A Solar Eclipse RV Trip: What You Need to Know

The RV Atlas Podcast
A Solar Eclipse RV Trip: What You Need to Know

Are you planning a solar eclipse RV trip? If you haven’t already made your camping plans for the 2024 eclipse, now’s the time! This rare phenomenon will be experienced across much of the U.S., with some major cities, parks, and travel destinations in the Path of Totality.

Here’s everything you need to know to plan your solar eclipse RV trip:

Interested in renting an RV for a solar eclipse road trip? Use coupon code RVATLAS30 for $30 off a booking of $500 or more at RVshare.com

Wasn’t there Recently an Eclipse?

You might remember the recent 2017 eclipse, which was visible from Oregon to South Carolina. 215 million Americans watched it, and 88 million traveled to do so!

Interestingly enough, while the paths of the 2017 and 2024 eclipses are quite different, they cross near Carbondale, Illinois, which will have experienced a total eclipse both years.

Expectations are big for the upcoming 2024 eclipse! According to RVshare’s 2024 Travel Trend Report, 78% of people are planning to view the eclipse this coming April, and 53% plan to travel for the event. How about you?

When is the 2024 eclipse, and Where Will it be Seen?

If you would like to plan an RV trip around this spectacular celestial event, here’s everything you need to know about when and where to see the 2024 total solar eclipse:

  • The eclipse will happen April 8 during the middle of the day.
  • 13 states stretching from Texas to Maine, plus parts of Mexico and Canada, will be in the Path of Totality.
  • These states include: Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
  • Though the 13 states listed above are the best places for viewing the total solar eclipse, all of the US will experience some level of totality. The Pacific Northwest will have 20% coverage, while southern Florida will see 45%.
  • Check out these Good Sam blog posts for more details: Where to Camp for the 2024 Solar Eclipse and 7 Things to Know When Camping for the 2024 Eclipse

To listen to Jeremy interview Kerri Cox from Travels with Birdy about planning a solar eclipse RV trip, please click on the media player above or subscribe to the RV Atlas wherever you get your favorite shows.

What is the Path of Totality?

The Path of Totality is where the sun will be entirely eclipsed by the moon. In the U.S., this path is approximately 100 miles wide and over 2,000 miles long. Outside of this pathway, other locations will still experience the eclipse as a partial solar eclipsed, described in percentages, which reflect the percent of the sun that will be covered. Learn more about the Path of Totality:

  • Being in the Path of Totality versus a partial eclipsed is described as literal “night and day difference.”
  • Check out maps to see where the exact Path of Totality and partiality will fall, like one available from the Great American Eclipse website.
  • If your region is in the path, you can also Google specific locations to find out the percentage of the eclipse and the exact timing, as well as the length.
  • Within the path of totality, the total eclipse will range from around 90 seconds to over 4 minutes, depending on the location.

What Interesting Locations are in the Path of Totality?

The Path of Totality is the most desirable spot for RV camping during the solar eclipse, and lucky for many travelers, the journey will cross over several fantastic travel destinations. You can make a long weekend of the trip! Here are a few popular destinations in the Path of Totality:

  • Despite the long journey the eclipse is “taking” across the U.S., only two national parks are in the path set to experience a total solar eclipse: Arkansas’s Hot Springs NP and Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
  • Additional NPS sites are in the Path of Totality, such as Missouri’s Ozark National Scenic Riverways and Arkansas’s Buffalo National River.
  • Several large cities will be in the Path of Totality, including Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Syracuse, Rochester, and so many more!
  • Popular RV travel destinations in the Path of Totality include: Niagara Falls, New York’s Finger Lakes (we talked about Watkins Glen State Park here) and Adirondacks regions (we talked about Lake Placid here), Texas Hill Country, Maine’s Mount Katahdin, and the shores of Lake Erie (we talked about Cedar Point here).
  • You may opt to go remote and camp in a national forest during the solar eclipse.
  • Many popular state parks are in the Path of Totality! Too many to list. RVshare’s State Park Camping Guide has a list broken down by state, with the percentage of totality listed for each. You may also Google the state name plus “solar eclipse” and “state park” –most states in the path have web pages set up!

Can You Camp for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse?

YES! The eclipse is on a Monday, making for a perfect long weekend opportunity. If you’d like to plan a tent- or RV-camping trip for the solar eclipse, here’s what you need to know:

  • RVshare has a Total Solar Eclipse RV Guide, which can help you find a region, located a campground, and/or rent an RV.
  • Reservations are more likely to be fully booked in the Path of Totality already, especially in popular state and national parks.
  • However, campgrounds can still be reserved as thousands are in the path of the partial eclipse
  • Even if you cannot camp right in the path, you may be able to get much closer, maybe even close enough for a day trip. Regions outside of the Path of Totality are likely to have more campsites available.
  • According to RVshare, “49% are considering travel to a remote destination for a less crowded experience, while 35% are considering travel to a city along the path to view it with a crowd of others”
  • After narrowing in on a region, might use sites like these to locate camping options:
    • Campendium – narrow in on RV parks and campgrounds in the region
    • Hipcamp – find and book tent and RV sites on private land
    • Spot2Nite – can directly book tent and RV sites

What if You Don’t Have an RV?

Even if you don’t have an RV of your own, you can still plan a solar eclipse camping trip, thanks to RVshare:

  • RVshare offers rental options available in the Path of Totality and beyond.
  • All-in-One Bookable Packages are available from RVshare and Spot2Nite, which include the RV rental, campsite, delivery & setup, and access to a concierge team

To listen to Jeremy interview Kerri Cox from Travels with Birdy about planning a solar eclipse RV trip, please click on the media player above or subscribe to the RV Atlas wherever you get your favorite shows.

How Can You View the Eclipse in a Safe, Fun Way?

You can hang out alone in nature, you can join a city festival, you can find a state park—no matter what you do, there are many ways to enjoy the eclipse:

  • Many localities are hosting special events with science speakers, family activities, music, and more. NASA is doing live streaming from several locations in the Path of Totality.
  • Make sure to take your special eclipse glasses, as you cannot look directly at the sun. These will be handed out at special events across the nation or you may order online.
  • You may want to make a pinhole projector to see the moon begin to eclipse the sun.
  • You may notice crescent-shaped shadows.

What’s the Bottom Line about RV Camping During the Solar Eclipse?

Our main advice is to be flexible! Though many state and national parks in the Path of Totality are fully book, you can still find a way to celebrate the eclipse, whether you camp near a prime region and then make a day trip of it or whether you decide to just enjoy the partial eclipse near you. Also, while you may imagine the eclipse being cooler in some particular location, you can pull over on the side of the road and still have an amazing experience. The sky is big!

No matter where you land, we hope you find a wonderful spot to enjoy this rare experience! The next big one won’t be visible in the U.S. until 2045.

The RV Atlas Podcast
A Solar Eclipse RV Trip: What You Need to Know

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