How about a nice late winter or early spring RV vacation to New Mexico? Here you can explore several National Monuments, Preserves, Historical Parks and Carlsbad Caverns in this remarkable southwest state.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Located in southeastern New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns has aptly been called the Grand Canyon with a roof on it. This underworld cache lies beneath the Guadalupe Mountains and is one of the deepest, largest and most ornate caverns ever discovered.

A Brief History

For a long time, the area that would become Carlsbad Caverns was more hearsay than an accepted national treasure. Curious explorer Jim White discovered and explored the caverns throughout his adolescence and well into his adult life. Through storytelling, self-promotion, and exciting guano exporters Jim White was finally able to convince people of the cavern’s significance and geological value. On October 25, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge signed the legislation that created the Carlsbad Cave National Monument and the area was finally awarded full National Park status by the United States Congress on May 14, 1930.

White discovered and named many of the cavern’s vast interior spaces that would go on to eventually become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

Best times to visit:

The best times to visit Carlsbad for ideal weather are March 12th to June 3rd or September 17th to November 4th. So, plan now to get there in March and you will be treated to average temperatures with highs around the low 70s and very few rainy days. During spring, the desert is in bloom and is even more stunning to see.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is in a semiarid region that can get quite warm in the summer with daily highs around the mid to upper 90s, but it’s always cool in the cave. The interior of Carlsbad Cavern is very stable and hovers around a cool 56 degrees with the deeper sections holding around the low 60s. Summer also brings the highest bat populations to Carlsbad so you’re sure to get a great show at dusk and dawn when the bats leave and return.

Other National Parks, Monuments and Preserves in New Mexico:

There are many other treasures to see in New Mexico. Some are National Monuments such as: Aztec Ruins, Bandelier, Capulin Volcano, El Malpais, El Morro, Fort Union, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Petroglyph, and Salinas Pueblo Missions, among others.

As an example, Petroglyph, near Albuquerque, protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, featuring designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago. These images are a valuable record of cultural expression and hold profound spiritual significance for contemporary Native Americans and for the descendants of the early Spanish settlers.

There are also National Preserves and National Historical Parks and Trails in New Mexico worth visiting, including Chaco Culture, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Manhattan Project, Old Spanish Trail, Pecos, Sante Fe, and Valles Caldera. Valles Caldera is a 13-mile wide circular depression that was created about 1.25 million years ago by a spectacular volcanic eruption. The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams. The area also preserves the homeland of ancestral native peoples and embraces a rich ranching history.

Many of these are worthy of a full day of exploring with trails worth traveling to learn about the ancient history of this region.

Check out more about these New Mexico riches at National Park Service – New Mexico.

Where to Stay:

Carlsbad Caverns is one the smaller National Parks, situated on land that has been declared wilderness so there are no park-sanctioned areas to park your RV in the park itself. There are several nearby options near Carlsbad. Here are two you can check out:

  • Brantley Lake State Park: This is on the southernmost lake in New Mexico, and is an oasis of water, wildlife, plant life and gorgeous sunsets as well as stunning night skies. It is located 12 miles north of Carlsbad at an elevation of 3,295 feet.
  • Another great option is the Carlsbad KOA which is not only great for its proximity to the park but has great amenities as well. You would be very close to the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park as well as the Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area, Roswell’s International UFO Museum and White Sands National Monument.

RV Rental:

Rental of an El Monte RV is no problem if you wish to explore the fascinating terrain of New Mexico. Dallas and Phoenix are our closest locations. You can explore Tucson and the Gila National Forest on your way from Phoenix to Carlsbad. Check Phoenix RV Rentals for availability for your travel dates. Or see Dallas RV Rentals for available RV’s in Dallas.

As you get ready for your next RV adventure, are you thinking about what to do with your pets? Is little Felix rubbing up against your leg as you browse the Internet thinking of far off destinations for your adventure? What about Rover? Is he going to have to stay home and miss all the fun?

We get it!  Your pet is a part of your family and you can pack up the treats and leashes and your furry companion can come along and travel in the motor home with you.

Travelling with Pets

Travelling with Pets

There are lots of spots that allow pets to come along. RV campers willing to follow the same common-sense rules they observe with their pets at home shouldn’t have a problem including their animals on vacation.

