What Are The Best RV Trips for Beginners?

Contributor

Tucker Ballister

Favorite Trip

5 Months Solo on the Road

Home Base

Hendersonville, NC

Favorite RV

2008 Fleetwood Bounder

About Contributor

Tucker Ballister is our Technical Content Writer. He’s a lover of the open road and the proud owner of a 2021 Sunlite Classic travel trailer (his 3rd RV to date). Check out more of his RV adventures, gear reviews, and outdoor advice at thebackpackguide.com.

There’s a lot to learn when you’re new to RVing. After purchasing your RV and equipping it with the right gear, the last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed trying to select where to camp. So we asked the question: What are the best RV trips for beginners?

Of course, we have our own opinions, but we wanted to hear what the RV community had to say. We asked experienced RVers which destinations or campgrounds they would recommend for beginners. With over 150 replies, here are the top five answers: 

  1. Somewhere close to home
  2. State parks
  3. Good Sam Campgrounds
  4. Your backyard
  5. National parks

(Runner-up: Wal-Mart parking lot).

Table of Contents

Why Stay Close to Home on Your First RV Trip as a Beginner?

home-best-rv-trip-for-beginners-12-2023
Photo by Camping World

The overwhelming majority of experienced RVers recommended sticking to somewhere close to home as a beginner. Their reasons were practical: 

  • You know where to go (home or familiar stores) if you forget supplies.
  • You’re not far from your community if you need help.
  • If something breaks down, towing your RV back to your house won’t take long or cost too much.
  • You do less driving and more time getting familiar with your RV.
  • You won’t hurt your wallet on gas expenses if you overpack (which most first-timers do!)

Boondocking in your backyard is a great way to learn about your RV and its systems. Just remember: Depending on your RV, you’ll need potable water, a way to empty your holding tanks, and a proper power supply – 30 or 50 amps

Which Locations Make For The Best RV Trips for Beginners?

We collected specific recommendations for those who want to venture out while staying close to home. These came directly from experienced RVers nationwide who were willing to share their favorite destinations for RV newbies. 

Because we don’t know where home is for you, we organized this list of the best RV trips for beginners and organized them by region. 

The Best RV Trips for Beginners in the Northeast

Bayley’s Camping Resort – Scarborough, Maine

bayleys resort
Bayley’s Camping Resort

Park Features: 

  • 512 full hookup sites
  • 75’ pull-thru sites
  • 44’ back-in sites
  • Weekly entertainment schedule
  • Recreation facilities
  • Pools, restaurants, camp stores, and an arcade

Learn more or Book now.

Kennebec River Campground – The Forks, Maine

kennebec river campground
Kennebec River Campground

Park Features: 

  • Six secluded RV sites with electric hookups
  • Full restaurant and brewery with deck seating
  • Swimming pool and hot tub
  • Bathhouse with hot, running water
  • Easy access to the Kennebec River
  • Base camp for whitewater rafting, snowmobiling, and other Maine adventures

Learn more or Book now.

Gettysburg Battlefield RV Resort – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

gettysburg
Gettysburg Battlefield RV Resort

Park Features: 

  • 250 RV sites
  • 60’ maximum RV length
  • Battlefield reenactment grounds, Olympic swimming pool, and stocked fishing pond
  • Game room, general store, and ice cream parlor
  • Canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals
  • Themed activities, nature trail, and laundry facilities

Learn more.

Quechee / Pine Valley – Hartford, Vermont

quechee
Quechee / Pine Valley

Park Features: 

  • Full hookup RV sites (30 and 50 amp service)
  • 85’ maximum RV length
  • Off-leash dog park and activity field
  • Bike, canoe, and banana bike rentals
  • Heating swimming pool (open 5/27 to 9/5)
  • Saturday hay rides, playground adventures, and family fishing at the pond 

Learn more or Book now.

Cherrystone Campground – Cape Charles, Virginia

cherrystone
Cherrystone Campground

Park Features: 

  • Open seasonally from 4/1 to 10/31
  • 181 full hookup 30 amp sites (87 water/electric only 30 amp sites)
  • 121 full hookup 50 amp sites
  • Private beach, beach entry pool, and two Olympic-sized pools
  • Lazy river, mini golf course, and four fishing piers
  • Daily shuttle service into Downtown Cape Charles

Learn more.

