Experience Year-Round Family RV Camping at Campland on the Bay in Southern California
Located on San Diego's Mission Bay, the nation's largest aquatic park, find 40 acres of RV resort with a secluded beach
July 13, 2022
Wondering where you can take the family for the best RV camping in Southern California? Campland on the Bay exudes summer and a recreational vehicle lifestyle offers something for everyone. Located on Mission Bay, the nation's largest aquatic park, the resort offers 40 acres of RV resort with a secluded beach just steps away. Kids will have a blast, and once the RV is set up and ready to go, parents will feel the carefree nostalgia they once had when they vacationed as kids. It's summer fun-inducing!
A Family-Friendly Camping Vacation Destination
Campland on the Bay is a scenic, family-friendly vacation destination that has repeatedly been voted San Diego's favorite campground. It offers the best beachfront camping experience for families and is a haven for water enthusiasts. The atmosphere is one of fun vibes and good times. Plus, booking a spot in this RV park is as easy as apple pie. With 562 campsites, Campland on the Bay offers a wide variety of site types. An abundance of amenities makes it a stress-free, unforgettable place you'll want to spend your summers every year.
If you need anything during your stay, don't worry - Campland has it. There's a market, a restaurant and bar (Campland Cantina), pools and hot tubs, a playground, a gym, an arcade and a dog park for your furry friends if you choose to bring them along. Of course, we brought our shepsky because she loves traveling with us on all of our adventures.
For those who love playing in the water, Campland's private beach is about a city block in length and perfect for setting up your E-Z UP with a few beach chairs and chilling all day long. For those who prefer to be more active, Campland Marina offers rentals for pontoon boats, kayaks and pedal boats. Adventure Water Sports has rentals for ski boats, wave runners (jet ski) and SUPs (stand-up paddleboards). The interior calm waters of Mission Bay make the perfect playground for families who flock to this beachy paradise. If you're inner 007 is calling and you're feeling a little adventurous, a variety of waterways, inlets, and islets are yours to explore within the 4,600 acres of Mission Bay. It also borders several beach communities if you want to dock and go out to dinner on the other shore.
Of course, you're welcome to bring your own amusements for water play. There was no shortage of outdoor gear or water toys at Campland; in fact, some of the coolest RV lifestyle toys I've ever seen were at this resort. Advance reservations for any water activity rentals are strongly suggested. If fishing is your thing, there are no fees/California Sport Fishing licenses required to fish on Crystal Pier. You may even catch surf perch, shovelnose guitarfish, leopard sharks, bat rays and halibut.
On land, bike, surrey and golf cart rentals mean there are so many ways to explore this exciting resort. There are 14 miles of bike trails circling Mission Bay or just ride around the campgrounds and meet people along the way. Everyone we came across was so friendly and just there to have the best time possible.
Campland on the Bay has a plethora of activities for kids, adults, and families that will keep you entertained for hours. Check out the calendar of events on the website before your stay to see what's included for the kids: soccer, dodgeball, capture the flag, ping-pong, arts & crafts, photo scavenger hunts and sand castle contests. A giant inflatable water slide is set up most weekends for a few hours and the kids can hardly wait to see who can get the most slides in for the day. Children will love the arcade, whether they like the newest or the most retro electronic games, there are choices for all ages. Teens can also utilize the skateboard park or basketball courts.
Adults may want to bring a Cornhole or Connect Four game or play a game of Horseshoes on Campland's designated field. Remember you'll have tons of free time on your hands when camping, but never a dull moment. If you go during the busy summer season, there are popular live events on the Campland stage Friday and Saturday evenings. Bring your chair and blanket and listen to live DJs and tribute/cover bands under the stars. Sea World is also directly across the bay and you can see the fireworks clearly whenever they launch. It's a great way to end the day. The year-round fantastic weather of San Diego means you can enjoy all of these activities most seasons.
Experiencing The RV Lifestyle
Although tents are welcome at Campland on the Bay, the absolute joy comes from spending a few days in your very own RV, a mini home away from home. If you have your own, you're most likely familiar with the terms diesel pusher, fifth wheel, slideouts or hook-ups. RV jargon is something you'll need to know when booking your campsite in order to pick the right rig for you as well as what will work at the RV resort. Campland does not offer RV rentals. However, they do work with several local RV rental companies who will deliver the RV and hook it up for your stay. That's right; if you're a tiny bit intimidated to drive one of these big boys, someone can do it for you. All you have to do is show up with the fam. When you're finished camping, the RV rental company will pick up the vehicle and take care of all the necessary requirements (a.k.a. the down and dirty) you may not want to bother yourself with if you're a first-timer.
