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The New Rule for RV Park Rates

While RV sales are down, there’s no sign that RV owners are staying home. And, moving in unity with inflation, RV park rates are moving up…way up.

The rule we’re discussing today (and showing specific examples) is the disappearance of mid-range RV park rates.

That’s right. You can still find a $15 campsite with partial amenities. But your next option will likely be the $50/day range.

Let’s find out what’s going on.

What Do We Consider RV Park Rate Ranges?

For this article, we’ll list our ranges below:

  • Low Range: $15-$30
  • Mid-Range: $35-45
  • High Range: $50 and up

Is Inflation Impacting RV Park Operation?

Inflation is touching everything. However, RV parks are hardly feeling the brunt of it. Aside from the rising labor cost, RV park operations may only see utilities as the other inflation factor.

It’s instead a case of greeting opportunity with welcoming arms.

If consumers see all prices rise, RV park rates will seem normal to raise, too.

But, there’s more.

Consumers Demand Nice RV Parks, but Not Many RV Parks are Nice

There’s a severe supply and demand problem, and that’s the first issue. With more RVs on the road, businesses can raise rates freely.

There are few limits as to where high rates stop.

Secondly, there are nice RV parks and not-so-nice RV parks. Both have raised rates to move out of the mid-range level.

So, you may not get what you expect when paying a high RV park rate.

For Example, in Pensacola, Florida

Let’s first look at the Florida Panhandle. It’s not a hot spot, but the community is close to the beach.

  • Drifters RV Park: $45 This is an excellent example of a low-end, no-frills park that costs the top end of the premium. It ranks 3.5 stars on RV LIFE. 
Image Source:
  • Leisure Lakes RV Resort: $50 Ranking only 3 stars on Campendium, a reviewer says, “This was no more than a parking place with hookups. RVs were packed in so tight a car would not fit between.”
  • Pensacola North RV Resort: $55 This does look much more like a resort from it’s online pictures. However, it still only has 4 stars on Campendium. The reviews says, “It is pretty close to I 10 but everything else is at least 30 min away. It excellent for overnight stay. Would probably only stay here if I couldn’t get in anywhere else.”
  • Cracker Barrel: $0 Well, your best best might be an overnight stop at Cracker Barrel when traveling through Pensacola. Here’s how to camp at Cracker Barrel.

As you can see, the mid-range RV park rates are all on their way up…and, sadly, they’re not even great options.

For Example, Cape Cod Massachusetts

Is the Northeast better or worse with RV parks rates? Lets take a look at the rustic parks in Cape Cod.

  • Indianhead Resort: RV Rates from $55-75 This is yet another 1-star, high rate RV park. Reviews say, “No one was on duty. The first site we checked in at was poor, we left a message asking for another. Low hanging branches and we couldn’t reach the hook-ups on the wrong side of our rig. Not level, either.”
  • Atlantic Oaks Campground: RV Rates from $97-104 This park is highly rated at 8.8/10 on RV Life. Many campers said the price was worth it.
  • Bay View Campground: RV Rates from $63-75 It’s rated 8.6 on RV Life with many positive reviews.
  • Sandy Neck Beach Fees: RV Rates for Out of State is $30 This is state-run beach camping with no amenities at all.

How is the RV Community Reacting?

It all started with a March 21st, 2023 post from Medical_Smile1442 who asked:

I’ll be traveling the country, living full time in my fifth wheel in a couple years when I retire. When doing RV park research, it feels like most RV parks fall into either the $75+ per night resorts category with frills and amenities I won’t need as a solo traveler or trashy looking parks that attract long term trashy looking trailers.

Are there enough RV parks that are in between?

Reddit sub r/RVLiving

There was no shortage of feedback and commentary.

One of the seasoned RVers offered up some great advice regarding Thousand Trails. Lovinglifestill said, “Look into Thousand Trails. You can stay for free each night after joining and buying an annual membership. Couple years a go I paid $500 and stayed in south west region of the Us for 4 consecutive months. You have to move between parks every couple weeks. The all have restaurants, hot tubs pools etc.”

Another super useful tip comes from u/Extension_Network199. They say, “Look into Army Corps of Engineer campgrounds. There are hundreds and, if you fall into some categories (over 65, permanently disabled) you can get 50% off. Tonight, I’m paying $9 for a huge, waterfront site with water and electric.”

The Community Knows Best

When in doubt, ask! Because, yes, you’re right. RV Parks are pricing people out with high rates. However, the RV community is always willing to share useful tips to solve your problem.

That’s why RVing is so great!

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