Shakedown Cruise to Cottonwood Campground
Since I'll be fulltiming real soon now, (I need to be out in less than a week) I finally made a long-delayed final shakedown trip in my RV. It let me do some deferred maintenance that I did not want to do parked on an LA street, and straiten out some stuff before I pack it to the gills.
Cottonwood campground is in the Angeles National Forest, and does not charge for camping other than needing either an "America the Beautiful" pass or a Forest Service "Adventure Pass". (The former is $80/year and gives you entrance in all National Parks and many other federal facilities, the latter is $5/day or $30/year and is good in Southern California National Forests.) I was going to get a new "America the Beautiful" pass the the Forest Service office in Valencia, but I'm glad I called since they have moved to Acton but the web page hasn't been updated yet. I used the office in San Fernando to get my pass.
The campground is located about 19 miles from Interstate 5, taking Lake Hughes road all the way to the campground entrance, passing Castaic Lake. It is about 5 miles further to Lake Hughes. The campground has about 20 sites, many of which can handle a 30 foot RV but only a couple that can take anything larger. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, and there are several vault toilets and trash dumpsters. A stream runs along one side, and you need to ford the stream to get to the campground. (It's paved and only an inch or two deep there.) The campground is open year-around. There are at least four kinds of trees, but no evergreens. One oak stung me with an acorn it dropped, and several landed on the roof of my RV. There is weak but usable cell phone signals. On the October Thursday I was there about 5 sites were occupied.
Since I need drawer space much more than hanging space, I put three plastic shelf units in my closet. One problem is the drawers on the center unit are hard to open, since the sliding closet doors interfere. I think I bought them at "Big Lots" several years ago, but I've seen similar ones at Walmart.
One thing I did not plan on doing was removing the bottom step. The steps had occasionally not been retreating properly, and this time the step hit one of the metal posts (no damage to the concrete filled post) and broke a couple of rivets and bent to the point they would not retract at all. I drilled out a few rivets to remove the step and a strap that was hanging down.