TIPS FOR CLEANING YOUR RV’S INTERIOR

 

The new camping season will be here before we know it and before it arrives you’ll want to give the interior of your RV a good deep clean! It may sound strange but I love cleaning my RV. Really! One, it takes much less time than cleaning my house even when it’s a pull-out-everything-from-cabinets deep clean. Two, my RV is my escape, my retreat, and that makes it feel like less of a chore and more like a chance to give her the pampering she deserves.

 

Below is how I clean my RV’s interior. I like to start with the ceilings. Then I work from one end to the other and finally finish with the floors. It’s so satisfying to know that my RV is clean and ready to go for the next adventure.

 

I’ve included a lot of small tips to help make the cleaning process more efficient, but I want to stress my favorite tip: While you are cleaning keep an eye out for any items that may need repair or require preventative maintenance and write it down. Cleaning is a perfect time to do this because you are going over every surface. If you do this along with regular exterior inspections your RV is sure to give you many years of enjoyment!

 

Tip: If possible, plan your cleaning on a reasonably warm day so you can open the windows. You don’t want to be breathing the cleaning product fumes and the air circulation will help things dry out quicker and cut down on odors.

 

Alright grab your supplies and get scrubbing!

Supplies

Multi-purpose Cleaner

Glass Cleaner

Floor Cleaner

Boxes of Baking Soda

Magic Sponge (for any tough marks on ceilings or walls)

Gloves

Vacuum with attachments

Rags and/or Paper Towels

Sponges

Step Stool

Garden Hose

Something to take notes on: phone or paper or my handy PDF checklist linked below! 🙂

 

Ceilings

 

Start with the ceilings so you can vacuum or sweep up anything that may drop out of the vents or fans. Use your vacuum attachment to suck up any cobwebs that may have collected on the ceiling and clean out any dust that may have accumulated in the vents/fans. Pull out the screens and vacuum them. If they are really dirty you may want to wash them with water. Don’t forget to vacuum the vents of your air conditioner and check the filter to see if it needs to be replaced or cleaned.

 

Tip: While wiping the ceiling down with a damp cloth, look closely for signs of discoloration or any “bubbling”. Make a note of any spots that may need some preventative maintenance.

 

Bedroom(s)

 

 

 

Start by cleaning the windows. Next scan the walls noting the condition. Wipe the walls paying special attention to the doorways where dirt tends to accumulate. Take out all bedding and give it a good shake. If the RV has been in storage, I like to wash everything to get ready for the new camping season. If I’m in the middle of camping season, I’ll likely just fold it and put it away. Next, vacuum the closets and clean mirrors. Finally, if you aren’t going to be camping for a few months, stick a box of baking soda in the closet.

 

Tip: Don’t forget to vacuum the under-the-bed storage compartment if you have it!

 

Bathroom(s)

 

 

Start with the walls to remove any personal product residue. Next is the toilet and tanks. You can use a garden hose to spray down inside the tank as best as you can. Drop in some holding tank treatment to keep things fresh and wipe down the toilet. Pull out your belongings from the cabinets and wipe the shelves. Clean the mirror, sink, and shower or tub. Make notes of anything that needs maintenance or supplies you may be running low on and need to replenish.

 

Tip: There is a special attachment for your hose (pictured above) to make the job of cleaning the tank easier. Or a number of people swear that you can keep your tank really clean by putting a bag of ice in it during drives. The movement of the ice scrubs the tank for you. If you do this regularly you may be able to skip the spraying the tank step.

 

Kitchen

 

 

 

Start by cleaning upper cabinets that way you can easily vacuum or wipe away anything that falls down. I throw away any expired or stale food and quickly wipe out the cabinets. This is really important to make sure you don’t feed any unexpected “guests”. Clean the microwave. Next move on to the walls around the kitchen, paying special attention to the area above the sink and the stove and scrubbing away any residue. Give the stovetop and inside the oven a good scrub. Wipe out the inside of the fridge and freezer and leave a new box of baking soda to keep things fresh. Finally wipe down the sink and counters. Few things feel as satisfying as a sparkling clean sink. Don’t forget to take notes for maintenance issues or needed supplies.

