Finding America by RV—US-6 through Cape Cod Beauty

Besides being the longest contiguous highway in America (3,205 miles from Provincetown, MA to Bishop, CA) US Route 6 promises RV travelers unique landscapes, vibrant towns and interesting characters as they follow this American highway.

Today’s post will take just a small bite of this iconic byway, focusing on the section through Cape Cod beauty, from Provincetown, MA to Providence, RI. What’s the reason for our narrow focus, when US-6 offers so much to RV campers? Because the scenic wonders, historic significance and fascinating folks you’ll find along this highway’s Cape Cod section are plenty for one RV road trip!

So, let’s get started by checking the attractions at the highway’s eastern end—Provincetown, Massachusetts. One of the nicest surprises about this coastal town on the very tip of Cape Cod is the camping available. Dune’s Edge Campground, run by the Trustees of Reservations, is tucked up against Cape Cod National Seashore. You’ll also find several private campgrounds on the Cape, so choose your level of amenities and be sure to make reservations before you come.

Don’t miss the windswept dunes of the National Seashore itself. It’s a treasure that’s been preserved for all visitors to America to enjoy, filled with marine and animal life and pristine Atlantic beaches.

You’ll want to walk the streets of Provincetown, as well, because that’s where the hidden charms come alive. Favorite spots reported by RV travelers to Provincetown include Whydah’s pirate ship museum, the shops and galleries on Commercial Street and climbing the steps for the view from Pilgrim Monument.

When you’ve had your fill of Provincetown pleasures, make your way west along US-6(A) to continue the search for small town charm. You can travel the main US-6 highway, instead. It all depends on whether time and speed are a factor, as US-6(A) is a slower route with more regional charm. Either way, the two highways converge above Truro, the next stop you should make.

Also at the northern end of Cape Cod, Truro is the perfect jumping off place for a day of nautical adventure. Popular ways to spend time outdoors include taking a whale watch tour or fishing charter, enjoying three local beaches that don’t require a resident parking sticker or touring Highland Light, the tallest lighthouse on Cape Cod. There’s also an excellent local vineyard, and a wildlife sanctuary just down the road at Wellfleet Bay.

Depending on the time you have to spend, you’ll want to treasure the sights, sounds and tastes of Cape Cod as you wander west along US-6 through the towns of Eastham, Barnstable and Sandwich, MA, never out of sight of glorious Cape Cod Bay. Take the time, at least, to relish the luscious lobster and other seafood readily available throughout the Cape!

Here’s a tip for camping, if you’re ready to stop in Sandwich. Shawme-Crowell State Forest offers basic, state forest style campgrounds and gives you a home base to investigate the glass museum, the beaches and other Sandwich, MA attractions.

It’s just a three-hour drive from Sandwich to the western end of our US-6 road trip at

Ned's Point Lighthouse, Cape Cod

Ned’s Point Lighthouse, Cape Cod

Providence, RI, but give yourself the gift of slowing things down as you hug the Atlantic coast through towns like Mattapoisett (home to Ned’s Point Lighthouse),  New Bedford (fascinating whaling museum and zoo) and Fall River, where the town’s excellent museums detail the area’s military and railroad history.

And we end our trip at Providence, Rhode Island, a city worth of its own RV vacation. From the awe-inspiring beauty of the WaterFire performance at Water Place Park (check the schedule, you won’t want to miss it!) to the extraordinary collection of historic buildings and parks (we highly recommend the Italian American section of Federal Hill) you’re going to love this college town.

We can’t say enough about the treasures awaiting RV travelers in Cape Cod and beyond on US-6. Whether you rent an RV or dust off the motorhome in your garage, it’s time to make plans to visit the eastern stretch of this historic highway.

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Finding America by RV—Idaho’s Northwest Passage Scenic Byway

Lewis & Clark, the mighty Nez Perce people, wild and scenic rivers rushing through remote canyons—just three of the many reasons to go in search of America in the wilds of North Central Idaho. One of America’s famed Scenic Byways traces the trail followed by the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery through Idaho in 1805 and 1806. It’s now known as the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway.

RV travelers longing to study these intrepid explorers, and the native people they lived among, won’t find a better route to follow than US-12 from Lewiston, ID east two hundred miles to the Montana border at Lolo Pass.

