Casino RV Camping
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

California casino not friendly to RVers

We received the following letter at and thought it was worth passing along:

This past Thanksgiving my wife, 95-year-old mother and I traveled in our 31-foot motorhome from Olympia, Wash., to my brother's house in Yuba City, Calif. While there the whole family decided to go to Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, Calif., for its brunch buffet. Since there were seven of us we decided to ride together in the motorhome instead of taking two cars. Upon arriving at the casino I was greeted by a security guard on a bicycle who told me that the casino did not allow RVs in its parking that will not fit in one parking space. I looked at a half-full parking lot, then said to him that I would only take up two spaces which is the same as if we had driven two cars for the seven of us. I asked if we could park across the parking lot where there were several busses and plenty of room. The guard said that was not allowed and he suggested I leave the casino grounds and find a spot to park along the highway and then walk back. I couldn't believe what I was hearing....RV's not welcome at a casino??? That is the policy at Thunder Valley Casino, Lincoln, California.

I decided to ignore the security man and drove out to the parking lot and found a spot against the perimeter which would allow me to back into a parking spot, and by placing my rear tires against the concrete stop would allow the rear portion of my motorhome to hang over the edge far enough for me to say I was only taking up one parking spot. I was very careful to place the motorhome exactly in the center of the parking space with the white lines on both sides equal distance from the motorhome.

The security man followed me on his bicycle and watched me back into the spot. He was then joined by two other security people on bicycles and they informed me that I would have to move the motorhome. RVs were not allowed in the parking lot. I asked to speak with his supervisor, and I was informed that he was on his way. Soon another security guard arrived in an automobile and informed me of the casino policy of not allowing RVs. I showed him that I was only taking up one space and that we would enjoy their buffet and be gone in an hour or so.

After some discussion he said he would allow us to park this time but not in the future. All of this hassle had taken 20 to 30 minutes. He need not have worried because we will not patronize that casino again. We have traveled in many states and stayed in many casino lots and felt welcome at all of them. Most of them even provide a courtesy shuttle to the casino and back to your RV at no cost. This is the first time a casino has informed us of such a policy against RVs.

Gary Michael
Olympia, Washington

TO VOICE YOUR OPINION of the casino's RV parking policy, send an email to


  • If you go to Thunder Valley's website they clearly state "No RV or Trailer Parking Allowed". Amazing! We used to live in the Sacramento area and did visit this casino once...don't waste your time. There are plenty of other RV friendly casinos around to spend your time and money at.

    By Blogger Richard, at December 1, 2007 2:22 AM  

  • I would have liked to see a little research done with perhaps a rebuttal or comment on the policy from the casino management.

    By Anonymous Denny, at December 1, 2007 2:28 AM  

  • We found ourselves in a simular situation at Harrah's in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Up until then we had always found casino's to be very RV friendly. Likewise, they will never have to worry about us leaving any money at their facility.

    By Anonymous grannylinda, at December 1, 2007 3:38 AM  

  • Guess some are RV friendly, others are not. Believe there is a casino directory out for RVers looking for RV friendly casinos. We've experienced both kinds. On the other hand, I seen RVers with Class A motor homes and tow vehicle take up 6 parking spaces on a busy weekend and not eat or put a nickle in a machine. Just wanted a free parking spot on asphault. Guess finding that casino directory or calling ahead would let RVers know if the welcome mat is out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2007 3:46 AM  

  • Sounds like another case of one bad apple spoils the whole barrel...All it takes is one or two jerks dumping their holding tanks on the ground or leaving a pile of trash behind them... Soon Management is convinced that allowing RVs to use their parking lots is not a good idea.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2007 6:03 AM  

  • Let's all remember that we simply own an RV - we don't have a "magical golden pass" to do anything we want, anywhere we want. They own the casino, they set the rules. If you don't like their rules, then you don't go to their casino. Simple as that.

    In this case, space wasn't the issue at all - they simply didn't want the look of a parking lot full of RVs. It is their right, if they so choose.

    By Anonymous MarkCinCLT Itasca Horizon, at December 1, 2007 6:08 AM  

  • Why not just leave, cook in the RV, and let others know of their discourtesy? I certainly would not have spent one cent in their establishment!!

