Well we did it! Our first RV camping trip is in the books. If you read my first blog post about camping essentials then you know what we were prepping and packing for! Come back here to shop for your camping trip!
As y’all know, I grew up camping, but it was tent and popup camper livin. We have never done the RV thing, but I was so excited to try it with the fam. So all it took was me mentioning it to one of my besties, and the wheels started turning.(literally 😂) We both have never been to Big Bend but have heard so much about it! I am so excited to share our trip with you. There is so much to do there, and of course we barely scratched the dusty surface.😉
This blog post is a recap of our RV travels and Big Bend Spring Break trip. We will cherish the memories made on this trip and hopefully it can help you if you are planning a trip to Big Bend.
Trip details: Two families (9 people) Kid ages 5-12. 5 days and 5 nights (2 days of travel)
We are about 9.5 hours from Lajitas, Maverick RV Park ~ (coming from Houston) Drive time in our RV took about 12 hours with stops for gas plus one stop for lunch.
DAY ONE – Travel
Full day of travel in the RV ~ We packed up the night before and hit the road around 5:30am. The most important part about packing your RV is to secure everything because it will shift and move around. Pack it all tight and secure in cabinets. Don’t leave anything on counters or open spaces because it will fall, move or fly around. We kinda learned this the hard way.😂 We left out a change of clothes for the kids, shoes, snacks and filled water bottles for the road. Plus chargers and battery packs for emergencies.
We stopped a few times to fill up the tank since we were told to not let the tank get below 1/4 tank of gas. We also planned to stop for lunch and stretch our legs for about an hour. There isn’t much to choose from in these small towns. We stopped in Ozona, TX and ate lunch at Hitchin Post Steak House. It’s quick, the service was great and the food was good. Perfect spot to stop for a sit down meal.
We wanted to make it before dark, and thank goodness for day light saving. We arrived right around dinner time. We checked in at Lajitas Maverick RV Ranch and got everything hooked up which was quicker than we had thought. We organized the food, coolers and got the beds organized. We did bring our own pillows, mattress pad and sleeping bags for the trip.
That night we cooked dinner on the Firedisc Grill and I had brought some already made green beans and potatoes we cooked in the RV oven. (which is TINY btw) The RV park & campsite had a picnic table and fire ring at each site. You could also rent a small grill from the park if needed. We were very impressed with the RV Ranch. It was clean, and the staff were all very friendly. The park has large spaces so you weren’t butted up to close to someone else. They also had a laundry mat, pool, game area, volleyball net and tons for kids to do!
Outdoor camping layering outfit:
Our weather started out chilly on the first day then quickly warmed up by the second day.
Rise and shine! Our first full day in Lajitas, Texas. We started the morning with breakfast at the campsite. Cereal and milk for the kids and eggs for the adults. We explored the camp ground, checked out the pool area, game room, laundry mat and general store. The general store was a great spot for anything you may have forgotten or if you needed a quick lunch, cup of coffee or firewood!
We booked a half day canoe trip with guides through Big Bend River Tours. It was a great activity for families and young kids could sit in the middle of the canoe if needed. (That’s what Weston did) The canoe van picked us up right outside the park around 3:30pm and drove us to our drop in location. Once we went through all the safety tips, rules and how to row…😆 we were off!
Our group had about 4 families so maybe 10 canoes + 3 guides each in their own canoe. We canoed down the Rio Grande River and the kids loved it. The guides pointed out fun facts along the way + it was pretty cool to be paddling down the border of Texas. My boys gave this activity 👍🏼👍🏼. There weren’t any rapids or deep water, so it was perfect for our younger age kid families. It also was challenging so would be an excellent activity for older kids too. They also have a full day option that would have been great for the experienced rowers.
Evening ~ We got back to the camp site sometime before 6:00. This evening we had a 7:30pm dinner reservation at Candelilla Cafe. The Lajitas Golf Resort is right across the street, so it’s an easy walk to and from the campgrounds.
The food was a Tex Mex / American mix. Plus the Thirsty Goat Bar was next door, so a fun spot to hang out and enjoy the scenery. The sangria and churros were a hit and my favorites. We all split some of the apps, fajitas, and the kids had burgers. This was an easy night for us with out any cooking.
Shop my outfit:
We started the morning picking up our cars that we rented from Lajitas golf Resort. We packed snacks, waters and lunches and headed to Big Bend National Park to hike Santa Elena Canyon. There is a fee to get into the park + it takes a little time to get in and find parking, so allow extra time for that. We parked at the overlook which adds about half a mile to the hike.
This was the start of the hike. A great spot to bring chairs, have lunch and relax after a hike! Perfect photo spot too! The Camelpaks were a hit with the kids and the best part was they stayed hydrated. I highly recommend these for any hiking outdoor trip.
More of the boys faves:
My go to hiking clothing – (temps were 80’s)
The Santa Elena hike was absolutely beautiful and worth the wait. It was a 3 mile round trip hike that was not only stunning but safe and easy for younger kids. Weston made the trek too with just a few piggy back rides. 😉 We all loved this hike and highly recommend this if you are hiking Big Bend National Park.
