How to Book the Perfect Campsite
May 4, 2022
Do you find yourself idly researching campgrounds and campsites in the hopes of finding that perfect gem? Perhaps you’re doing it during the workday to avoid working on that report for which the deadline is fast approaching? If so, we totally get it! (And we won’t tell your boss.)
Luckily, you’re in good hands.
Before you hit the “Book Now” button on a campsite, ask these questions.
What Sort of Hookups Do I Need?
If you’re an RV owner, you’ll need the right water and electrical hookups. No one size fits all. Do you require 30 amp or 50 amp? If you require sewer hookups, pay close attention to whether a specific RV site has it. Some waterfront and remote sites do not offer this, so be sure to double-check.
Still, if you’d rather have that nice view or want to be away from the main campground and don’t mind the lack of hookups, that’s something to consider. You can always use the bathhouses for showers and dump your sewer tank at the end of your stay.
Do I Want a Back-In or Pull-Thru RV Site?
This will depend on your type of RV and how large it is. The larger Class A models always fare better with pull-thru sites, so backing in is not a problem. Conversely, if you have a towable unit and have a shorter stay, you may not even need to unhitch, which can save you time as you move to the next destination.
It should be noted that although convenient, pull-thru sites are typically less private and less scenic. Instead of having a nice patch of woods behind your site, you’ll most likely have a road. If you’d rather have more privacy, then seriously consider a back-in site. As always, there are exceptions to every rule, and no two RV campgrounds are alike. If you can’t find the information you need on the website, a phone call (talking to a real human!) is a good idea.
Do I Want to Be Close to Amenities?
Say you have small kids and want to be fairly close to the pool and playground. Then you can sit back and relax in your chair outside your RV while your little whippersnappers play just across the way. And it will be a short walk from the pool back to your RV so you and the kids can get indoors quickly to dry off. Just remember – being closer to amenities means being near most of the foot traffic of the other campground guests.
Do I want Sun or Shade?
This is a big deal for many, especially during the height of summer. Never mind tent camping, even RVs with a decent AC system can get overheated with too much direct sunlight and no shade. If this is important to you, be sure to choose a campground with lots of trees, and pick a site that is directly under the shade, at least partially. This is especially pleasant for those summer nights.
Conversely, if you are camping in the northern states, such as Maine or Oregon, you may want to soak up as much sun as possible.
Can I Hear Cars from the Main Road from My Site?
Many campers tend to get cranky when they pull up to their site and discover that it is near the main road where traffic can be heard well into the night. If this sounds like you, check online for a map of the campground and if one’s not available, call ahead and ask.
If you are in an RV during the summer, your AC may well drown out the noise – it’s just a matter of how sensitive you are to the issue and your level of comfort.
Do I Want a Waterfront Site?
While this may sound like the ultimate dream camping spot, for many this is not the case. Especially if you have young children and are nervous about them getting near the water unsupervised. Often, waterfront spots are a little more private and do offer a nice view. But if safety is a concern, you’ll need to compromise that coveted spot for when the kids are older.
Do I Want Two (or More) Sites Together?
If you’re traveling with another couple or family, you’ll likely want two spots side by side so the kids can play together, and sharing meals is easy. Booking two or more sites together online should be done in advance so you have your pick before they’re snatched up.
The bottom line: do your due diligence and research your preferred campground ahead of time. In this way, you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises when you arrive.