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How to go RVing for Thanksgiving in Big Bear

Although Thanksgiving is nice when celebrated at home, it is also a perfect opportunity for travel. We always plan a holiday-themed trip with the kids and sometimes it best for us to take advantage of the four-day holiday. Hmmm. Where should we go? What should we do? Let’s load up the RV and hit the road. RVing is a great option for holiday travel! Why? Well, even though site rates are higher during the holidays, they are usually significantly less than hotel rooms for a group our size.

Many people I know love to take the RV out to the desert for Thanksgiving and enjoy all the rituals that go along with desert RVing, but that’s not my thing. If I’m going to have sand in my butt, it is going to be from the beach. Haha. Whatever your preference, RVing for Thanksgiving in Big Bear is really fun. In fact, one of our favorite trips is to RV at Big Bear Shores for this turkey lovin’ holiday. Thanksgiving Big Bear style.Gobble. Gobble.

Thanksgiving in Big Bear with kids

Thanksgiving camping in Big Bear

Drop Your Bags:

Big Bear Shores RV Resort: Beautifully located on Big Bear Lake, this RV resort is privately owned, which insures impeccably maintain sites. We love the views, we love the luxury lots, the amenities and we love the proximity to the village. Read more on Big Bear Shores RV Resort in my post, HERE. You can also see my ultimate guide to visiting Big Bear, HERE.

Thanksgiving in Big Bear

Thanksgiving in Big Bear

Get Your Grub On:

Thanksgiving dinner is a pretty important meal in most Americans households. Any talk of breaking tradition or even simply to simplify things is usually met with gasps and scowls. So what do you do when you are on the road, without the conveniences of your home kitchen and are still expected to produce a traditional family Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins’? Well, here is what we do:

We pre-prep all that we can at home. Stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce are all pretty much done before we leave and only require some warming up or simple assembly at the site which frees up the cook tops and small RV oven for things like sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes.

Thanksgiving dinner camping

Now the main dish…THE TURKEY! For a group our size, we can’t mess around with a small little bird. We need a big guy and that won’t work in an RV oven, so what do is bring a deep fryer. I was probably the biggest naysayer of deep fried turkey. It’s dangerous. It’s not going to be as good as a baking the turkey. Etc, etc, etc. Blah, blah. Well, Ozzy was in charge of the turkey this year and he was going to give our bird a dip in the Jacuzzi.

Thanksgiving in Big Bear

Frying turkey in Big Bear

I quickly shut my mouth at the first taste. It was probably the best turkey I’ve ever eaten. The skin was crispy; the turkey was moist and sinfully savory. Here’s to deep fried turkey! Just don’t be careful and don’t start a fire!


Yes, where we go beer, wine and spirits are a present, but when RVing during Fall, there is nothing like hot coco to warm up those freezing cold nights. Big Bear in November is cold, really cold, so get that fire roaring, gather round and drink something hot.

Thanksgiving in Big Bear

Thanksgiving in Big Bear

Entertain Me:

It is tradition to play football on Thanksgiving…why not play some with a view like this?

Thanksgiving in Big Bear

During the Thanksgiving weekend the village holds their annual tree lighting ceremony. It is quite an event with carolers, live entertainment and of course, SANTA!!

Thanksgiving in Big Bear

Also during the weekend is the Turkey Trot and the Mountain Christmas Boutique at the Convention Center.

That’s A Wrap!

Don’t be afraid to branch out this holiday season and have a little turkey trot of your own. Something about the crisp mountain air, the fresh scent of pine trees and warm coziness of a little village just gets me in the holiday spirit and sets the tone for the rest of the season: love, family and togetherness. This Thanksgiving and every Thanksgiving I’m thankful for my wonderful family and the desire among us all to be together to make every moment special and memorable. No matter where you are this season, at home or away, Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.

Do celebrate Thanksgiving or a holiday similar where you live?

How do you celebrate?


I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".


  1. Two years ago, our family had Thanksgiving at Zion National Park in Utah — in a campground. It can definitely be done. We also did a lot of prep work ahead of time and deep-fried a turkey. They are so good! The Big Bear area is absolutely beautiful, and I’ll bet it was pretty nice in November, weather-wise.

    • Yup, camping for Thanksgiving takes a little adjusting, but possible. The weather was nice in November. Crisp, yet sunny during the day. A bit cold at night, but we had the RV so it was all good.

  2. What a great location! It’s amazing to see that you are able to spend most of the time outside although it might be cold at night. We have never experienced RV but if we do it will be in the States! The proximity to nature and the lake is really inviting!

    • I think that’s what I love most about RVing, plenty of time outside with the comfort of the RV when you are ready to be cozy.

  3. That Turkey looks great! I have to say, I’m all for deep frying pretty much everything so it’s fine with me 😉 I’ve never been on a RV trip before, so I guess it’s all about picking the right place – Big Bear looks like it might well be that.

  4. I’ve never once been on an RV trip but it’s something my husband really wants to do – thanks for the tips!

    • I never thought I wanted to RV until my sister got one and started taking us on trips. Then we got hooked.

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