How Do We Get There?

Lucky for you, RV traveler, this gorgeously remote byway is easy to reach from a couple of major cities. It is, for example, only five and a half hours east from Portland, OR to Lewiston, ID along US-12. Lewiston is also about ten hours north of Salt Lake City via I-84. Either way, once you make your way to Lewiston, ID, the journey really gets spectacular.

As we mentioned, you’re going to follow US-12 from Lewiston all the way to the Montana border, through Lolo Pass. A spur of the Byway branches south at Kooskia, ID on Hwy 13 to Grangeville, so plan time to make that side trip for even more historic interest.

What Can We See and Where Can We Camp?

Whether you’re looking for historic sites, outdoor recreation or simply stunning views to capture in vacation photos, you’re going to love traveling the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway by RV.

By starting your journey at the Byway’s western terminus, you’ll be able to visit the Lewis & Clark Discovery Center on the Snake River in Hells Gate State Park. Take time to watch the half-hour video presentation From the Mountains to the Sea: Lewis & Clark in Idaho to learn the high points of this famous exploration. You’ll also find roomy campsites along the river, so consider a stop here before continuing along the Byway.

To fully understand the history of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, we must also know the role the Nez Perce people played. Follow the Scenic Byway (US-12) east along the Clearwater River to Spalding to find the Nez Perce National Historic Park. There’s a visitor center and museum here, plus access to numerous sites sacred to the Nez Perce.

As you continue east along the Byway, you’ll find the site of Canoe Camp, where the Corps of Discovery stopped to fashion canoes from large pine trees. A little farther east, in the town of Kamiah, be sure to visit the city park, where an interpretive exhibit highlights Long Camp,

Lewis & Clark with the Nez Perce Indians

Lewis & Clark with the Nez Perce Indians

where Lewis & Clark camped with the Nez Perce people. Don’t leave Kamiah without visiting the Heart of the Monster, the site where legend says the Nez Perce people were created.

From Kamiah, you have a choice to make. If you’re ready to stop for another night of Idaho RV camping, this is the perfect place to do it. The Kamiah, ID area boasts numerous private RV campgrounds along US-12 as well as campgrounds beyond Kamiah in Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest.

Should you decide to travel on to Kooskia and then south to Grangeville on Hwy 13, there are also private RV campgrounds in Grangeville. To fully understand the role of Western expansion in the history of the Nez Perce, seek out the interpretive signs on Hwy 13 near Stites, ID that tell the story of the Battle of the Clearwater and the forced migration of the Nez Perce into Montana under Chief Joseph. Once you’ve studied this site, it’s time to return to US-12 at Kooskia to conclude your journey.

You’re moving now through the remote beauty of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, along the Byway to the 1920s Lochsa Historical Ranger Station. Take time to soak in the stunning views in this rugged country and you’ll understand why it was sacred to the Nez Perce and highly praised by the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

At the end of your journey, two-hundred-two miles from where we started in Lewiston, you’ll find yourself at Lolo Pass, the main route over the Bitterroot Mountains into Montana. Stop at Lolo Pass Visitor Center to complete your education of the Northwest Passage Expedition and the final exodus of the Nez Perce people.

Are you ready to visit North Central Idaho by RV? The Northwest Passage Scenic Byway is the place to start. Whether you rent an RV for the trip or travel in your own beloved home-on-wheels, this trip through time is one every modern-day explorer should make.

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Finding America by RV—New Mexico’s Billy the Kid Trail

Chasing down legends of the Old West doesn’t have to be a rugged journey, thanks to modern RV comforts.  Our next installment in our Finding America by RV series takes us to east central New Mexico, where Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway loops through Wild West towns, a frontier fort and enough outdoor experiences to keep you busy for weeks. 

How Do We Get There?

Billy the Kid Trail is easy to reach by RV.  From Albuquerque, travel south on I-25 to the ghost town of San Antonio, NM and then southeast on US-380 to Capitan (about a three-hour journey). It’s also an eight-hour drive from Denver using the same interstate.

The Trail itself is the loop formed by NM-48, Hwy-70 and Hwy-380, with a dash across the middle to Fort Stanton NCA on NM-220. On your way you’ll pass through Ruidoso, Hondo, Lincoln and Capitan, NM.

