RVing in Vegas – Kind of disappointing

One of the biggest stresses of the first part of our trip was finding places to stay.  We had budgeted an average nights stay at about  $20 a night, knowing that at times we would dry camp (at a lower cost) and  other times we would pay more than the  average.  So far, we were able to stay close to that average, but only because we had long stints with family where all we had to do was help with electricity. What we are finding is that the average prices we found in our research were flat out wrong – one of two problems existed. The first problem was that the information was old, therefore, incorrect. The second problem is that some prices we found were monthly rates divided out as if it were the daily rate – this doesn’t happen. Individual daily rates are always more than the monthly rate broken up over the number of days in the month. It appears that the average nightly stay in most places is $35 per night.   Vegas was no exception. In fact the prices ranged from $35 to $65 per night. Ya, thats right, I said the RV camping in vegas was similar to just getting a hotel room.

Staying in a hotel room really wasn’t a choice though. We have pets, the RV, everything we own, and  this was merely a stop along the way. When we first started planning over a year ago, we had planned on staying at Circus Circus and figured we would be near one of our big stops so it would be worth the stay. Since then, Circus Circus KOA was moved to another area and the Circus Circus campground was closed for renovations. We could have stayed in the parking lot at the stratosphere but it was over 90 degrees in Vegas and we wouldn’t have been allowed to run generators. So, we looked at campgrounds off the strip.

The choices off strip looked scary and none of them have good reviews. There is always something wrong in one capacity or another – most looked rundown, were minimal, had no wifi, only allowed 55 and older or had some other deal breaker. This was the first time I had researched everything, called everyplace and was still not thrilled with our choices. In the end it all came down to chance.  While heading down Boulder highway I basically said F’  it and pulled in to Arizona Charlies RV Park. After checking in with the office we found out that the cost was $39 per night but they had a pool, wifi, and paved pads to put the RV on. It looked better in person than it did online (which was a first for us) so we figured it was a safer bet than others.

The short of is that the bet paid off.  While the cost of the park was as much as a discount room on the strip, it offered amenities that were reasonable. In addition to those already mentioned the bath houses comprised of fully contained bathrooms with showers. It was like stepping into a large hotel bathroom and being able to lock the doors and do whatever business you had to do in there. For a full time RVer this was great – unlimited hot water, a huge counter with a sink, a shower with a glass door, and privacy! Did I mention privacy?

The casino was ok. It was in decent condition and probably average for Vegas off the strip. It had a buffet and several diners but it was very smoky – as most casinos in vegas are. (This was a big turn off having come from Denver where smoking in any public place is banned within 25 feet of the front door, even in casinos.) Arizona Charlies did have a special for first time RV guests that included a free gift on top of discounts on food and free play that are associated with getting a new players card.  Also, because I was paying to stay I wasn’t obligated to play, but I did take advantage of the free play and won enough money for a late night dinner for my family.

Would I recommend it? Kind of, if you had to RV in vegas I would recommend Arizona Charlies, but,  if I were heading to Vegas for a week on vacation, and I wasn’t in the middle of this trip – I am disappointed to say – I would have just gotten a hotel room. I also would not stay off strip at this hotel.  We stayed at other casinos in California and Arizona that were better than Vegas – we stayed for free and were able to run our generators. My RVers opinion on Vegas: I think Vegas dislikes or is relatively meh towards RVers.

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