CA, Holidays, RV Park Reviews

Sam’s Family Spa ~ Desert Hot Springs, CA

November 17 – December 21, 2015

Ahhhh…. hot springs and relaxation.  What could be better?  Especially over the holidays while having to deal with all the intricacies of family! 🙂

Mark’s family reside in the Los Angeles area of California.  Knowing how difficult the area is, especially the traffic, I was adamant that we would not take our rig in too close to the city.  So we looked around and again I fell back to Wheeling It for a recommendation.  Just two hours drive from Mark’s family, Sam’s Family Spa seemed too good to pass up!

Desert sunsets were just one of the many perks to staying here!
Desert sunsets were just one of the many perks to staying here!

With no reservations required and a decent rate (for California) at $540/mo it seemed perfect.  Not to mention all the amenities that came with it.  How can you pass up glorious pools filled with hot water?  I sure can’t!

Sam’s Family Spa is a combo RV park and mobile home park.  It has tons of RV spaces and even during Thanksgiving it did not get completely full.  The sites are a bit awkward for larger rigs as they are not angled well and you have to back straight in (no pull through sites), but all are 30/50 amps with great views of the mountains above Palm Springs.

The waterfall entrance to the park
The waterfall entrance to the park

So on November 17th we made our way from Quartzsite, AZ to Desert Hot Springs, CA.  A short two hour drive brought us to the land of warm weather, hot springs and expensive everything!  This was a treat for us and of course a chance to see Mark’s mom who is nearly 86 so it was worth it.

Arriving at Sam’s, you don’t go straight to the office.  You go and find a site you like, get set up and then go to the office to register!  All sites are first come, first served which I find really fair and so simple.  I wish all parks were like this.

Our site at Sam's Family Spa. The sites are a bit strange to get into but are so worth it!
Our site at Sam’s Family Spa. The sites are a bit strange to get into but are so worth it!

We chose a site kind of in the middle of the park but close enough to walk to the hot springs!

Hot Springs pools (photo courtesy Sam's Family Spa)
Hot Springs pools (photo courtesy Sam’s Family Spa) How can you resist??

While we didn’t do much exploring as our time was divided between our RV and family in LA for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, so when we were at the RV we mainly just relaxed in the pools, visited with friends and enjoyed some good food/drink as well as more beautiful sunsets!

Wow!!
Wow!!

We had some great neighbors during our month stay (Wheeling It, Technomadia, RV Geeks to name a few) and had a surprise visit at happy hour from Mali Mish!  If you don’t follow Mali Mish you should – they are on an exciting journey with their kids to Mexico at the moment and it looks fabulous!

Just to give you an idea of the amazing amenities, here are a few more photos of our stay.  We enjoyed our month here immensely and didn’t want to leave but the desert was calling us away and so back to Quartzsite we went.

NC, RV Park Reviews, Uncategorized

Park Review – Carrollwoods RV Park & Grapefull Sisters Vineyard

Well, we finally did it!  We hit the road full time!  Woohoo!  We’ve been waiting and planning for this day for nearly two years.  So where did we go for our first trip?  Well, since the holidays were upon us, we decided to visit our daughter who is attending university in Myrtle Beach, SC.  That is approximately a 4 hour trip from where we were originally.

When we had made the decision on where to go, the next thing was to plan where to stay.  We wanted to be close by our daughter, but all our research of the local RV parks showed they were *really* expensive – even for a month’s stay.  We are on a budget and decided to look further out.  Mark did a little research and found Carrollwood’s RV Park & Grapefull Sisters Vineyard!

Welcome to Grapefull Sisters Vineyard & Carrollwoods RV Park!
Welcome to Grapefull Sisters Vineyard & Carrollwoods RV Park!

Located about 30 minutes from North Myrtle Beach just across the state line in North Carolina, this little (22 space) RV park sounded perfect!

Map link to Location:  Carrollwood’s RV Park

We stayed here for the month of December and while we enjoyed ourselves, I think it would have been nicer to be here in warmer weather! 🙂  Here is some info to help you make an informed decision about this park.

