RV Camping—Where Will 2015 Take YOU?

Are next year’s RV camping hopes already dancing in your head? The ease and comfort of camping in a motorhome may be lighting up vacation dreams for you and your family. So we’d like to know—where will 2015 take YOU and your family RV camping? saguaro national park, az

Will you go somewhere new this year or continue a camping tradition? Is there somewhere on your ‘bucket list’ that’s calling you to come explore? Please share your plans in the comments section below and, in the meantime, we’ll share some favorite RV camping spots from previous years.

Favorite Lakeside Camping Locations

There’s nothing quite like camping near a sky blue lake to breeze away everyday stresses. Here are some of the top picks among RV travelers for lakeside camping vacations:

Grand Haven State Park (Michigan): Located on a scenic beach between Lake Michigan and the Grand River, this state park’s beachside RV campground gets top marks. Walk the beach at sunset for spectacular views of the lighthouse and Grand Haven Pier.

Island Pond, Vermont: Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, just south of the Canadian border, is home to breathtaking mountain views, charming rural villages and RV camping next to crystal clear ‘ponds’. Island Pond is a favorite for trout fisherman, wildlife photographers and hikers.

Land between the Lakes National Recreation Area-Kentucky/Tennessee: Imagine two huge lakes divided by a one-hundred-seventy-thousand acre peninsula filled with trails, campgrounds and historic sites and you’ve got Land Between the Lakes. Fish, boat and explore both Kentucky Lake and Barkley Lake and then take to the trails and scenic drives for first-rate 2015 RV camping.

Favorite Mountaintop Camping Experiences

Klamath River, California

Klamath River, California

High Sierra CampingCalifornia: Motorhome campers have found the campgrounds near the Oregon border in California’s High Sierras to be among their favorites. As you’re planning your 2015 RV camping itinerary, consider a stay on the banks of the Klamath River at Blue Heron RV Park, where you can kayak, hike, or fish for steelhead released from the nearby hatchery.

Ridgway State Park-Colorado: If you haven’t experienced the magnificent San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado, a trip to this state park near Ouray is in order. A mountain reservoir adds even more recreation possibilities to a stunning setting surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in America.

Favorite National Park RV Camping Spots

RV camping in America’s national parks is one of the best reasons to hit the road next year. Here are three top-ranked national park camping possibilities.

Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida/Mississippi: Taking a motorhome vacation with kids in 2015? The barrier islands near Pensacola hold enough adventure to keep them busy all summer! Historic forts, quiet bayous, perfect, white sand beaches and a wide variety of outdoor recreation makes this a top pick among motorhome campers.

Redwood National and State Parks, California: The North Coast has drawn California RV campers for decades. Visitors will find not only the giant coast redwoods that give these five interconnected parks their name, they’ll also have the chance to experience wild, rocky beaches and meadows filled with wildlife. Likely to become a family favorite!

Gulf Island National Seashore

Gulf Island National Seashore

Hudson Valley National Heritage Area, New York: Hoping to plan an extended RV camping vacation in New York? The unforgettable Hudson River Valley has everything you’re looking for—hiking, biking and paddling trails, excellent fishing, scenic drives, quaint villages and lots of local history. Use this site to find the best motorhome camping in the Hudson Valley National Heritage Area.

Ready to start planning? We’re excited to hear where you’re going camping in 2015, and we’re always ready to help with an RV rental. Get in touch today, and don’t forget to add your ideas in the Comments!


Photo Credits: Klamath River – ((brian)) flickr commons; Gulf Island National Seashore – faungg’s photo flickr commons

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The Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses—An RV Traveler’s Guide

College football fans and RV campers who love a good parade are already making plans to be in Pasadena, California on January 1. Are you planning to join them for the must-watch, hotly contested Rose Bowl Game and the Tournament of Roses Parade?

Marching Band

Marching Band

For one hundred twenty six years, the Tournament of Roses Parade has thrilled parade watchers with flowered fantasy floats, newly-crowned parade royalty and skillful marching bands. The beautiful city of Pasadena opens its doors to hundreds of thousands of parade-goers each year and is more than up to the task.

