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Living quarters in the front with dedicated space for hauling motorcycles or other “toys” in the back.
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Popular with small families and first-time RV drivers who want a little more room than a van. Comparable to driving a truck.
The smallest and nimblest of fully enclosed RVs. Drives like a van. Loves posing for Instagram.
A formal-sounding name for camper van, but just as photogenic.
Drivers should be comfortable driving bus-sized vehicles and dealing with parking limitations. Great for delivery.
If you can drive a truck, you can drive a truck camper. Makes roughing it significantly less rough.
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Big Lake State Park is one of the premier outdoor recreation and camping destinations in Missouri’s northwest corner and one of the best places for camping with an RV rental. The 407-acre park sits in an oxbow section of the Missouri River, creating one of the largest marshlands in the state. The region is popular for swimming, fishing, bird watching, boating, and picnicking, and the Big Lake Campground on the edge of the park is a fantastic place to base yourself when renting an RV.
Campsites at Big Lake can include electrical hookups or no hookups at all, depending on your desired level of comfort. Drinking water, showers, and restrooms are centrally located within the park, and there’s a dump station available if you need to empty the tanks on your rig. The park even has a small swimming pool for some morning laps or cooling off after a big day of adventuring. There are also two playgrounds where the little ones can run around in the evening, which are equipped with slides and climbing equipment.
Big Lake’s location in the rural northwest means you should never feel crowded when staying in the RV campground. However, the campground is easily accessible from Interstate 29, which runs between Omaha and Kansas City. Both of the metropolitan areas can be reached in about two hours' drive if you feel the need for some big city fun when you choose a rental motorhome at Big Lake Campground.
Big Lake is the most obvious choice for outdoor recreation when you’re staying in the area. If you’ve got a boat, the park has a ramp for convenient launching, but if you don’t, tandem canoes and single-person kayaks are available for rent onshore. There’s also a small swimming beach located next to the boat ramp. Anglers will enjoy the lake’s ample stocks of bass, catfish, and carp.
The next closest spot for enjoying nature when you book an RV in Holt County is the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge. Most visitors choose to explore the park via the auto road that loops around the wetlands to showcase hundreds of bird species and dozens of mammals endemic to the area. Those wanting to stretch their legs a little can set off on one of the park’s hiking trails to get a better look at the majestic animals; just don’t get too close.
If you’re up for the drive, Indian Cave State Park is only 40 minutes' drive from Big Lake State Park and has some fascinating petroglyphs to explore. The caves are thought to have served as a shelter for Native Americans living in the area several thousand years ago, but not much is known about their culture or history. The state park also includes a partial reconstruction of the town of St. Deroin, which was once a popular ferry for crossing on the Missouri before the railroad made it obsolete. It became a ghost town soon after, and much of the town was washed away in a flood in the 1920s. A few buildings remain, which are a treat for urban explorers looking to poke around a little.
If you’re just looking for a bite to eat or a store to pick up the essentials, you won’t need to go far when motorhome camping near Big Lake. There’s a small general store just outside the state park, and Mound City, about 15 minutes' drive away, has several bars, fast food joints, and casual dining spots to choose from. As far as attractions go, it doesn’t have much to speak of.
Falls City, just over the Nebraska border, is the closest town with any attractions when you choose a campsite at Big Lake Campground. One of the popular things to see in Falls City is the John Philip Falter Museum, which is housed in an old bank building and is dedicated to the life of John Philip Falter, an artist known for its work on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post during the mid-20th century. Most of the exhibits display his colorful covers, which are rotated out regularly to make room for previously unseen works. It’s exactly the sort of niche museum that’s perfect for road tripping with your rental RV.
There’s also the Falls City Library and Art Center; it’s primarily a public library, but visitors can enter a small art gallery inside that displays pieces from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's collection. It’s not very big, but worth seeing while passing through town.
Brownville, which is 45 minutes' drive to the northwest of Big Lake, has even more attractions like a community theater, a folk art museum, and a railroad history center. The railroad museum is particularly interesting with a restored depot building housing artifacts from the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railway along with an actual caboose from the town’s railroading heyday.