Take a road trip in your RV or ours to Tucson, Arizona this winter and escape the cold weather while basking in sunshine. This city has so much to offer this winter, you may just want to put down some roots, temporary or permanent and take advantage of the many activities and sights to see. Tucson is surrounded by multiple mountain ranges including the Santa Catalinas and is located in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Reflecting its 19th-century beginnings are the restored mansions of its El Presidio Historic District and the adobe row houses of Barrio Historico.

To name just a few of the great sights:

The Arizona – Sonoran Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, the Pima Air and Space Museum and The Mission San Xavier del Bac. Check out these and many more sights to see around Tucson.

Seasonal Events in Tucson:

On the first three weekends in December, enjoy Holiday Nights in Tohono Chul Park. Holiday Nights is a fun event for everyone! Stroll along paths garlanded with over a million twinkling lights while musicians and artists perform throughout the Gardens. Who can resist a sing-along or viewing the stars through a telescope? You’re sure to enjoy the many distinct performances located throughout the Gardens while you sip hot chocolate and enjoy tasty treats!

In January and February, check out these signature events:

Jazz Festival

Jazz Festival

Tucson Jazz Festival (January 11-21, 2019) The only major jazz festival in January in the USA presents 10 days of live music featuring legends and emerging talents of all jazz genres, from straight-ahead to contemporary, at the Fox Tucson Theatre and Rialto Theatre as well as at the free Downtown Jazz Fiesta presented on outdoor stages and at other downtown venues on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Tucson Desert Song Festival (January 15-February 5, 2019) This blend of singing in orchestral, chamber, choral, and solo formats features internationally celebrated soloists along with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (formed in 1929-the oldest continuing professional performing arts organization in Arizona), Tucson Chamber Artists, UA Presents, Arizona Opera and others, in conjunction with master classes and lectures at the University of Arizona School of Music.

Dillinger Days (January 18-19, 2019) See how crime doesn’t pay at our celebration of the January 1934 capture by Tucson Police and Fire departments of America’s Public Enemy No. 1, the notoriously violent gangster John Dillinger and his unsuspecting gang, with a Depression-era-themed weekend of car shows, history re-enactments, artifact displays, and live music.

Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase (February 2-17, 2019) A one-of-a-kind international marketplace of museum-quality exhibits and world-class collections of gemstones, minerals, fossils, beads, crystals, jewelry, supplies, apparel, and more that originated with the single, original Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® in 1955 and has grown into a showcase of 40+ shows at various locations.

There are many more events and activities to take advantage of. Check out the Visit Tucson website for more details.

RV Camping near Tucson

Thanks to their mild winter weather, a vibrant and historic city center, and a stunning desert landscape, Tucson, Arizona is a popular destination for RV travel. Luckily, it’s also full of places to park your RV.

There are high-end resorts with fruit trees at every site, a large selection of 55+ RV parks with welcoming communities, a state park popular for its numerous hiking trails, and even a patch of BLM land on the south end of the city where frugal RVers like to boondock for free.

Here are some of the highest ranked:

  1. Rincon Country West RV Resort – ranked #1 on Trip Advisor for Tucson area RV parks, Rincon Country West RV Resort is an Active 55+ Senior Community, offering a wide range of amenities and activities. There are RV spaces to accommodate just about every size of RV.
  2. Sentinel Peak RV Park – Tucson, Arizona’s only Downtown RV Park. They have 23 sites all with full hook-ups and 20/30/50 amp service. All sites are asphalt and level. There are different sites to choose from such as our standard back-ins, deluxe back-ins and premium back-ins. We also have large 70′ pull-thrus for larger coaches. Amenities include a splash pool, retail store, recreational area with foosball, pool table, and ping pong, as well as laundry room and picnic tables at all of the sites.
  3. Third ranked in Trip Advisor is Gilbert Ray Campground which is a “beautiful quiet campground close to the city,” according to one reviewer. This park is an unassuming country park on the western edge of the city. It has great access to hiking trails, gorgeous desert scenery and incredible night skies. This campground operates on a first come, first served basis and currently costs $20 per night with a seven-night stay limit. However, you are permitted to leave for seven days and then return for another seven day stay. The park accepts cash or check only and the registration building is open January through March. All other times of the year payment is made at a self-pay kiosk.

