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Top 5 Reasons Why Offseason National Parks Car Camping is the Best | Tips to Save Time, Money, Have More Fun

Offseason National Parks Car Camping is the perfect way to take a road trip and stay on budget. Ditch the crowds and high prices, avoid bugs and travel in autumn and winter. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of sharing my travel experience with hoards of other people. Crowds of people make a holiday seem less relaxing and less personal.

Here are some indisputable facts about Offseason National Parks Car Camping:

               1 Roads into National Parks are less crowded

               2 Campsites are easier to grab

               3 The perfect photo is attainable

               4 Travel is cheaper

               5 Outdoor conditions are better


National Parks are Less Crowded in the Offseason

According to the LA Times: In 2017 the National Parks System had 331 million visitors. That is almost the population of the United States! March to October are the busiest months for most of the National Parks in the west. Did you know that park staff often temporarily close the roads into National Parks when they become too congested to let in more visitors? Offseason National Parks car camping means no waiting and no congestion.

These photos, below, show crowds of people at National Parks in the busy season (from

AVoid this mess with Offseason National Parks Car Camping

THis is why Offseason National Parks Car Camping is better...






Offseason National Parks Car Camping Tip 1:

The best place to get information on the quietest times to visit is by going directly to the park’s website.

Offseason National Park car camping is a great way to relax and feel close to nature. Your chances of getting a prime campsite greatly improve after Labor Day. Campsites are economical and if you budget car camp in the offseason,  you are less likely to be crammed into a site next to people who ride their dirt bikes at night, light off bottle rockets and (most importantly) blast Kid Rock at breakfast. Did you know that a Lost Campers budget campervan fits nicely into a tent site? No need to reserve an RV site.

Offseason National Parks Car Camping Tip 2:

Fewer crowds equate to greater chances of seeing wildlife.


The Perfect Photo is Attainable in the Offseason

The chance of you capturing that iconic photo, you know the one where you’re standing in front of an alpine lake with a mirrored reflection of the mountain peak in the background, is actually possible. You won’t have to worry about wildfire smoke ruining a photo either, besides that, wildlife photography is also easier. Not only are animals more likely to be visible in cooler temperatures they don’t like crowds either.

   Autumn & Winter = Off Season ↓                                    Summer = Peak Season ↓

This why Offseason National Parks Car Camping is the best...

Avoid this Banff, CN mess: Offseason National Parks Car Camping is Better







A Story About My Offseason National Park Car Camping

Let me tell you a short story about the time I camped in my Lost Campers budget campervan outside of Mt. Rainier National Park in the offseason. It was cold outside our van, but we had our little heater keeping us toasty inside. We were getting ready to fall asleep on our comfy mattress when all of a sudden we heard a strange, high pitched sound. We opened the sliding door to our van and saw green eyes moving towards us.

It was the local herd of elk. The heard split up into smaller groups and the females lead the young ones across a road to a field. They were calling to each other and we got to witness the entire thing. In the morning we awoke to the same herd grazing all around us. No one else was around to scare the elk away and I was able to take some great photos. You wouldn’t get to be a part of something magical like that if you were camping in peak season or sleeping in a hotel room.

Offseason National Park car camping Tip 3:

Lost Campers rents small heaters and extension cords for no fee.


Off Season National Parks Car Camping Is Cheaper

According to AAA, gas costs less in the offseason. The national trend is that gas prices go up after Memorial Day in May. In addition to this, even though the cost of gas has risen in the last decade, it is currently cheaper (on average) than it was before right before the housing crisis. Prices of most things go up in peak season – so it makes sense that traveling is cheaper in the offseason. Lost Campers budget campervans cost a third less in the offseason. Not only that, they include a lot of essential camping equipment for free with the rental. (More about that below.)

Offseason National Park car camping tip 4:

Lost Campers often run specials on their budget campervans in the offseason.


Outdoor Conditions are Better For Offseason Car Camping in National Parks

Would you rather travel through Death Valley when it’s so hot you could fry an egg on the hood of your car? Nope! To me, summer means heat, humidity, mosquitoes, those persistent and insufferable, little flying insects that get inside your nose and eyes. It means tornadoes and hail storms. Using your vehicle’s AC in summer causes your engine to get hotter and sometimes overheat. The offseason generally has better weather for travel.

