8.9 Excellent
     
Santee, California

Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve

Santee, California



Santee, California
Phone: (619) 596-3141

Sites: 310
Recent Rate: $30 5/2016

Latitude: 32.866570955443
Longitude: -117.006451785564

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Campground Overview
  • Pull-thru Sites Pull-thru Sites yes
  • Big Rig Access Big Rig Access yes
  • Tent Camping Tent Camping no
  • Restrooms (Plumbed) Restrooms (Plumbed) yes
  • Pit Toilets Pit Toilets no
  • Showers Showers yes
  • $0.00 Shower Fee Shower Fee 0.00
  • Laundry Facilities Laundry Facilities yes
  • $0.00 Laundry Fee Laundry Fee 0.00
  • Dump Station Dump Station yes
  • $0.00 Dump Station Fee Dump Station Fee 0.00
  • Propane Available Propane Available yes
  • Firewood Available Firewood Available yes
  • Cabins / Cottages / Yurts Cabins / Cottages / Yurts yes
  • Water Spigot Water Spigot yes
  • Picnic Shelter Picnic Shelter yes
  • RV Wash RV Wash no
  • $0.00 RV Wash Fee RV Wash Fee 0.00
  • Corral Corral no
  • Landing Strip Landing Strip no
  • Overflow Parking Overflow Parking yes
Hookups & Connectivity
  • Electric (30 AMP) Electric (30 AMP) yes
  • Electric (50 AMP) Electric (50 AMP) yes
  • Water Water yes
  • Sewer Sewer yes
  • WiFi WiFi yes
  • $0.00 WiFi Fee WiFi Fee 0.00
  • Cellular Phone Service Cellular Phone Service no
  • Verizon Cellular Phone Providers Cellular Phone Providers Verizon
  • Cable or Satellite TV Hookup Cable or Satellite TV Hookup yes
  • Phone Phone yes
  • Central Modem Central Modem no
Amenities
  • Pets Allowed Pets Allowed yes
  • 0 Maximum Pet Size (lbs.) Maximum Pet Size (lbs.) 0
  • Pool Access Pool Access yes
  • Family Friendly Family Friendly yes
  • Playground Playground yes
  • Pet Area Pet Area yes
  • yes-lake Waterfront Waterfront yes-lake
  • Clubhouse Clubhouse yes
  • Camp Store Camp Store yes
  • Cafe / Snack Bar Cafe / Snack Bar yes
  • Business Center Business Center no
  • Group Camping Group Camping no
  • Meeting Rooms Meeting Rooms yes
  • Group Kitchen Group Kitchen no
  • Banquet Facilities Banquet Facilities no
  • Concierge Services Concierge Services no
Recreation
  • Walking Trail(s) Walking Trail(s) yes
  • Recreation Room Recreation Room yes
  • Gym/Workout Facilities Gym/Workout Facilities no
  • Beach Access Beach Access no
  • Boat Ramp Boat Ramp no
  • Marina Marina no
  • Boat Rentals Boat Rentals no
  • Fishing Fishing yes
  • Golfing Golfing yes
  • Bike Path(s) Bike Path(s) yes
  • Bike Rentals Bike Rentals yes
  • Hiking Hiking yes
  • Spa Spa yes
  • Horseshoe Pit Horseshoe Pit yes
  • Volley Ball Volley Ball ?
  • Sports Field Sports Field no
  • Arcade Games Arcade Games no
  • Live Entertainment Live Entertainment no
  • Amphitheatre Amphitheatre no
  • Putt Putt Mini-Golf Putt Putt Mini-Golf no
  • Billiards Billiards no
  • Ping Pong Ping Pong no
  • Lake Lake yes
  • Pond Pond no
  • River River no
  • Creek Creek yes
  • Ocean Ocean no
  • Water Park Water Park no
  • Casino Casino no

Review Details

Ratings overview

138 Reviews

These reviews are the opinion of an RVParkReviews’ member and not the views of RVParkReviews.com

silverado

Review Count: 113
States Visited: 21
Helpful Reviews: 15

Date of Stay: May, 2016 - $30.00
Overall Rating:      

We stay here for a couple months every year. Started back in 2010. Lots of Snow Birds in the winter. Lots of weekend RVers in the Summer. Great for Kids, lots to do. Since we started here the RATES have gone up yearly. The last increase will hit the Long Term RVers in the pocket. Those on limited incomes will move on. This is too bad, because it is such a Great Stop. Close to Shopping, Trolley and Food. With the price increase the WI-FI is VERY Slow. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Fifth Wheel.

