How to Get Away from the Crowd While RV Camping

Traveling by RV is always comfortable, no matter whether you’re parked in a luxury RV resort or deep within a national forest. For campers who enjoy solitude, seeking campsites beyond developed campgrounds can be your best choice, if you’re willing to plan ahead.

One of the easiest ways to get away from the crowd while RV camping is to take advantage of campsites at state and national forests. Here are just a few spots to consider as you plan your adventures:

  • If you’re planning a Virginia RV camping adventure, consider a visit to Shenandoah National Forest. The campgrounds there, set among woodlands, waterfalls and trails with panoramic views, offer dump stations, drinking water and large campsites.
  • Travelers planning a Pennsylvania RV vacation should take a look at the less-developed campgrounds in Allegheny National Forest. This vast greenspace is a fishing and hiking paradise and some campgrounds offer both electric or primitive campsites.
  • Visitors to California will want to take a look at Lassen National Forest, where several campgrounds accommodate your need for no-hookups privacy (and the views are simply breathtaking!)
  • Florida RV campers hoping for a less crowded environment can check out Osceola National Forest west of Jacksonville, especially the Ocean Pond campground. Three levels of camping allow you to pick how isolated you’d like to be while exploring the trails and waterways in this lush, green environment.

But you may be saying, “Wait a minute! What exactly do you mean by “camping outside of developed campgrounds”? What we’re talking about is a camping area where you’ll find a water supply, dump station and shower/restroom facilities close by, but perhaps without electric or water hookups at each campsite. You may not be able to use your electronic appliances and devices unless generator use is allowed, but the trade-off is in uncluttered views and uncrowded camping.

To take advantage of the beauty many of these campgrounds have to offer, you’ll have to plan ahead and make some adjustments to expectations. Here are some suggestions as you prepare to camp in a state or national forest campground.

  • Check ahead for rules about generator use, and plan for essentials accordingly.
  • Fill water tanks and empty waste water tanks before arriving.
  • Plan to cook on a gas stove or grill or plan menus that don’t require cooking.
  • Take care to only dispose of waste water at campground or park dump stations.
  • During the warmest hours of the day, plan activities like swimming or hiking in the deep woods to stay cool.
  • Plan ahead for safe food storage.
  • For ‘dispersed camping’ spots, where parking the RV is allowed in areas without amenities, you’ll need to pack out your own trash.

Being able to embrace the beauty of natural areas is possible even while enjoying RV comfort. Don’t own an RV? No problem—we’re always here to help with an RV rental.

With a little planning, camping in less crowded campgrounds might just become your favorite way to vacation. Why not start planning your get-away-from-it-all adventure now?

Posted in CA, CA Vacation, California RV Camping, California RV Camping Vacation, California vacations, Florida, Florida RV Camping Vacation, florida vacation, Pennsylvania RV Camping Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Trip, Virginia RV Camping, Virginia RV Camping Vacation | 1 Comment

Three Pennsylvania State Parks to Visit

Pennsylvania is home to state park RV camping adventures too numerous to count. In honor of late summer campers, we’ve narrowed it down to three special spots every RV camper should visit before summer is gone. Let us know if you go! We’d love to hear your stories in the comments section below.

Worlds End State Park

Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains provide the perfect setting for end-of-summer fun. Worlds End State Park, an hour west of Kingston, PA, is tucked in a lush, green valley cooled by the waters of Loyalsock Creek.   PA State Park

Let the family swim, fish for trout and hike the rugged trails before coming home to your campsite in the forest. With 30-amp sites available, you can be comfortable while enjoying the beauty of this scenic valley. Here’s a brochure from Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation on the recreation opportunities at Worlds End State Park.

Cook Forest State Park

Western Pennsylvania’s Cook Forest State Park is the place to go for late summer hiking and paddling. The Clarion River, a shallow waterway safe for family canoe, kayak and tubing adventures, splashes along through the old-growth forests that make this state park irresistible to nature lovers.

Campsites shaded by hemlock and pine range along the river and near trails that lead to scenic bridges, rocky hillsides and the park’s famous ‘Forest Cathedral’. Reserve your Cook Forest State Park campsite (30 and 50 amp sites available) and make this your late summer getaway.

Bald Eagle State Park

One more gloriously green location for late summer camping is found in Northcentral PA. Bald Eagle State Park is home to Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir, popular for boating, swimming and fishing. Plan to hike a woodland trail around Bald Eagle Mountain and keep an eye to the sky for the magnificent birds that give the park its name.

