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5 Reasons to Avoid RV Parks

5 Reasons to Avoid RV Parks

5 Reasons to Avoid RV Parks

Remember living in your parent’s house and having to abide by their rules? Welcome to the life of RV Parks.

In fact, with so many new RVers on the road, RV parks have become more crowded than ever.

Today we’re sharing five reasons to avoid RV parks this year. We’re also giving you a few amazing alternatives to camping at RV parks.

Let’s dive in!

rv park owners

RV Parks are Cramped and Crowded

Campgrounds make money by renting out their campsites. The more sites they have, the more money they make.

However, for the RVer, squeezing into a site, having 8 feet between your front door and the RV next to you, it’s not comfortable. If you like to sit around your campfire with a group of friends, you’re going to need more space.

Hanging by the pool or playground will also be an exercise in patience. These public areas usually have a number of people around.

Camping at RV Parks is Expensive

When we first started RVing, we thought it was normal to pay $35 a night or more at an RV park. After research, we were getting a deal.

RV Parks can charge upwards of $85 a night depending on hookups, amenities, and location. When you consider that many free camping or boondocking sites cost nothing…you could blow your whole budget staying in an RV park for any length of time.

There are RV discount clubs like Passport America and Good Sam. These can help lower your nightly rate, but restrictions apply.

RV Campsite

RV Parks are Often Noisy

When an RV park is full to capacity, it’s hard to stop the ambient noise from drifting to your site. Kids hollering at the playground, adults playing a rousing game of cornhole, or a campsite resident playing their twangy country can ruin an outing.

An afternoon nap mzy never happen.

And, bedtimes? If you’re one of the early to bed people, it might be impossible to get a good night sleep without earplugs.

So. Many. Rules.

Rules are in place to keep everyone using the facility safe. But, why are there so many of them?

There’s a rule for everything at some parks. It can take some of the fun out of the experience when you’re afraid you’ll do something against the rules and get kicked out.

Know the rules and abide by them, but don’t let it take all the fun out of your camping experience.  

Discriminatory Restrictions

Other rules come in the form of restrictions. These will be spelled out on the RV park’s website.

Age (like 55 and up parks) – If you’re not 55 or older, and you have little kids, you’re most likely not welcome at these parks. Parks like this don’t cater to children or families. They have horseshoes, morning pool Zumba and other activities geared toward their target demographic.

Pet Breed or Size Restrictions – Some RV parks will allow dogs, but only if they are small, or weigh under 80 pounds. Some come right out and say, “no Pitbulls, Dobermans or aggressive dogs allowed”. If you have a wonderful pet who falls under one of those categories, you’ll have to find another place.

RV Age (10 year rule) – Do you have an older RV? Even if it’s fixed up to be the cutest bell at the ball, it won’t be allowed at some parks if it’s more than 10 years old. They even ask for pictures and the DOB of your rig.

RV Type (skoolies and vans often not permitted) – If you’re the do-it-yourself type and you have put your blood, sweat, and tears into an amazing van or school bus (called a skoolie) build, it won’t matter at some parks who only welcome traditional RVs.

Alternatives to RV Parks

So if you’re not up for the noise, rules, restrictions and drama of an RV park, here are some options.

State Parks – State parks take some of the most beautiful locations in their states and make them available to campers for a small price. The only restriction is to make a reservation before all of the spots are taken. They usually have water nearby, playgrounds, and space for walking.

National Parks – National Parks are great places to camp near amazing natural attractions. There is a cost to stay at the parks, but by purchasing park passes the prices can be reduced. The only restriction is that some National Park campgrounds don’t have sites for larger rigs. When the campgrounds were created, the larger RVs didn’t exist.

Boondocking on BLM Land – For some, the word boondocking is intimidating, but after a shakedown trip on BLM land, it is such a freeing experience that it becomes the preferred method of camping. To boondock, you have to be able to provide your own electricity, have your own water and have a place to capture your gray and black water.

Boondocking on Texas Beach
Boondocking on Texas Beach

Are RV Parks for You?

There’s nothing that says that RV Parks are bad for all people. They have electrical hookups, water, pools, dump stations, and playgrounds.

However, there are alternatives for camping that you might want to explore when you’re done living under someone else’s rules.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

Scott Broughton

Wednesday 27th of October 2021

I agree that there are many overpriced RV campgrounds now. In a few months I've concluded that the best experience is at Government operated campgrounds.

They may not have a plethora of "amenities", but they are closer to a true coping experience than many privately owned campsites. The reasons are obvious. They are not trailer parks where locals park their very old, often spent trailers year round. You are limited to 14 day stays. Second they are usually more spacious. I detest the motion that parking like sardines in an open field without shade somehow qualifies as camping. You'll never find this situation in government owned campgrounds. Finally, as a retiree, my lifetime Sr Pass saves me 50% every day. Zero restrictions! The only limitation is that sewer connections are rare, but dump stations are always within the campground.

When the day comes that truth in advertising arrives & I can tell what % of sites are seasonal vs traveling campers, I'll reconsider reserving at private campgrounds, loosely defined. Don't hold your breath on that one!

Phil

Tuesday 20th of July 2021

Your article says in order to boondocks you must have your own electricity. You failed to mention that many boondocking areas have quiet hours also. That means a generator will not suffice. You will need expensive solar and a more expensive battery bank.

Ted Turko

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

No wood fires? Its camping right?

Al

Monday 8th of March 2021

I dunno, like them sometimes. I do it all, a few weeks boondocking, a couple weeks in a state or national park, a month at an RV Park.... all the different flavors of RV life. I think I'd get bored if I didn't switch it up. As far as rates, a month will usually save a ton of cash over nightly. And, rules? I love rules. Quiet hours from 9pm-10am and no wood fires? Sounds great to me!

Cheryl Louise Tremonti

Saturday 6th of March 2021

Call the BBB and put in an official complaint. You get really fast results.

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