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Clean Restrooms

Clean Showers

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FireFlyer

Review Count: 22
States Visited: 3
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: April, 2016 - $53.00
Overall Rating:      

As describe by others, this recreation area is operated by the Padre Dam Water Authority. The series of 7 lakes are part of the water supply system. Most of them are in the day-use area. The RV area is at the far north end of the park. A couple of loops are on the lakes, most are north of the lakes.

We've been here before and not much has changed. The lots are packed dirt/DG. That's good when it's dry (which is most of the time), but could be messy if it rains. There is a nice pool/clubhouse where there are frequent events, including a Wednesday night potluck and Thursday morning breakfast. Utilities are modern and function well. Verizon coverage is terrible = barely 1 bar and frequent dropped calls. Not the park's fault....just be aware. The Internet service is free and worked well, with occasional slow periods. We like this park and will likely go again. Volunteer staff/camp hosts were friendly and helpful. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Fifth Wheel.

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RVpartyanimal

Review Count: 6
States Visited: 1
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: March, 2016 - $50.00
Overall Rating:      

This is a park which has seven man made lakes. Many sites have full hookup, which is what we had. The size of the sites varies but I think even the smallest is larger than most RV parks. The site we had was by a small man made river. Near us was a nice park like area. I am taking into consideration this is a park and not an RV Resort. All dirt with some trees. This is winter so none of the trees were green so I really can't tell if the tree near us would give us shade in the summer. There is fishing at each of the lakes (I think it is catch and release). A number of children play areas. Clubhouse. Swimming pool (not heated). They have WiFi but it is pretty slow. The have cable but not many stations. If this was an RV park I would reduce the rating for that but this is a park. So this location is great. We will stay here again. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Motorhome.

Tips for other Campers:

The town of Santee is close by and have most anything you want. There is a train that can take you to San Diego.

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TexasTomRV

Review Count: 3
States Visited: 3
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: December, 2015 - $50.00
Overall Rating:      

This is one of the nicest RV Parks in San Diego. Go to their website and do the visual tour. It really is as nice as it appears. The individual sites are spacious and you don't feel crowded. There are different areas where different size rigs can fit in wooded or more open for satellite.

This is about 45 minutes east of downtown San Diego and very easy to get to the attractions.

The staff are wonderful at the reservation/service areas and the host RV families are too. This is our 2nd winter here in San Diego and we find this is our best value as well as natural beauty. I find I can bicycle in the RV park as well as all over the Cuyamaca Mountains and we are very near the Mission Trails Regional Park for hiking and mountain biking. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Motorhome.

Tips for other Campers:

Enjoy all you can in this terrific city of San Diego.

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ErikaN

Review Count: 4
States Visited: 4
Helpful Reviews: 0

Date of Stay: November, 2015 - $30.00
Overall Rating:      

Nice looking park, with day use area, lakes, etc. No off-leash dog park. Nice sized sites, easy to maneuver. Reviews mentioning ants and dirt on sites are true. Sites are dirty/muddy and would be better with gravel. We had to put hoses/cords up to avoid creating bridges for ants and put diatomaceous earth around our tires/levels to keep them out. Wifi is decent, Tengo. We had AT&T come out and install U-verse for internet broadband and phone, which works well. Verizon coverage is horrible here, luckily we have a Verizon Net Extender that works through the internet cable to give us coverage. Park has mail, laundry, pools, camper access gate with code, etc. Close enough to San Diego metro area, trolley, etc. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Fifth Wheel.