    By Anonymous tom, at December 1, 2007 6:35 AM  

  • The casino should be given an opportunity to explain their policy. Did RV'ers abuse the previledge? If so, we had better learn a lesson before other casinos do the same thing. If not, the answer is clear, pass the word and do not patronize them!

    By Blogger brandipoole, at December 1, 2007 7:00 AM  

  • I also will not be visisting Thunder Valley Casino, Lincoln, California. I felt the motorhome
    driver was extremly reasonable in what and how he did it.

    By Anonymous 357 Annie, at December 1, 2007 7:04 AM  

  • What an unpleasant experience. I just checked the casino's web site. Sure enough, posted that they don't allow Trailer or RV parking. Doesn't seem like a good way to treat customers. Guess they think they can get more money filling up more parking spaces. I can understand not letting us park overnight, or all day, but, again, decidedly NOT friendly.

    By Anonymous Sara Lynn, at December 1, 2007 7:10 AM  

  • This is the email I sent to the casino and Chamber of Commerce:
    I recently read an article in about Thunder Valley Resort casino not allowing RVs to park at their facility. I have gone to many casinos and RVs were welcomed. Actually, some casinos even cater to RVs. I was shocked to here that your casino does not. I am planning on traveling west in March in my motor home. I guess your casino will not be on my places to see.
    People who live in motor homes and especially the fulltimers as myself, are like one big family. We stick together, help each other, get out the word on good and bad places and experiences.
    Obviously, we are not welcome there so we will take our business to other areas in California where we are welcome. I also decided to verify the parking situation myself with the casino. I called Sunday morning and I talked to Joe in security. I asked what the policy was. His response was we do not have a policy but we do not allow RVs to park on the lot.

    jeana weiss

    By Blogger Jeana, at December 1, 2007 7:23 AM  

  • MY EMAIL TO THUNDER VALLY AND THE LINCOLN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE might inspire others to write to them.

    We just finished planning our road trip last week which included a stop at your casino. Unfortunately, I read today in an internet RV publication of an RV'er who was run out of your parking lot.

    To my understanding, he had six other people with him who wanted to enjoy your luncheon buffet, and to avoid taking two cars, they all rode in his 30-foot RV. It was published that the RVer managed to enlist ONE parking spot by backing his RV into your lot so that the back of his rv was hanging over the parking stop. Two parking spaces would have been convenient for him, but he managed to use only one in your already-half-empty lot. TWO spaces would have been used, had they taken the two cars required to transport seven people, but he was not allowed to use two because it seems that REASON is not in your security personnel's vocabulary, nor in your management's!

    It is my understanding that a crowd of security people insisted that he was not allowed to park in your lot, and was advised that all these seniors, including his 91 year old mother, find street parking and WALK back to your casino!! UN HEARD OF!! The security people allowed him to park THIS TIME, and advised the CUSTOMER that he would not be allowed to do so again in the future.

    Well, you have probably realized by now that we have changed our plans and will not visit your casino after all. You might want to realize that your management is making a mistake, rejecting the business of mostly financially-secure seniors who enjoy casino activities and frequently want to spend their kid's inheritance, rather than stay at home, keeping their nest eggs in their mattresses. It's your choice, however..... and it's ours is to avoid your place of business.

    I'm confident that this example of your POOR public relations will hit many more RV publications which reach millions of readers like us. Your policy is not just against RV's in your parking lot.... it's against RV'ers.

    Thank you,
    J W
    Burbank, CA

    By Blogger J, at December 1, 2007 7:31 AM  

  • Thanks for the information, we will pass that casino on our way to Olympia Waahington next year for a family wedding. I will also pass the word to other family memebrs driving in a cars, not to give the Casino any business due to thier attitude to RVers.
    Jane and Lee
    Las Vegas, NV

    By Anonymous JaneNLee, at December 1, 2007 7:45 AM  

  • Another good reason to stay away from the “Greater” Sacramento area!

    By Anonymous weedpuller, at December 1, 2007 8:50 AM  

  • Had a similar experience in a parking lot at Viejas Casino outside of San Diego. The parking lot was actually empty but they wanted us to move to a lot quite as distance away. (Our rig was 20ft. and DID fit in one spot) We simply left.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2007 8:51 AM  

  • We live near Thunder Valley and do not patronize this casino due to their restrictive RV policy, of which we've been aware of for quite awhile now.

