With gas prices lower than they’ve been in ages, 2015 is the year to take those RV road trips and vacations you’ve always dreamed of. Savvy RVers know that the best spring, summer and fall road trips and campground adventures rely on planning ahead. This year, that’s going to be more true than ever as more people can afford to hit the highways and byways of America. So, now’s the time to break out the maps and guidebooks, and start cruising the internet for the spots you want to see in 2015. Be sure to make your reservations before the best RV parks fill up.
It’s especially important to plan ahead if you’re hoping to spend any of the major holidays someplace on the road. It might make the most sense to plan for these dates first: Easter weekend, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July and Labor Day weekend.
Read on for resources and suggestions to help you with your planning.
Figuring Out Where You Want to go This Year
This is a perfect time to visit America’s amazing National Parks. The National Park Service manages more than 83 million acres around the nation, including the infamous Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Zion National Park, Yosemite, and more; the list goes on and on. Whether you’re looking for remarkable vistas, wildlife, National Heritage and historical sites, archeological wonders or you’re checking another state off your must-see list, be sure to look at The National Parks Conservation Association’s “ Exploring Our Parks.” You can search by park name or location, or if you have a specific interest—National Historic Sites, for example—you can search by category, or for a theme like Civil War History.
The National Park Service’s Find a Park webpage is another excellent resource that will help you focus in on which experience you really want. If you’re interested in seeing ancient archeological sites, they’ve got a guide for you, or if you want to learn more about wildlife, you’ll find the resources you’re looking for on their site.
If you’d like to explore a certain area of the nation, be sure to look for RVing blogs and websites that will help you get the most out of your time on the road. For instance, CruiseAmerica.com has a list of road trips that are perfect for motorhomes, from the Shipwreck Coast in Michigan, to the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia, to the old Route 66. Similarly, TravelNerd has a nice list organized by U.S. region. We also like Lolo’s Extreme Cross Country RV Trips: 15 Summers of RV Road Trips Across the USA and Canada. Be sure to read their most recent post on their 2014 Pacific Northwest trip.
TripAdvisor is another good resource for travellers, including RV enthusiasts who are searching for road trip ideas. Join one of their road trip forums like “ Travelling Across the US in an RV” and get answers for your questions from other enthusiastic RVers. Also try searches on TripAdvisor for the region of the nation you’re going to be in next.
The Pacific Northwest
We’ve said before that the Pacific Northwest is a bucket list road trip, with opportunities for every adventure you could want. Whether you love the ocean, rivers and lakes, mountain ranges, high deserts, snow, sun, art, theatre, music festivals—there’s always something to do. If 2015 is your year to visit our extraordinary corner of the planet, be sure to plan ahead.
Look online for blogs and articles like this one, “ Helpful Tips on Travelling the Pacific Coast from California’s Redwoods Through Washington’s Olympic Peninsula,” to give you some excellent ideas of what to while you’re here.
And don’t forget about Pinterest; do a search for “Pacific Northwest Road Trip” and see the wealth of ideas that you get. Building your own Pacific Northwest RV Road Trip Pinterest board to pin your travel ideas is also a great way to keep track of everything.
Heading North From California, to Oregon and Washington
If you’re considering coming up the Pacific Coast from California, take a look at VisitCalifornia.com’s “ Highway One Classic” 5-7 day road trip itinerary. This trip will take you from San Diego through L.A. and Santa Barbara, through the Santa Ynez Wine Country, near Hearst Castle, through Big Sur, Monterey and Carmel, north to the Bay Area, and then on to Oregon.
A great resource for Oregon travellers is TravelOregon.com. Whether you’re looking for trip ideas, or you already have an itinerary in mind and you just want information about Oregon’s RV Parks, this website has everything you need to plan your vacation, including information about the 7 Wonders of our gorgeous state.
As you drive north into Lane County, be sure to look at the Eugene Cascades & Coast webpage on RVing. And once you’re in here, stop by The Adventure Center in Eugene, just off I-5 at exit 195a, for free maps and travel guides, help with forest, park and recreation passes, etc. Eugene is a very RV-friendly city and is handily located near the coast, the Cascades, wine country, rivers, lakes, shopping and more. It is also only 15 miles from the Guaranty RV Travel Center, where you can get superior RV service and have a convenient place to do your laundry; pick up any parts, accessories or road food you may need; utilize the dump and wash station; or call ahead for dog grooming and bicycle repairs.
Oregon has some of the best state and county parks in the nation, so plan to stay long enough to enjoy the wide variety of beauty and recreation they offer. For a guide to Oregon State Parks, check out Oregon State Parks.org’s Find A Park feature. You can filter the 196 results by distance, activities and available facilities so that you can hone in on that perfect vacation experience. Also check each county to see the options for County Parks. For instance, Lanecounty.org gives you a wide range of RV camping information. Usually you can make reservations 6 months in advance, so now’s the time to get those perfect campsites for July and August.
Washington state also has great online resources for RV travellers. Start with the Experience Washington website to get good ideas for what the state has to offer. The Washington State Regions and Cities tab is especially useful for trip planning. Also be sure to check out blogs like “ RV Goddess: My View From the Passenger Seat” and Road Trip USA’s “ Washington RV Parks: The RV Parks in Washington You Want To Visit.” And finally, TripAdvisor has a good forum for “ Washington State RV Trip Help.”
If you’re taking advantage of the low fuel prices in 2015, start making plans and reservations now for that perfect summer road trip. And if the Pacific Northwest is your go-to this year, remember that Guaranty RV is conveniently located on the I-5 corridor. Whether you need repairs or parts, or you’re just looking for a nice place to pull in and stretch your legs while you dump your tanks and fill up on propane, we encourage you to plan a pit stop here with us. If you know you’re going to need RV service mid-trip, you can plan ahead for that, too. Just download our RV Owner App to keep track of your maintenance and to schedule a service appointment with us for when you’ll be passing through. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Happy RVing in 2015!
Photo: Nicolas Boullosa