Camping in the surreal landscape of Joshua Tree National Park is unlike any other American camping experience. The huge, uniquely shaped boulders, the distinct silhouette of thousands of Joshua Trees marching along the desert floor and the abundance of desert plant and animal life make coming to this place where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts meet fascinating. It also provides an amazing place for hikers to explore, stretching twelve-hundred square miles through Southern California near Palm Springs.

Where to Camp at Joshua Tree

RV Camping at Joshua Tree National Park  Camping at Joshua Tree NP is fairly easy, if you prepare ahead for ‘dry camping’ conditions. There are actually five developed campgrounds within the park, with two equipped for RVs. There aren’t any electrical, water or sewer hook-ups at these campsites, but two campgrounds—Black Rock and Indian Cove—have drinking water available within the campground. Reservations are highly recommended from October to May, as the mild winter temperatures in this desert national park make it a popular place with campers.

Here are some tips to help make your Joshua Tree National Park camping experience a good one.

* Generator use is limited to 7-9 a.m., 12-2 p.m., and 5-7 p.m., so plan electrical use accordingly.

* Pets must remain leashed at all times outside your RV.

* Only small campfires, within fire rings or grills provided by the park, are allowed. * If no campsites are available on your desired dates, use this link from NPS.gov to locate other local options.

* Always practice Leave No Trace camping etiquette.

Where to Hike at Joshua Tree NP

You’ve set up camp and you’ve laced up your hiking boots, but which way to go? You could start at one of the park’s three visitor centers to get an overview of the unique ecosystems and the trails that wind through them.

Or you could use this handy guide to Joshua Tree NP hiking trails at NPS.gov. Either way, you’ll find plenty of information about popular destinations within the park. Here are just a few suggestions for places to discover from the park’s nearly three dozen trailheads.

Keys View is a rocky promontory with views of the Coachella Valley. The short loop trail is accessible via a twenty-minute drive from Park Boulevard.

The seven-mile hike into Lost Palms Oasis leads to a palm-filled canyon.

Making the hike up to Mastodon Peak is a must if you’re in good condition, as you’ll never forget those views of the Salton Sea.

Older kids would love the one-mile hike into Hidden Canyon, where enormous boulders are said to have once hidden cattle rustlers.

These are only a few of the dozens of trails that you’ll encounter as you begin to explore Joshua Tree National Park on foot. Keep in mind that, even in winter, this is a place of sudden weather changes, so always be prepared. You’ll also want to carry plenty of water in this desert environment and respect the plant and animal life that makes this place so special.

Consider hiking and camping at Joshua Tree National Park on your next visit to Southern California. If lack of an RV is keeping you at home, give us a call and we’ll help you find the rental location and RV model that suits your plans. It’s going to be a trip you’ll talk about for years!

Visiting the American South by RV always delivers the unexpected. Whether you’re chasing warmer temps in winter or a balmy lakeshore in July, there’s a southern RV adventure with your name on it.

To whet your appetite for sweet tea and southern RV comfort, we’ve chosen three special places that welcome campers with the attractions, amenities and authentic southern charm.

Auburn, Alabama

Travel south on I-85 from Atlanta, Georgia, and you’ll find a place where farmer’s markets offer abundance year-round, waterfalls splash into crystal clear pools and Auburn Tigers football reigns supreme.

Even more enticing are the options for RV camping in this eastern Alabama playground. From a cozy, farmstead campground beneath the trees to a large, first-class resort with every amenity an RV camper could want, there’s a place for every style camper in Auburn. You’ll also have the chance to visit one of the prettiest state parks in the South. Just a short drive from Auburn, Chewacla State Park offers a full-service campground, picturesque swimming beach and a rocky waterfall worth the hike to discover.

While in the town of Auburn, be sure to visit the many farmer’s markets for a taste of natural Alabama. RV travelers also list the vintage town of Opelika as a must-see attraction while in the Auburn area. And don’t miss the live music venues that keep the nighttime sizzling downtown in both Auburn and Opelika.

Give yourself the gift of visiting the Auburn area by RV. Here’s a link to Alabama RV campgrounds to assist your planning.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

RVers who travel the South frequently are familiar with a vibrant town on the Mississippi coast where historic sites, casinos and Gulf Coast outdoor recreation deliver the best in vacation fun.

Bay St. Louis is surrounded by scenic blueways where you can paddle through the bayous and along the Pascagoula River. Nature trails dot the landscape on public lands preserved for future generations. The coastal plain makes a fascinating classroom, filled with plant life, animals and birds in stunning varieties. Local outfitters can plan a tour by land or water that will suit the interests of your entire group.

Prefer to spend your days in town? In Old Town Bay St. Louis, you’ll find the perfect place to enjoy a jazz brunch, to purchase unique gifts made by local artisans and to soak up the charm and culture of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There’s even a self-guided walking or biking tour that celebrates the town that’s stood the test of three centuries.