The colors are changing, the air is crisper and the fog that is associated with many sections of the west coast make for a gorgeous photo. Even if you are traveling in a cloudy season it will make your roadtrip photos more impressive (moodier). Fall is my favorite time of year for a road trip, but depending on where you plan to visit, traveling in winter may not be a bad idea either. With a little planning, you will see things that other people don’t get to see. Snow-capped mountains, crystal clear lakes and animal tracks in the snow are all things you can look forward to if you travel in winter.

Offseason National Parks Car Camping with Lost Campers budget campervans with Roof top tent

Offseason National Park car camping tip 5:

Mosquitoes die or hibernate when the temperature is consistently below 50 C.

Travelers can take advantage of waiting a little later in the year to embark on an adventure. You could have the trip of a lifetime – all to yourself. The best way to take advantage of the shoulder season is by “getting lost” in a Lost Campers budget campervan. What are you waiting for?

Campervan Rentals Testimonials


Lost Campers Testimonials

Family-owned Since 2007  • Over 10,000+ Happy Campers

Budget Campervan rentals in Los Angeles, San Francisco &

Salt Lake City


#1 Campervan Rentals in the West


Here are just a few testimonials from our fabulous renters and what they have to say about getting “Lost” with us…



“The staff here is young helpful and really understands the campervan people.”

Joao T.    5 Stars*****  Lost Campers, Salt Lake City Campervan Rentals

Salt Lake City Campervans | Lost Campers Testimonials

Sierra in the woods. Photo compliments of Nora Montaye


“We rented a nice camper minivan to go south to the national parks, and had a great time! The Vans are discrete

enough not to scream tourist from 100 miles away. The staff here is young helpful and really understands the campervan people 😉

Rented before in LA, and will definitely rent again from this place :)”




“I would happily use them again and recommend this rental company to friends.”

Desiree   5 Stars***** Salt Lake City Campervan Rentals

Salt Lake City Campervan Rentals Lost Campers Testimonials

Lost Campers meeting other Lost Campers along the way and making friends….photo compliments of Diane Skurski


“Clean, budget-friendly, and well-stocked campervan that we got to use for our Utah adventure. I absolutely loved that there were no ads on the vans, especially when we saw how tacky some of the other ones looked. If you want something comfortable and reliable that doesn’t scream “I’m a tourist” this is the one! I would happily use them again and recommend this rental company to friends.”


Some awesome reviews from Facebook!

We had a great trip with our van! Very convinient car, nice staff, easy to ride & park! We went from LA to SF with no trouble and such wonderfull landscapes. Super vacations !

Good office location and competitive rates. They were super easy to deal with and the car was great 👏🏻👏🏻

Michiel W reviewed Lost Campers Budget Campervan Rentals & Hire — 5 star

Easy going company, nice staff, good service and well maintained campervans. They are ‘unmarked’ so you don’t stand out as a tourist, which I think is an advantage over rentals that have the company name written on the cars. 
Well equipped van. The bed is easy to prepare and pretty comfortable. Overall a very good experience with this company.

Good price. Staff were great and easy to deal with, with quick response time via email. Van ran well and suited our needs

Barry T reviewed Lost Campers Budget Campervan Rentals & Hire — 4 star

We picked up our Dodge camper at 3rd st in San Francisco.  3 weeks later we returned it, tired, gloriously happy and our Dodge ‘boots’ was none the wires for wear.  After two days in Frisco we headed to Chicko, then next our first night in the redwoods national park.

Next night Vancouver Washington with reallies then the long haul back at Baker city, then Layton / Salt Lake City.  Next was 3 more Utah days in the wilderness at a friend’s off grid house north of Canab … here we got to go to Zion, Bryce Canyon and experience loads of wonderful things in this high desert.

Then we stayed at the Beaty RV park of the Space station… eating st the happy burro … what a great wild town.  This was followed by one night in FURNACE creek RV park of Death Valley … where boots performed brilliantly on the 98 degree heat…

Apart from a hot night we leafy early next day for yosemite staying just outside the park at 6950 feet at lee vining at the monovista park  Yosemite included seeing a bear!!!  Then via the sequoias at Mariposa we returned for a few more days in SF.

Overall lost campers were brilliant – we had to take Ng them twice which was a real comfort for us down under travellers  The bedding, cooking gear, car, security comfort were all Aok … driving at Arizona interstate legal speeds of 80MPH and moving from 284ft below sea level at 98degrees f. To the next day at 9945 at Tioga pass entering Yosemite at 36f meant the Dodge was tested to a pretty high level… she never missed a beat! Never ran dry of water or oil, was reasonably economic, always started and was comfortable to drive and sleep in during our 3650 mile adventure.

