The main West Coast highway, Interstate 5, runs all the way from the California-Mexico border north to the Washington-Canada border. It connects most of the major cities from San Diego and Los Angeles to Portland and Seattle. It largely parallels Highway 101 and California Route 1, or more famously known as the Pacific Coast Highway.
Interstate 5 has easy access to countless RV campgrounds along its 1,300+ miles. These are five of the many scenic places where you can camp just off the highway in California.
1. San Elijo State Beach
San Elijo State Beach is one of many beaches in Southern California where you can camp by the Pacific Ocean. This popular beach is a quick detour off Interstate 5 and Highway 101 in Cardiff-by-the-Sea on the San Diego Coast.
The beach has campsites within walking distance of the ocean as well as restrooms, showers, a pet area, laundry facilities, a dump station, and a camp store. Their rates currently range from only $35 to $50 for a premium site with an ocean view and $60 for a site with full hookups. The campground gets crowded often, so reserving your spot ahead of time is highly recommended.
2. Doheny State Beach
Doheny State Beach is less than ten minutes off the interstate in Dana Point. The southern end of the beach has dry campsites (with no hookups) that can fit motorhomes and trailers up to about 35 feet. The northern end of the beach draws in picnickers, surfers, and volleyball players. The visitor center also has five aquariums you can browse to learn more about marine life.
Their current rate is about $40 a night and reservations can be made ahead of time through ReserveCalifornia.com.
3. Castaic Lake State Recreation Area
Castaic Lake Recreation Area lies north of Los Angeles and Santa Clarita. This state park has tent and RV-friendly campsites including some right along the water. The lake is popular among boaters and fishers; if you don’t bring your own watercraft, the park also has boat rentals available. There are hiking trails you can take for scenic views of the lake, as well as trails for equestrians.
The campground has a minimum stay of two nights with a decent rate of $20/night ($40 total). It makes for a very affordable place to stay (especially compared to hotels) while you see the many attractions in the Los Angeles area.
4. RiverPoint Landing Marina Resort
RiverPoint Landing Marina Resort is only minutes from I-5 along the San Joaquin River. It is centrally located and a day trip away from Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco, and the coast. Most of their sites are along the waterfront and all have 30/50 amp power.
Their rates range from $37-65, but you can also check their website for current specials. The resort also has a dump station, showers, laundry facilities, and free WiFi.
5. Mountain Gate RV Park
Mountain Gate RV Park is close to I-5 in Redding as well as many of the attractions in Northern California like Shasta Lake, Burney Falls, and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Their RV park includes 122 sites with full hookups, cabins, a pool, playground, laundry facilities, and a camp store.
Their current rates for RV sites vary on the size of your rig. Small RV sites (21 feet and under) are $37 a night and large RV sites (22 feet and above) are $43 (plus tax). They offer a 10% discount for Good Sam Club members as well as AAA members.