5 Tips For Rving the Oregon Coast

Our last afternoon on Washburne in Central Oregon

Sadly, we’ve come to the end of our mini-Oregon-Coastal trip.  In typical teaser fashion our last few days were PERFECT in every way with stunning sunshine, moderate temperatures and enless horizons of blue and deserted beaches (it seems we just left in time too ‘coz next 7 days are forecasted rain!). Our month here has been simply amazing, and the fact that it’s all so accessible and all paw-friendly makes it even better. We simply HAVE to come back to see the southern section and given that you’ve simply GOT to come here too, we’re put together a quick handy-dandy list of tips to help you on your way. Here you go:

1/ Be Prepared for the Weather

Be prepared for some crazy weather...

I had a fun musing on this topic a few posts back, but it just bears repeating. The weather on the Oregon coast can change on a dime. Don’t fear it, but be prepared for a bit of everything. Perhaps the only major issue we encountered was alot of reeeeaally moist air which made it difficult to keep the rig comfortably dry especially with a combo of somewhat chilly air. Since pretty much all the State Parks have hookups, when we come back we’re bringing a small dehumidifier which we think will be just the ticket.

2/ Book Ahead for State Parks

The Oregon State Parks are fabulous, but that also means they’re pretty popular especially on the coast. During summer when the kids are out of school almost everything books ahead. Once school season starts you’ll find plenty of spots mid-week, but might still need bookings for the week-end. If you don’t make the online reservation system in time there are a few first-come-first-serve parks (e.g. G.Washburne, Cape Blanco) plus lots of private options along the coast too. The Suislaw Forest also offers several primitive NFS campgrounds around the Central Coastal area.

3/ Pick Up Some Guides

Pooch gets to come to all the beaches here

The Oregon Visitor Centers are a great place to stop before you come to the coast. My #1 tip is the Oregon Coast Mile-By-Mile Guide, a mile-by-mile shot of simply everything on Hwy 101 (great resource!). For special interests check out some of the extra guides offered by the State Parks, especially the Oregon State Parks Guide (detailed info on all State Parks), Oregon Coast Lighthouses (a great guide on the entire collection of coastal lighthouses), Oregon Coast Trail Maps (for the avid hiker) and Tide Tables ( for timing those romantic walks on the beach). For Horse-lovers there’s even a special Horse Heaven camping and trail-guide.

4/ Don’t Worry About the Roads

Hwy 101 is excellent and there’s really no worry about travelling the entire length, even with a “beast” and toad. There’s a couple of curvy spots, perhaps a few bumpy areas, but the overall quality of the drive is great. We also found plenty of easy-access gas stations for big-rigs (both gas and diesel). We would recommend it for anyone.

5/ Take Your Time

Take your time on the stunning coastline

There is soooo much natural beauty along the Oregon Coast including no end of day-trips, hiking trails, towns, visits that it really makes sense to take your time. By giving yourself some extra days you’ll also be able to weather just about any forecast that comes your way, giving the opportunity to enjoy the coast at it’s best. Take your time, soak it all in and enjoy the ride!

With that said we wag our tails, raise our glasses and say goodbye to the wonderful coast…or rather I prefer adieu since there’s no doubt we’ll meet again.

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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. Mary says

    Thanks for your excellent campground reviews. With our 40′ motorhome we will be sure to check your reviews first. You seem to enjoy what we do! As I mentioned before, we stayed at Washburn State Park while giving the lighthouse tours. You also mention Cape Blanco as a first-come park. We stayed there, too, and enjoyed that one, as well. We tend not to make reservations and we really don’t have problems. That’s the best way to travel!! Enjoy your future ones. We’ll be waiting to see where you land next!

    • libertatemamo says

      CHEERS for the tip on Cape Blanco. It’s on our list for whenever we do the southern trip, esp. now that you’ve given it the thumbs up and “beast-size” OK :)

  2. says

    Great tips, Nina. The coast is lovely, but I do hope you two get a chance to explore the other side of Oregon sometime as well. Crater Lake, Lava Beds, the refuges, the Cascade Mountains. Lots to see in this beautiful state, although many folks agree that the coast is the greatest treasure, especially since it isn’t locked up in private ownership and you can take your dog anywhere!

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh, we’ve definitely gotta come back. I’ve got a “date” that we’ve got to make down south, but if it weren’t for that we’d be spending another month here. There’s sooooo much more to see and do and we’ve only just scratched the surface. And yes, paw-friendliness makes it a 5-star place in my book :)

  3. says

    This is WONDERFUL! Thank you so much. We are headed there next summer. We always check with the visitor center but will be sure to do it ahead of time. Thanks for the heads up on the state parks. We will probably stay at them and this info will really help. Thanks you two for a blog full of info…especially for us!

    • libertatemamo says

      Can’t wait for you guys to come here. Looking forward to your next years’ posts already. For more inspitation you can also check out Terry’s blog…she’s been RVing the coast at almost the same time we have (just ahead of us) and is still there in the southern section:

  4. Terry says

    Another great blog full of useful tips! You’re so right about the humidity here; our bath towels never dry out between showers.

    • libertatemamo says

      Yeah, the humidity is pretty bad. We couldn’t get anything properly dry while we were there. Probably the only “weather” issue we really had.

  5. says

    We wore the mile-by-mile book thin on all the trips we made to the coast. There’s a great mile by mile for 550 in Colorado and also in Idaho–can’t recall the route number at the moment. I have a large travel library–usually, I’d read about a region before going, and then by local books.

    Good advice about the campgrounds. This past year I could only get one night when my kids were in. Bummer. Harris Beach on the southern coast is a state campground I’d recommend–the “banana coast”. I loved the beaches for the pups, too. Mine loved to run for hours.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Nina. You give good solid advice for people planning to follow in your footsteps and bring to mind many happy memories for those of us who have been there.

  6. says

    You sure called it right– both going there and staying, and your listing of things to remember. We are following a number of bloggers who are traveling wonderful places, some we’ve been to and some we haven’t. We’ll never complete our bucket list if we live another century!

    • libertatemamo says

      Yeah, I think Sept is really one of the prime months to go. It’s late enough that most of the hard-core fog is gone.
      Plus we WERE lucky too :)

  7. jil mohr says

    thanks for the tips…will review them next year when i hope we will be going…

    love the photos…I see you are loving your new camera…

  8. jjcruisers says

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the “Where are we today” listing on your blog seems not to be working.

    • libertatemamo says

      Hmmm…it looks OK on my page. It’s just a text box and showing Armitage County Park at the moment.
      I’ll check hubby’s computer too.

    • libertatemamo says

      Hehe…just the last 4 days. Will still be here (Armitage) for another 4 or so before we move on. Nina

  9. Vishnu Kamisetty says

    Your posts are so much informative. We are a group of 9 people who are planning a road trip from San Francisco to Portland. We rented out a 31′ motorhome and initially decided to take the inner roads via Lasen and Shasta.

    Having learnt that most of the roads are closed, we’re now considering the Hwy route. The comments on your post gave me a good insight on what places to visit for sure. I’m so excited!


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