Six Kentucky RV Campgrounds Worth Discovering

From rock-ledged, old growth forests to an amazing collection of underground caverns, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has attractions to build your RV camping season around. Why not use our list of six Kentucky RV campgrounds worth discovering to start planning this year’s adventures?

  1. Zilpo Campground, Cave Run Lake

On an eight-thousand-acre lake surrounded by Daniel Boone National Forest in northeastern Kentucky, this campground ranks high with family campers. Hiking trails through rocky forest land and trips to historic sites like a nineteenth century iron smelting furnace and the last fire tower remaining in the national forest keep things interesting. It’s also an excellent place to fish, with two modern marinas and lively populations of muskie and largemouth bass.

Campground Details: electric hookups, centrally located drinking water and dump station, showers and flush toilets, swimming beach, camp store.

  1. Pleasant Ridge Campground, Yatesville Lake State Park
Yatesville Lake State Park, Kentucky

Yatesville Lake State Park, Kentucky

This classic Kentucky state park combines golfing, fishing, boating and RV camping in the lush scenery of the Eastern Kentucky foothills. Pleasant Ridge Campground is small enough to offer an intimate camping experience while still offering easy access to the marina, hiking trails and golf course.

Campground Details: lakeside campsites, full hook-ups, showers, laundry room, playground, dump station.

  1. The Narrows Campground, Barren River Lake

About two hours south of Louisville near Bowling Green, ten-thousand-acre Barren River Lake is well worth discovering by RV. The Narrows Campground is perfect for RVers bringing the boat along, thanks to its proximity to one of the lake’s marinas. Anglers will want to explore the many creeks feeding into this lake for the chance to catch bass, crappie and channel cats. The campground is also adjacent to Lindsey Nature Trail, so plan time to go wildlife watching in the woods.

Campground Details: water and electric sites, boat launch, dump station, showers and restrooms, playground, swimming area. 

  1. Dog Creek Campground, Nolin River Lake

Right next door to Mammoth Cave National Park in southcentral Kentucky, Nolin River Lake is a favored destination for paddlers and fishermen. Set up camp at Dog Creek Campground, a comfortable spot well-situated for putting a canoe or kayak in the water. You’ll also find boat launches nearby if you’re going out in a larger boat in search of walleye or crappie. The Green River ferry into the national park is close by, so don’t miss the chance to do a little cave exploring while you’re camped here.

Campground Details: electric hookups, drinking water available, showers & restrooms, dump station, pull-thru sites, playground, swimming beach, boat ramp.

  1. Kincaid Lake State Park Campground

Looking for a place where you can rent a boat and troll your way around a small lake with the kids? Kincaid Lake State Park in northeastern Kentucky offers camping families a wooded campground, small no-wake fishing lake, mini-golf, a 9-hole golf course and access to hiking trails. The full-service marina makes it easy to buy fishing supplies, rent small watercraft and get out on the water as soon as you get there.

Campground Details: electric & water sites, dump station, showers and restrooms, playground, camp store, marina.

  1. Carter Caves State Resort Park Campground

There’s no more fascinating way to keep cool in the heat of summer than with a subterranean tour of one of Kentucky’s many caves. Carter Caves State Resort Park’s campground allows you to camp in comfort near the entrances to two of this cavern-rich area’s most famous caves. Take the cave tours and explore the rugged beauty of the area on the park’s many trails. The kids will enjoy the campground’s pool and planned activities throughout the summer.

Campground Details: water & electric pull-thru sites, dump station, bathhouse, playground, mini golf, swimming pool.

We hope this list gets your Kentucky RV camping vacation off to a good start. As always, we’re here to help, with a Louisville RV rental closest to these campgrounds!

Photo attribution:  By U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District –, Public Domain,

Posted in Kentucky RV Camping, Kentucky RV Vacation, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping, RV Camping Resources | Leave a comment

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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Lower Gulf Coast RV Getaway

Are you hoping to get away from ice, sleet and snow when you hit the road this winter? Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast offers fabulous weather, fascinating attractions and top-notch RV camping.

