Seventy thousand people in the Black Rock Desert of Northwestern Nevada—that’s one way to describe the annual celebration of art and community known as Burning Man. You could also say this gathering that culminates every Labor Day Weekend is a festival of self-expression and self-reliance. The many facets of Burning Man are there to explore for anyone with a ticket and a vehicle pass, and RV and tent camping are the usual ways to attend.

If you’ve never investigated the Burning Man phenomenon, having a few basic facts can help start your journey.

  • When: August 30 to September 7, 2015
  • Where: One hundred twenty miles northeast of Reno, NV on the ‘playa’ in the Black Rock Desert.
  • Where to Buy Tickets: Tickets have been on sale since February, but never fear. You can still find tickets on the Secure Ticket Exchange Program from folks who purchased tickets and can’t attend. Another way to secure a late ticket is to register for the OMG ticket sale that will take place August 5, 2015. You’ll start by creating a Burner Profile. One thousand tickets are sold on August 5 on a first come, first served basis. Each Burner can purchase two tickets and one vehicle pass as available.
  • How Much Does it Cost? Tickets are $390 each (good for the entire week) and each vehicle requires a $50 pass. Tip: To save vehicle pass costs and travel expense, share the costs of renting an RV with another couple or a group of friends.

What should you expect at Burning Man? That’s a big question! You can expect to not see any type of advertising or commercial enterprises. You will see people gathered in camping groups, sharing facilities, food and tasks. Visually stunning, Burning Man is filled with tens of thousands of costumed participants, epic outdoor art forms and bicycles, bicycles, bicycles (the best mode of transportation.) From the ‘big burns’ where spectacular art installations go up in flames to the comradery and communal strength of the ‘City’, there’s something remarkable about being there.

What will be unforgettable for most campers at Burning Man will be the construction of ‘Black Rock City’ in the middle of the desert, complete with streets and medical facilities. That same temporary city is completely removed from the playa (including outdoor art) when Burning Man is over, following the festival’s core value of ‘Leave No Trace.’

If this sound like the place for you to be this Labor Day Weekend, take steps now:

  1. Set up a Burner Profile so you’ll be in line for OMG tickets
  2. Check out the STEP ticket exchange, too
  3. Rent your RV now if you don’t own one, or pack up your tent gear
  4. Start packing for life in Black Rock City—costumes, hot weather clothes and supplies, bicycles. Here’s a list of Black Rock City essentials.
  5. Launch your 2015 journey to Burning Man!

Attending Burning Man is unlike any camping experience you’ll ever have. It’s sharing a week in the desert with thousands of free thinking, art and nature loving temporary citizens of Black Rock City, creating art and community.

Are you RV or tent camping at Burning Man 2015? There’s still time to make it happen!

Camping on Michigan’s U.P.—the state’s Upper Peninsula—is something every RV traveler should add to their ‘must-go’ camping list. Here’s why: the region’s rocky shorelines, lush forests and picturesque campgrounds promise the kind of trip you’ll think about for years.

There are so many special places on the U.P. that it’s hard to narrow down to just three. We’ll introduce our favorite Upper Peninsula picks, and then encourage each RV camper to find their own treasured spots on the U.P. (please share with our readers, too!)

Straits State Park – St Ignace, Michigan            

The Straits of Mackinac, a five mile waterway that allows ship traffic between Lakes Huron and Michigan, is also the boundary between the U.P. and the lower ‘thumb’ of Michigan. The spectacular Mackinac Bridge spans the Straits and thrills RV campers who take the drive from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace on I-75.

Straits State Park offers unforgettable views of Mackinac Bridge, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan and easy access to the Mackinac Island ferries. The nearly four-thousand-mile-long North Country Trail has a section through this park, inviting hikers to explore the shorelines, granite cliffs and pine forests of the Upper Peninsula.

Indian Lake State Park – Manistique, Michigan

Skirt the shores of Lake Michigan west along US-2 from St Ignace to Indian Lake State Park near Manistique. A wide, shallow lake famed for its fishing holes, this favorite U.P. spot also features swimming beaches, lakeshore campsites and the vast beauty of Hiawatha National Forest on its boundaries.

