Pismo "newbie", info needed....

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Pismo "newbie", info needed....

Post by Rooster »

We've never duned at Pismo and are trying to plan a trip this summer. Besides the beach camping and Pismo Coast Village (which always seems to be booked solid) where else is good camping available? We'd prefer full hookup sites with stuff for the little ones to do around camp. We'd like to go around late July (23, 24 & 25) if possible.

Also, are the entrances any better now? Last time we drove up there just to check things out we noticed the paths to get from the paved road to the sand was REALLY beat up - too much for our friends' 2x4 truck to even consider. Did they ever get the grading permits back?

One more thing, are spark arrestors really required? I've heard they are but every time I see photos of quads there they never have them. That issue alone my change our plans so it's important to find out before hand.

Thanks, Rooster 8)
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Post by Poiks »

I've camped here. It's fine, except for the trains that go by right behind you in the middle of the night.

Sand & Surf RV Park

Work: (800) 330-2504
Other: (805) 489-2384
E-Mail: sandandsurf@onemain.com

1001 Pacific Blvd
Oceano, CA 93445

Note:
From the 101N, take the BRISCO RD exit, go 0.1 miles
Turn LEFT onto BRISCO RD, go 0.4 miles
Turn LEFT onto HALCYON RD, go 1.6 miles
Turn RIGHT onto CA-1, go 2.5 miles

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Post by KarynL1 »

We always camp out on the beach so I'm not familiar with "off beach" camping. You may want to post your question over on the "Friends of Oceano Dunes" website. JimS is pretty knowledgeable when it comes to the area... Try http://www.oceanodunes.org. As for the ramps, they still seem to be the same as they always are... but I have seem them out there with the big backhoes grading... just kinda depends on how much traffic is entering/leaving the beach...Winter time is a much easier time to go for those trucks that are not 4x4 as the rain tends to pack down the sand...in fact, we're headed there for Pres. Weekend... Can't wait!!! :D
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Post by quad1100 »

We stay on the beach too, but there are a lot of campgrounds around the area.

As for the beach the best time to go is on the "off holiday" weekends and during low tide. You have to watch out during the winter if you don't have a 4x4 because the river could be high. I've seen it during the winter where you would be lucky to get through in a lifted 4x4.

The other thing you might consider is getting the guaranteed in/out service, cost depends on the size of the rig.

But also don't be discouraged, I have seen plenty of 2x4 trucks go in and out of there with trailers. Some times the Grand Ave. entrance is easier to get on and off of.

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Post by quad1100 »

One other thing, make reservations! They take them all year around now and every holiday weekend during the summer will be sold out months in advance. I even saw a few non-holiday weekends sell out. You can go to http://www.reserveamerica.com make sure you get the Oceano Dunes SRVA if you are staying on the beach. For day use you won't need reservations.

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Post by KarynL1 »

Ooohhh.. and another thing... no camping or riding prior to Marker 2... be carefull, they'll get ya for that one! You'll love Pismo.. great dunes (even though they are much smaller than Dumont!), great scenery and some really great people. If you do get stuck, don't worry, you will have plenty of people offering to help you.. that's the great thing about Pismo... everyone is always willing to lend a hand! Have a fun trip!!! :D
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Post by thor »

Pismo coast village is nice if you can get in,

We've stayed at Dunes Edge ranch. it was good 2.
sand n surf is nice , but right next to the RR tracks

Don't really care for pismo sands, but ok in a pinch.

http://www.pismochamber.com/LodgingSele ... %20Rentals

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Post by BeachHead »

Hey Karyn....how bad is it towing that 24' toyhauler out on the beach? Do you air the tires down on the rv? We like to camp very near where you do...near pole 4, just north of the entrance to the sand highway..spent the past three 4th of julys in that spot. But this will be the first year with a toybox..so I would certainly appreciate any tips in that area..:)

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Post by KarynL1 »

