No Regrets Camping: How NOT To Enjoy a Camping Trip

Numerous things can go wrong when you are camping and sometimes it’s completely out of your control, but other times it’s your own mistakes that can ruin your trip. Read along to learn some common camping mistakes and how to avoid them!

You don’t have to be the Born Survivor to enjoy a camping trip; there are options for every camping skill level and travel taste. Camping choices range from RV parks and resorts to the bare basics often found at national forest campgrounds or BLM (Bureau of Land Management) dispersed camping areas.

Whatever your preferences, here are 15 bad moves make while camping. 

Camping at Alamo Lake State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Ignore fire bans. As awesome as smores are, adhere to campground rules regarding fires. If the authorities in charge of the campground or national forest say no fires, they mean no fires. It is your responsibility to be fire safe when camping. Before you go, check to see if there are fire bans in place where you plan to visit, and act accordingly.

Camping at Tom Sawyer RV Park, West Memphis, Arkansas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Gather wood without checking. Even when fires are allowed, gathering of wood may not be. Ask first, and then gather only down and dead wood in designated areas. Never cut live trees or branches from live trees.

3. Start a fire with gasoline. Assuming that there is no burn ban, you should be prepared to start your fire with appropriate fuel. If not, then we hope you remembered your first aid kit.

Camping at Gulf State Park, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Burn wood that does not fit in the fire pit. So you found an awesome log that will burn for hours, only it doesn’t fit in the designated fire ring. And you forgot your hatchet. Your plan is to just lay it across the fire or stick in one end. It will only burn the part in the fire, right?  Wrong! Keep your fire to a manageable size. Make sure children and pets are supervised when near the fire. Never leave your campfire unattended

Camping at Fort McDowell Regional Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Miss the stars. How you could you ignore this amazing view?! It’s easy when you live in the city to forget that stars even exist. Look up at night when you camp. It’s life-changing. 

6. Feed the wildlife. As much as your social media page would be enhanced by photos of chipmunks eating potato chips, nothing about it is good for the animal. And then there are the campers that occupy your site next who will not be able to enjoy a sandwich without being harassed by begging critters.

Camping at Creekfire RV Resort, Savannah, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Play loud music. Camping is about enjoying the natural world. Try listening to the wind in the trees, the gurgling of the stream, or the chattering of the birds. Besides, your music is annoying to the neighbors.

Camping at Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8. Don’t give your kids camp chores to do. Camping is filled with life lessons for children. From setup to cleanup, there are confidence-building tasks that your kids should be doing. 

9. Stay glued to your devices. And don’t let your kids do it either. Camping is the perfect time for a digital detox. 

Camping at Columbia River RV Park, Portland, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Watch TV. Stars > Netflix anyhow. Every moment of a camping trip that you spend watching TV is a moment when you could have been enjoying your companions, your surroundings, and the simple serenity of doing nothing.

Camping at Edisto Beach State Park, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

11. Overestimate your vehicle. Don’t take a two-wheel drive SUV off-roading. Don’t take chances with bald tires or faulty gas gauges. Know what your vehicle can and cannot do and camp somewhere within that range of ability.

Camping at Hilltop RV Park, Fort Stockton, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

12. Overestimate your outdoor skills. Rock climbing on a cruise ship does not qualify you to climb the face of a mountain. Nor does watching two seasons of Naked and Afraid make you a survival expert. Be honest with yourself about your skills and plan accordingly.  

Camping at Arches National Park, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

13. Underestimate the wildlife. That ain’t no teddy! Bears, raccoons, and other wildlife can make your camping trip miserable if you underestimate their survival skills. They can unzip, unlock, and chew through things with astonishing efficiency. Learn how to critter proof your trip before you ever leave home.

Camping at SeaWind RV Park, Riviera Beach, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

14. Leave anything behind. “Leave no trace” is the campers’ creed, and it applies even in organized campgrounds. It means that when you pull out of your campsite, there should not be any sign that you and your group were ever there. 

Camping at Texas Lakeside RV Park, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

15. Disrespect the campground. Respecting the facility goes beyond simply cleaning up after yourself; it means not carving initials into picnic tables, parking only on designated hard surfaces, and finding a way to leave it better for the next guy, not worse.

