Every RV traveler has an idea of what makes the perfect RV park, but it is not the same for everyone. Choosing the right RV park for your family depends on your interests and preferred camping style. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you define the best RV park for your family.
Start with your desired location
The first question you need to ask yourself on your quest for the perfect RV park is where do you want to go? Are you planning to visit a particular attraction or are you looking for a destination campground with all the bells and whistles? This will help you determine what features are important and narrow down what is available by the area.
Who is traveling with you?
There are 55+ RV parks, as well as those that cater to families with children. Before you begin the search for the perfect RV park, consider who is traveling with you and their ages. Don’t forget about your pets. If they are traveling with you, be sure the facility is pet-friendly. Inquire about breed restrictions and any documentation you may need to bring along.
What services do you need?
The first thing you should add to your list is what type of services you need. Many RV parks offer full hook-up sites. By this, I mean water, power and sewer right at your site. However, it is important to note that there are also many partial hook-up RV parks. In these cases, sewer is usually the first utility to go. Fifty-amp power is the next one that may not always be available.
If you are considering partial hook-ups be sure to check your systems to make sure you understand any limitations. For example, verify your holding tank capacity to determine if you are willing and able to go without sewer at your campsite. This can be easy for short trips or when an RV park has bathhouses and its own dump station. What if your RV is 50 amp, but only 30 amp power is available? You could purchase an adapter and run off the 30 amp, but make sure you know in advance the limitations for your RV. For example, your RV may have more than one air conditioner, but you will likely only be able to use one at a time on a 30-amp power pedestal.
What amenities would you like?
The amenities are often what make the difference between a good RV park and a great one. The most important consideration here is you. Take the time to consider what types of amenities would make the ideal campground?
Before making your list of desired amenities ask yourself how much time you’ll spend at the campground. If you’re only looking for a place to park the RV while you explore the local area, your amenity wish list will be much shorter.
Next, think about your family and what you enjoy the most when you are on vacation. A swimming pool is often at the top of the list for most summer camping trips. As you know, not all swimming pools are the same. Are you looking for a simple pool for a quick dip or are you hoping for a splash pad, water slide, and maybe even a hot tub?
If you’re traveling with children, you might even look for more amenities like playgrounds, basketball courts, disc golf, or volleyball. Worried about rainy days on your trips? Many RV parks have game rooms where kids and adults can play pool, ping pong, cards, and board games.
Outdoor enthusiasts may look for RV parks on lakes or rivers that rent fishing gear, kayaks, and boats. Some RV parks are conveniently located near excellent hiking trails.
In addition to the amenities that add fun to your trip, there are also those that add convenience. For example:
- Camp Store
- Laundry Facilities
Are onsite activities important to you?
As previously mentioned, the answer to this question will vary based on your interests and how much time you plan to spend at the RV park. Regardless of the ages of your party, there may be organized activities for adults and children alike, especially in the summer and during holiday weekends. Here are just a few examples of fun options that may be scheduled at the campground:
When the weather is nice, outdoor movies are a great way to relax. Another popular campground activity is a group campfire complete with marshmallow roasting and storytelling. Destination RV parks and resorts may even up the ante with archery, horseback riding, ziplines and more!
When looking for the right RV park for your family, don’t forget that there are often different “types” of sites within the campground. Choosing the right one can make a big difference. For example, the sites near the amenities are often considered premium, but if you don’t have children with you it might be best to choose a site away from all the activity.
Other site differences may be pull-thru versus back in. Deluxe sites tend to have more space between them and their neighbors and may also include built-in fire pits. Some RV parks even offer sites with a personal doggy yard.
Key to finding the right RV park for your family is determining your budget. The nightly cost can vary from $25 a night to over $100 a night depending on the area and amenities. In addition to the base rate, many RV parks charge for additional family members or guests at a campsite. Some also have an extra fee for pets. Make sure you know in advance what the total costs are so you don’t have any surprises.
Nothing is more frustrating than rolling into an RV park that looks nothing like the website photos after a long drive. The best thing you can do to ensure you are getting exactly what you are expecting is to read reviews. Once you’ve made a list of potential campgrounds based on your criteria, look them up on websites like Good Sam. Don’t just look at the overall rating, but read the actual reviews to hear what people had to say about the specific features you are looking forward to at the RV park. This will help you feel more confident about your choice.