If you're new to the RV lifestyle, I highly recommend RVShare for your first experience (rvshare.com @rvshare ). Similar to Airbnb, but for RVs, they have a wide-ranging inventory, from affordable pop-ups to luxury motorhomes. Finding which RV is suitable for your needs is essential and I've got several helpful tips that will hopefully alleviate some of the stress when planning a camping trip. Watch how I first booked a campsite with Campland on the Bay and then rented an RV through RVShare HERE. ( https://bit.ly/3bP8wAx ) It was a simple, easy process and completely stress-free.
The RV we rented through RVShare was a 2022 Forest River Rockwood Ultra Lite Travel Trailer 33 ft. long with 3 slides that could sleep up to 6 people. The sofa and dining room table both convert into beds for two people each. Since our campsite only had a 30amp hookup, we made sure our RV had an adaptor we could use for their 50amp power supply.
The amenities that were important to us for the RV experience were a kitchen with a refrigerator, sink, microwave and stovetop. The stovetop was needed for cooking since Campland does not have a dedicated BBQ area. Most people bring their own grills. We also wanted a bathroom with a toilet, shower and a hot and cold water supply. Air conditioning was important to us when booking, but we used it in the main cabin of the RV only a couple of times. Campland on the Bay has a nice breeze going through the campground and you may not even spend that much time indoors.
Our RV had a gorgeous LED fireplace with a heat option for cooler nights. It also boasted a TV, DVD player, radio and CD player; however, we didn't use them, except for the radio at night. We absolutely loved Sunny 98.1 San Diego, which was full of classic '70s 80s and 90s hits. Even our daughter was dancing and singing along to some of our favorite tunes and loving it!
If you do decide to drive your RV, navigation and a rear vision camera might also be important for your trip. You'll decide which amenities you need and use those to search for the most appropriate RV choices.
RVs By The Numbers
In the end, we loved our RV and experience with RVShare. Our RV rate was $298.50 x 2 Nights. There was a Preparation Camping fee of $149.00, which *covers full propane tanks, full fresh water tank, 4 rolls of RV toilet paper, toilet treatment etc. (Remember, RVs need special toilet paper.) Taxes of $70, a Service Fee of $160 and an Insurance and Protection Standard Package of $84. We opted for delivery of the RV and there was a per-mile delivery fee of $1,038. This was due to the distance as the RV was being delivered from San Bernardino, about two hours away. There were RVs closer to us, but we fell in love with 'Rocky the Rockwood' RV.
The final total cost for the RV rental was a little over $2000. This may seem steep for two nights, but our RV was top-of-the-line brand new. We opted for delivery and pick-up of the RV to the campground because that was most convenient for us. When we arrived, our RV was all hooked up with the air-conditioner and refrigerator running. All we had to do was unpack.
Pro Tip: Plan and prep all meals (and snacks) in advance. You'll be able to spend more time outdoors enjoying your family, instead of inside working in the kitchen. Find out what is included in the RV, such as cooking and eating utensils. Be sure to check if you should bring your own bedding and towels as well.
Family RV camping is an experience you'll want to have at least once and IYKYK, you'll be planning one or two every summer. We loved Campland on the Bay for a family-friendly, pet-friendly destination.
Our camping days were spent outside and our nights were either spent roaming around the resort, by the campfire or playing family games. Obviously, with an RV, it would be considered more of a glamping trip. Either way, finding the perfect RV park or campground for your stay matters in the end. Campland on the Bay has everything you could want or need for an amazing family vacation.
IF YOU GO...
Campland on the Bay is located about two hours south of Los Angeles International Airport and just 20 minutes away from the San Diego International Airport. Campland on the Bay: campland.com @camplandusa 2211 Pacific Beach Dr. San Diego, CA 92109
Family-Friendly, Pet-Friendly, Wheelchair Accessible
Price: summer rates range from $104 with limited hookups to $500+ for a beachfront view or a SuperSite. Winter rates range from $73 with limited hookups to $423 for the SuperSite. Tent camping ranges from $55-$70. Dogs are only an extra $3/day, so don't forget your pets. Campland offers a limited number of extended stay sites for stays over 31 days during the off-season. summer weekends require a two (2) night minimum stay (Friday – Saturday). Holidays require a three (3) night minimum stay. Rates do go up as the campground gets full so plan ahead and save.
The Campland Cantina: breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages, partially-covered outdoor dining. Daily specials, happy hours, game nights. Ice cream parlor next to the restaurant. 858.581.4220 Menus include family favorites such as tacos, burritos, salads, pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches, kid-favorite foods and snacks.
Local San Diego Attractions Nearby: Sea World, The Gaslamp Quarter, USS Midway Museum, Old Town San Diego, Balboa Park and The San Diego Zoo. Tourism: @visitsandiego #visitSD
Campland on the Bay and RVShare sponsored this experience; however, all opinions belong to the writer.