And if you’re planning to attend the 101st Rose Bowl Game, going by RV makes it comfortable and affordable. If that sounds like a dream come true, there’s still time to make your RV rental reservation and get tickets for all the events.

Here’s what you need to know to plan your trip. Get started now!

Need-to-Know Basics for the Tournament of Roses Parade

    • When? January 1 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. PST
    • Where? Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA
    • Where Can I Camp? Because Pasadena is part of the larger Los Angeles metro area, you may not find an actual RV campground close by the parade route. Here’s the good news: the vendor-regulated parking areas (see Where Can I Park below) and many of the area businesses allow some form of ‘boondocking’ or camping without services. Here’s also a link to a list of campgrounds within 30 miles of Pasadena.
    • Will I Need Tickets? Grandstand seating is reserved and requires tickets. Purchase them here. You can also view the parade for free curbside. The curbside area opens for seating at noon December 31.
    • Where Can I Park? If you’re planning to camp outside the parade route, you may want to reserve parking closer in. The vendor who provides grandstand seating for the parade also makes available car or RV parking adjacent to the seating areas, for up to three days. Here’s the link to purchase parking space for the Rose Parade.
    • Anything Happening Before and After the Parade?  Plenty! Watch the marching bands in action before the parade by attending Band Fest either December 29 or December 30. If you’d love to see the magic that transforms thousands of flowers and natural items into award-winning floats, schedule time to watch float decorating at one of three official venues during parade week. There’s also a showcase of floats following the parade. Here’s a link to pre- and post- parade event details.

Need-to-Know Basics for the Rose Bowl Game

    • When? January 1 – Pre-game activities begin at 1:30 p.m. PST. Don’t miss any of the excitement!
    • Where? Rose Bowl Stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA. The chance to see this historic, one-of-a-kind stadium is worth the trip. Home to the oldest bowl game in America!
    • Who’s Playing in 2015 Rose Bowl? Oregon vs. Florida State

      Rose Bowl Game

      Rose Bowl Game

    • Where Do I Buy Tickets? Rose Bowl tickets are selling out fast, so click the link for contact information and make the call today.
    • Where is RV Parking Allowed? Along with a special lot for RV and bus parking at the stadium, you can also reserve parking at the off-site lots, some of which run shuttles to the stadium. Here’s a link for more info on RV parking at the Rose Bowl.  Every RV traveler to California should see the Rose Bowl at least once. Choose your events, buy your tickets, rent your RV and reserve a space at the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. You’ll be so glad you did!

We’ve tried to answer most of your questions about RV camping at the Rose Bowl this year, but if we’ve missed one, here’s how to reach the Visitor Hotline for the Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses Parade.

Photo Credits: Marching Band photo: Prayitno, Flickr Commons License ; Rose Bowl Game photo: Keith Skelton, Flickr Commons License

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Rent an RV Guest House for the Holidays

Are friends and family coming in for the holidays and your house is full to the rafters? Instead of reserving hotel rooms for your visitors, why not rent an RV as your holiday guest house?

El Monte RV Premier Motor Home Rental 2014 Model

El Monte RV Premier Interior View of a Motorhome

Keep reading to learn why an RV rental is the perfect way to open your home to more visitors this holiday season.

