RV camping in the great outdoors is a great way to spend time with your family. Whether you are in a fifth-wheel, travel trailer, or motorhome, knowing these unspoken etiquette rules of RV camping will make your next adventure go smoothly for your family and your campground neighbors.
Be a good neighbor
Whether camping in an RV or tent, being a good neighbor will set the tone for your stay. Following the rules of campground, etiquette is an easy way to ensure that everyone can camp together in harmony.
Know the rules
RV parks and campgrounds have rules for everyone’s comfort. Some RV resorts have more rules than others. Upon check-in, your host will go over those rules or hand them to you to read.
Don’t cut through other campsites
Everyone pays for a designated site to park their RV. Respect your neighbor’s space by not walking through their campsite.
Keep it quiet
Most campgrounds have designated quiet hours. These hours take effect typically around 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Be respectful and turn down your music and keep noise at a minimum. If you are getting to your campsite after hours, do the minimum to set up. You can always finish setting up in the morning.
Be respectful of each other’s space by not overflowing your own RV camping site and into your neighbors. If you bring a bunch of gear, like bikes, chairs, and outdoor games, make sure it fits inside your site.
Keep it clean
No one likes a dirty site. The campground caretakers do their best to clean up before you check-in, but sometimes there’s trash left on the ground or in the fire pit. Follow the old camping adage of “leave no trace” and double-check that all your trash is picked up before you pull out.
Hook it up correctly
Full hook-up sites have sewer, water, and electric connections. If you are using the sewer and water hookups, make sure that you are using the ports designated for your site and that your hoses are in good repair. A leaking sewer hose is unpleasant and unsanitary.
Keep track of your kids
Most RV campgrounds are family-friendly and, yes, kids deserve to have fun too. However, the fun shouldn’t be at the expense of the neighbors in your campground. Make sure they’re supervised when roaming about and know the campground rules.
Leash your pets
Many RV campgrounds are pet-friendly, but you’ll want to double-check the pet policy before you arrive. Most campgrounds require that your pets be leashed and under your control, both for the safety of your pet and other campers. Many RV campgrounds require that the leash is no more than six feet long and that your pet is secured when not leashed (like in a crate or pen).
Don’t leave a barking dog
Dogs bark—that’s just a fact. However, not everyone is a dog lover. Being in a new area can be an adjustment for your pets due to new people and changing surroundings. Try to teach your pet how to behave around the campsite. If you have a dog that barks non-stop when left alone, consider taking him or her with you on hikes, or don’t bring them on your RV trip.
Seven tips for walking your dog when traveling in your RV
Like their human counterparts, dogs are eager to explore their new surroundings at pit stops along your travel route and once the RV has reached its destination.
But before putting the leash on your four-legged friend to explore the area or hit the trail, consider the following seven tips:
Plan Pit Stops along Your Travel Route: You will need to stop for bathroom breaks as often as you would let them out at home, so don’t expect to cruise down the highway for hours and hours; make sure to plan adequate pit stops along the way.
Adequate exercise is essential when traveling with dogs. Not only does exercise keep them healthy, it prevents bad behavior stemming from boredom or anxiety. Plan for at least an hour pit stop for each day of driving so that your dog can let off some energy.
The Right Leash For Dog Walking: Prior to taking the first steps on the walk, make sure you’re using the proper leash. Retractable leashes are great for expansive areas with lots of room to explore. However, if you’re setting out on a narrow trail with deep underbrush and heavy foot and bicycle traffic, you’ll need to be able to keep your dog from wandering into danger. In that case, keep your dog on the proverbial “short leash.”
Dog Walking Location, Location, Location: Be aware of the hazards and distractions that might stimulate your dog during the walk. Does your pooch dart after other dogs or people? If the answer is “yes,” try to avoid walking during high-traffic periods.
You might also scout out a less-busy walking area. If your dog’s unruly walking behavior is a problem, consider training options.
Walk Your Dog This Way: Always avoid allowing your dog to poke its snout into underbrush or exposed crevices under rocks; these habitats are homes to skunks, rattlesnakes, and other dangerous critters.
At the same time, avoid letting your dog get deep into the shrubbery or tall grass. During tick season, these little parasites like to perch at the ends of branches, just waiting for a free ride on your pet. Also, make sure your dog doesn’t venture into another RVer’s campsite. Not everybody loves dogs as much as you do!