 

Tip: Heat up a bowl of water in the microwave a few minutes before wiping it out. The steam will loosen any grime making it easy to clean.

 

Living Area

 

 

Last but not least let’s give the living area a good clean. Wipe down the walls and windows. Dust and wipe down any upper cabinets. If you have a pull-out bed in the sofa, pull it out to vacuum underneath. Wipe down table. Lastly, dust the TV and entertainment system.

 

Tip: Store items under the dinette in bins or boxes that make it easy to pull things out to clean underneath.

 

Floors

 

 

We started by cleaning the ceilings of the entire RV and now we are going to end with the floors. Give them a good clean with the vacuum and then mop all the hard surface floors.

Tip: Enjoy the satisfaction of having a super clean RV! 🙂

 

That’s it! You’re done! To make things even easier for yourself I’ve put together a PDF “RV Interior Cleaning Checklist” for you to print out and use! CLICK HERE for PDF!

 

Do you have any tips for cleaning your RV’s interior? Please share in the comments below!

 

Thanks to Trailer Source for letting me use one of their RVs for photos while our Airstream is in the middle of a major remodel! If you are in Colorado be sure to check them out! They have a great selection of RVs.

GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66

Get Your Kicks on Route 66: See America’s Most Scenic Byway in Two Weeks

 

 

Route 66 is the ultimate American road trip. Officially opened in 1926, Route 66 is 2448 miles long running from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA. Considered The Mother Road of America, it served as the primary route for people migrating west from the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. The highway helped small towns and businesses flourish. Likewise, these same towns and businesses fought to keep their economies alive when the new Interstate Highway system threatened to bypass their towns. Remember the movie Cars?

Speaking of the interstate, our itinerary lets you choose whether you want to travel on the National Scenic Byway called Historic Route 66 or the interstate, but keep in mind if you want to stick with the two-week timeline you are going to have to get some miles under your wheels. In some parts you’ll have no choice but to travel by interstate. We started out determined to stay on the official Historic Route 66 whenever possible but quickly discovered that with limited time (and toddlers) we needed to travel between major destinations by interstate weaving off and, on the byway, to see points and towns of interest.

 

Day 1: Chicago

 

 

Route 66 officially begins—or ends if you are starting in the West—in Chicago. Pick a campground in one of the surrounding suburbs (We use the All stays app to find most of our campgrounds) to avoid having to navigate the RV through heavy city traffic. Pick a few attractions that sound fun to you and go have a blast exploring The Windy City. Some of our favorites are Millennium Park, Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), Art Institute of Chicago, and Museum of Science and Industry.  Be sure to get a picture at one of the Begin (or End) Route 66 signs located at 65 E Adams St.

 

Day 2: Drive from Chicago, IL to St Louis, MO – (Approx. 5 hrs driving time without stops)

 

 

Pack up and leave the campground first thing in the morning leaving enough time for a quick stop in Pontiac for the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum. Don’t pass through Lincoln, IL without stopping to see the Railsplitter Covered Wagon, the world’s largest covered wagon according to the Guinness Book of World Records. What’s a road trip down The Mother Road without kitschy stops and pictures to prove it!

 

Day 3: St. Louis

 

 

Take a break from driving and spend the day visiting St. Louis.  There is plenty to see in this great mid-western city but be sure to visit the iconic St. Louis Arch. If you have already been there or want to fit in another attraction, consider The City Museum. (It’s one of my favorite stops in the U.S.) It’s an eclectic combination of a children’s playground and art made out of found objects. It’s fun for adults and kids alike. Or visit the beautiful city park, Forest Park. It’s home to the St Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, and The Muny.

 

Day 4: Drive from St Louis to Baxter Springs (Approx. 5 hrs of driving time without stops)

 

 

Today is another driving day. You’ll pass through Cuba, MO. Cuba is also known as Mural City.  Keep your eye out to catch the murals that run along the Route 66 corridor. Don’t put that camera away too fast. You’ll also want to get a picture of the former World’s Largest Rocking Chair—it’s now the second largest—in Fanning, MO. If you didn’t have time to stop in at the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum, you can stop at the Route 66 Museum in Lebanon. Next set your GPS for Galena, KS to see the inspiration for the Cars movie, Cars on the Route. It’s a particularly fun stop for kids and being off the interstate transports you back to simpler times. If there are spots left, stay at Old Highway 66 Rest Area Campground and consider grabbing some delicious Kansas BBQ at Baxter Springs Smokehouse. If the campground is full there are a number of campgrounds on the south western outskirts of Joplin, MO or near Miami, OK.

