California Coast Camping

by Traveling Al

I'm a newby to RVing. I've been to a paid RV park but now I would like to explore the road. I'm taking my travel trailer up the coast between Cambria and Big Sur, California. Is it legal to pull off the highway and camp with my 21 foot trailer by the side of the road on those beautiful stretches of oceanfront property?

Comments for California Coast Camping

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Jan 25, 2012
California Roadside Camping
by: Marianne Edwards

Having just been on that stretch of highway, I'm afraid that, with almost no exceptions, there are signs posted all along Hwy 1 of that scenic coastline to warn that overnight parking is not allowed.

For us, the focus of our search along this stretch of the coast quickly went from finding free to finding the most affordable legal camping options. We came up with only a couple of free options but we were usually thrilled to find a campsite on route that was $20.00 to $25.00 per night rather than the $35.00 they want for dry camping at most of the State Parks on the coast.

All our findings will be in the Western CA guide that I'm currently putting together but here's some free advice from that experience: Forest and County-operated campgrounds and even privately-run operations are usually less expensive than the State Parks. Where ever possible, head inland from the coast to camp (there are not many roads in however).

And you might also have some luck with "stealth" camping at public boat ramp parking lots but be sure to watch for and obey all signage. For the most part, it's not allowed.

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