In August 2017, a group of RVers gathered in Madras, Oregon to witness the solar eclipse. It was an unforgettable experience for everyone as the Moon passed between the Sun and the Earth, creating a total eclipse that lasted for just over two minutes.
Once again, parts of North America will have the chance to witness a total solar eclipse. In April 2024, many RVers will be heading to campgrounds and RV parks along the path of totality to witness this incredible event on April 8th.
To help you find the best viewing spots and ensure your safety while observing the Sun, here are some tips.
Now, let's dive into the details.
When and Where is the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Happening in the United States?
The 2024 total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, April 8th. The path of totality will begin in southwest Texas, entering the state around 1:30 pm CDT. From there, it will travel northeast and end in Maine at approximately 4:00 pm EDT.
What to Expect During the Eclipse?
A total solar eclipse is where the Sun is completely blocked by the Moon. The area along where the total eclipse can be viewed is called the path of totality. A partial eclipse can be viewed from outside the path of totality.
If you want to see all stages of the total solar eclipse, you will need to be somewhere along the path of totality.
Of course, viewing the eclipse will depend on the weather. Cloudy skies will block your view, but clear skies will allow you to see all stages of the total solar eclipse. Find a place where you know the skies will be clear in April.
The Best Eclipse Viewing
For the best viewing experience, it is recommended to find a camping spot within the path of totality. Campgrounds and RV parks are currently accepting reservations, but they are filling up quickly. To locate the ideal camping spot, refer to the path of totality map and identify the prime viewing sites during the eclipse. Utilize RV camping apps and other resources to find suitable RV parks, campgrounds, or even consider asking friends or family if you can camp in their driveway.
In case you are unable to secure a camping spot on your own, don't worry. Numerous events will be taking place across the United States where you can stay in your RV and participate in the eclipse festivities. Simply search for "2024 eclipse events" using your preferred web browser.
2024 Eclipse Locations and RV Camping Options
The 2024 solar eclipse will begin in southwest Texas on Monday, April 8, 2024, and will travel northeast, ending in Maine.
Here are some of the locations along the path of totality:
- San Antonio, Texas
- Austin, Texas 3. Waco, Texas
- Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex
- Little Rock, Arkansas
- Hot Springs, Arkansas
- Carbondale, Missouri
- Evansville, Indiana
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Dayton, Ohio
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Buffalo, New York
- Rochester, New York
- Syracuse, New York
- Burlington, Vermont
- Houlton, Maine
For a larger map and more information on the 2024 Eclipse, visit the Great American Eclipse website. RV parks and campgrounds along the path of totality are already taking reservations and filling up quickly.
While availability cannot be guaranteed, here are a few campgrounds you can consider:
- McKinney Falls State Park near Austin, Texas
- Gulpha Gorge Campground in Hot Springs, Arkansas
- Archway RV Park near Mt. Vernon, Illinois
- Fern Lake Campground near Paducah, Kentucky
- Cedar Lane RV Resort in Port Clinton, Ohio, on Lake Erie
- Niagara Falls/Grand Island KOA Holiday in Niagara Falls, New York
- Houlton/Canadian Border KOA Journey in Houlton, Maine
Safety Precautions for Viewing an Eclipse
To safely view a solar eclipse, it is crucial to use solar filters, also known as special glasses. Be cautious when purchasing them and avoid buying from unreliable sources like Amazon, as there are many counterfeit products available.
Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse without proper solar filters can cause permanent damage to your vision. Make sure to refer to a list of reputable suppliers to obtain authentic solar filters.
Once you have them, carefully inspect for any scratches, tears, or damage. If they are damaged, do not use them. When observing a total solar eclipse, it is important to take additional safety measures.
Remember to never look directly at the sun, even during a total eclipse, as it can harm your eyes. If you plan to photograph any part of the eclipse, use a telescope, or even binoculars, ensure that you have a special-purpose solar filter to protect your eyes. Attach the filter securely over the front of the optics before using your devices.
Avoid the mistake of solely relying on solar viewing glasses or a solar viewer when looking at the sun through a camera, telescope, or binoculars. The sun's rays can penetrate the filter of the glasses or viewer, causing damage to your eyes.
During the brief period of totality when the moon completely blocks the sun, you can safely remove your eclipse glasses. However, for all other times, including partial eclipses, keep your glasses on at all times.
Additional safety tips for viewing a total solar eclipse include protecting your skin with sunscreen and appropriate clothing, wearing a hat, and supervising children who are wearing eclipse glasses or using an eclipse viewer. If you are unable to find reliable solar filters or have run out of time, you can create a projection box using household supplies to safely view the eclipse.
Being aware of what to anticipate, where to find the finest RV camping sites, and adhering to certain safety measures will enhance your readiness for the forthcoming total solar eclipse in 2024. Utilize the freedom that RVing offers and prioritize witnessing this extraordinary event. Remember, if you fail to seize this opportunity, the next occurrence in North America will not take place until 2044!