There’s also a Tucson Lazydays/KOA Resort, the Crazy Horse RV Campgrounds, the RV Park at the Pima County Fairgrounds and Voyager RV Resort & Hotel, all near I-10. Do your research ahead of time and find the one that best fits your needs.

Rent an RV for your trip:

For this unique travel experience,  check out our RV rental locations map to select a convenient pickup location, then enjoy the drive to Tucson and see some exceptional sights along your way!

Music abounds in the month of December and what a great way to see and hear the best of the best in rock and hip-hop than to go to music festivals. We feature one on the west coast – the Rolling Loud Music Festival in Los Angeles on December 14-15th and two in Florida – Riptide 2018 in Fort Lauderdale from November 30 – December 2nd and Next Big Thing in Tampa – Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd. So take your pick: if you are on the west coast, check out Rolling Loud and if Florida is your destination (or home), you have two excellent choices.

Rolling Loud – Los Angeles 

Discerning hip-hop lovers will be treated to a panoply of performers at this two day long festival at the Banc of California Stadium Grounds and Expo Park in Los Angeles. Performances by Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Cardi B and Lil Uzi Vert headline while the rest of the lineup is filled with Wiz Khalifa, 21 Savage, Shoreline Mafia, Bali Baby, Young Thug and many, many more. Check out the full schedule here. The festival starts on Friday the 14th and goes through Saturday the 15th of December.

Riptide Music Festival – Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Nov. 30-Dec. 2

Starting on Friday, the 30th, this Alternative Rock music festival kicks off with four performers on Friday night- followed by a huge array of bands on Saturday and Sunday. These include Young the Giant and Dirty Heads, as well as Panic!  At the Disco and Alice Merton all performing on Saturday. On Sunday, the likes of Third Eye Blind, Everclear and Gin Blossoms will headline the entertainment. If you want to see the full lineup, check out their website.

Next Big Thing – Tampa, Dec. 1 – 2

If you prefer the west coast of Florida, check out Next Big Thing – which has some of the same Alt Rock performers as the Ft. Lauderdale Riptide Fest but they have an even larger lineup of 50 bands playing for 2 days. On the lineup for this year’s Next Big Thing, held at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre: Bastille, Foster the People, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Young the Giant, AJR, Chvrches, Elle King, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, LANY and more. Click here to see the full lineup and schedule.

Music Festival

Places to camp nearby:

There are lots of options for nearby camping in Southern California and close to either Ft. Lauderdale or Tampa in Florida.

Los Angeles RV Camping:

You can camp at Hollywood RV Park, the Dockweiler RV Park or Walnut RV Park, all of which have 4 or more stars. Check out the best rated RV Parks on Yelp or Google and you may be tempted to stay in Marina Del Rey at the Marina Boat and RV Storage location.

Ft. Lauderdale area Camping:

In the Ft. Lauderdale area, you can find an abundance of potential camping spots including: Aztec RV Resort, the Kozy Kampers RV Park, Yacht Haven Park and Marina and Easterlin Park in Oakland Park.

Tampa RV Camping:

Many campgrounds exist in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties – close to this Tampa venue. You can choose to park your RV in Bay Bayou RV Resort, or Tampa RV Park Camp Nebraska, in Tampa (Hillsborough County). Or go west to Pinellas County and you’ll find a variety of other choices, some near the Gulf of Mexico such as St. Petersburg/ Madeira Beach KOA, Clearwater Travel Resort of Vacation Village RV Resort in Largo.

Again check out the ratings on Yelp or Google and decide for yourself what the best fit is for you and your family.

Rent an RV for your trip:

For the Los Angeles event, you can rent an RV from one of our 4 nearby El Monte RV California locations. Click here to see all of the California locations and perhaps get some other ideas for your California RV Vacation.

