Play

How to choose an RV campsite

Perhaps you’ve arrived at the perfect campground only to find it nearly impossible to park in your spot. Or, maybe you’ve planned to kick back for a day of relaxation in the park only to hear the incessant sound of children splashing in the pool. Perhaps you want a lot of shade but find yourself on a site that looks like a golf course. There’s nothing wrong with these campsites; they just aren’t the right sites for your particular dream RV vacation.

Many RVers spend a lot of time searching for the perfect campground, while overlooking the fact that finding the perfect campsite can be just as important. Wonderful campgrounds have some terrible sites, and many mediocre RV parks have hidden gems that will blow your mind. Follow these tips to find the perfect campsite for you.

RV campers at campsite

Site logistics

Most RVers rightly pay attention to campsite length when picking a spot; however, you should also consider the logistics of the spot. If parking is one of your stress points, it is especially important to find a campsite that’s easy to get into. Some parks have tighter roadways than others, and some have a few sites at awkward angles. Don’t hesitate to call and ask the campground which site would be the best fit for your RV. Pull-through campsites tend to be less scenic, but they are a heck of a lot easier to navigate.

Location, location, location

Many RV parks post their campground maps online. Utilize this resource when selecting a site. If you’re traveling with kids, spots near the pool and playground make the fun easily accessible, while other travelers might want to be as far from the action as possible. If you’ll be walking to the comfort station, consider the distance between it and your site. Some parks have natural features, with prime spots nearby, so look for these on the map as well. Finally, think about how traffic travels through and around the park. You’ll find less road congestion far from the entrance. Similarly, avoid sites near highways if road noise is a concern for you.

Prioritize your wants and needs

Even in a beautiful RV park, campsites can vary greatly. Some parks have added sections over time, keeping up with the needs of new generations of campers; however, this means you might find a different atmosphere from section to section. Some have better hookups, but they might have fewer trees. Rustic sites often have a lot of natural ambiance, despite their lack of amenities. When picking the right campsite, you’ll often face a trade-off and need to prioritize which elements are most important to you.

Utilizing utilities

The right campsite has the right utilities to meet your needs. Again, these can vary across a campground, with most having a mix of hookup options. Electricity is often the first consideration, with larger rigs requiring a 50-amp spot. Travelers with smaller rigs will usually find 30 amps to be sufficient. If you plan to utilize a solar setup, you’ll want to find a campsite with plenty of sun.

Your next consideration is water. While most private parks have water hookups, access varies in state and national parks. Plan ahead if you’ll be foregoing water for a few days. Finally, sewer hookups can be the most difficult to obtain. You’ll have to decide which utilities you can and cannot live without.

Picture is worth a thousand words

While hookup availability and campsite location are very important, many campers have an ideal image in their mind of the perfect campsite ambiance. Some like lush landscaping, while others prefer wide, open spaces. Checking out campsite photos online can help you find the spot of your dreams. Some campgrounds have pictures of each spot on their campsite. The website campsitephotos.com is another great option. Look on TripAdvisor or track down travel blogs, as well. Don’t forget to check out the satellite view on Google Earth for a bird’s-eye view of the campground below.

Above and beyond

Whether you love falling asleep to the sound of a creek trickling by or want to hop out of your camper door and land on a sandy beach, you can find a campsite far beyond your wildest dreams. There are thousands of campgrounds in America, with some amazing campsites. So, how do you find these bucket-list spots? You have to do your research and connect with fellow travelers. Join RV-related forums, scour online reviews, or comb all the travel blogs you can find. Across the interwebs, you’ll find travel fanatics sharing their campsite secrets.

For overnight stops, campsite quality may not matter so much. But if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in a campground, it’s wise to also invest time in researching a great campsite. After all, it is your home away from home.