Camping at Russian River Resort – Thousand Trails

ThisHive and a family we are super close with went camping – and I use the word camping LOOSELY! – I would steer clear of this “Resort”.

Here are some deets about the clans on this adventure: both families have toy haulers – ours is 34’ and the other no longer than 30’, both families have kiddos (5 to 9 year olds), both families have dogs (we left our four-leggeds at home this trip thank goodness!), both families are up for adventure, both families are happy and positive peeps!

AND now for my thoughts on this “Resort” – uh-hum – AVOID this place at all costs!!!  Haha, but really avoid it if you can – there are soooooo many other places to camp in our beautiful state!

Let me start with the positives of this place:

  • The river. That’s it….the river.
  • Electric and water hook-ups; the water pressure is a joke. No sewer hookup but they do offer a service to come to you and take care of that and there is a dump station on site.
  • They have showers, flushing toilets and laundry – I didn’t venture out to check that out – the hubby was going to take a shower in the campsite shower area so he didn’t fill up our tank – he walked up and came right back and said “eh I will just wait” – soooooo there is that. There also is a lodge that has air conditioning and things to do – we didn’t check all that out since we will not ever be coming back.  The market onsite does not have ice so be prepared for that.  (not sure this one should be in the pro’s section, smile)
  • Cell phone service was great – however Wi-Fi a big negative – at the campsites no Wi-Fi. Normally while camping Wi-Fi isn’t a need for us – but when it’s hot as fire outside and there is no place to hang outside Wi-Fi is necessary – thank goodness for my boys packing their dvd’s.

And now for our list of con’s:

  • Overgrown with poison oak, like really lots and lots of poison oak – just outside of our trailer we spotted all kinds of poison oak – so while at the campsite no playing anywhere but the road and inside the toy hauler – sounds like so much fun for kids huh? And if you have a dog or dogs – have fun!
  • Snakes – we didn’t see any while at our campsite – but then again we weren’t outside all that much at the campsite…..but at the river a snake was out by where we were “day camped” – and one of the park attendants let us know to keep the kids out of the grass areas due to snakes……so I suppose that is a big problem.
  • It’s hot there – “hot like the fire, hot like the sun, when you talk about heat Russian River Resort is NUMBER 1” well maybe not number 1 but it was freaking HOT! So hot that while at the campsite we wanted and NEEDED to be inside the air conditioned toy hauler – again sounds so fun huh?  Stuck inside while camping.  So if you like to go camping to spend time in your trailer then this place is a great place for you – during most of the day the entire campground is empty of people out and about – clearly EVERYONE is inside or at the river – yes its hot at this place in the summer – have I made that point clear?  Oh and I actually do like hot – just not unreasonable hot!!!
  • Camp sites – the actual campsites themselves are really just parking lot size in width! No joke!  If you do find a site you fit it in – hopefully you are in a site you can put the pop-out out, your stairs down and the awning out all together without touching your neighbor or trees or a hill.  The length of the sites vary – smaller trailers are supposed to take the smaller sites and leave the longer sites for the longer trailers – this campground doesn’t let you reserve a specific campsite – you reserve to get to camp and then getting an actual site is first come first serve – the longer sites are generally taken by trailers that should be in a smaller site or even tent campers snag the longer sites!  Grrrr…..thankfully we found 2 sites our toy haulers could fit in…….with the sites being narrow once you put out your stairs you would be lucky if you step off the last step onto level ground – also if you do have a trailer 30’ or longer make sure you know how to maneuver it very well – the roads in the campground are twisty, many trees in the way and some vehicles here and there make the roads difficult to drive around.
  • Lack of relaxing, eating, playing areas! This part sucked – our kiddos and the dog had no place to run around with the exception of the road area……thankfully for us we found our sites at the very last loop of the campground so not much traffic coming through – so when it wasn’t as hot as fire an adult would set up a chair to watch for cars and we let the kiddos play on the oh so fun cracked up asphalt.  It looked like a ton of sites also didn’t have a picnic table…..both of our sites did not – so we ended up parking our truck as far forward from our toy hauler and set up chairs in between the truck and trailer – it was cramped for sure, but since it was so hot we really did sit outside all that much so no biggie.
  • NO campfires allowed – NONE
  • Permanent residents – it appears that MOST of the premium campsites are occupied by long term residents – sooooo us “recreational campers” will not ever get to use the good spots – so booty!

Here is a little outline of our trip:

Arrival day – set up and then headed into the trailer to try and not melt!   Late afternoon we ventured to the river – we played for a while.  The river is this campgrounds best attraction!

Second day – this was our river day – things we brought that made this a great day –

  • Raft (not only for river floating fun but also a great tool to bring our supplies across the river to a nice little spot we set up day camp)
  • Inner tubes for floating down the river – our clan brought 1 for each person (so we had 5) – we got ours from Big 5 Sporting Goods – they are awesome! They connect together and we had a blast on them – from the place we chose to “day camp” we walked up river (used land trails when we could) and then floated down to our camp – it was a perfect time!
  • Life jackets – our kiddos wore their lifejackets always while in the water – they had a blast going up river a little bit and floating down to us – after us adults saw the fun the kiddos were having – a couple adults strapped on their lifejackets and enjoyed the self-float as well.
  • Shade structure/umbrella – between the two of us clans we had both – we set up our shade structure and umbrella and claimed our slice of river heaven! We also brought a blanket to lay under the shade structure for something to lay on or sit on.  Saved the towels for drying off – although it was so hot you could air dry in like 10 seconds!
  • Food/drinks – this is where the raft comes in handy – all the little extras we wanted to bring across river (lots of people set up camp on the campsite side of the river – the other side had WAY less peeps) – we piled the food/snacks and ice chest in the raft – easy peasy way to get it across! We did wish we had brought lunch foods also – we would have stayed at the river ALL day long…..but hunger happened so around 4pm-ish we all decided to head back to the campsites to eat.
  • Sunscreen – of course – in the sun all day it’s a must – and I am pretty thrilled – not one of us got a sunburn! Woop woop!!

I am happy we tried this campground – we did kind of know what we were getting into as we checked Yelp and those reviews are spot on – but we wanted to see for ourselves – the river saved this trip (oh and camping with our “blended family”) – our next river camping will no doubt be to Gualala River Redwood Park http://gualalapark.com/ – it is AWESOME there!

Sorry Thousand Trails but this campground Russian River RV Campground is terrible!!!!  If reservations for specific sites was available we wouldn’t hate it so much – that’s a big deal for us – and we would visit when it’s not soooooooo hot.  I have heard great things about Thousand Trails Tahoe Valley Campground sooooo we will give that one a try soon –

map of Russian River Resort campsites

Bye for now campers, mamaBEE

#thishive #mamaBEE #russianriverresort #thousandtrails #camping #tahoevalleycampground