Posts tagged Holidays

Consider these destinations for your 2017 camping trip!

When should I start planning my vacation?

“Are you thinking of renting an RV for your summer 2017 vacations? Maybe you want to explore the United States or perhaps you plan to travel further afield to see Europe, Australasia or beyond. Whichever destination takes your fancy, at Campanda we know that the best vehicles for summer vacations get snapped up at the beginning of the year by the early birds. So, to avoid disappointment, take our advice and get planning now! The earlier you book, the better value the prices are too so all you have to worry about is picking where you want to go. To help you get started with your trip planning, we’ve put together this list of our most exciting and upcoming RVing destinations for 2017 and some top picks of great value RVs available for rent on Campanda.”

 

In the graph above you can see two measure from 2016, the date campers booked their trip and the date campers went on their trip. The difference between the two measures should give you an idea how early people are booking their trips. Between January and April, many people are booking and not so many are going on vacation. It’s safe to assume that most of these people are booking for the upcoming summer.

To help you plan, here is a list of our most exciting destinations and the benefits of camping in them!


Top Destinations


Iceland

 
The amount of interest in that little island increases massively every year. This year, spurred by Iceland’s performance in the European soccer tournament, campers rushed to Iceland to get a glimpse of its fire meets ice landscapes. Check out this article, to find out more about camping in Iceland.

Iceland has a circular road that goes around the island allowing you to visit all the hotspots. To visit everything you need around two weeks.


Camping highlights

1. Wild camping: Iceland is one of the countries that allows primitive camping across the country. Its large plains and fields are mostly owned by the state allowing you to park your RV where you please. The only two rules are to not park on private property and to not destroy the landscape.

2. The hotsprings: Iceland has many natural hot springs said to carry health benefits for the skin.

3. Active volcanoes: The island has more than 30 active volcanoes.


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2. Botswana

 

Botswana resides north of South Africa. Part of its popularity among campers is the Kalahari desert and the Kalahari reservations. It’s best not to go directly during summertime as the temperatures will be difficult to bear. Instead it’s best to seek your Botswana adventures in the winter months. That being said, Botswana is a very popular destination and not only among camping enthusiasts but among animal lovers also. So make sure to plan your African trip early!


Camping Highlights

1. The Kalahari: It’s one of the most sought after wild reservations in the world along with the Serengeti. No other place offers you the chance to see Africa’s wildlife up close and personal. We’re talking Cheetahs, lions, elephants and rhinos so makes sure to bring enough storage for all your pictures!

2. Culture: it’s true that sub saharan Africa is one of the poorest regions in the world. This doesn’t stop it however from boasting a deep and unique culture that is heavily influenced by the land itself. Visiting small villages is one of the top activities our campers report doing in Botswana.

3. Shopping: Many campanders tell us how much they enjoyed the African fabrics. These are handmade and tend to be very cheap all whilst making you popular with the locals.


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3. New Zealand

 

Going there and back again has been a favorite amongst our International campers in 2016. It’s said that you can experience all 4 seasons in a day in New Zealand. From tropical forests to icy glaciers to serene beaches, it’s hard to question the reason New Zealand is so popular. New Zealand also has 3 official boondocking locations where you are allowed to park and enjoy the view.


Camping Highlights

1. Microclimates: As previously mentioned you’ll be able to experience very different climates in the same season. This in turn will give you the opportunity to do very different things like winter sports, hiking, nature watching, water sports etc.

2. Rich biodiversity: By virtue of being isolated islands far away from any land mass, Australia and New Zealand have a very unique collection of animals and plants – New Zealand in particular because of its more diverse climate. Many people go there just to experience Nature.

3. Opposite seasons: Many decide to go to New Zealand in winter when they live in cold countries. New Zealand thus provides a great opportunity to go and take full advantage of a second summer.


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4. Alaska

 

Alaska is beautiful in the summer time and looks very much different than the continental US. This makes it a destination for many RVers looking to explore and spend a temperate summer in the northern lands. There are many campsites to visit, some as far as Deadhorse, the northernmost city in Alaska.

You can furthermore explore the native culture and find out what type of primitive techniques were used to deal with the extreme weather conditions before the pilgrims ever set foot in Alaska.


Camping Highlights

1. Nature Watching: Splashes of violet and yellow flowers are peppered over endless plains and hills of white and green patches of earth. These act like greeting lands for many migratory birds that go to Alaska for the mating season. Not only birds, but sea mammals like the Orca and land mammals like the grizzly bear also make an appearance to take advantage of the cool summer weather there.