We can’t discuss the attractions of the Gulfport-Biloxi area without mentioning casinos, two, in fact right in city of Bay St. Louis. Casinos don’t just mean gambling, either; they feature world class entertainment, upscale shops and luxury spa services, as well. Check with your campground hosts about the local shuttles that ferry gaming enthusiasts to area casino action.

Speaking of campgrounds, when it’s time to set up camp in Bay St. Louis, you won’t be disappointed. There are hundreds of campsites within easy driving distance of Bay St. Louis attractions, in the city itself as well as in surrounding towns like Gulfport, Pass Christian and Kiln. Use this handy list of Mississippi RV campgrounds, and be sure to make reservations…this region is famous with RV campers.

Blairsville, Georgia

If a tiny mountain town surrounded by national forest sounds like the ideal place to go RV camping in the South, it’s high time you came to Blairsville, Georgia. An hour and a half north of Atlanta in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this alpine hamlet is the hub for a wide variety of outdoor recreation.

Cabin in Vogel State Park

Cabin in Vogel State Park

Camp in nearby Vogel State Park in Chattahoochee National Forest, and then find the trails that lead past mountain peaks, quiet hollows and hidden lakes rich with wildlife. Be sure to experience the views from Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. Keep your eyes open for waterfalls along the way, as well.

When you’re ready for a bit more civilization, take a trip into the towns of Blairsville and Suches, where year-round festivals add even more flavor to your Blue Ridge Mountain experience. One more note for paddling enthusiasts—three lakes in surrounding Union County give plenty of blue water possibilities.

RV camping in the South is a different experience everywhere you stop and every time you come. If you’re looking for authentic Southern RV comfort and charm, you can’t go wrong by choosing one of these three destinations. And, because we’re here to help, be sure to let us know if an RV rental will help make the trip your reality.

Whether you’re reading this while the snow blows past your windows or from a beach where there’s endless summer, it’s gonna be spring sooner than you think. With warm weather comes one of my favorite occupations, jumping in the RV and tracking down the meadows, prairies and mountain slopes where wildflowers paint the landscape.

No matter if you’ll be dusting off your RV from winter storage or planning for an RV rental, it’s not too early to plot your course in search of the best wildflower displays. Or maybe you’ll make several trips by the time the flowers fade and late summer’s heat turns us to other ways to enjoy RV camping. If RV travel to find America’s wildflowers strikes a chord, here’s a quick list of places you’ll want to discover:

America’s Best Wildflowers by RV

By mid-March, the bluebonnets are blooming and they’re joined by red and white poppies, coreopsis, Indian paintbrush, fire wheels and a dozen more vibrantly-colored species of wildflowers in Texas Hill Country.

From March to May, you’ll find a gorgeous vista over every hilltop, especially if start in Fredericksburg and follow US-87 north to the towns of Doss, Castile and Mason, saving time to venture onto side roads for even more wildflower glory. One special note: this is a journey best taken during the week, as wildflower lovers come from all over on weekends to enjoy the display. Reserve your spot early at a Hill Country campground, too, so you won’t have to leave this remarkable region too soon.

Another extraordinary opportunity to view hundreds of acres of wildflowers in one place can be found in California’s Central Valley at Carrizo Plain National Monument. Depending on winter rainfall, you may spot during March and April purple lupine, golden California poppies, orange fiddleneck and goldenbush carpeting the Monument’s two valleys.

As you hike through this nearly quarter-million acre BLM preserve, you’ll be enchanted by daisies and other bright spring florals on the slopes of the surrounding mountains.

The two RV-capable campgrounds here are primitive, meaning you’ll need to fill your water tanks and empty waste tanks so you’re self-contained. No electricity here, either, so keep that in mind when you come. If you’ve never experienced BLM camping, it’s a whole different world from developed campgrounds but the back-to-nature peacefulness is worth the adjustment.

Our next pick for an RV camping trip to find glorious wildflower color would be to Colorado, where the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival has encouraged in-depth enjoyment of local wildflowers since the 1980s. Scheduled events for this July festival (you’ll need to register online before you come) include 4×4 tours, hikes and rides to discover medicinal plants, photography workshops and more.

Expect to see stunning displays of columbines, sunflowers, lupine, elephantella and other showy species of wildflowers on your RV trip to Crested Butte. Camping possibilities near Crested Butte, CO include Lake Irwin Campground in Gunnison National Forest and at least a dozen private campgrounds in the Gunnison/Crested Butte area. Here’s a link to RV campgrounds in Colorado.

I’ll complete my list of suggested RV wildflower tours with a trip to the shores of Lake Michigan, where Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore provides plenty of chances to photograph and otherwise enjoy the wildflowers of spring.    RV Wildflower Viewing Trips

The Lakeshore’s Bay View Hiking Trail is a popular hike to find wildflowers. Pitcher’s thistle, pink ladyslipper and orange dune lily are just three of the floral delights you’ll discover as you hike the trails on your own or take one of the ranger-led tours during May and June. You’ll also enjoy camping at Platte River Campground, close to Lake Michigan as well as hiking trails, scenic drives and other National Lakeshore attractions.