 

Day 5: Baxter Springs to Oklahoma City – (Approx. 3.5 hours without stops)

 

 

As you leave Kansas and continue to Oklahoma, keep your eyes peeled for more retro signs and buildings on the route. Today’s highlight will be The Blue Whale of Catoosa. The Blue Whale is one of the most recognizable and photographed icons on Route 66. The whale constructed out of cement by Hugh Davis in the 1970s was built as a surprise anniversary gift for his wife Zelta. It was originally intended for private use but Davis eventually opened it to the public and it became a popular roadside attraction.

 

Day 6: Oklahoma City

 

 

Stretch your legs today in Oklahoma City. There are many attractions from which to choose. A few of the most popular are: Oklahoma National Memorial and Museum, Bricktown Water Taxi, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor activities at Boathouse District, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and the city’s longest continually operated restaurant Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. Whatever you do make time to visit a modern Route 66 roadside attraction, Pops 66. It’s a really fun stop for people of all ages with hundreds of sodas and drinks lining the shelves.

 

Day 7: Drive from Oklahoma City to Amarillo – (Approx. 5 hrs of driving time without stops)

 

 

It’s back on the road today! Head out of Oklahoma City and head to Amarillo, the almost midway point of Route 66. (The actual mid-point is about 50 miles west of Amarillo where campgrounds are sparse.) On your drive keep your eyes open for the Leaning Tower of Texas and the Giant Cross in Groom, TX. Stop for the night in Amarillo, Texas. Drive out to Cadillac Ranch to see the iconic Cadillacs buried in ground and consider having dinner at the legendary Route 66 restaurant, The Big Texan. If you are feeling extra hungry (and brave!), you can take the 72 oz. steak challenge. If you finish the entire meal in an hour or less it’s free!

 

Day 8: Amarillo to Albuquerque – (Approx. 5 hrs of driving time without stops)

 

 

It’s another driving day today but with some great detours. About an hour outside of Amarillo you’ll pass Adrian, TX. If you haven’t had breakfast you can plan to stop at the MidPoint Cafe for breakfast or simply give your passengers or yourself a high five because you’ve made it half way! You won’t want to spend too much time there though because you’ll for sure want to take a detour to see Tucumcari, NM. Drive down the main street and keep an eye out for the iconic Blue Swallow Motel (815 E. Route 66) and if you don’t already have enough souvenirs you can stop at the Tee Pee Curious across the street but don’t stay too long. The next detour, Santa Rosa Blue Hole, will be worth getting into the campground a little later than usual. Blue Hole is an oasis in the middle of the desert. Its water is crystal clear and cold. A perfect spot to cool off and enjoy some natural beauty. The parking lot easily fit our 34’ RV making getting changed for swimming a breeze. If you time it right you can cool off and enjoy a picnic lunch. After taking a dive into the sapphire colored water continue heading west to Albuquerque and set up in one of the many campgrounds in the area.

 

Day 9: Albuquerque

 

 

After two full back-to-back days of driving you’ll be ready to stay put for the day. Use this

“downtime” to do a little exploring in Albuquerque. From outdoor activities to arts and culture there’s no shortage of things to do in this great southwestern city. Albuquerque may be most famous for its International Balloon Fiesta held every October. However, you can visit the unique Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum any time of the year or book a hot air balloon ride with one of the many operators in the area. A few other options for the day include: Sandia Peak Tramway, Petroglyph National Monument, Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque Botanical Gardens, and The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History.

 

Day 10: Albuquerque to Williams – (Approx. 6 hrs of driving time without stops)

 

 

It’s back on the road again today. Get up and head out as early as possible if you want to drive through Petrified Forest National Park. It’s the only park in the National Park System that contains a section of Route 66! It takes about one hour to drive the 28 miles from one end of the park to the other. Next head to Holbrook, AZ to see the iconic Wigwam Motel and have lunch at Joe and Aggies Cafe for a step back into time. As you continue west keep an eye out for the arrows that marks the ghost town of Twin Arrows. Set up camp for the night in Williams, AZ where there are plenty of campgrounds.

