The best part about being an RV owner is the ability to get to a new place without any hassles whatsoever—unless you pull into a beautiful seaside town swarming with tourists. Worst of all, there’s no place to park!
But there are hundreds of places in our scenic country that are both friendly to RVs and offer peace and solitude instead of herds of other people.
Here are a few of the best RV destinations in the U.S. you’ve never heard of.
Big Bend National Park
One of the most remote parks in the country, Big Bend hides way down at the southernmost tip of Texas. The 25-site RV campground offers full-service spots, 20 available by reservation and the remaining 5 for first-come first-serve visitors.
If you tow horses or kayaks, rafts or canoes behind your RV, Bid Bend is the perfect getaway. Hundreds of miles of backcountry wilderness await your mighty steed, as do miles of The Rio Grande that carved 1,500-foot canyons in the rocky soil.
Badlands National Park
Nestled in the South Dakotan shadow of one of the greatest American monuments, Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park is a trail-less, constantly eroding, rugged, and extremely primitive experience. For these reasons alone it should be on every serious RVer’s bucket list.
There are no reservations here, which is why fewer RV drivers consider making the trip to the ethereal landscape of hoodoos and spires that jut out from a naturally carved sand sculpture of bronze, gold, red, and sage. Only electrical hookups are available, though there is a lodge with a full restaurant where you can dine on authentic Indian fry bread and even buffalo-meat tacos.
During the summer months (the busy season), there is a 14-day limit on how long you can stay. Once your time is up, head west toward Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills to re-enter civilization.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Just east of Las Vegas is the RV Mecca known as Lake Mead RV Village. Set alongside the southwestern bank of Lake Mead near the Arizona/New Mexico border, the RV Village features 115 sites with full amenities and laundry service, as well as numerous outdoor activities like Bocce ball, horseshoes, and BBQ pits.
Though Lake Mead RV Village is nearby a bustling metropolis and infinite recreational opportunities, the site is large enough that you aren’t crowded by others even during the busy season. However, you’ll still enjoy neighborly interaction with people from all over the country, and possibly even the world.
You’ll also be able to take your auto to the nearby Hoover Dam, Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock Canyon and the Railroad Tunnel Trail. If you’re towing a boat with you, take advantage of the Willow Beach and Callville Bay Marinas, where you can access the deep blue lake and catch fish, sunbathe on 500 miles of shoreline or just drift along without a care in the world.
Huron-Manistee National Forest
This Michigan RV stop is way up north alongside the west bank, or the “pinky end” of the glove. In an area known for chilly temperatures in the winter, a summer RVer will find the calm and mild weather a treat.
There are no hookups for RVs in the forest, but that’s part of the appeal. If amenities are a must, there are several RV camps around the area that will satisfy your need for power. However, it’s worth the trip to spend at least a night in the serene woods alongside a relaxing lake, tossing a fishing line into the water and peering at rare birds through a pair of binoculars.
You’re also in rambling distance of at least a dozen state forests and forests areas, including Huron National Forest and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Horse riding and OHV riding are also possibilities, so put that tow dolly to use and haul your second favorite mode of transportation behind your RV.
No matter where you go or how much time you have to get there, spending summers in an RV exploring the best of our country’s destinations is a national pastime all its own. And finding these gems is why RVing in the U.S. is such a treasure.