What Can We See and Do There?

Billy the Kid Trail takes you through the pine forests, mountains and mesas of Lincoln National Forest, with two rivers—the Rio Bonito and Rio Ruidoso, providing scenic and recreation possibilities. You’ll begin to understand why the Trail’s namesake, that infamous teenage gunslinger, was able to hide so well here with his Regulators following the bloody Lincoln County War in the late 1870s.

The Sierra Blanca Range will surround you throughout your journey, with the highest peak in southern New Mexico, Sierra Blanca Peak, visible to your southwest on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Besides the Southwestern wilderness through which you’ll travel, you’re also going to discover some fascinating Wild West locations.

Starting with the town of Ruidoso, at the intersection of Hwy-70 and NM-48, you’ll get a sense of the many cultures who built the region. This mountain town with a scenic river flowing through it is also surrounded by adventure, with Ski Apache on Sierra Blanca Peak offering excellent skiing in winter (and views from New Mexico’s only ski gondola year-round) and world-famous horse racing just down the road at Ruidoso Downs.

Plunge into New Mexico’s outlaw history by traveling east on Hwy-70 to Hondo and then north on Hwy-380 to Lincoln, NM, scene of the two-year skirmish known as the Lincoln County War. Lincoln State Monument is a well-preserved collection of 1870s structures that tell the story of two ranchers who once owned the only store in immense Lincoln County and kept a stranglehold on supplies for nearby Fort Stanton, as well as neighboring ranches.

Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid

The museums, buildings and exhibits bear witness to the bloody struggle that erupted when a second store was opened in the region, supported by Billy the Kid and his ‘Regulators’. They also tell the story of the arrest, escape and murderous exploits of the Kid following the Lincoln County Wars, before being gunned down by Pat Garrett in 1881.

And that’s not all you’ll find along this national scenic byway that tells the tale of this region’s history. Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area, in the middle of your loop, is a national treasure. From the Rio Bonito Petroglyph National Trail, bearing witness to the Jornada Mogollon people who lived in the region from 1 AD to 1500 AD, to artifacts from the days African American Buffalo Soldiers were based at the fort, the story will be fascinating.

Besides the Petroglyph Trail, more than ninety miles of trails invite hikers and mountain bikers to discover the secrets of the NCA’s desert mountain terrain. Keep your eyes open for mule deer, elk and black bears as you drive, hike or ride within the National Conservation Area. Speaking of conserving wildlife, Snowy River Cave isn’t open to non-scientific exploration at the present time, in order to eradicate a disease threatening area bat populations.

Where Can We Camp Near Billy the Kid Trail?

You may have already guessed that this national byway is a favorite of RV travelers to New Mexico. Because it is, you’ll discover every style RV campground along your route. In Lincoln National Forest, for example, fans of boondocking are allowed to camp along forest roadways, as long as they observe certain guidelines.

There are also two developed campgrounds with inexpensive campsites within the national forest. For those who prefer a little more comfort when RV camping in New Mexico, private campgrounds near Ruidoso and Alto are waiting to welcome you on your visit.

There you have it, one more reason to rent an RV or take your own motorhome out of storage when camping season calls. Billy the Kid Trail—a journey to find history, beauty and adventure in New Mexico.

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Finding America by RV—Rockefeller Memorial Parkway

What would it take to turn your mind to an RV road trip? How about two national parks, twenty-thousand-plus acres of rugged Western beauty, and wildlife roaming free all along your route? John D Rockefeller, Jr Memorial Parkway, twenty-seven miles of Wyoming splendor, is one RV road trip anyone in search of America should travel.

How Do We Get There?

You’ll find this unforgettable stretch of road at the northern boundary of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, stretching north to West Thumb Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. From Salt Lake City, it’s a six-hour drive north on I-15 into Grand Teton NP, then north on US-191, the main road through the Parkway. It also makes for a scenic thirteen-hour journey from Sacramento on I-80 to Wells, Nevada and then north to Grand Teton via US-93.

No matter which direction you’re traveling by RV to reach Grand Teton National Park, slow down once you reach the Park’s borders and begin to absorb the grandeur of the surrounding mountain range.

What Will We See There?