Worth Pondering…

Take time to listen to the voices of the earth and what they mean…the majestic voice of thunder, the winds, the sound of flowing streams. And the voices of living things: the dawn chorus of the birds, the insects that play little fiddles in the grass.

—Rachel Carson

The Best RV Parks for Visiting America’s National Parks

A guide to the best RV parks near the most popular national parks

We’ve rounded up RV parks and resorts located near eight of America’s national parks. The campgrounds provide RVers with the best up-close views of the natural wonders of national parks from Joshua Tree and Saguaro to Great Smoky Mountains and Congaree.

Lassen Volcanic National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to steaming fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes. Lassen Volcanic is one of the few places in the world that has all four types of volcanoes—cinder cone, composite, shield, and plug dome—so you know a park that’s packing that much heat is definitely gonna have some cool sights to see. 

Durango RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where to stay: Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California

Distance to Lassen Volcanic National Park: 50 miles

Big-rig friendly, Durango is a 5-star resort 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. On I-5, Exit 649 (Highway 36/Antelope Boulevard).

Petrified Forest National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

The colorful rock layers of northeastern Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park form a visual display of eroded badlands, dating to the Triassic. The park is composed of two sections: the north section is a colorful badlands called the Painted Desert, and the southern section contains most of the petrified wood.

Wigwam Motel, Holbrook © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where to stay: OK RV Park, Holbrook, Arizona

Distance to Petrified Forest National Park: 25 miles

OK RV Park is a delightful find in Holbrook. Easy-on, easy-off the park is close to I-40. Wide paved interior roads with gravel double-up sites over 100 feet in length. Close neighbor is possible in opposite direction if the park is busy. Utilities including 20/30/50-amp electric service, water, sewer, and cable TV are centrally located.

White Sands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

White Sands National Park, New Mexico

White Sands National Park rises from the heart of the Tularosa Basin creating the world’s largest gypsum dune field. Typically, gypsum is rarely found as sand because it dissolves in contact with water. But, the isolation and weather patterns of the Tularosa Basin create a truly unique experience.

Hacienda RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where to stay: Hacienda RV Resort, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Distance to White Sands National Park: 60 miles

Big-rig friendly, Hacienda RV Resort is conveniently located off the I-10, exit 140, in Las Cruces. Paved roads lead to 113 spacious pull-through and back-in sites, many offering gorgeous vistas of the Organ Mountains. The park offers 30/50 amp service with full hookup (electric, water, and sewer), cable TV, and Wi-Fi.

Joshua Tree National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Joshua Tree National Park, California

Two major deserts, the Mojave and the Sonoran come together in Joshua Tree National Park. The hiking is fantastic! There is a variety of self-guided nature trails and longer hikes that offer different perspectives of the park.

Indian Waters RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where to stay: Indian Waters RV Resort, Indio, California

Distance to Joshua Tree National Park: 27 miles

With 274 full service sites with 50/30-amp electric, Indian Waters RV Resort offers two distinct landscaping themes for its concrete level sites: grass and desert landscape. All sites have views of the mountains or nearby ponds, towering eucalyptus trees, or gardens. The typical RV site is approximately 35 feet wide and 60 feet deep with two concrete pads, one for your RV and one for your toad/tow vehicle.

Grand Canyon National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

A universally recognizable iconic destination, Grand Canyon National Park is a true marvel of nature that’s on every RVer’s bucket list. A powerful and inspiring landscape, Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size. A deep gorge carved by the Colorado River about seventeen million year ago, the Grand Canyon stretches for more than 250 miles and is up to 18 miles in width and more than a mile deep in places. 

Grand Canyon Railway RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where to stay: Grand Canyon Railway RV Park, Williams, Arizona

Distance to Grand Canyon National Park: 54 miles

The only all-paved RV park in the Williams area, Grand Canyon Railway RV Park offers three types of RV spaces. Select from pull-through, buddy spaces, or back-in sites. All spaces are 50-amp and large enough for big rigs. Each space comes with high definition digital TV, wireless Internet, access to the indoor swimming pool and hot tub at the adjacent Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, new shower facilities and more.

Congaree National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Congaree National Park preserves the largest remnant of old-growth floodplain forest remaining on the continent. In addition to being an International Biosphere Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area, and a National Natural Landmark, Congaree is home to a 2.4 mile boardwalk loop trail, and canoe paddling trails.

