Week 775-776 - Harvest Hosts - 06-27-2021

Harvest Hosts

Dry Camping is staying overnight without hookups. No water, no electricity and no sewer. Even without these hookups a self-contained RV can still be fully functional. Fresh water is carried on board. Black and gray holding tanks allow use of the toilet, sinks and showers. Your batteries will provide power for your lights and water pump. If you have an inverter then your batteries will provide 110 power for your computer, TV and other appliances. To run your air conditioners you need to start your generator. We have stayed in the MotherShip up to 11 days before we needed to dump our tanks. Check out some of our unique Dry Camping locations.

In the last few years we became aware of Harvest Hosts. This is a membership organization that pairs you up with locations where you can dry camp. Locations include wineries, farms, breweries and event centers such as museums. As of June 26, 2021 there are 2,063 such locations. The annual fee is $99.00. For an additional free of $40, you can also access 400 golf courses.

Members can stay free for one night at all of these locations. Too good to be true? Of course! The host locations provide you with a place to park overnight for free. They do it to introduce you to their products: wine, fruits, vegetables, beer, museum tours and golfing (06-2021). To make this program work for today and the future you need to make purchases during your stay. Consider this. We have dry camped at some nice locations, such as Rincon Parkway. In 2021 is is $39 to dry camp and $2 for your pet. You are right on the Pacific Ocean and it is worth the price. However, you leave with nothing. If you dry camp with Harvest Hosts, you might spend $30 and get a nice bottle of wine. Buy a case and you leave with something! You get a nice product and your host get some funds to continue to provide "free" camping, a win/win.

So how does it work? Here is a map of the USA and Canadian locations (06-2021).

You must be a Harvest Hosts member, so pick and pay for the plan you like. Then sign in and choose a location. Here we chose Paso Robles, CA. In June 2021, there are 12 wineries and no other sites (breweries, farms or events).

Our MotherShip is 44 feet long, so we use the Preferences to enter our length and check Pet Friendly. Now there are only 6 locations and we click on Four Sisters Ranch.

Clicking on Four Sisters Ranch you get the information you need. You see the address, hours of operations, the Check-In hours and the phone number to call. Serena will validate your member number let you know if you can come in.

Four Sisters Ranch Winery Website

To produce this travelogue we drove our car to all locations this week. Four Sisters was not open on Tuesday, but owners Michael and Serena were kind to let us take photos and learn about their winery. Narrow, but adequate, country roads lead to its entrance. Our main purpose of these visits was to show you where your RV will be parked.

The winery and one of many outdoor areas to sit and enjoy the views and your wine.

A few of the locations where you can park. The second location is really nice with shade and great views. Sadly, for us, it is only for smaller motorhomes. But, all locations have great views.

Serena told us stories of their decades on the ranch, the wines and the awards that they received. The "four sisters" shown here are their daughters who are now grown with their own families.

Farmers Fury

Farmers Fury, like many wineries, was not open on Tuesday but we were able to get photos.

It is a quaint winery with a rustic motif and very close to Paso Robles city.

The RV parking area is large and smooth. Sandwiched between the tasting room and RV lot is a single unit for AirBnb. Bocce ball is available.

Bon Niche Cellars Winery Website

Bon Niche is another boutique winery owned by Melody, a Navy veteran.

The views are nice from both outdoor sitting areas.

You will enjoy the views; and the goats are fun and very friendly.

The RV parking is large and smooth. The RV gate is wide and you will have no problem with big RVs.

Tobin James Cellars Winery Website

Tobin James has always been a favorite of ours.

There are several outdoor venues on the paved parking area. Manger Ben greeted us and manages the reservations. Coming out of the Covid era reservations were needed to maintain a proper limit to visitors as this winery is very popular.

The indoor tasting is a very busy place. The RV parking is just off the paved road. You should be able to park and leave without having to disconnect your tow car.

Stanger Vineyards Winery Website

Stanger Vineyards has a Paso Robles address but is right by Creston, CA.

Roger and Laurie have owned this 175 acre ranch for decades. You stay here at their tasting room. Their vineyards are in West Paso Robles. They have indoor tasting and several outdoor areas for your enjoyment of views and varietals.

RV parking is abundant with a choice of locations surrounding the tasting room.

Dark Star Cellars Winery Website

Dark Star Cellars is on the West side of Paso.

Their open air tasting room is adjacent to the outdoor covered area.

Enjoy the country atmosphere and the chickens as well.

There is room for three large RVs. 1) This area has room for two. 2) Or you can be by yourself on the south side of the tasting room. Be sure to contact manager Adrienn or Mike about the entrances to the RV parking areas.

Well that was the six wineries we found that handle our 44 foot MotherShip.

HammerSky Winery Website

We also visited HammerSky which is quite a drive through the rolling hills. On Tuesday it was advertised as handling up to a 44 foot RV. But on Friday, when we visited, manager Melani had changed it to a maximum of 35 foot. This is due to overhanging trees that they don't want to trim.

The winery is in a beautiful setting with a large outdoor tasting patio.

This is the main entrance for car parking and where you will bring your RV. We are showing here, eight photos of the trip through the vines to reach the parking area.

It actually is an easy drive, don't be intimidated by coming into the main entrance. Rest assured you will be fine. Enter the main road, left at the RV/Limo sign. Curve right around the building, stop at the RV sign. Check in at the tasting room, park and enjoy your stay.

This is the gorgeous view of the tasting room you will see on your walk from RV parking. The allure of Harvest Hosts is the quiet country settings, meeting with working ranchers/farmers and leaving with some of their great products. à votre santé!

Our path since we last reported with Favorite Photos from Bryce Canyon National Park.

We continue to be amazed by the beauty of North America whether created by God or modified by man. Harvest Hosts is just another way to see it all.

With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy

Photos from June 2021

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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