Friday, August 31, 2012

Trailer Ranch RV Park, Santa Fe, NM

While visiting Santa Fe, NM, we stayed at Trailer Ranch RV Park. Right off, I want to say that this is one of the better RV parks we’ve ever visited. There is much good I can say about the place, so let’s get started.

Entrance to Trailer Ranch RV Park
Check-in was friendly and efficient. After checking in, we were directed to our spot by an employee, who helped me back in, ensuring that we were situated exactly as we wanted.

Park office

Our site was equipped with a concrete patio, so we were able to step directly from our trailer onto the patio. There was a table with 2 chairs on the patio.

Lucky campsite #13
Each site has cable, WiFi, water, electric, and sewer. Lots of large trees provide good shade throughout the park. Roads are paved, though sites are gravel; very few sites have grass. The park is kept very clean. We watched as employees worked constantly throughout each day to maintain the park. Bathrooms were clean with private showers. Laundry rooms were clean and machines were reasonably priced. A dog walk area at the front of the park is equipped with doggy pick-up bags.

Laundry and bathroom facilities
Nice, shady park

Recycling is also available in the park, with paper, newspaper, aluminum, and tin among the items recycled.

The back of the park provides full-time living for mobile home residents. These are neat and well maintained.

The park is located conveniently, within easy access to nearby businesses as well as the historic downtown area. You can easily walk a few blocks to McDonald’s, IHOP, Long John Silvers, and numerous other fast food eateries. A bus stop is located just outside the park entrance, and bus service is regular and reliable.

I felt safe and secure during our stay in the park, and the paved roads throughout the entire park provide a good place to walk.

Now, having said all of that, I must admit that I will probably never stay here again unless I could be guaranteed a spot at least as far back into the park as the front laundry room. We were placed in site #13, right next to the entrance and right next to Cerrillos Road, a very busy major thoroughfare in the city. Even though an adobe wall was located behind us to block some of the street noise, it wasn’t enough. Noise was prevalent day and night. Yeah, it lessened some at night, but not really until almost midnight. By 6:00 AM, it was humming steadily again.

And it’s not just the regular noise from passing vehicles that is bothersome. There was the constant boom-boom of heavy bass from loud car stereos, the rapid acceleration of motorcycles with piercing mufflers, sirens from ambulances and police, and squealing tires. By the end of week-long stay, we had become accustomed to the noise to some degree, but we were still losing sleep each night.

The WiFi network at Trailer Ranch is simply inadequate; there is not enough bandwidth there. I don’t know if the access points are the problem, but the local network simply does not have adequate bandwidth for the population of the park. During the day, it was painfully slow, often (usually?) timing out before websites could be accessed. As a result, I began a routine of getting up early (heck, with the street noise, I wasn’t sleeping much anyway) to work on my blog and do other things on the Internet before other residents awoke and accessed the network. The park has a lot of residents, so during daytime hours, there simply was too much traffic to accommodate us all.

The front laundry room had only 2 washers and 2 dryers. Again, this is simply inadequate for a park of this size. We did discover another laundry room at the back of the park where the mobile homes are located. It has 3 washers and 3 dryers, but other RVers were using that facility as well.

Water pressure was also low periodically during our stay at peak times, such as early morning.

Sites are close together. Our utilities are located just off the concrete patio of our neighbor behind us. Fortunately, we have no one in front of us, so we have no electric cable or sewer hose staring at us when we sit out.

Although we stayed at the park the last week of August, the pool was closed.

But this is a very nice park, and I would not hesitate to stay here again IF I could secure a site away from busy Cerrillos Street. I have yet to find the perfect RV park; the minor problems of this park are really insignificant when the total environment is considered.

On the Road: Santa Rosa to Santa Fe, NM

We had only a short drive to Santa Fe, so we were in no hurry. We awoke to the sounds of RVs pulling out. I call this the “RV Polka”. In RV campgrounds across the country, each morning brings an exodus of residents, each rig going its own way. I always wonder where everyone is going. Some are going home, while others are continuing their adventures. Some are merely restless and simply moving from home to home, destination to destination.


Since we were simply overnighting, we had pulled into our spot the day before and only hooked up water, cable, and electricity. Leaving was simple – just disconnect the water, the electric, and the cable, pull in the slide, and pull out. We were probably the last of the overnighters to pull out.

Just down the road from the park is a McDonald’s with a large parking lot to its side, so we pulled in for some breakfast. After breakfast, we pulled on to IH-40 and continued our trek west.

The area around Santa Rosa is a bit hillier than the areas east and west. This is probably because the Pecos River runs through town. A few miles west of town the landscape leveled off again to a more gently rolling terrain.

We were surprised at the amount of traffic on the interstate on this Sunday morning, especially trucks. I don’t drive fast when towing – heck, I don’t drive fast when NOT towing. I’m not in a hurry to get anywhere, so I take my time and enjoy the drive and the landscape. On a good road with multiple lanes, I drive even slower. When towing on such roads, I like to keep it around 55 mph. In addition to just enjoying the drive, this also helps my mileage. On 2 lane roads where traffic backs up behind me, I’ll drive faster, but not on multiple lane roads.

So, lots of trucks were passing us that day. Many would reach a long slope and then lose speed, and then I’d catch back up.

About 20 or 30 miles west of Santa Rosa, the land becomes a bit more rugged, and as we look to the north, we get our first glimpse of the mountains of northern New Mexico. In just a few more miles, we exit the interstate at Clines Corners and head northwest on US 285 towards Santa Fe. This is a very good 2 lane highway, but there are no passing lanes as I recall. The mountains loomed closer, now appearing to the west as well as to the north.

As we neared IH-25, the highway expanded to multiple lanes and housing subdivisions began appearing on the slopes around us.

Once on IH-25, it was a short drive to Santa Fe and our exit that took us to our home for the next week, the Trailer Ranch.