What Exactly Is An RV Park? Explained For Beginners

An RV Park is very similar to a campsite but is tailored more towards RV’s and other recreational vehicles instead of tent camping.

What Exactly is an RV Park?

How an RV park differs from a campground can include:

  • Reduced sites for tent camping.
  • Reduced amenities that would benefit tent campers.
  • More sites with full hook-ups.
  • More sites that are available as “drive-thru” instead of those you have to back into.
  • Patios/porches are available.
  • Longer stays available.

What Amenities Can you Expect at an RV Park?

There are traditionally more amenities and facilities at an RV park than you would find at a traditional site.

These facilities/amenities could include:

  • Television Hook-Ups
  • WIFI Access
  • Convenience Stores
  • Gyms
  • Gift Shops
  • Recreation options such as Golf Courses
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Swimming Pools
  • Rec Halls
  • Bars and Restaurants

You might be wondering why these are offered at an RV park when they are not standard in traditional campgrounds.

This is because RV parks often allow for longer stays, and people who frequent them might even live out of their recreational vehicle and rely on these parks for the basics required for comfortable living.

Can You Have a Tent at an RV Park?

Whether or not you can camp in a tent while at an RV park will depend solely on the park.

True RV parks don’t offer tent camping. However, some parks call themselves RV parks, but they still accommodate tent camping and other non-RV camping options.

If you are a camper who prefers a tent to an RV, you will want to make sure that you call ahead to determine if there will be an available site for you.

Check out our article: Do All RV Parks Allow Tent Camping? (Basic Rules) for more information!

Do People Generally Use RV Parks or just Camp in Nature?

Whether or not people camp in an RV park will depend on what type of experience they are looking for.

If you look for a more nature-centered experience, an RV park will not be the place for you.

RV parks offer high-class amenities that can make you forget that you are camping. For some, this can be the ideal vacation, but for others, this could be the last place that you want to be.

Some things to keep in mind if you intend to stay in an RV park include:

Space/Population:

One thing that might not resonate with some people is the population and space between you and your neighbors when camping in an RV park.

If you are the type to enjoy staying in solitude in the great outdoors, it is not suggested to stay in an RV park.

However, if you are a people person who enjoys the idea of meeting your neighbors, an RV Park might be exactly where you want to be.

Noise:

Noise can be a distracting thing when it comes to an RV park. Some RV’s run generators that can be loud.

RVs and their generators are not the only things you have to think about when it comes to noise at an RV park.

Because everyone has power and all the amenities, you might hear other’s televisions, radios, or other noises.

If this doesn’t bother you, an RV park can be the place for you.

Cost:

If you are looking for a budget option, an RV park might not be the right place for you.

Due to the number of amenities, RV parks are more expensive than the traditional campground.

This can be looked at as a cost-benefit equation. If you like amenities and don’t mind paying extra, an RV park is for you.

If you are a bargain hunter who doesn’t mind roughing it a little, you might want to look at other options.

Alternatives:

If you are unsure whether or not an RV park is a place for you, there are alternatives, even if you have an RV.

RVs are welcome in traditional campgrounds as well as RV parks.

This can be a great way to bring all the comforts that your RV has to offer to a traditional camping experience provided by a traditional campground.

Are RV Parks Safe?

RV parks are usually a safe way to travel and don’t attract a lot of crime.

However, nowhere is perfect, and if you are worried, here are some tips to keep you and your property safe:

Lock Your Doors:

This might seem obvious, but locking the doors to your RV or other vehicles while you are away or asleep will keep you and your stuff safe.

In line with this advice, you will also want to bring in any of your items left outside inside at night or when you leave.

Close Your Blinds:

If you know how to prevent robberies at your home, it will be no surprise that preventing robberies is similar while at an RV park.

Closing the blinds in your RV can prevent theft by removing temptation.

First-Aid Kit/Safety Items:

First-Aid kits are essential no matter what type of camping you do.

Accidents can happen, and it is good to have a first-aid kit at the ready just in case.

Another good idea for safety items can include:

  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Bug-Bite Cream
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Motrin/Tylenol
  • Jugs of Water

These items, while not necessarily needed, are good to have in case of emergency.

What Are the Demographics of RV Parks?

Camping is a very popular activity in the United States, no matter what state you live in.

According to Statista.com, “in 2017, 41.8 million people participated in car, backyard or RV camping in the United States. The same year, consumers spent almost 3 billion U.S. dollars on camping equipment.”

The average age of RV owners ranges between 35 and 54.

This is likely because an RV is an investment that younger people are less likely to invest in before other items such as a house or an education.

What’s the Difference Between RV Parks and Campgrounds?

In previous sections, we have touched on the differences between RV parks and traditional campgrounds.

Further differences can include:

  • Ownership: RV parks are usually privately owned. RV parks also tend to rent to RV’s who intend to be permanent residents.
  • Amenity Options: RV parks are more likely to offer amenities such as full hook-ups and other luxuries like laundry and other options.
  • Tent Camping Availability: One major difference is that RV parks only offer a limited amount of tent camping. In contrast, a campground will only offer a limited amount of sites with a full hook-up.

Other Options:

There are not only traditional campgrounds and full RV parks. There are other options available.

Some of these options include: 

  1. RV Parks: These are permanent options for RV owners.
  2. RV Campground: this is normally a park owned by the state and is not a private park. This is not a place where an RV camper would set up a permanent residence.
  3. RV Resort: an RV resort is normally full of every luxury you can think of. This comes with additional expense. Also, you will have to have an RV of a certain age, and older RVs are not always welcome.

If you are looking for a certain type of camping experience, you might want to call ahead to determine exactly what you are dealing with.

How Much do RV Parks Cost on Average?

The average cost for an RV park can vary, depending on the park that you are looking at:

  • National Parks can cost between $10-$100 per night.
  • Other park options can be between $10-$50 per night.

There are RV parks that will charge you per week, month, or season, depending on your stay.

For RV parks that offer permanent residency, you can look into multiple charge options.

Conclusion:

No matter what type of RV camping you intend to do, the options are out there.

Short-term and long-term stays are both available when looking at RV parks.

Just make sure you call ahead to ensure your particular needs are met.

References:

Statista.com

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