Holiday Trav-L-Park – Virginia Beach, Virginia

trav-l-park
Holiday Trav-L-Park

Why They Recommended: “The place is pretty big (but tight, please know HOW to drive). It has seven pools, a bar, a restaurant, laundry, concerts, and a little trolley that will take you to the beach for even more entertainment.”

Park Features: 

  • 700 RV sites (full hookup and water/electric only)
  • Wooded, partly shaded, or open site locations
  • Maximum RV length varies by site type
  • On-site laundromat, Safari Cafe, and eight tiled comfort stations
  • Trolley from the cafe to the beach and beyond
  • Dog park, bike path, and convenience store

Learn more or Book now.

Virginia Beach Holiday – Virginia Beach, Virginia

virginia beach koa
Virginia Beach Holiday

Why They Recommended: “They just put in a lazy river and a brand new pool. It’s state-of-the-art!” 

Park Features: 

  • Full hookup sites with 50, 30, and 20 amp compatibility
  • 45’ maximum RV length
  • Two heated pools, a lazy river, and a splash pad
  • Trolley stop for exploring the nearby Virginia Beach waterfront
  • Community bonfire, dog park, and electric vehicle charging station
  • Bicycle, golf cart, and pedal cart rentals

Learn more or Book now.

New River Gorge Campground – Lansing, West Virginia

new river gorge
New River Gorge Campground

Park Features: 

  • Full hookup RV sites (30 and 50 amp)
  • Views of ponds, sunsets, and nightly firefly displays (seasonally)
  • Catch-and-release fishing
  • Hiking and biking trails, swimming, and kayaking nearby
  • Nearby rock climbing, rafting, and horseback riding

Learn more.

The Best RV Trips for Beginners in the Southeast

Wind Creek State Park – Alexander City, Alabama

wind creek
Wind Creek State Park

Park Features: 

  • 586 campsites with water/electric hookups
  • 157 waterfront campsites and 268 full hookup sites with sewer
  • Two laundry facilities at the marina and a bathhouse
  • Archery range, fishing, and mini golf course
  • Boat rentals, horseback rides, and zipline canopy tours
  • Sunday services, swimming area, and outdoor pavilions

Learn more or Book now.

Everglades Isle – Everglades City, Florida

everglades isle
Everglades Isle

Park Features: 

  • 59 full hookup RV sites (30 and 50 amp)
  • Concrete pads (waterfront and inland) with daily trash service
  • Clubhouse laundry facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Luxury clubhouse with drinks, food, billiards, movies, and more
  • Fitness center, office space, and veranda seating
  • Lounge area, salon, and spa

Learn more or Book now.

Orlando / Kissimmee – Kissimmee, Florida

kissimmee
Orlando / Kissimmee

Why They Recommended: “Orlando has the best prices all year round! It’s in close proximity to Universal Studios, Disney, Disney Springs, lots of attractions, several grocery stores, and restaurants. Target even ships deliveries there.”

Park Features:

  • Full hookup RV sites with 134’ maximum RV length (30 and 50 amp)
  • Bike rentals, mini pocket park, and access to the public bus service
  • Dog park, outdoor pavilion, and fitness center
  • Heated swimming pool, hot tub, and sauna (open year-round)
  • Electric vehicle charging station and taxi service
  • Jump pad and playground for the kids

Learn more or Book now.

Fisheating Creek Outpost – Palmdale, Florida

fisheating creek
Fisheating Creek Outpost

Why They Recommended: “The lots have much more space than most parks. You are not three feet from your neighbor.”

Park Features: 

  • 18,000+ acre wildlife management area
  • 48 full hookup RV sites (5 of which are ADA-accessible)
  • The swimming area at Depot Lake
  • Large pond with two islands near the Camp Store
  • Canoe rentals and Riverside Cafe (open seasonally)
  • Large screened recreation area with central bathhouse

Learn more or Book now.

Big Lagoon State Park – Pensacola, Florida

big lagoon
Big Lagoon State Park

Park Features: 

  • ~75 campsites (some RV or tent, some tent-only, some RV-only)
  • 40’ maximum RV length
  • Swimming, boating, fishing, and paddling
  • Biking, stargazing, and geocaching
  • Access to the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail
  • Boat launch, playground, and amphitheater

Learn more or Book now.

Jetty Park Campground – Port Canaveral, Florida

jetty park
Jetty Park Campground

Park Features: 

  • 358 total sites (variety of water-only and water/electric hookups)
  • Bathhouses and communal fire pits. 
  • Views of rocket launches from Canaveral Air Force Station
  • Shuffleboard courts and horseshoe pits
  • Daily arrivals and departures of cruise ships and submarines
  • Camp store and nearby fishing pier

Learn more or Book now.