Man-made Dog Walking Hazards: Be careful when walking your dog on lawns. Pesticides and fertilizers can be toxic to dogs. Also, exercise caution around flowers. Some dogs have an appetite for tulips and other pretty blossoms that might be planted throughout the RV park—these can cause stomach problems for canines.
What to Bring When Dog Walking: Regardless of the length of your walk, you should always pack plastic bags for waste—you never know when nature will call.
Water is another essential—even on relatively short hikes, dogs can become dehydrated. Portable water bowls will make drinking convenient for your pooch.
Last but not least, don’t forget dog treats—these will come in handy when you want to reinforce good behavior.
Train to Win At Dog Walking: Consider enrolling your dog in a training class before hitting the trail. Training will address problems your dog might have when it comes to dealing with other dogs, strangers, and wildlife. A well-trained dog means a happy human, and that will go a long way toward making your walk much more pleasurable.
More RV parks than ever are laying out the welcome mat for pets. Creating a safe, nurturing environment inside your home-on-wheels ensures that everyone stays happy no matter where the road takes leads.
If you plan ahead and are prepared, camping can be a rewarding, memorable experience for both owners and pets.
If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.
Are you a boater enthusiast and swimmer looking for a lakeside or oceanfront RV park? Prefer wide open spaces in the great outdoors with plenty of hiking trails? When deciding where to stay, whether for the night, the weekend, or the season, there are several things to consider.
Find the Right Site
Many RVers spend a lot of time searching for the perfect RV park while overlooking the fact that finding the perfect campsite can be just as important. Terrain, location, amenities, water sources, and traffic patterns—just to name a few—play a big part in selecting the perfect spot. Here are a few strategies to help you find the right site.
Questions to ask:
What’s your budget? Having a clear budget will help you make your decision when looking at various campgrounds and resorts.
Are you staying in an RV? Is everyone in your group staying in an RV, or will some prefer tent or cabin?
What is your length of stay? Is this an overnight stop, several days, or a longer stay?
What is your camping style? Do you prefer numerous amenities or low-impact camping?
Campgrounds are generally your most basic setup and are usually publicly owned and found in national, state, and county/regional parks. They tend to be more rustic, have ample room for tent camping, and cater to more outdoorsy types. They usually have greater emphasis on nature and scenic views than amenities and typical stays are shorter. It’s hit or miss as to the number of campgrounds that can accommodate big rigs so check the website or call the campground directly.
RV parks and resorts offer amenities and creature comforts, typically with full service sites. They are usually privately owned and offer both short and longer term stays. Most RV parks offer Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, showers, and dog parks.
RV resorts will be well manicured and in good condition. The roads in the park should be wide enough to allow RVs of all sizes to enter and leave sites easily. Some RV resorts are gated with manned gate houses and you might find that your RV must be of a certain caliber in order to gain entry. There is no industry standard; you may notice more luxurious amenities and surroundings according to price. These amenities may include exercise rooms, Jacuzzis, lap pools, in-house restaurants and/or bars, or golf courses.
Is your campsite spacious enough for a comfortably stay? Is there room to extend slide-outs?
Is there enough space to back in your rig? Do you require a pull-through site?
Are you bringing your pet? Does the campground provide pet-friendly amenities?
Do you want to a park with a bustling social scene or are you seeking solitude?
Take the time to research not only the campground or RV resort but your route, when you’ll be arriving, and any current restrictions related to COVID-19 or weather. And with today’s travel challenges, it’s even more important than ever to stay safe and be prepared. The RV park website is a great place to start. Supplement this with online reviews and personal recommendations.
And when you do call for reservations, be sure to give them a detailed description of your RV (length, height, toad) and what your requirements are in the way of hook-ups and additional services.
Make a reservation
Demand for RVs in the era of COVID-19 has surged across the country. Many Americans are skipping hotels and air travel for RV parks in this era of social distancing with the industry scrambling to keep up with the demand. With an increasing scarcity of available sites it is advisable to book a site well in advance. This maximizes the likelihood of securing your top choice site. Phone the park to make a reservation. Reserving online isn’t always a possibility. You’re also more likely to snag a great spot if you’re more flexible with your dates. Popular destinations occasionally have campsites available mid-week.
Discounts are typically given for longer stays. Are you able to escape for a week or even a month? Ask about specials and you’ll likely receive a lower price per night.