Barnyard National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where to stay: Barnyard RV Park, Lexington, South Carolina

Distance to Congaree National Park: 25 miles

Barnyard RV Park offers 129 level and grassy sites with paved interior roads. Our site was in the 60+ foot range with utilities located near rear of site. Using a combined 25 foot sewer hose is more than ample to reach without unhooking the toad. Longer sites are also available. This is a pleasant park with big-rig sites.

Saguaro National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Saguaro National Park, Arizona

The park has two areas separated by the city of Tucson. The Rincon Mountain District (East) has a lovely loop drive that offers numerous photo ops and miles of hiking trails. The Tucson Mountain District (West) also has a scenic loop drive and many hiking trails, including some with petroglyphs at Signal Mountain.

Tucson/Lazydays KOA © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where to stay: Tucson/Lazydays KOA, Tucson, Arizona

Distance to Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountain District (East Unit): 15 miles

Distance to Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District (West Unit): 21 miles

Big-rig friendly (73-foot maximum length), Tucson/Lazydays KOA offers 360+ full-service sites with 30/50-amp electric service, cable TV, Wi-Fi, dog park, two pools, hot tub/sauna, workout room, playground, nature walk, pickleball courts, and food service.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina

The largest national park in the East, Great Smoky Mountains is also America’s most-visited national park. Wildlife, forests, hiking trails, streams, wildflowers, and more than 90 historic structures make this park unique and popular.

Two Rivers Landing RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where to stay: Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Sevierville, Tennessee

Distance to Smoky Mountains National Park: 25 miles

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 beautiful French Broad River. Wi-Fi worked well. This is resort living at its best.

Worth Pondering…

Nature was here a series of wonders and a fund of delight.

—Daniel Boone

10 Luxurious RV Resorts for Summer Travel

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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.

Bella Terra RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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.

Cajun Palms RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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.

Vista del Sol RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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.

Worth Pondering…

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.

—John Ruskin

6 of the Best RV Parks in Louisiana

Your guide to the best RV parks and campgrounds in Louisiana

Few states can match the charm, culture, and soul of the Pelican State. This zest for life makes Louisiana an excellent state to bring the RV. To help you on the journey to the bayou, here are six of the top RV parks and campgrounds in Louisiana.

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson

Cajun Palms RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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.

Cajun Palms RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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).

Frog City RV Park, Duson

Frog City RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Frog City RV Park opened in 2006. The park is located just off I-10 in Duson, a small town 10 miles west of Lafayette and deep in the beautiful Cajun countryside. With 62 spacious RV sites, Frog City offers Wi-Fi, cable TV, pull-through sites, swimming pool, coin-operated laundry, and private hot showers that are sparkling clean.

Frog City RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Paved interior roads for EZ-in and EZ-out and dog walk areas. The park offers convenient adjacent facilities including Roady’s Truck Stop with excellent fuel prices and great Cajun food (be sure to try their boudin).

Poche’s RV Park, Breaux Bridge 

Poche’s RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The appeal is all in the name, fish and camp in the heart of Louisiana. Poche’s RV Park has highly rated facilities, 88 Pull-through sites equipped with 30/50-amp electric service, sewer, and water. The park also features a clubhouse, showers, laundry, dog walk, playground and more.

Poche’s RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You’re guaranteed to reel the big one at Poche’s, the park boasts fifty acres of well-maintained ponds stocked with largemouth bass, bream, and catfish. No license is required and you can keep the fish you catch for a delicious fish fry. Try heading to Poche’s in early May when Breaux Bridge hosts their annual crawfish festival. 

Lakeside RV Park, Livingston

Riverside RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Easy-on, easy-off, Lakeside RV Park is big-rig friendly with 127 sites. Back-in sites are in the 55-60 foot range and spacious pull-through sites in the 65-70 foot range; 50/30-amp electric service, water, and sewer are centrally located.

Riverside RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

No cable TV (Baton Rouge and New Orleans channels available on antenna). Wi-Fi (Tengo) works well; no problem locating satellite. All interior roads and sites are concrete. Site amenities include picnic table and fire pit.

