Lodging Options

No Tent? No RV? No Worries! We've Got You Covered

Lodging htm 2095f06cIf you haven't stayed in a campground in a while, you may have missed the hottest trend in the business. Now offered by approximately one-third of the nation's 8,000 public campgrounds, park models are making the outdoors more accessible to people who don't own an RV, prefer not to sleep on the ground and wouldn't mind a little comfort along the way.

The units are perhaps more accurately called park trailers, although the industry tends to frown on the "T-word." Maxing out at 400 square feet, they're built on chassis by RV companies and can be rolled into place. Once on site, they're hooked up with electricity and real plumbing, which means no messy holding tanks, and outfitted with decks and wheel-hiding trim.

The result is still technically an RV, but one that's designed to remain stationary. And while some do, indeed, look like shrunken double wides, others take their design cues from log cabins, Cape Codders and other region-specific motifs. Either way, they're a large step up from traditional campground cabins, which have historically offered the lodging equivalent of a tent with walls. Depending on the season, location and amenities, park models typically rent for $75–$150 per night.

Changing times, changing tastes

Lodging htm 22fe12cbThe appeal of park-trailer camping, say promoters, has also gotten a boost from the economic turmoil of the last few years. "People haven't been taking big vacations. They're looking for simpler vacations and staying closer to home. We're seeing a lot of people who wouldn't have considered a campground before."

Another growing trend is the use of park trailers and campgrounds for family reunions and other large groups. People can opt for tents, bring their RVs or stay in a park trailer. The extra bonus is that many campgrounds provide club rooms and lots of outdoor gathering space. It makes for a perfect family reunion location!

Younger people too are enjoying the park trailer options. They expect more; a bathroom and pillow-top mattresses. They want to enjoy the outdoors, but also want a comfortable experience.

They're also part of a larger demographic trend, suggest industry experts: "Mom's working; the kids are engaged in school activities that extend far into the summer. Most families can't take that two-week vacation anymore. Traveling within a day's drive of home and staying in one of these units is sort of the new wave of camping."

That's certainly true at California campgrounds, which offer cabins — some complete with flat-screen TVs, DVD players and six-foot front porches. "These are not the folks who pull in in a million-dollar motorcoach, set up camp and never come outside," said one owner. "They're kayakers and canoers — boomers, Gen-Xers and beyond."

One dad, who spent the Memorial Day weekend with his wife and two other couples, would probably agree. By day, they kayaked on a local river; come evening, they cooked communal meals and enjoyed the cabin's amenities, not to mention the fact that they didn't have to sleep on the ground or squeeze into an RV. "We used to have a pop-up camper, but it was old and used and we just didn't like it that much. And we're a little past the camping in a tent phase. We've all had the adventures of being out in the boonies. This is a nice way to go."

Park trailers are not the only trend in lodging alternatives at RV parks and campgrounds—camping cabins, yurts, luxurious or economical tent cabins—are all options. Some parks even have teepees and covered wagons!

Camping cabins (or otherwise known as Kamping Kabins at KOAs) - are typically one room with either 4 bunk beds or one full/queen bed or combination. Some are outfitted with electricity. Each has a small porch for enjoying time outdoors. Camping cabins are great economical choices for families.

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Yurts - Though generally classified as a tent, the yurt is much stronger and weathertight. The Pacific Yurt is a circular structure that consists of a durable fabric cover, tension band and a wood frame that includes a lattice wall, radial rafters, central compression ring and a framed door.

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Tent Cabins – from plain to luxurious, you can find a tent cabin to fit your dreams.

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Teepees, Covered Wagons and even motels – Unique sleeping arrangements in campgrounds are going up everywhere. If you can imagine it, someone is probably building it!

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Special Offers for Onsite Lodging

These CalARVC Member Parks offer lodging accomodations and want to invite you to give them a try!  Be sure to mention Camp-California when you accept these offers!

Region & City




San Francisco

Petaluma, CA

San Francisco North/Petaluma KOA Campground and RV Park Enjoy wine country camping at its finest. Our 20 Wine Country Lodges provide everything you need for a great vacation except food and friends! Relax and enjoy private bedrooms, bathroom, kitchenette with pots n pans, linens, bedding, bbq, fire ring and all the stars you can count. -


Needles, CA

Palms River Resort Our riverfront, gated resort is offering nightly, weekly or monthly rentals

We are centrally located between Laughlin and Lake Havasu, on the Colorado River. Spend a "warm winter" sitting by our brand new pool, complete with two spas, children's pool, water slide and gas BBQs, or playing tennis on our regulation size court. We offer a modern, beautifully renovated clubhouse including game room, first class fitness center, brand new, modern kitchen, upscale, modern restrooms and laundry facilities.

There are numerous golf courses located minutes away, as well as the casinos of Laughlin. We also offer a launch ramp, beach, indoor and outdoor RV and boat storage units, and courtesy dock.

So spend time on the river, boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming and relaxing or ride right out your front door, across the street to endless miles of BLM off road land.

Stay 30 days and get the next 7 days free, for first time visitors only.