Recreational Vehicle Travel in Maine
Imagine the freedom of exploring Maine’s rugged coast and wildlife-rich interior in your own recreation vehicle, or RV. Pack and unpack only once, carry your favorite treats and camp within steps of the ocean or a quiet mountain lake without sacrificing your creature comforts.
The Basics of Maine RV Rentals
Self contained motorhomes come in three basic categories. The Class B is the smallest, and is usually some sort of van conversion with a heightened ceiling and longer frame. These are the easiest to drive and get the best gas mileage. Next up is the Class C, longer and with more passenger space and the familiar cab-over design. The largest is the bus-like Class A that can reach 40-feet in length and may have trouble accessing some roadways. Interstate 95 and Historic Route 1 that follows Maine’s coastline are usually not an issue. Some RV rental firms also offer travel trailers, which you must either tow with your own vehicle or have delivered to your campsite.
Leisure Maine Motorhomes (leisuremaine.com) located in Rockland, offers both self-contained motorhomes and travel trailers. As of this writing, Class Bs average $995 to $1,250 per week or $159 to $208 per day. Class A rates are from $1,060 to $1,410 per week, or from $177 to $235 per day. Summer is peak season, having the higher rates. Travel trailers range from $600 to $750 per week, or $100 to $125 per day, depending on size. If you are camping locally the trailer will be delivered to your campsite.
Destinations RV Rentals (destinationrentals.com) in the Portland area has similar rates and services, with the addition of pop-up camper trailers. These are the easiest to tow and have canvas sides that “pop-up” to create a comfortable living space. Another option in the interior is Rod’s Cycle & RV (rodscycleandrv.com) located in Madison and specializing in RV trailers.
In Kittery, at the very southern end of the state, is Maine Campers (mainecampers.com) specializing in Volkswagen Westfalia Campers. These are van conversions with retractable tops that can get into the smallest campgrounds. The only drawback for some is that there is no toilet. Currently these rent for roughly $800 per week from May until October. No winter rentals. Pick-ups are also available in Portland.
Camping in Maine’s State and National Parks
Camping in state and national parks can be true back-to-nature experiences. If this is the focus of your visit to Maine, you might consider getting a smaller RV. As an example, at the Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park, the maximum size for an RV is 35-feet long and 12-feet high and there are no electric or water hook-ups. This eliminates most of the Class A rigs. There are showers and restrooms provided. The payback is that your closest neighbors are other like-minded campers and visiting wildlife.
Baxter State Park, in the interior, allows motorhomes up to 22-feet long and 9-feet high on its roadways. The exception is a vehicle towing a travel trailer, which may be up to a combined length of 44-feet. Campgrounds that have tent sites, such as Roaring Brook and Trout Brook Farm allow RV camping during the summer season, roughly the end of May until October, weather permitting.
Bradbury Mountain State Park, near Portland has limited campsites for Class A rigs up to 35 feet. Rangeley Lake Park, in the interior, not only has a lakeside campground with a beach, but has two campsites that can handle Class A’s up to 40-feet. Sebago Lake State Park has one of the largest campgrounds and provides water and electric hook-ups. Perched on the edge of Sebago Lake, even the largest Class A rigs may reserve a spot within steps of the beach.
An alternative to the park system is the growing number of private campgrounds in Maine. Some are part of nationwide chains, such as KOA (koa.com) or member’s clubs like the Good Sam Club (goodsamclub.com). Anyone may access the websites and stay at these parks, members just get a discount.
Some examples of KOA campgrounds in Acadia are Bar Harbor Woodlands, offering a swimming pool, and Bar Harbor Oceanside featuring sites with ocean views. Both offer full hook-ups, wireless Internet access, can accommodate the largest Class A rigs and welcome pets. Other KOAs are found near Portland and in Skohegan, in the interior.
The Good Sam Club is a collection of private and public campgrounds that choose to be listed with their system. Some listings, like Aroostook State Park at Presque Isle and Sunset Point RV in Lubec, near the Roosevelt Campobello International Park, provide campground and contact information. Others, like the Mt Desert Narrows Camping Resort in Bar Harbor, also allow online reservations through the site.