There are enough of them parked along Pasadena streets to form a Tournament of Recreational Vehicles Parade.
At Pasadena City College alone, almost 900 of the vehicles have brought people from such areas as Washington, New Mexico, Illinois and Ohio. Other RVs are parked at Brookside Park and along many of Pasadena’s residential streets.
While they may not be as colorful as the floats and bands in Friday’s Tournament of Roses Parade, the vehicles and their occupants are almost as diverse in character and origin.
Folks like Donald Morehouse, 64, and his wife, Beverly, 63, have been rolling into Pasadena all week.
The Morehouses also came to the parade in 1985. “We had such a great time,” Beverly Morehouse said, that this year they brought the family of one of their sons.
The older Morehouses have been traveling in their recreational vehicle for the last 25 years and have visited all 50 states, Mexico and Canada.
They like the RV life so much that they sold their home in Muskegon, Mich., two months ago and moved into the vehicle.
“It’s cheaper than living at home, and we were only there for two months out of the year,” the husband said.
They have passed their love for travel on to their son Jerry, who accompanied his parents on many trips while growing up in Michigan.
Jerry’s 11-year-old daughter, Jennifer, has visited widely separated areas of the United States, taking trips that other children may only dream of. Her itineraries have included New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Arizona.
“You get to meet new people, see new places and do things you’ve never done before,” she said.
And one of those new places and events Jennifer will add to her list is Southern California and the Tournament of Roses Parade.
The Morehouses are among the thousands of families that descended in droves on Pasadena in their recreational vehicles to watch the parade, attend the Rose Bowl game and sightsee.
The Morehouses belong to the Good Sam Club, a national organization of recreational vehicle owners, which is holding its annual Tournament of Roses Parade Samboree at Pasadena City College. Club members paid from $300 to $500 to park at the college. Besides a parking space, the fee includes parade tickets, tours and entertainment.
Meanwhile, a few blocks away, along side streets off Colorado Boulevard such as Chester, Mar Vista and Oak Knoll avenues, others have parked their RVs in any space that will accommodate them.
Although there is no charge to park in these spots, owners run the risk of getting tickets if they remain in limited-time or no-parking areas.
Pasadena police noted that some people are willing to risk fines of $200 or more, rather than park in off-street pay lots. In addition to tickets, owners run the risk of having their RVs towed away and having to pay high towing fees to get them released.
So far, RV parking has not posed a major problem, but patrols are monitoring the situation, Police Lt. Lynn Froistad said. He reminded drivers that some streets need to be kept clear for emergency vehicles.
“If (people) see a street that no one else has parked on, then it’s probably too good to be true,” Froistad said, noting that most legal spots have already been taken.
A Bargain at This Point
Some vehicle owners have found spots at Brookside Park near the Rose Bowl for $30 a night.
Lloyd and Gloria Andes of Biggs, Calif., near Chico, arrived at the park about 9 a.m. Tuesday and were the 10th in line to be admitted.
Although they have no electricity or water, the Andes said that seeing the parade is worth any inconvenience.
“It’s just fun. We love the parade and the excitement,” said Gloria Andes, who also attended last year.
Her husband agreed. “Besides, you get to watch all the parties and the people having fun,” he said.