Dozens of electric and water campsites make camping here convenient, so book yours before you come. Be sure to pack the binoculars, hiking shoes and water recreation gear for maximum later summer fun. One more tip: the marina at Bald Eagle State Park offers rentals on kayaks, pontoons, jet skis and even bicycles, but reserve early if you’re coming for the weekend.

The Keystone State’s state parks and forests have something for every kind of late summer camper, whether you’re renting a Class C cabover RV or bringing the family fifth wheel. With thousands of miles of hiking and biking trails, picturesque lakes and rivers and plenty of modern campsites, they’re custom-made for your end-of-summer getaway.

Keep us in mind at El Monte RV Rentals in Pennsylvania or nearby Linden, New Jersey if lack of a motorhome is keeping you from camping. Pennsylvania is prime camping territory and there’s still time to find your favorite spot this summer.

Posted in Pennsylvania RV Camping Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Trip | Leave a comment

RVing Road Trip: Exploring Hershey, PA

 

Hersheys_Chocolate_World

For many the word “chocolate” can garner distinctly wonderful memories. A mug of hot chocolate sipped during a cold wintry night. A heart shaped box of candy for or from your Valentine. Warm, moist, brownies from mom’s secret recipe. But mention “chocolate bar” and one word comes to mind ~ Hershey.

The Hershey Company is headquartered in the town that bears its name, and where their confections are still made. But if you were to go to Hershey to only experience the chocolate, you would be missing an unbelievable amount of adventures and fun! Let’s take a look at why an RV trip to Hershey Pennsylvania can be about more than just chocolate.

Founding History of Hershey

If you enjoy a rags to riches story and have a love for history, take time during your visit to be inspired by the story behind Hershey Chocolates.

Milton Hershey at thirty years old was a failure. His first confectionery business was in Philadelphia in 1876. The business survived for only six years, before going bankrupt in 1882. His second confectioner shop in New York City, lasted only 3 years, closing in 1886. He moved to Lancaster Pennsylvania, and utilizing a caramel recipe he developed in his previous business ventures, was finally successful. It was the start of his Lancaster Caramel Company that established Milton as a candy maker, and set the stage for what is now known as The Hershey Company.  Milton_S._Hershey_c1905

If you want to know more about this man and how his chocolate empire rose, stop by the The Hershey Story ~ The Museum on Chocolate Avenue. The Museum allows old and young alike to interactively become an apprentice to Milton Hershey.

Participants discover where the key ingredient of chocolate, the cocoa bean, is grown and how the beans are harvested and processed into the world’s most popular candy bar. In the museum, you can learn about Milton Hershey’s family life, his amazing legacy of philanthropy and how he supported and built the town of Hershey PA. Be taken by Milton Hershey’s story and by the life of this uniquely American visionary.

Attractions and Sights

Just want to have fun? Hershey Pennsylvania offers adventurers and thrill seekers a multitude of attractions to enjoy.

  • Start your visit with the FREE Hershey Chocolate World Tour. Take this ride through an imaginary factory and learn how milk and cocoa beans are combined to make the chocolate known all over the world. At the end of your journey, get a sample of what’s being made on the factory line that day.
  • Get your thrill on riding one of twelve rollercoasters found in Hersheypark. This “disneyesque” amusement park features over seventy rides and has variety shows and other entertainment. You can even get pictures or have a breakfast with the Hershey Product Mascots.
  • Enjoy getting thrills on the wet and wild side? Head on over to The Boardwalk at Hersheypark for it’s Coastline Plunge tubes, East Coast Waterworks splash park and the crazy fast Tidal Force flume.

Hershey_Park_The_Boardwalk

There are plenty of other attractions worth a visit in Hershey Pa.

  • Visit the Chocolate Spa, where you can indulge in signature chocolate-themed treatments.
  • The botanical beauty of Hershey Gardens overlooks the town of Hershey. These historical gardens feature a breathtaking assortment of flowering annuals, deciduous shrubs and a stately collection of rare trees.
  • ZooAmerica features over 200 native North American animals in recreated natural habitats.
  • Hit the links and choose from three distinctive greens with a round of Hershey golf.

For these and more attractions click the link here.

Shopping

Hershey has plenty of opportunities to “shop till you drop.” Some outstanding possibilities include:

  • For anything with the Hershey logo on it, there’s no better store than in Hershey World. Get your fill of favorite Hershey candy, or interesting gifts and souvenirs featuring Hershey products.
  • For Outlet shopping check the Tanger Outlets at Hershey for major brand discounts.
  • The Hershey area also has a variety of antiquing, boutique and consignment shopping to be discovered listed here.

