Campground Review: Chula Vista RV Resort – Chula Vista, California

Posted April 12, 2018 – Narrated by Carmen
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UPDATE: We have been notified this RV resort has permanently closed and a new RV resort in Chula Vista has opened called Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay.

bambi-5    See our 5-Bambi rating legend at the end of this review.

RV resort, or marina?

Yes and yes! It’s the Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina where migrations of floaters and rollers from all over the world gather on the southernmost end of the beautiful San Diego Bay to luxuriate in the blessings of the Baja California / San Diego lifestyle with fresh air, wildlife, sunshine, and a different brewery for every day of the year!

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina
Stock aerial view photo of Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

Like the gray whales, we return to this enchanting corner of the USA – Chula Vista, our base of operations – to recharge our LIB (Living in Beauty) energy. There are several places we could stay throughout San Diego County – a nurturing land where the Kumeyaay have managed to thrive for over 600 generations – but Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina is our sanctuary, the place we go to wrap-up a year of intense travel and begin drafting a loose itinerary for the coming year.

Chula Vista RV Resort
Coral Trees

Ironically, our own persnickety five-Bambi rating fails to capture the full range of guest services and amenities provided by the top-notch staff at Chula Vista RV Resort. Their seemingly effortless coordination of these seventeen acres of beautifully landscaped, sparkling clean buildings and grounds give the resort an easy-going aloha atmosphere.

Chula Vista RV Resort
Springtime in Chula Vista!

Easy access

About fifteen minutes from busy downtown San Diego with easy freeway access to all the neighborhoods, sunsets, attractions, artsactivities, and shopping, Chula Vista RV Resort is our first choice.

As long-time San Diego residents, this is the coastal campground we usually recommend to RVers who are visiting San Diego for the first time. That’s because it’s right on the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway, only a half-mile from the I-5, and it’s a great jumping-off place to Baja-Mexico. This is our fourth visit. For nearly six months out of the last three years, we’ve called this place “home.”

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

Thousands of guests can’t be wrong. Highly rated on Yelp!, Trip Advisor and RV Park Reviews Chula Vista RV Resort & Marina hits all marks from the festive entrance…

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

… to the large reception area …

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

… where the friendly staff welcome new arrivals…

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

… to the main concourse.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

The level, paved sites have full-hookups (30 and 50 amp). Most sites are separated by walls or private green screens.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

There are thirty-seven pull-thru sites but most of the 230+ sites are back-in. All sites are reservable – no first-come-first-serve.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

Once the easy-squeezy hook up is done …

Chula Vista RV Resort

It’s time to explore…

Shall we cycle, walk, or kayak? Right from our campsite, we have unlimited choices.

The resort adjoins a 5-Star marina, and is surrounded by public access paths for walking, jogging, and cycling. Bayside Park is only separated from the resort by a fence. A public boat launch is nearby with limited parking at the Marina to stow a boat trailer.

There is also a sandy beach to launch kayaks …

Kayaking is only a 5 minute walk from our site

… and a fishing pier.

The Bayshore Bikeway runs right through Bayside Park …

…so we can cycle to downtown San Diego, Imperial Beach, Coronado …

Chula Vista RV Resort

And when the tides are high and the wind is calm it’s a blast to kayak across the bay to the Silver Strand State Beach and have breakfast at Loews Resort …

… or to the Waterfront Grill at Pier 32 Marina in National City for lunch.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina
Our two favorite paddling expeditions in South Bay – we always watch for sea turtles!

In the evening we walk next door to The Galley At The Marina, to enjoy a beer and a bite to eat on the waterfront deck and listen to live music. …

The next day, we start all over again with the exclusive $5.50 breakfast special at The Galley for guests of the resort.

$5.50 breakfast!

Inside the Chula Vista RV Resort

The sparkling clean pool and hot tub are open until 10 pm every day.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

There is a fully equipped fitness center and professional exercise coaches lead morning yoga and “toning with bands” classes. The daily water aerobics class at the pool is led via a taped instructor.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

Once or twice a week, in the courtyard beside the pool, staff hosts a happy hour party with live music. Wine and margaritas are sold for a nominal price.

Weekend social hours are often held at the Tiki Bar and Firepit overlooking the marina and bay. The Tiki Bar is available for rent when not in use.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

This is a family-friendly resort, so expect kids – especially on school holidays and weekends. Midweek is much quieter.

The General Store is stocked with groceries, beer, wine, personal care items, resort clothing and camping supplies.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

Bicycles are available for rent year-round and kayaks and paddle boards are rented out during the summer.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina
Large and small bikes and surreys are available to rent

Check-in is at 2:00 pm and check-outs are at 12:00 pm. But early check-in and late check-outs (up to 3 pm, no charge)are available upon request, space permitting. There is no refund for early departures.


Rates for 2018 range from $79 to $123 a night, with monthly rates from $1,428 to $2,952. Electricity is an additional cost for monthly stays. We average $2 a day. Our per-day rental usually averages to $49 a day for a non-prime spot. The fenced areas are closer to the public park and the walled areas are closer to the street. We prefer the solid wall along Sandpiper Way, and it’s cheaper.

No wood fires are allowed, but portable propane pits are okay.


This time, our space (#79) is directly under a WiFi antenna. Verizon cell service is at four bars LTE and the WiFi screams when it works and crawls to a standstill when it doesn’t. It’s fine about 80% of the time but almost never in the evening when guests live-stream movies and bog down the system.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina


This is a dog-friendly resort, but aggressive breeds are not allowed.

Ducks? What ducks?

There is a nominal fee per dog: Daily $3.00; Weekly $10.00; Monthly $30.00. They put the fees to good use with three very clean and maintained doggie parks…

… and a spiffy dog washing area with three stations at low, medium and high levels to accommodate different sized dogs, and a foot pedal to control the stream of perfectly warm water.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina
Pico loves his shower!

The spacious and sunny laundry room is maintained throughout the day.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

And there is a sweet rose garden outside the laundry with gliders. How lovely to read or enjoy a glass of wine while the laundry cycles.

Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina

The bathrooms and showers for people are clean and modern, too.

Chula Vista RV Resort
Onsite hair grooming by Randy!


For meet-ups, the clubroom facilitates groups of 16 rigs or more. The Large Clubroom seats 126 guests and is equipped with an industrial kitchen.

Chula Vista RV Resorts large clubroom
Chula Vista RV Resort’s large clubroom

There is also a small clubroom where 42 people can be served dinner and a third, upstairs, that can accommodate up to 30.

Chula Vista RV Resorts small clubroom
Chula Vista RV Resorts small clubroom

Let’s see what else …? Oh yes, Propane is available on the premises.


I mean, what is this place missing?

How much better can it get?

Honestly, we can’t think of any reason not to stay at Chula Vista RV Resort and Marina and it’s even harder to think up a motivation to leave except … Canada …? or wine country in Mexico next winter…?


If you have never been to San Diego before, check out this wonderful list of 101 Best Things to Do in San Diego.

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

Our “BAMBI” rating system explained:

bambi-1 – One Bambi: Should’a boondocked.

bambi-2Two Bambi’s: Better than a Cracker Barrel or Walmart.

bambi-3Three Bambi’s: Adequate for a short stay.

bambi-4Four Bambi’s: Great place! Met our expectations for an extended stay. Needs minor improvements or is not ideally situated for all our preferred recreation (hiking, cycling, swimming, kayaking) without driving.

Five Bambi’s: Destination Camping at it’s best! Critical as we are, there’s nothing we’d improve, and you can bet your sweet Bambi we’re going back!

Click here to see some of our other campground reviews