The Best RV Parks on the Beach

The Best RV Parks on the Beach

Camping and traveling from place to place is a traditional pastime enjoyed by many. Getting everyone loaded up in the RV and preparing for those weekend excursions are memories that last a lifetime. Regardless if you are with kids, a partner, or riding solo, RV parks are a traveler’s oasis, offering comfort and security when you need it most.

In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the best RV parks in Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Before enduring hundreds (if not, thousands) of miles of driving, we’re going to highlight what sets these parks apart from the rest so you have an idea of where to set your sights next time you’re in the area.

What is an RV Park?

Grand Canyon National Park Trailer Village
Image Credit: Grand Canyon National Park Trailer Village / flickr

RV parks have been around for decades, offering their services to those passing by, or folks aiming to set up and relax for extended periods of time. Recreational Vehicle parks (RV parks), are destination spots designed for travelers to stay for variable places of time while on the road.

Don’t be confused by the name though, RV parks also host guests who wish to camp in tents. The biggest difference between tent parks though is that RV parks offer a range of amenities.

Due to the rise in popularity of full-time RV living, parks have increased in size and expanded their scope of services to ensure guests are welcomed with respect.

What Makes For a Great RV Park?

Before the internet, information was limited, and uncovering details about parks in advance was more challenging than it is today. Luckily, travelers now have the ability to check ahead of time to see if the park they plan on visiting has all the amenities needed. While a majority of RV parks offer generally the same services, it’s best to identify what makes for a great RV park before planning any future trips.

RV Blackwater
Image Credit: Mandruss, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Water

Very rarely will you encounter an RV park that doesn’t include water hookups. Being that tank space is so limited on a variety of RVs, having a water hookup will ensure you can use outlets such as your sink, shower, or hose. Should the park not have hookups for water, be conservative in your water consumption and plan accordingly.

Sewer

Having the ability to properly dispose of your waste is a pleasure not everyone has. While traveling, having this option can alleviate capacity crises and help ease your trip. Not having sewer hookups surely isn’t a make-it-or-break-it deal, but this feature is a great add-on.

AC Power

RVs require a lot of power to be functional and operate. While staying at a certain location for extended periods of time, having a power connection is critical. In addition to enjoying a more luxurious experience, having heat or keeping your refrigerator and freezer cool are a must. Many RV parks nowadays have options for power hookups, so just be sure to prepare in advance and reserve your spot ahead of time.

Wi-Fi

Let’s face it, we live in the tech age, and having Wi-Fi is nearly a normal part of life. While some may not be on board when camping (which is perfectly fine) many enjoy having the luxury of streaming movies, listening to music, or catching up on work emails. Due to the increase in demand over the years, many RV parks have started to offer Wi-Fi hotspots and help guests stay connected.

Reviews of the Best RV Parks on the Beach

Now we’re going to switch gears and focus on the top parks that made the list for each state. With this, we’ll be discussing the amenities that are offered in each park and why guests have loved them.

Best RV Parks in Texas

In the United States, one of the best states for RV parks is the Lone Star state of Texas. In this section, we’re going to outline the top RV parks along the Gulf of Texas.

Loyd Park


Image Credit: Wikimedia

The first park on our list is Loyd Park, located in Grand Prairie, Texas. There are 221 sites available and all are perfect for either an overnight pit stop or week(end) stay. This park is kid-friendly, offering a pool and playground, as well as many basic life amenities.

Although the park does not feature Wi-Fi, Loyd Park has electric hookups (30 AMP, not 50 AMP), and a dump station for sewer. The only downside we found is that there is an extra parking fee of $10 per motor vehicle, which can be burdensome if you travel in large groups. However, there are pull-thru sites for those with larger RVs.

Link to campground website

Dellanera RV Park

Dellanera RV Park
Image Credit: Allen Sheffield / flickr

Located along the Texas gulf in Galveston, Texas is Dellanera RV Park. Totalling 65 sites available to those who pass by, this park also offers full hookups (30 AMP and 50 AMP), water, sewer, showers, and laundry amenities. This park is ideal for those who like to work on the road is that it offers WiFi and internet connectivity. For those who travel as a family, Dellanera RV park also offers a playground and is overall very kid friendly. The only drawback we found to this RV park is that the sites are very tight and may be challenging if traveling in a large class A motorhome or bus.