 

Day 11: Grand Canyon

 

 

Today you are going to take a detour from The Mother Road to see one of America’s most famous landmarks, the Grand Canyon. The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is an hour north of Williams and is open year-round. Plan to see historic Grand Canyon Village and drive the scenic Hermit Rd or Desert View Drive. Stay for sunset if possible to capture beautiful pictures. That evening head into Williams and walk the main street to enjoy some Route 66 neon.

Day 12: Williams to Barstow – (Approx. 6 hrs of driving time without stops)

 

 

Depending on the time of year this can be a long HOT drive through the desert. One year we drove this in June and it reached 127 degrees in Needles. Another year we did it in November and needed light jackets. Either way you’ll want to plan a short stop in the small town of Seligman, AZ. Walk down the street a bit imagining what this town was like 60 years ago and then grab a shake from Delgadillo’s Snowcap Drive-In. Continue west. If you have a little more time than two weeks consider a detour stop in Oatmen, AZ to hang out with the wild burros.

 

Day 13: Barstow to Santa Monica (2 hours without traffic)

 

 

You’ll want to get an early start again today to avoid the Los Angeles rush hour and to leave time for a short detour. On your way out of Barstow get off the interstate to see Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch. It’s one of my favorite stops! Next head to a suburb of Los Angeles to a campground of your choice. (Unless you have a small easy to maneuver rig you really won’t want to take the RV into Los Angeles if you can avoid it.) Try to get to the campground by noon to set up, have some lunch, and then head over to Santa Monica Pier before the evening rush hour. Congratulations! You made it to the official end of the Route 66! Enjoy the pier and then head down to Venice Beach Boardwalk (my choice!) or Third Street Promenade to wait for traffic to lighten up before heading back to your campground that evening.

 

Day 14 – Day in Los Angeles

 

 

You can’t drive over 2000 miles to the City of Angels without enjoying some of its most famous sites. My suggestion is to head to Paramount Studios to take a 2-hour morning tour and then head over to Hollywood Blvd. (If you are feeling ambitious and not intimated by LA traffic you could even add in a drive down the famous Rodeo Drive and Sunset Blvd on your way to Hollywood Blvd.) End the evening at Griffith Observatory for amazing city views before heading back to the campground.

 

We’d love to hear from you! Have you gone RVing on Route 66? How long did it take you? What must see sites would you add to my list?

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A VINTAGE TRAILER

Our 1984 triple axle Avion 34V

 

From a folding camping trailer to large fifth wheels, Brent and I have owned our share of RVs. After four years of full-time RVing, our family finally settled down and decided we needed a smaller RV for weekend camping and summer road trips. We looked at all sorts of RVs, visiting RV shows and dealerships, but finally settled on a vintage Avion, Airstream’s second cousin. We spent the summer exploring Route 66 and couldn’t have felt cooler. Literally, because the air conditioner wouldn’t stop dripping on me while I slept. Ha! Regardless, of the quirks we loved that trailer. A year later, we came across a great deal on a rare front kitchen Airstream. We had dreamed of owning an Airstream for years, so we sold the Avion and finally became part of the Airstream club. Having owned new, used (newer used RVs), and now a vintage trailer we’ve learned a few things. Many of the same things that apply to buying a late model trailer, like towing capacity of your tow vehicle, also apply to buying a vintage trailer with a few more things to consider.

 

1998 Airstream Excella 34’ FK

 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Vintage Trailer

 

Usage – How do you plan to use the vintage trailer? Weekend trips? Full-time RVing? Airbnb or guest house? Winter RVing? Most vintage RVs (Not all, our Avion was great in cold weather.) aren’t going to be suited for winter camping without significantly upgrading the insulation, a BIG job! If having more space is a priority, as it often is when full-time RVing or camping with large families, you won’t find many, if any, vintage trailers with slide outs.

