Every RV newbie needs to stop and think about a few things before deciding on the perfect campsite. The right campground can turn an ordinary RV trip and into a truly memorable one, but on the other hand, the wrong campground can make your trip difficult, problematic, and downright unpleasant.
To help you better understand what you need to do to choose a campground, we’ve put together 8 tips that will help you choose the right RV campground for you and your rig.
Know your camping style
You need to consider whether you like to socialize with other campers or be alone, and if you like being out in the country or in town. If you like meeting and socializing with other RVers, an RV resort with group activities and a clubhouse might suit your style. On the other hand, if you crave alone time, choose a campground or a basic RV park close to nature.
Search an RV campground review site
Websites like www.campgroundreviews.com can not only help you find RV parks and campgrounds close to your destination, but also user reviews. You can quickly get an idea of the amenities, cell service, restrictions, price, and a lot more.
Visitors to the listed campgrounds also leave reviews, which can be helpful. However, take some user reviews with a degree of skepticism; some RVers can be quite critical. Some will leave reviews complaining about stuff like the grass was too long, or the neighbor’s dog was barking. Remember, reviews are subjective. If you just need a basic RV park for a night, you can overlook minor complaints. However, if more than one reviewer leaves the same serious complaint, such as the area is known for crime, definitely take that into consideration.
Make reservations as early as possible
While many people believe the RV lifestyle all about spontaneity and freedom, the truth is, it takes planning. Reservations are particularly important if you want to go to very popular places, like Zion National Park or Yellowstone. The tourist season in popular places can be booked solid as much as a year in advance. Out of the way places, especially those on route to popular places, can also get booked up. Consequently, it’s a good idea to make a reservation as soon as possible.
30 or 50-amp and Pull-thru or back-in
You need to know if your RV needs a 30-amp or 50-amp hookup. Many RV parks and campgrounds only have 30-amp, so you need to know this before you make a reservation.
Also, not every RV park or campground has pull-thru sites. If you’re uncomfortable backing in, ask if they have any pull-thru sites. This is something you can also check on an RV park review site; see if there are many comments that the sites are tight and hard to back into. While every RVer should learn to back up their rig, it’s worth asking about pull-thru sites.
While most RV parks and campgrounds allow pets, some do have restrictions and the most common restrictions apply to dogs; some RV parks might not allow bigger dogs or certain breeds. If you are traveling with a Pitbull, Rotweiller, or other breeds that are perceived to aggressive, you need to ask. Yes, we know your Pittie is a real sweetie, but unfortunately, some places do have restrictions. If your dog is good to go, make sure it is leashed at all times, and bring a supply of poop bags.
You should try and keep to a budget when you’re searching for campgrounds. If you’re planning on staying in one location for a while, be sure to ask about weekly and monthly rates; most RV parks have reduced rates for longer stays. But, that’s not true of state and national parks, they simply go daily and generally have a two-week limit. Amenities and location can also affect the price; if a park with a clubhouse, swimming pool and activities isn’t important to you, a basic RV park in an out of the way place can save you money.
What are your plans
You’re probably going to a certain location for a reason; that could be visiting family, going to Disneyland, or a peaceful weekend out in nature. Think about the activities you have planned, and decide how close you need to be to those activities. For example, if you have purchased 4-day passes to Disneyland for the entire family, you don’t want to waste any of that time driving.
If you’re on the road, and all you need to do is laundry and grocery shopping, make sure your RV park has a laundry room and a grocery store close by. Keep in mind, most RV park laundry rooms don’t have a change machine, so also make sure you can get the quarters you need.
If you or a loved one has mobility issues, be sure to ask for a space that’s close to the things you need, such as the restroom, showers, and laundry. Most RV parks will be happy to accommodate your needs if they can. Likewise, many state and national parks have designated handicapped sites, so be sure to check for that.
After a few trips, knowing how to find the right campground for you and your rig will become a natural part of trip planning.