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Trailers you can tow with passenger vehicles or SUVs. A great way to transform average cars into adventure cars.
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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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Set in the St. Francois Mountains of southeastern Missouri’s Ozark region, Sam A Baker State Park has everything you could ask for in an RV campground: opportunities for exciting outdoor recreation, interesting historical sites, and relaxing campsites to come back to at the end of the day. Facilities at Sam A. Baker campground are quite extensive, including electrical hookups for your RV rental, showers, laundry, drinking water, and a dump station. There’s also a park store where you can pick up basic supplies, though the town of Piedmont is right around the corner.
Most visitors to southeastern Missouri aren’t coming for fully-stocked campgrounds though, they’re coming to enjoy the natural surroundings, which Sam A. Baker State Park has in spades. Walk outside your campsite, and you’ll be treated to several miles of fantastic hiking trails winding their way through virgin forests. Got a boat? Hit up Clearwater Lake on the other side of Piedmont; you can also rent one from the marina if you don’t have your own.
The park is fairly well connected with the rest of southeastern Missouri via Highway 67 to Poplar Bluff - a modestly-sized city, but the largest in the region. It’s about 45 minutes' drive from the campground, while St. Louis, the largest nearby city, is almost two hours' drive away.
The Midwest doesn’t get much attention from outdoor magazines or TV shows, but the Ozarks are a veritable playground of outdoor adventure. Old-growth forests, lazy rivers, and the only area of significant elevation between the Appalachian and the Rocky Mountains make the mountains an incredibly popular region for camping and outdoor recreation.
Looking for a great hiking trail near the campground? One option is the Black River National Recreation Trail below Clearwater Lake. It’s only a few miles long and fully paved, making it wheelchair accessible and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Deer and turkey are frequently spotted alongside the trail, so keep your eyes peeled.
You could also spring for a float trip on the Ozark National Scenic Riverway. Outfitters in the town of Van Buren will get you set up with everything necessary for a day-long or multiday adventure on the water. Along the way, you’ll encounter loads of wildlife, some historic sites, and caves just waiting to be explored.
Rocky Falls Shut-in is another interesting site to visit when getting a rental motorhome near Sam A. Baker Campground. The falls are a series of small, gradually sloping waterfalls that can be climbed, with small pools for lounging beneath each one. Many families take their kids here during the summer, and the pools are shallow enough that no swimming skills are needed, and the current is very gentle.
If you’re hoping to hit the links when you book an RV in Wayne County, your best bet will be down in Popular Bluff. It’s less than an hour’s drive away and one of the only places in the region with an 18-hole course.
When you’re camping at Sam A. Baker Campground, you’ll be just outside the small town of Piedmont. A former railroad town, Piedmont has all the essentials needed for a great motorhome camping trip - a cluster of delicious independent restaurants (try the BBQ, you’re in Missouri after all), a couple of gas stations, and an excellent park next to the river if you need somewhere to hang out.
There aren’t too many attractions in Piedmont though; for that, you’ll need to drive down to Poplar Bluff. A much more extensive selection of restaurants is available there, and it’s home to the historic Mo-Ark Regional Railroad Museum. This place is a train enthusiast’s dream; it’s housed inside a depot with exhibits focused on the history of the Missouri-Arkansas Railroad and how it shaped the development of the region. Kids will love the model train set up at the museum.
However, if you’ve brought the kids along on this campervan rental adventure, there’s also an excellent waterpark in Poplar Bluff that is ideal for cooling off on a hot summer day. Waterslides and a lazy river, along with miniature golf and go-karts courses, make it the perfect place for a family outing.
If art museums are more your style, the Margaret Harwell Art Museum is a fantastic opportunity to take in the local culture. The gallery features an eclectic mix of exhibits ranging from paintings to sculptures. Feeling like making some art yourself? The museum has a few classes per week teaching sketching techniques, origami, and an assortment of crafts - check their schedule to see what’s happening during your visit.