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happy traveler rv, palm springs

Airstream vacation in Palm Springs at Happy Traveler RV Park


I polled everyone with the question, “where should I camp in Palm Springs?” Okay, I asked three people. But all three, without hesitation, immediately said “Happy Traveler”.


All then followed that recommendation with “you’ll need reservations, and it’s probably full.” Ralph, responsible for the destinations and tactics of our southwest road trip, called Happy Traveler RV Park well in advance…and conscientiously booked a reservation for the wrong nights.


We discovered the error on our way there when Ralph called to confirm our arrival, days later than he reserved. “We wondered why you didn’t show up,” said Mike, the manager. “Don’t worry, we’ll figure something out.”


What he figured out was a godsend. Happy Traveler is indeed packed to the gills (and we would have been hard pressed to find anything else remotely close to Palm Springs in the height of snowbird season.) We were allowed to spend the night in an overflow site—barely wide enough for the DWR, and that’s saying something—with the option to move to a real slot the following day due to a cancellation. What’s one more night in a driveway next to a pickup truck? We didn’t even bother moving, we were so grateful just to be there, walking distance to Melvyn’s


Look up “nice guy” in the dictionary, and you’ll see Mike’s picture. The other “campers”—dug-in seasonal full timers, each with a big rig and elaborate patio decor—were friendly and smiling. “Pancake breakfast tomorrow!” they called out. Most were down from Canada and over from the M-states, living at Happy Traveler for years, October through May. In their tight, cheek to jowl environment, they form a tight community. It’s a Happy Place.


We weren’t in Palm Springs just to lounge poolside. Ralph, interested in mid-century style and the architecture of Richard Neutra, took us on a self guided auto tour of the notable public buildings and private homes of the Desert Modernism era. All are meticulously preserved, and deliciously period-detailed with care. I imagined what life would be like there in the swingin’ late forties as I peered over the fence at the Sinatra house—still available to rent for a cool ten thousand.


One Response to “happy traveler rv, palm springs”

  • That’s funny that you didn’t even move from the small overflow spot. Kind of nice of you as well, let some other folk have it. Most trailer parks are just so nice to be at, with friendly people, and sometimes even a group game or meal.

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