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murphy1

Review Count: 8
States Visited: 5
Helpful Reviews: 2

Date of Stay: November, 2015 - $36.00
Overall Rating:      

I would have rated this facility much higher if it wasn't for the bad wireless phone reception (verizon) and internet reception (tengo). I don't know if there is interference from the Marine Air Station directly to the north or what but both were very spotty our entire monthly stay. We really like the rustic feel so close to the city and beaches and the staff is very friendly and attentive. I don't know if we would camp here again because of the poor phone and internet reception. We are full-timers and need those connections. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Motorhome.

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zen_letitbe

Review Count: 132
States Visited: 31
Helpful Reviews: 2

Date of Stay: September, 2015 - $24.00
Overall Rating:      

This is a great park with varied-size sites within the different loops. The park is clean and neat because there are a lot of camp hosts attending to the restrooms, pool, clubhouse, and actual RV sites. The only missing piece is an off-leash enclosure for the many dogs that come to the park with their owners. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Fifth Wheel.

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Bchgrl

Review Count: 3
States Visited: 1
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: July, 2015 - $38.00
Overall Rating:      

A Regional Park that is an oasis off I-8 near San Diego. Two lakes just for RVers, Cabins on land or "floating, fishing, bike & boat rental, store, kids playgrounds and great staff. All very well-maintained and safe. Close to all major stores, the trolly and many attractions. Day use areas also.

Reserve early as they sell-out. I got the only space for the month of July. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Motorhome.

Tips for other Campers:

Santee has most major stores and Fashion Valley Masll is a short drive. Easy Trolly from Santee to Downtown San Diego for Zoo, USS Midway, Gaslamp, Convention Center, Petco Park, San Diego Train Depot & more. Also a short coaster ride from San Diego train depot to races in DelMar and beaches in DelMar, Solana Beach, Encinitas or Oceanside.

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Pdxjoanne

Review Count: 104
States Visited: 16
Helpful Reviews: 24

Date of Stay: May, 2015 - $47.00
Overall Rating:      

This is a Huge park with multiple camping areas on a series of seven little lakes. We stayed here for four nights during the week and paid $5 extra for a lakefront site. We felt it was well worth it to sit outside right on the lake and watch the birds. We didn't fish but a lot of people did and we saw some of them catch pretty nice sized fish. The lakefront sites are perfect for that. I don't think most big rigs would fit in the lakefront sites, but there are tons of other pull thru's so I'm sure even the biggest rigs could find a nice spot. Weekdays would be best, though. It sounds like they are pretty full on most weekends. The only complaint I have is that they will not allow you to drop your camper off the truck. We probably would've stayed longer, but it's a pain to have to unplug every time you want to drive to the store etc.

They have a really nice laundry facility and, best of all, their WiFi actually works very well! One of the best we've found. The premium sites have cable but the lakefront ones don't. We weren't told that and were disappointed after the fact that we couldn't watch one particular show we were planning on watching. Oh well. Overall, we really enjoyed it and would camp here again. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Truck Camper.

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lets move

Review Count: 22
States Visited: 10
Helpful Reviews: 8

Date of Stay: April, 2015 - $38.00
Overall Rating:      

Rate is based on one week stay. Pretty family campground with 7 lakes, most sites are dirt (possibly some paved pull-throughs), interior roads paved. Utilities worked well and were well placed. No cable in this site. Restrooms, showers clean. Verizon service spotty. We reserved a site in Willow loop and arrived on a Saturday which was probably not the best thing to do as we could barely drive to our site with kids riding bikes, razors, running and screaming ALL over the place, in and out of our site as we were trying to get in. As the previous poster mentioned, Willow is a little older, more rustic with nice shade trees, but some sites at odd angles and either good site space or not too good. If we had it to do over again, we would have paid more for a different site; perhaps a pull-through in a different loop would have been quieter with less activity, as all loops have a different feel. We were here to visit family in San Diego, so it was tolerable for a week, but we're retired full-timers and this place just isn't what we're looking for. Because of that, my personal rating would be lower, but I rate objectively based on what the park has to offer for those interested in this type of camping. It's a great place for families to camp being right in Santee and close for San Diego County residents to buzz right over even for one night. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Fifth Wheel.

