Which is the Best State for RV Destinations and RV Travel?
The best state for RV Travel with an abundance of unique RV Destinations is Oregon, as voted by the readers of Trailer Life Magazine. Of course now you may be tempted to not read this article because we just gave away the ending, but there is that part of you that wants to know why. Plus we live in Oregon, there is no way we can be objective right, so you better read the whole thing in case I start making stuff up.
Oregon’s RV History
Oregon and Guaranty share a long history with the RV industry dating back to the days of Country Camper, which evolved into Country Coach in the 1960’s. At one time Oregon was the RV capital of the world, with many well-known brands built here in Junction City. In the hay days people would tour the Monaco or Country Coach plants and then visit Guaranty to purchase a vehicle fresh off the local assembly line. Today Winnebago runs a facility in the city limits and Forest River and Marathon Coach are just a few minutes away.
Voted #1 by the readers of Trailer Life
If you RV you are no doubt familiar with the publication, Trailer Life Magazine. It has after all been informing RVers about the industry and the lifestyle for over seventy-five years, reaching over a quarter of a million monthly subscribers and double that number online. That means nearly a million RVers had the opportunity to vote on the state that they felt was the best overall state for RVing. Even with a serious SuperPac that many votes would be hard to sway. So it’s safe to say it is the unrivaled scenery, the myriad of quality private and state campgrounds, and the abundance of RV support services that make Oregon number one!
In a way RV Campers built the American West. At the time we called their RV a covered wagon, but the concept is remarkably similar. Taking your house and possessions with you on the open road, eager to see what lies around the next bend. Of course most RVers today intend to return home after their adventures, but some still pursue the next destination as full-timers.
It is this natural wanderlust that brought Lewis and Clark to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, where they constructed Fort Clatsop near modern day Astoria Oregon. Looks like Oregon has been a destination for a long time.
The advent of the automobile was a precursor to the RV lifestyle, and by the time cars were affordable to the majority some inventive people were outfitting them for more than just a Sunday drive. They were building camp kitchens and incorporating sleeping arrangements into their vehicles from the beginning. In 1910 camping trailers began to roll off the assembly line and by 1920 there were multiple companies manufacturing “trailer coaches”, including Airstream, and by the 1930’s the canned ham trailer was beginning its popularity.
The Tin Can Tourists of the 1920’s and 1930’s and their Tin Lizzies braved the dust and mud before there were any transcontinental roads, camping on the side of the “road” and heating their meals in tin cans over gasoline stoves, giving them their affectionate moniker. It wasn’t until after World War II that the RV lifestyle really took hold. Improved roads and more available campgrounds helped accelerate the RVs popularity, while being able to travel in a lesser expensive manner appealed to family’s looking to spend their vacations enjoying the great outdoors.
The great state of Oregon has some of the most diverse and varied geography of any state in the union. Travel Oregon designates seven different regions in the state by location and by ecosystem. Oregon boasts abundant coastal tidal pools and stunning high desert tundra that would inspire even Louis L’Amour.
Portland is a hip and thriving metropolis
while Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge are world renowned for their appeal to the outdoor enthusiast.
Crater Lake is often included in any list of the top natural wonders, and the Willamette Valley is a hot bed of incredible wine, craft breweries, and fresh produce thanks to the many seasonal farmers markets. Central Oregon offers year round outdoor experiences from epic mountain biking, rafting, and fishing in the warmer months to skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. No matter what type of flora or fauna you find beautiful and soul stirring, Oregon has that.
Oregon is only 395 miles wide East to West by 295 miles long North to South making 98,466 square miles of volcanoes, abundant bodies of water, dense evergreen and mixed forests, as well as the high deserts semi-arid shrub land. The majority of Oregon enjoys a generally mild climate, though given the variety of landscapes across the state there are areas that see some harsher conditions. Western Oregon, defined as anything west of the Cascades, which makes up roughly one third of the state has an oceanic climate heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean and is populated by dense evergreen mixed forests. This western third of Oregon is very wet in the winter, moderately to very wet during the spring and fall, and dry during the summer. Oregon’s southwestern portion, particularly the Rogue Valley, has a Mediterranean climate. This means drier and sunnier winters and hotter summers, similar to Northern California. The northeastern portion of Oregon has a steppe climate, and its high terrain regions have a subarctic climate. Similar to Western Europe and the Pacific Northwest in general, Oregon is considered warm for its latitude, and the state has far milder winters at a given elevation than comparable latitudes elsewhere in North America. However, the state ranks fifth for coolest summer temperatures of any state in the country, after Maine, Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska. Much of the eastern two thirds of Oregon, largely high desert, is semiarid to arid, has cold, snowy winters and very dry summers. Most of Oregon receives significant snowfall, but the Willamette Valley, where 60 percent of the population lives, has considerably milder winters and typically only sees light snowfall.
Oregon State Parks.org Oregon State Parks page lists 196 state parks, recreation areas, and heritage sites with 46 of those listing RV camp sites. Private campgrounds are harder to quantify because not all campgrounds are willing to pay to be in one or all of the various directories. This means that to get an accurate count there are spread sheets and excel formulas involved, and well, we simply don’t have that kind of time. For sake of simplicity we will say there are far more private campgrounds than there are state run and the fact that they may or may not pay to be in the directories has no bearing on the quality of the park.
The beautiful Guaranty 7 Wonders RV Park is not listed in these directories, but it is a beautiful RV Park and conveniently located half a day from everything Oregon has to offer. There are online directories and booking sites that will list the vast majority of private campgrounds, and like most anything these days you can get an idea about the park by reading online reviews.
How to See All Oregon Offers
While Oregon is not large geographically, it is abundant with natural beauty and opportunities for recreation. Interestingly the amount to do and see throughout Oregon makes it a great vacation destination for those who like to plan every moment and those who like to see where the day takes them. You can plan a route and see specific sites and attractions, or you could wander and still happen across enough things to do that they may not all fit in one day. In fact it is our estimation no matter how you RV here it would take a month or better to see everything Oregon has to offer and then you would have to come back for the other three seasons to have fully experienced our great state. Of course a centrally located base camp is a wise choice whether you are a planner or a wanderer, and the Guaranty 7 Wonders RV Park is half a day away from everything. So whether it is your first RV adventure in Oregon or you know the out of the way attractions like the back of your hand, we look forward to having you stay with us now and next time.