EggCamper - 2012 Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-15-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
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Smile EggCamper - 2012 Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM

I just left Albuquerque, NM yesterday where I spent 10 days enjoying the Balloon Fiesta and the attractions of Albuquerque.

So I chose to stay in the Balloon Fiesta RV Park. You have 4 choices for RV parking - four site types include
STANDARD (dry camping) $30 per night,
PREMIUM (electricity with 20 Amps minimum and water provided) $65 per night,
VIP (dry camping adjacent to the Launch Field with entry passes included) $85 per night
PRESIDENT'S COMPOUND (premier sites on a bluff overlooking the Launch Field with city water pressure and 30 Amp minimum electricity) $150 per night.

I chose the Standard Dry Camping. I was lucky enough to be placed in the 4th row from the street. There were literally thousands of RV's. It is rally style parking on a dirt/gravel field. I had plenty of room for my Egg and SUV...many of the larger rigs were pretty tight. You could use a generator but they had to be 2 feet off the ground and you could not use it between 10:30pm and 5:30am. It was dusty and there were little stickers on the ground. I assume they come off of some plant there. I personally found everyone in my area to be very nice and considerate. Nobody ran there generators or was disruptive after 10:30pm. If the wind was right, sometimes the balloons flew right over the RV park and occasionally landed very close. You must go to a local laundromat to do laundry and the only bathrooms in the park are portable. You could get a water fill from a truck during the fiesta or a tank pump out. I believe it was $25 for each service.

It is a good place to stay if you want to be fully invested in the Fiesta. If not you should probably choose somewhere else to stay. The traffic in and out of the park during the peak event traffic times was rough. Usually by 5:30am you could here the traffic/news/police helicopters circling as the traffic started streaming in as well as the transport buses. The first event each day was slated for 7:00am. Some evenings there was a glow and fireworks as well. The weekends crowds were huge. People stood in line 100 people long for food. I believe there were 177 food/merchandise vendor tents. Generally it was very, very cold each the 40's. One morning it was 62 but it started raining and the event was cancelled.

You have to go knowing that you cannot control the weather and some times the event was cancelled after everyone had arrived. You pay entry for each event. So if you are attending the morning and evening event you are paying admission twice. I signed up to be a volunteer chase crew member so I got free entry to the events during the entire time. I was assigned to a great pilot and made great friends with him, his wife, family and other friends. It does tie you up and takes away your freedom to roam as you please. I did not crew for the first 2 days so that I could fully absorb the event and then crewed for the other 7 days. I found it to be very interesting. I attended the pilot meeting one morning with my pilot. I learned the ballooning lingo and about the wind requirements. Also one morning my pilot chose not to participate in the competition event and took us out to an empty space and we all got to take turns going up for a 10 minute ride.

For the people staying in the RV park, they run school buses back and forth very frequently during the event times. The buses have a special lane so they just zip by all the cars in line waiting to get in. I believe parking was $10. I believe the buses started at 5:00am. The first day I walked from my trailer to the balloon field and I think it was about a mile.

The Balloon Fiesta is an amazing event when the weather is right and frustrating when it is not.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:38 PM   #2
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Thank you for taking the time to type this up to share with everyone. Will show my wife to read too. I sure hope we can attend some day, Never been.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:16 PM   #3
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Gayle, great to hear your getting out and about with your new trailer! Going to the Balloon fiesta is on my bucket list. I hope you have a lot more adventures planned this fall/winter. A fiberglass trailer meet or two perhaps?
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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I found Donna's directions to post photos. If this works I shoud have some photos I took from the Balloon Fiesta. I took hundreds of photos but here are a few. One is my little trailer site.
Attached Thumbnails
Albuquerque, Oct 2012 056.jpg   Balloon Fiesta, Sunday, Oct 7, 2012 145.jpg  

Balloon Fiesta, Sunday, Oct 7, 2012 199.jpg   Balloon Fiesta, Monday, Oct 8, 2012 079.jpg  

Balloon Fiesta, Wed, Oct 10, 2012 036.jpg   Balloon Fiesta, Thurs, Oct 11, 2012 019.jpg  

Balloon Fiesta, Thurs, Oct 11, 2012 031.jpg   Balloon Fiesta, Thurs, Oct 11, 2012 091.jpg  

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Old 10-19-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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really neat....
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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We love the balloon festival. We timed our Casita pickup so we could stop there a couple of days on the way home. We stayed at the KOA on the east side of town, alsi buryed by the big guys.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #7
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Gayle, Love your photos. Sounds like you had a great time AND still managed to do it without breaking the budget! I think it was great that you knew about volunteering for the chase crew because it made you a part of the goings on, you met lots of nice people, and you didn't have to fork out for admission fees for the twice daily events! Thanks for sharing! Jo
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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Great Trip Report!

