You've heard about it, and have been curious about the annual festival that takes place in the middle of the desert in Nevada. The Burning Man Festival has been happening every year since 1986 and is held at the Black Rock Desert. The festival attracts thousands in a celebration of dazzling visual arts and the symbolic torching of a gigantic effigy of a man. It all seems like a great way to spend the Labor Day weekend, so why not try it with an RV?
Before you do, take heed:
You can rent a motorhome from several rental or depot locations. Black Rock Desert is 123 miles from Reno, 260 miles from Sacramento, 340 miles from San Francisco, 512 miles from Las Vegas and 580 miles from Los Angeles. RV rental companies take advantage of their location and usually hike up the rates in depots closest to the desert. This means the closer the office, the higher the nightly rate. If possible, consider collecting and returning in offices further in California and Nevada, like Los Angeles or Las Vegas. It's a longer drive, but still a great way to save.
There are no restrictions on the length of RVs allowed into the campgrounds, so you can get away with a large motorhome. However, parking can be a problem and longer vehicles are very difficult to park. Try to find a smaller vehicle, like a 23-25ft Class C RV. If you can get something even smaller, then parking should be a breeze. Just keep in mind that toilets are far between so a self-contained vehicle (equipped with shower and toilet) is highly recommended. This will also make it easier to store and dispose of grey water from washing and showering.
If you want to browse motorhomes by capacity, use the links below:
It's a desert, so how cold can it possibly be? Evenings happen to get very chilly out there, so sleeping in an RV lets you escape the dust and cold nights. If you're planning to camp outside, don't forget to bring some extra sleeping bags, blankets and warm clothes. But pack lightly. Theft and burglary are still a common petty crime so keep your valuables safe by storing inside the RV or leaving them at home.
If you've already thought about it, why not check for the rates now? Prices are usually reasonable at least 9 months before the Burning Man season. That's right, 9 months. Remember that it's not just the Burning Man season, it's also Labor Day weekend so everybody else is planning a short vacation. Try not to leave this trip to the last minute or else you'll be looking at getting nightly rates at $300+ or no vehicle at all.
So you've survived it. Now the problem is actually driving OUT of the desert and back into civilization. Be prepared to see dirt everywhere, most especially on the RV. Most rental companies charge heaps on cleaning fees so if you can, try to wash the sand off yourself. Don't forget to check their Burning Man rental policy and avoid the shock of having to pay for extra charges AFTER your holiday.
Burning Man is always held the week prior to and including Labor Day weekend.
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Source: Google Maps