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3 Ways to Find Great West Coast RV Camping Destinations

Published on April 14th, 2022 by Contributor, Let's RV

West Coast RV camping is epic. But finding a great place to park the rig can be tough. RV resorts and campgrounds are often expensive and booked solid. But these three easy tips are here to help plan your ultimate dream getaway in Washington, Oregon, and California.

West Coast RV camping
Here’s what you need to know, to enjoy scenery like this.

How to Find RV Campgrounds in California, Oregon, and Washington

From the Cascades to the Mojave and beyond, West Coast RV camping used to be easy. You packed up the camper on a Friday afternoon and by nightfall be in a great campground almost anywhere in California, Oregon, or Washington. But not anymore. Today, if you want to stay at top rated West Coast RV destinations, you’ve got to plan ahead.

Why You Must Start RV Trip Planning Today

According to the RV Industry of America (RVIA), early spring is the best time to organize your RV trip planning tasks. Based on RVIA data, most new RVers vacation in May and June. Those two busy months greatly reduce your chances of camping at your bucket list RV destinations in West Coast states.

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But don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Follow our West Coast RV camping tips today, to stay ahead of the crowds in May and June.

(Data courtesy of the RVIA)

Step 1. Choose Uncrowded National Park RV Destinations in the West

Looking for the ultimate American camping experience at a national park? “Uncrowded national park RV destinations” can seem impossible to find. But if you think outside the box, you’ll find them because most RVers follow the crowds. For example, in 2021, about 25 percent of all National Park visits in the U.S. took place in the top eight most-visited parks! That’s one quarter of all visitors packing into just 2% of all national park RV destinations.

In the West Coast, the most popular national parks with RV camping include Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Yosemite National Park. Want to get away from crowds? Don’t go there. Seek out less popular but equally beautiful RV campgrounds instead.

Underrated National Parks in Washington, Oregon, and California include:

Step 2. Look for underrated West Coast RV resorts

It’s natural to want to stay in popular destinations like West Coast beach resorts and mountain RV campgrounds with tons of attractions. But again, if you want to avoid crowds, you’ve got to think different. Washington, Oregon, and California are huge states with many spectacular destinations from the coast to the deserts. Most of us have so many places to visit and so little time. Talk to other RVers in Camping, Travel and Trip Planning Discussion Forums. Check out RV campground reviews too.

Flying Flags Avila Beach undiscovered West Coast RV resort
Flying Flags Avila Beach, California (Image: J_Davis

Here are some underrated West Coast RV resorts to consider:

Washington: Ocean City RV Resort

Inhale the delicious breeze and cool salty air on a spring day. Stroll along the beach, or go gaming at the local casino. This spot is a hidden gem on the Washington Coast and the folks at Ocean City RV Resort can show you how to enjoy it to the fullest.

Oregon: Park at the River in Joseph

The mountain community of Joseph, Oregon is not a metropolis. And that’s exactly what makes this spot one of the best places to RV camp in the west. Located far from any major city but close enough to the conveniences of La Grande, this small, family-run RV resort has the Swiss Alps of Oregon as it’s backyard.

California: Flying Flags Avila Beach

One of the best beach resorts in California is a destination most RVers haven’t heard about — yet. Book your spot here today, because word is getting out about this spectacular West Coast luxury RV resort near San Luis Obispo. Dramatic cliffside RV sites, ADA-accessibility, dog beach, and on-site cafe with live entertainment are just a few reasons why this park will soon reach capacity for years to come.

Step 3. Learn how to boondock

If you don’t already know how to dry camp, you’re missing out. Going off-grid practically triples your options to find great west coast RV camping destinations. Sometimes that means pulling into a forest service campground without hookups. Other times, it means finding that perfect dispersed camping location.

Sure, you’ll need to learn how to conserve water in your holding tanks, figure out how to live on less electricity, and maybe even invest in RV solar power systems. But the effort is worth it when you can enjoy scenery like this spot.

Three great resources for RV boondocking tips include:

  1. Let’s RV: A Complete Guide To Free Camping
  2. Camper Report: Boondocking vs Campgrounds: Why More RVers Are Going Off-The-Grid
  3. Camper Smarts: How Much Solar Power Do I Need for My RV?

Conclusion: Uncrowded West Coast RV Camping is Totally Possible

Like it or not, West Coast campgrounds are often busy and booked solid. But don’t give up finding a great spot to enjoy nature. Washington, Oregon, and California have some of the most diverse selections of RV campgrounds and boondocking sites in North America. With advance RV trip planning now, you can find one that’s perfect for you.

Get More Help with RV Trip Planning

Get a head start on spring RVing with RV LIFE Campground Reviews and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. These two trusted sources of campground and RV park reviews, trip planning tips, and RV maintenance help are indispensable tools for the RV lifestyle.

Been to a campground lately? Don’t forget to leave a review! Reviews help other RVers like yourself, and they help the campground. Leave a campground review today!

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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