Do these ideas for planning an RV wildflower tour have you wishing for spring? We understand, and we’re ready to help you plan your trip, complete with a convenient RV rental. Map your route and have your cameras ready; spring wildflowers are just around the corner.

The winter months aren’t kind to many parts of the US, where motorhomes and trailers sit tucked away in storage. Those cold winter months, however, are the best time to plan for camping once the snow thaws. We’ve collected some helpful tips that smart RV campers use to get the jump on planning spring RV excursions.

Tip #1: Save the Date!

While there’s virtue in being spontaneous, many popular campgrounds fill quickly with the first hint of spring. They may also take reservations for campsites months in advance.

If there’s a special place that beckons you to set up camp, check the website or give them a call and find out when the campground opens (if not year-round), how far in advance you can book campsites and, if you’re planning to go on a holiday weekend, whether there’s a minimum number of days for reservations.

By mapping out your spring camping season in advance, and booking your campsites early, you’ll avoid disappointment and have more time to enjoy the places you love to camp.

Here’s a quick list of ideas to get more information on popular RV camping venues in America:

  • State-by-State private campground list at ElMonteRV.com.
  • Access to info on US Forestry Service, National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Land Management campgrounds at recreation.gov.
  • Campgrounds on State and Federal public lands at reserveamerica.com.
  • Kampgrounds of America listings at koa.com.
  • Information on National Park seasons, campgrounds and activities at nps.gov.
  • Also check individual RV campground and resort websites

Tip #2: Do Your Homework on Special Event Camping

For spring RV camping that’s connected to a festival or sporting event, it pays to do your homework months in advance.

You might, for instance, be planning to go RV camping to the legendary South by Southwest festival in Austin next March. If you are, this link to Austin area campgrounds is a good place to start. By booking early, you’ll have a better chance of scoring campsites close to the SXSW events you plan to attend.

Baseball fans, on the other hand, might be planning to travel by RV to the final round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic in Los Angeles. Pick a Los Angeles area campground and book your campsite now for the best experience next March. Double your California camping fun by planning to camp near San Diego and attend Round Two games for the Classic the week before.

Or you may love traveling by RV to Cactus League spring training baseball games in Arizona, or Grapefruit League pre-season match-ups in Florida. Either way, you’ll want to reserve your campsites early near your favorite ballparks.

The bottom line to optimum spring RV camping at sporting events and festivals: buy your tickets and book your campsites early. You’ll be glad you did.

Tip #3: Reserve Your Trailer or Motorhome Rental

If owning a motorhome isn’t on your horizon, you can still plan to camp next spring. Renting an RV is an affordable way to experience camping at your favorite locations. Use this RV rental link to get in touch with helpful El Monte RV staff who can help you reserve the RV you need.

Find out how early you can book reservations, especially surrounding special events or near popular camping venues such as national parks. It’s easier than you think to rent an RV, and we’re happy to help with the planning.        Spring Camping Planning

Spring’s Coming Sooner Than You Think!

It may be hard to imagine camping at your favorite campground when the snow’s piling up outdoors. Spring, however, waits for no camper and it’s going to be here before you know it. Pick a place where you can play outdoors, watch exciting sports action or hear live music close to your campground and start planning. Spring RV camping season will be here sooner than you think!

Four Urban RV Campgrounds-Affordable Lodging in the Big City

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Camping beyond the city lights is always a good way to relax, unwind and get back to nature. But have you ever thought of taking along the RV when you visit big cities? Once you compare the expense of hotels, …

 

BLM Camping—Balancing ‘Off the Grid’ with RV Comfort

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Does the wild call to you, tempting you to come find the places where mountains, coastlines and forests surround your campsite? Does that mean giving up the comforts you’ve found while RV camping? Good news—there’s a way to combine your …

 

Keep Your Cool: Tailgating Tips & Tricks

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Hanging out with fellow fans in the parking lot can be more fun than watching the actual game. Some football games are famous for their fans’ over-the-top tailgating tactics. Tailgating is something to look forward to—unless it’s hot outside. While …

 

Southern San Diego County Surf & Camp Vacation

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Did we whet your appetite with ideas for surfing and RV camping your way through Northern San Diego County? Well hold on, because we’re just getting started. This week, we’re going to keep moving south and talk about the places …

 

Northern San Diego County Surf & Camp Vacation

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San Diego County, California, stretches along I-5 from the border with Mexico north to the Orange County line at San Clemente. All along the way are legendary surf beaches, waiting to be explored by RV travelers. There are also exceptional …

 

RV Owners – Prepare for a Cross Country RV Trip

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If you are reading this, it probably means that you are considering taking a cross country RV trip. After all, what better way to enjoy your RV fully than taking it as far as possible to really have some fun …