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hollywood rv park

If you’ve tried to camp in the middle of Los Angeles, you know the pickings are slim: parks are either WAY outside of town, or so sketchy that you wouldn’t want to overnight there. One exception: Hollywood RV Park.

Called “Balboa” RV Park when I visited last, the 200-site facility is a real slice of LA life. Catering to film & tv workers and wannabes, the campground is located next to a large sound stage on busy Balboa Boulevard in Van Nuys and packed with long-ish term residents who are doing business in the industry, trying to break into the industry, failed from the industry, or retired from the industry. In the summertime, tourists add to the mix of colorful characters.

I met precocious children like Cheree and Natalie—two frecklefaced little models in sundresses riding around on Razor scooters, who glibly introduced themselves and offered to walk Raven. I learned they were there with their families, auditioning for Disney Channel and sitcom roles.

I was checked in by a chatty man named Steve who enthusiastically pointed out the sights as we rode around on his tractor. (I was made to unhitch and allow the DWR to be towed into a tight slot next to a mural about bald eagles fishing.) Steve ticked off the accomplishments of the residents; various singers, lighting techs, and screen writers. “See that motorhome? There’s two Emmys in there,” (owned by a former X-Files sound engineer). “The guy who wrote Almost Heaven West Virginia? He’s there,” he said, pointing. “Sugar Ray,” (who? Did he mean Mark McGrath? I didn’t press it) “is there.” He made a point to stop so I could admire their Jesus Tree—a knothole that looks uncannily like our Lord.

I met a lot of Canadians there—musicians and street performers, like the young couple camped next to me who were on their way to the Pier to find a space to busk for tips.

I think the setting in itself would make a fantastic Netflix series. I’m inspired. Who wants to read my treatment?

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