When it comes to camping, one of the most important tasks is picking a campsite. But it’s also one of the most overwhelming.
The perfect campsite can take a good trip and turn it into a truly memorable one, while a bad campsite can definitely make your time there a little more difficult, uncomfortable, or downright unpleasant. To help you navigate this important decision, we’ve pulled together five tips to help you pick the right campsite for your rig at a campground or RV park.
1. Figure Out What You Want
The very first thing to do when picking a campsite is to think about what you want. Do you dream of a quiet corner where you can relax, or do you want to be in the middle of the action? A quiet spot can be a nice getaway, but what if you want to meet new people? Does the campground have any activities within the park for kids that you want to be close to?
Are you looking for full hookups, or are you thinking about dry camping? Do you need 50 amp power or can you get away with just 30 amp?
Once you figure out what you’re looking for, it’s much easier to narrow down your choices and find the perfect place to park your rig. Being disappointed with your spot is easy to avoid if you take the time to think about exactly what you’re looking for during your stay.
2. Know Your Restrictions
Pay attention to the dimensions of your rig and the size of the campsites. You might find the perfect campsite on paper, but if your rig is too long for the site you could face disappointment when you get to the campground and they won’t let you park there.
If you have slide-outs, make sure the site you’re looking at is wide enough to accommodate them. For longer rigs and newer RVers, know if you need a pull-through space or if you’re able to fit into a back-in spot.
Also, keep an eye on low hanging tree branches or anything else that could damage the top of your rig if you’re too tall for that particular site. Many campgrounds and RV parks will have any restrictions for specific campsites posted online, so be sure to check those before arriving.
3. Do Your Research
Which brings us to the next tip—research! Most campgrounds and RV parks have maps of their lots and site amenities on their websites. Spend some time looking at the map and picking a few sites that look like they meet your requirements. Make sure to look for hook up information and length restrictions.
If a campground doesn’t have a map online, see if you can pull up the grounds on Google Earth or find photos of the campsites in other places. Popular RV and camping forums may also have useful information and photos from other campers who have stayed there – keep an eye out for recommendations or warnings on any particular spots.
There are even several mobile apps that have reviews of campsites and RV parks that may give helpful information on specific sites to help you make your decisions.
4. Call the Campground
One of the best things to do is to pick up the phone and call the campground or RV park. The people working there are usually very helpful and can answer any questions you have on individual sites. They can also give recommendations based on your length and rig type. We usually go online to pick out a few spots we think look promising.
Once we have a shortlist of spots we like, we give the campground a call to confirm availability and ask questions. Sometimes sites that don’t look like much on a map are fantastic in real life and the representative on the phone can help you pick the right one. Similarly, they can help guide you away from picking a site you thought looked good but wouldn’t be a good fit for what you want.
Remember – the most valuable part of the phone call is the information you get from the person who works and probably lives at the campsite, but they can’t help you if you don’t tell them what you’re looking for in your campsite.
5. Make Reservations as Early as You Can
Since you’ve already got the representative on the phone telling you about their best sites, make sure to book a reservation at the same time. There’s nothing worse than spending time carefully picking out the perfect campsite for your rig only to find out it’s already booked.
This can get a little tricky if your travel dates are fluid, and last-minute changes can always pop up, but if you know when you’ll be at a campground or RV park, call or make a reservation online as soon as you can. Reserving a site early will make sure you get the spot you want, and not an undesirable spot at the last minute or worse, having to find a different campground entirely.
Following these tips will help you have a great stay that meets your needs. With a little time and research, you’ll be able to easily pick out the right campsite at a campground or RV park for your rig.
Need to find a good campsite? Check out Good Sam’s recommendations!