Why An RV Is The Best Way To See Solar Eclipse 2023

Josh SchukmanSeptember 26, 2023

Why An RV Is The Best Way To See Solar Eclipse 2023

On October 14th, people who find themselves along a special stretch in the U.S. states of Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and New Mexico will witness an annular eclipse that’s also known as a ring of fire eclipse. That’s because, with the right viewing glasses, you can literally see a ring of fire around the sun as the moon centers itself over it. 

2023 Solar Eclipse path and 2024 Solar Eclipse path
(Image credit: Michael Zeiler/GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

While it’s true that many locations in the Western Hemisphere will see some version of the October 14th eclipse — it is only along a narrow ‘path of annularity’ where the ring of fire and full splendor of the eclipse can be witnessed.  

(And in the spirit of this particular eclipse, we think you should roll to the beat of Spotify’s ring of fire playlist 😀)

RVing is one of the best ways to see the eclipse because you can trade the crowds, congested roads, and pricey hotels for the freedom and flexibility to see the eclipse on your terms. 

Spectacular views along the eclipse’s path include things like Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, Lake Tahoe in Nevada/California, Bryce Canyon in Utah, and the vistas absorbed by Georgia O’Keefe in New Mexico. All these spots are best taken in via RV. 

This post breaks it all out for you. From the paths to cross, to the RVs to take there, and the spots to match your eclipse-viewing style. Let’s jump in. 

RVs For Rent Near You

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Make a Weekend of It

The eclipse might only last a short time, but the way to really create memories is to build (at minimum) a weekend trip to take it all in. 

The path of annularity will track a narrow band through the U.S., leaving a select few spots to fully enjoy the ring of fire. 

Since you’ll probably be traveling anyway (and hopefully by RV) why not spend a few days getting to know a new location? 

Towns like Eugene, OR, Beaver, UT, Santa Fe, NM, and Fredericksburg, TX are a few zones on the path that are well worth an extended stay. 

What is an Annular Solar Eclipse?

Annular solar eclipse image
Image credit: https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/

An annular solar eclipse happens as the moon sails between the Earth and the sun when the moon is at its furthest point from the Earth. Because of this, the moon doesn’t totally cover the sun, leaving a ring of fire blazing in the sky. 

As this occurs, the sun’s rays glisten over the moon’s craters — allowing viewers to see a special view of the lunar surface before daylight turns to dark. 

To see the annular solar eclipse on October 14th, 2023, you’ll need to be in the path of annularity, a narrow band cutting through several U.S. states. 

RVing will give you the flexibility to keep to the path.

Why RVing is One of the Best Ways to Experience Solar Eclipse 2023

Campervan on the road

When something this spectacular only happens once in a blue moon (pun intended 🙂, you can bet your bottom dollar that the narrow path it follows will be crowded.

RVing to Solar Eclipse 2023 will:

Help you avoid congested roads — Cities and towns in the path of annularity will be jammin’ on October 14th, 2023. But if you have an RV, you can roll to a remote area where you can create a private viewing zone for you and the fam. 

Skip the pricey hotel — Hotel prices along the eclipse’s path will be going sky high. RVing continues to be one of the most affordable forms of travel and even if it ticks up a bit during the eclipse, you’re still more likely to save big and enjoy more with an RV

Get you freedom and flexibility — Solar Eclipse 2023 is literally a moving target. RVing gives you the flexibility to follow it along its path so you can enjoy it more than any stationary observer.

You’ll also be able to adapt with short notice if things like weather or other factors create better viewing in one area over another. 

Allow you to make your home in remote areas — Many of the best spots to view the eclipse will be in areas where there’s no civilization. With an RV, you and the family can set up a private eclipse viewing party in the most secluded of spots. 

Camper with night sky

RVs also offer maximum flexibility for all types of eclipse viewers:

Stargazer looking to hit the darkest of dark sky spots along the path? An RV is your ticket.

Grandparents who want to roll with grandkids to see a rarely seen event? Many RVs feature ample sleeping space, bunk beds, and kitchen areas so you can create family memories on your terms. 

