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Rent Camping Van San Diego

Best Free Camping Near San Diego

Making It in San Diego: Van life

Free camping near San Diego is possible to find, but prepare to do a little extra planning if you want to snag free tent sites.

Often, an outdoor enthusiast looking for free camping will search for land thats administered by the Bureau of Land Management .

Unfortunately, San Diego doesnt have a lot of BLM land nearby, just the McCain Valley Resource Conservation Area where dispersed camping isnt even allowed.

With that said, the Cottonwood Campground is only $6/person, if youre willing to go for cheap instead of free.

One of the best areas near San Diego for dispersed camping is Cleveland National Forest.

You can camp for free at Corte Madera Mountain, which is a strenuous hike in, and Pine Creek Road, which allows for car camping.

Otherwise, if youre looking for more dispersed camping in San Diego County check out Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which has eight primitive campgrounds. These primitive campgrounds also have the luxury of pit toilets .

These are the eight campgrounds that allow dispersed camping at the state park:

Get your FREE California Travel Planner including printable checklists and my favorite two-week itinerary for the state.


Meredith Dennis

Looking for more San Diego travel and California camping inspiration? Check out these related posts below!

Go From Point A To Point B

Want to pick up a camper van in Portland and drive down the coast via Highway 101 stopping at every beautiful beach, tall tree, and awe-inspiring sunset along the way then fly home out of Los Angeles? Of course you do! Driving the Pacific Coast Highway is a bucket list kind of adventure. Book a one-way camper van rental today!

GoCamp offers one-way camper van rentals that start or end in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

Why Choose A Campervan Rental For Your Next Vacation

Your San Diego campervan rental gives you unbridled freedom. Sleep at a national park without worrying about rain or bad weather. Then, head off to parts unknown without a care in the world. With an Escape Campervan, youre exploring as you want to, knowing that every campervan road trip is special.

What makes a campervan road trip an unforgettable vacation is the campervan itself. All our vehicles are fun to drive and have a queen-sized bed, a propane stove in the rear kitchen, and an iconic exterior. Unlike a cumbersome RV, campervans operate just like a car and should fit on most tent camping sites. You can even try and disperse camp using your Escape Campervan just take extra care to follow the Leave No Trace philosophy.

The kitchen fitout in the back of our Mavericks model.

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Chula Vista Rv Resort

If you want to immerse yourself in the beach bum lifestyle, then this is the campground you need to stay at. Its located right on the beach with access to a small park and boat launch at the marina next door. Bring your boat, kayak, canoe, or paddleboard to enjoy the water.

Their sites are back-in or pull-through and come with full hookups. You can use the grounds amenities that include laundry, a pet park, restrooms, garbage service, a fitness center, hot tub, pool, game room, and cable TV.

The campground also hosts several live music and concert events throughout the year.

Vancraft Sprinter Campervan Rentals

10 Best RV Rentals in San Diego

Rental Location: San Diego, CA

VanCraft is solely a Sprinter van rental company out of San Diego. Their fleet includes both the short and long wheelbases and sleep up to 4-6 respectively. But if youve got more in your crew, theyll add on a rooftop tent. A major perk of this campervan rental company is that every rental comes with unlimited miles! Their vans are equipped with everything you need for an epic adventure, including an oven. Depending on the length of your trip and the van, rates begin at $200-$216 and decrease incrementally the longer your trip is. Oh, and they also allow dogs for an additional cleaning fee.

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What San Diego Campervan Rental Will You Need

You will have many models when choosing your San Diego campervan rental. Most choices are between campervan size, storage space, and what you intend to do.

The Mavericks campervan is our most asked about van. With the Mavericks, theres a spacious queen-size bed, a fold-away table and benches, a 2-burner propane stove, mini-fridge, and sink. Its a safe pick for a quick getaway to Mt San Antonio. Still, the Mavericks has enough room for a longer campout at Joshua Tree National Park. Add on a rooftop sleeper, and you can even sleep five.

The Big Sur campervan sits a scance larger than our other models and gives you more room for your family. You still have a built-in stove and sink in the trunk, but you dont have to fold the back seats in order to use the queen-size bed. Its perfect if you want a little more storage space or a comfy ride for expansive adventures out of state.

For more compact options, try the Santa Cruz model or the Jeep Camper. These still give you the bed and kitchen but your vehicle takes up a much smaller footprint. These vehicles work well for last-minute trips or intimate vacations. *The Jeep Camper and Santa Cruz are only offered in certain states.

Want a child safety seat, or kitchen set for your San Diego campervan rental? Check out all the extras that you can earmark for your vacation. And with each rental, youll get superb customer care and around-the-clock roadside assistance absolutely free!