The area surrounding Indian Lake is filled with historic towns, lighthouses and trails. You might also enjoy a stroll along the Lake Michigan boardwalk in Manistique.

Black River Harbor Recreation Area – Ottawa National Forest—Bessemer, Michigan

If waterfalls, hemlock forests and the scenic shores of Lake Superior call you to come camping, this is the place for you. A Western U.P. favorite, Black River Harbor is at the northern end of the fourteen-mile long National Black River Scenic Byway. Along the byway from Bessemer to Black River Harbor, you’ll follow the river past its five photo-worthy waterfalls.

Once you reach the Harbor, there’s a rustic campground with views of the water, or you can camp farther into the National Forest. Take the time to explore the beaches, a unique suspension bridge over the river and the trails that make up a section of the North Country Trail. One more tip for anglers—a number of Lake Superior sport fishing charters operate from Black Harbor, so why not book an outing before you come?

There’s so much more to see on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula! Here’s a link to even more information on Michigan campgrounds and attractions.

RV camping to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers an almost endless variety of things to see, things to do and friendly campgrounds on the shore or in the forest. An RV rental makes it all affordable, so why not head to the U.P. this camping season?

Chincoteague Island, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, can be your starting point for an unforgettable RV camping vacation. The timeless beauty of Chincoteague draws visitors all summer long to hike or bike to a wildlife refuge, kayak in Chincoteague Bay or watch for dolphins from a picturesque lighthouse. Unspoiled by over-development, it’s as close to nature as you’ll find on the Eastern Seaboard.

Coming to Chincoteague by RV is the perfect choice for several reasons. Thanks to the variety of campgrounds in the area, it’s possible to maximize your family’s vacation activities. Chincoteague campgrounds are close to area attractions and most also offer access to clamming, crabbing, boat rentals, scenic land and water tours and other outdoor recreation favorites.

Here’s one more bonus: knowing you’ll be coming home to sleep in RV comfort and can cook when you choose in a well-equipped RV kitchen makes vacationing that much more relaxing.

Now that you know you’re making the right choice traveling by RV, here are even more reasons to take an RV camping trip to Chincoteague Island.

Assateague Island National Seashore

An extraordinary place divided between Maryland and Virginia (and a stone’s throw from Chincoteague), Assateague Island is home to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, where wild ponies play among the dunes.     Chincoteague_National_Wildlife_Refuge

On the last Saturday of July, those ponies swim the narrow channel between the two islands in preparation for the Pony Auction held annually to reduce the herd to limits allowed on the island. Tip: If your family is planning to attend this amazing event, plan to park at the school on Chincoteague and take the shuttle to avoid the congestion.

Kayaking, hiking, wildlife viewing and saltwater fishing are other favorite activities for visitors to Assateague. Take the time to visit Assateague Lighthouse, a quick drive or bike ride from Chincoteague. Built in 1833, the light’s attractive red and white tower promises wonderful vacation photos and a chance to climb the steps to the top for even better views.

There are Assateague Island RV campgrounds on the Maryland side, if you enjoy ‘boondocking’ with no hookups and cold water showers. It’s best to plan on camping here during the week in the summertime, as weekend sites are booked months in advance.

Find time to come to Virginia’s Eastern Shore this summer. Whether you come to ride a horse along the beach, learn the history of Assateague and Chincoteague on a boat tour, paddle your way through the area’s many water trails or photograph the sun setting over the dunes, your time on these islands will be magical.

And did we mention the area is famous for its summertime festivals? Be sure to ask your campground host what’s coming up so you won’t miss any of the fun.

We’d love to help you with a Virginia or Maryland RV rental, as well as more information about area activities. Use this link to make your reservations at your favorite Virginia campground and start planning your own Chincoteague Island RV camping vacation.

Photo attribution: By Leonard J. DeFrancisci (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Does your family need new ideas for making your family reunions fun for all ages? Why not plan a reunion in the great outdoors, complete with RV comfort and convenience? We’ve pulled together the perfect plan for bringing your family together for an RV camping reunion.

