RV setup at campsite during the day

Trip Planning

Tips for RVing Snowbirds Heading to Southern California

Looking to escape the winter weather? Check out Jeff's tips and tricks for RVers heading to sunny SoCal!

Southern California offers a variety of settings for winter visitors, but RVers wanting to spend the winter near the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego or further inland need to do their homework as the permissible lengths of stay vary by park, depending on local regulations.

Stays at Bonelli Bluffs RV Park in San Dimas in Los Angeles County, for example, are limited to 21 days. But the park is enticing to Snowbirds, who enjoy its scenic setting and rolling topography with 15 miles of biking and hiking trails, which will be used as the 2028 Olympic Mountain Biking Course.

There is also a 21-day limit at Dockweiler Beach RV Park in El Segundo. But while the park is right under the flight path for arriving or departing jets at Los Angeles International Airport, it’s one of only a handful of campgrounds in Southern California that is right next to the beach as well as a beach bike path that leads both northward to Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica, and southward to Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo Beach.

Further to the north, Malibu RV Park in Malibu offers cliffside views of the Pacific Ocean and guests can stay up to six months, subject to campsite availability.

(Photo courtesy of Campland on the Bay in San Diego, California)

Other Southern California parks near the coast that are popular with Snowbirds include Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort in Marina in Newport Beach, which has a beach along the bay along with watercraft rentals. Guests can stay for up to six months and must vacate the park for seven days every 180 days.

In San Diego County, popular coastal RV parks include Campland on the Bay and its sister park, Mission Bay RV Resort, both of which are in San Diego. Campland offers numerous organized activities as well as watercraft rentals, while Mission Bay RV Resort offers a swimming pool and hot tub, pickleball, as well as access to the amenities at Campland.

Guests can stay up to 90 days at a time at both parks, but must vacate their park for 24 hours every 90 days. Guests can stay up to a maximum of 268 days in a 12-month period.

At Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay in Chula Vista, guests can also stay up to 90 days at a time, but must exit the park for three days between each extended stay. Park amenities include a large swimming pool and hot tub, an onsite cafe, pickleball, basketball, bocce ball and cornhole, as well as an indoor/outdoor fitness center.

(Photo courtesy of Bonelli Bluffs RV Resort in San Dimas)

Further inland, there are several campgrounds and RV parks that are popular with Snowbirds, but permissible lengths of stay vary.

Guests can stay “up to eight or nine months at a time” at the San Diego Metro KOA Resort in Chula Vista, but stays are limited to “29 or 30 days” at the Temecula KOA at Vail Lake in Temecula, according to Clint Bell, whose family owns and operates both parks.  
In addition to being close to the Temecula Wine Country, which has nearly 50 wineries, the Temecula KOA provides convenient access to the Vailocity Bike Park, a premier bike park 25-miles of world-class trails, obstacles, flow track, and races for Mountain Biking, Gravel Biking, and BMX.

Other inland parks include Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet, a Sunland RV Resort property where guests can stay up to six months at a time. Activities include pickleball, sand volley and water volleyball. The resort also has a state-of-the-art fitness center and offers live onsite entertainment, including tribute bands.

Snowbirds can also stay up to six months at other Sunland RV Resort parks in inland San Diego County, including Escondido RV Resort in Escondido, San Diego RV Resort in La Mesa and three El Cajon parks, Circle RV ResortOak Creek RV Resort, and Vacationer RV Resort

(Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, California)

In the Southern California deserts, there are numerous camping options for Snowbirds, including Caliente Springs Resort and Sky Valley Resort in Desert Hot Springs, both of which feature hot mineral pools and spas. Guests can stay up to six months at a time at both resorts, while shorter stays of “two to three months” are permissible at the Palm Springs / Joshua Tree KOA Holiday in Desert Hot Springs, according Clint Bell, whose family owns the park.

Most desert RV parks allow Snowbirds to stay the entire winter season if they have spaces available.

Other popular desert Snowbird destinations include Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, which offers organized activities and live entertainment to complement the resort’s outdoor pools and spas and sports courts.

Winter visitors to the Coachella Valley this year will also encounter a new resort,
Coachella Lakes RV Resort in Coachella, which features an 18-hole championship putting course as well as heated swimming pools and hot tubs, a 24-hour fitness center, a clubhouse and business center, as well as pickleball courts and a walking path.

(Photo courtesy of Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, California)

RV resorts in more remote areas of the Southern California desert include the Fountain of Youth Spa RV Resort in Niland, near the east side of the Salton Sea, which offers many organized activities for Snowbirds.

Guests can also stay up to 270 days per year at The Springs at Borrego Golf and RV Resort in Borrego Springs, which is just outside Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Park amenities include a 9-hole championship golf course, an outdoor salt pool and spa, hot mineral baths, a spacious fitness center, tennis, pickleball and volleyball courts, lawn bowling, horseshoes, as well as catch-and-release fishing ponds and lakes and an outdoor amphitheater for live music concerts and basketball games.

El Centro area RV parks offering extended stays to accommodate Snowbirds include Desert Trails RV Park, Sunbeam Lake R.V. Resort and Rio Bend RV and Golf Resort, which features a 9-hole golf course and an 11-acre catch-and-release fishing lake stocked with striped bass and catfish. The resort is surrounded by wetlands and a bird sanctuary with an 80-acre lagoon.

Jeff Crider


Jeff Crider, President and CEO of Crider Public Relations, has been involved in covering the campground industry for over 25 years. Jeff has worked as a freelance writer for publications such as RV Business, Motor Home Magazine, Trailer Life, Highways and other Affinity Group Inc. publications since 1995. He has also successfully pitched many of the nation's top tier media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Financial Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and National Public Radio. In addition to writing, Jeff is also a talented photographer and humanitarian.