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silverado

Review Count: 113
States Visited: 21
Helpful Reviews: 15

Date of Stay: April, 2015 - $40.00
Overall Rating:      

Usually spend holidays here, MUST make reservations months in advance. Very popular, about 13 miles from San Diego. Walmart and Costco 2 miles. Trolley to San Diego and Large Shopping Mall 2 miles. Site very spacious.Verizon very spotty. 7 lakes for fishing and walking. Golf courses in the area are Carlton Oaks, Willowbrook, Mt Woodson, San Vincinte, Sycuan Resort 3 Courses. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Fifth Wheel.

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Clean Restrooms

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LifeRebooted

Review Count: 98
States Visited: 26
Helpful Reviews: 46

Date of Stay: March, 2015 - $40.00
Overall Rating:      

Rate does not include 10% tax and $1 per night fee per dog.

Santee Lakes was a good home base for us to explore San Diego from. It's 30 minutes from the beach, but offers a more rustic, wooded campground feel compared to RV parks downtown. The park is surprisingly large, with 300+ campsites grouped into eight or so different areas/loops along the long narrow park. Each area has a very different feel, with many of the areas being traditional rows and rows of diagonally parked RVs. We stayed in Willow Loop which was older and felt more rustic (large trees, more space, oddly-angled sites). Due to the oddly-arranged sites, some in Willow Loop are great with lots of space, and others are right up against the next RV (not even enough space to open an awning) with the camping area BEHIND the RV. We used their web site's site search to look at the satellite views to choose a site with more space. The WiFi worked pretty well (not good enough for streaming video, but OK for everything else).

Given the size of the park, there were plenty of places to walk our dogs, but dogs are not allowed in any of the lakes, even on leash to just get wet. Also, dogs are not allowed in the day use areas, only in the campground areas. Portable fences/ex-pens for dogs are not allowed. There are hiking trails nearby but you have to exit the park to get to them. We would stay here again. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Motorhome.

Tips for other Campers:

Our GPS took us to the back gate to the campground, which is only accessible via a code after you register. There was no place to U-turn in our RV so we had to drive through a lot of residential neighborhoods to make our way back to the main entrance. Be sure you're headed to the main entrance to check in!

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Clean Restrooms

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zen_letitbe

Review Count: 132
States Visited: 31
Helpful Reviews: 2

Date of Stay: February, 2015 - $30.00
Overall Rating:      

We have stayed here a lot and continue to love the atmosphere, activities, staff (office/rangers) and camp hosts. The sites vary in size depending on which loop. The farther you go into the park (i.e., newer site development), the better, larger and more treed the sites are. The trees in the newest section (Oak) are young but do provide shade.

The only missing piece is the lack of a fenced off-leash dog area. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Fifth Wheel.

Tips for other Campers:

The Wednesday evening potluck, Thursday coffee/pastries and Friday night activities are a great way to meet like-minded RVers.

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mcharland

Review Count: 152
States Visited: 49
Helpful Reviews: 19

Date of Stay: January, 2015 - $45.00
Overall Rating:      

RV park is part of a very large regional park that has a number of small lakes. The RV park is at the back and has its own lake to use. The main park can get fairly busy on the weekends but they do have a private gate for just the RV park to enter and exit. Roads are paved, sites are packed sand/dirt or paved and are fairly level. Sites are long enough for big rigs and tow vehicle and there is good spacing between sites. There are trees providing some shade for sites but they do not impact the rigs. We had no problem using our satellite dish. Wi-Fi is free and works OK but generally slows down at night and on the weekends as users increase. Cell phone service, Verizon, is weak. Park is very nicely maintained and offers many things to do like fishing, walking and biking. Park is near highway and is about 20 minute drive into downtown San Diego. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Fifth Wheel.

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Clean Restrooms

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supercub

Review Count: 14
States Visited: 3
Helpful Reviews: 1

Date of Stay: December, 2014 - $42.00
Overall Rating:      

I've stayed at this park several times in the last few years. It's a great location. Staff is friendly. Sites are very large. Wifi works great. I do wish they would install a concrete patio area at each site. When it rains, you track the sand into your RV. Would be nice to have a concrete patio to pull up next to, instead of the wet sand. Other than that, I really like this park. We camped at Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve in a Motorhome.

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