The Tetons are motivation enough to make the journey, but there’s so much more to see while you’re there. The John D Rockefeller Memorial Parkway encompasses twenty-four-thousand acres, bounded on two sides by national forests, encompassing the jagged peaks of the Grand Teton Range, the volcanic beginnings of Yellowstone NP and the wild beauty of the Snake River.

Be aware that large mammals roam freely along the Parkway and don’t be surprised to see grizzlies, elk and bighorn sheep among the many species that call this paradise home.

What Can We Do Nearby?

Once you’ve looked your fill at the scenery along the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, your options for outdoor recreation are abundant. Both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks are rich with natural wonders, from geysers to breathtaking views of two mountain ranges.

Here are just a few special places to explore in the two national parks along the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway:

  • Visit Colter Bay Village on Jackson Lake in Grand Teton NP for access to paddling, Snake River rafting and fishing, or hiking the trails surrounding nearby lakes.
  • Take the scenic drive to Mormon Row and visit the 1890s homesteads to learn about the early settlement of Antelope Valley.

    Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

    Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

  • Visit the western bay on Lake Yellowstone known as West Thumb, at the northern end of Rockefeller Parkway to see hydrothermal features like geysers, mudpots and hot springs.
  • Don’t miss Yellowstone favorites like Old Faithful, thirteen-story Tower Falls and prime wildlife watching in Lamar Valley.

Where Can We Camp Near the Parkway?

Being located within two national parks, the Rockefeller Memorial Parkway is conveniently close to exceptional RV camping. Developed campgrounds near Moran, WY at the Parkway’s southern terminus, the Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch, right on the Parkway and two miles from Yellowstone’s southern entrance and campgrounds within Bridger-Teton National Forest are just a few of the options you have for camping in this area that’s highly popular with RV travelers. 

Your journey to discover America by RV deserves a stop at Wyoming’s western national parks Don’t miss this drive along the Roosevelt Memorial Parkway. Pick up your RV rental and pack your outdoor gear…it’s time to find your own camping memories!

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RV Camping Destinations—Where to Get Great Ideas

So many things to see! So many campsites to discover! But how in the world do we decide where our RVs will take us when we next go camping?

For some of us, the answer is simple—we go to the places we’ve always gone, those special campgrounds where we know what to expect, which old friends are likely to be there and what adventures are just around the bend.

But for other RV travelers, anticipation is the thing—that tingle of excitement when we turn the key in the ignition and go out in search of something new. And we’re here to help you get started!  We’re constantly collecting new resources to assist our readers who are ready to set up camp at someplace new.

Fasten your seatbelts for our quick list of places you can go right now to find info on campgrounds, camping activities and unforgettable camping destinations.

Where will the road take you?

El Monte RV Rentals: Every once in a while, we like to remind our readers about the fantastic travel resources we’ve gathered on the way to becoming one of America’s top RV rental firms. Here are just a few of the pages you might find helpful as you look for new reasons to travel:

  • RV Camping Guide: Tons of information on places to go, things to do and how to make it easy to get there by RV. From air shows to NCAA football tailgating, we’ve got the goods right here on your next reason to go camping.
  • State by State Campground Guide: Our list of exceptional campgrounds waiting to host your next vacation.
  • Camping Opportunities Calendar: Month-by-month calendar of special events that are custom-made for a camping adventure.
  • RV Camping Itineraries: Step-by-step journeys mapped across America to provide maximum camping satisfaction.
  • RV Trip Planning Resources: Our collection of special helps for RV campers, from green camping information to how-to guides for newbie campers.

National Park Service: No doubt about it, America’s national parks are some of the finest legacies we’ve preserved for future generations. Mountain-top to shining sea, our country has set aside magnificent landscapes, historical sites and cultural treasures to be camped, hiked, studied and treasured by each new generation.

The National Park Service website does an excellent job of sharing what you’ll need to know. Simply click on the map to start searching for the kinds of places your family will enjoy and then click on Plan Your Visit to locate camping opportunities. Get out there and find America this year!

StateParks.com: Here’s another gem for campers mining the internet in search of travel destinations. Maps, abundant details on facilities and reviews by other campers make this site another go-to place for planning your next itinerary.

