Astrological phenomena are always sure to generate buzz. And April’s upcoming total solar eclipse is no exception. This rare event is set to happen April 8, 2024 and will happen across roughly 15 states. The contiguous US won’t see another total eclipse like this one until 2044. So you should hop on the chance to see this year’s while you can.
Many people are going to be traveling to see this rare event. And with high travel demand comes high travel prices, from airfare to hotel costs. Not to mention crowds all vying for a spot to witness this event. So what do you do when you want to see the eclipse but don’t necessarily want to spend an arm and a leg to do so?
Many are turning to RVing as the perfect answer. According to a recent RV Industry Association survey, a group of four people traveling with RVs costs significantly less than 4 people traveling with airfare, hotels, cars, etc. An RV trip costs an average of roughly $350/day. And that’s for all 4 people. Not per person. And because campgrounds are limited to those camping there, there will be a significant reduction in crowds viewing at a campground versus viewing in a more public space. So you can stretch out and view the solar eclipse in peace and comfort.
Planning Your Trip
The first thing you’re going to want to do is look at the path of totality. The path of totality is going to be the areas where you can see the full solar eclipse. Anywhere outside that path will only see a partial eclipse. NASA has created a helpful graphic showing where the path is and you can use this to pick where you want to go, whether that’s further south for a warmer viewing or more northern for a shorter drive distance if you already live in the north. The benefit to RVing and camping for something like this is they are in more remote areas. So you’ll have smaller crowds, less traffic, and more privacy.
Once you’ve got the general area you want to see the eclipse picked, then you need to start your search for campgrounds in that area. Some campgrounds in the path will be hosting viewing parties and will have that information listed on their site. But even if a campsite doesn’t host its own viewing party, as long as they’re open, you can use them for your own little viewing party. GoRVing has a list of some campsites that you can start your search with. And while some of the bigger campgrounds may be booked out already, don’t let that discourage you. There are thousands of campgrounds and with a little digging, you can find the perfect one for your trip. Many campgrounds are also opening early to accommodate the eclipse traffic. So don’t get discouraged if the first few campgrounds are booked. Keep looking. And always check as the date gets closer for possible last minute cancellations.
Now you may be wondering how this trip will work because maybe you don’t own an RV already. Well, that’s no problem either. This may be the perfect time for you to rent an RV and start your RV adventuring today. Or maybe you’re wanting to upgrade from tent camping to RVing but haven’t found the right RV for you yet; renting can be a great way to try out RVs to find your perfect one, all while getting to see a great celestial event. And if you already have your RV? Then all you’ve got to do is prep it for an early spring trip.
And of course with any trip planning, you want to make sure you have the timing worked out. You don’t want to show up to your campsite while the totality is happening. So make sure you find out when the eclipse begins in your area. Many camp websites have this information listed as well, but you can also use NASA’s page to find the time frame for where you’re going. And you can always plan to get there a day or two early and use the free time to relax and explore the surrounding area and make your trip for the eclipse into a full little RV adventure.
Eclipse and RVing Equipement
When preparing for any RV trip, you have your standard list of things to pack and prepare. Clothes, food, prep your RV (although if you’re renting one, this step may be done for you), and check the weather so you can be fully prepared for rain, snow, cold, or heat. You’ll want to find out what kind of campsite you’re staying at, such as finding out if you’ll have electrical hookups, water and sewage hookups, or if it’s a boondocking site on public land. And if it’s your first time RVing, you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re prepared, better to be over prepared than under.
In addition to your typical RVing and camping supplies, you’ll need a few extra things for the eclipse itself. It’s incredibly dangerous to stare at an eclipse without proper protection. The American Astronomical Society has an extensive list of manufacturers and sellers of approved and safe solar viewers. And you may want to take camera equipment, binoculars, or a telescope. The AAS has included in their list filters for all those things as well as some fun solar activities to do with your kids that don’t require purchase of solar lenses. No matter which option you take, be sure to follow proper safety precautions regarding the solar eclipse.
Enjoying the Solar Eclipse
Once you have your trip planned and you’ve arrived at your destination, all you have left to do is sit back and enjoy the totality of the solar eclipse. You can even look into tips for photographing the phenomena if you’d like a keepsake of the moment. And don’t forget to photograph the whole trip. You’ll want them to look back on the memories of the experience. Don’t let the chance to explore nature slip away during this golden opportunity.
Now is the perfect time to get your eclipse viewing trip planned. Don’t let the moment to see a cool astrological event pass you by because you think it’ll be too expensive. RVing is the answer you’ve been looking for. Get your trip planned today and enjoy a fun new, rare adventure.