RV Park Review – Columbia River RV Park, Portland, OR
A well-kept, clean park by the Columbia River with convenient access to Portland and the airport at a very decent price.
Link to park here: Columbia River RV Park, Portland, OR
Link to map location here: Columbia River RV Park, Portland, OR
Note/ Review updated as of last stay May, 2016
- Site quality = 4/5
Sites are very decent for a private park. They are long, spacious flat concrete pull-throughs and back-ins with a small slice of green between each site. Sites in central loops also have a nifty side concrete parking pad. Mostly open layout with no shade and no real privacy, but everything is clean and nicely kept. Full hookups (20/30/50 Amp, water, sewer) with cable TV (including HBO) included. Biggest ding is that sites are packed in rather tight, but that’s somewhat to be expected in the middle of a big city. Also the majority of sites are leased to longer-term residents (monthly/yearly leases) so there’s limited site choice for shorter-term stays (site 103-112 tend to be the most-used for short-term, with other sites used as/when they open up). If coming in high season, definitely book ahead!
Note/ If your RV is over 10 years old it needs to be pre-approved. We’ve had plenty of friends stay here in older rigs (incl. classic buses), but they did need to send a pic ahead of time to the park to get approved.
- Facilities = 3.5/5
Decent set of facilities. Bathrooms are just a tad on the older side, but kept nicely clean. Showers were spacious with a separate bench and good pressure, but with slightly older touches (shower curtains & shower-head).
- Amenities = 2.5/5
Very basic set of facilities here. Big, clean on-site laundry (incl. industrial-size machines), small book-swap and recreation room. Also free WiFi, but it has deteriorated over the years and is (sadly) no longer really usable except to check e-mail. NO swimming pool or playground.
- Location = 4/5
This is a very central location to explore Portland as well as being only ~6 miles from the airport. Nearby shopping and access to the Columbia River right from the park, plus you’re on the south side of Hwy 5 bridge which means you don’t need to battle bridge traffic to see town (a real bonus!). As an added bonus you are right next to the lovely Marina bike trail. The only real ding is that proximity to the airport means you DO get regular plane noise from take-offs and landings, including the occasion fighter jet (which can definitely be loud). Outside of airplane noise however, the park is actually pretty quiet. Very few holiday revelers here.
- Pet friendliness = 4.5/5
This is a great park for doggie. There are TWO on-site fenced-in off-leash doggie areas -> a small, shaded spot directly opposite the park, plus a second, sunny area in the back of the park by site #174. You are also ~5 mins walking distance to a huge “unofficial” dog park at the nearby school (follow the river left from the park along NE Bridgeton Road to get to the gated field (all the locals take their dogs off-leash here outside of school hours), and about 20 mins (~1 mile) walk to a gorgeous, 28-acre green area called the Columbia Children’s Arboretum (turn right out of the park, walk 3 street down to NE Meadow Road and look for the gravel trail leading to the park on your left). Lastly you are an easy 15-30 mins drive to some excellent dog-friendly Portland parks including Forest Park, Kelly Point Park and the most fabulous off-leash doggie paradise of Sandy River Delta Park. The latter two provide access to the Columbia River so doggie can also swim. The only ding? Like many private park this place has breed restrictions (no pit bulls or rottweilers).
Overall rating = 3.7
BONUS ALERT = Bike from your RV site right onto the Columbia River Marina Trail!
Summary: We use this park as our “base” everytime we visit Portland and it suits our needs perfectly. It’s a fairly typical private RV park with row-upon-row of plain sites, but it is in a great location to visit the city and has the bonus of a very decent price and some nice, little touches. All sites are large, flat and spacious concrete plots with small slices of green, full hook-ups + cable and a parking spot. No privacy/separation, but everything is clean and well-kept. Basic, but decent amenities including a nice book-swap, recreation room and large, clean laundromat. There’s not much in the way of frilly extras, and sadly the WiFi no longer works well (it used to, but it’s deteriorated terribly). Location-wise the park is only ~6 miles from Portland airport so it’s great for anyone that needs to fly, but that also means you get regular airplane noise throughout the day (including the occasional fighter jet!). Outside of the airplanes however, the park is actually really quiet. Most of the residents are semi-permanents (on monthly & yearly leases), so there’s lots of working folk and very little in the way of party or holiday revelers** (we often “hide out” here on big holiday weekends). The location is also fabulous for visiting all the top things you’d want to do in Portland. You’re only a few miles from downtown, right next to the lovely Marina bike trail and an easy 15-30 mins drive to several large, green public parks (Kelly Point, Forest Park and Sandy River Delta) where you can hike and play with doggie. It’s not fancy, but it’s clean & well-kept and as far as location and value for money, I don’t think you can find a better deal in Portland proper. Whenever we stop in the big city, this is where we stay.
**Note/ Since this park mostly caters to long-term rentals, there are only a limited number of sites open to short-term stays, so if you’re coming for a quick stay definitely BOOK ahead. The park is often completely full!
Extra Info: Verizon & ATT both had good signal (4 bars LTE). Free WiFi on-site, but it’s very poor. Sites cost $35/night (daily rate), $199/week (weekly rate), $425/month (monthly rate) for full hookups plus cable. Good Sam’s & AAA discount available.