2. Native Culture: Eskimo communities have been able to retain a lot of tradition through the years. You can experience that culture by visiting “Barrow” (the largest Eskimo city in Alaska) or other cities like it. A camper recently recommended us the whaling festival that takes places on the longest day of the year on June 24th or 25th.

3. American Remoteness: Go to Alaska, if you wish to find yourself surrounded by nature and nothing else.


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5. The United Kingdom

 

Britain is a great location certainly, however it’s not the first place you’d think of going when you think camping. We chose to include it in this list because the British Pound is currently really cheap. A camping trip to the U.K. is about 25% cheaper than what it would have been prior to the referendum. So make sure to take a closer look at camping in the United Kingdom.


Camping Highlights

1. High density of campsites: The UK is a camping powerhouse with a thriving service industry to support it. It might surprise you to know that the UK has the highest density of campsites by landmass, more than any other country.

2. A Culture Mecca: Take a trip to visit landmarks like Salisbury Cathedral, York Minster and Stonehenge.

3. British Pubs: Have a mingle with the locals. All you need is a couple of pints of ale and Bob’s your uncle!


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10 Perfect Christmas Presents for the RV Geek

Christmas is upon us and it’s time to start buying gifts for our closest loved ones. For family and friends of the RV geek, picking the right gift can be a daunting challenge. You could be looking for a quick $5 gift or you could be looking to grab Santa by the ankles and drop a couple of hundreds on your favorite camper this holiday season. In order to help everyone out, we’ve compiled some of our favorite camping products, things we don’t usually go camping without.

If you have more questions about a particular item, drop us a comment in the bottom of this post and we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!


Magic Screen [ $90 – $800 ]

 

Magic Screen is a bendable outdoor screen that folds out and gets grounded like a tent. All you need is a phone, projector and Magic Screen and you’ll have an 80’ outdoor cinema system you can call your own.

The company behind Dashbon says that the existing products out there don’t address the consumer’s need for a one step solution to screening in the wild: “We’ve always hated the fact that we have to drag along those bulky pull-up/pull-down projection screen to the campsite or those inflatable screens that require external power supply to pump the air.” Magic Screen is the answer to that frustration.


Nikon ACULON A211 Binoculars [ $140 ]

Binoculars are considered an essential tool for campers, especially if your special someone is a boondocking enthusiast. Whether you use it to scout prospect areas for camping or just want to watch nature, no other binoculars come close to the Nikon ACULON A211 in the $100 price range. If you’re looking to give your loved one the gift of sight this holiday season, make sure to opt in for ACULON binoculars.


Xmas Ornament [ $9.50 ] & Xmas T-shirt [ $15 ]

 

“The shitter’s full” branded items have been hot commodities amongst RVers in the last couple of years. Nothing connects RVers like their dislike for emptying the nasty one. If you’re looking for a cheap and “xmas-y” gift this Christmas, or even just looking to add a camping theme to your Christmas tree, why not get something comical?

We loved the catch phrase so much we’ve decided to show you the T-shirt version as well – Just to spread the enthusiasm year-long!


Custom Sign [ $70 ]

If you’re looking to personalize your RV, then look into ordering a custom sign. The sign can say many things: a name, an address, a catch phrase or even an inside joke. Precision carving Inc. offers great vintage looking designs at convenient prices. Just to get your creative juices flowing here are a couple of examples of what you can get carved on your custom sign.

  • Eleanor & Sam Phillips
  • Never far from Texas
  • Everywhere is home
  • Home of the green pony and the 10 legged spider
  • The Wilsons
  • 1000 Forever Free St.

The DJI Phantom Drone [ $500 ]

Why not branch out into something totally new? Flying drones is the fastest growing activity among RVers because it goes hand in hand with exploration and discovery. You can take a look at what’s around the corner or film your surroundings from above.

Nowadays the technology has come far enough that they are easy to manage and the learning curve to operate them has certainly gone down since they first became popular around 10 years ago. If you’re looking to gift a good entry level drone that’s easy to handle, customize and operate, then go ahead and take a closer look at the DJI Phantom, one of the most popular drones on the market at the moment.


Viking Chess [ $45 ]

Ah Viking Chess… For those of you who don’t know it, Viking chess is a mix of strategy and targeting skill. Although the name might hint at a board game, it is anything but. It’s an outdoor sport that requires the same physical ability you would need to play darts or horseshoes. This game is a Campanda favorite and is as much fun being played by two players as it is being played by 10. To find out how to play, check out the video below.


