As an RVer, the whole point of having wheels under your residence is that you can always be in comfortable and (hopefully) pleasant weather.
Native American tribes migrated with the seasons — both for weather and often to follow their source of supplies. Where the buffalo went, they were sure to follow. Are we modern day RV nomads all that different?
It’s one thing to be on vacation — or even upon retirement to travel and see this huge country. But once you’ve seen a good share of what nature has to offer — and as you get older and maybe have taken the edge off your wanderlust — staying comfortable without making long journeys makes a lot of sense for many RVers.
There is also the issue of finances. Let’s face it, constant travel is getting more expensive every year.
My Seasonal RV Travel Routes
Having been an Arizona nomad for a number of years, I’ve established an annual RV migration route that suits my routine:
- I spend the winter months in Long Term Visitor Areas in the Southwest (LTVAs), primarily around Quartzsite Arizona.
- Come late spring, as the heat of summer starts making life less comfortable, I slowly make my way north and east… more importantly UP. The goal is to go up in elevation to where the temps are cooler.
Flagstaff, Arizona is a popular summer RV destination for those looking to remain within Arizona. At 7,300-foot elevation, seldom do the temps get beyond the low 90’s. Even then, it’s only for a few hours in the afternoon — and it cools down quickly as the sun sets. There is plenty of National Forest camping all over northern Arizona.
Between BLM land camping (Bureau of Land Management) and National Forest camping, there are many places where you can stay put for 2 weeks at a time for free. That’s right — no charge. The 7-month permit for the LTVA is $180, but that includes a dump station, water source, and dumpsters. That’s pretty cheap rent for the year, and your yard is measured in acres! There’s no being sandwiched in like sardines — like it often is when you stay in an RV park.
This video shows what my RV camping spots are like:
Apps RV Nomads Use To Set Up Seasonal RV Travel Routes
To find all this free camping, the following apps can help you plan your own seasonal RV travel routes:
- FreeCamping.net (my favorite and my most used go-to campsite locator)
Of course, if you’re traveling across the country, and just looking for a place to spend the night, there are apps that will locate RV-friendly Walmarts, truck stops, casinos, and rest areas:
Locating a dump station in unfamiliar territory can also be a problem for RV nomads. No need to worry, there’s an app for that too! Here’s how to find dump stations as you’re traveling:
The Bottom Line
Staying within a reasonable distance of Walmart and other sources of supplies makes “following the buffalo,” (so to speak) a whole lot simpler using Google Maps and other resources found on your smartphone.
Your own seasonal RV travel routes can be as varied as you want them to be.
This coming year, my plan is to wander further out of Arizona and see some sights I still have on my bucket list.
That’s the beauty of being RV nomads. You can stay put when you want to and wander as you choose.
Most of all, you can usually find weather that is both comfortable and enjoyable throughout the year — which is the whole point.
More Great Tips For RV Nomads
In addition to the links and advice I’ve provided above, here are a few of my other articles that you might find helpful when planning your seasonal RV travel routes:
- National Park Camping vs. National Forest Camping
- RVers: Here Are All The Best Places To Park For Free Overnight
- Free Camping For RVers In Quartzsite Arizona
- Long-term RV Boondocking Takes Some Preparation
- 6 RV-Friendly Places To Park You May Not Know About
- RV Snowbirds: Tips For First-Timers In Search Of Warmer Weather
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I’ve been involved in RVing for over 50 years — including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs and motorhomes. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller… you’ve got a good idea of who I am. To date, I've shared my RV knowledge in over 300 articles here at The Fun Times Guide!