How to Scout Out the Best Places for Your Next RV Trip

Where you travel to is almost as fun as how you get there.

However, if you don’t know where you want to go, trying to decide on a location can be tricky.

There are several factors you must consider when trying to pick the next spot for your RV vacation. These include:

  • Available camping options
  • Budget
  • Dates of travel
  • Necessary amenities
  • Planned activities
  • RV size and equipment

These factors are helpful in narrowing down the possibilities, but they aren’t the only parts of deciding where to travel.

Camping Options

There are three main types of places you can park your RV.

The availability of these sites will depend on your location.

You might have to travel more out of the way to find a specific type of camp, but most major areas will be close to the following options.

Campgrounds

National Park RV Camping

National and State Park systems are some of the most beautiful places to stay overnight. Surrounded by nature, it’s easy to disconnect from the world and live in the way you want.

If you want to explore any of the hundreds of National and State Parks across the country, staying at a campground is a great way to take your time checking out the park you are visiting.

One downside to campgrounds is that they tend to be booked far in advance during the summer months.

You’ll either need to make a reservation or find another place to stay.

Free

RV Camping is Free in National Parks

Even though most places have strict parking rules, there are some places you can park for free.

Using these spots is sometimes called “boondocking” or “drydocking.”

The Bureau of Land Management controls a considerable amount of land that isn’t privately owned.

This land is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Check out their website to see specific land restrictions on how long you can stay.

Most of the time, you can find these sites by completing a Google search near the area you have in mind.

One major downside to boondocking is that you won’t have any amenities.

If you need water, electricity, or anything else, you will have to stay at a paid spot.

Some retail facilities like Camping Worlds, casinos, rest stops, and many other businesses will allow you to park for free for one night. If you need to stay somewhere longer than that, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

RV Parks

RV Parks are not free

While RV parks aren’t right in the middle of nature, they do offer a good amount of amenities.

As long as you have the right hookups, you can take advantage of everything they have on site.

If you can’t handle going without running water, or constant WiFi, then an RV Park is the place for you!

These amenities do increase the price of staying here. Most places cost around $40 a night, compared to the $20 a night of campgrounds.

However, if you stick around for a long time, you’ll often receive a discount.

How to Pick Your Site

Now that you know what type of camping options you have, it’s time to make a decision.

Along with the information you’ve collected above, make sure you go through these steps when you’re trying to decide where to go.

Check for Necessary Amenities

Not all campgrounds have the same amenities.

If you need an electric hook up, then you’ll need to head to a facility that provides it.

If WIFI is a must, then you might not want to utilize free parking.

Choose Based on Desired Scenery

RV Park Nature and Scenery

If you can go without specific amenities, then the world is your oyster.

There are some gorgeous places you can travel to within the US.

If you’re looking for more greenery, consider driving through Oregon.

Southern Utah and Arizona give an other worldly feel with the red rock and desert climate. California is a great place if you’re looking for nice weather and lots of land to roam.

Pick an Activity

Feel like white river rafting? Want to go biking?

Whatever you want to do in the great outdoors will have a big impact on where you want to go.

The activities you and your travel companions want to do will have a big impact on where you go.

If you want to engage in any water activities, there are only so many rivers and lakes you can choose.

Rely on Search Filters

There is a lot of information online about parks, campgrounds, and travel locations. You can use Google or any of the dozens of websites dedicated to trailer travel.

Go through these filters and choose the options that are important to you.

Once you’ve picked everything you want, the website will give you a few choices to look at.

If nothing shows up, take off a few filters and try again.

Read Online Reviews

Have a few places in mind, but don’t know where to go?

Online reviews can help you see if certain parks are worth seeing, or if they cause any problems.

Traveling in an RV is becoming more popular, so you’ll have plenty of feedback on any location you could visit.

Nothing’s worse than driving all day only to find your end destination is a huge disappointment.

Reviews are a great way to get an inside view into what it’s like to stay at the location you have in mind. Many of them come with photos, so you can see where you’re going before you get there.

Check out reviews a few days before you plan to arrive, as many campgrounds and RV parks don’t offer refunds within 24 hours of your stay.

You’ll also be able to make course corrections if your chosen location isn’t everything you imagined.

The best memories come from traveling to beautiful areas with the people you love. Knowing how to pick a good place to camp out in will help you and your family grow closer and make the most of your RV lifestyle.

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