Camping is a must-have activity whenever you own or planning to rent an RV. And when you talk about camping, one of the best places to head to is to the Yosemite National Park in California. If you’re an RVer looking for a brand-new place to discover, it’s time for you to journey to one of the world’s natural wonders and know where to RV camp in Yosemite National Park.
RV Camping for Beginners
RV camping has risen in popularity because of its comfort and convenience. Bringing an RV camper allows you to have the comforts of an actual living space right with you on the camping grounds. Plus, it also includes necessary utilities such as a bathroom, a functional kitchen, a grill, as well as sleeping and living spaces. These amenities do not only make camping easier but also enticing for anyone with the thirst for nature and adventure.
RV campgrounds are spaces specifically designed to accommodate recreational vehicles (RVs) with ease. However, RV campsites typically have length restrictions, which depends on the size of RVs they can accommodate. Generally, reservation is needed to make sure that you have a spot in the campgrounds. Otherwise, you would be putting all your travels at risk. RV campsites can be either primitive, partial hookup, or a full hookup. These campsites differ in features and amenities. But keep in mind that regardless of the type of campsite, you would still have access to some of the park’s amenities as well.
- Primitive camping grounds are exactly what its called. It is primitive in the sense that it does not feature any amenities such as water, electricity, and a proper bathroom. Primitive campsites are typically barren sites where you can park your RV and try to set up camp from scratch.
- Partial hookup campsites are sites that provide water and electricity but still no proper sewage system. Having both water and electricity run through your RV allows you to use your RV’s bathroom, but you would still need to clear your black and gray water tanks manually and dispose of it in the site’s dump station.
- Full hookup camps are sites that are heavily modified and offer fully functional amenities such as water, electricity, bathrooms, showers, and even pools and playgrounds.
Setting up Camp
Camping in an RV is a whole lot different than your usual camping experience that uses tents. Rather than setting up tents to sleep in, you have to settle in your RV to make sure that you’re comfortable inside, and all other features are ready to go:
- Run through the campsite office to get a copy of the park’s map and the camping grounds. Discuss with the office the amenities and other features available on the grounds. Also, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the camp.
- Lead your RV to your designated overnight space and securely park your vehicle. To make sure that the RV is flat and steady, you can level your RV by using leveling units to attach to the sides of the RV or by using simple planks or designed leveling blocks.
- After leveling the RV, stabilize it by lowering the scissor jacks attached at each corner of the undercarriage of the vehicle. Stabilizing the RV ensures that it does not rock back and forth whenever you move inside the vehicle.
Yosemite for RV campers
Yosemite covers a vast area in central California. It includes amazing landscapes such as granite cliffs, giant sequoia groves, vast meadows, and glaciers, making it one of the most diverse areas in the region. Having designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, the national park tends to have a growing visiting population for tourists, hikers, and campers alike. Considering how big the national park is, it is important to know exactly where to RV camp in Yosemite to plan your itinerary perfectly.
Things to Know First
- There are no trailer hookups available in campsites within the Yosemite National Park. While there is no water, electricity, and sewerage on the camping grounds, you can use a personal generator at specific periods in the day.
- Visitors tend to pile up from April to September, so make sure to get a reservation or opt for a first-come, first-serve campsite for better chances. Reservations in Yosemite are available and should be done five months prior to your preferred date.
- The maximum RV length that Yosemite can accommodate is 40 feet long. If your trailer is longer than that, you can opt for bigger campsites by the outskirts of Yosemite. Also, 45-feet long vehicles are not allowed in the mountain roads leading to the Yosemite National Park. They would either have to park outside the park and take public transportation or head towards the area between Lee Vining and Crane Flat Campground using Tioga Road.
- Out of the 13 campsites in Yosemite, 10 accommodates RVs.
Where to RV Camp in Yosemite
If you want to pay for the security and convenience of a parking spot in Vegas, here are the best options for parking your RV:
North Pines Campground
Renowned for its scenic pines and granite cliff walls, the North Pines campground lies on the far end of the Yosemite Valley along the stretch of the Half Dome Village and is one of the most popular camping grounds in the park. It can easily accommodate 40-feet long RVs and has easy access to known attraction sites such as the Mirror Lake and Tenaya Creek.
Upper Pines Campground
The Upper Pines Campground features 238 sites, making it the largest and busiest camping ground along Yosemite Valley. It lies on a 4,000-feet elevation and offers scenic views of the surrounding forests and mountains. With its six-loop site, the Upper Pines campground can get a lot crowded and offer little privacy, but its proximity to some of the park’s most known attractions would be worth it.
Lower Pines Campground
Another amazing spot where to RV camp in Yosemite is the Lower Pines Campground. This site is open from March until October and doesn’t get as busy as the Upper Pines camp. It lies along the Merced River and offers easy access to the nearby Curry Village for water and shower access.
Packed and Ready
The Yosemite National Park offers a plethora of activities and sites to discover. RV camping may not be simple, but it could be easy as long as you know where to RV camp in Yosemite and learn how to deal with an RV properly. Once you’re all decked and ready to go, it’s all fun from thereon.