About Joshua Tree National Park

Rv Parks & Campgrounds

San Diego’s RV campgrounds are never more than a stone’s throw from either Southern California beaches or downtown San Diego. The San Diego RV Resort provides 180 full hookups and both back-in and pull through sites. Enjoy the pool and fire up the barbecue in the picnic area. There are plenty of grassy pads and shade for lounging. The Santa Fe Park RV

Resort has a pool, showers, and laundry. It’s also pet friendly, so the whole family can tag along. You can find more suggestions in our article on the Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks in San Diego, CA.

Tourist Attractions

Balboa Park’s wide thoroughfares offer plenty of room for an RV to explore this urban cultural park that is home to more than 16 museums and other attractions. Green zones showcasing natural vegetation, walking paths, and gardens highlight tourists traveling from one venue of entertainment to the other. The San Diego Zoo is the best-known attraction in the park, but also included is the Casa del Prado Theater, which is the home of the San Diego Youth Symphony. This theater, built in 1915 to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal, typifies the Spanish Colonial Revival architectural look of the entire park.

You can also visit Sea World in San Diego and get a glimpse of marine life up close or ride a roller coaster through the water. San Diegos Gaslamp Quarter has charming restaurants, shops, and is lined with the gas lamps that give the area its name.

Sports and Entertainment

Dump Stations

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Stone Creek Campground And Idyllwild Campground

Why its worth camping at: Mount San Jacinto offers a stunning wilderness to explore.Address: 2118 CA-234, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549 25905 CA-243, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549 .Phone number: 659-2607Cost: $25/night , $35/night , and $45/night Amenities: Picnic tables, fire ring, barbeques, amphitheater, pit toilets , flush toilets , electric hookups, RVs up to 24 feet, full hookups , and showers .

Mount San Jacinto State Park has two developed campgrounds within about five miles of one another.

To give you an idea of location, Idyllwild Campground and Stone Creek Campground are two hours northeast of San Diego, off Highway 243 near Palm Springs.

Idyllwild is the more developed of the two campgrounds and includes showers, flush toilets, and full RV hookups. It has 28 tent and RV sites and is frequented by Pacific Crest Trail hikers.

Stone Creek Campground has 44 sites and is a bit more primitive, but still has vault toilets and potable water, along with standard campground amenities like picnic tables and fire rings.

Both campgrounds follow the same fee schedule.

Reservations for either campground can be made here.

Recommended Campervan Drives In San Diego

Making It In San Diego: Living in an rv to avoid rising rent

Carlsbad is only a 48km drive away along Interstate 5 and once you are here, you can visit the LEGOLAND California theme park. Camper sites are available in Encinitas and Cardiff-by-the-Sea.

Temecula is a 60-minute drive in a northeasterly direction. The region is known for its wine lands and there are 30 wineries which have tasting rooms for visitors. This route makes a good daytrip or you can stay over at camper sites in Temecula or Escondido.

This drive takes 60 minutes, with the town of Tecate sitting on the Mexico border and visitors able to cross to the Mexican side at a pedestrian crossing. Attractions include the town centre and Tecate Brewery. In Lemon Grove and Oak Park you will find camper facilities such as electricity, water and washrooms.

Three major interstates provide access to San Diego as well as frequent places to refuel. The I-8, the I-5 and the I-15 are major access roads while other freeways criss-cross through the city.

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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

What did people search for similar to rv rental in San Diego, CA?

People also searched for these in San Diego:

What are some popular services for rv rental?

Some popular services for rv rental include:

  • Virtual Consultations

What are people saying about rv rental in San Diego, CA?

This is a review for rv rental in San Diego, CA:

“I’ve rented from Stress Free RVs twice now and highly recommend them. Their fleet is growing and their prices beat other offerings I’ve tried. Mike and the team is a pleasure to work with, being helpful and responsive along the way. Pickup and drop off has been easy and hassle-free, with flexible timing to work with my schedule.”

Rent A Camper Van In San Diego Then Hit The Road

The journey is the destination. Cliché, perhaps. But pretty much always true, especially when you journey by camper van! Your camper van rental is a literal home on wheels, so whether you travel 50 miles or 500 miles outside of the San Diego city limits, whether you find an established campsite or you go boondocking, you are gonna have the best road trip, ever.

Ojai Valley

Sounds like Oh hi! and it feels like it, too. This earth-conscious community is about a 3 hour drive from San Diego, about 45 minutes east of Santa Barbara. Sunny Ojai is rich in outdoor activities, and finding a beautiful place to park your camper van wont be a challenge. You can camp in public campgrounds, or find an exquisite slice of paradise by staying at a private Hipcamp property.


Always wanted to visit Yosemite but scared off by the crowds? Consider taking your camper van rental from San Diego to Idyllwild for similar scenery, and far fewer tourists! This charming little town is tucked in the San Jacinto Mountains only two hours away from San Diego. Youll always be in a 5-star stay when you camp in a GoCamp camper van, so youll have a luxurious home to return to after hiking the trails in Mount San Jacinto State Park.

