Renting an RV in Arizona

There’s one very large, and very deep reason that many families flock to Arizona for an unforgettable vacation. The Grand Canyon, with its spectacular views and mind-blowing expansiveness, is a ‘must-visit’ for any nature enthusiast.

Although the Grand Canyon has to be priority number one for your Arizona visit, many folks aren’t aware that the great state of Arizona has far more to offer travelers, including a rich Native American history and other natural splendors, such as petrified forests and meteoric craters.

Renting an RV is a surefire way to make sure you can enjoy all of Arizona’s gems in comfort and style. Geographically, Arizona’s cities and attractions are fairly spread out, and being in complete control of your lodging and transportation is a luxury you won’t regret.

Why Renting an RV in Arizona Is the Way to Go

Seasoned RV veterans know that the greatest benefit of RV travel is the freedom and independence to explore the world at your own pace. If this is your first time considering an RV rental for you or your family, imagine this: a true mobile camping experience with all of the creature comforts your home has to offer on demand.

In Arizona, specifically, you will be in awe as you take in the nighttime views as the sun begins to set. Grab a couple of lawn chairs, step right outside your door, and marvel over the gorgeous rocky landscape as the famous desert sunset washes over the sky, painting vivid pinks and purples that will take your breath away.  

10 Memorable Places to See in Arizona in Your Rental RV

Arizona is first and foremost a desert state, with incredible natural rocky features and a seemingly endless sky. A few powerful rivers have created expansive canyons that offer incredible hiking and bird-watching opportunities.

Many of the monuments and state parks are also rich with historical significance, providing valuable educational opportunities for children and history buffs, alike.

Here is a guide to the top ten RV destinations in Arizona to make your trip unforgettable.

Grand Canyon National Park

This is it. The big one. For many Americans, the Grand Canyon is one of the first natural wonders that comes to mind. Formed by erosion over millions (yes, millions) of years by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is over 1,900 square miles (larger than the state of Rhode Island) and around one mile deep. The views are simply unparalleled and an RV is the perfect way to take it all in.

The South Rim is the preferred destination for RVers, although daily parking for vehicles over twenty-two feet can be limited at peak season (which is essentially any time kids are off from school). If you happen to be making the Canyon a day trip, you can always utilize the free shuttle from Tusayan (~20 minutes from the park).

If you plan on staying longer, the Mather, Desert View, and Trailer Village campgrounds offer great within-park accommodations. Be aware that Trailer Village campground is the only one with full RV hookup access, however. Plan ahead and get those reservations in place as soon as possible because this convenience is highly desirable.   

 Learn more about Grand Canyon National Park.

Sonoran Desert National Monument

Located in the southwestern corner of the state, the Sonoran Desert National Monument is approximately five hundred thousand acres of beautiful desert landscapes and incredible biodiversity. The monument boasts three unique mountain ranges and a massive saguaro cactus forest that draws thousands of nature enthusiasts each year.

When visiting the monument in your RV, be sure to stay on designated roads and it’s a good idea to have a full tank of gas and plenty of drinking water and food. A visit here is a proper desert experience and the only amenities you will find will be inside your RV so if you plan to stay inside the park, be prepared to dry camp. Otherwise, there are multiple RV parks within 10 miles of either side of the park, if you prefer.

Learn more about the Sonoran Desert National Monument.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

A wonderful visit for history fans, the Montezuma Castle National Monument is a striking example of human ingenuity. Over four hundred years ago, the Sinagua people carved an impressive dwelling into a cliff face, fifty feet above the ground.

This monument is a great stop on your way to or from larger parks and attractions. Rest your feet from your desert hikes while learning some fascinating history. It is located right off of I-17, near Camp Verde where you can find plentiful RV camping options if you would like to spend the night nearby.

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park has incredible experiences to offer RV travelers of all ages. It is named for its incredible concentrations of fossilized trees. This petrified wood, which is hundreds of millions of years old, is an amazing mix of reds, oranges, and blues. The park service has recently opened new trails through previously inaccessible areas so this is a great time to visit.

Apart from hiking, check out the extensive geocaching network with the kids for a unique treasure hunt in a beautiful natural setting. The park also offers highly entertaining and informative cultural demonstrations put on by local artisans at the Painted Desert Inn. Cruising the twenty-eight-mile scenic drive in the comfort of your RV is also a must.

RV camping is not permitted within the park, but there are many privately-owned options within both Navajo and Apache counties which each contain a portion of the forest.  

Learn more about Petrified Forest National Park.

Kartchner Caverns State Park

Sure, there’s plenty of desert beauty as you look around the great state of Arizona. But did you know that there’s an amazing world below the surface? You owe it to yourself to check out Kartchner Caverns, an expansive series of caves with impressive formations nestled in the foothills of the Whetstone Mountains.

There is plenty of hiking, wildlife, cave, and camping activities offered by the park so an overnight stay is recommended. The RV sites within the park have full electrical and water hookups for maximum comfort and convenience. Learn more about Kartchner Caverns State Park.

