Last Updated on December 31, 2021 by Douglas
There’s nothing quite like living in an RV on the road. It frees you from all of your daily responsibilities. You also get a taste of how people in other places live their lives. If you haven’t spent an extended adventure traveling in an RV, you’re really missing out on the experience of a lifetime.
That said, constant travel can lead to exhaustion. If you don’t give yourself the occasional break you might burn out. This would prevent you from enjoying the rest of your journey. Making a stop at an RV park for a few days can be useful here. It would give you the chance to reset a little bit. RV parks are also a great option if you are traveling with your family. You can take them to a place where all kinds of likeminded people can be found.
The amenities that an RV park can offer are quite spectacular. But before you eagerly start to take advantage of them, you need to know how much they cost. We will be telling you all about their costs, what you get in exchange for this money as well as ways in which you can make your RV stays a little more affordable.
Average RV Park Rates And What You Get in Return
The average cost of staying at an RV park is about $50-$60 per night. You might be surprised to hear this. It’s definitely on the expensive side. Note that this is an average cost. Some RV parks that offer more luxurious experiences can charge a lot more. It’s not uncommon for premium private campsites to charge upwards of $100 per night. Some even go all the way up to $150, although the luxury you would get there is similar to that of a hotel.
Here are the factors that are taken into account when calculating RV park rates:
Most RV parks are staffed by really professional people. They often have degrees in hospitality and the like. Since these are such well educated workers, they naturally demand a higher salary than the average. RV parks also need quite a few of these staffers to keep running smoothly. The number of people the RV park has on staff will all be factored into the per night price. Hence, much of these nightly rates go towards paying the wages of the people on staff. On the bright side this means that you wouldn’t have to tip them!
With so many people coming in and out of the parks each day, there is obviously going to be a lot of trash accumulating. Picking up this trash is a major undertaking that costs a lot of money. The grass and other amenities in the RV park also need to be maintained. RV park upkeep and maintenance is a major expense that is often a big factor in why RV park rates are generally so high. When you consider things like this, $50 per night really does seem worth it.
One of the main reasons why people come to RV parks is because they have electricity. RV lifestyle can be tough and you often have to make do without electricity. This can be fun as well since you get to go on an adventure. But at a certain point you just want to go somewhere and relax. Powering such a large facility would naturally result in some very high utility bills. RV park rental is generally fairly high in order for the parks to be able to easily pay all of these bills.
This is another precious resource for anyone that’s been on the road for a long time. One of the main functions that RV parks fulfill is that they can be a water resupply station for many people. They often give you the chance to just refill your water tank for a fee. This fee is usually a lot more reasonable since you are just refilling the tank and leaving. The water does cost quite a bit, though. Transporting it is a logistical nightmare. So RV parks need to charge high rates so that they can have a constant supply of water.
Basic parks are all well and good. But private campsites often offer far more luxurious features. This is why they charge a lot more as well. Here are some of the amenities you can get at private campgrounds:
Nothing beats a nice swim to take the edge off. It’s also a great form of exercise. Public swimming pools require huge investments to maintain, though. The water needs to be kept clean. Filter maintenance is a frequent expense that can drive up the monthly bill for the swimming pool. What’s more is that chlorine is required to keep the water sanitary with so many people using it.
If you are exploring a new area, you might not know the best places that you can check out. Part of the charm of going to a private campsite is that you get guided tours. Often these guided tours are included in the park rent. This means that you get a lot more value for money. You can also see some beautiful places with an expert that can tell you all of the interesting facts that you might want to know about said place.
Canteens And Stores
A major benefit of going to a private campsite is that you get so many different kinds of cafeteria and store options. These shops are great if you want to resupply. They give you the chance to get all of the necessary items that you need. If you want to grab a quick bite, the campsite would probably have a cantina or two where you can get it. The food is generally pretty high in quality. This justifies the high asking price for private campsites by a pretty large margin.
One problem that people often face during a life on the road is that they might not be able to feel secure. After all, you’re traveling to some rather interesting locales and these places often have people that are of an unsavory sort. Staying at a private campsite can give you a lot more security. You wouldn’t have to worry about any of your belongings. This would bring you some peace of mind. Not having to worry about something getting stolen can be a huge relief. Especially if you spent a long time traveling in distant places where you had to constantly be on your guard.
This is one of the more luxurious amenities that private campgrounds offer. Only a select few campsites even have this amenity to begin with. The bathhouses in these parks have lots of different offerings. You can go to the sauna to get all of the impurities in your body out of you. They have hot tubs that you can use as well. If you are a no frills kind of person, you can just take a nice shower at no extra cost. RVs that come with showers are really expensive. Spending a day at an RV park can give you the chance to enjoy a shower without having to calculate how much water you are using up.
Plenty of Space
One thing that a lot of people don’t like about standard RV parks is that they can be a bit cramped. With private campgrounds, you would get a lot more space to explore. The parking area would give you a wide parking berth. This is especially useful if you are towing a trailer. You would need more space to fit everything into. Paying a bit extra for a private campground is a good idea if you are towing a camper rather than driving an RV.
Public Campgrounds And Their Benefits
Both kinds of RV parks that we have discussed above are private entities. One type is just more luxurious than the other. However, there are also public campgrounds that you can use. These kinds of campgrounds are not owned by private companies. Instead, they are owned by a government agency. They have been created specifically so that people can enjoy basic amenities at a very affordable rate. Don’t expect anything too fancy here, though. Public campsites usually only offer the very meanest of accommodations since they charge a very low rate as well.