Many RV parks post their campground maps online. You can even check out the satellite view on Google Earth for a bird’s-eye view of the campground.
If you’re traveling with children, you might prefer a spot near the pool or playground.
When selecting the right campsite, you may face a trade-off and need to prioritize which factors are most important to you.
It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.
Parks, scenic drives, and hiking trails all wait—all on your own terms
The wide open spaces never seemed more inviting than now. Fresh air, gorgeous scenery, and a healthy dose of freedom—it’s all waiting for you along the highways and byways of America. If you’re ready for a getaway with both wide-open spaces and a lot of autonomy, consider an RV road trip around America.
When you’re in your RV, or camping, you’re in control of your environment. You can spend as much or as little time as you want in any one place. You can go off on a hike all day and come back and never see a soul. Such trips literally and figuratively “put you in the driver’s seat”.
As communities re-open after their COVID-19-related closures, keep in mind that some parks, businesses, and attractions may still be closed or have new protocols in place. Before traveling, familiarize yourself with local guidelines and regulations for the destinations you plan to visit.
Pick Your Wheels
There are vehicles for every style of trip from the converted minivan–style Jucy vans that sleep four and have a kitchen to full-size RVs with a bathroom. If you’re new to RVing, start by getting acquainted with the various types of RVs available. Options range from pop-up, teardrop, travel, and fifth-wheel trailers to motorized RVs that range in size from vans (Class B motorhomes) and cab-over morothomes (Class C) to long, bus-style motor coaches.
Rent or buy something that works best work for you and your family. Think about the activities you plan to do. If your plans involve regularly traversing hairpin mountain passes or embarking on day-long hikes, a campervan or truck camper would best fit the bill. Conversely, 45-foot motor homes equipped with cooking appliances and large wastewater holding tanks work well for large family get-togethers or cross-country trips.
Choose a vehicle that’s compatible with the area you plan to explore and within your budget. You’ll love having the extra space of a motorized RV if you’re exploring the desert or mostly traveling along major highways. That said, a smaller camper van might be better suited for the scenic drive along California Highway 1, Beartooth Highway to Yellowstone, and other winding roadways.
Most rentals do not require a special driver’s license. Ahead of booking make sure to ask about rental insurance and roadside assistance plans. Take advantage of a quick RV training session before revving up. If you plan on bringing along a furry friend, check the pet policies specific to your rental. Perhaps most important is to book early.
Choose Your Scenery
There are hundreds—if not thousands—of amazing places to visit across the country. Do you want to do a coastal or mountain drive or go off the grid for a bit? State highways and county roads tend to feature scenic drives filled with more beauty than interstates, so stop and take some photos, smell the flowers, or just marvel at nature when venturing off the beaten path. Taking the scenic route can reveal some unexpected locally owned gems that get overlooked. Pecan pralines in Louisiana, BBQ in Texas, green chile cheeseburger in New Mexico.
Want the journey to be just as meaningful as the destination? Check out these scenic byways. Looking to do an epic cross-country road trip along a beloved American roadway? Check out our guides to Route 66, Gold Rush Trail, or the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Maybe you’re a history buff or a foodie? You could plan your camping trip around either of those themes—and many more, to boot. Here are some of our best road trip ideas for patriots, wildlife lovers, and haunted house enthusiasts.
California dreaming? Got Georgia on your mind? No matter what part of the country, there’s a road that can take you there—so go for it. And be sure to stop at neat little towns and roadside attractions along the way.
Start Browsing Campgrounds to Create Your Itinerary
Almost any destination can be made better—or significantly worse—by choice of campground. It’s hard to relax if you don’t have access to clean showers or if your neighbors keep you up all night with noise.
While the coronavirus has prompted many to cancel their travel plans, some families are turning to RVs to travel safely this summer
Many RV resorts around the country are destinations unto themselves offering numerous amenities and activities that appeal to adults, children, and four-legged friends alike. Whether they have amazing sports facilities, on-site spas, casinos, or even a swim-up bar, these RV parks offer fantastic amenities.
While traveling by RV is low risk because it’s self-contained and you’re exposing yourself to fewer people, the risk does increase when you go to a resort. It is important to adhere to local guidelines when traveling and to check with the resort to see what will be closed for safety.
Here are the top 10 luxury RV parks you should visit to this summer.
