Fri., Oct. 18, 2019
The Camp in Bend is a great way to enjoy Oregon city
The vintage trailers at The Camp offer visitors a chance to stay in a comfort, a short walk away from downtown. (John Nelson)
BEND, Ore.— It’s rare to find an RV park in the middle of a city and rarer to find one that’s as good as The Camp.
The Camp’s amenities are all brand new, refurbished from a former RV park called Keystone, which dated back to the 1950s. Though RV parks are no longer allowed in the city limits, this spot was grandfathered in.
The appeal of The Camp is undeniable. You can walk or ride a bike to all of Bend’s hot spots within minutes. And the facility itself is top-notch, with spacious sites, working WiFi, and a gorgeous public area with a firepit and gas grills. Oh, and corn hole!
If you’re a vintage trailer nerd, you’ll delight in finding several beautifully restored examples that are available for nightly rentals, along with a gorgeous tiny house.
Could this be the start of a trend? Let’s hope so.
“It’s about location for most people who stay there,” said Lucas Nelson, owner of The Camp. “It’s so central to Bend.”
That’s a huge bonus in a town like Bend, with a vibrant downtown filled with shops, restaurants and breweries. Crux Fermentation Project, one of Bend’s best breweries, is just a quarter-mile away.
The Camp’s very cool aesthetic is attracting a younger crowd of RVer, another bonus, Nelson said. More and more millennials are getting in the RV game, and The Camp has a certain hipness factor that works well for this market.
“The RV industry has had record sales in recent years,” Nelson said. “The millennials are the driving force.”
We hung out at the firepit and patio area and met several travelers with young children, who were drawn to Bend’s famous outdoor attractions. Unlike a lot of RV parks, The Camp’s aesthetic seems to invite socializing in its public spaces.
The Camp will stay open all year, another bonus for skiers who are drawn to Mt. Bachelor, one of the Northwest’s biggest and best resorts.
“The Sprinter van crowd is traveling all winter long,” Nelson said, and he’s hoping they’ll use The Camp as a base to explore the winter recreation.
For those who want posher accommodations, The Camp offers several beautifully restored vintage trailers that have extra insulation for cold winter nights. A company in Bend called Stratoglide did the work.
“It’s next-level stuff,” Nelson said.
The Camp also offers nightly rentals in its Tiny Cottage, beautifully designed with its own full bathroom (including a bathtub.)
Nightly rates to stay in the vintage trailers start at $150, depending on time of year. The Tiny Cottage starts at $175 per night.
Bend Ale Trail
If you like craft beer, Bend is one of the best destinations in all of America. Dubbed Beer City, USA, it has the highest number of breweries per capita in the country.
We stopped in at Deschutes Public House, where we shared an excellent pizza— the Locals’ Favorite features oyster mushrooms and Italian sausage to accompany a tasty Pacific Wonderland lager, available only at the pub. Deschutes is the original craft brewery in Bend, and it’s good to see they continue to draw big crowds with an extensive lineup. Along the ale trail, we’ve also enjoyed the beers from Crux, and Immersion.
Check out the latest Bend brewery news at visitbend.com/bend-ale-trail.
Today’s Going Mobile Question
As we head down the West Coast, where should we make sure to stop among the redwoods of Northern California? Send us your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass them along in the next column.