Link to campground website

Galveston Island RV Resort


Image Clip Credit: Free To Roam RV / Youtube 

Galveston Island RV Resort is next on our list in Texas. Located along the gulf, this park features 116 sites, Wi-Fi, full hookups, and basic needs such as water, sewer, shower, and laundry services. One of the great features of this RV resort is there are extra recreation activities to enjoy, such as horseshoes, a playground, fishing, and even a pool.

On-site, there’s also a general store for those little last-minute items you may need, as well as propane. The only drawback we discovered while reviewing this park is that basic WiFi may be slow at times, but you can upgrade to high speed for an additional weekly fee.

Link to campground website

South Padre Island KOA

South Padre Island KOA
Image Credit: Larry Pearson / flickr

Located in one of the most southern parts of Texas, South Padre Island KOA is a kid-friendly park, perfect for summer excursions or winter getaways. They feature a year-round pool, a dog park, Wi-Fi, and full hookups for basic amenities. Pull-thru sites are available for those who travel with larger RVs and may require extra space.

This KOA seems to have everything. Guests can enjoy horseshoes, workout facilities, play at the playground, or watch basic cable when it’s time to wind down and relax. After reading through reviews, a common drawback noted by recent visitors is that the park is a little dirty in areas. Don’t let this be a deterrent though, this is a top of the line KOA.

Link to campground website

Best RV Parks in Florida

Now that we’ve highlighted the best RV parks on the beach in Texas, we’re going to shine a light on a handful of parks in Florida. The RV parks we’ve selected all offer unique perks to those who stop by and are well-known by travelers. Let’s take a look at why they made our list and what you can expect while visiting.

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park
Image Credit: Matt Kieffer / flickr

Bahia Honda State Park may be considered one of the best beaches in Southern Florida and offers a diverse array of activities for entertainment. Located along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, this park is perfect for fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing. Those who camp at Bahia can expect their site to include water hookups, electricity, a picnic table, and a grill. With this, the maximum RV length is 50 feet. Be sure to book in advance as this is one of the most visited parks in Florida.

Link to Bahia Honda Park website

Anastasia State Park

Anastasia State Park
Image Credit: Thomas Gaume / flickr

Another popular park in Florida is Anastasia State Park, located in St. Augustine. With a total of 139 sites, visitors can take their pick from an assortment of activities. From hiking to kayaking, to even bird watching, masses are drawn to partake in the activities offered.

One of the greatest benefits is that those in need of sewer hookups can utilize the communal dump station, free to those in need. All sites feature an in-ground grill with a fire pit ring, water, and electricity. However, keep in mind that the maximum RV length is 40 feet at Anastasia State Park.

Link to Florida State Parks – Anastasia Park page

Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park
Image Credit: Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With over 6000 feet of beautiful shoreline, Henderson Beach State Park is the third park on our list of the best RV parks on the beach in Florida. There are 60 sites available, both pull-through and back-in, and all but two feature 30 and 50-amp hookups, water, picnic tables, and grills.

While there are no sewer hookups at sites, Henderson Beach does offer a central dump station for visitors. This park is pet-friendly and general amenities include washer and dryers (coin-operated), and showers are offered in the bathrooms. Sites are designed to fit RVs up to 60 feet.

Link to Florida State Parks – Henderson Park page

Red Coconut RV Park

Red Coconut RV Park
Image Credit: Red Coconut RV Park, LLP

Red Coconut RV Park also made our list as another gorgeous place to rest up after the sun goes down. Offering 450 feet of shoreline, visitors can pull up and enjoy views while sunbathing, swimming, or playing a round of golf at one of the nearby courses.

Sites come with full hookups, LP gas, and basic cable and internet. Although streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu will not function at Red Coconut due to a reduction in nearby user access, guests can still check up on emails and stay connected. Red Coconut also features a clubhouse where they host communal holiday dinners, weekly pot luck dinners, and pancake breakfasts.

