The last time we came to Laughlin, we parked at the very top of the hill overlooking the strip.
I’d been told, in the winter, this place can get so packed in, like sardines, one beside the next but this was April, well past Snowbird season, and we were the only RV up there. We parked ourselves lengthwise, taking up at least 3 spots with our truck and trailer, so we paralleled the front of the lot.
With our chairs placed right outside our door, we had the most gorgeous views of Laughlin, the hotels, the river, and across to Bullhead City. It felt like we were living up amongst the clouds. The nights were even better, with all the flashing neon below us.
The upside and downside was the wind. The temperature was quite hot but if we opened our windows we’d get a cross wind coming through that kept everything cool. One night, however, the winds got so strong, I swore we were going to be pushed right down the hill that laid out our front door. We looked at the weather warnings where we saw the speed rated at 30-35 mph constant with gusts up to 55 mph.
At the top of the hill where we were it felt much worse. We were lucky we faced into the wind, and the truck was in front of us, shielding us some, but every so often a gust would change direction suddenly and we’d rock back and forth so hard, I was sure we were about to roll right down the steep sloped hill beside us. I now wished we’d parked further back from the hill, or down below at one of the more sheltered lots. That was the kicker to me – that we were right on the precipice. If we were pushed too hard, I could imagine us rolling over and over all the way down to the road far below. Kinda like Humpty Dumpty.
This was the first time I’d experienced wind this hard. A year later, having experienced winds with higher rated mph, I have to say, I think it was stronger up there on the hill than the warnings stated. I furiously googled sentences like “rv wind danger”, “rv flip wind mph”, “how much wind is safe for an rv?” and a ton of others. Nothing made me feel better. Even calling my mother, who has vastly more experience with RVs and wind than I do, didn’t really calm my nerves. If she’d been there with us, and was feeling what we were that would have helped. Yes, I did just admit to needing my Mommy. I was almost that afraid.
The wind didn’t die down all night and I really didn’t sleep well, but we lived through the night, we didn’t roll down the hill, and I now had an experience I could chalk up so I could relate to future wind storms. I find myself saying, all the time, “Well, it’s not as bad as that night we had in Laughlin!”
That was April 2014. This time we were meeting up with my parents. They wanted to stay up at that top lot where they always like to stay. We wanted to stay down below. Mostly so we could just walk to the casinos, but also because that hill had scarred me. I didn’t want to experience that again.
We decided to stay out behind the Tropicana for the same price, $7 per night. As we drove into town, we passed my parents going the other way. The River Palms has been sold, it’s now called The Laughlin River Lodge, and part of their massive renovation is that the RV lot on the top of the hill is being repurposed for timeshare condos.
So that was that. My parents now had to come down off the hill. They went looking for alternatives while we pulled the trailer off the truck and leveled it. I was on my way into the casino to pay when my Mother called. Across the road at the Pioneer, we could park right in the front lot, steps from the casinos and river walk for the grand old price of absolutely nothing. So that’s where we ended up.
Price: $7.00 per day
Includes: A parking spot
Dump/Water: Tropicana – we didn’t use it.
Cell & Wifi: Verizon – 4 bars of 4G LTE