5 Tips for Planning an Off-Season Camping Trip

off season

Off season RVing opens up new adventures.

Imagine having the campground practically to yourself. The hustle and bustle of the regular camping season replaced by a calm quiet. Our family recently spent a holiday break in the solitude of an almost-empty state park campground, and we found this unique experience to be worth the extra considerations involved in off-season camping.

Though you may find the RV park limited in amenities during the off-season, you will find it brimming with opportunities to enjoy camping in a whole different way. The following tips will help you plan your first off-season camping trip:

1. Prepare to Handle the Elements

During the regular camping season, weather is usually a minimal concern. During the off-season, however, ignoring the weather forecast may lead to damage and danger. Keep an eye on the weather to watch for freezing temperatures or precipitation. If the temperature will be dropping much below 32 degrees, you may need to winterize your rig before exposing it to the elements. Never fear, you can still camp as long as you take plenty of drinking water and flush the grey and black tanks with RV antifreeze. Make sure you have ways to stay warm inside your rig by testing your heating system before the trip and taking extra blankets.

2. Off Season Power: Plan for Limited Utility Hookups

If you are planning to camp in an area that generally receives freezing weather during the winter, the RV park may turn off water spigots. Some provide water access at specified frost-free faucets, while others may provide no water at all. Research these details online or by calling the campground, and take the supplies you’ll need to replace utilities not offered.

3. Find Out Which Campground Sections and Loops Are Open

With fewer campers to contend with, many campgrounds limit off-season camping to a smaller area of the campground. You may find your favorite area off-limits or without hookups.

4. Prepare for Limited Access to Shower Houses and Restrooms

Some campgrounds close all or some of their shower houses and restrooms during the off-season. If you generally use these, you’ll need to know whether or not they will be available. Beware: Some are open but are not heated, which means you may be shivering in the shower.

5. Off Season Amenities: Ask What’s Available

While it’s obvious that you won’t have access to amenities like pools, you should also note that some campgrounds close their camp stores and other useful amenities during the off-season. While urban and suburban campgrounds will have grocery stores nearby open year round, if you are camping in a rural area, you may find yourself quite a distance from any type of store. Plan accordingly by packing plenty of groceries and firewood.

Even though we tend to think of camping as seasonal recreation, there is a lot of enjoyment to be had by camping year round. The campground is quieter, and you usually get a discounted rate. With these five tips in mind, you’ll be prepared to extend your camping well into the off-season.

Happy travels,


Kerri Cox enjoys traveling near and far with her family and travel trailer. She blogs about her adventures at travelswithbirdy.com 

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