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Old 09-09-2018, 10:59 AM   #1
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Question RV Campsites near Santa Barbara for December holiday camping?

RV Campsites near Santa Barbara for December holiday camping?

Hi all - sorry if this isn't the right sub forum for this... was unsure... Moderator please feel free to move this if need be.

I’m looking to find an RV suitable (so no “tent only”) campsite vaguely near Santa Barbara for some camping this December around the holidays.

Hookups are not needed. We prefer quiet and scenic campsites. The more nature around the better.

We will be in a self contained 21’ travel trailer, FWIIW.

Ocean views would be a nice bonus, but not needed.

being within 30 min drive from Santa Barbara might be nice, to go into town to get some yummy food on occasions.

Am a bit worried if it is a ‘no reservations’ place - we don’t want to arrive and have it be full.

Thanks for any and all suggestions

p.s. still working on the wife to get a class B SMB-W conversion instead, so we would be more easily flexible.

John
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:01 PM   #2
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I live there. Sorry, there are none. Closest I know is that big one in Ventura by the beach. Check out El Capitan or Refugio state beaches to the north. RV camping there and nice spots. Possibly one in Carpinteria, but you'd have to research it. Good Luck!
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:10 PM   #3
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El Capitan and Refugio are our favorite campgrounds.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:43 PM   #4
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Thanks everyone for their suggestions.

Happy to see any other suggestions as well. :-)

Update - it seems that both Refugio State Beach and El capitan State Beach close for some time (a seasonal thing I guess?) as of Dec 1, 2018…. for some time.
Bummer.

We are nervous to show up over the December holidays with a first come first serve thing …. thinking we would not get a site.

Both Faria County Park and Rincon (almost right next door) can't reserve it in advance.

Any other spots, maybe a bit further afield?

thanks. John
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:33 PM   #5
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I bit more north, but my favorite.
Jalama State Beach
And you can make reservations.
DIG
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:52 PM   #6
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There's a state park at Gaviota, but they seemed to be booked up pretty far out when I looked (didn't check into December, though.)

If the oceanfront parks are all full, there's also a huge county park at Lake Cachuma.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:00 PM   #7
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I think El Cap and Refugio are first come first serve in December. If you plan on arriving sun-thurs, you shouldn't have a problem at El Cap due to the number of sites available. Refugio is much smaller but I bet you could still find spots if arriving during the week.

There's also Carpinteria SB, although I've never been there.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:02 PM   #8
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Also a local res here. I’ve had okay luck sneaking into El Cap on a mon-Thur afternoon first come serve. I’ve also never not found a spot on the rincon parkway (beachside parking just north of Faria). As a backup plan you could just go up to the ridge line (el Camino cielo) .30 min to town, ocean views, quite, just not a campground. Open dispersed camping, I go up there all the time. You’ll need an Adventure Pass or a national parks pass for any stay.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:42 PM   #9
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El Camino Cielo is amazing, just don't try it if you're afraid of heights. It has some of the gnarliest dropoffs I've ever seen. TBH I really wouldn't want to take a trailer up there, although some sections are scarier than others.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wire89 View Post
Also a local res here. I’ve had okay luck sneaking into El Cap on a mon-Thur afternoon first come serve. I’ve also never not found a spot on the rincon parkway (beachside parking just north of Faria). As a backup plan you could just go up to v .30 min to town, ocean views, quite, just not a campground. Open dispersed camping, I go up there all the time. You’ll need an Adventure Pass or a national parks pass for any stay.
Thanks for the great info.

rincon parkway is right by the 101, correct? So road noise is pretty bad? I really dislike road noise.

and the ridge line (el Camino cielo) does look amazing, but with SUV and 21' Travel Trailer.... might be beyond my level of skill in terms of backing up / turning around / etc.

Gotta convince the wife to get a class b.

thanks.

john
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