Well..... during the winter months I don't have a problem. In fact, last trip over the holidays, I didn't even air down. I do have a lifted truck with larger tires so I'm sure the larger tires helps... but if you're towing it in during the winter months, you should have no problem if you air down. During the summer months, it can get a little tougher.. haha... But if I air down, I usually don't have a problem. We are usually the "farthest back" campsite from the beach.. much closer to the dunes... just put the pedal to the floor and "go for it".... ! I also carry my ramps with me, in case no one is around to help pull me out.. they work great in front on the back tires once you're stuck to get some traction.. just make sure you remember where they were.. we've buried them before (at 2am) and spent the better part of an hour looking for them.. haha! All in all, you shouldn't be too bad, like I said, if you get stuck, they're plenty of people who like to pull people out.. I think it's a "truck ego" thing.. hahaha! Have fun!
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Post by BeachHead »

Karyn..thanks for the tips..:) My big worry is getting stuck when we leave, once we don't have the momentum on our side. Do you pull down to the shore before you load up the toys? I'm pismobeachhead on the clubatv west...I hope to meet up with you folks sometime this summer and say "hi" to put the faces to the names on that forum..:)

Oh, and I know all about the help you get on the beach. I learned how to drive at pismo, and my brother and I used to make a game out of beating the commercial tow trucks to help people get unstuck..:) It's always good to help someone out, cause you never know when you're gonna need the favor in return..:)

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Post by quad1100 »

Beach head, here is a little insight for you. I just bought a new truck, GMC 2500HD, the first couple of trips I still had the stock tires on it and I was pulling a 25ft trailer. I aired the truck down as soon as I hit the beach, made it all the way to camp but it struggled a bit on the soft spots. So I aired down the trailer tires and did MUCH better. Now that I have the new bigger mud terrain tires on I don't need to air down if I stay on the hard pack, but to be on the safe side I do if I get into the soft stuff, but don't air down the trailer tires unless the beach is REALLY bad.

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Post by KarynL1 »

BeachHead...you should be fine if you air down and just "go".. haha.. As you know from the other site, we're planning a trip in March... feel free to join us, we're not too scarry of a group.. hahaha!! :wink:
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Post by Rooster »

Our late July trip turned into a mid-May trip so we could get into Pismo Coast Village so the camping location is not an issue anymore. Just to make sure I'm hearing okay, should I be okay pulling a friends small toybox (a 21 foot Warrior) with four quads aboard with my 4x4 dually crewcab, if of course I pick the right path? The boys and I are only going for day rides so if I heard right we shouldn't need a permit. Is that right? Do you all park on plywood to help with erosion while sitting there, even for a day trip?

One other issue that I didn't see addressed is the spark arrestor question. Are they required at Pismo? I thought I'd seen where they are required, but do they really check and enforce this if that's the case?

Thanks,

Rooster 8)
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Post by KarynL1 »

You should be ok pulling it.. just remember to air down if you plan on leaving the harder packed sand. You will need a day pass for each day that you plan to ride. You can just get those at the gate when you arrive. Not sure what the day fee is because we always stay and camp on the beach and we always make overnight reservations through http://www.reserveamerica.com. As for the spark arrestor issue, I'm sure they are required. I can tell you, though, that last trip out I blew the end off my DMC (?) pipe and had no spark arrestor and no one said a thing to me. I think if they do see you though, they will ticket you.... so be careful. Words of wisdom, carry a tow strap and a shovel just in case...if you do get stuck, there are usually plenty of people willing to help you out.. just makes it easier if you have your own strap. We don't park on plywood, in fact, I don't think I've ever seen anyone parking on plywood. Peope use it to create a barrier on the outside of the trailer to keep the wind from coming underneath it. And again, no riding before Pole 2.. I don't feel that they really point this out very clearly when you check in... other than that, have a fun trip!!!! Pismo is awesome! :D
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Post by steveokneveo »

the day fee is 4 or 6 bucks. get a tide book (or print tides off http://www.oceanodunes.org )and go in and out during low tide. at high tide you often can not get in or out, at low tide you don't even need 4wd. spark arrestors are required, but i've never heard of anyone actually getting a ticket for not having one and i'm local. you are much more likely to have a problem with loud exhaust now.
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Post by Rooster »