  • RV Styles for Every ‘Guest House’ Need: With so many styles of motor homes to choose from, every holiday host can offer comfortable accommodations. From top-of-the-line ‘bus style’ Class A units to roomy cabover Class C motorhomes with convenient slide-outs, there’s an RV to accommodate your overflow housing needs. Whether it’s the newlywed cousins or a family of six coming to stay, there’s a style of motorhome to meet your needs.
  • RV Comfort to Pamper Your Guests: Offer your holiday season guests the luxury and comfort of today’s RVs. Separate bedrooms, modern kitchens for preparing midnight snacks and an amazing amount of storage keep holiday visitors comfortable without paying for pricey hotel rooms. Tips for even more holiday fun: use the extra space to organize late night card games, a grown-up girls’ slumber party or football night in the RV man cave!IMG_3856
  • RV Guest House Privacy and Convenience: Too many guests in one house can spell trouble over the holidays! Even the closest of friends or families can get on each other’s nerves when squeezed into cramped quarters. Let your guests enjoy the convenience of separate space in your “RV guest house”. For guests who need their privacy, even on a holiday trip, your guest house on wheels will become a favorite hideaway. No better way to keep your visitors jolly!
  • RV Holiday Rentals are Affordable:   All that comfort and they’re affordable, too! RV rentals, especially when you take advantage of special holiday rates, beat the price of hotel rooms hands-down. Check out rental pricing for a motor home that sleeps your number of extra guests comfortably and then compare it to local holiday hotel rates for the same number of guests. Amazing, isn’t it, how affordable RV accommodations can be? Factor in the convenience, comfort and flexibility of renting motorhome guest quarters and you’ll be booking a rental RV for every holiday!   Picture of Holly
  • Renting an RV for the Holidays is Easy: With convenient El Monte RV Rental locations across America, finding and renting the perfect RV guest accommodations is easy. Just let us know how many guests will be sleeping in the motorhome, how many nights you’ll need the extra space and when you’ll need to pick up the motorhome. Our helpful staff at every location will help you select just the right RV and check that holiday task off your list.Why send extra guests away to hotels when an RV guest house keeps them close to the holiday fun? Give your holiday visitors a special treat this year—the privacy, comfort and convenience of guest quarters just steps from your front door. Your home might just become their favorite holiday destination!
  • Santa's One RV Open Sleigh Saves the Day!

    Santa’s One RV Open Sleigh Saves the Day!

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RV Camping the Cajun Coast at Louisiana’s Lake Palourde

Are you ready to explore one of Louisiana’s largest inland lakes by RV?  Then it’s time to turn your motorhome to southern Louisiana and Lake Palourde.  This scenic lake is part of an enormous collection of swamps, streams and interconnected waterways that make up the Atchafalaya Basin.

Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

Here’s how to get there: Travel US90 about one-and-one-half hours southwest from New Orleans to Morgan City, LA.  That’s where you’ll find the best access for RV campers to Lake Palourde.  Let the city’s Lake End Park be your home base, with affordable, full-service campsites adjacent to the water.

This stunningly scenic park also boasts fishing piers, a boat launch, plenty of hiking and biking routes and a sand beach.  Be sure to make reservations before you come, so you’ll have your prime camping spot secured.

What You’ll Find While RV Camping at Lake Palourde: Here are some of the first impressions RV travelers to Lake Palourde have shared, “Spanish moss hanging low on cypress trees,” “nature at its best, right at your camper’s front door” and “fishing like nowhere else in America.”

Fishing in Louisiana

Fishing in Louisiana

So let’s talk about the fishing first—the anglers in your crew aren’t going to want to leave the water when they realize just how many crappie, catfish and bass make this lake and the area’s canals and bayous their home.  Be ready to eat some of the freshest seafood imaginable, as oysters, crayfish and crabs are also plentiful on the Atchafalaya.

There’s also something here for history buffs, nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts at Lake Palourde.  Brownell Memorial Park and Carillon Tower, just a half-mile down the road from the RV campground, is a delightful place to hike the trails, watch for unusual bird species and photograph one of the world’s tallest carillon towers (if you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the bells ring!)

Another way to savor the character of Louisiana’s inland lakes is to understand their important role in history.  Take the time to ask a local about the Civil War battle in which a much smaller Confederate force came on small boats and then on foot through the swamps to attack and conquer a large Union encampment at Fort Brashear.

But let’s not forget about the outdoor sports enthusiasts who come to the shores of Lake Palourde.  There are plenty of ways for them to spend their time, from biking along the bayous and through picturesque small towns to looking for eagles’ nests from the water along one of the Cajun Coast Paddling Trails.

A beautiful Blue Heron

A beautiful Blue Heron

Speaking of birding, sections of the America’s Wetland Birding Trail can be found throughout the Atchafalaya Basin, including at Lake Palourde.  Keep your eyes open for great blue herons, double-crested cormorants and a multitude of both common and rare birds that make Louisiana’s Cajun Coast their home.

One more suggestion for getting back to nature in America’s favorite freshwater swamp—take a swamp tour!  Local outfitters like Cajun Jack’s are happy to introduce you to the alligators, backwoods trappers and Cajun lore of the Basin.