Smith Ridge Campground – Campbellsville, Kentucky

smith ridge
Smith Ridge Campground

Park Features: 

  • 80 campsites (62 with water and electric hookups)
  • Flush toilets, showers, fire rings, and potable water
  • Kid’s playground and easy access to miles of hiking trails
  • Frisbee golf course, boat ramp, and swimming beach
  • Fishing pier, marina, and picnic areas

Learn more.

Mountain Stream RV Park – Marion, North Carolina

mountain stream
Mountain Stream RV Park

Park Features: 

  • 44 full hookup sites (30 and 50 amp)
  • 45’ maximum RV length
  • Access to Buck Creek along two edges of the campground
  • Five miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Dog park, kid’s playground, and outdoor pavilion
  • Camp store and bathhouse with showers and toilets

Learn more or Book now.

North Myrtle Beach RV Resort – Little River, South Carolina

nmb rv resort
North Myrtle Beach RV Resort

Park Features: 

  • Oversized full hookup sites and a fully-stocked camp store
  • Views of the nearby Intracoastal Waterway
  • Swimming pool with a slide and splash pad for the kids
  • 60-slip boat dock with observation deck
  • Live music every weekend during the summer
  • Food and drinks on the water at the Tiki Bar and Grill

Learn more or Book now.

Myrtle Beach State Park – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

myrtle beach state park
Myrtle Beach State Park

Park Features: 

  • 140 standard water and electric campsites
  • 138 full hookup sites
  • All sites are located about 300 yards from the beach
  • 30-40’ maximum RV length
  • Beach access for pets and bikes is restricted to certain time periods (see site for more info)
  • Nearby access to birding, fishing, swimming, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and more

Learn more or Book now.

PirateLand Family Camping Resort – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

pirateland
PirateLand Family Camping Resort

Park Features: 

  • 748 full hookup sites
  • Access to free Wi-Fi and daily trash pickup at each site
  • Gated entrance with 24/7 patrol crew
  • Eight climate-controlled bathhouses with toilets and showers
  • Fully stocked camp store, outdoor chapel, and laundry facility
  • On-site water park with Olympic swimming pool, lazy river, and more

Learn more or Book now.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

ocean lakes
Ocean Lakes Family Campground

Park Features: 

  • 859 full hookup sites with free Wi-Fi
  • 649 concrete pad sites with 45’ maximum RV length
  • 19 total beach accesses
  • Three-acre family fun center with game center, mini golf, swimming pool, and more
  • Volleyball, shuffleboard, and basketball courts
  • Nearby Ocean Lakes Nature Center Discover Lab with more than 10,000 shells and fossils

Learn more or Book now.

Anchor Down RV Resort – Dandridge, Tennessee

anchor down
Anchor Down RV Resort

Park Features: 

  • 170 concrete full hookup sites
  • All sites at least 50’ long by 18’ wide (sites differ by type and location)
  • Basketball, gaga ball, pickleball, and volleyball courts
  • Boat, jet ski, and golf cart rentals
  • Leash-free pet park, beach area, and campground cafe
  • Saltwater kiddie pool and large pool with waterslide (open Memorial Day to Labor Day)

Learn more or Book now.

Cherokee Dam Campground – Jefferson City, Tennessee

cherokee dam
Cherokee Dam Campground

Park Features: 

  • 44 total sites (39 with water and electric)
  • Views of the lake and mountains from nearly every site
  • Sites require a two-night minimum stay
  • The use of a water pressure regulator is highly recommended
  • Nearby access to swimming and birdwatching
  • Large public boat ramp nearby

Learn more or Book now.

Melton Hill Dam Campground – Lenoir City, Tennessee

melton hill
Melton Hill Dam Campground

Park Features: 

  • 61 total sites (35 with water and electric)
  • Sites require a two-night minimum stay
  • Two bathhouses with showers and flush toilets
  • Designated swimming area
  • Canoe and boat ramp access
  • Free dump station access

Learn more or Book now.

Camp Margaritaville RV Resort and Lodge – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

camp margaritaville
Camp Margaritaville RV Resort and Lodge

Park Features: 

  • Full hookup concrete campsites
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi and cable TV
  • Nearby Fin City Entertainment Center with arcade, bowling, billiards, and more
  • Nearby pool recreation area with water slides, lazy river, and kid zone
  • Pet park, camp store, and kid’s playground
  • Live entertainment, breakfast buffet, and bar/restaurant

Learn more or Book now.