Thanks for all the responses! I always carry a tow strap in the trailer to help out people that think they can just haul their trailer around Glamis like it's paved, so I just have to remember to put it in the truck when we head out. #-o

So am I hearing everyone out there, with a few exceptions, runs a spark arrestor set up and just risks getting caught? I'm not sure I want to take that chance and really don't want to spend the cash for a one time trip. I ride a Banshee with Toomey's so buying two spark arrestors ain't gonna be cheap! What is the reality?

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Post by Ross & Alice »

If you belong to the Elks, they have a excellent campground just 100 yds from the entrance ramp. Full hookups, $20 a night.
Cheap drinks and food at the bar inside.

Check the tidal charts, and cross the creek 2 hours after high tide.
Cross the creek as close to the beach as possible.

It looks safer to cross more inland,, but trust me, cross 2 hours after high tide and as close to the beach as you can.

Drive on hardpack sand.

Your free AAA towing ( and most others) is useless at Pismo. Forget the stories that triple A has to tow you free if you're stuck. They're fairy tales.

Check to see if any huge festivals are the week you're coming.

Events like the Portugese festival ect. absolutely saturate the beach, dunes, and campgrounds with festival goers. Avoid it.

You can have fun,, just air down, and have patience, and plan on a non event week.

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Post by Rooster »

So far I've found no evidence of a spark arrestor requirement. I've looked at several websites including the state site that has off road info and others and so far nothing says they are required.

Also, I looked at the tidal charts for the weekend we're going and low tide on those days is at 2:00 p.m. Does that mean that I shouldn't even try to get out onto the "sand highway" until 4:00 p.m.? That sucks!

More bad news; Pismo Coast Village's policy says that the parking of ATV's at the campsite is not allowed, and that they must be in a trailer or pick-up bed. That's tough if you're camping in a toybox!

It's beginning to sound like a real hassle and may not be worth it afterall. Ya, I'm getting discouraged. Glamis is sounding better every minute.

Any thoughts?

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Post by Poiks »

Rooster wrote:Any thoughts?
In my opinion, Pismo is good for a Summer dune fix, and is best for:
*tent campers with 4wd
*people with a tow escort
*day trippers

In Winter, Pismo has nothing over Glamis. It's cold, wet, and unforgiving for MH's and trailers. In Summer, the creek is insignificant and it's too hot to go to Glamis or Dumont!

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Post by Sandemon »

Why don't you just go down on the beach and camp there? You dry camp at Glamis, don't you? If high tide is at 2:00 you should be able to go out at 10:00 just stay down below the high tide line, make sure you bring an air compressor so if you need to air down your tires to get off the beach you can air them back up (do a test at home to determine how far to air down, good bulge but not so low they spin on the rim) a grease pencil mark at the valve stem works good for this test this with the trailer loaded and hooked up ready to roll. :twisted: 8) :)
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Post by Rooster »

Thanks for the tips, Sandemon. Ya, we do dry camp a Glamis but on this particular trip we're going with several other families that don't have 4x4's and are not adventurous enough to give it a shot. Although, I'm not even sure I could make it out there with our trailer - it's a 33' fifth wheel that's about 12,000 lb. On this trip I'm pulling my buddies 21' Road House out to the dunes (with the toys inside) just for the day while the ladies hang around camp in the other trailers.

I did get a response from The Friends of the Oceano Dunes regarding the spark arrestor question. Here's their reply: "Spark arrestors are NOT required, but mufflers are. Rangers will pull you over and test your ATV if it sounds excessively noisy. If it does not meet the sound requirement, you will be cited."

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