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is named after the massive saguaro cactus. Growing to heights of over forty feet, the park showcases these incredible cacti. For a real treat, visit the park in May when the gorgeous white blossoms make their impressive, but short appearance. The hundreds of Native American petroglyphs are also a fascinating feature on many miles of trails that offer breathtaking views of Arizonian nature.

No RV camping is allowed within the park, although the large city of Tucson is less than 5 miles away. Tucson’s suburbs offer plentiful RV park options and you’re sure to find an open spot, even at the busiest of times. If you’re craving a little break from nature, pop into the city and enjoy an upscale dinner downtown.

Learn more about Saguaro National Park.

Antelope Canyon

Perhaps one of the most visually-striking attractions in Arizona, a stop at Antelope Canyon is a must. Carved by erosion, Antelope Canyon is winding and immensely colorful. Walk along the base and gaze up at the swirling cliffs one hundred and twenty feet above you. The colors of the walls can change with the lighting conditions and each visit can be a unique visual experience. The best lighting occurs from late spring to early fall. Be aware that a tour guide is required to visit the inside of the canyon.

To maintain and protect the area, no camping is allowed at Antelope Canyon. The closest proper campsite is at the Wahweap Campground on Lake Powell which is roughly thirty minutes away. Otherwise, RVers may choose to stay at an RV park within the quaint city of Page only twelve minutes from the canyon.

Learn more about Antelope Canyon.


Sedona’s slogan is “The Most Beautiful Place on Earth”, and you just may have a hard time arguing otherwise. An incredible contrast to typical desert terrain, Sedona boasts lush, green forests that add an unforgettable element to the already gorgeous mountains and canyons. Apart from its natural beauty, you will also find plentiful entertainment, including golf courses, shopping, fine dining, wine tasting, and much more.

There are many private cabins and houses (extremely luxurious ones too if you’re really looking to splurge) for rent all around Sedona if you’re looking to change up your lodging. Otherwise, choose from several parks with full hookup access or perhaps one of the RV resorts which offer premium amenities.   

Learn more about Sedona.

Meteor Crater

About forty miles outside of Flagstaff, the Meteor Crater is a great reminder that Earth is just one small part of the vast cosmos. Almost four thousand feet wide and five hundred sixty feet deep, the meteor that created this vast crater struck the Earth approximately fifty thousand years ago. Learn all about the science of these space missiles in an interactive experience at the museum and walk around the rim of the crater to take in its immense size. Save a few bucks by purchasing discounted tickets online rather than at the window.

The crater hosts its own RV park 5 miles offsite. Camping here earns discounts at the museum and easy access to I-40. Pets are also welcome guests (dogs on leash, please) and WIFI access is available. Learn more about Meteor Crater.

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument

Some of the most famous rock formations in the state can be found at Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. The most famous one, “The Wave”, does indeed look like the rocks have become fluid, creating the illusion that a big orange wave may crash down around you. There are particularly great hikes here for amateur and seasoned photographers, alike. This is a great RV stop to enjoy along with Antelope Canyon (#7 above) as you can keep your accommodations in, or near the city of Page.

Campgrounds and RV Parks in Arizona

Luckily, there are a fair number of parks, monuments, and attractions that offer onsite RV camping in Arizona.

Those that do not offer onsite RV camping have a nice variety of privately-run parks pretty close by. For options outside the parks themselves, check out the list of great options all over Arizona from Good Sam.

Whether you are looking for an authentic camping experience in the wilderness, or you would rather be near a city, you can find exactly what you’re looking for as you travel throughout the Grand Canyon State. Check out the Good Sam Campgrounds in the area here.

Things to Know About Renting an RV in Arizona

Things to Note About Camping in Arizona

Remember, Arizona is a desert state and it gets HOT! Average highs hit triple-digit temperatures in the summer months, so make sure to keep yourself hydrated and take proper precautions when it comes to sun exposure (e.g. sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc.). In fact, you may want to consider whether summer is the right time to visit because the winter and spring months are quite comfortable.

The dry desert air and lack of cloud cover also mean it can get quite cold at night (with temperature swings sometimes over thirty degrees) and if you’re having too much fun, this cool-down can sneak up on you. As you are out and about in the evenings, be sure to have a light jacket or hoodie with you to keep you comfortable.

If you enjoy a nice campfire to wind down your RV evenings, be sure to double-check your campground’s policies and fire advisories as these can change daily, based on environmental conditions. Unfortunately, wildfires are particularly common and destructive in Arizona due to the natural dry heat. This is why it is very important to be careful and respectful of all fire advisories.

Dry Camping or Boondocking in Arizona

If you are looking to get "away from it all," dry camping or “boondocking” is your best RV option to isolate yourself. Boondocking means that there are no hookups available (e.g. sewer, electrical, water), and your RV unit is operating independently.

Due to significant fire hazard concerns, dry camping is not fairly common in Arizona parks and is somewhat discouraged (especially for novice RVers). Also, because it is mostly desert, boondocking could be dangerous if an emergency did arise. Some businesses, however, will allow you to dry camp in their parking lots if you obtain permission.