I submitted an ICE review but it never got posted so here is that same review: We have never visited a recreational park that more closely resembles a trailer park than Camp Pendleton's Lake O'Neill Recreation Park. This park in no way passes for a recreational vehicle park. It is mainly a permanent personnel residence with little to offer visitors. There are few full hookups, so reservations for a site with sewer must be made long in advance. We had reservations for a full hookup site the third week of our stay; however, a double booking error left us in our less than desirable site. Our assigned back-in site was made even less desirable because it was 10 ft too small to contain our 40 ft motorhome. A curb at the back of the motorhome forced us to park at an angle in the diagonal parking space. A knowledgeable scheduler would have assigned us a site without such an elevated curb. During our stay we noticed several “better” sites, including full hook-up sites vacant for 2, 3 or 4 days, then someone would be in the site for a couple days and it would be vacant again for a short while. It was disclosed that when reservations are made the individuals making the reservation are allowed to choose their own RV space. This is definitely not good for many vacationers wanting to spend a week or two at the facility. An example is, caller #1 requests site number 1 for 3 nights beginning on a Friday night. Caller #2 requests site #2 for four nights beginning on Monday night. Caller #3 wishes to stay for a week but there are no sites available. Had the scheduler made the site assignment, caller #1 would be followed by caller #2 in site #1, and then caller #3 would have had a site for 1 week. The win in this situation is more revenue for MCCS. The scheduling of site spaces should be by the staff at the campground and not the person requesting the reservation. Our stay was cut short by 15 days because we were frustrated by overbooking and the possibility of having to move from site to site, even though our reservation for full service was confirmed the first week of May 2015. This is another loss of revenue for MCCS. We have traveled to 46 of the 48 contiguous States and stayed at military facilities whenever we could and we have never had problems of scheduling reservations as we experienced at Lake O'Neill Recreation Park. Secondary to this failing is treatment of the veterans who choose to live among the active duty personnel at the park on a full time basis. These folks play musical trailer every 15 days, often moving to the site adjacent to the one they were occupying. This practice is illogical and demeaning to our veterans. Some of these are participants of the Wounded Warrior Project adjacent to the park. A better solution would be to have permanent 3- to 6-month sites for the full-timers and to set aside spaces for casual visitors. For convenience to all occupants, install more sewer sites. There is ample space at the park to have sewer lines for at least 15 new and or existing sites. Additional info not in ICE report: While we were there the sites were approximately 90% full. This is an enormous amount of revenue from RV's. However not much of that money is being returned for any upgrades to the RV park area. We do not like posting negative reviews but feel this information need to be identified.
It was the 4th of July and the campground was packed! Considering it is in the middle of Camp Pendleton the location is pretty good. The lake is nice, and lots of good trails for a walk. Even some fishing in the lake. There is a new play ground that my kids loved, probably the best we have ever seen. The staff at the registration desk were great, but the campground host is a bit gruff. Then again he probably needs to be. Now for the bad news. The shower/bathroom facilities were a mess, and for all the sites you would think that one shower would not be considered adequate. This campground needs to have the SeaBees pay it a visit, or maybe some engineers to level the sites and build a better bathroom facility. Very few sites have full hook-ups.
We stayed at one of the full hook-up sites for 30 days and then moved to one of the electric/water only sites for the remaining 11 days we were there. Camp Pendleton is a huge base and Lake O'neill is somewhat isolated from the rest of the base. There are no shopping facilities close by, but you can drive to the exchange and commissary for any needs. I was told by the host that there was a laundromat on rattlesnake road, but I never did find it so we ended up doing our laundry off base. The showers were cleaned every day, but the condition of the floors and the restrooms was obviously not the best. The number of showers was limited and on at least two occasions we had to wait in line. The cost of Lake O'Neill is the same as Admiral Baker in San Diego, but for what you get it is a little out of line. There is golf at the Marine Memorial golf course for those who golf, but while I was there they announced that the club house would be shutting down due to lack of business. The course itself wasn't in the best shape due to the fires they had last fall. Several of the greens were in the process of being replaced due to fire damage. Overall our stay wasn't that bad, and we will probably go back only because of the time restrictions at Admiral Baker and the fact that Admiral Baker stays full most of the time.
I arrived and was assigned space 46. After backing in with hookups on driver's side, setting up jacks, hooking up sewer, I started to hookup water and electric. The hookups are behind you not beside you. I was in space 47. I went to office to see if they could just change the paper work, but they said 47 was reserved for someone coming in the next day. The spaces are just alike, so I couldn't see the problem, but I had to move over a space. The staff is friendly, but didn't seem to want to work with me on just changing the paperwork. Full hookups now have 50 amp service. As far as any of the just water/electric sites, I can't say. Didn't go checking them out. I thought the price was high for what you are getting. Effective the 1st of February the prices go up. Full hookup sites: $25 for military; $30 for civilians. W/E sites: $20 for military and $25 civilian. Dry camp: $10 for military and $15 for civilians. Tent sites and group flat rate is $8 per day. This really makes it high for a military campground. The sites are fairly close together, but OK. You have a concrete pad to put your rig on. Mine is a small trailer so no problem and it seems the big rigs fit on the pads OK too. The place is clean and well landscaped. I was talking to my neighbor and he told me he used to work on this base for 18 years and he has never seen a place where everyone on the base is treated so badly. This includes troops, families, employees, campers, etc.. It is like the command has never cared. It is a nice campground, but I would not stay here again, mainly because of the rates. There are others in the area that are about the same price and cheaper.
This place was okay, but not really what we were looking for. As others have stated the tent sites are VERY small and ours was on a slope. The lake is more of a pond and the area is not as visually pleasing as we expected. You need both a CA fishing license and a base license to fish and it is catch and release only. The bathrooms were fine. They were old, but fairly clean and the one shower was always open for use despite the campground being busy. Overall we can't complain too much because the price is right, but we were hoping for a bit more. It was still fun just to be out of the city hanging with family and friends. Just know that if you are looking for more of a secluded outdoor experience this place is not for you. We don't want complete isolation, but not being so close to the neighboring tent that you can hear them snoring and whispering would be nice.
They are holding off on starting the off-season (30 Day Limit) reservation policy until Nov vice Oct as in the Campground Policy. Currently using peak-season (14 Day Limit) on full hookups before making you move to Water/Electric only. 14 Day Full Hook-up Policy is pretty extreme. Moved to W/E this weekend for the last 7 days of our stay. Three days later there are still 10 open Full Hook-ups going to waste. Be advised - This is the WORST Restroom we have EVER seen.
After spending 3 nights tent camping, I have the following remarks: Tent sites are along the lake shore and are quite small. Each site has a fire-ring and picnic table. A water faucet is nearby the campsites. There is a restroom with sinks and one shower for male/female. There are port-a-potties throughout the campground. If you have an RV, there is water and electric hookups in the RV spots which are further off the lake shore. Mon-Fri there are helicopters flying over constantly but quiet on the weekend. Also, Lake O'neill has the loudest bull-frogs I have ever heard and they go on all night. Quite annoying when you are trying to sleep. The campground is maintained quite well and the staff was very friendly. The lake is beautiful but no swimming allowed. Lake O'neill is about 10 miles from the main gate off I-5. Plenty of Military stores, gas, etc. nearby. For only $7.00 a night for a tent site,($15.00 RV), it was well worth it.
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