This Outdated RV Advice Won’t Help You in 2021
For years, some of the top advice when it comes to RVing has been to “just get out there and go!”
This popular tidbit of RVing advice is referring to newbies or aspiring RVers who are nervous and want to over-plan everything. But in 2021, this advice isn’t just outdated; it’s irresponsible.
RVers can no longer “just get out there and go,” and here’s why.
You Can’t “Just Get Out There and Go”
Thinking about the RV lifestyle might inspire images of heading out the door, starting the RV, driving off, and having an epic adventure.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality, especially not in 2021.
RVing now requires more planning and preparation than ever before!
With COVID inhibiting international travel, more people than ever have taken to the roadways in their own countries… and this hasn’t all been good.
Campground Overcrowding: The Harsh Reality of the RV Lifestyle in 2021
One of the most noticeable consequences of the RV lifestyle’s surge in popularity is campground overcrowding.
Picture a beautiful state park with every single campsite occupied… at all times! This is the new reality for campgrounds all over the United States.
From RV parks, campgrounds, state parks, national parks, resorts, and more, campground overcrowding is a real issue.
Pro Tip: If you’re booking a campground in Florida, here’s a secret way to score last minute openings.
The Internet and COVID’s Affect on RVing
Not only has COVID inspired a massive influx of new RVers in the United States, so has the internet. The #rvlife hashtag has been trending upward for several years, and the pandemic sent it into overdrive.
RV life influencers growing their platform have, in turn, inspired hundreds (if not thousands) of new RVers… for a good reason! The RV lifestyle truly is a fantastic way to live. Unfortunately, campgrounds all over the US can’t keep up and simply don’t have the infrastructure to handle the boom in RVing popularity.
This has left many RVers stranded and staying overnight at Walmart or Cracker Barrel instead of a paid campsite because they’re too hard to find.
Keep in Mind: You may need to learn you to use Campendium to find free campsites.
How to Get Campground Reservations No Matter What
While you really can’t “just get out there and go” anymore, you can still get out there and go… eventually. With the proper preparation, you can still live an epic RV life. Here are some tips to help you get campground reservations no matter what!
Plan Far Ahead
The first step to ensuring a campground reservation is to plan ahead. Plan very far ahead! Some RVers plan up to a year in advance, but several months seems to be a sweet spot for many locations.
Remember that the more popular and touristy the destination, the harder it is to get a campsite.
How to Land “First-Come, First-Serve” Sites
Many campgrounds operate on a ‘first-come, first-serve’ basis. This means that you can’t reserve campsites online, and once they fill up for the day, that’s it.
To score a ‘first-come, first-serve’ campsite, plan on arriving early in the day. Many campers will come around check-out time, but if it’s a popular location, plan on arriving even earlier than that.
In fact, campers will start lining up at 5 am to score a coveted campsite in some national parks.
If you’re living and traveling in an RV, you have the unique opportunity to visit places at any time of the year. If you’re struggling to get campsites booked, travel to the most popular destinations during the off-season.
The weather might not be as ideal during the off-season, but you’re more likely to snag a great campsite at a discounted rate.
Still Can’t Get a Reservation? Try Boondocking Instead
Sometimes life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes your route changes or something happens, and you need to find something ASAP.
If you find yourself in this situation and can’t find a campground, try boondocking!
Millions of acres of public land around the US can be used for free and low-cost camping.
Boondocking is an excellent option in times of campground overcrowding. Sometimes, even boondocking sites get crowded. Here are some tips for finding great boondocking sites.
Here’s our 21 Favorite Free Campsites.
Have a Backup Plan
Always have a backup plan. As stated above, sometimes popular boondocking sites become overcrowded. If this is the case, having a plan B and a plan C will benefit you greatly!
Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time during the daylight hours to find your boondocking site, and have a backup plan if all else fails.
Scout with Tow Vehicle First
When you find a boondocking spot, scout it with a tow vehicle first.
If you don’t have a tow vehicle and you’re driving a large rig, you’re taking a risk! You may find that the site is full and there’s nowhere to turn around or that the road is too treacherous for your rig.
When you pick out a potential boondocking site, take your tow vehicle to assess the road conditions and the availability of camping spots that can accommodate you.
Is RVing Still Worth It in 2021?
With the influx of new RVers on the road and the issue of campground overcrowding, is RVing still worth it in 2021?
We think the answer is an enthusiastic “YES!”
In 2021, you might not be able to just pack up and leave at a moment’s notice. But with the proper planning and preparation, you can still find great campsites and have a fantastic experience. Be prepared, and you’ll be delighted.
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.
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