We have camped at Faria several times over the last four years. Last week, I discovered Faria's dirty little secret. Since there are no reservations, everything is on a "first come, first served" basis. At least that is what is published on the Web and at the campground. In reality, local people place a tent at an unoccupied site and use the tent as a "place holder" for when the owner returns with his RV. Such practice is perfectly correct. I saw nine sites occupied by "tent place holders" during my stay at Faria. One person even placed a tent on my RV site without even asking me. Such practice allow campers to place a tent at a site on say Wednesday, presumably pay the daily fee of $48 while the tent holds their site. Then the RV family arrives on Friday and they remove their tent and park their RV. The problem is that many families pass through Faria and when they see the tent (but no campers are actually occupying the site) yet and are turned away because of the "tent placeholder". Such behavior is tolerated and encouraged by the Parks Department of Ventura and the Board of Supervisors. Faria is a great campground, but using "a tent as a placeholder" for several days is just wrong.
We have stayed at Jalama several times over the last five years. Great ocean view (all sites). We love this place. And NO cell service to distract you from enjoying the campground. They have pay phones!