Coming to southern Louisiana is taking a step into Cajun hospitality and untamed beauty everywhere you look.  Bring your bikes, your hiking shoes and your cameras and set up camp on the shores of Lake Palourde.  You’re going to have a hard time leaving!

We’d like to hear about your Atchafalaya adventures by RV, especially if you’ve visited Lake Palourde.  What keeps you going back?  Share your tips for fellow travelers in the comment section below.  And be sure to let us know if you need an RV rental for the trip!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Top, Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; middle, Fishing in Louisiana by finchlake2000, and bottom, Blue Heron by Andrea Westmoreland are are licensed under Flickr Commons

Posted in bayous and RV vacationing, bird watching destinations, Bird watching vacation, blog, Fall Foliage, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Fishing, Fishing Vacation, Historical Museum RV Vacations, Historical RV Vacation, Louisiana fishing vacation, Louisiana RV Camping, Louisiana RV Vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome, Motorhome Camping, National Parks, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, Rural RVing, RV, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Fishing Trips, RV Lake Fishing, RV Lake Trip, RV Lake Vacation, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Sales, RV trail hiking trips, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacations Southern States, Southern Hospitality, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, wildlife, wildlife RV vacation | Leave a comment

RV Adventure to Cumberland Island National Seashore

Georgia’s Atlantic Coast can be your RV camping playground year-round.  One of the best places to experience the wild beauty and unspoiled nature of the area is with a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore.

Cumberland Island Shoreline

Head out on this inviting boardwalk to the Cumberland Island shoreline!

As Georgia’s largest barrier island, this paradise is just two hours north of the El Monte RV Rental location in Orlando, Florida.  With fifty miles of hiking trails, an amazing collection of wildlife and a wide range of historical sites to discover, isn’t it time you took a trip to Georgia’s island treasure?

We’ve put together a guide for RV travelers planning to visit Cumberland Island, with answers to your most frequent questions.

Where Can We Camp Near Cumberland Island National Seashore?

The National Seashore itself is undeveloped, with no paved roads and access only by the Cumberland ferry system.  Plan to camp nearby and take advantage of the ferry for an authentic wilderness experience.

Here are some suggestions for RV parks near Cumberland Island:

Crooked River State Park, located in St. Mary’s, GA, is just seven miles from the Cumberland Island Ferry landing.  It features campsites with electricity in a beautiful setting worth discovering after your day on the National Seashore.

Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, FL, is right across the Cumberland Sound from St. Mary’s GA.  Enjoy their full-service campsites in a scenic setting, with quick access to the Cumberland Ferry.

A Big Wheel RV Park adjacent to Crooked River State Park is a privately run campground that receives rave reviews.  It accommodates any size RV!

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

Incredible Path on Cumberland Island

How Should We Prepare for our RV Camping Trip?

Glad to hear you’re the kind of RV camping enthusiast who plans ahead!  It’s especially important, when visiting a natural, undeveloped setting, to know what to expect.  Here are some things to consider when making your plans:

    • You can only reach the Island by ferry (passengers only, no vehicles) so be sure to make reservations in advance.
    • Only 300 people are allowed on the island each day.
    • Ferry passengers not on dock at least 30 minutes ahead of departure lose their reservations, so arrive early!
    • Pets are not allowed on the ferry.
    • If you’d like to rent a bike to travel around the island, be sure to tell the ferry concessionaire when you call.
    • There are no services on the Island other than water to refill bottles.  Bring your own food, water and normal hiking necessities like hats, sunscreen and insect repellant.
    • Take along a trash bag, as this wilderness island has a ‘pack in, pack out’ policy for all visitors.
    • If you plan to fish while visiting Cumberland Island, purchase a Georgia fishing license and make sure you have the required Saltwater Informational Program Permit attached.

What Kind of Weather Can We Expect? 

Like any well-prepared RV adventurer, you’ll want to know what kind of weather to expect when you go.  The weather in November at Cumberland Island National Seashore is magnificent, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s.  Even in December, expect to enjoy 60 degree weather, with nighttime temps in the high 40s.

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

Wild Horse on Cumberland Island Coast

What Will We See on Cumberland Island?