Dining

There are plenty of dining experiences to try in Hershey. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • If you enjoy eating like a local, or a good local brew. be sure to try Tröegs Brewing Company. Though they call their eatery a “snack bar,” don’t be fooled – this local hotspot offers unique and tempting appetizers to share, and mouthwatering entrees of great locally grown, farm fresh,
  • Another great local eatery is the Hershey Pantry. Available for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the atmosphere of this restaurant is trendy urban eatery combined with the cozy warmth of a small-town diner.
  • Travelers who favorite the comfort of a national chain will find them plentiful and available. For a comprehensive list of restaurants in the area, click here.

Hershey RV Show

If you’re interested in taking the next step, every September, Giant Center in Hershey becomes the site of “America’s Largest RV Show.”  Widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier consumer RV shows, it is typically the event at which RV manufacturers will debut new models or features to the public. In addition to RVs on display, the show features over 100 vendors along with seminars for the RVing public, RV dealers, and  technicians. Topics featured include training, and service advising clinics, showcasing RVing experts and travel writers to help in planning your next step in the RVing lifestyle.  Lean more about the RV Show here.

Campgrounds – Where to Stay

Staying at the official camping resort of Hersheypark has it’s advantages for RVing families. Hersheypark Camping Resort features a free shuttle to the amusement park, and offers the best prices on Hersheypark tickets. There are also discounts to be had for admission to many favorite Hershey area attractions. Other campground possibilities close by can be found here.

Other Destinations Nearby

Hershey Pennsylvania has lots to offer and fun to get involved in. Other Destinations in Pennsylvania worth checking include:

Whichever way you head though Hershey and the surrounding landscape of Pennsylvania, – it’s better when you take family and friends and go RVing!

Mike Karl guest blogging for Monty’s Musings -The Motorhome Travel Blog – El Monte RV

About Mike Karl – Also known as RoadAbode, Mike is a ten year RVer and writer of all things dealing with the RV Lifestyle. He is a regular contributor to the RV.net and Reddit GoRVing Forums. Serving as a Contributing Advisor for the TripAdvisor website, others can share in his insights into destinations throughout the Eastern United States. His blog “The Adventures and Travels of RoadAbode” relates personal travel experiences with friends and family in RoadAbode, his Class C RV – previously a rental. Other topics include RV updates, and reviews of RV resorts, products and destinations. Go to www.roadabode.us to read more, or contact Mike. Subscribe to the RoadAbode newsletter for a link to a FREE downloadable RVing LifeStyle Cookbook!

Photo Attribution:

  • Chocolate World By By Paulo Ordoveza from Washington, DC (Chocolate World  Uploaded by clusternote) (derivative image) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Milton Hershey By unknown (original image); Centpacrr (derivative image) (Hershey Community Archives (original image)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Boardwalk at Hersheypark [Public domain], via Wikipedia
  • America’s Largest RV Show Image by Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA)
Posted in Pennsylvania RV Camping Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Trip | 1 Comment

RVing RoadTrip: Exploring Lancaster PA

Lancaster PA Farmland

Horse drawn buggies, clip-clopping along country roads. Bonneted Amish girls tending garden by a roadside farmhouse. Bearded men in wide brimmed hats harvesting from rolling green fields.These sights are what many imagine they will come across as they pull into a campground in Lancaster Pennsylvania. These quaint snapshots of a simpler time can be found in this Southeastern Pennsylvania County, but the area has much more to offer to those visiting Lancaster and it’s surrounds by RV.  Let’s check out the History and Culture, Performing Arts, Foodie Finds, some of the interesting sights to see, and awesome shopping to be experienced.

History and Culture

The Amish and Mennonite Communities have shaped Lancaster, and their influences Amish community in PAare evident as you travel the country roads, past family farms, quaint schoolhouses and roadside farmers markets. The Amish have no cars, no phones, and no electricity  in their homes. To learn more about “The Plain People” take an Amish Buggy tour, and explore Amish Farmland. Enjoy some Shoofly pie or tangy chow-chow from the Bird in Hand Farmers Market. Visiting these places gives plenty of opportunity to talk with the people that live their life simply, and learn the storied history of the families that first settled the County.

Taking in some Performing Arts

Theater and music are alive and well in Lancaster. Whether you want a large scale show or something more intimate, enjoy comedy or drama, all can be found in Lancaster County. For large scale pageantry of biblical proportions, visit the Sight and Sound Theater with over 2000 seats, The American Music Theater features top country music and comedy stars. Rainbow Dinner Theater has offered Comedy Dinner Theater to families for over 30 years. For theater with local flair, the The Amish Experience at Plain & Fancy Farm is home to the only “experiential” theater on the East coast. Want to be interactive with your theater experience? Try the seasonal  Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire and become one of the Lords or Ladies of the Manor. Smaller, eclectic venues like PRIMA or Tellus360 offer folksy blues or funk rock vibe in a tavern setting. Click here for a list of Performing Arts venues.