 

The Princess is a fully renovated 1969 Streamline Princess Photo courtesy of Marmalade Vintage Trailers

 

 

Handyman Skills – Are you handy and do you enjoy learning that sort of work? Vintage trailers will often need more work than their newer counterparts. It really helps if you have some handyman skills or else maintenance and repair expenses can add up very quickly. Just as

important as having the skills is actually enjoying the work. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you want to! I’ve found most vintage trailer owners, including myself and my husband Brent, really enjoy the process of renovating. Of course, it’s always possible to buy a fully renovated vintage trailer.

 

Photo courtesy of Marmalade Vintage Trailers

 

Campgrounds – It might come as a surprise, but not all campgrounds are vintage RV friendly. There are campgrounds that place age restrictions on the type of RV they will allow. Others place restrictions on length limits and many vintage trailers are on the shorter side. We once stayed at a campground and our friends came to camp with us in their adorable little vintage trailer. Unbeknownst to us, the campground had a length rule and our friends weren’t allowed to camp there! (It worked out because we were camping in a huge fifth wheel at the time, so they just stayed with us. It was cozy but great fun!) If you visit specific campgrounds regularly, you will want to make sure they don’t have any of these types of restrictions in place before purchasing a vintage trailer.

 

Before and After of a 1963 Shasta Compact Photo Courtesy of Guy Bratton

 

Scope of Work – It’s really important to carefully and fully consider the scope of the work before buying a vintage trailer. Vintage trailer renovations run the gamut from shell off renovations

(where the camper is stripped of everything and the shell, the walls and roof, is lifted to work on the chassis) to simpler repairs like replacing worn awnings. You’ll want to take a full inventory of what might need work. Some things to consider are: leaks, water damage, electrical system, water lines, water pumps, heaters, toilets, showers, sinks, air conditioners, axles, floors and subfloors, tires, body condition, the frame, tires, windows (vintage windows can be hard to find), appliances, propane line, awnings, and a clear title. We called about many vintage trailers that were inexpensive and looked good in pictures only to find out the title was salvaged or it didn’t have a title at all!

 

Be Prepared to Walk Away – It’s really easy to get emotionally attached to the idea of a vintage trailer (Trust me, I know!) without full consideration of the amount of work involved. Take an inspection checklist and take your time going over the trailer from top to bottom and front to back. Be sure to ask the owner lots of questions and if the answers don’t add up then be prepared to walk away.

 

1957 Airstream Bubble Photo courtesy of Guy Bratton

 

Be Patient – Along the lines of being prepared to walk away, it’s important to be patient. Finding a vintage trailer is more difficult and time consuming than going to your nearest RV dealer. It will take searching at multiple sources like RV Trader, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. You may have to look at many trailers before you find the right one. Personally, we prefer to buy vintage trailers that have had fewer owners. We bought our Airstream from the original owners who had retired and were no longer RVing. They took the time to explain all the quirks of the

trailer and pointed out all the things that they knew needed repairs. This is an ideal situation but not always possible. Don’t give up! If something doesn’t feel right, don’t worry there will always be another one!

 

Be Prepared for Surprises – So you’ve found your perfect trailer, inspected it thoroughly, and you pulled it home to start working on it. Don’t be surprised if you pull up the carpet only to find a section of soft or rotting subfloor or you realize you forget to check the stove and it doesn’t work. It happens. There is a good chance you will miss something when checking the trailer out. It’s okay, almost everything is repairable. Just prepare yourself for surprise repairs ahead of time and you can roll with it.

 

Photo courtesy of Guy Bratton

 

Budget – Once you find a prospective vintage trailer make a list of all the things that are important to you in order of importance. Start with the non-negotiable components like axels and wheels and work your way to down to the cosmetics like curtains. It’s likely you won’t need to do everything on the list but it’s a good starting point to have. Visit sites like Ebay and Vintage Trailer Supply to get an idea what these renovations or repairs will cost and make a budget.

 

Photo courtesy of Guy Bratton

 

Community – One of the best parts of owning a vintage RV, other than enjoying the charm and history, is the instant community. There are many clubs, meet ups, and rallies for vintage trailer owners. There are even dedicated groups and clubs for specific makes of vintage trailers. These groups tend to be really welcoming and enthusiastic. It’s definitely a perk to owning a vintage trailer. (Note: There are meet-ups and clubs for nearly all major brands of late model RVs as well!)