Ft. Meyers, Smuggler's Cove

Smuggler’s Cove

The southwestern coast of Florida centers on the sunny islands of Sanibel and Estero and the cities of Fort Myers and Naples. Whether you choose to add to your seashell collection, soak up the sun on a white sand beach or kayak down a tree-lined paddling trail, there’s a place to do it when you get here.

Ride along as we unveil the joys of RV camping on Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast!

Places to Enjoy

With more than a dozen amenity rich RV parks in the Fort Myers/Estero Island area, there’s no reason not to go right now. Find the park closest to your favorite attractions and call today for reservations.

Here are just a few of the reasons RV travelers love the laid-back beauty of the region:

    • Beaches: This sun-drenched region is a haven for beach-loving motorhome travelers. With calm seas and gentle slopes underwater, you can safely enjoy your time in the water. Just a few of the family-friendly beaches you’ll want to explore are Bowditch Point Park, Lovers Key State Park, Lynn Hall Memorial Park and Pier and Lighthouse Park Beach on nearby Sanibel Island.
    • Wildlife: Grab a kayak and paddle the Great Calusa Blueway to spot dolphins and manatees within an oar’s reach of your watercraft. Hike the trails at Estero Bay Preserve State Park for a full day of bird watching in an unspoiled setting. If you have the time, make the jump to Sanibel Island’s J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge. That’s where thousands of migratory birds arrive each winter, to make their home with the resident shorebirds. And did we mention the alligators?
    • Golf: Did you know that one of the biggest draws to Florida’s southwestern coast is the availability of excellent golfing? Thrill your golf playing campers with world-class opportunities to play. Here’s a useful link to golf courses in the region—reserve your tee times before you go and don’t forget the sunscreen!
    • History: Like to visit historic sites? Then Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast is your perfect winter vacation spot, with attractions like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s winter homes in Fort Myers, Sanibel Island Lighthouse and Estero’s Koreshan State Historic Site that includes the remnants of a 19th century utopian compound. From early Native American burial mounds to a museum of railroad history, you’ll find your history fix in the Fort Myers area.
    • Shopping: If someone in your RV camping family likes to shop, they’ll have to pace themselves, because there are literally too many outlet malls and upscale shopping districts to count. Top recommendations are legendary Miromar Outlets, the scenic Coconut Point mall in Estero and Fort Myer’s exciting River District.                        

Ready to roll your RV toward fascinating southwest Florida? We’re ready to help with RV rentals and information on local attractions. Don’t wait—experience Florida’s Lower Gulf Coast this year.

 Monty the MotorhomePhoto credit:  Smuggler’s Cove, Ft. Meyer’s by Jason Helle, licensed under Flickr Creative Commons

Posted in East Coast RV Travel, Family RV vacations, Florida, florida rv vacation, florida vacation, RV Camping Resources, RV coastal trip, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Sales, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacations Southern States, RV Winter Vacations, United States RV Vacation, USA travel, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning | Leave a comment

Create an RV Camping Classroom for the Kids!

Smart families start planning their spring RV camping trips early to get the best reservations and discounts. There’s another reason to plan early for your next camping vacation with the kids—you’ll have time to create a fun ‘RV camping classroom’ to keep them entertained, educated and challenged as you travel.

Family Fun in an El Monte RV

Family Fun in an El Monte RV!

We’ve got lots of ideas for teaching young campers as you travel—and they won’t even mind the homework!

