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RVing: The Best Way To See Grand Canyon National Park

posted by Brandon Esparza @ 2:53pm, Tuesday 14 October 2014.

The Grand Canyon is considered one of the wonders of the world. And there is no better way to see it than while camping. If you enjoy RVing or pulling a travel trailer, there are three great campgrounds operated by the National Park Service, and a fourth that, while privately owned, is located within the Park.

Photo Credit: WikiPedia

Let's take a look at each of these campgrounds and the camping facilities they provide:

NORTH RIM CAMPGROUND

The North Rim Campground is open seasonally from the middle of May through the middle of October. This campground is located on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, near the North Rim Lodge and Cabins. It offers 78 campsites plus an additional 12 tent-only sites. None come with RV hook ups.

The North Rim Campground is booked solid every day it is open so you must make your reservations month in advance. Note, though, that even though the campground is always fully booked, the number of people visiting the North Rim is a fraction of those who travel to the south rim.  So crowds are not a problem.

You can drive from Flagstaff to the North Rim in bout 5 hours pulling a trailer.  Once you cross the Lee's Ferry Bridge in Marble Canyon, however, beware that you are facing about 30 miles of constant climbing. Many stretches are long and steep will push your transmission temperatures to the limit.

The campground offers a waist dump station and restrooms.  There are also coin operated laundry and shower facilities at the entrance. Wood and charcoal fires are permitted within the campsite grills.

MATHER CAMPGROUND

Mather Campground is on the South Rim and is located in Grand Canyon Village. This facility is open 12 months out of the year and reservations are a must.

Mather is situated in a high elevation and caution should be used by those traveling from lower elevations. It is not unusual for the campground to experience thunderstorms during the summer months of June, July, August and September.

The terrain in  Mather campground is rocky and hard  and sleeping pads are suggested. Also, if you are coming in with an RV, leveling equipment is strongly recommended. The facility has no hook-ups but coin operated showers and laundry facilities are available on the campground.

Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring, however the collecting firewood is not permitted. Fire wood may be purchased in the general store

There is only space for five fifth-wheels trailers in Mather at any one time.  

DESERT VIEW CAMPGROUND (NPS)

The NPS Desert View Campground is also located on the South Rim, but about 25 miles east of the Village. That makes it about a 30 minute drive to the main entrance. Don't let that deter you, however, because many people love the remoteness of this campground.

The campground offers no RV hook ups, but there are available bathrooms and sinks where you can wash dishes. There is no external lighting, so don't forget your flashlights.

Each campsite is allowed 2 vehicles, maximum. No more than six people are allowed at each campsite with a maximum of three tents. Any vehicle pulling a trailer or pop up camper is counted as two vehicles, including a motor home is towing a car.

No reservations are accepted and spaces are available strictly on a first-come basis. The campground is open from mid May through mid October.

TRAILER VILLAGE

Trailer Village is privately operated and the only campground inside the park that offers full RV hook-ups. Trailer Village provides pull-through paved sites for RVs up to 50 feet in length. It is conveniently located near the Canyon Village Market Place and Camper Services, which are a short half mile from the canyon rim.

Each campsite offers a picnic table along with a barbecue grill. There are 30 and 50 amp electrical services, water and sewage hook-ups and cable TV.

Nearby Camper Services offers coin-operated laundry facilities, showers, a dump station and potable water. There are also available telephones and vending machines. The campground is open all year.

If you are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, RVing is definitely the way to go! It is a family vacation you will never forget. Just make sure to do the necessary planning ahead of time and make those reservations!

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Planning For RV Camping at Glacier National Park?

posted by Brandon Esparza @ 2:47pm, Tuesday 14 October 2014.