Reunion Lake RV Resort, Ponchatoula

Reunion Lake RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Reunion Lake RV Resort is a gated resort with top-rated facilities and service. Built around a scenic lake the park offers an adult pool with swim-up pool, poolside cabanas, a lazy river, giant hot tub, fitness center, and family pool.

Reunion Lake RV Resort © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Our Premium pull-through site will accommodate any size rig. With the utilities located toward rear of site one must unhook the toad and locate the motorhome at the rear of the site to access the sewer.

A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur

A+ Motel and RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This park is named as it gets an A-plus in our book. A+ Motel and RV Park have everything an RV wants and needs. There are plenty of bathhouses, showers, and laundry facilities to take care of all things dirty along with picnic tables, BBQ pits, a dog run and more, all under 24-hour security. 

A+ Motel and RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

We stayed at A+ Motel and RV Park in 2013 and again 2019. Sites have been added since our initial stay and now offer 118 pull-through and back-in sites. Big rig friendly our pull-through site has ample length to accommodate large RVs. Since utilities are located near the rear of the site one must unhook the toad and locate the motorhome at the rear of the site to access the sewer.

A+ Motel and RV Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Throw your line out at their private fishing pond, take the boat out or relax in the adults-only heated pool. Just choose which body of water you want to relax or get around on, Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River are nearby. You’re also right next to the great flora and fauna of the Creole Nature Trail

We selected this list of Louisiana RV parks and resorts from parks personally visited.

Worth Pondering…

Goodbye joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh
Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
My yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my oh
Son of a gun, well have good fun on the bayou

—Hank Williams, Sr.

What Makes an RV Park A Five-Star Resort?

A key factor in planning an RV road trip is selecting RV parks and resorts

Choosing an RV park sight unseen can be like playing the lottery. Many parks and resorts feature a variety of amenities, entertainment, and fun activities for the entire family and cultivate an atmosphere that’s welcoming for all ages enabling families to enjoy quality time together.

Gila Bend KOA, Gila Bend, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Choices for RV parks include luxurious RV resorts, activity-filled family destinations, 55+ parks, secluded natural settings, and basic parks conveniently located for an overnight stay. The quality varies from budget to high end resorts. And prices also run the gamut.

Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, Gulf Shores, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re looking for a five-star RV resort with all the amenities including 50-amp electric, water, sewer, cable TV, and Wi-Fi, there are several things to consider before making your decision.

When it comes to choosing an RV park, you deserve the best. Here’s how you can tell which RV parks are truly five-star resorts.

River Run RV Park, Bakersfield, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Quality Customer Service

Front desk staff should greet guests with a smile. Quality RV resorts hire staff that are good at customer interaction and have a great attitude. Staff should be well-trained and knowledgeable about RVing, the park, and local area.

Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Adequate Space Between Sites

A five-star RV resort should provide adequate space between sites with attractive landscaping that provide guests a sense of privacy and some breathing room.

Reunion Lake RV Resort, Ponchatoula, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pull-through Sites Are Spacious and Well Maintained

You know you’re pulling into a quality RV resort when the pull-through sites are long and spacious. A huge, defined site makes parking so much easier, no matter the type of recreational vehicle.

7 Feathers RV Resort, Canyonville, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Utilities Are Centrally Located & Up-to-date

Dumping waste is not something most of us really want to have to deal with. But, we have no choice. When an RV park offers up-to-date connections that are conveniently located, it makes the job that much easier. One should not have to unhook the toad in order to line up the rig to the sewer utility. The better resorts offer the choice of two sewer connections.

Two Rivers Landing RV Resort, Seviereville, Tennessee © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Wi-Fi

No longer a nice-to-have amenity, Wi-Fi is now an essential utility. A five-star RV resort should have quality Internet available at all RV sites. You should not have to lug your laptop and everything else you need to the clubhouse or Internet “hot spot” to get online. The internet is a daily tool after all and Wi-Fi is like the new electricity. And don’t nickel-and-dime me for this essential utility.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Convenient Way to Dispose of Trash

Trash stinks, so of course, you’ll want to be able to easily dispose of it. It’s always a plus if the bin is within easy walking distance from your site or—even better—if your trash is picked up.

Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Laundry Facilities Are Clean and Well Maintained

A five-star RV park provides a clean laundry room with an ample number of easy-to-use washers and dryers. The laundry room is conveniently located and all appliances are well maintained and in good working condition at all times.

Vista del Sol RV Resort, Bullhead City, Arizona

Picnic Tables

Picnic tables are a must when it comes to camping. A quality RV park will provide one in good condition. You don’t need to eat at the table—you can just sit and relax or work, read, play games, or enjoy a conversation while soaking in the surroundings.

Ambassador RV Resort, Caldwell, Idaho © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pet Area

An estimated 60 percent of RVers travel with their pets. A quality RV resort provides a dog park where Fido can frolic after being cooped up in an RV for an extended period of time. A fenced-in dog run and exercise area enables canines to run around leash free. A pet agility area with tunnels, hoops to jump through, teter-toters, ramps, a dog wash, and drinking fountain is an added bonus for your four-legged companion.

Jackson Ranchiera RV Resort, Jackson California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Please Note: This is part of an on-going series on 5 Star RV Resorts

Worth Pondering…

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.

—John Ruskin

What to Look For in an RV Campground?

A key factor in planning any RV road trip is the RV parks and campgrounds

Plans for your next RV road trip is mostly complete. You’re excited to hit the open road with your family, but haven’t given much thought to where you’re camping. Obviously, you know your destination. But, you aren’t sure how far you want to drive the first day, and whether you want to make some stops along the way. You’ll just Google the nearest campground when you feel the time is right to set up camp for the night.

Columbia Riverfront RV Park, Woodland, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But before you hit the road, you should be aware that not all RV campgrounds are created equal and no one park is perfect for everyone. Campers can find RV parks in state parks and national parks as well as privately owned campgrounds. And the quality varies from budget to high end resorts.

A key factor in planning any RV road trip is the RV parks and campgrounds.

Meaher State Park near Mobile, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re thinking that all campgrounds are the same, think again. Every campground has its own set of rules and regulations, as well as different amenities. If you aren’t looking for full hookups, you can be less picky about what campground you choose for your stay. But if you’re looking for all the amenities including electric, water, sewer, cable TV, and Wi-Fi, there are several things you should look for before making your decision.

Catalina State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Choosing an RV park sight unseen can be like playing the lottery. Many parks and resorts feature a variety of amenities, entertainment, and fun activities for the entire family and cultivate an atmosphere that’s welcoming for all ages enabling families to enjoy quality time together.

Before leaving home, take the time to check out the best camping parks along your intended route and at your camping destination.

Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Choices for RV parks and campgrounds include luxurious RV resorts, activity-filled family destinations, 55+ parks, secluded natural settings, and basic parks conveniently located for an overnight stay. Prices also run the gamut.

Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There is a variety of campgrounds, each offering different amenities and activities. These include private RV parks; casino camping; national, state, and county park campgrounds; Army Corps of Engineers parks; and service club facilities.

Harvest Moon RV Resort, Adairsville, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What are the best tips for choosing a campground and campsite that you and your family will love?

Irwins RV Park, Valemount, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nothing can make or break your RV vacation like choosing a campground not suited to your family’s needs and interests. When selecting a park, think about your camping style and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you camping with a young family?
  • Are you an active couple looking for outdoor adventures?
  • Are you snowbirds who enjoy on-site activities and the opportunity to meet new friends?
  • How large is your RV?
  • Consider your needs when choosing an RV park.
  • What amenities do you require? Full hook-ups? 30- or 50-amp electric service?
  • Are you looking for a rural or urban setting?
  • What is your nightly/weekly/monthly camping budget?
  • Do you travel with pets?
Cajun Palms RV Resort, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Whether you plan to stay one night, a weekend, a week, or longer, there are campgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada to meet your needs. All are unique. No two parks are the same. Each campground will provide something a little different.

You decide. Remember, getting there is half the fun.

Whispering Hills RV Park, Georgetown, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Be aware that RV parks and campgrounds have varied rules for check in and check out. Although some parks have 24 hour check in, most have set times that you must check in and check out. Some parks do not permit check ins prior to noon. If you plan to stop after hours call ahead to make the necessary arrangements.

Worth Pondering…

“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.

—Lewis Carrol