We’re deep into college football season and stadiums across America are hosting eager fans. For fans who travel to watch their favorite teams, that can mean hotel rooms, restaurant meals and no way to tailgate unless the stadium throws a party.

Want a better solution? An RV rental offers all the comforts of home and the best tailgating set-up ever. If you’re looking for a win/win this college football season, you can’t beat traveling by RV to the games.

How to Rent an RV for the Big Game

If you’re new to RV rentals, it may be daunting to think of choosing, renting and learning to operate a motorhome. That’s where a good RV rental location is priceless. With a wide selection of models and a well-trained staff to walk you through the process, renting an RV to travel to college football might become your favorite pre-game activity.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • RV Models Available Recreational vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, from cabover motorhomes with slide-outs to large Class A ‘buses’. How many people will be traveling with you? How much kitchen space does your tailgating menu require? What’s your college football travel budget? Depending on local inventories, your RV rental expert should be able to connect you with just the right model RV for the big game.
  • Length of Time RV is Needed Will you be traveling straight to the game and coming back the next day, or are you making a long weekend (or an extended vacation) of it to explore local attractions after the game? The length of time you’ll be renting your RV also factors into what’s available and how much the rental will cost.
  • Where Will You Pick up your RV Rental? Some football fans prefer to fly into the city hosting the game and pick up their RV rental there for game day and afterward. Others want the whole ‘road trip to the big game’ experience and prefer to pick up their rental unit near home. Decide what you’d like to do and reserve an RV at the appropriate location. 

Every RV rental firm is unique, but generally, only licensed drivers twenty-five and older are allowed to rent an RV. The staff at your rental location should walk you through any training videos and manuals available to help you learn how to safely drive and operate your unit. They’ll educate you on any limits and restrictions and give you helpful tips on how to enjoy your football road trip to the fullest. Win/Win, right? What could be easier than renting an RV for college football travel?

Football Tailgating

 

RV Tailgating Tips

One of the top reasons college football fans rent RVs for game days is the ease of prepping, cooking and serving tailgate party menus. Whether you like a good pot of chili or enjoy making more exotic fare, your RV kitchen is center field for tailgating success.

Before you start planning your menu, however, let’s review the basic plays for successful RV tailgating. First of all, know where and when you can park at the stadium. Some schools sell RV parking passes for their rabid tailgating fans and others have designated on and off-campus lots for RV parking. Also, be sure you know the local rules of play. Most colleges have specific rules about length of stay, amount of space that can be used by each tailgate party and whether or not generators can be run.

Once you’re up on the rules, start planning your winning menu. What you decide to serve your fellow football fans will determine the cooking and serving dishes and utensils to pack, as well as your grocery list. If your favorite school’s stadium allows grills or smokers, you’ll need to plan for that, too. Here’s a link to help get you started on tailgate party planning.

And don’t forget to show your fan loyalty! While you’re packing the RV rental with food and cooking gear, don’t forget to bring along your team bling. From t-shirts to face paint, team-themed menus to licensed party ware, the tailgate party’s just not the same without making it obvious who you’re hoping will win.

So why not try it this year—renting an RV to travel to your favorite college team’s football games? You’ll win by not having to buy restaurant food or rent hotel rooms and you’ll win again by hosting an amazing tailgate party from your RV. And isn’t winning what football’s all about?

Travel about three hours straight north of Reno, NV and you’ll find a place the most active of RV campers won’t want to leave.  Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon has it all—challenging rock formations to climb, miles of trails for mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders and dramatic rock spires to spice up your vacation videos.  Best of all, there are RV campgrounds surrounding the park to make it easy to explore in comfort.

Sound like your dream RV camping vacation? Let’s start planning!

Where to Camp Near Smith Rock State Park

You won’t be able to RV camp within the state park, but no worries—you’ve got plenty of options a short drive away.

  • Redmond/Central Oregon KOA near Madras is popular with families and about twenty miles from the park.
  • Crooked River Ranch RV Park north of Terrebonne is also a twenty-minute drive from Smith Rock.  It’s loaded with amenities and adjacent to a golf course, for even more outdoor recreation.
  • Skull Hollow Campground is twelve miles away in Crooked River National Grassland. Fill the fresh water tanks before you come (no hook-ups) and get ready to experience dazzling views of Gray Butte when you come home to rest from your Smith Rock adventures.
Smith Rock State Park, OR

Smith Rock State Park, OR

What to Do at Smith Rock State Park

The real question is, “What not to do at Smith Rock?”  The short answer is, “Don’t plan to be bored!”  With more than six-hundred-acres of volcanic rock formations soaring above the Crooked River, there’s enough room for everyone to play.   Just a few ideas:

Climb! Sport climbing, crack climbing, aid climbing, you name it, there’s a perfect place to climb a rock face at Smith Rock.  You’ll even find those gravity-defying slackliners walking the ropes high above.  The walls and spires here go as high as five hundred feet, with multi-pitch routes, rim rock and sheer drops to be experienced.  Pick your favorite climbing area, or better yet, hire a local climbing guide to show you the ropes at Smith Rock. Either way, you’ll be challenged and you simply can’t beat the views!