Video Overview: Want to see it on film? Feel free to click on our short ~7 min video overview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLv_o1jVL4M
P.S. Need a good RV Wash? There’s an excellent mobile detailer (Juan’s RV Detail 360-241-8927, 360-567-6715) who’ll come and do everything right at your site. He got our roof gleaming white for the first time since we’d bought the RV. Highly recommend them!
Also if you want EXCELLENT Thai food delivered right to your rig, call up Pon Thai Restaurant. They are just around the corner and do super yummy stuff!
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
HI! As always, your reviews are very detailed and a great resource.
Looks like we had another near miss too! We left Portland just a few days ago. Dang. Anyway, we enjoy keeping up on your blog and glad things are going well for you guys. In a few days we leave Oregon will be on California coast for a couple weeks then in the southwest by the end of the month. Happy travels!
Oh total bummer we missed each other! My fault for not updating our location profile (I’ve been a little late getting to everything w/ all the jet-lag). We’re heading SW for winter too and will probably spend at least a month or two in San Diego. Do let me know if we’re ever close again!
Jerry and Suzy says
We had thought about moving to that park for our Oregon residency, to become “Continuous Travelers.” However, the park is in Multnomah County, and that would require us to return to the area every time we renewed our licenses (smog check) and we “Continuous Travelers” don’t have to do that with residency in Marion County.
Interesting! I wasn’t sure how the whole “continuous travelers” thing worked. Never knew it was county-dependant too.
David Michael says
What is this “continuous traveler” thing. I have lived in Oregon for over 30 years (Eugene) and never had a county or state smog check requirement or anything like that. Often did my two year registration by mail. And, we spent five years overseas plus seven on the road. Just need someone who will share their permanent address with you.
The “continuous traveler” designation is a specific Oregon designation allowing previous OR residents to travel fulltime while still maintaining/retaining their full OR residency. You have to be an OR resident first (for a min of 6 months) before you can register for the “continuous traveler” designation, so it’s not just something you can come into the state and do right away. Also you have to adhere to the DMV requirements in whatever county you domicile in. Some counties in Oregon (specifically Portland and Medford) require (DEQ) emissions test as part of the registration tag renewal process. So, if you domicile there, you have to go back in county to complete those requirements everytime you renew your tags.
I know a few fulltime RVers that use Oregon as their domicile when they go RVing, but it’s not hugely popular. First there’s that 6-mo residency thing, then there’s the hassle of establishing an address, and of course you have to pay state income tax. The latter is what pushes most fulltime folks to domicile in tax-free states (e.g. TX, FL, SD). Still, Oregon has some definite advantages (e.g. Low health insurance rates), so if you’re starting your RV journey here and you plan to return after you quit RVing, it may make sense to keep your domicile here.
alex peters says
The park was fine but the company was even better and the fish tacos were most fine!!!
Why thank you! The best bit is that you’re not rid of us yet 🙂
See ya soon!
Tom Riddering says
Don’t come here if your RV is over 10 years old. These RV snobs didn’t like my mint condition, classic Itasca Toy Camper. I guess I would have dragged down property values or something…
Bummer!! I’m so sorry to hear that. We saw older rigs at the campground when we were there, but they must have changed their rules.
Box Canyon Mark says
We stayed at Hayden Island Rv park, just west of where you were. Either one offers great access to “The City,” unless it’s peak commute hours… at which time we remembered why we’re not sure a big city is for us, no matter how great. Traffic and freeway stalls aside, Portland was one of our favorites.
Ah yes, I think that RV park is now called Jantzen Beach RV. It’s just over the bridge from Columbia River and gets similar reviews. Only negative is that you have to deal with bridge traffic (to WA) to get there, so I’ve yet to check it out properly. It’s good to have another option though.
Oh and yeah, traffic does suck especially during rush hour. Ugh!
I’m loving these reviews of the Oregon region. Our daughter just moved to Portland and I’m here visiting (albeit without the RV this trip). I actually cruised through the Columbia River RV Park just to check it out for a future road trip out here. Campgrounds close to Portland (or Beaverton to be specific) are few and far between….this one seems to be the closest. Thanks for posting all this great info (including today’s post). It’s time for us to get our RV out here!
Glad the reviews are helpful! I do think this is one of the best located parks in the city. There are nicer parks around, but for location and price this one really can’t be beat. Super cool that your daughter has moved here. It’s a great city to visit.
Tamara R says
Nina, a belated “thank you” for this review. We’ll be at the Columbia RV Park starting this coming Thursday for several days of Portland fun.
Must say I wish we were there now! We are at the lovely Lake Emigrant State Park for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival here in Ashland, and unfortunately we are experiencing both a heat wave (100+) and a smoke filled valley due to two large forest fires. Toughing it out, but it will only make our escape to cleaner skies and cooler temps all the sweeter. 🙂
Portland is seeing that same heat-wave right now (unfortunately), but it looks like the weather will cool over the next week or so. We’re still getting beautiful 75-degree days out here on the coast. ENJOY your time in Portland!
I was unable to book at Columbia River RV Park today. They refused to consider my 1987 Wanderlodge PT38. The person I spoke to on the phone said they wouldn’t even accept a photo for consideration. Bummer.
Very strange! Our buddies stayed there with us in their 1986 Bluebird just last year. I wonder if the park is using it as an excuse because of summer bookings (which are often very high)? Total bummer! Thanks for reporting back.