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Camp Petaluma Important News UPDATE 4/17/18

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:26 pm
by John Neuenburg

Hi all. I want to come on here to announce there are many new details about the Camp Petaluma Swap Meet and MV Gathering on the event page in the calendar on Also the event listing on the Events forum here on the G has been updated with more photos of last year's event. I'll go over the important things here.

MVCC President Dave Ball and I have been trying to make as many improvements to this meet as possible. We have gotten the formal OK for all MVs to be driven into the campground even if by day visitors. If you don't have an arrangement to park them at your buddies campsite, talk to me about other places we have set aside inside the campground and there are even some places outside the gates. Best to do this before the event so I can give you instructions. All MVs will be accommodated. My cell is 415-847-2801 or email

We again have the storage yard for trailers and cars/trucks you don't want to keep at your campsite. This allows more room for MVs or trade goods. OK to block the permanent tenants because KOA told them they cannot access their rigs during our week.

Activities are posted on the website. These include a big Military Dodge Showcase and Parade on Friday afternoon, after the morning MV Excursion which will go to Point Reyes National Seashore and the historic Marconi radio station. There will be a Military Motorcycle, Scooter, and Bicycle Showcase Thursday afternoon and again on Saturday. The "Spark Plugs", aka the ladies of Camp Petaluma, will make a carpool run to Sonoma Thursday at 10:30. The Thirsty Thursday BYOB social is at 4:30, all are welcome to these events. We think the EMU-309 UH-1H Huey from EMU, Inc. will make a return appearance Saturday.

KOA is again charging $10 admission per person for day visitors. MVCC gets none of this. Also KOA set a 100/day visitor maximum. We don't know if this will affect us but best to get there early especially on Friday and Saturday.

Visitors/commuters driving MVs need to stop at the office to buy a wristband. Exception would be if you are partnering with a person for a campsite or cabin and you will get some of his wristband allotment. Those in campsites, studio cabins, and the small Camping Cabins get up to four, and those in the big lodges get six because they sleep six. These are supposed to be for campers. Important for the camper to ask for what he needs at check-in. Then leave bands on Will Call at the office with names on them. Use an envelope to enclose anything else, like a map with notes. I don't think MVs will be issued a parking pass. If a camper plans to deliver wristbands offsite, obviously he needs to obtain them at time of check-in.

Since the large field to the east will again be too soft for parking, we again have offsite visitor parking at the dirt lot across from Pete's Henny Penny. This is the place for storing trailers. Again, driving MVs in is the way to go. Last year we had KOAs buses as shuttles but they sold that operation. The MVCC paid for part of that out of our treasury. This year a commercial bus service is way too expensive. So we found J's Taxis for shuttling. They use boxy Toyotas that can carry four customers and unlike other taxi companies, are company owned and the drivers are employees. You can now park anywhere and they operate every day and at night. We negotiated only $3 per mile for a carload. It is .6 miles from Henny Penny to the KOA office. For a paved lot, the Cattlemen's Restaurant manager Jon George is OK with parking there but is hoping we don't clog it up during their 6:30-9 pm rush especially Friday, Saturday. Please park in the rear and have J's meet you in front. Don't take sites in front of Jay Palms Saddle Shop and Budget. It is .8 mile from KOA to Cattlemen's, but with the road layout it is 1.2 miles from Cattlemen's to KOA. So that's a $6 round trip for up to four people. If you have dinner at Cattlemen's, try to find Jon George and tell him you are with the MV event and thank him for letting you park there that day. We are not planning to ask the Henny Penny owner for permission to park there all day. They might say no. Up to you but if you park there, best to have the taxi pick you up in the back. We might also have the smallish lot on Stony Point just north of Rainsville Road at the "Pumpkin Patch" field. I will confirm that. We don't have permission to park at the unposted shoulder at the top of the hill on Rainsville Rd. Just saying. Please don't park in the driveway for the barn across from KOA entrance road. People will be making U-turns there because of dropping people off or if KOAs staffer at the bottom of their road turns around visitors in cars. But if they are campers checking in they will be allowed up the road.

Speaking of that, one option for onsite parking for a "civilian" car or truck is renting a space in the Group Camp Area! $10 a night per person, same as the daily admission, BUT you get a car parking pass! You don't have to camp, but set out some chairs and stuff to mark your space. Reserve through KOA. If their Group Area at the north end is full they might activate the lawn field by their small parking lot below the entry road.

So read the rest of the info on the website, perhaps print it for your glove box (hat tip to Chuck Lutz), and PLEASE pass the word to folks who might not see these posts or read the MVCC newsletter or website. Important they bring a cell phone if they need a shuttle ride!

Some big news - in light of the inconvenience for non-campers and a few other rules, we are moving the meet for 2019!

You may know that Dave Ball found Petaluma KOA after an exhaustive search after the new owners of Tower Park announced a rehab of Campground 4 and the addition of a water park. It meant we didn't have enough sites for the April 2017 meet. Construction is still ongoing. Petaluma was one of the only places big enough, but is unfortunately out in "left field" considering we get people from LA, Arizona, and other far away places. It is more than a Northern CA meet. So some didn't want to drive that extra 1 to 1.5 hours. We don't know what will happen this time, but again there are other issues. So Dave never stopped looking and another place responded to our proposal. This will be announced in the MVCC Newsletter in April and then to the public. Not before so don't ask! It is in a more central location.

FYI the September 2018 swap meet will again be at Tower Park Campground 2 and 3. It turned out great there last year. The water park might be in operation.

Lastly, get your jeeps ready because the featured showcase in April 2019 will be "JEEPS."

Re: Camp Petaluma Important News UPDATE 4/17/18

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:24 pm
by John Neuenburg
Important updates for day-visitors are at
on the Basic Training page. Also an updated Activities Schedule is posted. Please pass the word to others.

Short story is it is best to commute in a MV, not a "civilian" car or pickup. 100 visitors per day maximum per KOA. I know - strange. Get there early.

If you are part of a camper's party, he should put your wristbands on Will Call at the KOA office under your name. Probably the guard at the bottom of the road will radio the office to verify you have bands there. Same process for campers checking in. Option is for the camper who is already there to drive out to hand you the bands. But your "civilian" car won't be allowed in unless with a camping parking pass.

I think the place is about sold out although there are usually some cancellations, so if you want a site call 707-763-1492.

Please be courteous to the KOA staffers. Their rules are their rules and we didn't have much choice of venues last year and this time. We don't want to burn a bridge for a smaller meet that might happen someday there.

We won't have visitor logistics like this next year!