Link to Park website

Grassy Key RV Park & Resort

Grassy Key RV Park & Resort
Image Credit: Grassy Key RV Park & Resort

The final park we want to highlight in Florida is the Grassy Key RV Park and Resort in the city of Marathon. Not only does this park offer beach access to visitors, but guests can also take a relaxing dip in the pool. All sites feature water, sewer, and electric hookups (both 30 and 50 amp), as well as free Wi-Fi; self-serve laundry is also available. If you’re traveling with a boat, rest assured as the Grassy Key RV Park & Resort has a newly renovated dock so people can cruise crystal clear waters.

Link to Park website

Best RV Parks in California

The last few RV parks on our list are located in the Golden State of California and come with a plethora of nearby activities and amenities. California is well-known for its unique culture, breathtaking views, and diverse settings. It’s almost as if this magical state was made for travelers and those living the RV lifestyle. Let’s take a look at the top parks and what makes them stand apart.

Sonoma Coast State Park

Sonoma Coast State Park
Image Credit: Nikita / flickr

The first Californian destination is Sonoma Coast, State Park. Comprised of several places to camp, all of which offer a variety of access points to the beach, two of the more popular spots are Wright’s Beach and Bodega Dunes.

Although hookups are not available at either, these sites offer one-of-a-kind views and comfortable amenities. The maximum size at Wright’s Beach is 27 feet while the max at Bodega Dunes is 31 feet.

Be sure to keep in mind that Wright’s Beach does not feature portable water-filling areas. Because of this, guests are encouraged to fill their tank up prior to arriving to ensure their stay is hassle-free.

Link to Sonoma Coast State Park

Dockweiler RV Park

Dockweiler RV Park
Image Credit: Dockweiler RV Park

Located in Playa del Rey, Dockweiler RV park allows guests to visit the Californian coast and enjoy views that range from Malibu to Catalina. Sites offer full hookups, picnic tables, and grills, while the park itself features a pump-out station for sewer, washers, dryers, and showers.

When the time comes to have fun, Dockweiler guests can play at one of the nearby volleyball courts or grab their surfboard and hang ten. Be sure to bring your wetsuit as non-summer seasons can bring brisk waters.

The maximum size of RV permitted per site is 40 feet and we should note that there’s no tent camping allowed. One of the best features to this park is that visitors can have fires on the beach (weather conditions permitting). Nothing better than some smores after the sun goes down.

Link to Dockweiler RV Park website

Chula Vista RV Resort

Chula Vista RV ResortImage Clip Credit: Dustin Horning / Youtube

Located in San Diego, Chula Vista RV Resort is a mint destination with ample amenities and nearby attractions. Some of the popular attractions located on-site are the pool and hot tub, workout room, tiki bar, which is complemented by a fire pit, and a delicious restaurant named Galley at the marina.

Additionally, the location makes it an ideal pick for families, being that Chula Vista is near the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. With this, Legoland, Universal Studios, and Disneyland are less than 2 hours away.

When it comes to setting up your RV, they offer 237 concrete sites with full hookups and privacy from nearby campers. Chula Vista features a variety of spaces to accommodate your lifestyle and travel needs. The various sizes are as listed below:

  • Super Saver – Average Size: 20 X 50
  • Interior – Average Size: 20 X 50
  • Deluxe Interior – Average Size: 20 X 50
  • Bayside Sites – Average Size: 20 X 50
  • Pull-Through Sites – Average Size: 20 X 60
  • Marina Pull Thrus – Average Size: 20 x 60
  • Premium Sites – Average Size: 20 X 50
  • Premium Pull-Thru- Average Size: 20×60

Be sure to visit their website for information regarding availability and detailed site information.

Link to Chula Vista Facebook Page

Malibu Beach RV Park

Malibu Beach RV Park
Image Credit: Malibu Beach RV Park

We couldn’t make a list of the best RV parks on the beach without mentioning one in Malibu. Malibu Beach RV Park is located along the Pacific Coast Highway and is a perfect spot to set up and relax. Whether you’re passing through or making it your destination, this park is plush. They offer propane services, limited Wi-Fi access, laundry services, and bathrooms with heated showers.

If you’re with a group who enjoys beach activities or you personally enjoy them, Malibu Beach is a top pick for body surfing, fishing, and swimming. Additionally, guests are encouraged to bask in the views as they may get the opportunity to see some beautiful wildlife. Whale watching is best during March, April, October, and November. You can also see dolphins year round! For more information regarding rates and hookup amenities, visit the Malibu Beach website.