 

Photo courtesy of Riverside RV

  

After some contemplation, you may have decided a true vintage trailer and the potential work that comes with it is not for you. Perhaps you really just want the peace of mind that comes with a warranty? If it’s the vintage charm you are after and not the possible surprises then you might want consider one of the new trailers that look vintage like the Retro from Riverside RV. It’s got charm and modern convenience.

 

What about you! Have you ever bought or considered buying a vintage trailer? Any advice to share?

THE STAYING POWER OF OLDER RVS

I can still remember the excitement I felt riding in the back of our gold station wagon (with a 455-cubic engine!) that pulled my family’s 1970 Starcraft travel trailer. It was an older RV but my siblings and I didn’t care. We were off for a weekend of adventure that meant time to roam the woods, explore caves, and roast marshmallows around a campfire. My childhood was filled with road trips and weekends at campgrounds that remain some of my fondest memories. The love of the road is a gene I inherited from my parents.

Like the one belonging to my parents, our own first RV, a 1996 Jayco folding camping trailer, was over a decade old. We had a small budget but big plans to give our kids oodles of childhood memories. Although that RV was 13 years old when we bought it, it gave us years of fun as we camped on the shores of the Pacific Ocean or under a canopy of Redwoods. It required very little aside from general maintenance and was in exceptional shape for its age.

Read More

RVING FOR HISTORY BUFFS: 10 MUST SEE PLACES

When many people think about RVing they think of parking next to the lake for a weekend of fishing or heading to the mountains for hiking, but RVing is also the perfect way to get out and explore North America’s rich history.

We spent four years touring the United States in our RV. Much of that time was dedicated to visiting historical sites from Key West to Alaska and San Francisco to New York City and hundreds of places in between. Narrowing down my list to 10 places was next to impossible. It would have been much easier to write 100 Must See Places but for the sake of length and your time I whittled the list down to ten. I chose RV-friendly places in a variety of locations around the country and most have the added benefit of natural beauty for outdoor enthusiasts.

 

 

Boston, MA

For early American history, it doesn’t get much better than Boston. Boston is home to the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile marked path through downtown that passes by 16 historical significant locations. It starts at the Boston Commons and winds its way down to Bunker Hill. While not a part of the Freedom Trail, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum offers an

in- depth look at an event that changed the course of history. Not far from Boston you’ll also find Plymouth Plantation, a living history museum about the early settlement of Plymouth Colony. Campgrounds are limited to the outskirts of Boston. We’d recommend camping at one of the numerous campgrounds between Boston and Cape Cod so you can experience Boston’s history and spend a day or two experiencing the beauty of Cape Cod.

 

 

Charleston, SC

The history of Charleston, South Carolina is one of the most enduring in the country. Founded by the English in 1670, Charleston began as a small seaport settlement. By the 18th century it had grown into a wealthy city. The bloodiest four years in America began in April of 1861 when Confederate soldiers opened fire at Union-occupied Fort Sumter in the Charleston Harbor. The Civil War devastated Charleston but the lack of funds forced the city to repair instead of replace buildings thus preserving a large array of significant architecture. Start your visit at the Charleston Visitor Center for suggestions from their friendly and helpful staff and be sure to watch, Forever Charleston, to get an overview of the city’s history. Must-sees include Fort Sumpter National Monument, a walking tour of historic downtown self-guided or otherwise, Battery Park, and Charleston City Market. A handful of campgrounds are on the outskirts of the city including Edisto Beach State Park where you can camp on the coast. Or consider staying further south and add a day trip to Savannah, Georgia to your history tour.

 

 

Dearborn, MI

Located just outside Detroit, MI, Dearborn is a haven of history in the Midwest. The must-see attraction is The Henry Ford. The Henry Ford Museum of Innovation is nothing short of spectacular. Step onto the bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, see past presidential cars, learn about manufacturing, and even see early RVs. Head over to Greenfield Village where you can ride in a Model T, explore Thomas Edison’s lab, and see the workshop where the Wright brothers thought to reach for the sky. There are a number of campgrounds located outside the Detroit area. If you want to spend some time enjoying Lake Erie, we suggest Sterling State Park Campground located south of Dearborn on the lake.