Hello Gayle. Glad you had a great experience. We live a few miles east of the park and I got a kick out of the "stickers" and dust comment. Those stickers are the stickers on steroids, for sure - they are called "goat heads". I just joined the forum this AM so I will keep this short - mainly want to see how it goes. Mike
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:35 PM   #9
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I started this thread with my experience of staying in the Balloon Fiesta Park. I read the following review from another RV'er on another site and thought it would be beneficial for comparison for anyone considering this in the future:

We stayed in the VIP section of the park, this was a gravel area as close to the park as we could get with reservations made in January. We loved the location, but our neighbors generator was very loud and their barking dogs were annoying at times as well. That being said I have one huge warning for those of you with pets. There are the worst and most thorns laying everywhere on the ground and they are terrible on the poor dogs pads of their feet. We went out and bought socks to wrap on their feet, but that didn't work very well for us, so we went back and bought dog boots at a local pet store. It was so bad that my dogs were reluctant to go outside and they would pee within a few feet of the RV and then want to come back in. Just an example of the severity of the thorns when we stopped driving the RV, the tires were just riddled with them. If they can stick into the thick rubber imagine what it was doing to the poor dogs feet.
The only other thing that I need to complain about is there was a generator behind us that ran 24-hours a day. We later found out it was to run the WIFI that was available for purchase. I have to say the signal was incredibly strong and for the most part the internet was fast. There is a water service that comes around to fill the tank on the RV for a $25 fee, and there is another company that comes around to empty the grey and black water tanks for another $25 fee. You pay at the RV host tent, then you get a tag that you tape to your windshield. The system works pretty well, but don't forget to unlock your compartments for them to access. I found putting a post-it note on the RV access panel probably helped too... When they filled our fresh water I was there and they only gave us 1/3 of a tank. He said it was full and it must be my gauges that were wrong. He even said that normally it takes more water that that to fill a tank our size. Yes, just as I thought we ran out of water.. fortunately it was the last day. I just needed to make sure the hot water tank was off to prevent problems with cooking an empty tank. The Balloon Fiesta was excellent! The fireworks could be seen right from our coach. Balloons were launched from the field and flew directly over the coach. I was taking pictures of people flying overhead and I could easily see them taking photos of us! It was that close, and it was amazing. If you've never gone, I'd highly recommend adding it to your bucket list! I would camp here again - hopefully they figure out how to get rid of those nasty burrs. We camped here in a Motorhome.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:23 PM   #10
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, I'm with Carol... Going to the Balloon fiesta is on my bucket list! Thanks for posting the pictures and your trip report
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:14 PM   #11
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I attended the Balloon Fest for the first time and loved it. I was traveling in the west with my working b.c.'s doing herding trials. Most people in the RV lots had reservations months ahead, but I was able to get into the standard lot two days ahead. It was truly amazing to watch the lot fill with over 1,500 campers of all types. Lucky for me I got a spot in the very back where it was possible to walk my dogs without too many goatheads. The lot is actually built over a L.A. land fill and has a methane reclamation system. The bus service was great and the crowds were very friendly. My neighbors were fantastic. I enjoyed it for three days, doubt I would enjoy it longer.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:04 AM   #12
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What a wonderful adventure! Thank You for sharing.......

Goat heads, we deal with them here in CO as well. Hate them!
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:27 PM   #13
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This sounds nice, but for me a bit crowded and goat

We have a smaller, but very nice fest here in Northern Utah.

Ogden Valley Balloon Festival, Eden, Utah, Hot Air Balloons, Eden Balloon and Arts Fest

Ogden Valley is one of the most beautiful little valleys out west...imho, with views of the mountains where many of the 2002 winter Olympic events were held.

Please check out the link and give it some thought.......there was a car show a few years ago that was lots of fun as well as a great artists row with lots to look at a buy.

We live just a few mile from there and would love to get to know some eggheads.

There are many camping locations in our area, but camping in Ogden Valley is somewhat limited so I'd recommend calling early...

Our daughter lives within minuets of the event and she has some of the best views around from her little house(with a big yard).

I could talk to here and ask, but I think she would love to have a few campers stay at here place.....a little cash would surely help her out and she loves to have company sit around her campfire pit.....she has plenty of room for 5 or 6 trailers.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:24 PM   #14
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Sounds like it would be interesting to see, but way way too much of a cash grab for my liking.
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"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." - Yogi Berra
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:53 AM   #15
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My wife and I had the good fortune to be able to take a day trip to Anderson SC to the balloon festival. It was a great Tim. We do intend to go back and take a ride in one that is not tethered. The staff and the balloon folks were a very friendly, nice and polite. It's on my list to do again next year.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:25 AM   #16
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I've always wanted to go to the big festival in N.M. as I have flown a Hot air Balloon many times years ago. A friend of mine had one and flew for Pepsi, so I helped out a lot as we were close friends. Brings back old memories, by the way my daughter use to live in Taos and we were there about 3 years ago. Thanks for posting the nice pics too.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:25 PM   #17
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Our kids live in Albuquerque and want us to come during the Fest. As if we didn't spend enough money there at Christmas time. Oh well.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:08 PM   #18
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we're very lucky to have a balloon fest in early september each year in sussex, nb, about 30 minutes from here. it's always well attended. it's not new mexico but it sure is a great time with lots of balloons!!
thanks for sharing your experiences. i'm not one for huge crowds, so i'm happy to learn in advance that i should probably stay away....
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