With over 1,300 privately owned RV parks and 1,600 state parks in the United States, if you have an RV, you’re likely to ask, “How much does it cost to stay at an RV park?”
The simple answer is that it could be anywhere from free to hundreds of dollars per night. If you can do without hookups at a state park, you might be able to score some pretty amazing spots for free or cheap. On the other hand, if you’re on the prowl for something amazing—you’ll have to put out some serious cash.
Keep in mind, there are things you can do to keep the cost down, and I am going to do my best to help you navigate the RV park world. I’ve stayed at private parks, state parks, and national parks with my family, so if it’s RV parks you need to know about—I’m your girl.
How Much Does It Cost to Stay at an RV Park? – How Much Does the Average RV Park Cost Per Night?
The average cost per night to stay in an RV park is around $50 per night.
This average is assuming the RV park is a basic RV park with water and electric hookups semi-close to the city. There aren’t likely to be other amenities, but some of them may have shower houses and toilets.
Low-Cost RV Park Price Examples
Sunshine RV Resort $37 – $49 per night
Foothill RV Park $42 / $50 per night
Mid-Range RV Park Price Examples
Desert’s Edge RV Park $60-$65 per night
The Prospect RV Park $42 per night
Luxury RV Park Prices Examples
Buena Vista Motorcoach Resort $65-$120 per night
Carmel by the River $135 – $250 per night
Types of RV Parks
- Public RV parks are usually in more remote areas and cost up to half as much as many average RV parks. Keep in mind that public campgrounds usually don’t have as many amenities as you would at other RV parks.
- Private RV parks are more expensive than public campgrounds and usually have smaller sites than public RV parks.
- Big chain RV parks can often give you lower prices than smaller RV parks because they make money off all of their locations—not just the one. If one of their parks has a slow time, it’s not that big of a deal.
Types of RV Spots
- Primitive RV spots are usually far out and difficult to get to if you have a bigger rig. They also don’t have any hookups for your RV.
- Partial hookups usually have electricity and water, but they don’t offer a sewer hookup.
- Full hookups have electricity, water, and sewer hookups.
- Pull through sites are the easiest to get into and get out of because you can pull in and not worry about backing up at any point of your stay.
- Premium sites are usually much bigger than other sites, they have full hookups and often are in a prime location at the RV park.
Is It Cheaper to Full Time RV or to Stay on the Weekends?
It seems like it would be less expensive if you only used the RV park for a short time, but that’s not how it is with RV camping.
The weekends are the most expensive time for RV park fees because everyone wants to be there at the same time. Most RV parks charge quite a bit more for their weekend rate—sometimes double. If you want to save money, it’s actually easier to get RV park prices that won’t break the bank if you keep your RV at the RV resort full time.
Many people choose to keep their RV at a specific RV park all year round to get an annual rate. Some people that want to continue traveling choose to stay at an RV park for a month. If you have to choose between this and monthly RV storage, you might be looking at close to the same rates, and you still get to enjoy your RV if you have it at many RV parks that allow monthly and annual RV sites.
Campgrounds vs RV Resorts vs Luxury RV Resorts
There are different types of RVers and the RV travelers continue to vary in what they want out of their camping experience. In fact, many RVers call themselves glampers instead of campers.
Popular RV parks are starting to realize many people want to be close to nature but not necessarily in nature. Many RV owners want to have the best of both worlds, and having different types of RV parks allows everyone to get what they want.
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Campgrounds are usually more of the in-nature type of setup and have few amenities. There are some that have parts of them that give you a more luxurious RV adventure. If you’re living in an RV, you might get tired of roughing it—or maybe that’s just me.
RV resorts are a step up from campgrounds when it comes to the amenities of RV parks. Some of them have a convenience store, clubhouse and make it almost like a fancy hotel—but with your own suite on wheels.
A lot of these RV resorts have events and get-togethers, and most of them offer full hookups. Most parks that identify as luxury resorts also have pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, and other fun things to do. If you want to have guests over, they need to pay an entrance fee.
Luxury RV Resorts
If you’re ready to put out some big money, you can do that by staying at a luxury RV resort. These gorgeous RV parks offer just about anything you could think of.
Most of them have concrete slabs, or sometimes they even have colorful stamped concrete to pull your RV on. You’ll often have a shaded area with a place to cook outside.
Even if you don’t plan on doing this all of the time if you’re full time RV living lifestyle doesn’t allow it, it’s a pretty amazing experience.
How to Save Money When Staying at RV Parks
Some people are fine boondocking and save a lot of money staying outside of RV parks, but if you’re like me, that’s not exactly your style. Since you want to stay at RV parks, you need to find great public campgrounds and other ways to save money while on the road.
If you plan on RVing a lot, it doesn’t make sense not to join one or more discount clubs. Of course, you’ll put some money out up front, but the money you’ll save using these discount clubs will far outweigh the initial expense in most cases.
Escapees RV Club call themselves a total support for all RVers. When you join their network, you have access to their magazine, discounts, their online community, and more.