Or maybe you’re a photographer who wants to capture the moment in a lasting way? An RV gives you the mobility you need to get all the best angles. 

Where to Stay Near Solar Eclipse 2023 (Sorted By Adventure Type)

Solar Eclipse 2023 will track a narrow path through Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas in October. It’ll also touch slivers of Colorado and Arizona.

That’s why finding the right place to stay is clutch for the best solar viewings. And renting an RV will allow you to trace that path and post up wherever you’d like. 

We get that there are many different types of adventurers out there who seek the eclipse. 

For example, you might be a couple who enjoys urban locales alongside your weekend eclipse viewing.

Or perhaps you have a family and want to create lasting memories for the kiddos.

Or maybe you’re a photographer who is looking for the best spots to snap the ring of fire.

Here are our favorite places along the eclipse’s path — sorted by adventure type. 

Top Metro Areas to View The October 2023 Eclipse 

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is Oregon’s second-largest city, so it’ll offer plenty for you to do during an extended eclipse vacation in this area. And when it comes to getting your Outdoorsy on, Eugene has it in spades.

The Willamette National Forest is one of the many examples around Eugene where you’ll find scads of hiking trails, water exploring, and more. 

When it comes to making the eclipse last — be sure to check out Eclipse Fest 2023, a multi-day celebration featuring food vendors, music, camping, and more just a few short hours from Eugene. 

And here are all our eclipse-ready RVs for rent near Eugene 

Albuquerque, NM

Hot air baloon at Albuquerque International Baloon Fiesta

Albuquerque is a historic city that has many remnants of its Spanish Colonial heritage. It also has some fantastic food and plenty of nature along its slice of the Rio Grande. 

On top of that, Albuquerque is host to a world-renowned event that coincides nicely with eclipse viewing. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta sees over 500 colorful hot air balloons ascending over a town in full celebration mode. 

Check out these eclipse-ready RVs for rent near Albuquerque

Santa Fe, NM

Downtown Santa Fe, NM

Check out the Santa Fe Plaza — the historic center of the city that’s surrounded by galleries, restaurants, shops, and historic buildings. 

You can also get outdoorsy in the days before and after the eclipse by exploring spots like the Sangre De Cristo mountains and the Santa Fe National Forest.

These Santa Fe RV rentals are ready for the eclipse.

San Antonio, TX

San Antonio Missions

Whether you hike and bike the historic San Antonio Missions Trail, take in some of San Anton’s stellar cuisine, or go for a leisurely stroll along the river walk — you’re bound to have a good time when this spot is your base for the October 14th eclipse.   

Eclipse-ready RVs for rent near San Antonio

Top Places and Rigs for a Family Vacation to See the Eclipse

Given that the October 14th eclipse is a rarely seen event, it’s a great opportunity if you’d like to embark on a memory-making trip with the kids or grandkids. 

The Willamette Valley, OR

Vineyard in Willamette Valley

This rural area of Oregon is stacked with wineries, farms, and fun fall activities that the whole family can enjoy. Here are 7 family-friendly harvest fests happening in the Willamette Valley this fall

And for family adventuring, we recommend this Forest River Sunseeker RV or this Minnie Winnie Motorhome with plenty of room for all (it even features bunk beds). 

Beaver, UT

Zion National Park

This town is right on the eclipse path and is a stellar base camp for exploring the majesty of Southwest Utah.

Start your journey by grabbing a family rig like this Forest River Sunseeker or this family adventure RV in St. George and head out on an adventure ahead of the eclipse.

Southwest Utah is home to places like Zion National Park, the Dixie National Forest, and majestic mountains that’ll provide plenty of adventure before and after eclipsing.  

Fredericksburg, TX

The heart of Texas wine country provides something for everyone in the family. Fall in Fredericksburg sees events like a legendary Oktoberfest, farms, and orchards with pumpkin patches and corn mazes, and even a monarch celebration on the day of the eclipse.  

