10 Tips for Picking the Perfect RV Campsite
Every RVer needs to think about a few things before deciding on a great place to camp with your RV rental. The perfect campsite can turn an ordinary trip into a truly memorable experience. On the other hand, the wrong campsite can make your trip uncomfortable, difficult and downright unpleasant.
To help you figure out the ins and outs of choosing a campground, we’ve compiled 10 tips to help you choose the right RV park or campground for you and your camper rental.
1. Your camping style
You need to think about things like whether you like to socialize or be alone and if you like being in town or out in the country. If you like meeting other campers, an RV resort with a clubhouse and group activities might be your style. On the other hand, if you appreciate alone time, a basic RV park or Bureau of Land Management or national forest campground might be fine for boon-docking. Likewise, decide if you need to be in town, or if you’d rather be out in nature.
2. Search RV campgrounds
Start with an online search “RV park” near your destination. See what’s available and read the user reviews. You may also want to check out Good Sam or Campground Views can help you not only find RV parks and campgrounds at your destination, but also photos and reviews. You can quickly get an idea of the amenities, restrictions, cell service, price and a lot more. Visitor reviews can be useful. However, it’s wise to take user reviews with a grain of salt; some fellow RVers can be quite picky and critical. If all you need is a basic RV park for a night or two, you might overlook minor complaints.
3. Make reservations as early as you can
While many people picture the RV lifestyle as one of freedom, it does take planning. Reservations are especially important if you plan to go to very popular places, such as Yellowstone or Zion National Park. The busy season in places like that can be booked solid a year in advance. Even out of the way places can get booked up, so it’s always smart to map out your trip and call ahead as soon as possible to make a reservation. If your trip plans change and you’ve placed a deposit, you generally are able to get it back but not always.
4. Length of RV, Pull-thru or back-in and 30 or 50-amp electrical
You’ll need to know the length of your RV relative to the campsite (if your RV is longer than the site it won’t work) and whether the RV has slide-outs that will fit (width usually not a problem). Furthermore, if you’re uncomfortable backing into a campsite with a trailer, ask if there are any pull-thru sites. However, not every RV park or campground has pull-thru sites so you may need to learn to back in (a good thing!) or just book another place that has the pull-thru site.
5. Satellite TV
If you have satellite TV on your RV rental you should request a campsite that is facing the southern sky and away from anything like trees or buildings that might block your line of site.
6. Dog Park
If you take your dog RVing, you may want to request a site that is near the dog park for convenience. Note all RV parks require pets on a leash and for you to pickup after them.
7. Quite Time
If you like it quite you should request not being located near the playground, pool or any other place people tend to congregate.
8. Your budget
You need to have a budget when you’re looking at campgrounds. If you’re planning on staying for a while, be sure to ask about weekly and monthly rates; most RV parks have greatly reduced rates for longer stays. However, that’s not true of state and national parks. Amenities can also make a difference in the price; if having a swimming pool, clubhouse and scheduled activities isn’t important to you, a basic RV park will save you money.
9. What do you plan to do?
You’re probably traveling to a certain place for a reason; that could be visiting Disney World, or a peaceful and quiet weekend in the forest. Consider the activities you have planned for your trip, and decide how close you want to be to those activities. If all you need to do is laundry and pick up groceries, then make sure your RV park has a laundry room and a grocery store nearby. Also, most RV park laundromats don’t have a change machine, so make sure you bring or can get the quarters.
10. Mobility issues
If you have mobility issues, make sure you ask for a space that’s close to the things you need, such as the bathrooms, shower, and laundry room. Most RV parks will be happy to accommodate you if they can.
While this is a lot to take in, after a while with experience, knowing how to find the right campground for you and your needs will become second nature.