We interviewed 7 campervan bloggers that you should be following. In this series, we’ll be going over their best tips for places to go, things to do, and what to eat along the way!
Jose hails from Peru but lives full-time in the US. A travel blogger, photographer, and musician, Jose is an artist of many talents! We’ll go over some of his favorites and give you our recommendations for how you can experience these trips that Jose talks about.
What is your all-time favorite place to campervan in the US?
Both the Badlands in Utah and Alabama Hills in California are my favorite places to car-camp. I’ve done both multiple times, and it’s just incredibly peaceful, as well as having some really great views. I think the goal when doing a trip like this is to find places where you can really disconnect from your phone and enjoy nature.
What spot is on your bucket list to campervan in the USA?
Nothing specific, but more places around the west coast. I’ve done plenty in-land but very little by water, and that’s a really cool and different experience.
What is your go-to campervan meal?
I’m not the best cook, albeit a slightly lazy one at that, so peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cereal, and quesadillas tend to become a staple in my diet during campervan trips.
What is the top tip you’d give to people who don’t campervan often or are headed out on their first trip?
Give yourself more days than you’ve planned for. Sometimes you find out about places while you’re already on the road and want to detour, or perhaps the weather isn’t good, or there are car troubles. Having those extra days can really change the whole experience.
How we recommend you visit these places
Badlands of Utah
If you’re planning a trip to the Badlands of Utah (not to be confused with Badlands National Park in South Dakota!), you’ll find yourself in the beautiful open spaces of Western Utah. While this might not be at the top of your road trip list, those in the know are aware of a fascinating phenomenon of blooming flowers in the area. It’s a bit unclear exactly when they come out; spring is your best bet. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and look for times of the year with higher moisture. If you manage to time it correctly, the views are breathtaking.
Here’s the catch: the only campsites reasonably close are dispersed or primitive spots. For backpackers, that’s not a problem. If you’re in a campervan, your best bet is staying near Scipio, Utah, which is a bit over an hour away. Look at the Oasis Campground or stay in the Fishlake National Forest at a campsite like this one.
If you’re starting west of the Badlands, your best bet is to stop just before the Nevada-Utah border and stay in Great Basin National Park at a campsite there.
What else is in the area?
As mentioned before, you have several parks available in the general area. Fishlake National Forest is to the east, and Great Basin National Park is to the west. Utah is a paradise for parks with premier options like Zion and Arches. Go east towards Colorado, and you won’t be disappointed either! If you’re considering starting a campervan trip this summer from anywhere in the US southwest, this whole list applies to you!
With all the parks to see in the American Southwest this summer, it might be worth it to pick up an America the Beautiful pass if you don’t already have one. Make sure to check for closures before you head out!
Alabama Hills of California
If you’re planning a trip to the Alabama Hills, there are a few things to note ahead of time. This land is maintained by the BLM and designated a National Scenic Area, so there will be a somewhat more developed presence than the wide-open areas of the Badlands with a visitors’ center nearby in Lone Pine. Rest assured, you’ll still get the peace and quiet that you’re looking for if you head to the Alabama Hills. If you want to stay in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area itself, you’ll want to contact the campground directly for information before your stay. These spots are first-come, first-served!
What else is in the area?
Southern California isn’t short on beauty either! If the Badlands of Utah is a bit too desolate for you, a trip to the Alabama Hills has what you’re looking for. If you plan to spend some time in Southern California, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks need to be on your list.
Like Jose mentioned, a great tip here is to plan for extra time. Because of the remote location of the Alabama Hills, the drive to Sequoia National Park can take nearly five hours! Don’t miss the forest for the trees, though. The drive is more than worth it! Consider camping at the Potwisha Campground at Sequoia or the Sheep Creek Campground in King’s Canyon.
Looking for something a little warmer? Head south! If you move towards the US’s southern border, you’ll run into Joshua Tree National Park and Death Valley National Park. Bring lots of water but don’t let the heat frighten you away from some of the most breathtaking views the Southern California desert offers.
If you’re heading to Joshua Tree, remember that this is a very popular park, and you’ll want to make sure you have reservations ahead of time if at all possible. There are so many fun and unique places to stay, so shop around! One great campervan option is Joshua Tree Lake if all park sites are taken.
If you’re heading for Death Valley, a simple option is the Fiddlers Campground. It isn’t much, but it’s RV accessible, and you have full access to the resort adjacent to it!
Good luck on your travels!
In the Southern California area, the best location to rent a campervan is in Los Angeles. If you’re intrigued by what Jose had to say about the Badlands of Utah, you can rent a campervan in Las Vegas and hit the road!
Thanks to Jose Mostajo for taking the time to sit down with us! If you’re interested in learning more about Jose and his work, you can follow him on Instagram!
Check out our other interviews in this series.
Interview Series: Cody Conk
Interview Series: Elliot Chau
Interview Series: Ben Leo Davis
Interview Series: The Escape Artists—Sydney and Davis
Interview Series: The Awkward Tourist—Kelly Lacy
Interview Series: Fame is a Fickle Food—Soha
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.