Top 5 Tips for RVing in The Southwest Desert

Last updated on June 15th, 2021 at 12:26 pm. Originally published on August 4th, 2015

Have you tried RVing in the southwest? If not, what are you waiting for! From cheap RV living to extreme adventures and amazing scenery, you can find it all in the southwest. Get ready for our top 5 tips for making the most of your southwest desert trip.

1. Driving 101: Be aware of bumps along the way!

Not all deserts are comprised of endless flat stretches of sand — especially in the southwest. Expect to come upon humongous rock formations and steep hills on your trip. These are the things that make the southwest desert stand out. This is not the desert that you see in movies!

When you bring your RV to the southwest, here are a few must visit spots:

2. While the desert is dry, it’s not that hot at night!

Brrrr…40-degrees at night! Are you serious now? Yup, the southwest weather can turn on a dime. Temperatures dip down fast at nightfall — even on the warmest days. When camping in the desert campfires are a must, and extra warm blankets a necessity instead of a luxury.



You might want to gear up a bit too. You know, just to be sure. In case any freezing temperatures (or a freak snow storm) come your way, it’s good to be prepared. Here’s a short list of the useful things you may want to pack:

  • Jacket, gloves, extra-shirt/long-sleeves
  • Hiking/trail boots
  • Lighter & fire starters
  • Extra blankets
  • Space heaters

3. Hug a tree? Just say no thanks in the desert!

RVing in the southwest can be rewarding if you know where to head for the best sights. One of the coolest features of the southwest desert is the wide variety of plant life. The southwest is full of cacti, unique flowers, trees, and shrubs. Just be careful when you’re out there hiking and taking photos of the majestic Saguaro cacti and all their spiky cousins. You don’t want to get pricked by all those little sharp spines.

Saguaro cactus, Chapparal, and Papago Peak


Embrace the jungle that is the out of the southwest. Get out of the RV and explore the desert!

4. Be friendly! RVing in the southwest creates new friends!

Winter in the southwest desert is a popular destination for many RVers. Which makes it a great place to meet new people and add them to your circle of RV friends. Approach with a bright and wide smile and maybe a plate of cookies. You’ll be guaranteed to make new friends. Before you know it invitations for potluck dinners and happy hour gatherings will come pouring in.

5. Cheap RVing is easy to find

As long as you have a full tank gas and the fridge is packed with goods, there’s not a thing you should worry about. No extra dollars for paying the campground fees? Arizona and southern California are some of your cheapest options when it comes to free camping on public land. Camping without hook-ups not for you? No problem. There are hundreds of cheap RV parks around the southwest offering affordable monthly or seasonal rates. Without a doubt, the southwest is one of the most affordable places to RV around the US.

What do you think? Are you ready for some RVing around the southwest? Don’t forget to share these awesome tips with your family and friends.

Got any tips about RVing in the southwest to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below. See you on the road!

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