Grand Canyon RV Camping

The Don’ts of Grand Canyon RV Camping

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

The Don’ts of Grand Canyon RV Camping

Taking a Grand Canyon RV camping trip is a classic American experience. From the bustling south rim to the serene north rim, this National Park offers up activities for the whole family.

In fact, right now is the perfect time to begin planning your next RV vacation.

Today we’re sharing 7 “don’ts” when visiting the Grand Canyon. Trust us, after our first whirlwind trip to the south rim, we quickly learned how not to visit this beautiful park.

Let’s dive in!

The Majesty of the Grand Canyon

1. Don’t Choose the Wrong RV Campground

The Grand Canyon National Park is host to two main campgrounds on the south rim (FYI, the south rim is the hub of activity).

Mather Campground and Trailer Village RV Park are your “in park” options.

If you need RV hookups – Trailer Village is your best bet. Mather Campground, while more rustic, offers minimal or no hookups. We prefer Mather for it’s charm, but many RVers can’t last without electricity or water.

And, forget about solar power. The pines cover any chance for catching rays.

Remember this when booking your RV site. If you want a comprehensive RV park list, check out these Top Grand Canyon RV Parks.

2. Don’t Forget About Free Camping

Yes, there are lots of free camping spots just outside of the National Park. If you’re an experienced RV boondocker, we recommend giving it a try at the Grand Canyon.

Long Jim Loop in the Kaibab National Forest is a free campsite only 6 miles from the Grand Canyon Village.

The great part about free camping is that you don’t need reservations. Additionally, there are so many RV boondocking sites in the area, you should be able to find a spot easily.

3. Don’t Miss The North Rim

The north rim of the Grand Canyon is a completely different experience. It doesn’t have the crowds. The camping is peaceful and rustic. Quite simply, you can take in the majesty of the canyon on a more personal level.

You won’t be able to find RV hookups very easily. However, you can camp feet from the rim (for free)!

Keep in mind the cell connectivity, grocery stores and gas stations will be more scarce. The north rim is a remote retreat, not a tourist destination.

A cell booster may be your best friend in this area. It can boost one bar of unusable-service to a streaming 4 bars of signal!

4. Don’t Count Out The Lodges

Even if you’re planning an RV vacation, give the lodges at the Grand Canyon consideration. These historic hotels have many rooms overlooking the canyon.

The Bright Angle Lodge is the highlight of south rim lodging.

To begin with, it’s a Registered National Historic Landmark. The rooms have rustic charm (some with fireplaces) and amazing views of the National Park.

It was designed by famous architect Mary E.J. Colter and has hosted many notable guests.

Canyon View from many Lodges

5. Don’t Begin Without RV Routing

On your way to the Grand Canyon you’ll drive on some remote roads. We always use a RV specific GPS router on travel days. Don’t be caught without one!

RV Trip Wizard lets us insert our RV specs & travel preferences (tolls, elevation, speed, etc…) and then it creates a RV safe route.

This way we never come across a low hanging bridge or a too-steep mountain.

The Grand Canyon is fairly easy to access from the south. If you’re coming from another direction, we recommend RV specific trip routing.

6. Don’t Miss the Trails

The rim trail is wonderful for looking down into the canyon. Let’s be honest – this trail is just a sidewalk with view points.

If you’re healthy and able, we recommend going inside the canyon. These trails are challenging, but you’ll get a view most miss out on. If you’re feeling spunky you can take a mule down the canyon!

Make sure you prepare for your hike and research the trails in advance.

Less Junk, More Journey hiking the Grand Canyon

7. Don’t Leave Food in Your Campsite

For your safety, and the safety of local wildlife, don’t leave food out in your campsite.

It’s awesome to see the many deer wandering through the National Park campgrounds. However, these deer like to get into trouble! They’ll snatch up any food in sight.

Be a good steward and keep your food in the RV!

The Best Free Camping in America

We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.

If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.

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