Link to Malibu Beach RV Park website

Bodega Bay RV Park

Bodega Bay RV Park
Image Credit: MARELBU, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The last great destination in California is Bodega Bay, RV Park. Since the park’s inception in 1967, visitors have been rallying to partake in breathtaking views, scenic landscapes, and diverse outdoor activities. With 78 sites available, 58 offer full hookups, and a majority feature partial. The maximum RV length permitted is 60 feet and just under half of the sites are pull-through.

Nearby, there are a variety of trails to hike on, as well as a dog park, and a mini putting green. For those who travel and work, there is free Wi-Fi and laundry services on site. Bodega Bay is the perfect spot for families and folks who are retired and live a life on the road.

Conclusion

Whether you’re an avid RV-er or are looking for a weekend excursion, finding a park to suit your needs is essential. It will make your experience much more memorable and ensure your stay is headache free.

We hope this review of the best RV parks on the beach has helped highlight some of the top parks in Texas, Florida, and California. If you’ve stayed at one of the parks included on our list, be sure to drop a comment below and let us know about your experience. We’d love to hear from you about your stay!

Featured Image Credit: MemoryCatcher / Pixabay

Top 11 Weird yet Wonderful and Unique RVs

Top 11 Weird yet Wonderful and Unique RVs

These RV owners wanted to stand out from the crowd. Many of them created one-of-a-kind homemade RVs.

This first RV looks a little retro and a little futuristic at the same time!

1. The Extreme RV – as seen on the HGTV show Artscape 2013

 

Extreme RV from HGTV
Image Credit: Forsaken Fotos / flickr

This Stretched VW Beetle with trailer is a crazy one-of-a-kind RV. Can you imagine pulling into your favorite National park and seeing this thing parked next to you?

2. The Extended VW

Stretched VW Beetle with trailer
Image Credit: Janko Trajanov / flickr

This Volkswagen Beetle camper combination will cause you to do a double take. Is it a camper or is it a beetle? Looks like both to me.

3. The Beetle Camper

VW bug camper
Image Credit: Joseph Kubik / flickr

This looks like the offspring of a Volvo and Wooden Boat. I especially like the porthole Windows

4. Volvo wooden wagon/boat/camper thing

Volvo CamperImage Credit: Pasco Olivier / flickr

This DIY teardrop camper looks like the owner found his inspiration at the local Home Depot. This is the ultimate DIY budget camper.

5. DIY Budget Camper

DIY Teardrop Trailer
Image Credit: dwstucke / flickr

A custom RV with a deck. This custom camper offers a great view from the rear deck. I wish my RV had a deck like this. What about you?

6. The Rear Deck Camper

DIY Motor HomeImage Credit: Ed Bierman / flickr

What’s with all the stuffed animals? Ok I don’t really understand why you would do this. I guess you will make kids smile but I still don’t get this RV.

7. The Plush RV

Class C RV
Image Credit: Todd Dwyer / flickr

The MotoHome™ is a concept from the mind of Jeremy Carman, a senior architecture student at USC’s School of Architecture.  It’s like a truck cap camper, but for motorcycles,

8. The Motorcycle RV Combo

The MotoHome
Image Credit: Jeremy Carman / GoFundMe

Check out the extra axle & wheels added to this 1960s Chrysler station wagon. This one-of-a-kind RV certainly doesn’t rely on aerodynamic design!

9. 1960s Chrysler station wagon with residential conversion

Station Wagon RV Conversion
Image Credit: Todd Lappin / flickr

This old-school camper is so cute. I would love to see this in person. This antique RV needs to be in the RV hall of fame that how cool it is.

10. 1941 Western Flyer Motorhome


Image Credit: Greg Gjerdingen / flickr

11. Featured Image: 1956 Chevrolet Campervan via Riley / flickr

Best Multi-Stop Routing Apps

Best Multi-Stop Routing Apps

Traveling is a great pastime, especially when traveling by RV. No one uses paper directions anymore and the days of just winging it and hoping for the best are thankfully behind us. Technology has brought us a slew of apps designed specifically to coordinate multiple stops for gas stations, rest areas, camping spots and more.

