CAMPGROUND NAME: Prosser Family Campground
LOCATION: Truckee, CA
KIND: Forest Service
RATES: $20 or $10 with interagency pass
STAY LIMIT: 14 days
DISCOUNT CLUBS: Interagency passes
RESERVATIONS ACCEPTED: Yes, via Recreation.gov, (877) 444-6777
FIRST-COME-FIRST-SERVED: Not in 2020 (despite what Recreation.gov says) but 2020 may be an exception.
ACCESS: Via paved road to the campground, gravel within the campground
ACCESSIBLE SITES: I would say not, but technically I’m uncertain
SURFACING: Gravel road and parking apron; campsite area forest floor dirt.
PULL THRU: No, except maybe #18 (see notes below)
MAXIMUM RIG SIZE: Recreation.gov might list 40′. If your RV can overhang the rear of a site you might be able to fit one that length in some sites where overhanging is possible. In typically confusing Recreation.gov style, their web site listed our campsite as being OK with a 40′ trailer. Well it might have been without the truck but then there would have been no place for the pickup.
LEVELNESS: Mostly good; more slope along the NE perimeter outside sites so watch out for those
SHADE: Yes, most sites
SPACING: Mostly good, some a little close
TENT PADS: No
FIRE RINGS/PITS: Yes
PICNIC TABLES: Yes, but in need of sanding and repainting
PETS: Yes, on leash
DUMP STATION: No
Cell Service: Verizon & AT&T, possibly others
Over-the-air: We got PBS from Reno but not reliably
RESTROOM RATING: (I assign a Pass or Fail rating based on many considerations including: cleanliness, usability, hot water availability, hand soap availability, ease or difficulty it is to use the toilet paper, condition of fixtures, if using the restroom is a pleasant or unpleasant experience, etc.)
WATER SOFTNESS: Not tested
BUGS: Not many when we were there mid to late August.
NEAREST FACILITIES: Truckee for all categories shown below
Gas, Diesel: Truckee
Dump: I believe Coachland RV Truckee, 530-587-3071
Propane: Truckee, Ace Hardware and maybe Coachland RV
Groceries: Truckee, Safeway, Save Mart
RV Parks: Lakeside, a Forest Service CG just outside Prosser Family along the same entry road (see photo near page bottom). Coachland in Truckee, Truckee River RV Park, Alder Creek RV Park and several other Forest Service CGs in the area. During our previous visit to Truckee we stayed at Alpine Meadows CG which is a COE facility.
Emergency Room and Acute Medical Care: Tahoe Forest Health System, Truckee. 10121 Pine Avenue, Truckee, CA 96160, (530) 587-6011
With 29 campsites Prosser Family Campground, A.K.A. Prosser Campground, not to be confused with Prosser Ranch Group Campground next door, is a small, Forest Service campground in Truckee, CA which is in the Sierra Nevada mountains at an elevation of nearly 6,000′. It is set amidst tall pine trees which create quite a bit of shade for most campsites, yet some sites get enough sun to allow solar equipped RVs such as ours to generate enough power so as to be able to avoid running generators (except to run air-conditioners). Typical, summer, Sierra mountain weather with temps in the 70s and 80s and low humidity would make that seem a less likely scenario. We experienced a heat wave the last time we were in Truckee with temps up to 90º or so and while it was quite warm in the RV we got by with running our Fan-Tastic fans without running the dreaded generators. (These roof-vent fans have multiple speeds, thermostats, rain sensors that close the lids automatically, remote controls, and airflow can be reversed at the push of a button so with one blowing in and one blowing out you can establish a circulation pattern through the RV.)
Of course, Truckee where the campground is located is not far from famous Lake Tahoe. The campground itself is very close to Prosser Creek Reservoir where people can swim, kayak, paddle-board, canoe, fish and motorboat (10 MPH speed limit). When not full the reservoir has beach-like areas. I say beach “like” because the shore is quite steep and rocky in places and does not make for the most pleasant shoreline experience. It’s also not the most accessible. We saw cars around the far side of the reservoir where it looked as if the ground might be more level and conducive to picnics and the like. It appeared driving to that location might take 15 minutes or so. We didn’t see much in the way of shade anywhere along the water’s edge. A boat ramp is but a two minute drive from the campground. We discovered something of a hidden beach-like spot we could walk to where a few chairs could be set up on almost level ground that wasn’t awfully rocky. A trail near the Prosser Ranch Group Campground leads to it. The coordinates of the spot are 39.3756068, -120.1568501. Don’t expect any shade until the late afternoon. It’s also down a short, fairly steep and sandy path but most folks shouldn’t find it a problem.
The town of Truckee is a 10 or 15 minute drive from the campground. This is a town that thrives on tourism: campers, boaters (Lake Tahoe isn’t far away), hikers and bikers in the summer and skiers in the winter. So, you can probably find most necessities in town. There’s a Safeway and a Save Mart super market, an Ace Hardware that fills propane bottles, a Rite-Aid and CVS, and gas stations, of course. Truckee has a long and storied history including that of having the first transcontinental railway line being built through the area by Chinese laborers. A Railroad Museum is present in town. They have a fun, local 4th of July parade and fireworks can be seen at Donner Lake. Donner Pass, by the way, is named after the Donner Party of American pioneers that met a tragic fate when attempting a wagon train crossing of the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter of 1846-47. There’s lots of fascinating history in the Truckee area. Our trip to the Truckee area this year was unfortunately marred by smoke filled skies from wildfires both near and far as well as precautions necessitated by Covid-19. We look forward to returning under more favorable conditions.
As to the campground itself, the campground road is a little tight but we had no real trouble maneuvering out 34′ 5th wheel through. Backing into our site, #23, was a bit of a trick and took a few tries to get it right. A better backer-upper probably would have got it on the first attempt.
The campsite driveways are gravel as is the campsite road. I’d say most campsites are reasonably close to level, however, those along the outside of the campground road on the northeast side of the campground, the odd numbered sites from 7 to 19 or so, tend to slope more than the other sides, falling away from the campground road.
I think all of the sites, with the possible exception of 18 are back-in sites, some of which should be really easy to get into. 18 may not be classified as a pull-thru but we saw it used that way. The easier sites to back into looked like: 4, 9, 10, 20, 24, 27, 29. Note that 10 is located right next to the trash hopper which some people apparently feel necessary to slam shut, as well as one of the two bathrooms.
Two dumpsters located on opposing sides of the campground are provided for trash. No recycling. Two restrooms with vault toilets are also provided. While there are four water spigots with threaded nozzles in the campground it would probably be best not to expect the threads to be in operable condition as those I looked at seemed pretty beat up. Our M.O. is to fill a couple of these 4 gallon water jugs, carry them to the RV, and then use the water pump in conjunction with the outdoor shower and the winterize valve to pull water from the jugs and pump it through the outdoor shower hose into the fresh water fill. For us this is easier than pouring the water into the fresh water tank.
In all, if I have to stay in a campground Prosser Family Campground is one I would rank among the more pleasant camping experiences. It’s small, intimate, most sites reasonably spaced from the others, is in a forest of tall trees, not much road noise most of the time but you can hear some traffic on CA 89 about a mile away as the crow flies (most noticeable during morning rush hour), has water and garbage, most sites close enough to level with enough sun and enough shade, close to town where services are available, including emergency room medical care.
When we were at Prosser the hosts, Bill and Sharon were so outstanding that they merit acknowledgment.
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