Step 1: Family RV Inventory

Start floating the idea to one and all that you’d like to go camping for this year’s reunion. Once your relatives have agreed that camping together sounds like a blast, your next step is to find out how many motorhomes your extended family already has. You might be surprised to learn that Cousin Jerry regularly camps in a fifth-wheel and Uncle Joe has driven his Class A ‘bus style’ RV from New York to LA.

Once you’ve taken inventory of available motorhomes, you can do the next two steps—pick your location and rent RVs for the overflow.

Step 2: Pick Your Location

Asking what style motorhomes are already in the family helps you choose the right location and type of campground. Some larger RVs, for example, require 50amp hookups, so you’ll need to look for a campground with that amenity.

But the biggest consideration is what reunion activities will the family enjoy? Will your relatives want to fish, boat and swim? A lakeside campground at a scenic state park would be a great choice. If the goal is to camp close to hiking and biking trails, investigate state parks, national parks or national recreation areas with plenty of room to roam. Remember to check for on-site or nearby campgrounds that can accommodate your size of group and reserve the sites you’ll need before you go.

More thoughts on location—if your relatives love the idea of mountain camping, consider Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado or Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. For a gathering of sun-worshipping siblings, why not book several campsites at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA? We’re blessed in the USA to have national parks, state parks and camper-friendly lakes and rivers all over the map. Email some location ideas to your clan and reserve your campsites based on their top picks.

Step 3: Rent RVs for the Overflow

Some families will find that there are plenty of motorhome beds to accommodate their gathering. If you determine, however, that you’re short an RV or two, don’t panic! We’re happy to help set up RV rentals, either in your loved ones’ home cities or near your family camping destination.

Use this quick link to access the types of motorhomes we offer and where you can rent them.

Step 4: Deal with the Details

The success of any family reunion is in the details, and an RV camping reunion is no exception! With a place to gather chosen and accommodations reserved, all that’s left is to decide who will bring what and how much. Will one person purchase groceries for the group or each family bring their own? Potluck meals are always fun and give campers the chance to show off their outdoor cooking skills.

A rookie reunion camping mistake is assuming everyone will know what to bring! All it takes is a little communication to settle details such as who will bring groceries, camp stoves and utensils, what equipment is needed for group activities and any special regulations in place at your venue. If your location has a website with camping and activity information, send the link to your loved ones so they’ll know what to expect.

Planning your RV camping family reunion doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Plan together to pick a great spot, make sure you have the RVs you need and settle the details for meals and activities before you’re thirty miles from a Walmart. Because you’ve planned well, your RV camping family reunion is liable to become a cherished family tradition.

Active Family RV Camping Idea – Delaware Water Gap NRA

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Stuck for summer RV camping ideas? Why not combine your family’s love of hiking, paddling and, of course, exceptional RV camping, with a trip to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area? If you’ve never been to ‘the Gap’, it’s located …

 

Cedar City, Utah—RV Camping in the Center of Fun

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Ready for a place to park your RV with abundant outdoor adventure close at hand? Cedar City, Utah, about halfway between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, is ground zero for outdoor recreation. Why so much back-to-nature fun near Cedar …

 

Motorhome Safari to Ohio’s Award Winning Zoos

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Did you know that three of the top-ranked zoos in America are waiting for your family in Ohio? We’ve mapped an epic five hundred mile motorhome safari to discover the zoos in Toledo, Cincinnati and Columbus. To add even more …

 

Four Relaxing Spots to Visit near Glen Ellyn, Illinois

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Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a quick forty minutes west of Chicago, is centrally located for getting back to nature. By all means, enjoy the attractions of Chicagoland, but if you like your RV camping in more natural settings, here are four …

 

RV Camping Flea Market Adventures – Colorado Style

As promised, we’re continuing our series on RV camping while visiting the country’s best flea markets. Today’s post is for motorhome campers traveling to Colorado. Colorado is prime bargain shopping territory, with more than three dozen flea markets across the …

 

Five Summer Food Festivals to Tempt RV Travelers

A weekend food fest is the perfect excuse to head down the road in an RV. Today’s post is a delicious concoction of food fest and camping info from five of the best summer fests. Read on for what you …