The advent and evolution of the recreational vehicle (RV) has given millions of Americans a great way to experience our nation’s most treasured wilderness areas, without having to book hotel rooms, and without the structured schedule of a guided tour group. And half the fun of visiting the countries parks, forests and monuments is getting to see everything in-between, at eye-level, rather than from the window of an airplane.
While your RV will afford you freedom of mobility, with the same accommodations most hotels would provide, you won’t be able to park it anywhere you want for an extended period. This, technically, is why you’ll be RV camping. If you’ve rigged up your vehicle to a septic tank and tied into an electric grid, it’s no longer an RV, it’s a mobile home. When you go RV camping — for the weekend or the entire summer — you’ll need to choose a campground with the appropriate electrical hookups for your vehicle. You’ll also need a potable water source for filling your tanks, as well as a place to empty your “gray-water” and toilet tanks.
There are thousands of “Mom ‘n’ Pop” campgrounds across the country, and many of them are top-notch. One benefit however, to parking your RV at a well-known franchise campground like KOA is that you can expect a certain level of consistency across the board. When it comes to everything from online reservations, to the kind of food they stock in the camp store, you generally know what you’ll be dealing with, ahead of time.. With over 450 locations, KOA has been America’s leader in campgrounds for almost 50 years. They have a wide range of facilities, from the semi-rustic tent camping, to RV parks with swimming pools and lounges. Find out more here: http://koa.com/
Jellystone Campgrounds are the second largest chain of campgrounds, with 70 locations in the US and Canada. Find one near you by going here: http://www.campjellystone.com/history.html
When researching campgrounds for your next RV trip, keep in mind a few things:
1. Length of stay. It’s one thing to compromise on a few things for a few days, but if you absolutely must have a waterslide park nearby for trips longer than a week, then you might as well look for campgrounds near waterslides. After all, wherever you go, your immediate accommodations won’t change.
2. Recreational activities. What is there to do nearby? If you’re with the whole family it might be a good idea to make sure there’s something for everyone.
3. Cost. Most RV parks offer spots with water, electric and sewer hookups for $30-$60 per night.
4. RV Park Checklist: Electric, 50 amp hookup, water, sewer, wireless internet, cable TV, pull-through sites, big rig access, waterfront access, shade trees, swimming pool, pets allowed, tents allowed, family friendly, camp store, bathrooms, showers.
Here are a few good websites for researching your RV camping destination. There’s bound to be multiple reviews of the campgrounds you’re considering, and most of them are pretty honest. Remember, when people are dissatisfied with something, and all they have is spare time and a computer, chances are they’re going to do some complaining. So get online and read some reviews before you jump in the Winni and point it west.