Jenny The Trailhead X RVshare!

Last month, B and I were gifted a wonderful experience from RVshare.

A little about RVshare before I divulge our wonderful experience: think of it as a hotel on the road! You can rent a camper in your area; or even fly to a different city and rent an RV (or travel trailer, or camper van!) and explore by highway! They have many options; including pet friendly, drivable, towable and even deliverable – where your rental can be brought to you. If you are an RV owner, you can list your camper as a rental and make extra income!

Day 1

Our trip began on Sunday, May 1st and sprawled into the week, coming home on Wednesday the 4th. In that time we were able to camp in and explore 3 of Missouri’s State Parks (fun fact: Missouri has 92 state parks, totaling more than 150,000 acres!) and check out many of the surrounding areas.

We arrived to our pickup location around 11am. After chatting with the RV owner, getting the keys, asking questions and going over the pre-trip checklist we were on our way!

Our first night was spent at Onondaga Cave State Park. Missouri is often referred to as “The Cave State” and this park is a fine example of why. Along with available cave tours, the park has a couple hiking trails to choose from, as well as a campground and access to the Meramec River for fishing, boating, swimming and floating.

Onondaga Cave
Deer Run Trail – 2.5 miles
Here is the listing for the dog friendly Winnebago Solis we rented.

We enjoyed a busy day of driving, hiking and getting situated and cozy for the first night in the van.

Day 2

Bright and early Monday morning we awoke and checked out the park Visitors Center & store and then headed to our next destination, Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park.

A shut-in is an Ozark term for a river that’s naturally confined within a deep, narrow channel. The river becomes unnavigable even by canoe due to the rapids and narrow channels produced as the stream encounters a more resistant rock that is more difficult to erode.

Johnson’s Shut-Ins is has a unique geology, and is tucked inside one of the oldest mountain ranges in the country; the St. Francois Mountains.

We began to get some light rain which was the trend for the day. We spent a lot of time relaxing in the van; reading, napping and watching movies. We took the dogs on short walks when the rain would break. The Shut-Ins trail is actually not dog friendly, so prepare for that! We followed the park rules and didn’t go down to the river this day.

Day 3

It rained heavy overnight, but dried up just in time for us to head to our last campsite of the trip at Hawn State Park.

But first, we had plans to visit Elephant Rocks State Park and the Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site on the way. At Elephant Rocks we hiked the Braille Trail and the Engine House Ruins Trail. Elephant Rocks holds some of the best views in the state of Missouri, as well as some of the most unique features. The rocks are formed from 1.5 billion year old granite!

From here, we drove about 15 minutes away to check out the Battle of Pilot Knob at Fort Davidson. If you’re a Civil War history nerd like me, this is a great stop to get out and stretch your legs while learning about one of the battles that took place in Missouri. (More than 1,000 battles took place in Missouri, making it the third-most fought-over state of the war, after Virginia and Tennessee. In 1861 alone, the war’s first year, 42% of all battles were on Missouri soil.)

Finally we arrived to Hawn State Park. This is one of the most beautiful parks in Missouri and it’s only an hour and 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis. Here, we set up camp and utilized the very nice shower house and bathrooms. We took a long walk around the campground and briefly onto the trails. The tall pines in this park are truly amazing. There are backcountry sites you can reserve in advance for a backpacking adventure while combining the Whispering Pine & White Oaks trails.

We were able to enjoy a fire on this night finally, as the rain and wind had subsided for good. We made dinner, listened to some music and headed in for the night to escape the chill in the air.

Heading Home

On our last day with the van it was hard to get moving. Our gracious hosts allowed us a late checkout, so instead of needing to be back by 10am, they informed us any time that day would work! We slept in and then began the process of packing up and returning back to the suburbs. Ending any camping trip is sad, but we really had a great time and going home was difficult! We wished we had more time.

Our experience with RVshare was seamless and enjoyable. From booking to pick up to driving and setting the van up and finally, returning. If you’d like to rent or list your own RV with RVshare, click here!

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