Snag a rig like this bunk-bed loaded Coachmen or this deliverable glamping trailer and take in this family-friendly area. 

Best Stargazing Spots Near the October 14th Eclipse

For those stargazers out there, seeing an eclipse will almost certainly get you wanting more. Why not combine your eclipse viewing experience with a stargazing trip? 

We put together this post on the best road trip spots for stargazers. Here are the spots on that list that are near the path of annularity:

Big Bend National Park — This desert oasis at the southern tip of Texas combines huge surface area with spectacular canyon formations. Its remote location coupled with crystal clear air make it an ideal night sky viewing spot.

Great Sand Dunes National Park — This park in south central Colorado boasts the tallest dunes in North America and some of the lowest light pollution anywhere in the world.

Dinosaur National Monument — This 211,000-acre monument spanning from Colorado to Utah is as remote as it is vast. It’s packed with scenic canyons, dinosaur fossils, and campgrounds where you can post up for night sky viewing.

Crater Lake National Park — Imagine looking out over one of America’s deepest lakes while it reflects a starry night sky. Crater Lake’s skies, combined with diverse wildlife, beautiful vistas, and mind-bending hikes, are what make this such a special place for a night-sky road trip.

New Mexico Cosmic Campground — Located in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, this campground is one of the few places recognized as a Dark Sky Sanctuary. Designation as a sanctuary means it is in one of the most remote locations of any of the dark sky spots.

Dark sky star viewing

Best Photog Spots for the October 14th Eclipse

For all you photo buffs out there, the best spots will be those remote areas where you can see the ring of fire with limited light pollution. And RVing lets you make a weekend of it because many of these spots feature nearby camping where you can continue to snap the scenes. 

-The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area gets you very close to the centerline of the ring of fire and features day use areas and camping spots so you can post up with your lenses. 

Here are some RVs for rent near The Dunes

Massacre Rim Dark Sky Sanctuary in Nevada is one of the darkest places on earth and it just so happens to be on the eclipse’s path. These features combine to create a photographer’s paradise. 

Check out these RVs for rent near the sanctuary

-Lake Powell, AZ is another popular spot that the eclipse will cover. Its wide open spaces and (usually) clear skies make this an ideal zone for shutter snapping. 

RVs for rent near here

Petroglyph National Monument — This spot is just eight miles outside Albuquerque, NM, and provides a more remote zone to photograph the eclipse. It also features hiking trails and other outdoor activities to help you hang around for a while.

Here are some eclipse-ready RVs for rent near this monument

Harvest Hosts — RV Camping Near the Solar Eclipse 2023

When it comes to a place to park your RV for eclipse viewing, our pals at Harvest Hosts have bunches of wineries, breweries, farms, and more along the path of totality. 

Become a Harvest Hosts member here to enjoy free one-night camping at these eclipse locations. 

Harvest Host campervanning at a vineyard
Harvest Hosts offers unique camping options along the path of totality

How Can I Safely View the Solar Eclipse 2023?

Sunglasses are a no-go for eclipse viewing because they just can’t protect you from those intense rays.

Viewing glasses certified by the International Space Organization are the way to go. These specialized glasses provide thousands more layers of sun protection so you can safely view Solar Eclipse 2023. 

solar eclipse viewing

These kids ain’t watching a 3-D movie…those are space-age glasses that are eclipse-viewing approved. 

Solar Eclipse 2023 offers a unique window into the movements of our celestial friends. While the eclipse’s path might be narrow, the opportunities for adventure along its path are many. 

RVing is the best way to make a trip out of the eclipse because you can skip around in a home on wheels to the spots that match your brand of adventuring. Check out these rigs we have for rent and get rolling along the eclipse’s path. 

RVs For Rent Near You

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Josh and his wife traveled around the country in an '88 Airstream for 4+ years of full-time RVing. They made an unexpected pitstop in Montana in 2020 and haven't left since. That's because they got hooked on the glamping resort they run by Glacier National Park. Fittingly, they keep up their RVing love by renting out vintage Airstreams and other retro RVs to travelers hitting Montana.

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