Website: Rancho California RV Resort
Date(s) of Stay: January 28, 2017 arrival, February 28, 2017 departure
Located in southern CA, east of San Diego and near the quaint historic town of Temecula, this 440-acre, gated ownership community, was once an Outdoor Resort and was designed with large sites to accommodate Class A motor coaches (30′ or longer, 10 years old or younger) and fifth-wheels (non-toy hauler type) only, no Class B or C units are allowed. With 590 spacious sites averaging 40 X 80 feet, 2 clubhouses, five swimming pools, five whirlpools and a 14-hole golf course (sanctioned by the Southern California Golf Association) containing a number of challenging Par 3 holes, this resort has something for everyone. Plenty to do in the area, including Temecula (all services here plus the quaint old town area), Mt. Palomar, San Diego, LA, Palm Springs (including the San Jacinto tram, see our post), many Southern California wineries and even an olive oil producer. Best of all the monthly rates here are very significantly less than similar resorts in the Palm Springs/Desert Springs valley on the other side of the mountain, especially if you rent from an owner directly.
When approaching from the north and east, be sure to follow I-10 to CA-60 to I-215 to CA-79. Your GPS may route you via CA-74, DON’T DO IT as this is a very mountainous, twisty and hilly road. Rigs over 40′ in length are prohibited and even those under 40′ are going to generate a lot of ire from the drivers stuck behind you. This road is spooky even in a car if you are not used to the CA mountain roads. Even the 15 miles of the no shoulder CA-79 from Temecula to the resort can be a white-knuckle experience if you are not used to CA back roads.
Rental rates (daily and montly, no weekly rates) are on a site by site basis, dependent on the type of site you rent and for how long. Those with build outs (outdoor kitchens, seating areas, etc.) are usually more expensive. Check on their website under the real estate section for rates for each site. There is a separate charge for electricity for monthly stays which required two calls to Southern Cal Edison to switch service over to us upon arrival and back to the owner again upon departure. Be forewarned that electric rates can be very high here.
As soon as we drove through the entrance to the resort we were impressed! Although it is located out in the middle of nowhere, it is a beautiful setting, surrounded by mountains. The resort is beautifully maintained and offers lots of amenities. We had initially booked site #370 (monthly rent was $575) through the realty office, Fairways Associates. Site was very basic. We would have stayed there for the entire month but quickly discovered the folks 2 sites down were blasting loud music and partying all hours of the day and night. Other neighbors there indicated they had become problematic. After talking to the realtors, we were able to move to site #532 (monthly rent was $605), another basic lot, which was on the quieter side of the resort. That site had lovely views of the mountains. Really enjoyed our stay here.
Size – 4/5
Big rig friendly. Sites were relatively spacious with ample room to park the toad in front of the rig. Unimproved sites with just a concrete slab were equally as large as other sites, but were mostly grass and the slab area was somewhat cramped. Improved sites generally have large comfortable seating and dining areas and many have appliances and fireplaces.
Privacy – 4/5
Depends on the site and whether the owner had improved the site with vegetation or a build out with screens. The first site we were on, had no privacy between us and our neighbors. The second site had a tall hedge on the driver’s side. Sites with a build out generally have very good privacy and some have total privacy.
Amenities – 5/5
There are two clubhouses, the smaller one houses the HOA office, the library and various small-group activities, including craft and game gatherings. The larger one is for community events. Five swimming pools/five whirlpools with shower and bathroom facilities, four large laundry facilities, an exercise room, six tennis/pickle-ball courts, a 14-hole golf course (intermingled among the sites), a fishing lake, a supersized dog park, daily curb-side trash pick-up, cable television, free WiFi at the small clubhouse (none currently available at the sites and though DSL is listed as a service it was not being offered), propane service, 24 hour security guard at the gate, an ATM and a change machine! On Sundays, there’s a nondenominational church service in the main clubhouse.
Convenience – 3/5
Not much nearby except for the Stagecoach Inn restaurant (not much to look at but has decent food). There is a BBQ restaurant and the Emerald Winery located about 4 miles away. Walmart and other retail, restaurants and other conveniences are located in Temecula which is about 15 miles away.
Physical Surroundings – 5/5
With the mountains, huge boulders and rolling foothills, the surroundings are totally awesome. It can be quite cool here in the winter, especially at night, but the days are generally warm and dry.
Maneuverability and Roads – 4/5
Roads are paved and somewhat narrow but generally easy for big rigs to maneuver. The only annoyance were the numerous speed bumps throughout the resort.
Utilities – 4/5
- Sewer – Excellent, well placed for motorhomes, threaded cap, good elevation.
- Satellite – Good, signal level on DISH 110/119/129 on site 370 was excellent, but we had trouble for some reason with weak signal levels on the 129 satellite on site 532. A nearby palm was partly obscuring the signal path from this site.
- WiFi – None at the sites, available in the clubhouse only.
- Cellular signal – Marginal Verizon but usable. No T-Mobile service at all. Suggest you arrive here with service on Verizon or AT&T.
- Over-the-Air (OTA) TV – Marginal, received 30 channels but none of the major networks were reliable.
- Power – 118 volts on both legs. Electric rates are multi-tiered and very highfor typical motorhome usage.
- Water Pressure/Quality – adequate pressure, no turbidity, bad odors or taste. However, very hard, substantial limescale, water softener recommended.
What We Liked
– Beautiful surroundings
– Comfortable sites, especially those with a build out.
– Well maintained and very clean
– Easy to manuver paved roads
What We Didn’t Like
– High monthly cost for electricity
– Too many speed bumps
– Marginal cell service
– No WiFi at site and no other alternative.