Rainbow Fire Sticks [ $5 ]

These fire sticks make for a nice add-on or small gift for people looking to add a little bit of whimsy in their campsite. If you didn’t guess it from the name, it makes your campfire burn in a collection of rainbow colors. Just throw some of the magic sticks in your campfire and watch it go to work in shades of melon green, candy pink and baby blue!


Amazon Prime [ $100 / year]

If Mr. Gift-receiver is constantly on the move, then there is no better gift than Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime allows the camper to receive packages while on the go. So if they know they’re going to be arriving at a campsite the next day and they plan on staying there two nights. They can quickly order and receive their package within 48 hours.

Amazon Prime is quickly changing the way people shop online. It definitely makes ordering online more convenient. It brings America’s favorite products to your RV door step promptly. A truly thoughtful gift.

The $99 annual subscription also gives you free access to a collection of tv shows, movies, music and books. Here is a list of what’s included.

  • Free two-day shipping
  • Unlimited movies and TV shows
  • Unlimited music streaming
  • Unlimited reading on any device
  • Unlimited photo storage
  • You save 25% on prepayment discounts

The Otto O.F.B Grill [ $1,050 ]

Let’s face it everyone loves steak. Cooking them in a frying pan however quickly gets the RV messy, oily and don’t even get me started about the slippery floors. Thankfully there is a new high-tech compact oven made by Otto. Not only does an indoor grill solve the cleanliness problem, but the Otto happens also to make incredible perfectly cooked steaks with a charred crust. The Otto functions as high octone grill, so even if steak isn’t your thing, it’s still a great piece of equipment.

The Otto heats up in 3 minutes and cooks steaks at a temperature of 1700 F. It’s also very easy to clean and is powered via a propane tank. This is convenient for RVs where electricity is a precious commodity and space is scarce. The Otto is not cheap by any means but if you’re looking to invest in an oven for an RV, then it’s definitely worth the money.


The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Generator [ $900 ]

If the lucky camper does not already have one of those then perhaps it’s time to get him one. Generators are lifesavers and dry camping without them is a pain since most of us always need some kind of access to electricity. Like the Otta grill, a generator isn’t cheap. However it’s a tool that the camper will use over and over again so it pays for itself on the long term.

Yamaha generators are more efficient and run quieter than most generators out there. The Ef2000 series is also capable of outputs up to 2000 watts powering a number of appliances in tandem.


So there you have it, a fun little list of products to consider for lucky happy campers this Christmas. Have other ideas you want to share? Tell us about them and share the Christmas joy!

Top Skiing Resorts for Campers and RVers in North America

If you’re looking to take your RV skiing this winter then this article is for you. We are going to highlight our favorite most RV-friendly destinations, so that you can make an informed decision about the best place to enjoy the slopes with your loved ones.

If you’re unsure whether you should take an RV to your Ski trip, then consider these facts:

  • You’ll have more flexibility over the dates as you don’t need to worry about reserving accommodation that much in advance.
  • You’ll save money and bypass the high resort prices
  • You’ll have more privacy
  • You get to go camping again!

Now that we know the benefits of combining a camping trip with a ski vacation, let’s take a look at the best places to go.

Vail Mountain – Colorado

  • Population: 5,303 people
  • Vertical: 3,000 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 290 inches
  • Ski lifts: 33
  • Snowboarders allowed: Yes
  • Ski terrain: 5,200 acres
  • Accessibility by RV: The I-70 leads directly to the base of the mountain and is a very well maintained freeway.
  • Season: 11/25 – 4/23

Vail is amongst the most popular winter destinations in America. In part because of Colorado’s central location making it ideal for many. Anyone in the States will be able to drive to it in a reasonable time. You’ll find that Vail itself is only a short 2 hour drive away from Denver.

Vail is also renown for its snow parks. So if you’re a skier or snowboarder who’s all about rails, boxes and launches, then this place is for you.

What’s more, Vail is one of the biggest winter sports cities in terms of population. This means that you’ll find a lot of shops, restaurants, activities and oddities outside the slopes, making Vail ideal for large families that won’t necessarily do the same things all the time. For example you can go dog sledding at Mountain Musher’s, experience Colorado beers at the the Vail Ale house or go for a beauty day at the Sonnen Alp Spa, A spa with a German approach to pampering!

Closest campsite:
Aunt Sara’s River Dance RV Resort and Campground


Alta Ski Area – Utah

  • Population: 390
  • Vertical: 2,000 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 541 inches
  • Ski lifts: 11
  • Snowboarders allowed: No
  • Ski terrain: 2,200 acres
  • Accessibility: 45 minute drive from Salt Lake City
  • Season: 11/18 – 4/23

Alta is not the biggest Ski resort in North America – those who appreciate seclusion appreciate Alta especially for that reason. Alta is said to possess a unique microclimate that benefits from large amounts of snowfall. To be more precise, the type of snow they get is a soft, dry snow that accumulates on the slopes. The result is many patches of fresh powder snow that skiers and snowboarders can make their own.

