Wednesday, August 20, 2014 • 09:46
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Camping in our own backyard



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April 09, 2014
Just a short drive down Old Highway 395, nestled among the live oaks and under the shadow of Palomar Mountain lies a hidden gem in San Diego's North County. Champagne Lakes RV Resort is a paradise for snowbirds and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Owner C.J. Williams has given the easy to get to location on Nelson Road in Escondido an isolated tranquil feel despite the proximity to I-15. Camp sites for tents and all sizes of RVs are situated between three small crystal clear catch and release fishing lakes. Both sun and shade spots are available for those wishing to spend a night under the stars.

Williams, who bought the park in 2003, recently renovated the resort, putting ceramic tiles in the restrooms and showers, adding spaces, widening the roads, installing a gate system and street light improvements. The level, concrete RV pads means parking big rigs is easy, even for novices.

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The resort offers 140 full hook-up RV sites, 15 tent sites, RV storage for off season, free cable TV, a coin laundry, dump station, lakeside playground, landscaping, swimming pool and ice and soda machines. Williams hopes to add a mini-market and deli in the near future.

Both long-term and short term campers are welcome at Champagne Lakes RV Resort. Daily, weekly, monthly and even annual rates are available. Seventy-five percent of the resort is designated long-term, said Williams. Tent sites start at $39 a night, RV spots at $44.

For Williams, customer service is a top priority so he strives to make Champagne Lakes a place where people want to return to.

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"We offer honeywagon services and propane services," he said. "We even drive by and pick up the trash daily, all we ask is for the campers to set it out by the road so we can see it."

Pets are also welcome at the resort which is in easy driving distance to major attractions in San Diego, Fallbrook, Escondido and Temecula.

Fishing is a popular past time for many of the resort's visitors, Williams said. He doesn't restock the lakes that are also open, for a nominal fee, to anyone with a fishing license who wants to try their hand at landing bass, catfish and bluegill. The lake is open to non-campers between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

"We just let the fish reproduce since it's a catch and release lake," Williams said. "They catch some nice size fish out of there."

Williams said he bought the 50-acre resort with the intention of expanding.

"I went through the entire process, investigating it," he said of his decision to buy the resort. "There were only 85 spots at the time so the return on investment just made sense."

For more information or to make reservations at Champagne Lakes RV Resort visit www.champagnelakesrvresort .com or call 760-749-7572.

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