4 Southern California Beach RV Parks for Medium and Large Rigs

RV campgrounds usually feature lakes and wooded areas. Of course, in sunny Southern California, the ocean and copious beaches are a major attraction for travelers. If RV camping on the beach is a must, consider four possible destinations.

San Elijo State Beach
2050 N Highway 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
760-753-5091
Open from dawn to sunset

This on-the-beach RV park is situated along the San Diego coastline. From March to October, an onsite camp store sells basic RV supplies, snacks, fishing gear, and other odds and ends. RV camping is possible for rigs – travel trailers or motorhomes – measuring up to 35 feet in length. There are 171 campsites, each of which must be reserved ahead of time. Enjoy ocean swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and fishing. Please note that the generator shut-off time from 8 p.m. until 10 a.m. is strictly enforced. Prepare to spend about $15 to $35 per night. Factor in another $10 to $15 for hookup sites.

San Onofre State Beach San Mateo Campground
830 Cristianitos Road
San Clemente, CA 92672
949-361-2531
Open from dawn to sunset

Sixty-seven campsites accommodate trailers and motorhomes up to 36 feet in length. RV camping here takes you 3.5 miles inland. A well-worn 1.5-mile nature trail allows easy access to surfing at Trestles Beach. Please note that you must buy firewood; gathering dry wood or brush for a campfire is expressly forbidden. Nightly fees range from $15 to $35, to which you must add $10 to $15 if staying at a hookup site. Although this is one of the Southern California beach RV parks that are open year-round, you must make reservations even during the off season.

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Carpinteria State Beach
5361 Sixth St.
Carpineteria, CA 93013
805-684-2811
Open from 7 a.m. to sunset

There are 216 campsites that accommodate tent and RV camping. Head for the Santa Cruz loop if your rig is 30 feet long, and be aware: There are no hookups. The Santa Rosa loop does offer hookups. The San Miguel loop features 70 sites, only half of which have water and electrical hookups for RVs. Please note that you may not build campfires on the beach; keep those fires in the provided rings. Take the time to make some daytrips into nearby Santa Barbara and enjoy the restaurants you can visit there. Pay the customary $15 to $35 per site, and add $10 to $15 if you opt for a spot with hookups.

Bolsa Chica State Park
17851 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
714-846-3460
Open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; the gates close at 9 p.m.

As Southern California beach RV parks go, this one resembles a parking lot with hookups. That said, it is one of the very few on-the-beach RV parks that can accommodate recreational vehicles up to 40 feet in length. There are beach fire rings, but they are not assigned to camp sites; getting there early and claiming a ring is the best way of ensuring campfire availability. Hookup sites cost from $50 for the back row to $65 for the beach-facing front row. There is also a $15 RV park entry fee. Walk to the beach to swim, surf, fish, and boat.