RV Camping Classroom Ideas

  • Catch the Camping Bug:  Bring along a magnifying glass (or load a magnifying app on your cell phone) and plastic containers with lids and go on an insect safari. Have youngsters look up ahead of time what kinds of bugs live where you’ll be camping. Give a small prize (gummy bugs?) for each kind they find, and ask them  to write about, draw or make up a story about the insects they catch. Tip: Accompany younger kids to avoid insect bites!
  • Create a Colorful Campground: When it’s time to take a break from swimming, hiking and other outdoor activities, set up watercolors and sturdy paper on the picnic table. Encourage young artists to interpret nature on paper, and take along fishing line and bag clips to make a campground art gallery.
  • Vacation Memories in a Box: Another artistic way to encourage campground learning is to bring a shoebox for each child, along with a collection of art supplies. Have each young artist create a diorama that represents their favorite memories of the trip—natural wonders, campground antics, animals in the wild—you may be surprised by what they want to remember! Pack their creations carefully to display back home.
  • Camping Finance Challenge: RV camping makes vacations affordable, but do the kids know what it costs to take your trips? Give each child a ledger (paper or app) where they can record expenses along the way (here’s a great sample ledger.) Give them a head start by taking them shopping for camping trip groceries and supplies. Point out where to see the cost of gas on a pump and how to figure tips at roadside cafes. Up the ante by giving each child a budget for their own camping expenses like souvenirs and snacks. Award the best budget hound for keeping accurate track of the most expenses.
  • Look to the Skies! One of the things we love most about camping in the great outdoors is the ability to see stars and constellations invisible in the city. Teach your kids about the heavens by taking along a telescope, using a helpful astronomy app like Pocket Universe or just laying on a blanket and looking up. There are lots of ways to expand this RV classroom exercise—draw, paint or sculpt what they see in the sky, write a story about space travel or challenge them to make up their own planets, complete with occupants!
  • Animal Arithmetic: Create a simple set of miniature playing cards on paper, with a photo or picture of common birds or animals on each and a numeric value assigned. Have the youngsters cut them out and put a set for each of them in envelopes. As you travel and camp, instruct them to watch for those birds and animals, look them up on their cards and track the numeric value on the outside of their envelopes. Decide how much you’ll let them score for spotting unusual species. On the last day of your RV camping vacation, have them add their totals and award a prize to the child with the highest score.
  • Camp Captain: Teach your children leadership skills on vacation by telling them ahead of time they’ll be in charge of one family activity.
  • Assign them a campground meal to plan and enlist others to help them cook.
  • Let them decide what hiking trail the family will take and then ask them to plan how long it should take and what they’ll need to take along (water, snacks, sunscreen, first aid kit, etc.).
  • If you’re camping near historical sites, have them choose one as a day trip and then prepare a preview for the family.

Any kind of activity families can do while camping can be turned into a fun and educational experience. Remember to allow young campers to do things to their own ability and don’t expect perfection—you’re on vacation, after all!

Let us know what types of RV camping classroom ideas you’ve tried while traveling with the kids. Share your epic successes (and your funny failures) below so other camping families can learn from your experience. And don’t forget to let us know if you need help planning an RV rental

Photo Credit:  An El Monte RV customer photo, permission granted.

Posted in educational trips, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome Camping, RV blog, RV Camping, RV Camping Resources, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, RVing with kids, Vacation Planning | Tagged | 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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What to Pack When You’re RV Camping

Are you planning for your first-ever RV camping trip and aren’t sure what to pack?  No worries! We’ve created an RV packing checklist to help ensure your motorhome camping premier is a success.

Get Away as Far as the Road will Take You in an El Monte RV!

Get Away as Far as the Road will Take You in an El Monte RV!

Here’s how to get started:

    1. If you haven’t called to rent an RV for the trip, do that now for best selection.
    2. Buy storage containers with lids in several sizes (check your local thrift store for bargains on both containers and basic camp supplies.)
    3. Pack these basics inside and stow them in your RV for quick access when you set up camp.  You’re going to love the convenience and economy of cooking meals in your RV kitchen.  Plan your menu first, with an eye to using the same pots, pans and serving dishes to save space.  There are plenty of excellent RV cookbooks to help you plan.  Here’s a basic packing list for your RV kitchen:

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Kitchen Essentials

  • We’ve divided the things you’ll need to pack into several categories, to make your planning simpler.  The list may seem overwhelming at first glance, but once you’ve checked off the list for your first trip, you’ll be ready every time you go camping!
  • Dutch oven with lid
  • Skillet with lid
  • Smaller sauce pan with lid
  • Microwaveable bowls
  • Spatulas and spoons
  • Basic dish set – plates, bowls, cups, glasses, eating utensils
  • Serving dishes
  • Camp percolator or teapot, coffee, tea and filters
  • Water Pitcher
  • Small cutting board
  • Pot holders and dish towels
  • Dishpan, dish soap and scrubbers
  • Food storage supplies – foil, sealable plastic bags, containers, plastic wrap
  • Small utensils – potato peeler, measuring cups/spoons, corkscrew, paring and chopping knives, can and bottle openers
  • Food items from your menu (don’t forget the spices!)

