Lake, Sunset, RV, Travel

Disastrous yet Humorous Attempt at Casino Camping


As promised, I will be writing about our not-so-successful experiences as well as the great ones. This was a disastrous attempt at casino camping in Santa Fe. Let’s just say this one provided us a few “learning opportunities.” This is also our first co-written post; Lance is the RV expert and I am the wordsmith. As I am working on posting this, I am learning another lesson.


There is a serious lack of pictures in this post, but it provided another learning opportunity for me. This experience is like the gift that keeps on giving.

Free RV Casino Camping

I called ahead to see if the Black Mesa Casino offered RV camping, allowed generators, and if they had hookups available. Originally, I was told that the price was $20, then was put on hold. The woman got back on the phone and told me that the price was $10 because they are “working on the RV parking and there are no sewer hookups.” That made sense to me. I called back a few days later to inquire about something else and figured I’d check the RV prices once more time. Have you ever found that if you call a place more than once the prices you are given vary? This time there was no charge for RV parking because the water and electricity were under construction. This seemed like a great deal and a chance to use our new generator, the Westinghouse iGen4500.

I Love Gravel Lots

The RV parking was a large gravel lot near an old car racing track. It was on a slight hill but the spots seemed pretty level. We turned on our LevelMate Pro and drove through a few spots to find the most level one. We pulled in to a spot and began our set up process.

The LevelMate Pro app said that we were an inch higher on one side of the trailer so I set up a row of leveling blocks for Lance to drive onto. 1 row of blocks = 1-inch lift, so we should have been good. As I get the other blocks ready for the landing legs, I check the app again. We’re still one inch off. What the heck? I go to check it out and see that the blocks have sunk in the loose gravel. We backed up, added another row of blocks and tried again. The app showed that we were level so we set down the landing legs and proceeded to unhook.

“Babe, Why Aren’t the Landing Legs Working Right?”

The landing legs kept locking up. We thought this was because the batteries might have died so we pulled out the manual crank and got to work on loosening the legs and retracting them back into the trailer to attempt again. After a few tries, and some yelling, we realized that the second row of blocks I had placed under the tires had sunk into the gravel making the trailer unlevel —-again.

One of the other people staying in the lot ambled over to visit. We shared our struggle with the gravel and he laughed because he experienced the same. After more expletives, we pulled out and into a new spot with tightly packed gravel and an unlocked electrical box that had power! We felt like we won the RV lotto and reversed our disastrous attempt at casino camping effect. This time, the set up went as planned. Or so we thought.

Trailer leveling, RV leveling, LevelMate Pro, RV tools, RV life
Unleveled Trailer- It’s a little off side to side, but at this point, we were just glad it was no longer sinking.

Not-So-Free Casino Camping

We went into the casino to let them know we were staying there for a couple of nights. The woman told us that it would be $20 per day. WHAT?!? I recounted my phone calls and she asked who I talked to. Since I hadn’t written down who I spoke with, we were screwed.


We paid the $20 a night for three nights, signed up for the free players club, gambled our free credits, and we got lucky and made enough money to pay for dinner that night and the remainder of our stay.

The day before leaving, we stopped at the office and asked them about dumping, they stated since we have camped there, we can use a code to dump for free. Lance was excited about that since we’re not fans of paying to dump.

Finding Humor in Dumping 

There were 2 dump stations on site. They had signs posted that dumping was $10 however the machines were turned off and the hole in the ground was unlocked. The first dump station we pulled up to did not have water at all. After finding that out, Lance walked to the other side to confirm that they had water to be able to dump our black tank.

See, Lance likes to dump the black tank and clean it every single time. This helps us in keeping our RV smelling great while boondocking and keeps the tank sensors in tip-top shape. So water was essential.

The second station had water. After hooking everything up, we found out that the hole in the ground is higher than the RV hookup. This created a problem in the flow of the turd. See, turd doesn’t go uphill. So we had to get creative and lift the hose over and over and over again to get the water to go where it needs to go. I tell you, that was a great workout. My whole upper body was sore the next day from the repetitive process. Or it might have been from working out the day that followed. Or maybe a combination of both? I am not sure but I was sore.

LevelMate Pro is a Relationship Saver

On a side note, I cannot rave enough about the LevelMate Pro. When Lance first suggested it over a year ago, I was skeptical. I must add, at that point, we had never taken an RV trip and setting the bubble level in the middle of the floor didn’t seem too hard. I am laughing at this right now because I was so naive. You have seen all of the products emblazoned with “I’m sorry for what I said when we were parking the camper” and it’s a popular niche because it’s so true! We definitely have those moments but nothing compared to what it was like before LevelMate Pro.

The LevelMate Pro small box is mounted inside of the trailer, you tap it to turn it on and it syncs to an app (IOS and/or Android). We monitor the app while pulling into a spot and there is no guessing how many blocks you will need to lift each side. More about my love of LevelMate Pro on our future blog post 11 RV Products That We Cannot Live Without (((LINK)))

We are now able to laugh at the experience and I now ask for (and write down) the name of who I speak with. Have you had similar experiences with varying prices? How did you deal with it? What has been one of your hard learning experiences? Please share it by commenting below.

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