    By Blogger Ron, at December 1, 2007 8:54 AM  

  • You have my support and I will spread the word. I already emailed my comments to the Chamber of Commerce. There is also a casino in Biloxi, Miss that does the same thing. I don't go there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2007 9:08 AM  

  • Well, this does surprise me, I am near many casinos in Colorado and they have tight parking; I imagine that you would have lots of trouble in Black Hawk or Central City CO, any feedback from anyone trying that over this past summer? I know that seniors spend good money and I go to the casinos by bus, I don't see how anyone in an RV could possibly park in our casino towns, a future rv'r here, 61 and CO resident. (I will be going to Lake Havasu in AZ and hope to buy RV down there.) Thanks

    By Anonymous flowerlady61, at December 1, 2007 9:26 AM  

  • A little north of the Yuba City area on I-5 is the popular Rolling Hills Casino just outside of Corning. I have stayed there overnight many times in the paved back lot which is for RV's. It is free, lighted, patrolled, and just a short walk to the casino and dining areas.
    The Casino Camping Guide is very worthwhile.

    By Anonymous Will, at December 1, 2007 9:45 AM  

  • Prime example of the nasty behaviour and illogical behaviour of people who are given a little authority and they make sure they use it to annoy people deliberately.
    Lately, every one you encounter these days with a uniform seems to think that you are so stupid that they can do whatever pleases them.
    Just experience the humiliation at the airports, customs, border crossings and the police with tasers.
    That god damn Osama sure knew what paranoia he could create.!!!

    By Anonymous hitch hiker, at December 1, 2007 10:37 AM  

  • I noticed that no one asked tha management of The Thunder Valley Casino to tell there side of the story, why they do not allow RV's to park in their casino parking lot. I guess I'll just have to add RV'ers to the list of people who know everything before they have learned everything, like Republicans and Born Agin's.
    And I don't have to hear your side of the story, either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2007 10:44 AM  

  • Give a man a uniform and a stick and he transforms into a warrior...guaranteed!!!

    A uniformed individual, be it at an airport, in a police cruiser, on a bicycle or at customs thinks he is god and you are a lesser mortal and he gets his kicks annoying people for the hell of it.
    In most cases, the annoyance is exacerbated by the fact that he hardly attended school and this is the best job he could ever land.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2007 10:49 AM  

  • I live in South Sacramento. A group of us use to RV at Thunder Valley casino for fun, food, gambling and RVing. One trip two years ago my wife and I decided to go it alone in the RV. We were told that we were unwelcome with the RV. We asked why? The security guard told us, that a while back they had an RV fire in the lot designated for RVs. A second RV was scortched by the fire. I suspect the Casino had some liability issues. So to make a long story short we packed it up and went to Cashe Creek casino on Hwy 16. We felt welcome and appreciated there. We never went back to Thunder Valley casino.

    By Anonymous Rich, at December 1, 2007 10:52 AM  

  • I went there once. I won't be going back again. Thanks for the heads up.

    By Anonymous dhg, at December 1, 2007 11:48 AM  

  • You might get a better response if you contacted the United Auburn Indian Community at - the owners of the casino.

    By Anonymous Charlie, at December 1, 2007 12:26 PM  

  • as we all know, some RVers are the most inconsiderate and trashy people we know and thats what spoils it for the rest of us. As stated earlier some RVer problably dumped his tank in the parking lot and drove off. I seen this happen one time and I called the Police.
    They didn't catch him and the casino was not happy. This was a casino that catered to RVers. We as RVERs need to police ourselves and others who are untidy or inconsiderate.
    I am truly sorry for this RVer and his family but, I feel some bad apple with an RV set the tone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2007 12:38 PM  

  • I never buck a policy. It's there for some reason. I'm surprised & disappointed that you were defiant and made them bend to your wishes. This might be another reason why this casino does not want RVers parking there.

    By Anonymous LouB, at December 1, 2007 12:49 PM  

  • We also used to live near Thunder Valley. They have VERY limited parking. One time, in our auto, we left because we couldn't find a parking spot. They can't have exceptions to their no RV rules. Also, the buffet is primarily a service for their gamblers. How often do RVers really stay and play? We do when we go to the casinos with RV parking.

