We list the most important things you need to know about RV camping in California this November. There’s a lot to enjoy around California when going RV camping in November, offering families and nature enthusiasts plenty of options to explore and experience.
Very few places in the world have as diverse a landscape as California is known for. From enchanting redwood forests and picturesque coastal scenery to barren deserts and towering mountains and cliffs, the state offers RV campers and nature enthusiasts so much to explore.
RV camping in California is a unique adventure for families due to the variety of beautiful campgrounds and national parks throughout the state. In addition, the generally mild climate and temperatures in the California region are ideal for RV camping, and there are campgrounds and RV-friendly locations open during every season.
Autumn (between September and November) is a particularly great time to explore California, thanks to its generally mild weather and spectacular foliage in certain regions like the High Sierra. And while Central and NorCal have colder weather and plenty of snow in the mountains, you may still want to check them out because, during the low season, you’ll get the best deals and avoid crowds.
Isn’t it too cold to camp in California in November?
When it comes to camping in November specifically, the weather patterns you experience during your RV camping trip will depend on where exactly in California you travel.
During fall, Northern California is a great area to go RV camping because of the spectacular foliage in its national parks, national monuments, recreational trails, and state forests and reserves. However, the region experiences heavy snowfall and bitter winter, so you may want to escape to “sunnier” spots in Southern California or Pacific Ocean beaches before the freezing weather arrives.
A small amount of precipitation is also typical in the northern half of the Golden State, and bitterly cold weather in the Sierra Nevada mountains (or any camping ground with over 3,000 feet elevation).
If you want to extend your camping trip until winter, your best bet is to stay in the south, particularly along the Southern California coast. Other great options include the Mojave National Preserve and the Joshua Tree National Park.
The mildest winter weather in California is in the south, which makes it a great time to camp in coastal Southern California and the deserts, like Joshua Tree National Park or Mojave National Preserve.
Can you do winter camping in California in an RV?
NorCal’s high-desert region, especially around June Lake and Bridgeport, offers multiple public and private campgrounds and hunting areas that stay open during November. But take note that during winter, many of these are closed. So just to be sure, always check with the campground before your visit.
But if you prefer the sunnier side of California, the southern coast is a great place to explore, provided that you don’t mind the influx of visitors who want to see the snowbirds flocking the area for winter.
Can you park an RV anywhere in California?
While there are many free dispersed RV camping grounds throughout California, including national forest and other public lands, it is illegal to park and leave standing recreational vehicles on public parks, avenues, alleys, and streets in many cities and counties.
Your best bet is to stick to designated campsites that cater to RV travelers and campers to avoid problems.
Meanwhile, the best campground depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to have a hard-core nature experience and don’t mind the limited amenities and remote location, state parks are the perfect choice because of their pristine environment. Also, they are usually quite reasonably priced, and some even offer recreational activities like horseback riding, hiking, fishing, and boating.
And if convenience is your utmost concern, we suggest that you stick to private RV campgrounds that offer all the amenities you need, such as full hookups (sewer, electric, and water hookups).
Aside from full hookups, larger RV campgrounds also typically offer these amenities:
- Rentable cabins
- Satellite dish
- Cable TV
- Laundry facilities
- General store
- Gear rental
- Heated pool
- Barbeque grill
- Fire pits
- Community building / recreational facilities
If you’re traveling with children, you may want to choose an RV campsite that offers playgrounds and other kid-friendly facilities. And if you’re with a furry companion, you need to notify the campsite since parks have different pet regulations–some even prohibit certain breeds and sizes.
If the campsite allows pet companions, don’t forget to ask them about their regulations and whether they have off-leash areas where your dogs can play and roam around safely.
Where should I go camping in California this November?
The Sierra Foothills located near Highway 49 offers some of California’s most historic sites and beautiful scenery. Angels Camp is one such popular destination that RV campers can access year-round. If you are not familiar with Highway 49, this particular drive is a winding two-lane highway famous for the old mining towns it travels through. While the drive is scenic and historic, it does take patience to navigate an RV through Highway 49.
