOP. If your definition of coastal includes up to 90 minutes inland, you will find some BLM land. You could also try the rest stops along I-5 (I like the gas station at Frasier Mountain Road exit in Lebec), and many city & county parks will let you stop for any length during the day. In San Diego, there are some nice regional parks that offer nice RV sites, but none are low-cost. Use your senior pass and get into the Point Loma monument area for daytime rest. Indeed, whenever I head across the LA basin, I delay myself and then enter the basin after 10 PM; this gives you a generally hassle-free trip across the basin. Almost crazy to be driving the LA freeways on cruise control and no traffic jams! In short, boondockers shouldn’t head to coastal SoCal at all; to me, it’s not worth the hassle of feeling like a cash cow or a hunted rabbit everywhere I stop. I live here, and I go anywhere else for my fun.

  • You’re going to be waiting a lot longer than September to take Hwy 1 through Big Sur thanks to that enormous landslide in June.

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