  • Location
    • Pros: Located only 30 miles to Myrtle Beach, this little RV park is situated on a local Muscadine Vineyard which is owned by the family.  Surrounded by beautiful farm land with all sorts of local wild life.
    • Cons: The closest real grocery store and gas station is 20 minutes away over the border in South Carolina.  It’s an easy drive through some pretty farm land.  It is out in “the boonies” (which was a PLUS for us) but if you want close by amenities then this is not the park for you.
  • Sites/Spaces
    • Pros:  Monthly rates are reasonable at $350 plus tax & electric (.12kwh) at time of writing.  Daily rates are listed on their website and they accept many of the RV clubs for a discounted rate (Passport America, etc).  The spaces are very large, wide and (fairly) level with all being pull throughs for big rigs.  All sites have 30/50 amps and water/sewer hookups.  They have basic cable (you must get a box at the office) which they charge an additional $24.99/mo for (no thanks).  We got about 10 solid channels on our digital antenna just fine.  All spaces include a fire ring and picnic table and some have bbq’s.
    • Cons:  It rained (a LOT) while we were here and there are a lot of low areas that filled up with water.  Drainage could be better but for the most part the sites are very nice.
Our site #66 at Carrollwoods RV Park.  Very large with picnic table and fire ring!
Our site #66 at Carrollwoods RV Park. Very large with picnic table and fire ring!
Other spaces in the park
Other spaces in the park
Looking down the "main" road (there are only 3 little roads through the park).
Looking down the “main” road (there are only 3 little roads through the park).
  • Amenities
    • Pros:  Lots of shady tree lined areas and trails to walk, bike & hike. Very pet friendly! Laundry room has only two washers/two dryers but it is a small park ($1.50 to wash/$1.75 to dry) so that’s understandable.  There is a bath house and a POOL!  Also, there is a little general store with some basic RV needs and some food (expensive as you might imagine but handy).  **They do have wireless internet but honestly it doesn’t work well at all.  Goes out frequently and the signal strength is lacking and we were parked right across from an antenna.  So don’t rely on their internet for work, etc.** They have propane on site for fill.  There is a park host on duty.
    • Cons:  They sell firewood to the guests here at $4/bundle.  There are probably about 6 pieces of wood in each bundle.  They do not allow you to bring in wood from outside locations.  At the time of this writing they do not offer larger bundles at a discount.
General store!  Mail delivery here as well as a propane filling station.
General store! Mail delivery here as well as a propane filling station.
Bath/shower house and laundry room.  Also a covered deck to the right of the photo.  Pool is behind the bath house.
Bath/shower house and laundry room. Also a covered deck to the right of the photo. Pool is behind the bath house.
Swimming pool - would be great in the summer!
Swimming pool – would be great in the summer!
  • Pets
    • Pros:  Pets are very welcome at this park!  They have a doggy park with a picnic table to sit at while the dogs play.  Pets are to be leashed at all times (except in the dog park) and you must pick up after your pets.  Only common sense of course. 🙂
    • Cons:  Not too much on the downside here.  Just remember, even in North Carolina, this is still a southern climate and with that you could have alligators in the ponds here – do not let your dog swim in them!  Do not approach alligators for any reason.  Also, when walking in the woods be mindful of snakes.  There are many poisonous varieties here.
To the dog park!
To the dog park!
The rules!
The rules!
Tank wanting in!  His favorite part of the day was his walk to the park to "run free"!
Tank wanting in! His favorite part of the day was his walk to the park to “run free”!
  • Other thoughts:  This IS a “kid friendly” park – there is a playground and pool though this time of the year (December) there were only long term people here.  The beach isn’t far and there are tons of things to do within minutes of the park and the owner has three young children that I’m sure would enjoy playmates.  There is a lovely duck pond and one big fat mother goose who looks after them all!  Of course, the winery is a nice treat and they have wine tastings of their wine and have a cute little gift shop.  Also, at this time of year there were mainly long term retired couples here.  We were the youngest in the park by 20+ years! Everyone was very nice and welcoming though as RVer’s usually are. 🙂
Playground for the kids!
Playground for the kids!
Koi pond
Koi pond
Mother Goose with her ducks!
Mother Goose with her ducks!
  • AT&T & Verizon – the AT&T signal is very poor here and non-exisitant in certain areas.  Unsure of Verizon but according to my Coverage? app it shows a decent Verizon LTE signal.

Overall, this is a beautiful little park with a great location close to Myrtle Beach that won’t break the budget.  The owners are very friendly, it’s a well laid out park and the rates are reasonable if you plan to stay for an extended period.  We really enjoyed our stay and would be happy to return! Below you will find some more photos in and around the park and winery – enjoy!