Palm Springs


Mammoth Lakes

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Great For First Timers

Most of our guests have never RVed before, that’s why we provide many excellent resources to make sure everything is easy and clear.

We have model specific online training videos so you can learn at your own pace.

At delivery we go through the control panels, show you where’s what and answer all of your questions.

Every RV is equipped with an iPad that contains all the instructional videos and manuals for quick reference.

And of course, if there are any additional questions, we are always available via call or text to help!

Discover San Diego In An Rv

6 Camper Van Rentals for the Ultimate California Road Trip

San Diego is a beautiful, fascinating city. Its proximity to the water means there are plenty of beaches, as well as a temperate climate year-round that makes it a wonderful winter getaway. Its also close to Mexico, if you want to head across the border for a trip. Finally, San Diego makes a nice add-on to a trip to Los Angeles – its just a two-hour drive from the city but it has a completely different vibe.

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Jucy Usa Campervan Rentals

Rental Locations: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Point Roberts WA

Jucy camper van rentals include a fridge, two stoves, and even a kitchen sink! Their vans seat up to 5 people and sleep 2 inside on a double bed, with another option that includes a rooftop tent to sleep 4 total. Jucy rentals start at $22/day, not including mileage fees . The longer you rent, the lower the rates are. A one or two-nighter will be around $45/day. Jucy RV rentals offer a variety of add ons so you can get everything you need for your trip, including camping gear, sheets, and towels. While this post focuses on rentals in the United States, Jucy campervan rentals are also available in New Zealand and Australia.

Rv Campgrounds In San Diego

To find the best RV parks in San Diego, youll need to head towards the coast. Campland on the Bay has waterfront RV sites with views of Mission Bay. This family-friendly campground features a playground, activities for kids, equipment rentals, and a skateboard park. Sites have a picnic table and a fire pit and options for dry camping and partial or full hookups. Campland on the Bay is within walking distance from Sea World and next to the Mission Bay bike path.

Silver Strand State Beach Campground faces the Pacific Ocean and the San Diego Bay and permits campers who have self-contained trailers, vans, and motorhomes…

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Maine Campers Vw Rentals

Rental Location: Eliot, Maine

Heres another chance to rent a vintage VW van and hit the road. Maine Campers rents Volkswagen campervans out of southern Maine for all your New England road trip dreams. The vans in their fleet are 1985-1991 Volkswagen Vanagons and are equipped with cookware, bedding for 4 people, stove, running water, stove, and camp chairs. Daily rates are currently $175/day with a 7-night minimum between June and September. Included in your rental is 100 miles/day.

Your Convenience Is Our Priority

VAN TOUR | VanCraft Sprinter Campervan Rentals | Professional Van Conversion Walk Thru

When you Rent an RV from us you can rest assured that we will provide the convenience and comfort you need for a perfect vacation.

The following items are available upon request, some comes at no additional cost and some other provided for a small fee that helps with the cost of maximizing hygiene for you and your loved ones’:

  • Kitchen: pots, pans, cooking utensils, coffee pot, silverware, dishware, drinking cups, kitchen towel and coffee mugs.
  • Linens, bedding, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows and large towels for shower use only.
  • Cleaning supplies that will assist on keeping the trailer clean and have what is necessary to return it to us as clean as provided.
  • Outdoor rug, outdoor table and 2 camping chairs
  • Restroom hand towel and TP.

We firmly believe that our customers should sleep like a rockandwake up fully rested

This is why we have upgraded most of our RVs mattresses with 3″ memory foam toppers, high thread count on all our linens as well as mid firm pillows.

Hygiene is our TOP PRIORITY!!


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The Best 10 Rv Rental In San Diego Ca

  • Normal Heights

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    I’ve rented from Stress Free RVs twice now and highly recommend them. Their fleet is growing and their prices beat other offerings I’ve tried. Mike and the team is a pleasure to work more

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    My experience was great, Sprinter was very nice but the owner the was the best part of the experience. Kris is a good guy, help me prepare, went the extra mile at every turn. I more

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  • $6 for $15 Deal

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  • Camping Near San Diego: 13 Best Campsites Close To The City

    From beaches to mountains, primitive camping to glamping, these are the best campsites near San Diego.

    Situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, San Diego, also known as Americas Finest City, is simply a lovely vacation spot .

    San Diego is known for both its natural beauty and non-stop exciting city atmosphere.

    With miles of white sand beaches and marine preserves on one side, to forested mountains and freshwater lakes on the other, theres no shortage of trails to meander and peaks to bag here.

    If youre planning a San Diego camping adventure I have all the info you need to pick the perfect campsite for you.

    From beach vacations and jet ski rentals to forest retreats and desert vibes, theres something for everyone in San Diego.

    Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

    Get your FREE California Travel Planner including printable checklists and my favorite two-week itinerary for the state.

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