How To Pick Your RV Campsite

Derrek Sigler
by Derrek Sigler
(Photo by Roy Simon/

So you bought that new or new-to-you RV and are ready to hit the road and enjoy all that the RV life has to offer. Great! Welcome to the club! You’ve even picked where you want to go on your trip. There’s one more thing to consider, either before you get to your campground, or right when you arrive, that can make or break the trip – picking the right campsite. Sounds easy enough, and if you’re in a hurry, or don’t have many choices, it can be. If you’re planning out a trip, or have choices for campsites, here are some tips to help you find the perfect one for your vacation.

Get Those Reservations Made

Many National Forest and State Forest campgrounds have reservation systems in place for you to book the spot you want. In fact, it may be hard to get a campsite without a reservation at many of these campgrounds, especially during peak travel months. It is always a good idea to do your research and find campgrounds online and make reservations ahead of time. Most, if not all, of these websites will have a map of the grounds and let you pick your site. Private campgrounds will often have a similar setup, allowing you to get the site you want booked ahead of time. Of course, the early bird… You know the rest. If you’re planning way ahead, don’t think it’s too early to book that site. The closer your vacation gets, the more of a gamble it is that you’re not going to get to stay where you want.

(Photo by tobkatrina/

While you’re at it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check for any online reviews of the campground you’re considering staying at. Ever book a hotel online, only to get there and be disappointed, or worse? The same can be said for camping. Most state-run campgrounds are pretty even with what they say on their websites, but it never hurts to check.


Before you commit to staying at a particular campground, make sure you’ll fit into it. Don’t reserve a tent site and try to squeeze a fifth-wheel into it. If there is no good image of the campsite you’re considering, see if there is a phone number you can call to verify that the site is the right size for you.

(Photo by urbanlight/

When picking the perfect campsite, there are a few things to consider in the way of amenities. Are there bathrooms? How close do you want to be to them? Is the campground near a beach for swimming? How close to the road is the campsite? All these questions, and I’m sure a few more, are things you need to take into consideration.

When I’m picking my own campsites, I always try to be away from other campers, if possible. I also like to be relatively close to the restrooms for my kids. Electrical hookup is not a big deal, as we have a small, ultra-quiet generator for those times when we need it. Deciding what you want as far as amenities ahead of time can make selecting the best campsite much easier.


Above all else, if you’re at all confused about what you want, the best advice is to try. Try out different campsites and campgrounds. If the campground or campsite doesn’t work for you, see about moving. Camping is about relaxing and enjoying yourself. Try new things until you find exactly what fits you best. Then kick back and enjoy.