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Cleaning

  • Keeping your motorhome clean throughout the trip means a safe, enjoyable vacation, so be sure to pack these basic supplies. Use a plastic trash container with a lid to stow these essentials.
  • All purpose cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Sponges
  • Disinfectant spray ( make sure RV is well-ventilated or it may set off the carbon alarm.)
  • Dual purpose mop/sweeper & pads
  • Trash bags
  • Plastic trash containers – large & small
  • * NOTE that many RV rental companies such as El Monte RV offer housekeeping and kitchen kits that provide some of the aforementioned items for an additional fee.  Check website for exact details.  This makes sense for many RV renters who wish to save time.  (Please note:  these are not available at all locations.)

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Safety/First Aid

  • Basic first aid kit –
    • adhesive bandages
    • antiseptic wipes
    • tweezers
    • antibiotic ointment
    • insect repellant
    • sunscreen
    • aloe skin lotion
    • saline eye drops
    • gauze pads and white tape
    • daily and emergency medications
    • pain reliever
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights
  • Small kitchen fire extinguisher

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Miscellaneous

  • These are the things you’ll wish you’d packed!
  • Duct tape
  • Small tool kit with screwdrivers, hammer, wrenches
  • Jumper cables
  • Bungee cords with hooks
  • Extra batteries
  • Cellphone chargers
  • Lanterns – battery or gas
  • Power strip
  • Lawn chairs (bagged, collapsible ones pack best)
  • Doormat
  • Sun glasses
  • small ice chest for keeping drinks close at hand while outside.
  • firewood and matches – if you’ll being enjoying campsite camping as well.

Essential RV Camping Supplies – Comfort

  • Bedding – sheets, pillowcases, comforters, pillows
  • Small electric or battery powered fan
  • Toilet paper & tissues  that are designed for septic tanks.  It will prevent clogging issues!
  • Wash cloths & towels
  • Hand sanitizer & liquid hand soap.
  • DVDs for the DVD player.  It’s nice to remember that the kids enjoy watching movies while travelling on the road.

Once you’ve gathered and packed the items above, all that’s left is clothing and toiletries and you’re ready to hit the road. Remember – you can buy many of these things (and the storage containers) at second-hand stores.  If you purchase separate kitchen, cleaning and safety items for camping, you can store them in their labeled containers between trips for a quick grab & go vacation and they will work double-duty as Emergency KIts as well.  You really are setting yourself up for a great camping experience as well as  being prepared for an unexpected emergency!   You can get a jumpstart on all of this prep work way in advance of your trip and enjoy the peace of mind that you’re prepared to handle just about any situation on the road or at home.  Camping in RV comfort takes planning, but the ease of living on the road in a motorhome makes the preparation worthwhile!  What’s your #1 essential item you pack for every RV vacation?

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:  photo is an El Monte RV stock photo.

Posted in Cost effective RV Vacation, Cross Country Trip, family vacations, honeymoon vacation ideas, Hunting, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, National Parks, North American RV Vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, Recipe, RV blog, RV Camping Resources, RV Rental, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV travel in the western states, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, RV Vacation Preparation, 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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5 Best RV Camping Vacations for the Family

An RV camping vacation is the ideal get away for the entire family. You can enjoy the comforts of home as you travel and explore this great country together. RV parks can be wonderful destinations in themselves, while supplying you with a home base when visiting area attractions. Parks range from the basic rustic camp grounds to full blown luxury resorts. Whether you’re remodeling an RV, taking yours out of storage, or purchasing a new model, any one of these five vacations will be just what your family has been wanting to do!

Family Fun in an El Monte RV

Family Fun in an El Monte RV!

Florida’s Key West

Boyd’s Key West Campground offers ocean front sites that are only minutes from the action of downtown Key West and Duvall Street. This is where adults can enjoy a night out. During the day families can spend time together on the beach playing in the sand while soaking up the sun or by going for a swim in Boyd’s onsite pool. The marina opens up many more opportunities to have fun on the water. Try fishing or just simply taking in the beauty of the ocean.

