California: the Golden Coast. It’s one of the most lovely and most-visited places in the country, and for good reason. All along the coast, and much further inland, there are so many places to visit that are awe-inspiring. And with so much coastal highway, renting an RV in California and taking in all of the sights makes for a fantastic vacation.
Hitting the road in a rental RV is a great way to take in as much as you can, all while spending quality time together on the road. Plus with all kinds of state and national parks and other lands, staying amid nature in your RV means you get to fully immerse yourself in a real California vacation.
Because California’s terrain and land vary so much from the southern coasts to the northern, and from the coast to the inland forests, there’s a ton to see and a little bit for everyone.
Especially if you’re new to RVing, renting an RV is a popular and easy way to get to your vacation faster. We’ll never talk you out of buying one (in fact, we can help you find the perfect one for you), but there are a lot of upsides to renting an RV—especially in a state like California. The maintenance and upkeep associated with an RV can often be prohibitive to people who are interested in vacationing quickly.
Another reason to consider renting an RV is the costs in California. It’s not a cheap place, and hotels and food for you and your family can cost enough to prevent you from doing other, more exciting things. Camping at an RV campground, on the other hand, can save you a significant amount of money, and you’ll have a kitchen with you everywhere you go. If you’re interested in getting out and getting on the road fast and want to test out the RV lifestyle in California, renting an RV is the way to go.
California is a big state, and with such diverse landscapes, it’s difficult to plan everything you want to do. Thankfully, there are lots of places you can reach from the comfort of your rental RV. We’ve put together a list of 10 places that should be high on your must-see list for a vacation in California.
Being absolutely loaded with national parks, California is a prime place for camping and RV parks.
Many of the national parks allow camping, though, of course, those areas fill up very quickly. You’ll also find other camps and RV parks outside of every national park that will be every bit as enjoyable as staying inside the park. On any property overseen by the Bureau of Land Management, you can boondock or dry camp. It’s a great option in very temperate areas.
Because California is such a spot for tourism and vacations, it’s important to plan your RV trip ahead. Reserve your campground spots and plan your routes so you can be prepared. See the Good Sam campgrounds in your area here.
When you think of California you probably imagine year-round beautiful weather and temperate climates. While you’ll find that in some coastal cities, it’s not the case for the entire state. From the coast to just a few miles inland, the temperature can swing dramatically. It’s not unheard of to shift 10 to 15 degrees over practically no time at all.
Pack appropriately and dress in layers, especially if you plan to be out doing recreational things. If you’re going to enjoy the beach, bring a cover-up and lots of sunscreen. Mornings in areas like San Francisco can be downright chilly, while the mountains in northern California can have serious snowfall in the winter.
The point is that despite being one state, the entirety of California falls in a lot of different climates. It’s important to take care and pack appropriately when you’re traveling.
Another thing to note about camping in California is that almost annually, California suffers from wildfires. This happens because droughts plague a lot of the grasslands, causing plants to dry out. Then one spark can set an entire field ablaze, and wind spreads it quickly. When you’re camping and have a campfire, be sure to put it out completely with both water and stirring to make sure there are no embers remaining.
California has a lot of property overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can plan to boondock or dry camp on any of these lands—at least where you can easily drive your rental RV.
Dry camping or boondocking means you’re camping in your RV without hookups. You’re relying on the amount of water in your tanks and your generators for electricity. It does present a different kind of challenge than a traditional site with hookups, and it’s important to be prepared for what nature may throw at you.
If you can’t find a good spot in nature or if you’re simply tired and need to stop for the night, many large stores with big parking lots will allow you to dry camp overnight.