Lost campers for president!  We will be back next year with only one camper hire company in our sights… lost campers

BTW… the staff went out of their way to accommodate us two (post 60s) adventurers…

See you next year

Barry T and Shelley M New Zealand

Our experience with Lost Campers was so good and incomparable.

The price was so much more affordable than other companies and the service was above and beyond.

Before we left on our road trip, they threw in so many extra things to make our experience on the road that much better. I’m talking fire wood, extra sleeping bags and an inverter so we could charge all our electricals.

The van was modern and reliable and super comfortable to sleep in.

I would recommend lost campers to anyone travelling America by road. 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and car
Brenna J reviewed Lost Campers Budget Campervan Rentals & Hire — 5 star
June 28, 2018

We had an amazing time in our little van travelling up the west coast! It became our little home in the great American wilderness.

The van was stocked with everything that we needed for a comfortable trip. The van itself was very modern and clean.

All the staff were super helpful to deal with throughout our trip, much more attentitive and accessible than hiring from a big company, and at such a great price. Great way to travel throughout America, couldn’t recommend more!

Chris R reviewed Lost Campers Budget Campervan Rentals & Hire — 5 star
June 28, 2018

We hired a campervan from these guys for a couple of weeks and travelled up the West coast from San Francisco and dropped it off in Seattle. We wanted to travel without drawing too much attention, so the plain white van was exactly what we wanted.
The van was in great condition, super comfortable, and had all the extra stuff we needed-cooking gear, chairs, stove etc.
All the staff were super friendly and great to deal with. Will definately recommend to friends. Thanks all for your kindness. 

Julie A reviewed Lost Campers Budget Campervan Rentals & Hire — 5 star
June 5, 2018

This was our 2nd time renting with Lost Campers and I would 100% recommend them. When we received the van it was spotless! All the dishes and bedding were neat and tidy. They even filled up the clean water tank for our sink. They were super accommodating, when we wanted to extend our trip they happily added days to our booking. We even had a few hiccups… I had a run in with a cement curb and they were quick to respond and work with our insurance company to get the issue resolved. I truly appreciated how understanding they were and customer service during that little incident. I’ve rented from other camper van services in the past and this is by far my favourite!

Brad G  recommends Lost Campers Budget Campervan Rentals & Hire.
March 2

Picked up Arlo, our Dodge Caravan, in San Francisco and dropped it off 11 days later in LA. The van worked like a charm, as did the bed and tricked-out kitchen in the back. We went from Yosemite, to Big Basin Redwoods, down the coast and onto Joshua Tree. Never worried about the car or where we were going to sleep. Arlo and Lost Campers get an A double-plus.

Clémence P  recommends Lost Campers Budget Campervan Rentals & Hire.
February 23

We spend an amazing trip in California with “Paul Car” from Lost Calpets.
We had all we need for an unforgettable road trip ! 
Don’t hesitate to book your car. 😊


Cedric R  recommends Lost Campers Budget Campervan Rentals & Hire.
February 11

We had a great trip with Lost Campers. Frankyboy (all cars have their own name) took us all the way to arizona and back! the van was really convenient. I would recommend Lost Campers to everyone.

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Image may contain: people standing, mountain, car, sky, outdoor and nature
Klödia R  recommends Lost Campers Budget Campervan Rentals & Hire.
January 27

Nous avons adoré notre road trip! Nous avons eu un bon service à notre arrivée et au retour de la location. Je recommande sans hésitation!

We loved our road trip! We had a good service at our arrival and the return of the rental. I recommend without hesitation!
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Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor
Image may contain: sky, cloud, tree, outdoor and nature

We rented “Mr. Cool” in Los Angeles for a 10 day adventure of the West coast and returned in Seattle. The company was very responsive to all of our questions beforehand. The staff in Los Angeles was very friendly and made our after hours return in Seattle a breeze. While this campervan wasn’t as roomy as ones we had rented in the past, we made do and it served all of our purposes. The fact that it rained 8 out of the 10 days didn’t help, and we couldn’t use the canopy because it was so windy. Obviously no fault of Lost Campers, but something to think about if you plan on traveling this way. Awesome customer service and we would not hesitate to rent from them again!! Thanks guys!


