I have been to a number of locations that have sand dunes, Pismo Beach, Dumont Dunes and Little Dumont Dunes, those locations all have something very special to offer, the Dumont’s are located in the Mojave Dessert and some of those dunes are over five hundred feet high. Pismo Beach is located in the central coast of California, are the only coastal dunes in California. Until recently, I have only been to one sand dune in Oregon and that was in the town of Florence, a fishing town west of Eugene, Oregon.
Finding a gem like Box Car Hill Campground located in North Bend, is one of the best dunes I have ever been to for a shoot or just having fun in my 4 X 4 Frontier. This is a new campground which just opened on July 1st 2012; in my opinion the best RV park located next to the dunes in this area. It is on private property, which means you do not need a “film permit, (please check with the film commission in North Bend/Coos Bay first), it is not on BLM land which means production has complete control of the park. If your production requires privacy this is the best place to do your shoot, in the case of the commercial I was working on, we were shooting unreleased vehicles, privacy was a major concern. Security is always a main issue for products that have not been officially released, management at the park made sure to keep the public out of our space. We needed a dirt road, for one of the scenes; a road was made for us, a couple of trains cars were removed from the background, everything was done for us promptly.
Since this is a campground another bonus, there is water and power to hook my motor home and other vehicles to, including 50 amp, 30 amp and 120 volt hook ups. This kept the base camp quiet when production was shooting sound, and saved production the cost of renting big generators or paying fuel cost to vehicles that needed to run auxiliary power for their equipment at base camp. In the future this park will have a dump station, but not in the lower parking lot, you can call Lil Stinker Portable Restrooms at 541-290-2949 and they can come to your honey wagon, motor home, portable restroom, etc…for a reasonable fee, ask for Vicky, she also provides portable restrooms if you need it for your production.
Since it was so beautiful here at Box Car Campground, I decided to camp at this park for the week, I purchased some wood from the on site manager, so that I could make a camp fire at night and party with a few crew members who decided to stay at base camp with me. At night it is very quiet, you can hear the waves coming to shore from the bay, you can watch the fog roll in from the Pacific Ocean, it is very serene and peaceful, it was the best sleep I had in a long time.
The dunes are some of the best I have seen, though it is not as high as Dumont Dunes in California, the scenery is uncanny. There are fresh water lakes to the West, a lagoon to the East and the Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge to the South, there are pine trees and other varieties that surround the park. The sand is dry in the summer, in the winter because of the numerous storms that come in the sand is wet, when you ride on the wet sand it is almost like driving on pavement. Even in winter, filming at Box Car Campground is not difficult, it may rain in the early morning, by 11AM the sun is out and the conditions are perfect for shooting whatever scene you need to do. For more information about Boxcar Hill Campground call 541 751 0001 or 855 751 0001.
The town of North Bend and Coos Bay is several miles south of Box Car Campground, it is a small seaside town where everyone knows each other, the locals brag they have the best seafood on the Oregon coast. For seafood try Chuck’s Seafood 541 888 5525 or Coney Station 541 269 6948, both get excellent ratings on Yelp. At the Mill Casino and RV Park (800 953 4800) which is the best place to lodge your crew there are several restaurants including the Saw Blade Buffet which is only opened on Friday and Saturday evenings has a delectable choice of various American dishes including seafood for $25 per person. At the Whitecaps restaurant you can have a big steak dinner with seating overlooking the bay. For BBQ try the Warehouse 101 bar and grill, I had some baby-back ribs and it was the best ribs I ever had in a while, the coleslaw and baked beans were good too. The Mill Casino has a large parking lot which is great when you have a large contingency of trucks, honey wagons, motor homes, etc. The RV Park was easy to navigate my forty-foot motor home, there is a large laundry room, and since it is connected to the casino you have free access to the pool and WiFi. If you want to gamble there are plenty of slot machines or gaming tables that would love to take your money. There is a Safeway in North Bend, inside is a Starbucks, a hardware store, and a mall with a movie theatre, matinee shows are $6.50 for adults or $8.50 for prime time, a bargain as far as I am concerned. In addition, there are other restaurants, lodging and plenty of fuel stations that sell diesel and gasoline. If you have any questions about this location or other locations in Oregon or if you need a motor home call me Mike Green at 541 619 3934 or 818 317 7099.