Private Campground Resources: Click here and scroll down to Other Camping Resources to locate links to sites like Kampgrounds of America (KOA.com), Passport America and Thousand Trails. You’ll also find a wealth of information on where to find free campsites and how to reserve campsites at most state and national parks (ReserveAmerica.com and Recreation.gov.)

We challenge each one of you to make it through this list without finding a place you’ve never been! Don’t stay home this camping season simply because you can’t decide where to go.

Let us help you find your next RV camping experience, the one you might have missed if your friends at El Monte Motorhome Rentals hadn’t lent a hand.

Posted in RV Rentals, RV Vacation, RV Vacation Ideas | 2 Comments

Hiking and RV Camping in Joshua Tree National Park

Camping in the surreal landscape of Joshua Tree National Park is unlike any other American camping experience. The huge, uniquely shaped boulders, the distinct silhouette of thousands of Joshua Trees marching along the desert floor and the abundance of desert plant and animal life make coming to this place where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts meet fascinating. It also provides an amazing place for hikers to explore, stretching twelve-hundred square miles through Southern California near Palm Springs.

Where to Camp at Joshua Tree

RV Camping at Joshua Tree National Park

RV Camping at Joshua Tree National Park

Camping at Joshua Tree NP is fairly easy, if you prepare ahead for ‘dry camping’ conditions. There are actually five developed campgrounds within the park, with two equipped for RVs. There aren’t any electrical, water or sewer hook-ups at these campsites, but two campgrounds—Black Rock and Indian Cove—have drinking water available within the campground. Reservations are highly recommended from October to May, as the mild winter temperatures in this desert national park make it a popular place with campers.

Here are some tips to help make your Joshua Tree National Park camping experience a good one.

* Generator use is limited to 7-9 a.m., 12-2 p.m., and 5-7 p.m., so plan electrical use accordingly.

* Pets must remain leashed at all times outside your RV.

* Only small campfires, within fire rings or grills provided by the park, are allowed. * If no campsites are available on your desired dates, use this link from NPS.gov to locate other local options.

* Always practice Leave No Trace camping etiquette.

Where to Hike at Joshua Tree NP

You’ve set up camp and you’ve laced up your hiking boots, but which way to go? You could start at one of the park’s three visitor centers to get an overview of the unique ecosystems and the trails that wind through them.

Or you could use this handy guide to Joshua Tree NP hiking trails at NPS.gov. Either way, you’ll find plenty of information about popular destinations within the park. Here are just a few suggestions for places to discover from the park’s nearly three dozen trailheads.

Keys View is a rocky promontory with views of the Coachella Valley. The short loop trail is accessible via a twenty-minute drive from Park Boulevard.

The seven-mile hike into Lost Palms Oasis leads to a palm-filled canyon.

Making the hike up to Mastodon Peak is a must if you’re in good condition, as you’ll never forget those views of the Salton Sea.

Older kids would love the one-mile hike into Hidden Canyon, where enormous boulders are said to have once hidden cattle rustlers.

These are only a few of the dozens of trails that you’ll encounter as you begin to explore Joshua Tree National Park on foot. Keep in mind that, even in winter, this is a place of sudden weather changes, so always be prepared. You’ll also want to carry plenty of water in this desert environment and respect the plant and animal life that makes this place so special.

Consider hiking and camping at Joshua Tree National Park on your next visit to Southern California. If lack of an RV is keeping you at home, give us a call and we’ll help you find the rental location and RV model that suits your plans. It’s going to be a trip you’ll talk about for years!

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Southern RV Comfort—Three Trips You’ll Want to Take

Visiting the American South by RV always delivers the unexpected. Whether you’re chasing warmer temps in winter or a balmy lakeshore in July, there’s a southern RV adventure with your name on it.

To whet your appetite for sweet tea and southern RV comfort, we’ve chosen three special places that welcome campers with the attractions, amenities and authentic southern charm.

Auburn, Alabama

Travel south on I-85 from Atlanta, Georgia, and you’ll find a place where farmer’s markets offer abundance year-round, waterfalls splash into crystal clear pools and Auburn Tigers football reigns supreme.

Even more enticing are the options for RV camping in this eastern Alabama playground. From a cozy, farmstead campground beneath the trees to a large, first-class resort with every amenity an RV camper could want, there’s a place for every style camper in Auburn. You’ll also have the chance to visit one of the prettiest state parks in the South. Just a short drive from Auburn, Chewacla State Park offers a full-service campground, picturesque swimming beach and a rocky waterfall worth the hike to discover.