History!  The Island was once mostly owned by the Carnegie family, and the ruins of their mansion, Dungeness, are just one part of its historic appeal.  Reserve a seat before you come on one of the Lands and Legacies Van Tours if you’d like to learn about the Native Americans who once inhabited the island, the large slave population who built the First African Baptist Church and, of course, the Carnegies and their opulent island lifestyle.  If you’re up to a lengthy hike or ride through variable terrain, you can also travel to these sites on foot or by bicycle.

Nature! Not only has the Atlantic formed a sixteen-mile stretch of perfect beach for you to explore, you’ll also find lush maritime forests, salt marshes and picturesque dunes here.  Stay on the marked trails to help preserve the wilderness for future generations and be sure to bring your camera!

Wildlife!  From feral horses to armadillos and alligators, this island has plenty to appeal for wildlife lovers.  No domesticated creatures call this island home, so keep that in mind while hiking or biking the area.  Keep a sharp eye out for the island’s famous wild horses, the sea turtles that nest here in early autumn and a surprising variety of shore birds.  Have we convinced you it’s time to visit Georgia’s barrier island paradise?  Here’s a link to more information, courtesy of the National Park Service.  We don’t often find unspoiled beauty that’s open for everyone to explore.  Let us know if we can help with an RV rental.  Please don’t miss the chance to discover Cumberland Island National Seashore and all it has to offer!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE! or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: Cumberland Island Path by db rolenrock, Cumberland Island Boardwalk by Jon Dawson, and Wild Horse Along Shoreline by Doug Anderson; all are licensed under Flickr Commons

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Lakeside Drives to Toronto

The end of summer is only a month and a half away!  Have you made your plans to hit the road for an RV vacation before the kids go back to school and the leaves start falling?  If you’re looking for a great mid-summer trip, consider our friendly neighbors to the north.  Instead of sticking to the States, expand your RV vacation to the Great Lakes region around Toronto!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Start out by heading to Kingston, Pennsylvania (or clicking the link) to pick out and reserve your favorite RV.  Once you’ve decided on which RV will be the perfect ride for you and your family, make sure to read about the rules and procedures for crossing the US-Canada border in an RV.  You’ll want to be prepared and have any necessary paperwork in order before you get to the border crossing itself.

Once all of your ducks are in a row, start out your exciting road trip by heading for Niagara Falls!  These multiple waterfalls flow between the US and Canada, and they’ve been a classic vacation destination throughout the last century.  You can take a moment to re-create scenes from the many movies that have featured the falls.  Films as diverse as Superman II and Bruce Almighty had scenes set here!  The 167-foot falls also create a magical plume of drifting spray and we highly recommend you sail through it on a Maid of the Mist boat tour!

If the sun is already going down, head for an RV campground near Buffalo, New York.  You can find one near the shores of Lake Erie for an excellent view and then head into the historic city itself for a great dinner!

When you’re ready to continue north, continue around Lake Ontario and you’ll end up in Toronto itself.  One of the first sites to greet your eyes will be the iconic CN Tower that dominates the skyline.  This spire has been a famous piece of engineering since the 1970s, and it’s still the best way to get a bird’s eye view of the entire city.  If you get hungry, there’s even a revolving restaurant that will give you a slow panorama of the entire area.

After you’re done having fun in the clouds, head over to the mid-city Royal Ontario Museum.  It’s a world-leading natural history and cultural museum with incredible exhibits that range from examples of Chinese Forbidden City artifacts to textiles from ancient Egypt.  Toronto is a world-class city, and there’s no better place to get a taste of the whole world than at the “ROM.”

While you’re downtown, take a moment to travel underground!  Toronto is unique in that it has over 19 miles of tunnels and underground walkways in its PATH system.  While they are a welcome respite for downtown travelers during the city’s snowy winters, they are also a lot of fun to poke around during the summer.  The walkways are lined with coffee shops, stores, and all manner of potential souvenir purchasing locations, so give yourself a few hours to get lost in a maze of shopping fun!