The resort is highly appreciated by skiiers as only they are allowed to access the slopes. By the nature of the sport, snowboarding changes the landscape of the snow, eroding the otherwise compact demeanor of the slope. Die-hard skiers have expressed their dismay about this and Alta has answered the call becoming one of the last ski resorts that gives skiers refuge from snowboarders. So if you plan on snowboarding, then you can go ahead and cross Alta from your list.

Closest campsite:
Mountain Shadow RV Park


Whistler Blackcomb Skiing – British Columbia

  • Population: 10,000 people
  • Vertical: 5,000 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 275 inches
  • Ski lifts: 37
  • Snowboarders allowed: Yes
  • Skiing terrain: 8,100 acres
  • Accessibility: 78 miles from Vancouver through highway 99
  • Season: 11/24 – 5/22

The best thing about Whistler is that all winter sports are available for you to take part in. Whistler offers lessons in Nordic Luge, Skeleton, Bobsleigh and many more activities, making it a great place for beginners and experts alike.

There are a lot of features in Whistler that are state of the art: The peak to peak gondolas, the sheer amount of skiing acreage and the population of the town that allows for more than just a skiing experience. However what’s perhaps the most special about Whistler Blackcomb is the vertical. The 5,000 foot vertical means that you ski for longer, explore many different runs and find yourself easily off-tracking, discovering custom runs of your own in the process.

You’ll also find a bustling nightlife in Whistler, from after-ski bars to jolting night clubs. Whistler has something for everyone this winter. Slopeslide village consistantly gets rated as the best ski village for nightlife, dinning and shopping by international bodies like the Ski Magazine.

Closest campsite:
Whistler RV Park


Castle Mountain – Alberta

  • Population: n/a
  • Vertical: 2,800 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 354 inches
  • Ski lifts: 7
  • Snowboarders allowed: Yes
  • Ski terrain: 3,500 acres
  • Accessibility: Well maintained roads and many services and amenities for RVers and campers
  • Season: 2/17 – 4/2

We’ve included Castle Mountain in our list not because of its size or above average skiing. You won’t find Castle Mountain on any top destinations for skiing in North America lists. However, it is really easy to access with a large RV as the road leading to it is on a straight and gentle steady slope. What’s more is that you’ll have access to electrical hookups for just $25 a night.

Castle Mountain also has a lot of expert runs, a little more than usual with 45% of runs rated as diamond or double diamond. It also benefits from having three snow parks. The combination of all these facts makes Castle Mountain a yearly go-to winter vacation destination for many RVers that are also enthusiastic about skiing.

Furthermore, the horse back riding is said to be a one of a kind experience, partly because of the owners at Ya Ha Tinda Ranch, said to be some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. It’s a year round activity, so the snow shouldn’t deter you from riding. The ranch covers 4,000 acres of grazing land. Just ask the ranchers to point you towards the Red Deep River Bank trail and you’re sure to have a great time.

Closest campsite:
Lake Louise trailer campground


Mammoth – California

  • Population: 8,000 people
  • Vertical: 3,100 feet
  • Snowfall p.a.: 400 inches
  • Ski lifts: 28
  • Snowboarders allowed: Yes
  • Ski terrain: 3,500 acres
  • Accessibility: Skiers above the age of 80 ski for free
  • Season: 11/10 – 7/3

Mammoth has one of the longest skiing season in North America spanning a timeframe of 6 months. It has been a California favorite for over 50 years drawing people to the edge of the Sierra Nevada in the east of the state. Mammoth benefits from 3 snow parks, 151 runs with the longest one being 3 miles, longer than any in other RV resorts with the exception of Whistler and Vail.

In the last 10 years, they refreshed their facilities, dining areas, nightlife and activities in the skiing village. For example they are the only resort on this list that offer RV camping directly to their guests instead of going through 3rd party campsites.

There is also a growing scene of snowshoeing and cross country skiing because of the flat terrain that’s available there. For those not familiar with snowshoeing, it is definitely an endurance sport where users walk with the help of snowshoes and ski sticks across long distances. Want to test your metal? Give snowshoeing a try and you won’t be disappointed – as long as you survive it!

Closest campsite:
Mammouth Mountain RV Park


What about you? What are your favorite Skiing spots in North America?