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What Type of Campground is Right for You

Photo by Jason Wynn

Campgrounds are diverse. Whether you want to be alone in nature or surrounded by familiar friends you can have it all while traveling in your RV. However, as the saying goes, home is where you park it, so it’s important to choose a good spot! First, you have to decide what amenities and luxuries you want from a campground. Then, you can choose which type of campground is right for you.

Resorts:

Just as the name implies, these types of campgrounds offer way more than a place to park your rig or drop your tent. Many of these RV Resorts are loaded with activities including softball, fish fry’s, bingo, bike parades, hay rides and so much more to keep the whole family entertained. Some resorts boast lavish amenities from private beach access to waterfront dining, and even spa and rec rooms to unwind from a long day. Believe it or not we’ve even stayed at one park that offered scenic helicopter rides that lift off right from the campground. Resort-style camping is typically the most expensive, but if you plan to take full advantage of the amenities and events, you’ll get your money’s worth.

Seasonal:

Many RV Parks and Resorts offer seasonal sites that can be purchased for a set length of time. These types of sites offer a regular escape from the city for the weekend warriors. If you have the opportunity to stay at one of these parks you’ll notice the weekends are like one big family affair. Cookouts, bonfires, playgrounds are all happening places and it seems everyone knows each other. Seasonal sites are an affordable way to park your RV in one spot and enjoy camping; prices are typically discounted greatly versus at a transient site.

State and National Parks:

If you want to be surrounded by nature with lots of hiking trails, wild animals, and peaceful nights, then this style of camping is right up your alley. This is my favorite type of camping. It’s perfect for being able to wake up, make coffee, then have a morning walk deep in nature (and hopefully spot some wildlife). Many state and national parks are not big rig friendly, in fact some have a 30-foot limit. Full hook-ups, cable, pools, and activities are not typically available at these parks; however there are usually showers and bathroom facilities. Before you plan to camp at a state park, make sure you contact them in advance to confirm your size RV will fit. Also weekends tend to fill up fast, and national parks are busy all summer so if available, make reservations. In general, state and national parks are the most affordable way to camp.

BLM or National Forest:

For those who want to get away from it all….literally. These sites can be 1) difficult to locate 2) so far off the beaten path you spend a small fortune in fuel to get there 3) down roads not made for RVs. For those adventurous enough to locate these sites you’ll be rewarded with nothing, and that’s priceless! Come prepared for anything, don’t expect fire rings, toilets, hook-ups or any services (if you get an outhouse, that’s fancy). Some BLM are more popular such as Quartzite, on the other hand many locations are so remote they don’t have names. If you decide you want to find BLM, the best place to start your search is on the internet by searching: state name + nearby city + BLM. If you’re lucky you might be able to find a National Forest or BLM office near your destination that can help you locate and confirm the campground conditions. Price for most BLM or National Forest is free with a limit on the number of days you can stay.

Nudist Parks:

Yep, it’s exactly as it sounds. For those who want to camp in the buff this is your place! One thing to keep in mind is price: most nudist parks charge you a camping fee and a per person per day ‘resort’ fee. These fees can be pretty hefty, but hey if you got it, flaunt it!

Membership Camping:

If you travel frequently these memberships can really pay off. From discount programs like Passport America to unlimited camping for one flat fee with Thousand Trails, there are lots of programs to choose from. However, make sure to check the locations of the campgrounds and read the rules and restrictions before you buy. There can be a lot of fine print!

Tell us what you look for in a campground.