Thursday, May 8, 2014

Jojoba Hills SKP RV Resort, Aguanga CA

Because we have to wait until mid-May to get into Alfateers for the improvements we want done, I choose to come to the Jojoba Hills SKP RV Resort which is in the high desert hills east of LA.  I picked it because we have enjoyed other SKP parks, it is relatively close to both Alfateers and San Diego, where our daughter lives, and because of the reasonable cost for SKP members: $24 per night, 50 amp and full hook ups.  California State parks cost $45-$50 with no hook ups, and private non-membership parks can cost much more.

What a lucky choice!  Everyone we have met has been very nice. 

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I am a pool person.  If a park has a pool, I will try it out unless is absolutely too cold! 

The pool here at Jojoba is the best I have been in!  It is very large, has a deep part, (some are only 4' deep and hard to float feet down, a recommended position to relax and decompress the spine), is heated to 86°, has a beautiful western view of the mountains, has warm pre-swim showers, and has two hot tubs nearby.

Hot tub with a view of the mountains
Second hot tub in a more enclosed space, good for windy or cold days. Note the large covered area with BBQ and tables for group gatherings. This overlooks the pool and is steps away from the large kitchen and Friendship hall.
I have totally enjoyed the water aerobics class three times a week. It's at 9:30 in the morning, which suits me just fine. The other participants have been very welcoming and enjoyable people.

On the first morning we were here we took a short walk around the park. We met one of the early members who offered to loan us a DVD of a "burn barrel" program they had recently created, at which several of the founding members talked about building the place. 

If you are not an RVer, or are not familiar with what the Escapee Club is about you might want to check out this link. The History tab tells the story, and the Parking tab give you more information about their parks.  Jojoba is an SKP co-op park.

In addition to the pool, and the proximity to San Diego, these are some of the other things I like about the park:
  • The city of Temecula is about 15 minutes away. It has everything a large city has. All the stores you could want, a hospital, and access to I-15 which can get you to LA or San Diego in no time.
  • The local weather is cooler in summer than Arizona, and warmer in winter than the North. Dry and sunny. Perfect much of the year. August and September can get quite hot.
  • It is small, only 283 spaces, and everybody seems to know everybody.
  • Although there is a general manager, an office staff, and a few employees that do things like clean the restrooms and take care of the heavy landscaping jobs, everyone who owns a lot here is expected to volunteer to do something.  It is my impression that there are more volunteers than there are jobs to do, so there's not a small group of overwhelmed people. 
  • There are many activity rooms that are large, well kept, and used. Included are a huge wood shop, a metal shop, a craft room, a sewing room, an art trailer, a soon-to-be-opened pottery trailer, a living room with a large kitchen that can be used for family dinners or other small gatherings, a billiards room, a library, a sauna, and I'm sure there are more that I've overlooked.
  • Outdoor activities include one or two pickleball/tennis court(s), a miniature golf course, a horseshoe pit, and an air-gun-only shooting range. No golf course, but I don't golf.
  • At least three laundry rooms, maybe more, and at least one of them has outdoor wash lines   I intend on washing our sheets and blankets and hang them out in the high-desert wind before we pull out.
  • From the looks of the notices on the bulletin boards, the number of activities and events is very large and inviting. 
  • The very best part is the people I have met. 

The park layout and sites were very well planed. Unlike many places where the sites are all on the same flat area, the streets are each terraced with green space between so almost every one has a mountain view. Of course you are going to see your neighbors, but since every space is 50' deep by 70' wide, there is breathing space between.

Most sites have more improvements than this one, but this picture shows how big the sites are. There also is room for a car to park on the other side of the RV.

All of the sites are gravel with a cement patio and a storage shed. 

These sites overlook one of the ponds, but also have a view of the mountain sunsets.

Most of the sites have been improved with tasteful plantings, paving bricks,  permanent awnings and windbreaks to create large outdoor rooms. 

There are a few unimproved sites, but they are neat and clean. 

There is plenty of parking for vehicles and golf carts, but only one RV is allowed to be parked permanently on a site.  There is a large storage lot, free to lot owners, for storage of additional RVs.  It seems many people have a fifthwheel on their lot and a smaller travel RV for getaways. If an owner is getting ready for or returning from a trip, they can bring their second RV to their site for a few days. Some keep boats there. Our neighbor keeps a large box trailer there that they use for storage. 

At this point in our travels we know very little about other long term parks. What the costs are, or how they are run. This will be one of the things we will be looking at. 

Here at Jojoba Hills there is a waiting list of prospective SKP members interested in buying in. The time varies from months to years depending on availability. There is a $100 fee, plus a $1000 deposit to get on the list. If you choose to get off the list the deposit is refunded.

The present buy-in price is $31,000. Once you buy in there is a $250 per month space fee, plus electricity. If you are not here, you still pay the space fee, and your lot goes into a rental pool adminstered by the office. All rents go to the park, not to the individual owners. This helps pay for maintenece and improvements. 

When the time comes that you want to sell your site, you cannot sell it on your own, but you can sell your improvements to the next owner,  have them removed, or abandon them. The site is sold by the SKP park without realtor fees, and you get your buy-in price back.  All of this is without property tax, a water bill, sewer bill, or property insurance other than what you choose to carry on your RV.

You do not get interest on your buy-in price.

Considering the high cost of real estate in California, it really is a good deal.

Are we signing up for the waiting list?

No, not at this time anyway.  We have a couple of years of traveling to do and a lot of other places to check out.

But, I'm not tossing their buy-in information out, and at least to me it looks like the sort of place to consider as a possible exit plan.  

I don't want another house!


  1. I appreciated reading your review of Jojoba Hills SKP Park. We've never been there, but I had heard good things about it.

  2. Thanks for the info....I too have heard good things about the park. It does look very nice...

  3. It looks like a beautiful place and in a good location weather-wise.

    We've done a little research on the Escapee parks, but I didn't realize that if you rented your site, you didn't get the money and still had to pay the HOA fees. Doesn't seem quite fair to me.

    I guess we won't be buying one anyway since we've found two places we love. I do think they are a good deal though.

    Enjoy that beautiful pool.

  4. Thanks for the review, if ever we get to that area we'll have to check it out. These are the kind of places we like when we are settled in for a month or longer. With our ownership park we get 75% of our rent, we own the lot, HOA is $203/month + electric & water, taxes are under 1k a year and hopefully whenever we decide to sell their is also a return on our investment. We're still looking for the other place we want to be, will probably be not on the coast since we have that with our TX lot.

  5. Almost five years and we still got too much to see before getting a new home base.

  6. Hmmm that hot tub with the mountain view is calling me...... And the bit about washlines you can use by the laundry area. How cool! Never saw that allowed in an RV park before!

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  7. The park looks lovely! I've not seen parks like that here in Canada, but perhaps they exist (although I doubt it because of our winters). I can see why they take the rental fees - there is much to maintain, and the monthly fees are so low.


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