We stayed at this Famcamp for a few days as we meander up the coast to WA. We could have easily made it to Camp SLO but we wanted to check out this base and cut down on some costs before we headed further north. We had initially thought about reserving a hookup site but when we saw the weather was going to be in the low 70's during the day we opted for the dry camping area. This worked out well for us since the area was unshaded for our solar panels. There are 20 designated sites with picnic tables for each but no water or bathrooms in that area. These are located about a 100 yards away in the main Famcamp area. The $10 a day rate that most Famcamps seem to charge for a "parking lot" always cracks me up but I guess they have to charge something or else they would get overrun by long term RVer's.
The entire base could use more TLC. Vandenburg appears to be a base supporting space missions which during these days may not be the highest priority. This is my assumption. There are a lot of abandoned and unused structures that probably had purpose in the past and the quantity of downed trees that lie around waiting to contribute to the always present fire risk seems unwise. The FamCamp is filled with long term stay active Airmen, Retirees and Contractors. Homesteading retirees seem placed at the more attractive pull through sites which include some shade, grass area and a fair amount of space between sites. The back-in sites are in two parking lots which wouldn't necessarily be bad, but the space between sites is only 2-3 feet. The back-in sites are way too close! If you are traveler and attempting to enjoy things to do in the area, this is a good campground to visit Solvang and Santa Barbara for about two or three nights. Wifi is available, but can be slow if you want to stream a movie. At times, I would use my Verizon hotspot and the coverage by Verizon was three bars of LTE. The bathrooms and laundry room were clean and adequate. I visited Vandenburg FamCamp in a motorhome and won't likely return.
Still here, WOW, coming through the gate was easy considering what occurs on the base. When we arrived in the camp grounds the camp hosts approached us with drama, drama, drama. The camp hosts and staff need to be replaced sooner than later. Drive through sites are available, but if a site is reserved within a week it is put in a reserved status and overnight patrons stay in a parking lot. I'm not sure if this campground is user or employee friendly, KOA may be a good option. I will be paying a visit to the MWR manager before leaving. Famcamps are a benefit to the military families needing and wanting to use them. I always thought these programs were in place to support the military family. Homesteaders are here and not leaving, this will impact anyone's stay. The 14 day stay limit is BS, people are allowed to stay here as long as they want.
Mediocre Famcamp as compared to those I consider good Famcamps. I did not have the negative experience with Steve another rater apparently had and he was very friendly with me. My biggest problem with the FamCamp is that where we stayed was nothing more than a parking lot. That is OK for an overnighter (just like Walmart is), but not what I look for in a FamCamp. There are more "typical" famcamp sites in another part of the park, but they were not available, and even though we had a reservation, unless you know ahead of time to specifically ask for one of those sites, you are going to be relegated to the "parking lot." On a more positive note, the base and typical facilities were nice and as I am accustomed to for an AF Base.
Why does Vandenburg AFB discriminate against Rvers. When we arrived at the main gate a rent-a-cop flagged us over to the side and told us we had to go in the Lompac gate and be inspected. The way he acted it was an imposition for him to leave his shack and come tell me. When we got to the gate, we were told to get out of the motorhome, open all the bays and wait in the room. What choice did I have but to go in the little room with only one window. We were not able to see what they were doing. We had a lot of valuable personal (jewelry, Ipod, computers GPS) property in the motor home. One problem I have with the inspection is that they don't trust me, but I have to trust them with my property without me knowing what's going on. What were they looking for? They didn't take enough time look in every toter, drawer, under the bed, under the seats or even in the car. What is the purpose of sending RVers through this. I can accept random searches, but all RV's. I'm putting this on my "do not return to" list.
Stayed at the park 8 & 9 Sept 2010. Has to stay in the "parking lot". Although there was water, electric, and sewer, shortly after setting up, a fifth wheel RV parked not 5 feet from me. My view was the side of the 5th Wheeler on that side and a coach two spaces on the other side. Vandenberg has miles and miles of open property to expand the park. They could fill probable three times the spaces with the proper parking locations.
This was a park with lots of goods, but also some detractors that made the ratings difficult. Location: Definitely a little out of the way, and the gates allowing RV entry make it even more out there. Also, a bit of distance from base facilities for those wanting to walk (1.3 miles to BX area). The location is also an advantage in that it is nice and quiet. Clean/Hosp: We were there during the first big storm of the year, but they still kept places cleaned up. Park staff was very nice, host a little put-off-ish. Amen/Fac: Park has 2 buildings in center of park, one a little older than the other. The pull through sites have a picnic table and BBQ box with small concrete pad off of asphalt RV pad. The back-in sites a little narrow but on asphalt that is fairly level. 2 lounge areas, 1 with satellite TV, 2 laundry and 2 restroom areas (2 showers each). Full hook-up with some cable TV. Lots of base facilities and a nearby trail system from one of the gyms plus an on base rec area. NOTE: If bringing pets, they require in-hand proof of all shots/vaccinations. We enjoyed our stay even with the bad weather, but the overall experience score is down due to the isolated location and not taking reservations. We called 6 times and got no answer over 2 days, so took a chance that there would be a site open. There is a lot of open area and saw several deer and lots of different birds.
Called ahead to see if a site was available, and found out I should have been more specific. Back in sites can not accommodate a modern coach with slides without encroaching on your neighbor's site. Site hosts were very friendly and accommodating, but I wish they had told me on the phone there were no big rig sites. Beware, when leaving the camp there is a very sharp turn that someone had marked with a low sign. That person has no concept of RVs, the way the sign is placed it probably damages plenty of RVs every year. Easy solution would be to move the sign back about six feet and add gravel to the turning point. Other observations is that the entire base seems to be in arrested decay, we will not be back.
We have stayed here before, and was an OK park. This time they had added WiFi, however it doesn't work. You can connect to the network, but there is no Internet connection. As for DSL in the new lounge, every URL gives a "FORBIDDEN", so that network is locked down too. Fairly poor coverage with ATT Aircard. When we arrived the office was open, we stopped, got out and a truck pulled up with some guy trying to tell out the window to us "Just pull in to where ever you want" and drove off. Seemed kinda strange, then the next day found out he is the Night Host. Would have been nice if he would have maybe gotten out and explained that to us. Then the day we were leaving my wife had used the shower in the new facility and the curtain was covered with mold. She told the Male Camp Host so they could take care of it. A few minutes later the Camp Host Wife, knocks on our rig, had a camera (prepared to take photos I guess) and said there was "Nothing wrong with the shower curtain". My wife told here it was filthy and needed to be cleaned, the host told her "You are just RUDE!". Well my wife went to the shower with her to show her, and just as she said the INSIDE of the curtain was 'Health Dept Bad'. The response from the host was "Well, I don't look on the INSIDE". Where else WOULD you look? No apologies, she just left saying it wasn't their job to clean that as there is a cleaning crew, and of course she DIDN'T USE HER CAMERA. We were Camp Hosts at another FamCamp and you ALWAYS CHECK THE BATHROOMS to make sure they are clean for the guests. If you are 'above' cleaning, at least make sure the 'crew' gets it done.
This FAMCAMP has two VERY different types of sites, both types have W/S/E. The pull thru sites have room for slide outs and are very nice. The back in sites are just a parking lot with hook ups. Getting backed in can be a challenge. The back in sites are horrid.
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