The Fairpark RV North
The Fairpark RV inside the Alameda County Fairgrounds was the very first RV park we stayed in! We had heard that one of the best ways to get acclimated to living in your RV was to do a “close to home trip” before moving in full-time. Unfortunately, our lease was coming to an end and there was no time for local trips with the ongoing renovation. So, when it was time to go we went to Pleasanton to stay at The Fairpark RV. It was about 40 minutes from where we lived, 10 minutes from my work, it’s near our families and has lots of shopping nearby for any parts or must have items we might find we needed as we adjusted to living in it. Seeing as this is my first review, I’m going to touch base on a few things. I want to make it very clear that I intend to always be very honest about my opinions of the places that we stay. I want to be someone that you can trust to always tell you the truth no matter what is at stake. I plan to rate the parks as a whole but also in more specific sections because, let’s be honest, something that bothers me… may not bother you about a place. We’re not all the same people, we all like and dislike different things so who’s to say something I love is right for you or something I hate isn’t. Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let’s jump in.
The Fairpark RV (gotta be honest, the name confuses me) RV park is located in the heart of Pleasanton, California. Pleasanton is a suburb about 30 miles from San Francisco and 6 miles from Livermore Wine Country. It’s surrounded by rolling hills, malls, parks, historic buildings and even has a lake nearby where you can go fishing and boating. There are always fun events happening in Pleasanton parks or downtown, including wine and art festivals, concerts in the park, farmers markets and more. The historic downtown and surrounding areas have amazing restaurants, theaters and arts centers to visit. Actually in 2009, Newsmax magazine's listed Pleasanton as one of the "Top 25 Most Uniquely American Cities and Towns" for its charm. For me that charm doesn’t exactly extend into the RV park but thats okay. Despite the parking lot like setting, The Fairpark RV North Lot has a lot to offer. It has a general store, an RV Parts and Service Center, laundry and pretty well maintained bathrooms. It has a large grass area surrounded by huge trees for (on-leash) dogs and a large area for outdoor cooking and eating.
30 amp back in - $40 per night
50 amp back in - $50 per night
30 amp pull through - $60 per night
50 amp pull through - $65 per night
Also note that additional vehicles are $6 per night and a guest parking pass is $8 per night. They unfortunately do not accept any discounts as far as AAA, Good Sam or Passport America. Full price here all the way. We stayed Nov 2018 for 15 nights and paid $603.50. They do have an online reservation fee of $3.50. The maximum stay period is 21 days. Checkout is 11am. For those of us that are full timers, a huge bummer is that the park will not accept any personal packages on your behalf.
Ultimately, I like the Fairpark RV but there are definitely some things that I think could be improved upon and a few things I’m not to fond of.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. This section is going to be my breakdown. Where I get into a little bit more detail about the things that matter to me the most and what I am assuming most people will want to know about, when deciding where to make reservations for a trip.
Environment - 3 out of 5 stars: Personally, the whole parking lot style of the park isn’t my favorite. All points considered though, it’s done well. The spaces are clearly defined and not too tight. The gravel is hard packed and level. The surrounding hills are beautiful and the huge trees in the dog area are gorgeous. It’s a 25 minute walk from historic downtown Main Street for dinner and shopping. It also has a wide variety of choices for grocery stores nearby. Location definitely matters and the location is great! So overall, I think its okay.
Park Grounds - 3 out of 5 stars: The amenities at this park include bathrooms, a laundry room, a RV parts and service center, a small general store, outdoor cooking space and a dog area. The bathrooms and laundry area are fairly clean and maintained. One washer was out of order while we were visiting. The general store sells a variety of non-perishable goods including soft drinks, breakfast cereals, popcorn and ramen noodles. As well as paper products and medicine. They also fill propane tanks, when we were there propane was $3.99 a pound which seemed to be normal for the area. The parts center was grossly over priced. While we were visiting, we had a propane leak and Mike decided to buy parts there to fix it, only to discover that they were marked up more than 4 times the going price elsewhere. Ultimately, they didn’t fix the leak but he planned to return them regardless. One thing I wish they had there, was a pool. The weather was so warm and beautiful, a pool would have been a great amenity especially considering the daily rate. I also wish that they would open up a section of the HUGE grassy area to off leash play. Its such a wonderful space where our dogs could have potentially gotten some great exercise and had fun.
Noise Level - 3 out of 5 stars: So here is where some people may have a problem, where I do not. The train. I love it. I spent a year living next to some train tracks and of course you get used to the sound of the train and the whistles and horns. Therefore, the train sounds that can be heard in the park don’t bother me what-so-ever. In fact I find them soothing. They’re not incredibly loud or jarring but I could see how maybe someone used to quiet would find them irritating. That being said, the park was very quiet. No road noise can be heard and everyone respected the quiet hours between 10pm and 6am.
Connectivity - 2.5 out of 5 stars: As far as the wifi here, its pretty bad. During the day when people are out, we could stream Netflix but nothing more than that. Our Amazon Prime Video and Hulu accounts just couldn’t handle the slow speeds period. During some evenings, even Netflix couldn’t handle the bogged down speeds while everyone is home and relaxing watching TV. Our Verizon hot spot got 4 bars of LTE and our phones hovered around 3 bars of LTE. As far as working during the day, this worked out for us but left us frustrated a few nights when our binge watching was constantly interrupted by buffering.
Staff - 3.5 out of 5 stars: Most of the staff interactions happened between Mike and the people in the office and the parts shop. He told me that the office staff was very nice and helpful when he told them it was our first time out with our RV. The few times I visited the general store the people working behind the counter were polite and answered my questions but honestly, didn’t pay too much attention to me. Sometimes I felt as if I was bothering them.
Community - 2.5 out of 5 stars: The people we encountered in the park were pretty friendly. It was a very dog friendly park as well. Our dog Kevin was having a difficult time adjusting to our first move, so he was kind of being a jerk on leash to people with dogs. Most people just politely ignored him so I appreciated that. The park was full of mostly older retired people. Not as many people our age but there were a few, and a couple families as well. The park was definitely full on weekends but would clear out during the week.
Now that our visit is coming to an end, I’d like to wrap up by saying the location is fantastic. It’s super close to downtown and all the fun things that the East Bay Area has to offer! The park is quiet at night so you can get plenty of rest and overall was an enjoyable experience for our first time out with our RV. All in all, I would definitely stay at The Fairpark RV again. I know that we all share different opinions about what’s important to us when we camp or travel. I’d love to hear what matters to you or if you have ever stayed here, what your experience was like in the comments below.