Car with canoe on top roof at sunset
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The Coolest Kayaking Trips to Take in Your RV

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Car with canoe on top roof at sunset
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Row, Row, Row Your Rig

This article originally appeared on RVshare.com.


There are some activities that just seem to fit perfectly with RV camping. For instance, hiking, mountain biking, and swimming all go hand-in-hand with the RV lifestyle. Another activity that a huge number of RVers enjoy? Kayaking trips.


Related: 17 Boat Adventures You Have to Take

Senior couple kayaking in a lake
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Jump in the Boat

Kayaking is an excellent way to expand upon your outdoor adventures. It allows you to view nature from another perspective, gives you a new way to get in some exercise, and can even give you some thrills, if that’s what you’re after. Wanting to weave some kayaking into your RV trips? Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a brand new beginner, you’ll love the amazing kayaking RV trip destinations and tips ahead.


Related: 80+ Great Camping Activities for Nearly Everyone

Kayaking Willamette National Forest
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Amazing RV Kayaking Trips

Let’s start by discussing some of our favorite RV kayaking trips. These are awesome kayaking spots with some excellent RV camping options nearby. You can choose any one of these options with confidence, knowing you’ll have an excellent time.


Related: The 20 Best RV Lake Camping Spots in the US

two canoes and a duck at trillium lake with mt. hood reflected
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Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon

This gorgeous Oregon forest is one of the prettiest in the country. The greenery is incredible, the animals are plentiful, and the various bodies of water are crystal clear. Whether you prefer kayaking on a lake or a river, there is something for you in this forest, and Carter Bridge Campground is the ideal base camp.


Related: 30 Serene and Secluded Lakes Worth the Drive

Big Bear Lake with kayaks, CA (P)
Ron and Patty Thomas/istockphoto

Big Bear Lake in California

Hoping for a kayaking experience in the amazing state of California? There are hundreds of places to go kayaking in the Golden State. That said, one of our very favorites is Big Bear Lake in Southern California. This gorgeous lake offers still, clear waters that allow paddlers to look down and see the fish swimming by. We also love that kayaking on this lake allows you to enter a secret place where you can see little streams and other bits of nature you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. Not sure where to stay? Big Bear Shores RV Resort is an excellent lake resort for a warm-weather escape.


Related: Local Guides in California

Wild Rio Grande
CampPhoto/istockphoto

Rio Grande River in New Mexico

The Rio Grande is one of those rivers that all kayakers should experience at some point. The gorgeous scenery along the river makes for something interesting to admire as you paddle along, and the fact that different parts of the river offer such different experiences means this waterway is suitable for kayakers of all levels. As far as lodging goes, we highly recommend Monte Bello RV Park.


Related: Best New Places to Vacation in 2020

Boat Camp,Lower Salmon River, Idaho
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Salmon River in Idaho

Idaho is one of those places that is so unexpectedly beautiful that you might just find yourself wishing you never had to leave. And one of the most beautiful places in the state is the Salmon River, which, like many other states' rivers, happens to also be perfect for paddling. In particular, we very much love kayaking on the middle fork of the Salmon River, which is a class III–IV kayak run. For a comfy place to return to after your kayaking adventure, be sure to book Pinehurst Resort and RV Park.


Related: Local Guides in Idaho

Cutthroat Bay in Arapaho National Recreation Area
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Arapaho National Recreation Area in Colorado

The Arapaho National Recreation Area in Colorado boasts several lovely lakes that invite those who prefer a peaceful kayaking experience to come paddling. This is the perfect option for those wishing to take a Colorado trip in the summertime, as it allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty and nature of Colorado. Stillwater Campground (temporarily closed) is also located in the recreation area and offers the perfect lodging option for those wishing to explore the area for more than a single day.


Related: Local Guides in Colorado


The South Fork Shenandoah River
The South Fork Shenandoah River by Antepenultimate (CC BY-SA)

Shenandoah River in Virginia

Like the Rio Grande, the Shenandoah is one of those must-experience kayaking locations. The river offers laid-back areas for beginners, as well as more intense sections for those with a bit of experience under their belts. Additionally, because this gorgeous waterway is so long, you can kayak along it numerous times and never experience the same section twice. Those looking for a place to stay will love Outlanders River Camp. This campground offers immediate access to the water, making it easy to get the fun started each day.


Related: Shenandoah National Park

Women Kayaking at Spring in Crystal River Florida USA
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Crystal River in Florida

Want to see some seriously cool animals as your kayak? Head to Crystal River to enjoy the best of Florida. This river offers lovely blue-green waters and if you visit during the wintertime, you will be greeted by the local manatees. Floating alongside these gorgeous creatures is an incredible experience to say the least. After your paddle, return to the Crystal Isles RV Resort to dry off and get some rest before another day of kayaking.


Related: Top 10 Campgrounds and RV Parks in Ocala, Florida

Kayaking near Cocoa Beach Florida
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Rv Regrets
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Male hiker wearing wetsuit putting on a life vest
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Safety First

Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or not, you probably already know that safety must come first when paddling. For this reason, it’s imperative that you do your research and know what to expect from each body of water before heading out. Additionally, you will want to pack life jackets, as well as a light source and reflectors if there’s any chance you’ll be out after dark.

Female hiker puts a waterproof bag into the kayak
Dzurag/istockphoto

Invest in Gear

Besides life jackets and a light source, there are a couple of other items you’ll likely want to purchase before your first trip. Dry bags come in super handy for keeping all of your gear dry as you paddle along. Additionally, those who plan to kayak in cooler weather will want to consider a waterproof and windproof jacket and fleece layers to stay dry and warm.


Related: Cheap Camping Gear Buying Guide

Kayaks on RV Driving
Akshay Thaker 'Photovation'/istockphoto

Consider How to Transport Your Kayak

Obviously, you will need to be able to transport your kayak. Unfortunately, this can be a bit difficult when traveling by RV. Some people choose to use inflatable kayaks that can be deflated and put in the lower storage bays. (Simple, entry-level models for easy paddling can be very cheap.) If this isn’t something you’d like to do, you’ll likely need to invest in a kayak rack for your rig.


Related: A Deep Dive into Toy Haulers

Summer vacation with a camper
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Look for Waterside Camping

Camping right next to the water is an unforgettable way to experience an RV kayaking trip. If you can put your kayak in the river without ever leaving your campground, you won’t have to waste any time with travel and will have more time for paddling fun.


Related: 20 Beautiful Beachside Campgrounds Across America

Man Pulling Girl in Kayak out of the sea
SolStock/istockphoto

Plan for Pick-ups

Finally, it’s important to plan for pick-ups. If you’ll be paddling downstream, you will need someone to pick you up wherever you get out and drive you back to your campsite. Alternatively, if your campground is right on the water, you could have someone drive you to your starting point and plan to get out when you reach the campground.

Camping vehicle parked near the beach
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Time to Set Sail

There you have it, folks! You’re now ready to try your hand at taking a kayaking trip in an RV. Don’t have an RV of your own? Be sure to check out our RV rental options in each of these locations and find the perfect RV for you.


Related: Bucket List RV Trips for 2021