    By Blogger ioana, at December 1, 2007 12:51 PM  

  • I noted last time I was in Las Vegas that they seem to be catering only to the super rich and don't want the middle class dollars any more. Their is not even the sound of coins dropping into the slots any more to grab your interest. What they would really like is for the customer to just write them a check and ensure them big profits for nothing in return. Well they convinced me they don't want me as a customer any more and I can assure them that I will never be back. It will be interesting to see them scramble when the economy goes to hell in a hand basket in the new furture. They will be wishing they had treated the middle class much better rather than tick them off.

    By Anonymous coach, at December 1, 2007 12:52 PM  

  • I am shocked the way thundervalley handled this parking situation. I live in California and am an RVer and wont be finding any of my hard earned $$ in there establishment, there are plenty of casinos that are rv friendly and look forward to returning there soon.

    By Anonymous happycamper, at December 1, 2007 1:12 PM  

  • I am very happy to see so many posts in such a short time. (one day) to this unpleasant incident. We spend all summer traveling up and down the west coast and stayed at a few casinos. I have to say, we spend lot'sa money at the casino's, although we parked for free.

    Who cares if they don't allow RV parking. This country is so big, we can spend our money somewhere else.

    I guess that's one of the few areas we will strike from our list to visit.
    Keep on posting, we need to stick together.

    By Anonymous asta-lavista-baby, at December 1, 2007 3:54 PM  

  • Hi All

    This issue came up at Thunder Valley back in June of 2006. A reader on my web site complained about the same thing happening. I contacted the casino and was referred to their PR person, Doug Elmets. Doug assured me that *Daytime* parking was OK and welcome, but no overnight parking. Seems they had problems with some RVers who spoiled it for us all.

    I'll contact them again and ask if this is a new "official" policy, or just that shift of security getting it wrong (that does happen some places from time to time).


    By Anonymous Mac McClellan, at December 1, 2007 4:09 PM  

  • We ought not to blame the "Republicans or Born agains"
    This is a Travel info site not a Political forem! The SC Dems have no clean hands either!!! Why don't you put your name on your comment?
    "The Thaveling Bryants" Steve & Linda

    By Anonymous BajaSteve, at December 1, 2007 6:16 PM  

  • I'm glad to know that I can't take it for granted that I can park my truck and fifth wheel camper in any parking lot, even though I am a customer at that establishment. If I'm asked to move from somewhere, at least I won't take it personally now or be shocked, like I would have been. It's something I didn't realize could happen while on the road. Now I know and I appreciate this knowledge.

    By Anonymous Candy, at December 1, 2007 6:36 PM  

  • A wrong choice on this casino's part. Like many, I took the time to write them a short little post to express my disappointment at their poor choice of business practice.

    By Anonymous Garth52, at December 1, 2007 9:54 PM  

  • I am saddened, but not surprised at the arrogance espoused by the original poster and backed by so many here. What part of "you're not welcome here" did you not understand? And pray tell what entitlement empowered you to "ignore the security man"?

    It's just that type of behavior that gives RVers a bad name. Bah.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2007 11:35 PM  

  • I agree with the earlier comment. No need to throw mud at the particular people you don't like. This is for RV owners and drivers and passengers, not for partisan politics.
    The casino will just do without a segment of the population that uses casinos. Their loss, perhaps. Or maybe our gain, since we will save money by not throwing it away at their tables/machines meant to take more of our money than they give back.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 2, 2007 1:25 AM  

  • Just added Thunder Valley Casino as a "Off-limits" place with or without a RV! There are many other Indian Casino's that welcome RVer's, you will not see my money!

    By Blogger G William, at December 2, 2007 11:26 AM  

  • Wes stopped in Vicksburg MS. at two casinos and were asked to leave the parking lot both times. All we wanted was lunch and a couple hours at the machines. We ended up at a fine Cracker Barrel about 10 miles down the road.

    By Anonymous Wes SoCal, at December 3, 2007 8:30 AM  

  • I am surprised to hear of the blatant disreguard for the rules of the "private property owners" of the casino. YOU ruin it for the rest of us. Shame on you.