Nothing compares to the Glacier National Park where outdoor activities are concerned. Glacier National Park encompasses more than one million acres of pristine Montana wilderness and consists of thirteen separate campgrounds. Seven of these campgrounds are equipped with all the amenities to accommodate RVers. The seven campgrounds include Fish Creek, Rising Sun, Avalanche, Many Glacier, St. Mary, Two Medicine and Apgar. Although, accommodation on these camping grounds are not expensive as the neighboring Wyoming sites, RV campers with fairly large rigs would require advanced planning, in order to secure a campsite within this park. This article will highlight some important tips for RVers who are planning to camp at the Glacier National Park.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The Glacier National Park will not require campground reservations to be made months or years in advance similar to some other sites such as Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. Glacier is one of the few sites in the U.S. which offer reserved campgrounds as well as first-come, first-served campgrounds for RVers. You will not require to plan your RVing trip months in advance if you don't own a big rig.

The Glacier National Park is home to crystal clear lakes, breathtaking views and miles and miles of rugged trails. Whether you plan to bike, boat or hike on your RV camping trip, the Glacier National Park is the best place for such outdoor activities. You will come across 10,000-year-old archaeological finds and other historical attractions on your camping trip. The pleasant memories of a RV camping trip to the Glacier National Park are sure to linger with you for life. You could plan your RV camping trip to the Glacier National Park during any day of the year. It is open every day of the year. Most RVers would prefer the summer months for camping.

There are some important things to remember when planning a RV camping trip to the Glacier National Park. Even though there are seven campgrounds that accommodate RVers, some of these grounds have limited space for RVers. For example, the Rising Sun campground has 83 campsites, but only 10 of these are open to RVers. These 10 sites are the ones that are equipped with all the amenities required by RVers. The maximum size of the RV accepted into these grounds would vary. Rising Sun can accept 25-feet RV's the maximum. Apgar could accommodate the largest RV's, with a maximum of 40-feet. The average RV size is limited to 35-feet. The campgrounds in the park are not equipped with utility hook-ups. You should be prepared for this.

Since there are no electrical hook-ups in the park, many campers use generators in order to meet their electrical requirements. There are specific times permitted for using generators within the camp site. 8.00 to 10.00 a.m., 12.00 to 2.00 p.m. and 5.00 to 7.00 p.m. are the times allocated to operate generators in the park. Cutting or gathering firewood is prohibited within the camping site. There are fire grates designated for cooking purposes. Waste water should be disposed in a proper way by using a utility sink or at a dump station.

The aforementioned tips will help avid RVers to enjoy their outdoor activities in the Glacier National Park during this summer.

What You Need To Know About RVing In Yosemite National Park

posted by Brandon Esparza @ 10:57am, Wednesday 8 October 2014.

Credit: WikiPediaYosemite is one of the best camping sites according to RVers that has amazing scenery that you will simply love. Some of the famous scenery includes beautiful rivers, overhanging cliffs, large rock faces, huge waterfalls and an enchanting view of the valley. Yosemite is certainly a unique place that you will definitely want to visit.

Photo Credit: WikiPedia

Yosemite Park has 10 different camp grounds that can accommodate a wide range of RV sizes. It is important to note that if you plan on over-nighting at the park, you will have to be in a designated camp site as you will not be permitted to park in the parking lot or alongside the road.

In order to stay in the park, you will have to make a reservation. This means you will have to plan your trip ahead of time since reservations need to be made as soon as possible since the park is usually full from April to September. Also, there are very specific RV and trailer lengths that are permitted into certain Yosemite sites. The maximum allowable RV length in Yosemite Valley is 40 feet and the maximum trailer length is 35 feet. So you may be wondering, why the limitations on RV/trailer size? Well, the truth is that most of the campsites have a limited turning radius which is impossible or very dangerous for larger RV's to turn. Note that these size limits are not strictly enforced and once your RV can fit on the parking pad, you will be allowed into the park.

Now, we'll look at some of the amenities and facilities available for RVers. Electrical, sewer and water hook-ups are unfortunately not available in Yosemite Park. However, you will find various dump sites in the Upper Pines campground, near the Wawona campground and near the Tuolumne Meadows campground. These dump sites will also have fresh water, but note that the Tuolumne and Wawona campsites will only have these facilities available during the summer.