Check out our Pet Friendly RV Vacations page to see some great potential destinations that will welcome your pet.

Are you one of those people who loves to see dogs on parade? Well, you can travel in RV luxury to see the excitement and glamour of many top dog shows. The American Kennel Club sponsors dog shows throughout the U.S. These shows display the very best in dog show competition and give credibility to this rapidly growing sport. Agility trials, conformation events and several other categories of shows promise something for every type of dog lover. To learn more about specific locations of the AKC shows each year, check out our Traveling by RV to Dog Shows page.

Here are some tips for safely traveling with your favorite pet:

  1. Make sure your pet is secure when you’re riding in the RV. No, you shouldn’t just let your animal roam about freely. They could be injured and can also be a distraction for the driver. Keep them in a kennel or secure them with a harness or leash that buckles into the seat belt.
  2. Sure, you know your pet needs food and water (and don’t forget the treats!). But what about…
  • Their leash?
  • Their waste pick-up bags?
  • Their litter?
  • Their toys?
  • Their brush?
  • Their crate?
  • That fuzzy sweater that they love?
  1. Make sure your pet has up to date shots and an updated ID. Consider chipping your dog or cat to ensure that in that awful situation when he or she may get lost, you can always retrieve them. Minimally, if chipping doesn’t appeal to you, you should go to your local Wal-Mart or PetSmart, find the pet ID kiosk, type in their name on one side with your name and phone number on the other, print it, stick it on their collar, and voilà! Your pet has his/her own personal ID.
  2. Keep your pet’s information with you while you travel. This includes:
  • Vaccination records- many campgrounds may ask to see recent vaccination records and rabies shots.
  • Proof of ownership – Yes, someone could claim your animal was theirs! If you carry proof, this won’t go far.
  • Photographs – keep some cute pictures of your pet on your phone – and consider printing one or two good pictures in case they run away.
  • If your pets have allergies or medical issues bring the paperwork about that too.
  • A first aid kit – not just your standard personal one but one that includes pet items too.

And there are many other tips you can find by just searching for pet friendly RV’ing.

Now you’re all set to go on your pet-friendly adventure but where’s the RV? You can easily rent one of our RV’s at numerous locations around the US. Check out availability for your travel dates on our Where you can Rent RVs page.

February in West Central Florida is often a bit cooler than other months but it is usually warmer than any other part of the country. This is an ideal time to head south and enjoy some family-friendly fairs including lots and lots of entertainment.

These two favorite events are the Florida State Fair – February 7th –18th, and the Florida Strawberry Festival from February 28th – March 10th. There is no shortage of fun and entertainment at both venues.

First, come and enjoy the Florida State Fair in Tampa – now in its 116th year! Here’s a little bit of its history. The original Florida State Fair began in 1904 as the South Florida Fair on the grounds of the Tampa Bay Hotel, owned by railroad baron Henry Plant. That first fair had simple attractions and was held in a single building on a 27-acre plot adjoining Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel, where the University of Tampa stands today. This event soon became known as the Florida State Mid-Winter Festival and was the place to be! Families from near and far would come to the festival to play games, eat fair food and win bragging rights for their prized Bull, best pie, or most beautiful quilt.    Florida State Fair

In 1915, the South Florida Fair and Gasparilla Carnival were officially incorporated with the Secretary of State office in Tallahassee. This new Fair became known as the Florida State Fair. Fast forward to 1975 when the Florida State Legislature created the Florida State Fair Authority and designated the Tampa event as the official Florida State Fair. In February of 1977, the first Fair was held at its current location, near Interstate 4 and U.S Highway 301 in eastern Hillsborough County. The 330-acre site sits just seven miles from its original downtown Tampa location. Once it moved to the East Tampa location, new buildings, barns and even the Mildred W. and Doyle E. Carlton, Jr. Cracker Country living history museum were established. The Fair grew – and continues to grow – each year.

This year’s entertainment lineup is incredibly diverse from Amazing Acrobats of China to truck and tractor pulling, to a show featuring Draft Horses, including majestic Draft Horse performances, breath-taking competitions, and seeing a Draft Horse “up-close”.