Hunting season also impacts the campgrounds in the high-desert region of Northern California; around the areas of June Lake and Bridgeport, there are several private and public RV camping sites available in November.
Similarly, the state parks in the southern half of the state are very popular during this season, so make sure to plan accordingly. Also, be advised that RV camping in California tends to be more expensive than in most other states since the cost of living and gas remain relatively high in the Golden State. An RV camping hookup at a California State Park can cost between $25-60 per night, depending upon the location’s popularity and the season.
If you are looking for campgrounds that do not charge a fee for public use, consider researching the multitude of free dispersed camping sites located on the acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management. You may also want to check out areas such as the Imperial Dunes, located east of San Diego (however, sites like these do not have running water or restrooms).
Another favorite destination for RV camping in California includes the Mariposa Fairgrounds and Exposition Center, due to the abundance of ideal pricing options and the proximity to Yosemite National Park. Also off Highway 49, Mariposa is a community that offers countless camping choices, both public and private, as well as campgrounds within several of the area’s renowned National Forests.
Additional California RV camping tips (for November)
A typical November in California will bring a small amount of rainfall, usually more concentrated in the northern half of the state, with an average temperature range from 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, if you plan to travel through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California or any other destination above 3,000 feet, the climate will be considerably colder. Thus, make sure to pack the right items for the environment you are traveling to, such as gloves, hand warmers, layered sleeping bags, umbrellas, thermals, and plenty of fuel for the campfire!
Clothes: What to pack for November California weather
If you’re camping at higher elevations, make sure you bring with you some gloves, thermal underwear, and thick coats. But suppose you choose a sunnier spot (Southern California and along the coast). In that case, your daytime gear should ideally consist of clothes that can be layered and finished with a rain jacket (an umbrella can also be handy).
Even if your campsite is located in a region with a very mild winter, it still makes sense to pack a thicker jacket and a good sweater for the night.
Reservations: What do you need to know before camping in California?
Since California is the ultimate destination for RV campers, especially during the summer months or long holiday weekends, it can get tricky to make a reservation. This is particularly true if you plan to stay in a beach campground or National Parks that typically require that you make reservations up to six months in advance.
State campgrounds typically accept reservations up to six months in advance, so expect that they are completely booked between April and September. But by November, which is considered the start of the low season, it becomes much easier to make reservations and even enjoy better deals.
If you want to make reservations online, visit Reserve California or call them at the following numbers:
- International callers: 833-448-7278
- US callers: 1-800-444-PARK (7275)
(Take note that the booking system of Reserve California only includes state campgrounds and not county parks and campsites.)
Spur of the Moment Travel
While nothing beats planning if you’re traveling on an RV, spur-of-the-moment travel may offer you something fun and unexpected. For example, around 20 state campgrounds in California are categorized as first come, first service campsites, typically having no or minimal amenities.
If you’re into more “back-to-basics” campgrounds, make sure you arrive early since they tend to fill up fast, especially during peak season, holidays, and weekends.
However, be sure to double-check with the National Park campgrounds and state parks themselves as to whether or not they are open after Labor Day.
A Final Word About California RV Camping in November
No matter where you decide to hook up your RV for camping this November, remember that camping options in California are diverse and that each region of the state has sites worth seeing!
Although there are many options when it comes to camping styles in California, renting an RV or campervan provides unique benefits because of the added convenience of having amenities “on wheels.”
If you need vacation travel trailers, Adventure in Camping offers a large trailer fleet that includes over 15 different models. After choosing a camp trailer, we will then deliver it to one of the 80 campgrounds in the Sierras where you’re going to camp.
Adventure in Camping makes your vacation even more accessible by providing you with a parked RV at the location of your choice. Check out the current participating campsites and our selection of RV’s for a fun and worry-free vacation!