Ride! Mountain bikers from around the country have discovered Smith Rock State Park, thanks to the network of hard clay trails with enough switchbacks and gravel to keep things plenty interesting.  Routes like the heart-pumping, seven-mile Summit Trail skirt enormous boulders, scoot along the river gorge and pound downhill from elevations above three-thousand feet.

If you like to take your trails on horseback, you’ll find two multi-use trails within Smith Rock SP that offer gorgeous scenery and the chance to connect with longer trails on adjacent BLM land.  Local trail ride outfitters can provide an unforgettable experience of Smith Rock, as well. 

Run, Hike, Wander!  With so many epic trails to indulge your trail running, hiking or leisurely strolling yen, you’ll soon be scheduling your return camping trip to Smith Rock.  Run the Summit Trail to give your lungs a real workout (and reward yourself with panoramic views at the top.)  Hike the Misery Ridge Trail for a stunning view of the river valley and Monkey Face. Follow the Rim Rock Trail on the edge of the Gorge for heart-stopping vistas and a chance to watch the climbers in action.  These are just three of the trails to follow on foot at Smith Rock. Pick one or combine several to discover this marvelous place from the ground up.

Plan a Trip Soon to Smith Rock SP

There are few spots as memorable for outdoor recreation as Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park. If RV comfort is your preferred mode of camping, by all means bring it along—there’s a pretty place to park the RV nearby.  Plan your adventure, pick a campsite and get moving.  It’s time you, too, discovered the fabled wonders of Smith Rock.

Campers who love to chase adrenaline won’t want to hang up their mountain bikes, kayaks or kiteboards just because summer’s over.  Instead of parking the RV for the season, why not take advantage of smaller crowds and cooler weather to enjoy your favorite adventure sport? Autumn RV camping can be spectacular when you’re parked in a forest of fall colors, so there’s really no reason not to take at least one more trip this autumn.  Here’s how.

Autumn Adventure Camping Idea #1: Kiteboarding & RV Camping Cape Hatteras

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras National Seashore, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, is a primo kiteboarding destination, and home to some pretty fine autumn RV camping, too.  If kiting is your favorite way to play, there’s nothing quite like the autumn winds that hit Hatteras.

The Frisco campground operated by the National Park Service is open through November. It offers campsites among the secluded dunes on the Atlantic side of Hatteras Island.  Legendary Pamlico Sound is a short distance away, so you’ll have two nearby choices for kiteboarding venues.  Just in case you haven’t tried the sport before, outfitters on Hatteras Island can fix you up with lessons and gear.  The national park RV campground is comfortable, but without hook-ups, so if you like more amenities there’s a private campground at Frisco Woods five minutes away.

Autumn Adventure Camping Idea #2: Cuyuna Country SRA Single Track and Camping

Two hours north of Minneapolis, Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area at Ironton, MN is a single track rider’s best autumn destination.  In the first place, you’re going to find twenty-five miles of groomed trails twisting and turning their way among twenty abandoned iron mining lakes.  The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail System is gaining notoriety with riders around the country, with five separate units of clearly marked and superbly-maintained trails.  That should be enough to get single track fans packing.

But just in case you’re wondering about the RV camping, you’ll also find the camping at Portsmouth campground on Portsmouth Mine Pit Lake close to the trails and plenty comfortable in autumn.

Autumn Adventure Camping Idea #3: Autumn Gales Sea Kayaking, Stonington, CT

For campers whose adventure sport is sea kayaking, the annual Autumn Gales event is a not-to-be-missed fall adventure. Coaches from several countries convene each October at the New England Science & Sailing Centre in Stonington, CT to work with a fortunate few.  Taking advantage of the optimal waters of Fishers Island Sound, the group spends several days sharpening their skills through tiered training courses, in essentials such as rough water confidence and tide race surfing.

It’s easy to reach Stonington, just two hours away from Boston and under three hours’ drive from your New York RV rental pickup.  You’ll be happy to learn that Mystic KOA is only fifteen minutes from the event site and offers special campsite rates in September and October.  Why not plan to camp awhile at this scenic, friendly campground while learning new skills that will put you at the top of your paddling crew back home?

Did these ideas get your adrenaline flowing for another autumn adventure?  Pick one or plan your own, but don’t stop camping just because the crowds went home.  There’s a place that’s perfect for you to find adventure and enjoy the comfort and convenience of autumn RV camping, while you’re at it.  We’re always here to help with the right RV!

Astronomers, photographers and people who are fascinated by astronomical wonders are going to want to gear up now for the first total solar eclipse visible in America since 1991. On August 21, 2017, the shadow of the moon will begin eclipsing the sun until it completely envelops the sun’s brilliance for more than two minutes. Even more amazing, it will be the first time in ninety-nine years that the eclipse will move from west to east across the US. It’s a sight worth planning for!

