RV Parks And Campgrounds Money Saving Tips

RV Parks And Campgrounds Money Saving Tips

Fees for RV parks and campgrounds can vary widely depending on location, amenities and the time of year (whether the area is “in season” or “out of season” for popular tourist destinations). We have provided some tips to help you save money on RV park and campground fees.

  • Of course, the best way to save money is to stay free or nearly free. This can be done by boondocking which is staying in a campground with no sewer, water or electrical hook-ups. Some RVers will overnight at Wal-Mart or other parking lots (check with the specific Wal-Mart store, some cities/stores have banned overnight RV parking). In the United States, most campgrounds operated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, such as Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service, National Monuments, National Wildlife Areas and National Forests in addition to many state and county owned campgrounds do not have full hookups and offer reduced fees or free camping.


  • If your schedule allows, travel in off season or shoulder seasons especially in highly desirable destinations. Some RV parks will raise rates during their peak times and lower rates during the off peak or shoulder seasons. As retirees, we try to get to the high traffic destinations while school is still in session and many families with children are not yet able to travel. If you are going to an extreme northern state, check the weather as some northern states will receive snow earlier in the season and many RV parks in those states will close for the winter.


  • We have been Passport America members since 2001 and find it an incredible value! Passport America is ‘The “Original” 50% Discount Camping Club for saving money on RV park and campground fees. There are over 1,600 campgrounds that will give Passport America members 50% off of camping fees. Passport America has not raised their membership fees in proportion to what I have seen RV park and campground fees being raised in the last few years so it becomes a better value every year. When we are looking for an RV park, my Passport America book is the first book I check for RV parks in the area! Click here to find out more about this program.


  • Use RV parks and campgrounds with the services you will use. If an RV park is more expensive because it has a swimming pool, fishing pond, 3 hole putt-putt course or other amenities that you will not use, look for a park that is less expensive with less amenities. On the other hand, if you are traveling with children who are easily bored, you may want to pay more for a park with children friendly amenities to keep the little ones busy. For example, if the kids have their hearts set on spending time swimming, paying more for a park with a swimming pool could save money in the long run as you will not pay to take the family to a public pool that requires admission fees.  In addition to other information, RV park directories such as Trailer Life Directory lists the RV park amenities.  


  • If you are staying overnight in an RV park just getting from point A to point B and do not require sewer or water (if you can use your on-board water and fresh water holding tank), check for parks on your route that have electric only sites as they are usually less expensive than full service sites.


  • If you are able to stay in an area for an extended period of time, ask the RV park for a weekly or monthly rate.  We generally try to find an area that is central to the different areas we want to visit and stay for a week or so.  Many RV parks will give RVers the 7th night free as their weekly rate.


  • Consider joining The Good Sam Club and purchasing the Trailer Life Directory.  RV parks participating in The Good Sam Club discount program offer Good Sam members a discount on their RV park fees.  The Trailer Life Directory lists which RV parks offer the Good Sam discount.

With some planning, you can save money on your RV park and campground fees.

Where would you like to go next?

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Featured Destination

Yellowstone National Park is my favorite national park so far. There is such a variety of things to see at Yellowstone including wildlife and geological wonders. To fully appreciate the park, you will probably want to spend more than one day as the park is very large. Be sure to see Old Faithful geyser.


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