On the bright side, even though electrical isn't offered, you are allowed to bring and use your own generator. Unfortunately there are time restrictions on the use of your generators and you will only be able to use them in time blocks from 7am - 9am, 12 pm - 2pm and 5pm - 7pm. You will also only be allowed to store food completely out of sight and within hard sided RVs and trailers. This means you can't store your food in soft sided campers or in tent trailers. The reason for this is pretty clear, we won't want your food attracting any bears!

The different Yosemite campsites have different fees per day and they mainly range from $10 - $20. However, only camp 4 in Yosemite Valley has a $5 fee person. Also, all the campsites in Yosemite allow you to bring along your pets with the exception of camp 4. Also, while almost all of the campsites allow RVs, there are a few where RV's aren't allowed. These are Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley, Tamarack Flat and Yosemite Creek at the North of Yosemite Valley.

In closing, RVing in Yosemite is an experience that you and your family will want to have. However, you do need to do some research to ensure that you have all your bases covered and know what to expect. Once you do, I'm positive you'll never forget your visit!

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5 Great National Parks to Go RVing In

posted by Brandon Esparza @ 2:15pm, Monday 6 October 2014.

America's National Park system offers an amazing variety of adventures and destinations that are breathtakingly scenic, historic and memorable in every way. Below are just five of such great national parks that are even better if experienced from an RV.

Photo Credit: Jim's outside photos via Compfight cc

Smoky Mountain National Park

If you want an idyllic wooded setting with fields of wildflowers, Cades Cove will NOT disappoint. Nestled in the Great Smokey Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Cade's Cover is rustic, historic and worth a detour to see.

Be forewarned. There is a price to pay for such a  rewarding experience -- the sacrifice of certain amenities. Cade's Cove is a campers' campground, totally primitive with the exception of drinking water and flush toilets. No electrical hookups except for a five amp electric hookup for medical equipment use only. But it is SO worth the sacrifice!

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Mammoth Cave offers access to the longest system of caves in the entire world! It boasts 390 miles worth of underground caverns as well as three RV campgrounds with great amenities. For just $17.00 a night ($8.50 for seniors!) you can enjoy exploring the caves, go horseback riding, canoeing, fishing and a vast number of other activities!

Yellowstone National Park

There is one campground located inside Yellowstone National Park that has electrical hook-ups. It is called Fishing Bridge and is hard-sided only. That means RVs that are hard rather those made with partially soft (vinyl or canvas) parts, e.g. an expandable roof. Fishing Bridge also offers water and sewer hook-ups. The cost per night is $30.00.

Outside the park there are several campgrounds offering electric, water and sewage hook-ups. Among these are Wagon Wheel RV and Rustic Wagon RV both of which charge around $40 a night. As for the park itself, well, it's hardly necessary to describe the wonders of Yellowstone.

Gettysburg Battlefield National Park

Gettysburg Battlefield is a destination in itself and well worth a visit. Often with such destinations a camper sacrifices the rustic atmosphere for creature comforts. Most of their visit will be away from the campground anyway, taking in the historic sites.

There are some nice, wooded campgrounds, however, around the battlefield site in Gettysburg, PA. One of these is Drummer Boy Campground. Sites can range from $44-$80 a night, depending on the amenities. If you forego the RV and opt for tent camping (not unlike those who made this a historic site some 150 years ago) the cost drops to as low as $29 a night.

Drummer Boy offers several swimming pools with water slides, fishing, an outdoor amphitheater offering evening entertainment, volley ball and basketball courts and a game room.

Roosevelt National Park

For a stay in a truly rugged wilderness, this is the park for you. Mountain biking. Rock climbing. Lions, Tigers and Bears. Oh my! Well, no tigers, but bears and mountain lions are a possibility. Ride the rapids or go fly fishing. Later you can return to a not so rugged campground that provides not only electrical hookups, but Wi-Fi and cable TV!

These are just five of hundreds of possible destinations within America's national park system. Combine the RV experience with the fantastic scenery and potential for adventures and you will have a vacation you will never forget!

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