It is late afternoon as a caravan of large vehicles, two motor homes and three cube trucks navigate the entrance on Pier Street into Pismo Beach. We have a large 6 X 6 army truck on standby to help us if we get stuck in the sand. The 3 ton cube truck is first, he accelerates and makes it safely to the hard pack sand. I'm pulling a portable restroom behind me, my RV weighs seventeen tons, but since I am a pusher (the engine is in the rear) my RV has a major advantage over pullers (engine in the front). I try to build up my speed to 20 to 25 miles per hour, I engage my ATC switch (automatic traction control) so that if I lose traction in the drive tire, the passenger tire will grip the road (sand). I make it to the hard pack sand. We travel at the posted 15 miles per hour, the two other trucks make it, it looks like we have a convoy. Since the tide is going to be six feet, we have no choice but to park the vehicles in the soft sand. Production has several 4 x 4 trucks waiting to pull us in our spots. Since I am the heaviest vehicle the 6 X 6 is standing by, he charges $300.00 per tow. If one of the Raptors or Dodge Rams 3500 can pull me into position this will save production a big fee. I try to keep my RV out of the soft sand and position myself so that it is a straight shot to my respective parking area. The Ram pulls me from behind, I accelerate slowly so that I don't bury my rear end. The process takes about an hour to position all the vehicles so that we create a horseshoe effect. This way base camp will have a level of privacy and keep the wind from being a major problem. One of the Ford Raptors position the portable restroom away from camp.
Pismo Beach Dunes is different from Dumont Dunes or Glamis because it is located on the beach as opposed to the desert. The sand is softer and there is a tide that you have to contend with, which can present some interesting problems. For one, you have to have some 4 X 4 trucks on your production to pull out any vehicles that can get stuck in the sand. We had a 6 X 6 army truck that helped pull the big rigs out of the sand. If you park your vehicles too close to the shore line, there is a chance that the tide is going to come back in and swamp your base camp.
The problem with Glamis or Dumont is they are in the desert, which means if you plan on filming in the summer, it is going to be hot, hot. Those locations (Glamis and Dumont) are better to shoot at in the cooler months. Pismo is unique because there is the Pacific Ocean which adds a perspective to your background, it is always nice and cool even in the summer. You can film at the dunes, on the beach or even in the ocean. The best days to shoot at Pismo is during the week, on summer weekends there will be a lot of people. The least busiest period is from Labor Day to Memorial Day. Try to avoid major holidays like Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Day.
Regarding lodging we stayed at the Seacrest Oceanfront Hotel 805.773.4608, it is a beautiful hotel located on the beach. Parking is adequate for large vehicles although the parking lot is located on a hill. There are plenty of restaurants in town, keep in mind most places close early during the week. There are other lodging options too. The actual town of Pismo Beach is one of those tourist type places with surf shops, restaurants of various types of food, a pier, boutiques, cafes, bike rentals, ATV rentals and other fun places.
If you need a motor home or portable restrooms, or if you have any questions, feel free to call me Michael Green at 818.317.7099