Top Apps for Multi-Stop Routing


Image Credit: petterijokela / Pixabay

Google Maps– Google Maps is by far the most popular app used by travelers. It informs you of traffic issues and gives estimated arrival times based on current traffic conditions. It will automatically reroute you if there is an increase in traffic, an accident, or other problematic road conditions. You can even use this app offline. A couple of things to keep in mind – the GPS requires a lot of battery power and there is no social sharing feature.

 


Image Credit: Ian Lamont / flickr

Waze– This multi-stop routing app is constantly updating to ensure the information is fresh. Based on traffic conditions, Waze will find the most efficient route. It will also inform you about accidents, construction, police, and road closures.

What sets Waze apart from other mapping apps is its social features. It allows you to:

  • Chat with other drivers.
  • Share your location.
  • Share your drive with others.
  • Send a beep beep to your friends.
  • Send a private message to other Wazers.
  • Carpool with other Wazers.
  • and more…

One pitfall of this app is the speeding alert obscures the speed limit icon for an extended period of time, so you can’t tell what your speed SHOULD be. Like the other GPS apps, it uses a lot of battery power.

Image Credit: @gletham GIS / flickr

Mapquest– has been around for years, and was originally a website that required users to print out directions. The app version offers multiple route options and allows you to use filters to set preferences. The app will alert you to slowdowns in traffic. In addition to mapping routes, this app shares gas prices and even has a function for making hotel and restaurant reservations. Some cons to using Mapquest;  the map size can be small, directions are reportedly less accurate than other apps and it cannot be used offline.

Image Credit: Harry Wood / flickr

Maps.Me– The main feature of this app is that it is entirely offline. This is perfect when you are in a spotty cell service area as you can still navigate to your destination.  Because everything on this app can be used offline, the app uses much less battery power. Not too many complaints from users, but there have been reports that the maps load slowly after being updated and businesses on the maps are not updated frequently.

Image Credit: ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay

Inroute Route Planner– A benefit of this application is that you can design your trip based on weather, elevation, and road curviness. Simply drop pins where you are looking to stop, and the app compiles a route for you. You will be able to search along this route for gas stations, hotels, or restaurants. There are also special features for motorcyclists, RV’ers, and truckers. With the free version, you can specify up to 8 locations. Users have reported that it can be hard to get back on track if you go off route and that it may be difficult moving and changing pins.

Image Credit: 2606772 / Pixabay

Apple Maps– a rival of Google Maps comes preloaded on every iPhone. It includes turn-by-turn directions and voice navigation. It plots the fastest way to get to your destination based on traffic, location, time of day, and your schedule. Another helpful feature is that it gives guidance on which lane you should be in. On your map, you will be able to see the current weather and air quality for your location. Some users have reported that exit directions and information about businesses are not always correct. There is also no option to use this map offline. The street view function does not have images for everywhere in the US.


Image Credit: Tumisu / Pixabay

Mapfactor Navigator–  is a free offline multiplatform GPS navigation app, with maps for over 200 countries.  There is also voice navigation to assist you in your journey. Keep in mind that even though the maps are up to date, the traffic information is not. Some users have stated the maps have some inaccuracies and can be slow to load or crash. To receive premium features, you will also have to pay a yearly or monthly fee.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Roadtrippers– collaborate with your friends and family to find exciting hot spots along your planned route, such as national parks, gas stations, restaurants, and more. This app is free to use but there is an upgrade needed to use all features.

                                                                   
Image Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

Plotaroute– is an application that allows you to plan out routes for outdoor activities. It is the perfect app for designing your perfect walk, run, or bike ride. It allows you to check out scenic routes, so it is a little different than the typical road trip app.

                                                               
Image Credit: Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

Scout GPS– Typical features are included in this app such as turn-by-turn navigation and real-time updates on traffic and speed. Scout prides itself in being a social destination app, as users can recommend restaurants to each other, notify their contacts of ETA, and can see in real-time when their friends will be arriving. One downfall of this app is concern over privacy because of location sharing.

When it comes to planning a trip, it is always best to have the best resources available. As much as we want everything to run smoothly, there are times that catastrophe happens, and the plan you had falls through. By downloading a few of these apps, you will have plenty of information in your arsenal to help you get to all your destinations, and find new ones along the way. Not only will you be able to get to your locations seamlessly, but you will be able to find exciting places to stay, eat, buy cheaper gas, and more.

