If you’ve gone RVing in California, Oregon, or Washington lately, you may have noticed some changes over the last few years. The West Coast’s lack of affordable housing is at epic proportions and if you roam near larger cities, your travel plans will be affected.
West Coast RV parking shortages are here to stay.
America’s housing shortage is in crisis mode throughout the west. According to the 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2017, three west coast cities made it into the Top Ten least affordable cities in the world. People who can’t afford to buy or even pay astronomical rents in those areas are calling RV parks home.
Visit any RV park that was once empty except for a few retired seniors, and you’ll find a bustling temporary community with kids, pets, and commuters. Spontaneously pull into any urban West Coast RV park and odds are good that you won’t be able to stay very long. As overnighters with reservations compete with casual RVers, campsite battles are heating up. Here’s how to make the best of the West Coast RV parking shortages if you find yourself in the region.
Get Real Time Campground Information
Spontaneity takes a back seat throughout the West Coast as RV parks stay filled to capacity. Don’t expect to pull into your first choice campground, whether it’s a national, state, county, or private RV park. If you’re a vacationer, plan RV trips carefully and get real time campground information before you arrive. “Getting into a popular public campground without reservations or on a first-come, first-served basis can be an iffy proposition with national park campgrounds being the worst,” writes RV Life writer Dave Hegelson in his Real Time Campground Information tips article. “By watching the campground page for several days before your planned arrival at the park, you will have a pretty good idea on when the campground fills each day along with the knowledge where there are available campsites upon your arrival.”
Find The Good And Bad RV Parks Along Your Way
Smart RVers take Campground Reviews with a grain of salt. After all, not every RVer wants the same thing in accommodations, scenery, and of course, rates. So before you check into a spot, research good and bad RV parks and look for reviewers with RVs similar to yours. Notice the post review dates. How long ago was the last one made? If it was more than a few years ago, you can probably disregard it. Life has changed in the West Coast states. Finally, consider reviewers’ feedback about amenities. Which ones will you be using? If you won’t use them, does it matter?
Mentally Prepare For Summer Crowds
Expect summer crowds at RV campgrounds and parks to be even worse this year. Don’t leave home without creating a loose itinerary featuring plenty of room for “just in case” scenarios. For example, if you pull into a park and don’t like the conditions, know the nearest RV camping options you can scope out. Also leave tons of room for travel time, since you never know when you’ll have to leave one bad RV park and head to a better one.
Perhaps the best thing you can do is have a laid-back attitude and don’t expect too much in urban West Coast areas. Being more laid back will also help you be a happier and more content RV traveler throughout the remainder of the year, wherever you roam.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.