With gas prices rapidly rising, you may have been adding to the collective pained groan coming from...
The Perfect Place to Park This Thing
The diversity of RV parks is staggering. From primitive campsites to luxury RV resorts, there is truly something for everyone, in every camping style, in every price range, in every region of the country. When I think back to some of my very favorite places we've stayed over the past year of full-time RVing, they fall all over this spectrum to extremes. One thing parks have in common is the practice of breaking up the area into numbered spaces and assigning each camper a spot. Seems simple enough, right?
River Vista RV Resort in Dillard, GA
Turns out... there is quite a bit of thought that goes into choosing a spot each time we plan a trip. Some parks will allow you to choose your exact spot, and others assign you to a spot based on your needs. Either way, here are some things to consider:
- How big is your rig? You want to make sure the spot you choose will accommodate your rig with your slides out. There are many parks we've visited where our 17' rig is snug as a bug in a rug with no room to spare in our spot. If you're in a bigger rig, there would be no sense in wasting time and *risking your relationship trying to maneuver into an ill-fitting spot.
*If you have never backed into a tight spot in an RV before.... you may not quite grasp the very real possibility of muttering curse words under your breath at the person you love most in this world. The impulse doesn't last long... but it's real, I promise you.
- Speaking of backing that thing up.... Do you need a pull-through? When we first started RVing, I would watch in awe as the seasoned pros threaded the needle in reverse with huge coaches and trailers. We exclusively looked for spots that were pull-through, meaning no backing up was required when arriving or leaving. While these spots come at a cost premium at most parks, some travelers prefer the convenience or have rigs that require a pull-through.
- What amperage do you need? Assuming your spot has full hook-ups, you'll need to make sure it has the right amount of amps for your rig. You may have a 'dogbone' adapter that allows you to use a 50 amp spot as a 30 amp rig, but make sure the pedestal at your spot has enough power for your needs.
- Are you camping with a buddy? There are many parks that feature 'buddy spots,' which allow you and a pal to park next door facing opposite directions so your awnings are adjacent. The space between your rigs is the prime real estate for group meals, battles of cornhole, and taking turns manning the campfire.
- What facilities are important to you? We like to choose spots that are close to the bathhouse, because we typically never use the onboard facilities in our rig. We know other campers who always park as close to the pool and playground as possible. Want to be close to the dog park? (Or maybe as far away as possible?) There may be a community grill area you'd love to utilize if you didn't haul your grilling supplies along. Look at the park map and determine where you're going to be spending most of your time to choose accordingly.
Like most things in the RV lifestyle, choosing the perfect spot gets easier with experience. We have started to keep a list of pros/cons within the parks we love so we remember which spot to request the next time we visit. When you leave a campsite, take note if your spot was level or if you needed several leveling blocks, or if there was a particular tree that dropped pecans on your rig in the middle of the night and you'd like to avoid it next time. (Colombus, Texas-- we loved your pecans, but they will truly jolt you out of a deep sleep hitting the roof.)
It's great to know the spot numbers we love, and ones we'd rather avoid, in our favorite parks when making travel plans, but we have ultimately learned to go with the flow for the best experience.
What is on your list when spot-hunting? Do you meticulously choose your space, or go with the flow and choose to be assigned a random spot? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!