20 Important Questions to Ask Before Renting an RV

20 Important Questions to Ask Before Renting an RV

Taking a vacation in a recreational vehicle can be one of the most enjoyable ways to see the country, allowing you to travel comfortably with (nearly) all of the amenities of home while creating unforgettable memories. But before you decide to rent an RV, there are many questions to ask. Driving such a large vehicle comes with many considerations and restrictions. There may also be unexpected fees and maintenance requirements. Here are some questions to keep in mind if an RV vacation is on your to-do list.

 

RV Traveling
Image Credit: MemoryCatcher / Pixabay


HOW MUCH MILEAGE IS INCLUDED?

When it comes to budgeting for your RV vacation, one of the most important questions to ask before signing on the dotted rental-contract line is how much mileage is included with the rental fee you’re paying. With all the sightseeing you plan to be doing, unexpected extra mileage fees can add up quickly. It’s best to know what you’re getting into. “Absolutely ensure there’s a reasonable amount of mileage included with your base rate,” says travel writer Chez Chesak, board member of the Family Travel Association, who just returned from an RV vacation to some of America’s top national parks. “We had 1,000 miles included and used 849 of that. Additional miles would have been 45 cents per mile and would have certainly added up, if we weren’t careful.”

Savings Tip: RV listings through Outdoorsy specifically mention if there are any mileage charges associated with your rental, and many are unlimited.

Gas PumpImage Credit: planet_fox / Pixabay


ARE THERE SPECIFIC FUEL REQUIREMENTS?

  Minimum fuel requirements can be yet another unexpected cost associated with RV rental, because some rental companies require at least mid-grade fuel, explained Chesak. “We spent about $340 just on gas, in part because we found out when picking the vehicle up that they require mid-grade fuel, 88+ octane,” said Chesak. Don’t let yourself be caught off-guard by this cost either, ask ahead of time if there are such requirements.

Driving RV
Image Credit: Glavo / Pixabay


HOW CAN I LEARN TO OPERATE ALL THE COMPONENTS OF THE MOTORHOME?

It goes without saying that operating an RV is far more complex than driving your car. There are tanks to be emptied, generators, awnings to be raised and lowered, and more. Some rental companies will provide an orientation or familiarization tour. If this is your first time renting, it can be worthwhile to find a company that does. In addition, there are countless online videos that provide information about operating an RV. YouTube is a great place to start.


ARE THERE CLEANING FEES?

One more consideration when it comes to the overall cost of your RV getaway: cleaning fees. While many rental companies will allow you to return the vehicle with a normal amount of dirt, some will charge you if cleaning is required after you return the rental. “We were pretty disappointed about this,” said Chesak. “You wouldn’t have such a fee with a hotel room or cabin upon the completion of your stay. But we managed to avoid it by really cleaning the vehicle before we turned it in.”

Portable Generator
Image Credit: Quiet Hut / flickr


IS THERE A CHARGE FOR THE GENERATOR?

Generators are not a necessary item if you plan on staying at campsites that provide power hookups. However, those camping without hookups, will need a generator in order to use such things as appliances and air conditioning, said Russ Lovell, co-founder and managing partner at RVPlusYou.com, an online travel agency for RV rentals. Most RVs come with them. And often, RV rental companies charge a fee for their use (which is monitored by a meter on the unit). The cost is typically a few dollars per hour.

Savings Tip: For the avid RV traveler, investing in a quality generator might be a smart move. That way, you can avoid rental companies’ surcharges and always have one handy.

Image Credit: kalhh / Pixabay


WHAT IS THE LENGTH AND WIDTH OF THE RV?

The specific size of the RV you’re renting is important information to have handy. Why? For one, many campsites don’t allow RVs over a certain length, says Lovell. “RVs that are 25 feet or longer may not fit in some campsites,” explained Lovell. “And the campsites that accommodate larger RVs are usually booked up first.” Similarly, it is important to know width of the vehicle (including with slides out) because campsites can be tight. Being familiar with the length and width will allow you to book the appropriate size campsite.

Motor Home

Image Credit: Debinspain / Pixabay


CAN I TOW A VEHICLE OR A BOAT?