While in the town of Auburn, be sure to visit the many farmer’s markets for a taste of natural Alabama. RV travelers also list the vintage town of Opelika as a must-see attraction while in the Auburn area. And don’t miss the live music venues that keep the nighttime sizzling downtown in both Auburn and Opelika.

Give yourself the gift of visiting the Auburn area by RV. Here’s a link to Alabama RV campgrounds to assist your planning.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

RVers who travel the South frequently are familiar with a vibrant town on the Mississippi coast where historic sites, casinos and Gulf Coast outdoor recreation deliver the best in vacation fun.

Bay St. Louis is surrounded by scenic blueways where you can paddle through the bayous and along the Pascagoula River. Nature trails dot the landscape on public lands preserved for future generations. The coastal plain makes a fascinating classroom, filled with plant life, animals and birds in stunning varieties. Local outfitters can plan a tour by land or water that will suit the interests of your entire group.

Prefer to spend your days in town? In Old Town Bay St. Louis, you’ll find the perfect place to enjoy a jazz brunch, to purchase unique gifts made by local artisans and to soak up the charm and culture of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There’s even a self-guided walking or biking tour that celebrates the town that’s stood the test of three centuries.

We can’t discuss the attractions of the Gulfport-Biloxi area without mentioning casinos, two, in fact right in city of Bay St. Louis. Casinos don’t just mean gambling, either; they feature world class entertainment, upscale shops and luxury spa services, as well. Check with your campground hosts about the local shuttles that ferry gaming enthusiasts to area casino action.

Speaking of campgrounds, when it’s time to set up camp in Bay St. Louis, you won’t be disappointed. There are hundreds of campsites within easy driving distance of Bay St. Louis attractions, in the city itself as well as in surrounding towns like Gulfport, Pass Christian and Kiln. Use this handy list of Mississippi RV campgrounds, and be sure to make reservations…this region is famous with RV campers.

Blairsville, Georgia

If a tiny mountain town surrounded by national forest sounds like the ideal place to go RV camping in the South, it’s high time you came to Blairsville, Georgia. An hour and a half north of Atlanta in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this alpine hamlet is the hub for a wide variety of outdoor recreation.

Cabin in Vogel State Park

Cabin in Vogel State Park

Camp in nearby Vogel State Park in Chattahoochee National Forest, and then find the trails that lead past mountain peaks, quiet hollows and hidden lakes rich with wildlife. Be sure to experience the views from Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. Keep your eyes open for waterfalls along the way, as well.

When you’re ready for a bit more civilization, take a trip into the towns of Blairsville and Suches, where year-round festivals add even more flavor to your Blue Ridge Mountain experience. One more note for paddling enthusiasts—three lakes in surrounding Union County give plenty of blue water possibilities.

RV camping in the South is a different experience everywhere you stop and every time you come. If you’re looking for authentic Southern RV comfort and charm, you can’t go wrong by choosing one of these three destinations. And, because we’re here to help, be sure to let us know if an RV rental will help make the trip your reality.

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Wildflower Touring by RV—Start Planning Now!

Whether you’re reading this while the snow blows past your windows or from a beach where there’s endless summer, it’s gonna be spring sooner than you think. With warm weather comes one of my favorite occupations, jumping in the RV and tracking down the meadows, prairies and mountain slopes where wildflowers paint the landscape.

No matter if you’ll be dusting off your RV from winter storage or planning for an RV rental, it’s not too early to plot your course in search of the best wildflower displays. Or maybe you’ll make several trips by the time the flowers fade and late summer’s heat turns us to other ways to enjoy RV camping. If RV travel to find America’s wildflowers strikes a chord, here’s a quick list of places you’ll want to discover:

America’s Best Wildflowers by RV

By mid-March, the bluebonnets are blooming and they’re joined by red and white poppies, coreopsis, Indian paintbrush, fire wheels and a dozen more vibrantly-colored species of wildflowers in Texas Hill Country.