Little Arrow Outdoor Resort – Townsend, Tennessee

little arrow outdoor resort
Little Arrow Outdoor Resort

Park Features: 

  • Luxury and standard full hookup RV sites
  • Luxury sites with outdoor sink and cabana
  • Standard sites with paved patios and fire rings
  • 24/7 coffee lounge with playroom and movie/book exchange
  • Zero-entry pool with grottos, hot tub, and splash pad
  • 1-2 miles of quiet, peaceful hiking trails

Learn more or Book now.

The Best RV Trips for Beginners in the Midwest

Sycamore Springs Park – English, Indiana

sycamore springs
Sycamore Springs Park

Park Features: 

  • 30 and 50-amp sites with a 55’ minimum site length
  • Full hookup, water/electric, and primitive camping available
  • Free firewood and fire pits on all sites
  • Modern restrooms and shower houses
  • Family-friendly camping with no alcohol allowed on the grounds
  • Fishing, hiking, and picnicking are available

Learn more or Book now.

Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort – Santa Claus, Indiana

lake rudolph
Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort

Park Features: 

  • Open season 5/1 to 10/31
  • 146 full hookup 50-amp sites
  • 110 full hookup 30-amp sites
  • Gem mining, golf cart rentals, and take-out dining
  • Swimming pool, dog park, and water park
  • Free shuttle service to the theme park and water park

Learn more.

Grand Haven State Park – Grand Haven, Michigan

grand haven state park
Grand Haven State Park

Park Features: 

  • 48-acre park with Lake Michigan to the west and the Grand River to the north
  • 174 paved campsites
  • Steps away from the beach and the river
  • Scenic views of the Grand Haven pier and two lighthouses
  • Boardwalk along the Grand River for fishing or walking
  • Accessible playground, picnic area, and modern restrooms

Learn more or Book now.

Otsego Lake State Park – Gaylord, Michigan

otsego lake state park
Otsego Lake State Park

Park Features: 

  • 155 campsites (split between the North and South campgrounds)
  • Half-mile sandy beach with a designated swim area
  • Kayak, paddleboard, and canoe rentals for day-use
  • Nearby access to the Iron Belle Trail for hiking, biking, and snowmobiling
  • Fishing pier and boat launch
  • Designated beach area for metal detecting

Learn more or Book now.

Itasca State Park – Park Rapids, Minnesota

Itasca State Park, Minnesota
Itasca State Park

Park Features: 

  • 223 drive-in campsites in two campgrounds (160 electric-only)
  • 60’ maximum RV length
  • Seasonal dump station available in the Bear Paw Campground
  • Interpretive exhibits and year-round naturalist programs
  • Two-hour excursion boat tours of Lake Itasca
  • Nearby restaurant and cafe (open seasonally)

Learn more or Book now.

Silver Dollar City Campground – Branson, Missouri

silver dollar city
Silver Dollar City Campground

Park Features: 

  • Full hookup sites (30 and 50 amp)
  • Picnic table and fire ring at each site
  • Kid’s playground and swimming pool (open 5/28-9/5)
  • Nearby theme park, water park, and dinner cruises
  • Clubhouse with supplies and an air-conditioned lounge with Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary shuttle service into Silver Dollar City

Learn more or Book now.

Lake Mcconaughy State Recreation Area – Brule, Nebraska

lake mcconaughy
Lake Mcconaughy State Recreation Area

Park Features: 

  • Seven developed campgrounds
  • Reservable and first-come, first-served campsites
  • Reservable beach camping in 17 designated zones
  • Reservations required 5/20 to 9/10
  • Archery range, swimming, and playground
  • Boating, fishing, and hunting

Learn more or Book now.

Mt. Gilead Holiday – Mt. Gilead, Ohio

mt gilead
Mt. Gilead Holiday

Park Features: 

  • 150 acres of walking trails
  • Dog park, playground, and fishing ponds
  • Golf driving range
  • Zero-entry swimming pool (open 5/26-9/4)
  • Golf course rentals, sand volleyball, and ‘The Bonfire Bar’

Learn more or Book now.

The Best RV Trips for Beginners in the South

The Woodlands RV Resort – Heber Springs, Arkansas

woodlands rv resort
The Woodlands RV Resort

Park Features: 

  • 71 full hookup sites
  • Five minutes from beaches, boat ramps, restaurants, and a golf course
  • Easy access to hiking and biking trails
  • Swimming pool, playground, and fishing pond
  • Bathhouse, laundry room, and dog run coming soon

Learn more or Book now.

