The Farmer’s Almanac just released its highly anticipated winter weather forecast. Critics say the pseudo-science behind the annual weather predictions are only about half right.
Whatever happens, winter is still optional for RVing snowbirds. If you’re searching for the ultimate endless summer, put these three great winter RV destinations on your itinerary.
With balmy temperatures that hover in the high 70s and generally mild winters compared to northern states, Florida is an easy choice for easterners looking to stay close to home. As you search for the best Florida RV parks in winter, consider that the Sunshine State is often described as having two distinct personalities. Florida’s Gulf Coast is generally viewed as being less hectic and more casual than the East Coast.
Winging it during your RV snowbird travels usually isn’t an option in this densely populated area. Before heading south you’ll want to book your sites at least six months ahead for public campgrounds and one year ahead for private RV parks.
2. The Rio Grande Valley, Texas
In the middle of the USA, you can’t get any more south than the Rio Grande Valley. Located at the southernmost tip of Texas, “The Valley” or “RGV” as locals call it, straddles the Rio Grande River. It’s a bustling four-county region with popular winter RV destinations like McAllen, Brownsville, South Padre Island, and Harlingen.
The RGV is a birders paradise, with thousands of species calling it home during cold North American winters. And since it shares almost the same latitude as the Florida Keys, the “Winter Texans” who come here always enjoy semi-tropical, mild winter weather. The RGV is about halfway between the Pacific and the Atlantic, making it a do-able Texas snowbird destination no matter where you live.
Much like Florida, you don’t go there without a reservation if you want a long-term stay at any of the most popular winter Texan RV parks. The majority of winter guests book sites a year in advance. The good news is that Texas is so big you have many other great regions to explore and keep relatively warm.
3. Quartzsite, Arizona
Travel through this dusty outpost between April and November and you might wonder why this wide spot along Interstate 10 is such a popular winter destination for RVers. But visit in January and you’ll quickly see why: it morphs into a non-stop social event for RV snowbirds.
RVers who enjoy winging it all winter will love this part of the country. Dozens of inexpensive Quartzsite RV parks have plenty of room for seasonal guests and short-term visitors alike. If dry camping is more your style, try boondocking at Quartzsite’s long-term visitor areas. The Bureau of Land Management allows snowbirds to stay there for less than $200 between September and April. The only caveat? You’ll go without hookups. The only “amenities” are beautiful desert sunsets with wide-open views of the surrounding area.
The Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show draws thousands more RVers into the area in January, so be prepared. Endless flea market shopping opportunities and RV club social events galore give you plenty to do, but without a reservation the parks, you won’t get a full-hookup site during those weeks.
Wherever you decide to escape winter, you’ll share one thing in common with all your neighbors. Every one of them has learned that suffering through cold seasons is optional. The endless summer is far more appealing—and doable in these popular winter RV destinations.
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.