Some public campgrounds don’t have bathhouses or any such thing. At most they would have a number of toilets that you can use. These toilets do have running water, though, so that’s a definite positive. You shouldn’t worry too much about this sort of thing, though. Even though these campsites don’t have showering facilities, many nearby inns and hotels do. In fact, they know that a lot of people staying at these parks would need a place to bathe. They often charge you a small fee in exchange for letting you use their shower. Hence, you can go to a hotel or inn to freshen up at a low cost and then head to the public campground to stay for a while.
Bear in mind that your stay at a public campground won’t be unlimited. Most public sites will only let you stay for up to two weeks. This is because there is very high demand for their services. If you intend to stay for longer than two weeks, you might want to make multiple bookings in advance. These campsites allow you to make several successive bookings. You just need to let them know your needs so that they can help you with them.
Another thing to consider is that there are a limited number of spaces near the essential amenities. These spots get taken very quickly. So you need to plan well in advance. We know that you probably don’t like the idea of planning anything. This is understandable since you are living the RV life so that you can avoid making decisions and live in the moment. That said, you probably have a rough idea of where you want to go. Calling ahead to various public RV grounds in the area can tell you how many spots they have available. They will also tell you when the next spot would be free so that you can pre-book it.
Doing this would mean that you never have to compromise on your spot. Public campgrounds have limited facilities as it is. Getting a spot that’s very far away from such amenities could make things very difficult for you. A fifteen minute walk can seem like an eternity if you urgently need to use the bathroom. These parks do let you refill your water tanks, though. Hence, you can keep your water tank full and only head to the facilities if you really need to. This would help you stay at a public RV campsite even if you don’t get any of the good spots.
Space can also be a bit of an issue with many RV parks. They don’t have the kind of space to cater to large motorhomes. People that live in luxury motorhomes probably don’t need to use these kinds of parks anyway. They’re meant for people on a budget who just need a safe place to sleep for the night in their RV or camper.
All of these drawbacks might make you think that public campgrounds aren’t worth it. Their extremely low price range does make them a worthwhile investment, though. You can spend a night at a public campground for as little as $15 per night. That’s less than a third of what you would spend at an average private RV park. It’s about one tenth of what you would spend at a luxury private campsite as well.
Public camping grounds also offer some unique benefits. For example, they give you firewood at a very low cost. This means that you wouldn’t have to go out and chop the wood yourself. Since the wood will have been chopped by trained professionals, it will be higher quality too.
These kinds of RV camping grounds do this because too many people chopping wood in nearby areas would be a hazard to wildlife. Unregulated wood chopping by so many RV dwellers might greatly decrease the woodlands in the area as well. Hence, public campgrounds harvest the wood in a sustainable manner and then sell them at a very low price range so that people staying at the park would have no incentive to go and chop wood on their own. You can use this wood to start a lovely bonfire that everyone would enjoy.
Cost Saving Tips For RV Parks
It’s clear that staying at an RV park is going to be a very expensive endeavor. We have already explained why these charges are justified. However, you might still struggle to afford such costs. That’s why we have come up with some handy cost saving solutions. Read on to find out what they are.
Book Several Days in Advance
A lot of campsites will cut their charges in half if you book several days in advance. The way it works is that if you book a spot at an RV park for a day, you will be charged about $50 or so. Booking it for a week might bring this cost down to $40 a day. Booking a spot for a whole month would mean that the cost would become around $35 or perhaps even $30 a day. This would help make the campsite a great deal more affordable. You would be able to book a spot for a month for under $1,000 per month. That’s a decent amount of rent to pay given the amenities you would be provided.
Try Dry Camping
This is a really low budget form of RV camping. Certain campsites let you dry camp there. Dry camping basically means that you would get a spot in the campground and that’s it. This would provide you with security as well as an open space that you can explore. However, you wouldn’t get amenities like water or electricity. But it would cost only $10-$15 per night. This is very reasonable as it would allow you to stay at the campsite for about $300-$400 per month. That’s a decent amount to pay for the services being provided. These kinds of campsites are usually in really beautiful locales, so that’s really what you’re paying for here.
Get a Senior Discount
If you’re a senior citizen, you can get some pretty amazing discounts on RV parks. This means that even if you have one senior citizen in your group, you might be able to gain access to RV campsites for cheaper. Many parks offer lifetime memberships for senior citizens as well. A lifetime membership to National Parks costs about $80, and it’s only available to senior citizens. These discounts extend to people that engaged in active military service.
Join a Membership Club
You can get memberships even if you’re not actually a senior citizen. They would just be slightly different kinds of memberships. Certain clubs charge you a small one time membership fee after which you would get 10% off hundreds of parks all across the country. You would get some discounts on fuel as well. Gasoline users would get 5 cents off each liter, and diesel users get 8 cents off. This might not seem like much but it really adds up. Joining a club can be an important aspect of preparing for RV living. It’s useful even if you just like going on vacation regularly. The money you save from these discounts, coupled with discounted rates that come with extended bookings, can help make staying at an RV park very affordable indeed.
Get a KOA Value Card
This is a slightly different kind of membership card. KOA owns hundreds of campgrounds around the country. When you get a value card from KOA, you won’t just get 10% off the daily rate. You would also get points for each dollar you spend. These points can then be redeemed for even more discounts. A KOA value card costs about $30 a year. That’s a paltry fee when you realize just how much money you would save each year thanks to the discounts being offered.
RV parks offer a lot of comfort and luxury. They can be a great resting place where you can rejuvenate yourself. RV living can be tough after a while. It can be nice to spend some time in an area where all of your needs can be met. While nightly RV park rates can be a bit high, there are plenty of ways in which you can cut down on these costs. It’s all a matter of making the right decisions here. Following our money saving tips should leave you with a very cost effective solution for all your needs. Given the amenities that average RV parks provide, especially with the potential discounts that are on offer, it’s fair to say that staying at an RV park is most definitely worth it.