California’s Red Bluff

The Durango RV Resort sits along the Sacramento River and offers high end amenities. Each site is paved and has conveniences such as high speed Wi-Fi, electricity, and cable TV. The pool and clubhouse is a great place for all ages to hang out and make new friends. Even the pets will have a great vacation with the 45 acre dog park.

South Dakota’s Hill City

Horse Thief Lake Campground is conveniently located near South Dakota’s greatest natural wonders. See the herds of buffalo roaming Custer State Park or watch the wild mustangs at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Crazy Horse, Mammoth, and Mount Rushmore are all just a short drive away. Back at the RV Park, enjoy campfires in the rings at each site or take a dip in the pool to relax. A basic goods shop makes this a convenient spot for families.

Utah’s Zion National Park

The Zion River Resort is a favorite of tourists. Many decide to stay all winter. Each site consists of a concrete pad with hook ups, Wi-Fi, and a grill. Guests can go exploring in Zion National Park as the RV resort is located at the south entrance. The red sandstone cliffs are the featured attraction here, but a short day trip to nearby Bryce Canyon National Park places you at the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Alaska’s Fairbanks

Rivers Edge RV Park in Fairbanks is a spacious and peaceful resort for families who adventure north. Alaska has much to offer families who love nature. The RV Park itself has many walking and bicycle trails that those of all ages can enjoy. A shuttle is available to take you into Fairbanks to visit the historic downtown and other top attractions such as the Alaska Pipeline. Take a Riverboat Discovery Cruise for an up close look at the Alaskan way of life or explore Pioneer Park on your own.

This post was written by Karleia Steiner, a writer for Basic Components Inc.


El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For more information on renting or buying a motor home CLICK HERE!

Photo Credit:  El Monte RV customer photo 2014

Posted in blog, Cost effective RV Vacation, Family RV vacations, family trips, family vacations, Motor Home Camping, Motor home vacation blog, Motorhome Camping, National Parks, National Scenic Byways, Nature travel, Nature/Sightseeing vacation, Pet Friendly Vacation, RV blog, RV Campgrounds, RV Camping Resources, RV destination, RV Destinations blog, RV Rental, RV Rentals, RV Road Trip, RV Sales, RV trail hiking trips, RV Travel Tips, RV Vacation Ideas, United States RV Vacation, UT RV Vacation, Vacation Adventures, Vacation Planning, weekend RV trips, Year-Round RV Parks | Leave a comment

The Perfect Time for an RV Trip to San Diego

There is an early spring everywhere it seems and San Diego is no exception.  It is the ideal time to head to southern California and the coastal city of San Diego for a little getaway.  The ocean is a brilliant blue, the sky mirrors the depth of color with added highlights of soft white clouds, and the sun is shining overhead spreading its health-invigorating affects all around.  Traveling in an RV to experience this early spring weather is a grand choice as you will have a wonderful place to relax while on the road and in between adventures.

San Diego

San Diego Seaside

When coming to San Diego in an RV, there are many RV campgrounds from which to choose.  You should take your time to pick your favorite before leaving home.  You might like La Pacifica RV Resort or Campland on the Bay.  Perhaps Santa Fe Park RV Resort or Paradise by the Sea RV Resort would be your top choice.  Whichever you pick, you’ll discover great amenities and easy access to all San Diego sights.

Perhaps the first thing you’d like to do is get out into nature and enjoy the great fishing and hiking that this area has to offer.  At Lake Cuyamaca the crappie and sturgeon are biting.  When you visit Lake Morena you can fish between hiking adventures.  Catch some bluegill and native trout at Lake Jennings.

There are always wonderful things to do and see at Balboa Park.   This is where you’ll find San Diego Zoo and the animals that are waiting just for you to stop by.  The lions, giraffes, tigers, and monkeys are such fun to see.  Hike the trails, bring your pets out to play, and tour the gardens in Balboa Park.  This is the best spot to spend an entire weekend.

Sea World in San Diego, California

Sea World in San Diego, California

Of course, you realize that Sea World is nearby!  This is one attraction you simply can’t miss when in San Diego.  Besides the fascinating marine life and fun shows, like Blue Horizon, there are plenty of great rides – different kinds for different members of the family.  Explorer’s Reef is a new exhibit and you’ll want to be one of the first to see it.