And now for some super Google reviews!

Los Angeles  

jackie d
3 reviews・1 photo
I had a great 5 day adventure in my little minivan “Oliver.” I loved that the van didn’t scream out that I was a rental. It somehow seemed safer as a single woman traveling alone. The customer service was exceptional…they really laid out the landscape and gave me great advice of how to navigate vanlife. Highly recommend!

Braden D
3 reviews
We absolutely loved this company! It was our first time traveling in this kind of van, and we couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The vans are comfortable, safe, warm at night (even in the cold desert) and have great amenities. A huge plus is how discreet the vans look – great for parking in cities, with super tinted windows, not advertising that all your stuff is inside. 🙂 We would definitely recommend this company to anyone wanting to travel with more freedom and ease around the West Coast.
emilie d
2 reviews・4 photos
6 stars! Had a wonderful experience with Lost campers. When our van encountered an issue they went far beyond our expectations to rectify it. Very professional and awesome staff! Hope to rent from them again some day.
San Francisco
Local Guide ・11 reviews・71 photos
Absolutely LOVE this company! My husband and I used their van to travel up and down the coast of California and it was amazing! So convenient, affordable and comfortable. The people who rented to us were very helpful and flexible. We were made to feel safe and accommodated while renting through them. Excited to rent again!
Louise O
We have rented camper vans from Lost Campers on several occasions. What we love is that they are easy to drive mini vans that can be parked in any camping spot. They are basic, simple to use and everything you need for a camping trip for two; and the price is right 😀 Because we live close to San Francisco, we supplement with some of our own bedding and kitchen equipment, especially coffee making stuff as that isn’t provided with the van. Great team at the office to deal with. We will definitely be back. Maybe next time we’ll do a one way to LA and get the Coast Starlight train back.
Henry M
1 review
I had a fantastic experience. I spent a month in one of their converted camper minivans. Great price and excellent customer service over the phone whenever I needed any help. Also I liked how there weren’t any logos or advertisement on the minivan as it’s nice to be a bit more stealth and not advertise the fact that you’re a traveller.
Salt Lake City 
Leslie C
17 reviews
Great budget campervan! Cheapest one I found in Utah by far. I basically used it as a place to sleep rather than dealing with setting up tents and finding tent sites at night. The little sink in the back was handy for brushing my teeth but I didn’t use it more than that.
João T
Local Guide ・83 reviews・233 photos
We rented a nice camper minivan to go south to the national parks, and had a great time! The Vans are discrete enough not to scream tourist from 100 miles away. The staff here is young helpfull and really understands the campervan people 😉 Rented before in LA, and will definitely rent again from this place 🙂
Simon W
1 review
We took the van for 5 days and drove to Teton and Yellowstone National parks, and Antelope Island (which is a gem) driving just under 1000 miles return trip. We were really pleased about how smooth the whole Lost Camper hire and return process was, and how friendly and helpful Aspen and Drew were. The Dodge van was kitted out with everything we needed including sink, fresh water and waste containers , tables, bedding (and comfortable bed) chairs, gas cooker, crockery, etc. An added bonus was that we also picked up some essential things that previous campers had returned unused such as maps, bear spray (thankfully re-returned unused!) and laundry soap, etc. A great experience. The only thing that could be improved was information on the LC website about bringing towels. Highly recommended for people wanting an adventure..



Check Lost Campers Budget Campervan Availability Here Now



Lost Campers news 2014

Campervan rental Los Angeles

Lost Campers is happy to announce a new website coming at the start of October.  It has been a long time coming.  One of our friends commented recently that our website appears to have been invented the same time as the internet.  I did have a good laugh at that.  The truth is, is that we did not want to change it, because no matter it’s flaws, you, the customer loved it.  And we did not want to alienate you guys.  But alas we had to change the site.  It was something that was inevitable.  Anyways, there will be tonnes of new content plus heaps of new photos.  We are also going to make it really easy for your to get quotes and the booking process will simplified as well.  I am really happy with how it is going to look.  And I think you guys will be too.

Our blog.  This is something I plan to work on a daily basis.  I really want the blog to be a portal on my thoughts on the travel industry and what we are up too as a company.

Thanks for reading and have a good night.  It was supposed to rain here tonight.  And rain is very foreign in San Francisco as we are in a serious drought.  However it looks like it will miss us.  See you tomorrow!



Lost Campers