RV Parks

Recreational vehicle (RV) parks are where many campers choose to make their "home away from home" while they are traveling. What are RV parks, and how do you choose the best one? Here is Campendium’s ultimate guide to RV parks in the United States and Canada.

What are RV parks?

RV parks are campgrounds catering to those traveling in motorhomes, trailers, and other campers. Travelers can spend the night, the week, the month, or the season. Heck, some people park their camper in one place and live at an RV park year round. RV campgrounds are typically privately owned and managed as businesses.

Who stays at RV parks?

All sorts of people! While it’s common to assume RV parks are full of large motorhomes and populated by retirees, that is not always the case. RV parks are great for anyone who is looking for a place to spend the night and utilize the amenities that the campground offers.

Here are a few different types of people you might encounter at an RV park:

  • Families. RV parks, especially those with amenities like swimming pools, game rooms, and playgrounds, are great for families. Parks that are family-focused, such as the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park chain of campgrounds, offer scheduled activities like hayrides, craft classes, and "Christmas in July" during the summer and on holidays.
  • Vacationers. Couples, solo travelers, and families that use their campers for vacations are unlikely to be set up for off-the-grid camping. Vacationers will often book commercial RV parks, state park campgrounds, or national park campgrounds while on a road trip.
  • Working Travelers. Long-term travelers who work remotely on the road may enjoy the convenience of ready access to campground amenities. Working on the road usually requires enough electricity to power devices like computers, and internet access via WiFi—both of which can be found at many commercial campgrounds.
  • Retired Travelers. The freedom of travel entices some retirees to move into an RV and explore the United States and Canada. A type of campground that is increasingly popular is the 55-plus park, designed to cater to retirees and create a quiet, neighborhood feel for those who are staying for a month, a season, or year round.

Generally speaking, those who don’t stay at RV parks are tent campers. While some commercial campgrounds do offer a space for tent campers, most are focused solely on camping in recreational vehicles.

Which amenities can I expect at an RV park?

Commercial campgrounds range from a parking lot with electric hookups to a five-star RV resort. Most RV camping falls somewhere in the middle, with campgrounds offering dedicated RV sites with electricity, water, and sewer hookups for your camper.

At the high end of the luxury scale, camping resorts offer not only full hookups but amenities such as workout rooms, manicured lawns, hiking trails, a bar or restaurant, and on-site RV repairs. The RV sites are generally larger and provide more privacy, and the park may have additional features like full-service garbage pickup and RV washing. Camping resorts can be expensive, and often have restrictions on the types of RV allowed and the length of stay.

Basic commercial campgrounds may have nothing more than an electrical outlet and a sea of pavement. That doesn’t make the experience necessarily better or worse—that type of campground could be exactly what you need in the location you’re visiting.

Campendium offers a way to search by both hookups and recreation opportunities (such as a game room or swimming pool) to find the best park for you.

How to Search by Hookups on Campendium

  • Use a text search to see the area you’re interested in.
  • Click "Hookups."
  • Select the desired type of hookup.

How to Search by Recreation on Campendium

  • Use a text search to see the area you’re interested in.
  • Click "Recreation."
  • Select one or more desired recreation option(s).

How much does it cost to stay at an RV park?

The cost to stay at an RV park is as varied as the types of amenities that are offered. To dive deeper into this topic, let’s take a look at the three most common types of rates.

  • Daily Rate. A daily rate is what a camper will pay to stay at a campground for one to six nights. Nearly every commercial campground will offer daily rates, and it is their highest rate. Daily rates can range anywhere from $10 per night to over $50 per night, depending on where you are in the United States or Canada, and the amenities the campground offers.
  • Weekly Rate. Some—but not all—RV parks will offer weekly rates. Weekly rates are for stays of seven nights or longer, but less than 30 days. The weekly rate often works out to less than the daily rate when divided by the number of nights stayed. Vacationers may save a bit of money by asking for a weekly rate if they plan to camp in one place for seven or more nights.
  • Monthly Rate. Monthly rates are for stays of 30 or more nights. This will be the least expensive rate offered, and worth exploring for those who like to settle into a spot and explore for longer periods of time.
  • Additional Expenses. When reserving a campsite be sure to ask for any additional fees that may be added to your bill. Some campgrounds charge for dogs, extra vehicles, a per-person rate when there are more than two people, cable TV, a metered rate for electricity, etc.

How to Search by Price on Campendium

  • Use a text search to see the area you’re interested in.
  • Click "Price."
  • Select one or more price points.
  • "$" is $10-20 per night, "$$" is $20-30, "$$$" is $30-40, "$$$$" is $40-$50, "$$$$$" is $50+

Discount and membership clubs are available to help reduce the cost of a campground and may be worthwhile for frequent travelers. Popular clubs are Passport America, Good Sam, and Thousand Trails, though there are many others. Do your research to make sure the club you join is right for the type of campground you want to stay in, and offers enough of a discount to make the club fee worthwhile.

How to Search by Discount Club on Campendium

  • Use a text search to see the area you’re interested in.
  • Click "Discount Club."
  • Select the discount club(s) you belong to.

How do I choose the best RV park for me?

When evaluating which campground to stay in, think about how you plan to spend your time. Are you looking for activities for the whole family? A campground that caters to families is likely your best bet. Do you value quiet and enjoy the pleasures of friendly neighborhood conversation? If you are over 55, a 55+ campground may be just right. Are you simply looking for a place to stop between your house and the Grand Canyon? Search on Campendium for a campground on your route with good reviews from your fellow travelers, and pull in for the night.

Beyond the vibe of the campground, it is important to make sure your recreational vehicle meets all the requirements of your chosen RV park. Call ahead to work out any sizing requirements, especially if you have an oversized trailer or motorhome. Some campgrounds only accept recreational vehicles that are less than ten years old, and restrict dog breeds like pit bulls or rottweilers. Avoid any mishaps by calling in advance to check the campground’s rules and regulations, and to make sure the campground is open and has availability on the night(s) you wish to stay.

Find the right RV park for your next trip by utilizing Campendium’s advanced filtering features and reading reviews by the Campendium community. No matter what type of camping experience you’re after, you can find it right here!