For Florida shows, you can take your choice to rent an RV from El Monte rental locations in Miami or Orlando. Our Miami location is a one hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale while the Orlando Rentals and Sales location is about a one hour drive from Tampa’s Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Whatever you decide for your December RV trip, we hope you enjoy some great music while creating memories with your friends or family.

Feeling the shorter days and colder temperatures creeping up on you? Would you like to plan to get away, have fun and stay warm while you enjoy some of our national treasures? Here are five stunning National Parks you can visit during the coming months to lift your spirits and allow you to commune with nature.

If time allows, combine a few of these adventures while traveling in your RV so you have everything you need with you.

  • You can enjoy dog sledding at Snow Mountain Ranch, near Rocky Mountain National Park in Winter Park, CO. What an unusual experience and so much fun! See more information about it here.
  • Visit Olympic National Park and watch a winter storm travel across the Pacific from a luxurious hot tub. Olympic National Park has 73 miles of coastline that turns into a wave-crashing show in the winter. From November through February, storms coming in from the Pacific Ocean have wind gusts up to 60 miles-per-hour, not to mention the rain, sometimes accumulating six inches in 24-hours. The wind and rain combined can make it look like it’s raining horizontally.  The best time to watch a storm is when the tide is coming in and at high tide. In between storms, use the sunny time to explore the beach with its tide pools and tossed, teetering wood.
  • And at Yosemite, try and experience the Winemaker Weekend- Jan. 25-27, 2019, where you can join Napa’s Elizabeth Vianna, winemaker and general manager of Chimney Rock, at Rush Creek Lodge. Vianna is well-known for her estate-grown wines from Chimney Rock’s green-certified Napa Valley winery. Here you can sip wine paired with a gourmet prepared meal with one of Napa Valley’s renowned winemakers.
    Yosemite Valley

    Yosemite Valley

    Or come and visit the Yosemite landscape by going on a guided excursion. Winter provides a whole different view at Yosemite.

  • Go to the Grand Canyon on the Polar Express! Yes, really! Families looking to capture the awe of the holiday spirit in their children’s eyes will love Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express. Chris Van Allsburg’s classic book, The Polar Express, comes to life starting annually in November and ending in early January. Families board the special 1930s-era train at the depot in Williams, Arizona for a roundtrip-ride that lasts about 90 minutes. Passengers will ride through dark and quiet wilderness to The North Pole, where Santa and his reindeer wait. Aboard the Polar Express the spirit of Christmas is passed on to every boy and girl from Santa himself with their own special gift. The train departs at 5:30, and 7:30 p.m., and on some days at 3:30 p.m. Tickets sell fast, so don’t wait to book.
  • The Olympic Park in Utah is a wonderful place to fight the winter blues. Take part in this epic experience and feel more energized after you do it. Have you ever wondered how it would feel to climb on a bobsled and race down the track? In winter, the bobsled travels on ice, just as the Olympians do. You can head to Olympic Park in Park City for this ride on the 2002 Olympic Sliding Track.

Each of the National Parks has RV campgrounds for your accommodations. Check the one(s) you will be visiting for schedules due to inclement weather, but most have some winter operating times and there will be fewer people visiting, so winter can be an ideal time for a quiet getaway.

You can start your RV camping trip near Salt Lake City and rent an RV from El Monte RV there, or if you wish to rent at another location see our Where to Rent RV’s page here. And to make planning your trip even better, check out our RV Rental Deals page for current specials to help you get on your way!

No matter if you’re a California resident or you live across the country, if you are into UTVs, side-by-sides, ATVs, dune buggies, or running sand tires on dirt bikes, you’ve likely heard of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA), or as it most often referred to, Glamis.  Glamis is renowned for its expansive and exciting sand dunes.

However, for those outside of California you may not realize that in southern California there is a sand season. It is basically the time of year when the temperatures cool down enough to make the desert region that encompasses the ISDRA bearable.

The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area is geographically known as the Algodones Dunes. It is the largest sand dune mass in California and the largest OHV recreation area for sand dunes in the country. The dunes stretch out about 40-miles long, are around 5 miles wide, reach up to 300 feet tall, encompass approximately 118,000 acres that are open to OHV recreation. This is a lot of space for family fun – racing your off-road bikes, trikes and all kinds of vehicles on the vast desert sand.