Don’t wait until it’s too late: head north in an RV for an amazing lakeside drive to Toronto!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo Credit:  Niagara Falls by Daniel Lewis licensed by Flickr Creative Commons



Posted in Art Vacations, Big City RV trips, blog, Canada RV Vacation, Family RV vacations, Historical RV Vacation, honeymoon vacation ideas, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome Camping, National Scenic Byways, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, North American RV Vacation, PA RV Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Trip, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Camping, RV Destinations blog, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Summer Vacations, RV trail hiking trips, RV Vacation Ideas, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

The “Real Food” RV Recipe Challenge is Now Open For Submissions!

Summertime means that RV travelers across the country are heading out on vacation.  Whether you’re headed for the Grand Canyon or Gettysburg, there’s one factor that every trip planner has to take into account:  FOOD!   Around all the sightseeing and awesome activities you have planned, you’re bound to get pretty hungry!  Here at El Monte RV Rentals we have our favorite on-the-road meals, but we’re launching a recipe contest to find out what you love to make.   We’re excited to announce the El Monte “Real Food RV Recipe Challenge!”

Real Food Recipe Contest

Real Food Recipe Contest

The Real Food Recipe challenge is an opportunity to share your favorite healthy and delicious recipes with the rest of the world.  All you have to do is take a photo of your prepared dish and compile the recipe instructions and submit them on El Monte RV’s Facebook page.  Decide which dish your family loves when you’re out on the road and follow the simple steps for telling the rest of the RV community about it.

All entries will be judged by Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food.  Lisa’s blog is a fantastic source for finding ways to incorporate “real food” into your everyday diet.  What does “real food” mean?  It’s using all-natural and local ingredients that haven’t been overly processed.  If you want to learn more about what using real food will mean for the RV Recipe Challenge, read Lisa Leake’s Real Food Defined.  Lisa’s blog has lots of tips for making real food that tastes great!

In order to get ready, here is the scoring breakdown that you should consider:

25% Taste: pick your best-tasting meal!  Are your pork chops worth writing songs about?  Does the whole neighborhood come out when they smell your pancakes cooking?  Use your best tasting recipe!

25% Creatively Using “Real Food”: processed white sugar and the deep fat fryer will have no place in these recipes. El Monte is looking for healthy meals that taste great!

25% RV Friendliness: making a great meal work in the limited space of an RV is an important part of the challenge.  Can you create a great recipe that works in an RV’s kitchen?

25% Photo Quality: make sure that your photo looks great.  The world will want to see what your prize-winning dish looks like!

It wouldn’t be a contest without a prize, and the prize for the El Monte “Real Food” Recipe Challenge is a fantastic one.  The best recipe and photo, as judged by Lisa Leake, will win a free one week RV rental from El Monte RV!  Now is your chance to experience luxury camping in a motor home

So, get the camera out and start putting your submission together today.  Also, make sure you start planning where you’d like to take that free RV rental for your next vacation.  It could be yours sooner than you realize!  Just think: when you enter the El Monte “Real Food” Recipe Challenge, not only will you be ready for a great vacation, you’ll already know which family favorite meal you’ll be making in the RV along the way!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Posted in blog, Contest, family vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Nature travel, RV blog, RV Rentals, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation News, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

Harvest Hosts Upgrades the Way RVers Travel in the U.S.

As much as we all love RV vacationing, there are certain challenges that come with this method of travel.  For instance, where to spend the evening on the road when traveling far distances from one location to the next is a common challenge for every RV traveler!  Many RV vacationers may not be aware of their choices in overcoming this challenge of finding a convenient and beautiful place to stay the night while in transition from one destination to the next.  Even if there are amazing sites and attractions nearby, spending night after night in Wal-Mart parking lots can become less than desirable.  And during the peak vacation season, finding an available campsite is not always possible.  Discover another and far better over-night camping option you now have with Harvest Hosts!

HARVEST HOSTS Winery Participant in Nottingham, New York

HARVEST HOSTS Winery Partner

Harvest Hosts is changing all of that.  Harvest Hosts is a program where wineries, farms, and breweries from all over the country open their gates to you for overnight dry camping.  Seasoned RV travelers Kim and Don Greene started this luxury-style camping concept in the U.S. after driving over 200,000 miles by RV all over the world.  They found that it was common for wineries and farms in Europe to host travelers overnight, but nothing similar existed in the United States. In true entrepreneurial spirit, they started their own version of a European hosting association.