Not all rental companies allow the RV to be used to tow another vehicle (for those who may be hoping to take their car along on the vacation, a boat or a trailer carrying bikes and other recreational equipment). So be sure to ask what the rules are. “Towing a vehicle comes with risks — the first being that not every vehicle can safely be towed,” explained Jody Halsted, creator of the site Camping Tips for Everyone, “And not all RVs have a large towing capacity, so if you tow a vehicle that is too heavy, you could blow out an engine. Towing also increases the likelihood of accident if renters have never towed a vehicle.”

Image Credit: flyerwerk / Pixabay


HOW MUCH IS THE RENTAL DEPOSIT?

Many prospective renters fail to consider the cost of the rental deposit when planning an RV vacation, says Halsted. Deposits typically range from $500 to $1000, on average. “Usually it’s equal to the RV owner’s insurance deductible,” Halsted explained. Be sure to ask how much it is, so that you have the full understanding of the true price tag of your RV getaway.

Dog CampingImage Credit: Andrew Bone / flickr


WHAT IS THE PET POLICY?

Traveling with an RV is one of the best ways to take a pet on vacation. It allows pets to be comfortable in their environment and still travel, says Amy Burkert the founder of GoPetFriendly.com. But before you pack up Rover or Fido to go on your trip, find out whether pets are even allowed in the RV and how much the pet deposit is, Burkert advises. You’ll also want to ask what the charges are if the RV is returned with pet hair.

Thinking ManImage Credit: Sammy-Sander / Pixabay


WHAT SORT OF INSURANCE COVERAGE IS REQUIRED?

Often when renting a car, you’re allowed to use your own automobile insurance to cover the vehicle. When renting an RV however, that may not necessarily be the case. Ask what sort of insurance coverage is required and whether you can use your own insurance. You may be required to buy additional insurance from the rental company. If that is the case, you’ll want to know how much it costs and what it covers. “The chances of using the insurance are high, so plan ahead,” says Lovell of RVPlusYou.com. “Most RV renters aren’t familiar with driving a big box. In addition, the vehicle is not familiar to the driver, nor is backing up and maneuvering in a tight campground with trees, rocks, and other hazards.” For all of these reasons and more, it’s wise to have rental insurance. Also, consider checking with your insurance agent to find out whether your auto policy even covers RV rental.

Happy CampersImage Credit: Ben_Frieden / Pixabay


IS THERE A LIMIT ON HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN RIDE IN THE RV?

Planning a family getaway in that RV? Make sure you know just how many people are allowed in the vehicle so that you can rent the appropriate size. For instance, compact motorhomes can handle a family of three, while a large motorhome can typically handle seven people. There are also intermediate-size motor homes that can hold about six people. If you want to have an enjoyable and safe vacation, get the right size vehicle to meet your needs.

campfire cooking
Image Credit: LUM3N / Pixabay


DOES THE MOTORHOME COME EQUIPPED WITH POTS AND PANS?

One nice feature of an RV is the ability to cook your own meals in them. However, be sure the vehicle has cooking equipment. Not all rental companies provide it. Some charge extra for kits that include basic necessities. At Cruise America, for instance, the Vehicle Provisioning Kit costs $100 per vehicle and includes such items as a can opener, broom, spatula, cooking spoon, cooking fork, coffee cups, plates, soup bowls, silverware, and more. The company also offers a Personal Kit, which costs $55 per person and provides a sleeping bag or comforter, pillow, pillowcase, flat sheet, bath towel, washcloth, and dish towel.

Two Medicine Camp StoreImage Credit: GlacierNPS / flickr


WHERE CAN I PURCHASE SUPPLIES FOR THE RV?

If it’s your first time driving and caring for an RV, it’s a good idea to ask the rental company where you can purchase items for the vehicle, such as propane, cooking equipment, and more. You’ll also want to know where you are allowed to dispose of the waste that accumulates in the vehicle’s holding tanks. If you can’t find a motorhome specialty store, keep in mind that even Walmart sells RV supplies these days.

Image By Marmelad, CC BY-SA 2.5


ARE WE ALLOWED TO DRIVE TO CANADA OR MEXICO?