Now it’s time to take it easy, get out of the sun, and visit some of the area museums.  The first one to see is the Museum of Contemporary Art.  No matter the age of your family members, everyone can enjoy this museum.  For the younger ones, include a stop at the New Children’s Museum.

With so many museums around San Diego, you can pretty much choose the ones that are a fit for your interests.  There is the San Diego Model Railroad Museum for model railroad lovers, the San Diego Air & Space Museum for air and space lovers and, naturally, the San Diego Museum of Art for art lovers.  Once you have taken in these museums, perhaps, it is time to get outdoors again.  Why not at the beach?

Before you end your visit to San Diego, be sure to get to the beach for some relaxing fun.  One of the favorites is Ocean Beach with options to play volleyball or to take a hike in the area.  Yes, a trip to San Diego in an RV offers all sorts of interesting activities for the whole family.  Don’t miss it this spring!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV Rentals and Sales

For information on renting a motorhome CLICK HERE!

Picture credits:  San Diego Seaside by Truyen Nguyen is licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license  and Sea World by svabo ( Wikimedia Commons Thank you!

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Take an RV Trip Through Napa Valley this Winter

The winter is mild in Napa Valley and there could be no better time to tour this fabulous wine country area.  You cannot imagine the beauty of this section of Northern California until you see it for yourself.  The picturesque landscape of rolling hills, vineyards, and quaint towns and villages is a perfect place to head in an RV for either a short trip or an extended vacation.

Napa Valley Region Welcome Sign

Napa Valley Region Welcome Sign

Besides some delightful wine tasting, you will want to see all the sights possible while you are here.  Make the best of your stay by camping at Napa Valley Expo RV Park.  Within close proximity to all Napa has to offer, this park has great amenities.  You can also use it as your home base as you visit Sacramento, Six Flags in Vallejo, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, or Infineon Raceway.

Hiking in this area is wonderful, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun throughout Napa Valley.  For instance, hike among the pines in Bothe-Napa Valley State Park.  The coastal Redwoods also offer shade for some of the best hikes.  Quiet streams run through the woods and trails allow you to stroll peacefully as long as you desire.

Another popular stop is Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, named after the famous author of “Treasure Island.”  You can hike to the top of Mt.  St.  Helena and catch glimpses of the San Francisco Bay area and even Mt.  Shasta in the far distance.  This is a five-mile hike, but certainly well worth it.

Even in winter months, it’s fun to go horseback riding in Skyline Wilderness Park.  Study nature and hike along more than 16 miles of trails.  If you prefer, you can bike the trails through the oak woodlands.  It’s great to get outdoors and breathe that fresh, clean air and enjoy nature to the fullest.  Napa Valley is one perfect spot in which to do that!

Napa Valley Wine Train - All Aboard!

Napa Valley Wine Train – All Aboard!

Stop by the historic landmark of Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park where you can see how early settlers ground their wheat and corn into flour and meal.  There are milling demonstrations on most weekends that the whole family will enjoy.  Then from downtown Napa, take the Napa Valley Wine Train to enjoy a scenic ride with lunch or dinner.

Right in Napa Valley you can have an African safari experience at Safari West.  It is quite a treat to get close to so many wild animals.  In fact, this could very well be one of the highlights of the whole trip to Napa Valley.

Safari West's Giraffe with a Personality

Safari West’s Giraffe with a Personality

Before leaving to go back home, be sure to take one of the scenic drives around the area to drink in the real flavor of this famous wine country.  The Sonoma-Napa Valleys Scenic Drive brings you from Santa Rosa all around this historic valley.  Most of the highways in this area provide incredible views, including Silverado Trail and Highways 12 and 128.

Yes, Napa Valley is a wonderful change of pace for a pleasurable RV vacation in Northern California.  Enjoy a winter respite soaking up the sunshine, the wine, and all the  comforts of an El Monte RV!

El Monte RV

El Monte RV

To book an RV rental in CALIFORNIA – CLICK HERE  or to book an RV rental outside the state of California   CLICK HERE !

Picture credits: photo of Napa Valley Welcome Sign by Weinakademieerlin, photo of Napa Valley Wine Train by Bill Stanley, and photo of Safari West’s Giraffe by Donnaphoto are all licensed under the Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license.  Thank you for allowing us to share your photos!

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