 

 

New Orleans, LA

In 1803 the United States bought approximately 827,000 square miles of land for 15 million dollars from France. Known as the Louisiana Purchase, this territory located west of the Mississippi included New Orleans. New Orleans’ history is as rich and varied as its food. Stroll the famous French Quarter and visit the St. Louis Cathedral. Built in 1724, St Louis is the oldest continuously active Catholic cathedral in the United States. Ride one of the continuously operating streetcars in the world. You’ll also find museums galore including The New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park and The National World War II Museum. As for places to camp you’ll find RV parks within walking distance to the French Quarter or pick one of the many nearby campgrounds located and drive in for the day. For more tips on visiting New Orleans with kids check out RVing in New Orleans.

 

 

Philadelphia, PA

A history trip isn’t complete without a visit to our nation’s first capitol city, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The main course is Independence National Historic Park. Independence NHP is an urban park that contains historical delights like the Liberty Bell, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, Carpenter’s Hall, and Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed. In addition, there are many other smaller sites that commemorate the people and places of our rich history. Consider visiting nearby Valley Forge located northeast of the Philadelphia to learn more about place where the American Continental Army spent the harsh winter 1777 and 1778. Campgrounds are speckled all around the city, including one in downtown.

 

 

Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe is the oldest capitol city in the United States and the oldest European community west of the Mississippi. Explore ancient Native Americans petroglyphs or visit the Palace of the Governors, one of the nation’s oldest government buildings. Currently, the Palace of the Governors serves as New Mexico’s History Museum. Just outside of the city, you’ll find Pecos National Historical Park where the remains of Indian Pueblos teach us about the ancient peoples who once thrived in this high desert. History, art, and culture are rich in Santa Fe and there are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had as well. All of this makes it a wonderful stop for RVing history buffs.

 

 

St. Augustine, FL

Along the sandy shores of the Atlantic in northern Florida, lies the oldest permanent European settlement in the United States, St Augustine. St. Augustine was founded in by Spanish conquistador, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, in 1565. St. Augustine has been the home to a wide array of cultures from Native Americans, Spanish settlers, British soldiers, and unconventional millionaires, all who have left their mark on this beautiful coastal city. Visit the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century Spanish fortress, walk through the historic district, and spend time at the beach. If you can get a spot (reserve early), stay at Anastasia State Park located across Matanzas Bay from downtown St. Augustine.

 

 

Washington DC

Of course, no list of best places for history buffs is complete without our nation’s capital city, Washington D.C. It might surprise you that Washington D.C. is very RV friendly. Well, you won’t be parking on the National Mall, but there are plenty of options nearby making an RV trip to Washington D.C. educational and affordable! The list of attractions in D.C. is long and ever growing so plan accordingly. For an in depth look at our favorite places to visit while RVing Washington D.C. check out this post.

 

 

Williamsburg, VA

Known as the Historic Triangle, Williamsburg, Virginia is where American history comes alive. You’ll be able to walk through and touch hundreds of years of history in the living history museums. From the Native Americans who first called this area home to the first settlers founding Jamestown in 1607 to the Battle of Yorktown, history is thick around Williamsburg. Plan on spending multiple days to tour Historic Jamestown, Jamestown Settlement, Colonial Williamsburg, American Revolutionary Museum at Yorktown, and Yorktown Battlefield. There are a number of campgrounds to choose from in the area. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Yellowstone National Park, WY, ID, MT

National parks and RVing are like ice cream and cake. They just fit together. Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America’s first national park and, depending on who you ask, the second oldest in the world. This history with its unmatched geological wonders makes it a must see for RVers. Be sure to attend a ranger program or two discussing the history of the park. It’s fascinating to hear how conservancy and culture has changed over the years. Today you wouldn’t think of intentionally feeding bears but back in the 1900s it was a common occurrence and there are pictures to prove it! You’ll find numerous campgrounds located in and around the park. If possible plan a visit early or late in the season to avoid crowds.

Are you a history buff? Where are some of your favorite places to Go RVing?