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Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The slab at Cal ExpoUPDATED to reflect the improvements we found during our one month stay in April, 2012.

Our Opinion: Neutral. This is where we stay when we come to Sacramento; for us, it is the best of several choices in the area.

Date of Stay: We have stayed here for a month or longer once or twice a year since 2003. The usual limit is 30 days out of any 60 day period, but exceptions can be made with the managers approval (submit a written waiver).

Weather: We usually stay at Cal Expo during spring (April/May) and late Fall (November). Weather during those periods is generally pleasant, though you can get a surprising hot spell anytime! 

Sites: 200+ FHU (30 and 50 amp) sites, back-ins around the perimeter, pull-throughs in the center rows. The park consists of two lots. The lot near the office is paved and somewhat sloped (many large MH’s end up with their front wheels off the ground or on blocks to level).

A larger, mostly gravel, lot is best suited for big rigs.  We park on the edge of that lot, on “the slab”, separated from the gravel sites by a strip of grass and trees.  The slab is concrete; these back-in sites are very level, though quite tight.

Cal Expo Parking from leveeNo picnic tables at sites. Limited shade. Reasonable water pressure and good voltage. When this park is full, it is tight, with parking for tows and towed at a premium.  When the park is not full, the sites feel pleasantly spacious without immediate neighbors.  During our recent stay, several of the sites in the gravel area were designated for visitor’s car parking.  Nice improvement.

What used to be a no-dog grassy area has been converted into a small, pleasant, off-leash dog run.  Restrooms and a small laundry facility share a building with the office.

Rate: We pay the monthly rate, $595 for 50 amp FHU. Daily rate is $35, typical for the area.

Phone/radio/TV: Strong Verizon phones signal; aircard on Broadband, 5 bars. No cable TV.  Several TV stations on antenna, including 2 digital PBS channels, 6-1 and 6-2. Two local NPR stations. WiFi is available, and now reaches to all sites.  We used it all month with very few problems, quickly fixed.  Excellent improvement.

Site 411 Cal ExpoElevation/Landscape/Terrain: This is a big, mostly flat, parking lot, located at the edge of the California state fairgrounds 20 feet above sea level.  Patches and strips of grass and trees on the perimeter. Views are of other rigs, trees, the levee along the Sacramento river, the fairgrounds racetrack, and the fairgrounds maintenance buildings.

Lighting/Noise: Bright, streetlight-style security lighting at night. Noise is typical urban traffic, daily fairgrounds maintenance crews and the racetrack announcer during nighttime races.

Favorite Sites: We choose the level sites on “the slab“ at the back of the park. With a strip of grass behind and a line of trees in front, they offer more shade in summer and we consider them the prettiest of the 50 amp sites, though very narrow.

On the American River greenbeltHiking/Walking: Excellent! Walk miles in any direction on the American River bike path or the trails in a greenbelt area adjacent to the river and just outside the park‘s fence. You can walk to movie theatres, Arden Fair Mall and other shopping, to restaurants. No lack of walking opportunities here.

Comments: Location, location, location.  Convenient to all kinds of shopping and services, the central location makes a very convenient home for us when we re-visit our ex-hometown, friends, family, and medical providers. Don’t come expecting a resort or a “camping experience”.  Cal Expo is an urban experience, with the welcome amenity of the wonderful American River greenbelt just outside the fence.