From their small and localized upstart with locations only in California, Oregon, and Washington, Harvest Hosts has expanded to include numerous locations across the continental United States, Canada, and even Baja California in Mexico!  The program requires a nominal $40 membership fee for the entire year, giving you money-saving access to travel across North America without paying a cent for camping or parking!

Taste and Experience the Pleasure of RV Road Traveler!

Taste and Experience the Pleasure of the RV Road Traveler!

In return, these small (usually family-run) businesses simply ask that you purchase a bottle of wine or some of their other homemade goods.  Sampling local vintages and farm produce is already on the to-do list for most RV vacationers, so it’s a small price to pay for the great company and amazing locations available.  Free overnight parking added into the activities that you were already planning on is too good to pass up!  There’s really nothing like watching a sunset and sharing a glass of wine with the people that made it.

Once becoming a member, you can search through interactive maps that show available hosts and the amenities that they provide.  It’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure that the farm or winery you have in mind actually has space for you, though.  Many of the hosts are small-time operations that may not accommodate a large number of vehicles at one time.  That’s part of the charm, however.  Instead of an endless sea of RVs, you get the experience of potentially being your host’s only guest!  There’s nothing like waking up to a beautiful morning and being greeted only by the sound of the wind in the trees and farm animals starting their day.

Another benefit to being a member is access to a handy app that helps you find locations along the routes you are planning to take.  You can also use online forums where you may ask questions of other travelers, read up on host reviews, and even share your own vacation experiences and photos.  It’s a valuable tool for selecting the very best spots for your trip.

Overall, Harvest Hosts is providing a valuable service for small-town agricultural businesses and the RV vacationers that love to visit them.  Get out of the parking lots and start making beautiful memories and having the best RV trips of your life!

Once you’ve experienced this pleasurable and memorable RV experience, send us a few photos and we’ll happily share them with our readers and on El Monte RV’s facebook page!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo credits: RV at Winery by Ray & Roxanne Nottingham courtesy of Harvest Hosts and the wine and food photo by Colleen Lane is licensed under Flickr commons.

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Culture and Crafts in the Amish Country of Indiana

The geographical mid-section of the United States is densely punctuated with fascinating towns and vacation destinations that are overlooked by far too many travelers!  Much of our country’s cultural history is tied up on the roads across the Great Plains states that our ancestors traveled and forged their way through as they helped to develop this beautiful land.  A cornerstone of this history still thrives in Amish communities throughout the rural heart of America.  These areas are the heart of our nation’s RV industry so the best way to visit them is by rolling over these roads in your very own RV whether you buy or rent one!

Amish Community in Ohio

Amish Community in the Heartland of USA

To start your exploration, pick up an RV in Chicago.  Then it’s a 2 hour, 20 minute drive to Elkhart, Indiana, which is called the RV Capital of the World.  This entire area caters to RV enthusiasts like nowhere else.  First of all, four out of every five RVs in the United States are manufactured here.  Because of the RV industry centered in the area, you can also find plenty of RV campgrounds and stores that sell RV accessories in the area.

You can also find one of the most unique museums in the country right here in town at the RV and Motor Home Hall of Fame.  You can learn the history of these incredible vehicles at the Founders Hall.  Travel back in time by looking at classic vehicles from the 1920s and 30s all the way up to present time.  You can even see the Chevrolet “Housecar” that was used by screen legend Mae West in 1931.  It’s a fun way to see some of the classic craftsmanship that has helped keep vacationers traveling across the country.

Once you’re done with the Hall of Fame, it’s time to immerse yourself in the historic Amish culture of the area. Head a few miles south to Nappanee and discover Amish Acres.  This settlement was first homesteaded by Moses Stahly, a member of one of the first Amish settler families in Indiana all the way back in 1873.  The property is now an 80 acre farm where you can experience real Amish life.  Tour the original buildings, like the ice house and blacksmith shop, or even stay to watch a repertoire theater production of Plain and Fancy, a musical about Amish life that was co-created by the Tony Award winning composer of Fiddler on the Roof.

Amish Acres in Indiana

Amish Acres in Indiana

Next, drive along the Heritage Trail in order to view the 2014 Quilt Gardens.  Updated every year, these twenty gardens are planted in patchwork designs that evoke the image of giant quilts spreading across the land.  The vibrant flowers show a special care and love for the natural gardening that residents of this area love.