    By Anonymous 5thwheeler, at December 3, 2007 10:31 AM  

  • I agree with almost all of the above comments, EXCEPT for the one PIN HEAD expressing his feelings about Republicans abd Born Agains.
    FPRGIVE his LITTLE MIND. He obviously has "constipation of the brain and direah of the mouth".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 3, 2007 12:35 PM  

  • I think we're missing the point here; this RVer managed to FOLLOW THE RULES and utilize ONE parking spot as the security personnel insisted he do.... To run him off because he is in an RV is REDICULOUS. That's like saying NO PICK UPS.... or NO LIMOS!


    By Blogger J, at December 3, 2007 10:27 PM  

  • Even in the face of rules, there should be some flexibility and the ability to exercise a little common sense and good judgment. There was no intent on the RV'er's part to remain overnight, or more than a couple of hours; he had some limited mobility passengers with him; he was, up until being treated so caustically, a potential return customer. The casino used poor judgment in the face of a rigid and, some would argue, unreasonable policy that did nothing but elevate a very minor issue to a major PR faux pas. And in response to some of the more caustic and rude comments in this string: if you're going to criticize, be man enough to identify yourself.

    By Anonymous IBMike, at December 4, 2007 3:55 AM  

  • Following up on my comment from Dec 1st

    Yep, it's official. Here's the email I received from their Public Relations Manager:

    "Because of the current construction at Thunder Valley and our plans for a future expansion (which will include a hotel, performing arts center, expanded casino with new restaurants, and a parking structure) we do not have the space for RV’s in our parking lots."


    By Anonymous Mac McClellan, at December 4, 2007 6:47 AM  

  • Mac McClellan has left a new comment on the post "California casino not friendly to RVers":

    Following up on my comment from Dec 1st

    Yep, it's official. Here's the email I received from their Public Relations Manager:

    "Because of the current construction at Thunder Valley and our plans for a future expansion (which will include a hotel, performing arts center, expanded casino with new restaurants, and a parking structure) we do not have the space for RV’s in our parking lots."

    I bet they don't refuse Buses! Some excuse...boycott them as they are plenty of other Indian Casinos out there!

    By Blogger G William, at December 4, 2007 12:48 PM  

  • I drive a 40' Monaco but I realize that there are those inconsiderate jerks out there that park in casino, hotel, mall and other parking lots and stay for a few days. They run their generators, leave trash, don't clean up after their dogs and are generally just bad neighbors. If you can't afford an RV park and a business owner has a NO RV policy for whatever reason, show some consideration and respect his rights. As for those of you who resent athourity (the ones who belittled the guys with "uniforms and big sticks") the guy was simply doing his job as he was hired to do. Grow up folks and RVers won't be looked on as squaters. Living life in Montana

    By Blogger lusty, at December 4, 2007 1:06 PM  

  • Whats the big deal. They don't allow RV's. You folks that don't like that then don't go their. If the web site say's no RV's and you go their then you are just asking for trouble. You know their policy so just live with it. Go someplace else. I own an RV but if I am not wanted in their establishment I don't go there.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 4, 2007 4:26 PM  

  • Black Oak Casino near Sonora CA is very friendly to RVs and does provide some back in parking for RVs. My last visit this past Thanksgiving weekend they went out of their way to provide a spot so I would not have to unhitch my toad.

    Also I noticed recently that Cache Creek also states "No Trailers or RVs in their website. I would check before I go there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 4, 2007 9:32 PM  

  • -----------------------------------
    "Give a man a uniform and a stick and he transforms into a warrior...guaranteed!!!

    A uniformed individual, be it at an airport, in a police cruiser, on a bicycle or at customs thinks he is god and you are a lesser mortal and he gets his kicks annoying people for the hell of it.
    In most cases, the annoyance is exacerbated by the fact that he hardly attended school and this is the best job he could ever land."
    By Anonymous, at December 1, 2007 10:49 AM
    My Anonymous:
    As a law enforcement officer of 35 years, I find your comment very offensive.
    I am not an undereducated individual. With both active military service of over 20 years (Military Police Officer) and 15 years of honorable law enforcement service, I hardly appreciate your comments.
    Stick to the facts Sir, not to your opinion. I am sure it would go further with everybody.

    By Anonymous EagleOne716, at December 19, 2007 6:44 PM  

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