A Quick Afternoon Stop
We had heard a lot about the Terlingua Ghostown and you pass it when heading back from Big Bend National Park, so we made a quick stop just to look around. We had heard the Starlight Theatre was a popular spot but you have to get there and wait in line – no reservations unless you have a large party. So, we grabbed apps and drinks at the small bar next door and it was perfect! If you decide to do the Starlight, it opens at 5pm and you hang out in line with drinks while you wait. (Wait time is generally 2 hours) But people do it, so it must be worth the wait!
A great place to explore and grab dinner if you have time! The apps and drinks were perfect to top off our day of hiking!
The guys had an early tee time to play Lajitas golf course, so the ladies and kids slept in a bit, played at the campsite and walked around the resort until lunch time.
Ryan is a huge golfer and loves to play when we are on vacation. This course was on his list and he loved it. He said the scenery was absolutely beautiful and he wants to play it again!🙂 check out all the golf course information here.
While the men golfed we explored. The Boardwalk has a few cute shops to explore! We did a little shopping, walked around and let the kids play. This is also where zip lining is, rental car place, pizzeria, Thirsty Goat bar and more! Check out all the amenities here.
The Lajitas Cemetery was right outside the RV Park! The history and heritage was fun to learn about while staying in Lajitas.
The Major of Lajitas ~ Clay Henry
Bakery and Pizzeria at the Lajitas Golf Resort. They also have the most delicious ice cream but flavors sell out and are limited so hit the ice cream shop early.
Afternoon ~ The older boys had a reservation to zip line. This activity fills up quickly, so be sure to book it asap once your trip is planned. Weston and I hung back and had ice cream since the age was 9yrs. The big boys said it was really fun and the dads said it was great for beginner zip liners. Perfect for our younger kids. 👌 Click here for all the amenities the resort has to offer.
DAY FIVE ~ Last full day
We left this day open for hiking and exploring and decided to check out Big Bend State Park. This park is a lot closer to Lajitas if you don’t have a full day for hiking. First you must stop off at the park office and again, buy a parking pass for the day. We headed to Closed Canyon Trailhead to hike a 1.5 trek. This was shorter but also a lot of fun for the kids. The rocks were fun to climb on!
Shop my hiking outdoor outfit:
Again, this was an easy hike for the littles to do. Lots of rocks to climb on and amazing views. Our pictures do not do this trip justice. The views were amazing. It was so hard to believe we were in Texas still.
We both bought and loved the Merrel hiking shoes. They fit TTS and we extremely comfortable and necessary for hiking. I for my regular sneakers one day because I forgot to change and my feet were burning after an hour of hiking. So I would recommend the shoes as a priority for camping and hiking.
Afternoon~ On the way home from Big Bend State Park we stopped at a small river spot with covered areas and tables.
We brought extra clothes and shoes so they could walk on the rocks. The water was ice cold but felt perfect since this was the hottest day of our trip. (92 degrees)
Outside Playing and Extras!
Don’t forget the S’mores!
Maverick RV community is a lights out at 9pm community, so you can enjoy your campfire and the night sky! It’s beautiful! BUT we quickly learned these guys came out at night to hunt for food and trash, so make sure to clean up your site before going in to bed! Watch out for the Javelinas!!
We had the best time traveling and visiting Maverick Ranch, Lajitas and Big Bend! This is a must do in my opinion. You can also book rooms at the Lajitas Golf Resort if you would rather skip the RV part. 😉
Questions About The Trip
1. Is it cheaper to rent an RV as opposed to staying in a hotel with family of 5?
Answer ~ I think it depends on where you are going, how far away you are traveling, the length of your trip and the resorts / hotels you plan to look into. I would for sure look into the hotel room / resort route on some trips. We also know if we go back to Lajitas, we can stay at the resort ~ I believe it’s $400 ISH a night.
2. Did you rent your RV?
Answer ~ Yes, we did! My friend looked around and priced out surrounding RV rentals and found TX RV Adventures in Spring, Texas was the best route. The men drove together and left their vehicle there after picking it up. They have so many RV’s to reserve and you can do all the booking online.
Note – Kitchen options were important. Everything is obviously a lot smaller, so if you are doing a lot of RV cooking make sure you have one with an oven, stove and microwave and good size fridge. We also appreciated our bigger bathroom, so it was easy to shower and move around in there.
3. How was the sleeping?
Ryan and I slept in a king. I slept great! Something about the outdoors I guess. My older two boys shared a queen flat bed that sets above the driver and passenger seats. They used sleeping bags and pillows. My youngest slept on the couch with his blankets and pillow. It technically could pull out and make a bed, but it was easier to just lay him there.
This trip was one for the books! We had such a great time, laughed a lot and just enjoyed being with our family and sweet friends. I hope this blog post helps you plan your next trip. If you have been thinking about planning THAT trip ~ plan it! You’ll be so glad you did.
Thank you for reading and until next time.
If you missed my Camping Essentials for this trip, click here.