There’s no better way to finish off your trip than to visit Das Dutchman Essenhaus, an authentic old-world bakery and restaurant that serves the best pies in the county.  While it evokes small-town charm, the Essenhaus is actually a massive establishment that is the largest restaurant in the state at a massive 1,100 seats.  You don’t have to be from Indiana to crowd in with all your friends for some pie, after all.

It’s time to head to Amish Country for a vacation strong on simple pleasures, and the way to get there is in an RV!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo Credit:  top photo of Amish Community by Jack Pearce  licensed under Flickr Commons and Amish Acres under Wikimedia License.

Posted in Amish Country, blog, City Fun and Outdoor Adventure RV Vacation, Cost effective RV Vacation, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Indiana RV vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, North American RV Vacation, Rural RVing, RV blog, RV Camping, RV destination, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, United States RV Vacation, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips | Leave a comment

A Scenic Tour through the St. John River Valley

When you’re looking for a unique vacation idea, remember that some of the best picks will be the ones you’ve never heard about.  While tourists are packing into the most famous resorts and cities, a different breed of savvy traveler is seeking the roads less traveled.  If you’d like to find an out-of-the-way journey that you can enjoy at your own pace, you should plan your next vacation to be an RV tour through the St. John River Valley!

New Brunswick, King's Landing History in Living Color

New Brunswick, King’s Landing History Remade

The St. John River creates part of the border between Maine and New Brunswick, and it’s one of the longest rivers in the eastern portion of Canada.  Life is slower in the St. John River Valley, but that’s how the residents of the area like it.   And this is what makes it a great choice for an exciting RV vacation.  In order to get started on your trip, pick out your favorite RV at El Monte’s location in Boston, and then travel north on Interstate 95 through Maine.

When you cross the border into New Brunswick, head for Hartland and you’ll find yourself crossing the Hartland Covered Bridge.  If it doesn’t look like a normal covered bridge, that’s because it isn’t.  At 1,282 feet, it’s one of the world’s longest!  The bridge was originally built in 1901, but it wasn’t until twenty years later that the entire structure was covered.  It’s a beautiful local landmark that has been featured on national postage stamps, and it also had the honor of being crossed by a torchbearer before the 1988 Winter Olympics.  Called a “kissing bridge” by locals, it’s a great spot to stop for a moment and steal a smooch from your own loved one!

New Brunswick, Canada, History Brought Back to Life

New Brunswick, Canada, History Brought Back to Life

Drive further east and you’ll find the living history settlement of King’s Landing.  Actors in period-accurate costumes live out the lives of settlers in the 1800’s that called this area home.  It’s a rich mixture of French, English and native history that comes together in a fully explorable town.  Move from house to house and try your hand at frontier skills such as churning butter and spinning wool.  Your kids might just think that your RV has traveled back in time!

Next, head north to the town of Grand Falls where you will find the magnificent waterfall that it is named for.  At 75 feet high, Grand Falls Gorge waterfall is the biggest falls east of Niagara Falls.  You can walk down trails to the water’s edge and admire the sheer granite walls of the gorge, and it’s also a great spot for a picnic lunch.

If you want a much closer (and more exciting) view of the falls, head over to Open Sky Adventures.  This amazing adventure company will let you “deepell” (that means to do a forward facing rappel) 135 feet down the gorge walls, or you can zip line over the river itself!  Your family will never forget the experience of flying through the air over the gorgeous rushing waters.

When you drive home after your journey through the St. John River Valley in New Brunswick, you will have experienced a rare adventure through towns and villages that rarely get seen by outsiders.  It’s off the beaten path, but all the best vacations are!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!  or call 1-888-337-2208

Photo Credit:   photos of King’s Landing, New Brunswick, by Michael Ignatieff are licensed under Flickr Creative Common license

Posted in blog, Canada RV Camping, Canada RV Vacation, educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, Historical RV Vacation, Maine RV Vacation, Maine/Canada RV vacation, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Native American History, North American RV Vacation, RV blog, RV educational trips, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Summer Vacations, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment