Tuesday, April 7, 2009


We're back at Cal Expo RV Park (read our review from May 2008 here), a large and unattractive RV park hidden at the back of the California state fairgrounds in the middle of Sacramento. That's us, right there in the center, shoe-horned into our tight site.

We have stayed here twice a year since we left Sacramento 6 years ago and only one thing has changed: the price has gone up. For full hookups (50 amp), we pay $550 a month - no cable TV, no "resort" amenities... even the laundry room is inadequate!

So, why are we here? For us, it is all about location. We come to Sacramento to visit family, friends and our established doctors and dentists and, for a prolonged stay, Cal Expo is the best alternative for us. From here, we can walk to the grocery store, our credit union, movie theatres, two large bookstores, restaurants and a big shopping mall. We are steps from the American River Parkway and biking/walking trail with unlimited exercise opportunities. When one of us takes the car to head off for an appointment, the other can use footpower for entertainment or errands.

The challenge at Cal Expo is to find a site that is bearable for a month and we've tried many, many different sites during our stays, looking for one that suits. Because we want 50 amp electrical power, we stay in the "back lot", a much more level alternative to the paved, but very sloped, front lot.

The night lighting here is what I would expect to find in a prison yard - brighter than a sunny day. With careful selection, it is sometimes possible to avoid a gazillion lumens beaming onto your pillow at night - but of course we park in daylight, when the security lighting isn't on. Consequently, we usually park on "the slab", the concrete foundation slab of a long-gone warehouse building, where the nightlighting is slightly muted. The slab has the added benefit of being a bit cleaner - as you can see in this photo of our "view", most of the parking in the back lot is on dusty (or muddy) gravel.

After we set up yesterday, we got busy. We headed to the bike trail for a long walk, then veered over to Long's Drugs (a few blocks off the bike trail) to get a prescription filled. A Quest Lab is near Long's, so we stopped in to have blood drawn for minor blood tests. A couple blocks away, we visited my good friend Pat, at work in her office. Back on the trail, we were soon home with two chores crossed off our list, our exercise done, and smiles on our faces. Location, location, location!


  1. You are absolutely right about location. I am familiar with the area, the stores, streets, etc., and know my way to & from the homes of my 3 kids who live in the area. I was in site #427 for 3 months! With the wide driveway on one side, and a rarely used space on the other, I had plenty of room. I didn't mind the lights - just loved looking at the grandstand all lit up when the ponies were running. I'm glad it worked out for me because I will be there every year to visit my kids. Now, if there was only something like that in Dutchess Co. NY, where my oldest son lives.


  2. WOW, $550 a month??? That's almost as much as San Diego campgrounds and at least there's the ocean to visit...among other things...tee, hee!

    Well, John Oliver, a fellow Boomer is heading up there, soon, but, I think he's staying at the Elks lodge there, can't remember the name.

    Have fun!

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron