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Tips & Tricks

Free RV Camping In California: Top 8 Locations

Free RV camping in California is abundant, if you know where to look. Learn about the best spots, book them, and get out into nature.

Looking for a fun, exciting, and cost-effective way to go on vacation this year? Then taking an RV camping in the US is just the way to go. 

You have your pick of unique and beautiful places to explore in the state of California, and the best part is you can even camp in your RV for free. Also known as boondocking, you can easily find lots of areas that allow for free RV camping so that you can make the most of your trip. 

Here are some of the best free camping sites in California, so start planning out that trip now. 

1. Black Rock Campground – Lassen National Forest

There are six first-come, first-served campsites here that are perfect if you’re coming with a few friends. They come fully equipped with grills and tables, perfect for eating and hanging out late into the night. If you’re an angler, you can fish in the Deer and Mill Creeks, and hikers have their pick of low or high mileage trails to explore. As for facilities, there are vault toilets here if needed. 

In the national forest itself, you can check out horse riding, mineral prospecting, and water activities on Lake Almanor. There’s so much to do here, and you’re going to want to try it all. 

2. American Girl Mine

This location is right on the border of California, Mexico, and Arizona, so you have many options as to what to check out here. American Girl Mine used to be a gold mine and was discovered in 1776. 

As you’re in the desert, you can easily enjoy the warm weather available to you here. There’s also lots of room where you can drive off-road vehicles if that’s your thing. As you’re in the middle of the desert, it’s one of the best places to see the night sky, too. 

Surprisingly, there is good cell service from all major carriers, so you aren’t cut off. You’ll also most likely have some neighbors when you’re camping, but there’s lots of room, so you’ll be able to spread out. 

3. Furnace Creek Road

This is located 7 miles outside of Shoshone, CA, and is in a great location if you visit Death Valley National Park. This national park is home to natural hot springs, old mines, and off-roading trails. 

In the summer, it’s going to get scorching hot, so be aware of that when you’re driving your RV down those dirt roads. The roads are well kept though, so you shouldn’t have any problems. 

4. Scott Flat Campground

Located in Northern California, this is the best place to be if you want to switch off truly. There’s no cell service here, so if you need to get away from it all, you’ll want to come here. It’s a good spot for anglers and hikers in particular. 

There’s also lots here for nature lovers. The campground itself features lots of trees and a river, so you can live in nature, even if just for a little while. There are some creature comforts, too, such as vaulted toilets, tables, and fire pits. 

5. Needles Point Dispersed Camping

This is another excellent spot to switch off your phone and get off social media for a little bit. There’s no cell service here, just lots of shade under the trees. It’s a wonderfully quiet place to relax. 

As a hiker, you’ll love that the site is only ¼ mile from the Needles Lookout trail, which has fantastic views that you’ll want to see. Be aware that the spot can only be accessed by high clearance vehicles during the warmer season, so keep that in mind when planning your journey. 

6. Yaqui Well Camp

This is located in the Anza-Borrego Desert, and in the spring, it’s alive with wildflowers. Of course, you’ll also have the chance to indulge in stargazing here too. There’s a vast range of off-roading and hiking options here too, so there’s something for pretty much anyone. 

There are lots of quiet spots to camp here, and there are some excellent amenities too. There’s a playground, a vaulted toilet, and some limited AT&T cell service. 

Be aware that the site says they can accommodate rigs up to 35′, but the road is loose sand, so it may be challenging to get a big rig up there. 

7. Whiskey Falls Campground

If you’re looking to visit the Sierra Nevada mountains, then you’ve got to try out this campsite. The site here is located by some gorgeous pine trees and a waterfall. It’s undoubtedly picturesque if you want to take some pictures. 

There are nine spots available, and they’re reached via a rough dirt road. There’s no cell service here, but there some vaulted toilets, fire pits, and tables. 

Be aware that the site is only available in warmer weather. Spots fill up during weekends, too, so you’ll need to plan ahead. 

8. Willow Creek Road Dispersed

Finally, there’s this campsite, located in Big Sur. If you want to camp somewhere with an ocean view, then you’ll want to check out this spot. As a bonus, in the spring there are lots of wildflowers too. 

There are no amenities and minimal cell service, so this is one camp spot where you’ll have to rough it. It’s well worth it though, thanks to the fantastic views. Of course, if you need cell service, you can always pick up a cell booster for your RV.

Free RV Camping In California: Final Thoughts

There you have it, the top sites for free RV camping in California. It’s always a good idea to start planning your trips in advance, as these are popular spots and they can fill up fast. However, if you get ahead, you can take advantage of some fantastic free locations. Book your trips now, and get out in nature. There’s so much that California has to offer, and you can see it all. 

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Tips & Tricks

RV Care: Keeping Your Rig in Tip-Top Condition During Summer & Beyond

RV care includes the exterior, interior, and mechanical upkeep with your RV. Use these tips to maintain all aspects of your home away from home.

Summer is always the time when you want to take your RV out and get exploring. If you’re going to hit the road, though, you need to ensure you’re taking good care of it. Good RV maintenance during the summer and winter months is essential. Here’s what you need to do to keep your rig in top condition all year long.

Exterior RV Care

The exterior of your RV will take some wear and tear, whether you’re on the move or not. Here’s how to take care of the exterior and keep it in good condition. 

Check the tires: The tires will take the most wear as they sit between the RV and the ground. Before you take your RV out, check the tires for wear or imperfections that could cause you problems. If you see anything you don’t think is safe, don’t hesitate to get the tire taken care of. 

Tire pressure is essential, so keep checking it to ensure it’s at the right level. This is often printed right on the tire, so look for that if you aren’t sure. Keep them inflated to the recommended specifications, and you shouldn’t have any problems. 

Protect the roof: Your RV roof is what comes between you and the elements, so you will want to take good care of it. When you’re not driving it, keep it parked under an RV carport or cover. These will help protect it from sun damage and are much less costly than you’d think. 

Every season, take a good look at your roof for leaks. If you keep up with this, you’ll be able to catch leaks before they can cause any real issues. Patch these up with a sealant that’s compatible with your roof, and you should be able to avoid any serious problems. 

Keep the roof clean, by both installing that carport and scrubbing it down regularly. This will help it stay in top condition year-round. 

Maintain slide-out rails: If you have slide-out rails on your RV, then they’re going to need some maintenance now and again. Once or twice a year, make sure you lubricate them with an appropriate lubricant. Lubricant helps avoid corrosion and rust. 

Clean and maintain the awning: As well as the rails, check the fabric of your awning. Look for any tears, and repair them as soon as you find them. Keep the material clean, too, to avoid mold and mildew or even nests forming. 

Keep it clean: Make sure you’re regularly scrubbing down your RV. This keeps it clean, keeps debris off it when it’s parked up, and helps it look better year-round. Don’t forget to clean down the roof and polish up the headlights. 

Interior RV Care

The inside requires RV care, just as the outside does. Follow these tips to ensure you can have a comfortable and safe trip every time you take the rig out:

Clean after every trip: This is something you’re probably already doing, but make sure you keep it up. Vacuum and mop the floors, clean down the kitchen, strip down the beds, and be ready for fresh linen when you next go out. When you do this, it’s just so much more pleasant to spend time in your RV. 

Maintain safety features: There should be several different safety features in your RV, including fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors. Just as you would in your home, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year. It’s easy to remember if you do it when the clocks change. Replace the batteries, too, to ensure they’re fully working if you should ever need them. 

Keep extra light bulbs: The one thing you should have in your RV is a stash of light bulbs. Eventually, they’ll burn out in your RV, and you don’t want to be stuck in the dark if you’re miles away from the nearest store. Keep a box in the RV somewhere so that you can change them out quickly. Put more in when you come home from a trip, so you’ll never run low. 

RV Mechanical Maintenance

Your RV is a vehicle, after all, so there’s plenty of mechanical maintenance you need to consider here. Here are some things you can do to keep the RV in top shape. 

Check the batteries: If you’re out on the road, a dead battery can spell disaster for your trip. Know what battery your RV uses and how to maintain it. Some have water levels that need to be topped up, so be aware of that. Batteries last around 3-5 years, so ensure that you know when the battery is nearing the end of its life cycle. 

Maintain the brakes: It’s hard to overstate how important this is for your safety. Every spring, check out the brakes and ensure there’s enough material left on them and that they’re working correctly. Be prepared to replace them if they’re looking like they’re on their way out. 

Change the oil: Your car is on the road a lot, but your RV may sit for a few months at a time. Because of this, it’s best to change out the oil every season. That keeps everything adequately lubricated. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of excessive wear and tear on the engine, which will cost you more in repairs in the long run.

Change out the filters: There will be filters for the air, coolant, and hydraulics in your RV. You’ll want to change these out every season, just as you would with the oil. These are something else that can cause damage to your RV’s engine if you’re not checking them regularly. 

For more technical maintenance help and tips, reach out to your local RV service center.

RV Care: Final Thoughts

Keep up with this checklist, and you’ll be able to keep your RV rig in top condition year-round. Use these tips to maintain all aspects of your home away from home. You’ll see that RV care makes heading out on trips just that much easier when you know everything’s in good condition.