While summer season might be the most popular for RV trips, autumn and winters have their delight. There are lesser insects in cooler weather, for one. And then there is the advantage of less populated campgrounds, which means lower rentals.
Of course, fall also means leaves were turning color, which is a sight to behold. If you are planning on taking a fall foliage RV trip, make sure your RV is prepped for colder weather. And, let's face it: Nothing's worse than heading out on a long RV road trip without full RV insurance coverage.
Before you head out for your RV fall trip
1. Prep your RV
Check for tire pressure, make sure your heating system is working and check that brakes are in order. Also, you should have fully functional towing gear that can support the weight of your RV. You should also learn how to drain water lines in case of a hard freeze. Sometimes, at higher altitudes, autumns can see temperatures dipping below freezing point.
2. Get the essentials
Unless you are using an RV that's only towable, you must have RV insurance at all times. In fact, in individual states, having RV insurance is mandatory. Usually, getting a full insurance cover is advisable when you are traveling, since your RV is susceptible to a whole gamut of risks, including storm damage. One of the best RV insurance tips is to calculate the approximate value of your RV, including all the fitments, and then decide on the amount of cover. You'll want to find the best RV insurance for your next trip.
In addition to excellent insurance cover, you will also need to carry warm clothes, sunscreen, and water bottles. Other gear, such as paddles for boating and hiking boots, will depend on the kind of destination you are going to.
3. Check availability
This one seems obvious, but it's worth mentioning. When planning a fall RV trip, make sure you check the availability of your favorite campground. A lot of campsites close in early September. Check before you head out.
If you are looking for the best fall foliage RV parks out there, here is a definitive list of the top 11 to help you get started.
11 best RV parks for fall foliage
1. Shenandoah National Park - Virginia
If you want to see fall foliage in all its glory, Shenandoah National Park is the place to be. Drive through Skyline Drive, the park's 105-mile byway, which offers stunning vistas and some impressive hiking trails. The Bear Mountain Trail is worth a mention here, especially for avid hikers.
2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Tennessee
Come autumn and the Great Mountains National Park comes alive with a riot of colors. It is not without reason that it is one of the most visited national parks in the US. While Blue Ridge Parkway is the highlight of the place, there are other areas equally worth visiting, such as Clingmans Dome Road.
3. Acadia National Park - Maine
Talking of stunning national parks in the country, Acadia National Park in Maine is right up there. Take a drive down Park Loop Road here to see mountain peaks, forests, and shores, all within a distance of merely 27 miles.
4. Cape Fair - Missouri
If you are big on leaf peeping, this is the RV park to head to. Adjacent to James River, this is a fishing haven, as well. The Table Rock Lakeshore Trail is close by, which offers impressive fall foliage vistas.
5. Roosevelt State Park - Mississippi
Open year-round; this RV park overlooks Bienville National Forest. While the views are stunning year-round, they are a sight to behold as fall sets in. There are interesting hiking trails in the vicinity, too, such as Muscadine Trails and Hollow Hill. They can be a birdwatcher's heaven during autumn.
6. Winhall Brook - Vermont
Nestled amidst hardwood forests in the Green Mountains, Winhall Brook is a campground that is open year-round. The Green Mountains hardly remain green come fall, taking on a range of hues as the leaves change color. There is an impressive, 16-mile hiking trail close to the RV park as well, called the West River Trail. You can expect to run into woodpeckers, moose, and loons during the hike.
7. Coconino National Forest - Arizona
Coconino National Forest is spread over 1.8 million acres. You can see the scenery change from deserts to pine forests and even volcanic peaks. When here, definitely drive through General Crook Trail Loop Road. There are several campgrounds within the forest, such as Ashurst Lake Campgrounds and Kehl Springs Campground. Check for availability before you head here, though, since it is contingent on the weather.
8. Mark Twain National Forest - Missouri
Christened after Mark Twain, the celebrated author, this expansive national forest is spread over 29 counties. When here, definitely check out the Glade Top Trail National Scenic Byway for some spectacular fall foliage views. The Ozark Trail is also worth mentioning.
9. San Bernardino National Forest - California
Open year-round; the national forest offers a whole host of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing and even downhill skiing during winters. It is also well known for Rim of the World Scenic Byway. The 100-mile route, it takes you through two mountain passes and spectacular views of the Sand to Snow National Monument.
10. White Mountain National Forest - New Hampshire
Much like San Bernardino National Forest, this one, too, is open year-round. It has more than 20 campgrounds, several miles of hiking trails and a whole host of wildlife, including Canadian lynx, bobcat, moose and white-tailed deer. The forest is also famous as a skiing destination during winters. When RV camping in the White Mountain National Forest, don't forget to drive through Kancamagus Scenic Byway.
Photo Credit: Bike List
11. Ledges State Park - Iowa
A rustic campground overlooking the Pea's Creek Canyon, this RV park offers exciting hiking trails to take in the colorful fall foliage. The Central State Park bike route is nearby for those big on biking trails.
Your RV is truly the workhorse of your trip. Whether you're heading to San Bernardino National Forest in California or Winhall Brook in Vermont, you're going to want to take care of your workhorse. So, before you head out on the open road, talk with your insurance agent about RV insurnace, now is the perfect time to consider purchasing full coverage. Safe travels!