From March to May, you’ll find a gorgeous vista over every hilltop, especially if start in Fredericksburg and follow US-87 north to the towns of Doss, Castile and Mason, saving time to venture onto side roads for even more wildflower glory. One special note: this is a journey best taken during the week, as wildflower lovers come from all over on weekends to enjoy the display. Reserve your spot early at a Hill Country campground, too, so you won’t have to leave this remarkable region too soon.

Another extraordinary opportunity to view hundreds of acres of wildflowers in one place can be found in California’s Central Valley at Carrizo Plain National Monument. Depending on winter rainfall, you may spot during March and April purple lupine, golden California poppies, orange fiddleneck and goldenbush carpeting the Monument’s two valleys.

As you hike through this nearly quarter-million acre BLM preserve, you’ll be enchanted by daisies and other bright spring florals on the slopes of the surrounding mountains.

The two RV-capable campgrounds here are primitive, meaning you’ll need to fill your water tanks and empty waste tanks so you’re self-contained. No electricity here, either, so keep that in mind when you come. If you’ve never experienced BLM camping, it’s a whole different world from developed campgrounds but the back-to-nature peacefulness is worth the adjustment.

Our next pick for an RV camping trip to find glorious wildflower color would be to Colorado, where the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival has encouraged in-depth enjoyment of local wildflowers since the 1980s. Scheduled events for this July festival (you’ll need to register online before you come) include 4×4 tours, hikes and rides to discover medicinal plants, photography workshops and more.

Expect to see stunning displays of columbines, sunflowers, lupine, elephantella and other showy species of wildflowers on your RV trip to Crested Butte. Camping possibilities near Crested Butte, CO include Lake Irwin Campground in Gunnison National Forest and at least a dozen private campgrounds in the Gunnison/Crested Butte area. Here’s a link to RV campgrounds in Colorado.

RV Wildflower Viewing Trips

RV Wildflower Viewing Trips

I’ll complete my list of suggested RV wildflower tours with a trip to the shores of Lake Michigan, where Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore provides plenty of chances to photograph and otherwise enjoy the wildflowers of spring.

The Lakeshore’s Bay View Hiking Trail is a popular hike to find wildflowers. Pitcher’s thistle, pink ladyslipper and orange dune lily are just three of the floral delights you’ll discover as you hike the trails on your own or take one of the ranger-led tours during May and June. You’ll also enjoy camping at Platte River Campground, close to Lake Michigan as well as hiking trails, scenic drives and other National Lakeshore attractions.

Do these ideas for planning an RV wildflower tour have you wishing for spring? We understand, and we’re ready to help you plan your trip, complete with a convenient RV rental. Map your route and have your cameras ready; spring wildflowers are just around the corner.

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Get the Jump on Planning Spring RV Camping

The winter months aren’t kind to many parts of the US, where motorhomes and trailers sit tucked away in storage. Those cold winter months, however, are the best time to plan for camping once the snow thaws. We’ve collected some helpful tips that smart RV campers use to get the jump on planning spring RV excursions.

Tip #1: Save the Date!

While there’s virtue in being spontaneous, many popular campgrounds fill quickly with the first hint of spring. They may also take reservations for campsites months in advance.

If there’s a special place that beckons you to set up camp, check the website or give them a call and find out when the campground opens (if not year-round), how far in advance you can book campsites and, if you’re planning to go on a holiday weekend, whether there’s a minimum number of days for reservations.

By mapping out your spring camping season in advance, and booking your campsites early, you’ll avoid disappointment and have more time to enjoy the places you love to camp.

Here’s a quick list of ideas to get more information on popular RV camping venues in America:

  • State-by-State private campground list at ElMonteRV.com.
  • Access to info on US Forestry Service, National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Land Management campgrounds at recreation.gov.
  • Campgrounds on State and Federal public lands at reserveamerica.com.
  • Kampgrounds of America listings at koa.com.
  • Information on National Park seasons, campgrounds and activities at nps.gov.
  • Also check individual RV campground and resort websites

Tip #2: Do Your Homework on Special Event Camping

For spring RV camping that’s connected to a festival or sporting event, it pays to do your homework months in advance.

You might, for instance, be planning to go RV camping to the legendary South by Southwest festival in Austin next March. If you are, this link to Austin area campgrounds is a good place to start. By booking early, you’ll have a better chance of scoring campsites close to the SXSW events you plan to attend.