There’s also a rodeo, several concerts of different music genres, and even an Alligator Show and a giraffe visiting tent. Visit the Entertainment part of their website to see all the featured entertainment.

The Florida Strawberry Festival was started in 1930 by the local Lions Club to help promote the local strawberry crop. Despite a few years off due to World War II, it is still flourishing in eastern Hillsborough County, attracting about 500,000 visitors each year, sometimes even more than those who attend the Florida State Fair.

Central to its focus, the Festival continues to preserve and enhance the agricultural and historical legacy of the Florida strawberry.

But lest you think all there is to this festival is incredible strawberry shortcake, their entertainment schedule features world-class entertainers each year. This year, the 2019 festival begins February 28th, with performances every day of the 11 day long festival with at least two to three shows on many days. In addition to plenty of free performances, you can schedule your trip to the Festival to see Willie Nelson and Family, The Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, and the Brothers Osborne, Kool & the Gang, and Chicks with Hits, and that is just the first few days they are open.

After that, Pat Boone will perform, followed by Martina McBride on March 4th, and a host of other top-shelf entertainers. Be sure to check out their full entertainment schedule on the Strawberry Festival website.

Wondering how to travel to these two Fairs? Come and bring your RV so you’re already set up for staying as long as you wish in either locale.

You can easily rent one of our RV’s at our Florida El Monte location in Orlando. It is only an hour from there to Tampa and just 40 minutes from Orlando to Plant City. Check out availability for your travel dates on our Where you can Rent RV’s page.

Take your next road trip in our RV and make it easy on yourself. You can leave from or fly into one city, rent the RV and then travel to your destination, return the RV and fly home.

Ever wanted to road trip across the states, taking in all the amazing sights and attractions from the comfort of your own vehicle? An RV is a great way to do this as it will allow you to pick and choose where you want to go and stay.

An RV is the best way to see the countryside, but while you are planning your trip, you should keep in mind that you will usually have to return the RV to its original location.

It is really not that all surprising that some travelers want to rent an RV in only one direction. The cost of flying home may actually work out cheaper. Besides, does anyone really want to drive a rental RV on a round trip? Your available time could be the deciding factor. Also, many of our El Monte RV locations offer transportation from the nearest airport. These locations include: Santa Fe Springs, CA, Dublin, CA, Ferndale, WA, Las Vegas, NV, McKinney, TX, Orlando, FL and Linden, NJ.

One-way rentals are extremely popular with RV’ers choosing to travel short trips from San Francisco to Las Vegas, or even longer trips from New York City to Los Angeles. Other popular road trips include the journey from Boston or Chicago to Miami in the fall, and from New York to Orlando, Florida during the Christmas period.

One Way RV Rentals

One Way RV Rentals

An important thing to keep in mind if you are considering a one-way rental is to book early. This may involve booking your vehicle several months in advance in order to find the best deal and the cheapest one-way fee. When thinking about this you should also take the time of year into account. Holiday periods are extremely busy and if you try to book too close to your time of travel you may miss out.

Another thing you can do to reduce the cost of your one-way rental is to wait for the companies to have a special. Many companies advertise rental specials every now and then and if you find one that matches your needs, you could end up saving a fortune. For example, at El Monte RV, we have a Vehicle Relocation Special for select dates in April, but you will need to book early. This special starts near Chicago and ends up in Los Angeles, Dublin, California or Las Vegas, Nevada. Click on the link to learn more.

El Monte also has a Holiday Recuperation Special this January where you can pick up a vehicle any day in January and rent for four nights or more and get an extra night for FREE, plus you even get 50 FREE miles per night.

One-way rental is a great idea if your time is limited. If you only have enough time to travel to your desired destination, a one-way rental will allow you to take your time to get there and then simply catch a plane or train home.

Traveling to and from the many beautiful sights in the USA is a fantastic experience. Discovering them in your RV is an extremely enjoyable way to accomplish this, and a one-way motor home rental gives you the freedom to take your time, forget about rushing and appreciate the things that really matter.

See more information about One-Way Rentals on our RV Rental Vehicles page and click on your starting and destination cities to see if one-way rentals are available for your itinerary.

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RV Adventures – Fairs and Festivals in Florida

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RV Adventures – Winter Gives a New Look to Western National Parks

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RV’ing in the Great Southwest Desert

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