Jackson Rancheria RV Resort, Jackson, California
New in 2008, Jackson Rancheria RV Resort is part of a casino complex. Big rig friendly 50/30-amp electric service, water, sewer, and cable TV are centrally located. Wide, paved interior roads with wide concrete sites. Back-in sites over 55 feet with pull-through sites in the 70-75 foot range. We would return in a heartbeat. Reservations over a weekend are required well in advance. Jackson Rancheria is conveniently located in the heart of Gold Country.
Bella Terra RV Resort, Foley, Alabama
Expect to find an upscale Class A motorhome ownership resort. Daily, weekly, and monthly stays welcome. Lot sizes range from 3,500 to 4,500 square feet with paved pads approximately 16 feet x 75 feet and a paved patio. Select from pull-in, pull-through, or back-in sites. Paved streets. Cable TV, Wi-Fi, telephone, and 200 amp service capability.
Once settled in, consider the “Grand” clubhouse and zero entry infinity pool with Jacuzzi and dry sauna and various patios overlooking the lake. Inside you will discover the great room with large screen TV, movie theater room, fitness center, dry sauna, pedicure/massage room, and lounge/bar area. Other amenities include a fenced-in dog park.
Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Sevierville, Tennessee
Two Rivers Landing is a luxury RV Resort nestled along the banks of the beautiful French Broad River. A 5-star resort with 25 river front (drive-in sites) and 30 river view (back-in sites), Two Rivers Landing offers 30/50-amp electric service, water, sewer, and cable TV (65 channels) conveniently located centrally. Interior roads are paved; individual sites are concrete, 70 feet in length and 22 feet wide. All sites surrounded by beautiful landscaping. Our drive-in site faced the river. Wi-Fi worked well. A beautiful sunset looking out our front window. This is resort living at its best.
Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California
Big-rig friendly, Durango is located on the Sacramento River. Most sites are pull-through, 70-90 feet in length, and 30-35 feet wide. In addition there are 11 riverfront sites and 21 water-feature spaces (fountains); these sites have utilities on both sides of the concrete pads enabling fifth wheels and travel trailer to back onto the sites and motorhomes to drive forward maximizing the view and water features. In addition, there are a number of buddy sites.
Buckhorn Lake RV Resort, Kerrville, Texas
This upscale resort makes for a perfect home base to explore the Texas Hill Country. All sites are paved, have a paved patio and offer satellite TV, Wi-Fi, and instant-on phone. Relax around the two heated swimming pools/spas. Tennis courts. Adult fitness center overlooking the creek. While staying in the park, make it a point to see the “Club” section, a unique approach to the RV lifestyle. You’ll definitely want to make this resort a repeat stop on your RVing agenda.
Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana
New in 2009 with paved streets, Cajun Palms offers long pull-through sites that range in length from 55 to 75 feet. Not to be ignored are the back-ins to the lake in the 55-60 foot range. Pull through and back-in sites have 20 feet of space between each concrete pad.
A full service resort, Cajun Palms features numerous traditional as well as high tech amenities. Accommodations consist of over 300 deluxe RV sites and 25 cabins. RV sites have full hookups, 30- and 50-amp, 70+ channels of digital cable, and on-site water and sewer. Easy-on, easy off Interstate 10 (Exit 115) at Henderson (near Breaux Bridge).
Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington
Big-rig friendly, Columbia Sun RV Resort is a new 5-star resort that opened in 2013. Spacious sites, manicured grass on both sides, wide paved streets, and a perfect 10/10*/10 Good Sam rating. Washington’s’s Tri-Cities area—Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland—is a great area to visit to explore the outdoors while still being close to shopping, dining, and wineries. The Columbia Sun Resort has a heated swimming pool, hot tub, fitness room, game room, dog runs, sports court, and a playground.
Ambassador RV Resort, Caldwell, Idaho
Ambassador RV Resort is a 5-star resort that is easy-on, easy off (I-84 at Exit 29) with 188 full-service sites, pool, spa, sauna, and 5,000 square foot recreation hall. Features 30-foot x 85-foot short term pull-through sites, 35-foot x 75-foot long term pull through sites, 45-foot x 60-foot back-in sites, and wide-paved streets. Pets are welcome if friendly and owner is well trained.