While the possibilities may seem endless once you get behind the wheel of an RV and hit the open road, be sure to find out where you are truly allowed to take the vehicle. For instance, some rental companies prohibit taking their vehicles to Mexico altogether. And the policy on driving into Canada varies based on the rental contract and citizenship of the renter in some cases.

Drinking Water

Image Credit: Arcaion / Pixabay


IS IT SAFE TO DRINK THE WATER FROM THE MOTORHOME TANK?

Cruise America recommends against drinking water from your RV’s tank. It can be difficult to know if the water in the RV tank is potable when you’re filling it at various locations. There are places to fill the water tank from a water supply known to contain clean drinking water, such as campgrounds and tested well-water sources, but it may be best to use bottled water. Getting sick from drinking contaminated water can very quickly ruin a vacation. At the very least, ask the company you are renting from about this issue.

Damaged Travel Trailer

Image Credit: Tony Webster, CC BY 2.0


WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE TO THE VEHICLE?

When considering renting an RV, read the proposed contract carefully and understand its terms and conditions. In some cases, the renter is solely responsible for the condition for the RV, including the interior and exterior, and will be held liable for any damage that cannot be proven to have existed prior to the rental period. Know exactly what you are getting into.

RV Breakdown

Image Credit: Thomas Altfather Good / Pixabay


WHAT HAPPENS IF THE RV BREAKS DOWN?

Understanding who to call in the event of an emergency with the RV is critical ground to cover before renting. Some rental companies provide around-the-clock travelers assistance to help get you back on the road. Still, other rental companies, such as Outdoorsy, will assist you with a breakdown even if you did not opt for this type of coverage, allowing you to request a “pay-as-you-go” service at a higher premium if you contact them at the time of a breakdown.

Filling Motor Oil
Image Credit: Santeri Viinamäki / Wikimedia Commons


WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ROUTINE MAINTENANCE?

Aside from all-out breakdowns and damage to the vehicle, routine maintenance is another topic to cover. Often, the renter is responsible for such things as checking the oil and coolant levels, and reporting mechanical failures. In addition, you could be held responsible for mechanical damage tied to negligence while renting the vehicle.

adaptive driving control
Image Credit: ebay


CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE RENTERS WITH DISABILITIES?

It is worth asking about the sort of accommodations that can be made to assist those with disabilities who are interested in renting a motorhome. While the options may be limited given an RV’s design, Cruise America offers controls that enable drivers to accelerate or brake using a hand-controlled device.

Man Eating Popcorn

Image Credit: Sammy-Sander / Pixabay


IS THERE A LATE-RETURN FEE?

Like any other vehicle rental, there are often fees for not returning a motorhome on time or by the deadline specified in the contract. Some rental companies provide a short grace period for being late and then begin charging by the hour after that. They may also charge an administrative fee on top of the hourly rental rate when the vehicle is past due. In addition, if your late return impacts or disrupts another individual’s rental of that same vehicle, expect the fees to be even higher in some cases.

Featured Image Credit: MemoryCatcher / Pixabay

Meier’s Creek Brewing Company – a Harvest Host Review

Meier’s Creek Brewing Company – a Harvest Host Review

It was bound to happen – Meier’s Creek Brewing Company was the first Harvest Host that failed to exceed my expectations. Don’t get me wrong – the experience was acceptable, but I wouldn’t go back. There are just too many options that are BETTER.

The facility itself is great. Modern buildings with an industrial feel – the perfect ambiance for a microbrewery. Outside was replete with amenities ranging from cornhole to disc golf on a well-manicured lawn. It is family & pet friendly with kids & dogs everywhere., sure to bring a smile to your face.

Getting down to business – “good beer” is highly subjective. I generally live by the credo there is no such thing as a bad beer, just some are better than others. After trying a flight of beers ranging from mild to sour to stout, I was unable to find a beer that tasted good to me. Cindy also ordered a flight that contained a couple of seltzers. She was able to find a winner there. So… I ordered a diet Coke & she ordered a seltzer, then we wandered outside to find a seat & enjoy one another’s company.

Despite having a lot of green space, the single harvest host spot was located in the corner of the parking lot in a section striped off for no parking. If you’re into the cracker barrel parking lot experience, this is a good fit. That said, I know they could do better.

It was safe & well lit, so I can’t argue that.