Previously, I had been disappointed with my camping options when staying close to SMB West.
I've tried the KOA to the south in Visalia and it wasn't great. While I don't particularly mind the smell of manure, and I appreciate being a distance from a freeway, the signs stating that the water wasn't fit for human consumption, threw me off.
However if you are so inclined, here is the link:
The last trip, I stayed at a US Army Corp of Engineers site outside Chowchilla, Codorniz campground, which turned out well.
The campground is built above the shore of Eastman Lake which is a reservoir and seemed to be big with fisherman. I went during the week in late May and it was empty. They have a few sites with electricity but these seemed to be staked out my long term RVs and trailers. They don't have laundry or internet but they have flush toilets and hot showers. I was by myself in the lake-closest section of the campground and saw a huge amount of bird life and even a coyote running through the campgrounds. I believe it was $14. It took less than an hour to make it to SMB West.
I see that there is another US Army Corp of Engineers campground at Pine Flats Reservoir East of Fresno.
It looks somewhat closer to SMB West so I may try it next time.
Since I am usually with my family and we raise the top to sleep, I'm not inclined to stealth sleep in rest stops but if you have any other suggestions close to SMB West, I'd welcome them.