Shooting Star Drive-In is a hard one to review as an RV Park. But I’ll start by talking about just that. Were it just an RV park, I’d've probably driven right by it. When we arrived, the RV “field” (that’s pretty much what it is) was vacant. That sort of thing is usually a sign to me to keep on driving, but I knew what else this place had to offer.
Check-in was easy. Mark, the owner, was ready for us, gave us the run-down of the place and lead us to our spot (basically, our choice of any of the non-sewer spots — you can choose full hookups or just water/electric). We took the spot at the very end, with a nice view of the butte across the road. Then we started trying to level. The sites are anything but level front-to-back. “No problem” we thought: our Airstream has a trusty hydrolic jack that makes leveling a breeze. First we tried with the front facing downhill, but we had to lift the front so high that when you poked the trailer the whole thing swayed. We weren’t comfortable at all with that at all, so we tried a few more positions without making progress. We finally turned the trailer 180 degress, with the front facing uphill. We had a little better success, but we took the front all the way down to the ground and still couldn’t get completely level. Did I mention there was a heat wave when we arrived? The last attempt was all we had in us in that heat, so unlevel we stayed. We hooked up. Water pressure and electric were sure and steady.
The stay was peaceful and quite. Even though it’s close to Highway 12, it doesn’t get a whole lot of traffic, and I really never noticed the noise (and I’m one to notice). The dark skies at night were lovely, and if it’s as empty as when we stayed, you can keep your blinds open and enjoy.
There is no WiFi in the campground, but you can sit in the office during office hours to use the WiFi there. We had cell phone reception through Verizon and the *tiniest* bit of Verizon 3G (very, very slow). No Sprint 3G.
The foxtails in the campground were out of control during the time of year we were there. They were all over just about everything, inside and out, and managed to get inside my shoes every time I stepped outside. If you have dog, do a between-the-toes and ear check frequently. We know from experience that a foxtail that gets into your dog’s skin can be dangerous and costly!
One great amenity Mark offers are “Grill Packs”. For somewhere just over $10 each, you get a complete meal ready to grill: Your choice of steak, chicken, salmon with potatoes, corn on the cob, salad, dressings and BBQ sauce. We took him up on the offer one night and got a steak and salmon pack that we grilled at our campsite. It was just right. This is a boon if you didn’t come stocked with a lot of food. The grocery store in town is a decent size, considering, and has enough to get by, but we found the meat there iffy — it wasn’t even dated!
I very much appreciated the spotless bathroom (only open during office hours) with a full shower, hot, hot water, and even a bathtub. You don’t know how tempted I was to grab my lavender bath salts and take a long, hot bath (full-timing, bathtubs are the #1 thing I miss the most). But there’s only one shower/bathtub, and I’d've felt awkward hogging it like that!
So to sum it up, the RV part of the picture, alone, has some good and bad. I probably wouldn’t stay again if it were just that. But the nightly drive-in movie was such a charming and fun novelty, it makes the quality RV park almost irrelevant. The set-up is great — several vintage convertibles permanently parked in front of the screen. Pick up some popcorn, sodas and candy at the “Snack Shack” (a remodeled airstream), pick a car, and get comfy. The sound is broadcast through an FM band in each car’s stereo. You can keep the top up or put it down and enjoy the truly impressive stars. The movies are all circa 40/50/60s, and range from classics to kitsch. We saw North by Northwest, The Long Long Trailer, Overexposed and It Came From Outer Space.
The true draw of the place is the “Airstream Hotel”. Several Airstreams have been permanently parked an remodeled as luxury lodging meant to imitate the dressing room of a classic movie star — Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, etc. I got to tour several, and “The Duke” was my favorite. I would *highly* recommend anyone not travelling by an Airstream of their own to stay in one of these. The setting, rooms and amenities are fabulous. This is where Mark puts the focus of his business and it shows. The RV park is a bit of the ugly stepsister, but even she gets to play with the fun toys, so it’s worth it.
I wouldn’t necessarily stay at the RV Park for an entire week like we did, but it’s well worth an overnight stop (especially if you don’t need to unhitch and level!)