The season starts now. Between Halloween and mid-April, things cool down on the sand enough so you can touch it without it melting through your skin. Thanksgiving Weekend is quickly approaching and for many RVers, celebrating the Day of Thanks feels most comfortable on the road.

The Imperial Sand Dunes offers a unique hot spot for getting out in nature. The dunes bring in over 100,000 visitors every Thanksgiving weekend. The area is known as an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise and often times for its role in Star Wars, Return of the Jedi. The rolling dunes act as a playground for off-roaders and visitors bring everything from ATV’s and buggies to funky, one-of-a-kind contraptions.

There are many camping areas scattered throughout the dunes. The majority of people camp in RVs, toy haulers, or 5th wheels and some even tent camp. It is the desert so be aware that facilities are extremely limited, with mostly only vaulted toilets available. Other than that you have to be self-sufficient for fresh water, electricity, showers, etc.

Some estimate that more than a million people visit Glamis every year. People travel from all over the state of California as well from across the country and beyond to experience the infamous Glamis sand dunes.

Glamis Dunes RV Vacation

Glamis Dunes RV Vacation

Glamis has virtually no permanent structures aside from the “Glamis Store” and “Boardmanville Trading Post”. Both offer supplies; fuel is not available for some hundreds of thousands of recreational visitors each year who pass through the Algodones Dunes and the associated Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, located in the southern portion of the dune system. Located in the southeast corner of California, the Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest mass of sand dunes in the state.

With most of the off-road action taking place in the recreation area south of Highway 78, the open areas allow all types of vehicle recreation. Limited areas surround the dunes require vehicles to travel on designated routes. Closed areas prohibit motorized vehicle use entirely. The northern areas are off-limits to wheeled vehicles, keeping a portion of the area pristine for hiking and enjoying the scenery.

Information and maps for all of these areas are available at the ranger stations.

Camping, hill climbing, exploring, sand drag racing, partying, spending time with family and friends and relaxing are just a few of the reasons why people go to Glamis.

Permits are required from October 1 through April 15 each year. Permits are $35 per week in advance and $50 per week if purchased onsite. Season permits are $150. You can buy your weekly or season permits online.

An upcoming Fee Free Date:

January 18-21, 2019
(Fri-Mon) to support the MLK volunteer clean up weekend

Rent an RV for your trip:

For this unique off-roading experience, you can rent an RV from one of our 4 nearby El Monte RV California rental locations.  Click here to see all of the California locations and perhaps get some other ideas for your California RV vacation.

Whatever you decide for your next RV trip, we hope you enjoy yourself while creating great RV adventuring memories.

RV Vacations to Watch Fall Leaves Change in Pennsylvania

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As the season’s remarkable color changes paint the landscape, fall is an ideal time to get out and enjoy nature. What better way to do so than to take an RV camping trip in our National parks. Every fall, especially …

 

NASCAR Playoffs & RV Tailgating: A November to Remember

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NASCAR racing culminates in November with racing locations in the west as well as three championships in one weekend in Florida. Check out these upcoming NASCAR weekends: the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway on November 2nd-4th. …

 

RV Vacation Idea – San Diego Jazz Festival

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What a way to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend! You can take in the sights and sounds of San Diego, one of the most beautiful cities in America, while enjoying this 4 day jazz festival from November 21 – 25. …

 

RV’ing For Thanksgiving Holiday Special

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You may already be thinking about Thanksgiving… is it going to be the same old thing with way too many sweet potatoes and too much food in an atmosphere of gluttony with your family? Why not make it a special …

 

RV Vacation – Fall Colors in New Hampshire and Vermont

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See the spectacle as more colors paint the landscape in New England this fall, by touring New Hampshire and Vermont. Take the time for an RV vacation in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire or take in the vivid …

 

NASCAR Racing RV Tailgating Destinations – Dover and Dega

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RV Tailgating opportunities abound as the NASCAR circuit continues with two more landmark races in early October. The first is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, October 7th at Dover International Speedway. Starting with Friday evening, the entire …