Baseball fans, on the other hand, might be planning to travel by RV to the final round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic in Los Angeles. Pick a Los Angeles area campground and book your campsite now for the best experience next March. Double your California camping fun by planning to camp near San Diego and attend Round Two games for the Classic the week before.

Or you may love traveling by RV to Cactus League spring training baseball games in Arizona, or Grapefruit League pre-season match-ups in Florida. Either way, you’ll want to reserve your campsites early near your favorite ballparks.

The bottom line to optimum spring RV camping at sporting events and festivals: buy your tickets and book your campsites early. You’ll be glad you did.

Tip #3: Reserve Your Trailer or Motorhome Rental

If owning a motorhome isn’t on your horizon, you can still plan to camp next spring. Renting an RV is an affordable way to experience camping at your favorite locations. Use this RV rental link to get in touch with helpful El Monte RV staff who can help you reserve the RV you need.

Find out how early you can book reservations, especially surrounding special events or near popular camping venues such as national parks. It’s easier than you think to rent an RV, and we’re happy to help with the planning.        Spring Camping Planning

Spring’s Coming Sooner Than You Think!

It may be hard to imagine camping at your favorite campground when the snow’s piling up outdoors. Spring, however, waits for no camper and it’s going to be here before you know it. Pick a place where you can play outdoors, watch exciting sports action or hear live music close to your campground and start planning. Spring RV camping season will be here sooner than you think!

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Four Urban RV Campgrounds-Affordable Lodging in the Big City

Camping beyond the city lights is always a good way to relax, unwind and get back to nature. But have you ever thought of taking along the RV when you visit big cities? Once you compare the expense of hotels, restaurant meals and rental cars to the convenience and affordability of RV camping, urban RV campgrounds become an attractive alternative.

But where can you camp that makes sense when visiting larger cities?  We’re glad you asked, because we’ve put together our list of four favorite urban RV campgrounds that keep you close to the action.  Keep in mind, we’re not talking about stealth boondocking on city streets. These are places where camping can be comfortable and affordable while putting you within easy reach of big city attractions.

Urban Camping Ideas for RVers

* Greenbelt Park, twelve miles north of the Washington DC metro area in suburban Maryland, is an affordable, comfortable alternative to pricey DC-area hotels.  You won’t find electric and water hookups in the one hundred seventy-four wooded campsites, but you will find hot showers, flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station.  Your self-contained RV does the rest!  You’ll also be a mile and a half from a DC Metro station, making it easy to access all DC-area attractions.  Consider camping at this NPS-operated campground next time you visit our nation’s capital!

* Campland on the Bay in San Diego was voted one of the 10 Best Urban Campgrounds in 2014. With its own stretch of beach and a boat launch on Mission Bay, as well as an amazing array of year-round planned activities, RVers may be tempted to stay on-site their entire vacation.  But you’ll also be right across the Bay from SeaWorld, less than twenty miles from Coronado Island and within easy reach of San Diego’s many vibrant suburbs.

* Winter Island Park in Salem, Massachusetts is a destination unto itself.  Designated a Marine Recreational Area, the park offers 30 amp and 50 amp campsites from May to October. Boating, lighthouse tours, Salem walking tours and dozens of other attractions in the Salem area can keep campers busy, but you’ll also be within an hour’s drive of most Boston attractions.  Bring the towed vehicle if you plan to drive in Boston (restrictions on propane in certain tunnels) or take the Salem Ferry or MBTA into Boston for more flexibility.

* McKinney Falls State Park, fifteen minutes south of the Texas State Capitol in Austin,

Lower Falls, McKinney Falls State Park

Lower Falls, McKinney Falls State Park

is an urban RV camper’s dream.  With 30 amp and 50 amp campsites, hiking trails, fishing and swimming on Onion Creek and many other ways to play outdoors, this state park also provides low-cost Austin vacation lodging (less than $25 per night!) It’s a short drive to Austin’s world-famous entertainment districts, Lady Bird Lake and fabulous cultural icons like the Paramount Theater.

These are only four of the urban RV campgrounds that can change the way you travel to larger cities. Pick a city and start investigating the state parks, city parks and private campgrounds that might be hidden near popular attractions. Isn’t it time you joined the growing trend of urban RV camping?

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