Travel West in an RV this Winter

Travel West in an RV this Winter
Rachel Simpson

Written by Rachel Simpson

For many, the thought of doing any sort of camping or outdoor vacationing in the winter is absurd. The winter, they say, is for ski lodges and hot chocolate and staying indoors. However, for those who have experience and a desire for something different, camping in an RV during the wintertime is the perfect way to see the USA in a whole new light.

Heading West

Of course, once you’ve decided to take the plunge, the next thing to do is decide where you’re headed. For this trip, we’re going to head west to Southern California and nearby areas. This is a perfect winter destination for those who are new or unsure about winter camping, because the temperatures in the southwest tend to stay relatively mild — especially when compared to other places in the country.

However, even though the weather is less likely to turn harsh and unforgiving, you can still expect less when it comes to traffic or crowds, as most people will be home waiting for the summer months to vacation again. Those who are interested in harsher, colder conditions can head to northern California, where the temperatures plummet a great deal more than they do down south.

Tips for Travel

Even though the conditions are easier to take in the south, there some important things to remember:

– Make sure your RV is winterized. You’ll want good seals and insulation to keep you comfortable.

– Be prepared to use snow tires and chains!

– A good dehumidifier inside the RV can help keep corrosion and mildew away.

– New wiper blades are essential.

Where to Go

For this trip, we’re going to look at a possible seven-day itinerary, mainly focused on a few national parks in southern California, but also heading east into Arizona and Nevada. There’s a lot to see in this part of the country, so we’re treating this trip as more of a drive-by, stopping long enough to get a flavor of an area rather than staying too long in any one place.

Of course, travel times may vary depending on road conditions, so keep an eye on the weather at all times.  You might find yourself needing to wait out some wet days, so here are our rainy day entertainment tips. Ready? Here we go!

Day One: Yosemite National Park

We start our whirlwind week in Yosemite National Park. This majestic area will be the most “winter” of all our destinations. In fact, some of the park is closed during the winter. This won’t stop us from seeing the amazing sites this park has to offer. There is a reason Yosemite is one of the most visited parks in the country, and even in the winter it has a lot to offer; hiking, skiing and plenty of beauty abounds.

Days Two and Three: On the Road to Death Valley

After leaving Yosemite, we’re going to head south to Death Valley. Even though the two parks are not that far apart as the crow falls, the terrain in this part of California means that the best road to take is a winding one, and you will spend the better part of this day driving from one spot to the next. It’s worth it, though, because Death Valley offers such a stark contrast to Yosemite, you’ll be hard pressed to believe you were in the same state.

When people think of Death Valley, they typically imagine the scorching hot desert that awaits travelers nearly all the year. This is why the winter is the perfect time to visit. With highs in the mid-sixties, this stark and vivid landscape is much more bearable during this season, and can even get chilly in the evening!

Days Four and Five: From Desert to Canyon

Another long drive — this time east through such unforgettable sights as Las Vegas and the Hoover dam — takes us to the Grand Canyon. This might seem like a cliche stop, but really anyone who considers themselves a serious traveler should have this stop on their bucket list.

No doubt you have seen pictures of the Grand Canyon time and time again — but have you ever seen pictures of the Grand Canyon covered in snow? A winter trip like this gives you this opportunity as well as others as you travel through northern Arizona.

Days Six and Seven: Up Into Nevada

For our last stop, we travel north into Nevada and up to a much lesser-known national park, the Great Basin National Park. While this park might not get the recognition of some its more famous brethren, this is a wonderful destination that offers the winter visitor plenty of opportunities such as skiing, snowshoeing and others. In addition, the nearby Lehman caves are open and offer tours year-round.


This very loose itinerary gives you the opportunity to go from mountains to desert to canyon in the course of a week, and unfortunately gives you the briefest glimpse of what this unique and beautiful part of the country has in store for you. Plus, a trip like this can easily be adjusted and extended as you travel and find interesting stops along the way that you want to spend a little longer enjoying. Travelling in an RV makes a trip like this even easier – no need to return to a hotel every night or be forced to stick to plans you want to change – you’ve got the freedom to go anywhere. Rent an RV direct from a local owner with Mighway, and let the journey unfold!

Ready to get going? Check out our 10 tips for packing stuff you actually need on an RV trip.