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Old 08-25-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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Our Maiden Voyage to KQ Ranch in Julian, CA

Our maiden voyage is to KQ Ranch in Julian, CA wasn't as smooth as we wanted it to be. This trip had its ups and downs, hopefully next time on our next outing, it'll have a lot less of the downs and more of the ups

Although this is about a 6hr drive for us rather than a 2-4hrs for a weekend getaway, we went there because of the offer we got with our new TT from the dealership/resort agreement. Got there on late Friday night, all we could do is goto sleep until the next morning. The KQ Ranch is a great place to be to get out of the hot weather, especially if your living in 100+ temps in August. Another campground park we passed on the way up there is called Pinezanita RV park. It looks like a good place to be camping and was also recommended by a forum member who was just there, we will try it next time we're down there again.

This is also a discovery mission for us, what we actually need or don't need and what we forgot to bring along. One thing I forgot to do was progrram my route into the GPS to avoid the grapevine on I-5, should done that before we had left home. The uphill climb was hard on the 4.8L motor & tranny, and it was starting to overheat, had to turn off AC and the fan. This tells me, I need look into either upgrading the TV which is not an option. Either we find ways to increase the towing power or do a engine swap to a bigger motor is probably our only route. Any suggestions to what I can do about my motor are welcome.

The campground is first class, very clean and has gated security. After a certain time at night, gates automatically close to the campground entrance, but you can still get in with a code which they give you. They have rental cabins, very clean and nice, and also rental RVs located at some of their sites. They also have a few areas for tent camping as well. All of their sites for Rvs are back in only, no pull throughs. They have some sites with horse stalls next to them for those who bring their horses.
We could not afford the membership costs, anywhere between $5-13K, plus yearly dues. But we did get the 1yr trial with number of days avaible to use, and can only use it at one campground out of the ten, we chose KQ Ranch. We have no future plans on becoming members, for our own personal reason, the resorts are too far away for us to use, we just don't want to be tied down with dues, monthly bills etc and other reasons. If you have the money, time and live closer to these ten then its well worth having the membership, lots of benefits and perks to it, this doesn't mean this Resort controls the fees in the other campgrounds, those affiliated campgrounds have their own gimmicks and fees too. But for us, out of the ten featured campgrounds, only one is closer to us, Pismo beach(newest addition) but no RVs allowed, rental cabins there. But can use their affiliate campground, and at 50% rate too. If you join the membership you get one week free per year at any of the ten sites The other nine sites are 6-8 hrs away from us and not really in our interests and not a weekend getaway. Those that live in the LA/San Diego area makes it worth while. Overall its not our thing.

On Sat, we bought tickets for the bbq dinner, $8 per person, have to buy it before 4pm, only Sat has BBQs. My wife and I had the bbq steak dinner, my son had the bbq chicken, which he says was the most juicy and tender chicken he's had and not tough lol. The food is first rate as well. My son and I spent some time fishing at their little pond, catch and release only. Provided if you can stand the smell which is coming from the dog park they have next to the pond. I found out later there is a lake nearby about 5 miles outside of the campground where you can catch and keep the fish. We couldn't hook up to their WiFi at their clubhouse, we weren't close enough to the clubhouse. We went to the clubhouse to try it as well, guess internet must not be working that weekend. Overall, my DS and DW had a good time, wish we could have stayed longer, but school starts on Monday and I go back to work. So far everything in our trailer did its job and no issues.

Oh forgot to mention, I've lost one bumper plug on the way here.

And yes I read the posts about people losing them on the hwy, add me to those statistics

Here are some pictures, all taken with my iphone4 camera




The rest are in my album here:
Forest River Forums - Night Stone's Album: Camping at KQ Ranch
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:08 PM   #2
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i'm guessing you have a really high rear end ratio, along with the low torque 4.8 engine. you need to post what rear end it has.

if you do, you could have the rear end swapped out for a lower ratio one.
would be about the cheapest solution.

having lived in SoCal for over 30 years, i know the Grapevine quite well.
had to go up it on a Labor Day weekend when the clutch went out, on the start of the climb.
drove my little Datsun pickup all the way up it, weaving thru the bumper-to-traffic, including using the shoulder til i got to the top and could pull over.

still, it seems unusual that your trailer would be too much for the truck, unless you really loaded it up.
the trailer pics look like it's longer than the 23' shown in the specs. i have a 23' HTT and yours looks much longer than mine.
are you sure that it's a 181BHXL and not one of the bigger models?
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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its model is stated as a 181bhxl, this is only the size of the box TT, total length is just under 25' with the tongue and cargo folded up. Weight of the trailer is just under 4000Lbs, plus 5 people and clothes, which still doesn't put us over.
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98 Chevy Silverado C3500 crewcab, 454 cu in & 2013 Salem Cruise-Lite 181BHXL
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Old 08-26-2012, 01:30 PM   #4
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That campground looks really nice!
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry
That campground looks really nice!
It's very peaceful and quiet up here, lots to do and visiting the town of Julian is just 10 mins away. There is another campground nearby called Pinezanita RV campground which is great place for mountain camping as well. I saw some pictures of KQ Ranch during winter time, snow on the ground and people still camping there, it's just so tranquil.
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