When you’re prepping for an RV trip the RV parks you’ll be staying at might be the last thing on your mind. After all, there’s so much other, more exciting stuff to think about—like where you’re going and all the fun things you’ll do along the way and once you get there.
But it’s called RV camping for a reason. No matter how amazing your destination is you’re going to spend a considerable amount of time at your RV Park. You want to make sure you find one that fits your needs and will ensure your family is safe, happy, and comfortable.
Fortunately as RVing has grown in popularity, more and more RV parks have popped up across the country ranging from cheap lots with no services to luxurious affairs with every amenity you can imagine. When it comes to deciding which is right for you, much will depend on personal preference and travel style. Maybe you don’t need all the extras and just want to be in close proximity to the sightseeing attractions you came for. Or maybe you want the full-on resort experience complete with water slides, ice cream socials, and a day spa treatment.
No matter where on the spectrum you find yourself there are a few questions to ask that will help you find the perfect RV Park and campsite.
The wonderful web is so informative for campers. In fact, RV park websites carry an abundance of information—even offering ways to reserve sites online. However, many of us simply prefer to call and SPEAK to a human! (You’ll see a few reasons why here: Don’t Book a Campsite Online. Call the Reservation Desk!).
How RV parks work
Before we dig into these RV travel questions and ideas, let’s talk about how to find RV campgrounds in the first place. After all, you can’t ask these questions if you don’t have anyone to call.
Since RV Parks can be found all across the US and Canada no matter where you’re headed, you’re sure to find at least a few options. A great way to get started is to check online by searching “RV resorts near me” or using your destination zip code. Also check out sites such as Campground Views, RV Park Reviews, Allstays, and Good Sam.
Once you have a few RV parks to choose from, it’s time to dig in and figure out which one will best serve your needs. Here are 10 questions that will help you make your decision.
1. What does your standard site offer and what is the cost?
RV Parks usually advertise a daily rate but what’s included for that cost can vary from park to park. Will you have electrical and sewer hookups? Water at the site? Cable TV? Wi-Fi? And if you do have hookups will they be the right amperage? (Most sites offer either 30 amps or 50 amps and which one’s right for your rig will depend on its size and type.)
2. Do you have pull-through sites/back-in sites/pull-in sites?
Some travelers prefer pull-through for quick and easy departure in the morning. Others may prefer back-in sites given the layout or how their windows face in the rig. Pull-in sites generally are for motorhomes; for example, pulling-in a site right on the waterfront.
3. Can your RV Park accommodate an RV of this size?
If you drive a big rig, you’ll want to double check to make sure it’ll fit in their available campsites. Not every RV Park is set up for a 43-foot diesel pusher with slide outs—especially if it’s an older campground that was designed before that technology existed.
4. Does your RV Park have pet restrictions?
Are certain breeds excluded? (If you’re traveling with pets, it’s critical that you make sure they’re actually allowed on the property.)
RV park rates
How much do RV Parks charge and what does it cover? Here are some money-related questions to ask.
5. What fees aside from the advertised daily rate can I expect?
Even less expensive RV parks might not actually be all that cheap. Quoted prices don’t always include every fee you’re responsible for. For example, the park may allow pets but charge extra for them. Some parks charge a fee for Cable TV and/or Wi-Fi. To avoid sending your camping trip with a case of sticker shock make sure you’re aware of additional fees.
6. How long can I stay and can I decide to extend?
Looking to get away for longer than a weekend? Different parks have different restrictions as to how long you can stay so if you’re looking to stay for a month or longer you might have to specifically seek out long term RV parks. Most state and county campgrounds impose a two-week camping limit. And even if it’s a shorter trip, be sure to ask ahead of time if an extension is possible. That way, if you decide you haven’t had enough fun yet it’s easy to keep the party going.
Best RV campgrounds
You likely already know you should check your RV campground’s reviews before you book—but even the top-rated RV campgrounds might be incompatible with your needs. Here are some questions to ask before you get there.
7. Does your campground offer shady spots with tree cover or will my rig be in the sun?
Even if you plan on running your AC, camping in the sun will make for a much hotter experience than you’d find under the natural shade of trees. But at the same time, trees can make for a sticky mess of sap and bird droppings on your RV roof. Also consider that during a severe storm wind can break off large branches with the potential of damage to your RV or toad/tow vehicle. (Decide whether you want to camp in the shade or in the sun and be sure to ask the campground ahead of time if they have a site that fits your preference.)
8. Is the campground quiet?
If there’s one thing that makes every single camping trip better it’s a good night’s sleep. Be sure to ask the RV Park representative if the park is quiet or if it’s in range of highway traffic and other nearby noise sources.
Luxury RV resorts
If you’re planning to camp in an RV resort you might desire specific experiences. Make sure your campground offers what you want.
9. What amenities does your RV resort offer and what are the hours?
What’s important to you in your RV campground? Do you want to lounge by the pool while the kids while away the afternoon in the game room? Maybe a grill or a fire pit is your must-have—nothing beats fresh s’mores while you’re camping, after all. No matter what’s on your list of dealbreakers make sure your campground meets them before you book a site. That way, you won’t face any disappointment when you arrive.
10. Are there organized activities?
Luxury campgrounds often hold organized events ranging from ice cream socials to game or movie nights. If you’re interested in such activities be sure to ask what’s on the schedule and when so you can plan accordingly.
RVING IS BEING adventurous.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.