Reunion Lake RV Resort, Ponchatoula, Louisiana
Reunion Lake RV Resort is a gated resort with top-rated facilities and service and all-concrete roadways. Built around a scenic lake the park offers an adult pool with swim-up bar, poolside cabanas, a lazy river with tiki bar, giant hot tub, fitness center, family pool, basketball and pickleball courts, fenced-in dog park. Our Premium pull-through site will accommodate any size rig.
Vista Del Sol RV Resort, Bullhead City, Arizona
This area has needed a new 5-star RV resort and in November 2015 a new Roberts resort opened with paved streets. The 88 wide concrete sites are terraced both back-ins and pull-in in the 65 foot range with paved sites and patios. One of 14 pull-in sites, our site (#6) faced to the west northwest with views of the hills and mountains as well as Bullhead City, Laughlin, and the Colorado River.
50/30/20-amp electric service, water, sewer, and cable TV are conveniently located. Resort services include Wi-Fi, two pools, one spa, fitness room, billiards/game room, daily activities, Doggie Park, gated entry, and clubhouse with commercial kitchen and serving area for groups. Within this gated 55+ community one can also purchase a 400 sq. ft. model home or a manufactured home in varied sizes.
RVing with Rex selected this list of 5 star RV resorts from parks personally visited.
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.
One of the primary benefits of RV travel is that your pets can enjoy the great outdoors all day and always sleep in the same space at night
More and more RVers are traveling with their beloved pets
and finding it makes the experience even more enjoyable. RV travel and pets
are, in most cases, a good mix.
RV travel with your pets can be rewarding for you and your
family’s pet but the key to a successful camping trip or any mode of vacation
travel is advanced planning and preparation, common sense, and sometimes a
dose of creativity.
Most dogs and cats can adapt to the RVing lifestyle by
following these three tips for a pet-friendly RV travel.
Make the RV Their
When you travel without your favorite pillow, don’t you feel
just a little lost at night? Cats and dogs also feel the same way when they go
places without their familiar stuff. Animals rely so much more on their sense
of smell than we do so when they go to places that lack odors from their most
familiar objects, their world becomes confusing.
You can help your pet adapt to your home on wheels in
Spend quality time together inside the RV during the days
leading up to your departure
Take along their favorite bedding, toys, and even a rug
Create a pleasant environment with their favorite treats
Practice leaving your pet alone inside the RV well in
advance of your departure gradually increasing length of time
If your dog is crate trained, use it―if not, consider using
a baby gate to keep your dog confined to a small interior area
Keep the Routine
As humans, we love the refreshing routine change that
RV vacations bring into our life, but it can cause confusion for pets. Minimize
their mental chaos by sticking to daily routines during RV travel.
Sleeping in is nice, but your pets will thank you when you
awake as close to your usual hour as possible.
Keep morning rituals the same: walk, potty, eat breakfast.
Stick to their usual eating pattern.
Take your dog on that last potty walk of the day at the
When traveling cross-country and switching time zones,
sticking to pet care routines is even more important. In his blog post
about helping pets adjust to time changes, Dr. Ernie Ward says “For most
pets, these changes are abrupt, unexpected, and challenging. They may ponder,
‘Why am I eating now? Why do I have to get up so early?’”
Wherever you go, RV parks will expect your dog to be on a
leash at all times. If your dog isn’t used to eliminating on-leash, you’ll need
to train him how to do so long before your departure date.
Nobody expects to get sick or injured while traveling, but
things do happen. Be prepared for pet-related emergencies.
Always travel with a digital or paper copy of your pet’s
most important medical records, including vaccination history and contact
information for your veterinary clinic. A good working relationship between a
pet owner and their veterinarian is the best bet to ensure the overall health
of any animal.
Carry a Pet First Aid Kit; don’t rely on ones made for
humans. There are numerous pre-packaged first aid kits that you can buy online
or at sporting stores.
Alternatively, ask your veterinarian to help you build a
good kit. Your vet knows the specific needs of your pet and can help you find
items to include in your kit specifically for your dog or cat, and the RV
activities you are planning.
If your pet is on a prescription be sure to pack an adequate
supply for the entire journey. Backup medicines for fleas, worms, and other
common illnesses are also recommended.
More RV parks than ever are laying out the welcome mat for
pets. Creating a safe, nurturing environment inside your home-on-wheels ensures
that everyone stays happy no matter where the road takes leads.
If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering
outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word