Sarah’s Seaside RV Oasis – Grand Isle, Louisiana

sarahs seaside
Sarah’s Seaside RV Oasis

Why They Recommended: It’s the most laid back!

Park Features: 

  • Full hookup sites (30 and 50 amp)
  • Family and pet-friendly
  • Walking distance from restaurants, shopping, and bars
  • Renowned for nearby world-class fishing and birdwatching
  • Seasonal events like holiday decorating contests, seafood boils, movie nights, and more

Learn more.

The Best RV Trips for Beginners in the Southwest

Mather Campground – Grand Canyon Village, Arizona

mather campground
Mather Campground

Park Features: 

  • 327 primitive campsites with fire rings, a cooking grate, and a picnic table
  • Flush toilets and drinking water spigots throughout
  • Free dump station at Camper Services nearby
  • Generators not permitted in Pine Loop (sites 265-319)
  • Easy access to a paved walking and biking trail leading to overlooks and the visitor center

Learn more.

Tucson Lazydays – Tucson, Arizona

tucson lazydays
Tucson Lazydays

Park Features: 

  • 360 full hookup sites
  • 73’ maximum RV length
  • Pet-friendly sites, dog park, and dog wash available
  • Two swimming pools, a hot tub, and a sauna (open year-round)
  • Mini golf, bike rentals, workout room, and more

Learn more or Book now.

Caballo Lake State Park – Caballo, New Mexico

caballo lake
Caballo Lake State Park

Park Features: 

  • Seven full hookup sites
  • 98 water and electric (30 amp) sites
  • 10 water and electric (50 amp) sites
  • Three boat docks and two boat ramps
  • Playgrounds and visitor centers with interactive exhibits for the kids
  • Fishing, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, and more

Learn more or Book now.

The Best RV Trips for Beginners in the Northwest

Coloma Resort – Coloma, California

coloma resort
Coloma Resort

Park Features: 

  • 43 full hookup sites
  • 45’ maximum RV length
  • Sewer hookups are available at off-river sites only
  • Calendar of naturalist-led activities available (summer months only)
  • Exclusive riverfront access with nearby kayaking, tubing, and rafting
  • Swimming pool and children’s playgrounds
  • Wireless internet throughout the campground

Pro Tip: You must cross the Mt. Murphy Bridge to reach this campground. Here are the height and weight restrictions for that bridge: 

  • Max Height: 13′ 6
  • Max Weight for 2 Axle vehicles: 12 Tons (24,000 pounds)
  • Max Weight for 3 Axle vehicles: 19 Tons (38,000 pounds)

Learn more or Book now.

Arrowhead RV Park – Cascade, Idaho

arrowhead rv park
Arrowhead RV Park

Park Features: 

  • 116 full hookup sites
  • Easy access to the Payette River for fishing or paddling
  • Shuffleboard and horseshoe pit for family entertainment
  • Communal firepit on the edge of the river
  • Recreation room with books, board games, and movies

Learn more or Book now.

St. Mary / East Glacier – St. Mary, Montana

st mary east glacier
St. Mary / East Glacier

Why They Recommended: “Beautiful views right from the park!”

Park Features: 

  • 75’ maximum RV length
  • 30 and 50-amp sites
  • Large hot tub, pool, and sauna (seasonally)
  • Kayak rentals and easy access to the Lower St. Mary Lake & River
  • Dog kennels and dog walking service (for when you want to explore nearby Glacier National Park)

Learn more or Book now.

Cape Blanco State Park – Port Orford, Oregon

cape blanco
Seven Feathers RV Resort

Park Features: 

  • 52 electric hookup sites with water
  • Easy access to wildlife viewing, fishing, and horse trails
  • Beach access and hiking trails
  • Flush toilets and hot showers
  • Lighthouse and Hughes House for historical tours

Learn more or Book now.

Seven Feathers RV Resort – Canyonville, Oregon

seven feathers

Park Features: 

  • 182 full hookup sites
  • 60’ maximum pull-thru size
  • 55’ maximum back-in size
  • Hotel and casino across the street
  • Indoor heated pool and hot tub
  • Fitness and media centers

Learn more or Book now.


Want to add your advice to our poll? Join the conversation!

Which destinations would you recommend for first-time RVers? Share your tips in the comments below.

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