Fortunately for eclipse enthusiasts, there are many places along the US viewing trajectory where a full eclipse can be seen, but it will take some planning to be in the right place at the right time! Renting an RV will keep you mobile as you move around weather patterns and other interference, giving you the best chance of seeing a sight most people will never get to see-the entire solar eclipse.

Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

When and Where Can I See the Total Eclipse?

Thanks to excellent eclipse viewing maps already created (see links below) we can plan our best viewing locations early. Here are the basics for following the path of the Pacific to Atlantic total solar eclipse:

  1. The ‘path of totality’ is an approximately sixty-mile-wide band of optimum viewing space along a trajectory from Oregon to South Carolina.
  2. The moon’s shadow will come between the earth and the sun at 10:15 a.m. PDT on the Oregon Pacific coast, traveling across America on a diagonal until it is visible from the South Carolina Atlantic coast at 2:45 p.m. EDT.
  3. People outside the path of totality may be able to see partial phases of the eclipse, but not the entire celestial event.
  4. Each location along the path will have approximately two minutes of optimum eclipse viewing.
  5. Clouds and weather patterns may interrupt eclipse viewing late in the game, hence the need to stay mobile.
  6. Eclipse followers from all over the world will be coming to America for this amazing event.

How Can We Start Planning?

This unusual event is sparking plenty of interest among astronomy clubs, foreign visitors, schools and homeschooling groups and government agencies. That doesn’t even take into account the average Jane or Joe who hopes to watch in an unfettered location along the eclipse trajectory. 

Fortunately, plenty of folks in the know have created websites, maps and guides to help you start planning. Here are just a few of the places to find complete information on the 2017 total solar eclipse:

  1. com
  2. org
  3. NASA Eclipse Website
  4. Eclipsophile Climate and Weather Guide

Use these helpful websites to determine where along the eclipse viewing path you’d like to set up camp. If you plan to do dispersed camping on BLM or Forest Service public lands in the West, be sure to contact the local office to determine where camping is available. Plan to arrive early, as interest is truly unprecedented and campsites will fill fast, especially in open locations.

If you plan to set up camp in a developed campground and then use your toad or tow vehicle to follow the eclipse, be sure to make reservations early, as eclipse mania will fill campgrounds fast along the best viewing routes. This is especially important for groups hoping to camp together for the event. Here is a helpful link to campgrounds in many states.

Tip: Keeping checking Community Eclipse Viewing Pages such as this one for updates on what plans are being made to welcome and encourage eclipse viewers along the ‘path of totality’.

You’ll also want to reserve RV rentals as early as possible for your family or group. Use this RV rental guide to determine what configuration recreational vehicle works best for you, where the closest RV rental location is and what the budget needs to be for your eclipse-viewing trip.

What’s left to plan? Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Transportation to the US from other countries
  • Transportation to RV rental location
  • Best route to eclipse viewing location and other attractions along the way
  • Purchasing protective eyewear certified for full solar viewing during the eclipse
  • Packing the equipment, clothing and food supplies appropriate for your length of stay
  • Planning an eclipse viewing party to celebrate this singular event!
  • For teachers and homeschoolers, prepare lesson plans around the science, history and mythology of eclipses

August 21, 2017 could well go down in history as one of the best documented and most viewed total solar eclipses ever. Renting an RV to follow the eclipse puts you in the best possible place for playing your own part in this memorable occasion.

5 Popular Tourist Attractions to Visit in Orange County on Your Next RV Trip

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Orange County is one of the most popular tourist areas in California, and for good reason. Orange County offers the best of both worlds with sprawling natural landscapes, ever-growing cities, year-round festivities, and great places to eat. Taking an RV …

 

Camping and Paddling the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway

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Three serene, unspoiled rivers and two picturesque lakes in southern Virginia are the path to take for days of paddling on the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway. Mix in attractive RV campgrounds all along your route and this Virginia camping and …

 

Beat the Late Summer Heat: RV Camping in Medicine Bow National Forest

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There’s a place just three hours north of Denver that beckons RV travelers to escape late summer’s oppressive heat.  The deep-forest and lakeside campgrounds of Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest are ringed by snowcapped peaks, steeped in Native American lore …

 

Three Ways to Enjoy RV Camping at Flathead National Forest

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The northern Rocky Mountains of Montana play host to a two-million-acre wonderland, where wildlife, outdoor recreation and immense areas untouched by development are waiting for RV travelers to enjoy. Flathead National Forest, just south of the Canadian border and adjacent …

 

Cave Diving and RV Camping in North Central Florida

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The rivers and springs north of Gainesville, Florida are world famous for their clean, clear water, an amazing variety of marine life and epic underwater cave systems. The good news for divers who like to travel by RV is that …

 

RV Camping to Utah’s Best Mountain Biking Destinations

The boulder-lined canyons and dense alpine forests that make up much of Utah’s terrain also make for spectacular single-track trails. Mountain biking fans will find that RV camping is the best way to get close to Utah’s top trails. Ride …