Sights not to Miss

Besides Lancaster’s historic and artistic sides, there are other experiences to  take in. For young kids, check in at Dutch Wonderland Theme Park for kid friendly rides, shows, and adventures. Take a Steam train ride through the countryside at Strasburg Railroad and after, tour through the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum across the road. The National Christmas Museum keeps the holiday spirit alive throughout the year. Two motorsports venues offer either drag racing at Maple Grove Raceway or Buck Motorsports for tractor pulls, mud bogging, and demolition derbys.

Foodie Finds

There are plenty of choices for those who love to tantalize their taste buds. There is no reason to stop at one of the national food places, even though they are plentiful in the Lancaster area. Instead, Lancaster offers comfort food from family style buffets such as Shady Maple, Yoders, and Millers Smorgasbords all which feature plenty of local favorites.  Lancaster has a growing wine, brew and distilling industry. Stop into one of the great brew pubs like Lancaster, Spring House, or Iron Hill Brewing and sample a  local flight of robust stout or pale ale to complement a meal of flavorful ingredients locally grown.. For breakfast or dessert, indulge in some French influence with Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie or the delightful treats of Carmen & David’s Creamery. Check here for a comprehensive listing of foodie finds.

Foodie Tours include the Turkey Hill Experience, to learn how ice cream is made, Intercourse Pretzel Factory Tour, to see and taste a variety of pretzels, and Herr’s Snacks Factory Tour to see how potato chips are made, and taste them fresh off the line. Lancaster is the Land of Yum!

Shopping

Shopping in Lancaster, PALancaster is a mecca for those that love to “shop till they drop” Two shopping Outlets are only a mile or so apart from each other. Rockvale has more than 80 stores featuring high-end, premium brands, and  nine restaurants conveniently located right inside the outlet complex. Tanger though smaller, offers upscale retailers like Coach, Movado, and Talbots.

Besides the outlets, there is Central Market, the country’s oldest continuously operating farmers market. Kitchen Kettle Village offers unique shoppes with local, handcrafted items. Goods Store offers a genuine Pennsylvania Dutch shopping experience – where locals shop for great prices and good service. For those that enjoy thrifting one of the best is Re-Uzit whose mission is to support charity and is operated by the Mennonite Community. The multi-level building is more like shopping in a small department store than a thrift store. For a list of Lancaster’s shopping experiences, click in here

Where to Stay

Lancaster has some beautiful campgrounds to settle into while visiting the area. To stay surrounded by Amish farmland, Country Acres open year round offers sites right next to a working Amish farm. They also offer FREE area bus tours to campground guests. Flory’s is a quaint campground nestled between a working farm and local homes. Local farmers regularly visit to sell fresh produce. Lake-in-Wood Resort is “Home to the Gnomes” with a woodland gnome theme the resort is family friendly, includes a full service cafe, and well stocked camp store. To really feel pampered, check in to Spring Gulch, which has a full service Day Spa. There are plenty of other campgrounds to stay close to your favorite attractions. Here is a current list of RV resorts and campgrounds.

Other Destinations Close by

Head North to take in the sights, tastes, and smells of Hershey Pennsylvania, home of the famous chocolate still made there. Point your RV South to experience the beauty of the Brandywine Valley. If you’re travelling East you will come across Valley Forge and learn of the Colonies Revolutionary War for independence, West toward the setting sun to see Civil War History come alive at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Which ever way you head – it’s better when you are going RVing!

 

Mike Karl guest blogging for Monty’s Musings -The Motorhome Travel Blog – El Monte RV

About Mike Karl – Also known as RoadAbode, Mike is a ten year RVer and writer of all things dealing with the RV Lifestyle. He is a regular contributor to the RV.net and Reddit GoRVing Forums. His blog “The Adventures and Travels of RoadAbode” relates personal travel experiences with friends and family in RoadAbode, his Class C RV – previously a rental. Other topics include RV updates, and reviews of RV resorts, products and destinations. Go to www.roadabode.us to read more, or contact Mike. Subscribe to the RoadAbode newsletter for a link to a FREE downloadable RVing LifeStyle Cookbook!

Photograph credits:

The picture of Amish Farmland  is from Wikipedia and is in the public domain.

The picture of Amish Children is from Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The picture of Central Market in Lancaster PA is from Wikipedia and is in the public domain

 

 

Posted in Pennsylvania RV Camping Vacation, Pennsylvania RV Trip, RV Destinations blog, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | 1 Comment