The discounts that come from being a member of this club are pretty great since you can get discounts on all Escapees RV parks as well as SKP co-op RV parks and member commercial parks. This all turns out to be over 800+ RV parks.
Harvest Hosts is a pretty unique experience that, in my opinion, is best for RVers with as few extras as possible. By extras, I mean cats, dogs, and kids.
Harvest Hosts sounds like a great thing to do, but since we had all of those extras, we never went and stayed at one of the locations. I do have a lot of friends that swear by them.
Keep in mind that you only stay one night—maybe two if you speak to the venue and make sure to buy lots of stuff.
Thousand Trails has a few different types of plans, and a lot of full time RVers couldn’t afford to live the lifestyle without them. At least, not if they wanted to stay at RV parks often.
The way Thousand Trails works depends on the level of membership you have with them. When full timing, we had one of the highest membership tiers, which allowed us to stay for three weeks at a time in most places.
We also had an add-on that let us stay up to 2 weeks at a time in the fancier RV resorts in their network.
Keep in mind that it is a decent upfront investment, so you should plan on keeping it for a while if you want to get your money’s worth. Also, you do have to pay fees yearly, so don’t think you’re free and clear once you pay the thousands it costs to get the membership.
Almost all Thousand Trails RV parks are decent, but very few of them are luxurious.
If you plan on RVing in Florida a lot, then Thousand Trails is a good option for you especially if you do the add-on for the other parks known as the Trails Collection.
Passport America is a 50% off your RV park stay discount club. We stayed a few places within their network and did save money, however, it does take some research.
There are a lot of RV parks that don’t let you use it on weekends, and almost all of them refuse to honor it on holidays—no matter how far you try to book it in advance.
Another cool thing you might enjoy with Passport America is the rallies and caravans they do. If you’ve always wanted to go to a certain location but you didn’t want to go alone, this might be a good network for you to get involved in.
America the Beautiful is a discount pass you can get for different things. For instance, being in the military or being a senior.
Happy Camper gives you discounts of up to 50% at different RV parks.
Good Sam gives you 10% off at participating RV parks. As a bonus, you also get discounts on fuel and on your purchases when you go to Camping World.
It’s not an expensive membership, and we found that we got our money back just from the few times we went to Camping World.
Family Motorcoach Association gives you discounts that go from stays and rallies to tires.
Boondockers Welcome allows you to enjoy free RV stays, but it’s also a great way to meet some super cool people.
Most of these places don’t have hookups—or they’re limited. However, the hosts at these spots are knowledgeable about the area and more than happy to chat and hang out most of the time.
The membership is inexpensive, but you can use it as many times as you want throughout the year.
Hipcamp is like Airbnb, but you use it for your RV. You can find some pretty neat places that you wouldn’t otherwise know about.
Book Long Term Stays
One simple way to save money on RV park rates is to book longer terms stays. That doesn’t mean you have to keep your RV there year-round. You could rent a spot that you really like and keep it all year, but you could still move your RV.
You could also book an RV park stay for a month and get a discount on RV park fees. Staying for a month can be less expensive than staying for two weeks.
If you want to save money on RV park rates and possibly pay nothing at all and make some extra cash, then workamping might be the right thing for you.
It truly just means that you work while living in an RV.
You can do anything you want for work and get anything from cash, RV park fees, discounts, or anything else, and you’re a workamper. There are a lot of opportunities that can allow you to make money, but if you want to save money while staying at RV parks, you might consider working there for discounted RV park rates.
If you like staying at KOAs, then you might be interested in KOA rewards. You get 10% off daily registration rates all year-round. You also get points that will turn into cash for future stays. You can even get free nights of camping sometimes.
You do not need to have a KOA rewards card to stay at the campground.
Extra Fees to Look Out for
Once you find an RV park you want to stay at, you might think the RV park costs you see are what you have to pay. Truthfully, there could be a lot of other fees you might not think about.
Some of those fees include but aren’t limited to:
- Multiple cars
- Additional campers (yes, kids count)
- Tents, screened-in rooms
- Premium placement
- Visitor passes
- Service fees
- Non-refundable deposits
These fees can add up pretty quickly, so even if you think you’re getting a good deal at an RV park, you should make sure there aren’t a bunch of other expenses tacked on.
Why to RV Camp vs Stay in a Hotel
If you start doing the math and you think the average cost per night to stay at an RV park is a little bit high, you may be wondering why you would stay at an RV park instead of in a hotel.
Some of my favorite reasons are because you get your own “yard” and you’re closer to nature. Besides that, you are able to stay in a place you’re familiar with, and you don’t have to worry about unclear prior guests.
When you RV, you can invite friends along, grill out, go fishing and do a lot of the fun things available at RV parks. The cost per night might be a little higher than you thought it would be, but it’s truly a great experience.
Don’t let RV park prices scare you off. Use some of the discount plans above and enjoy a fun RV experience without breaking the bank.
Want to learn what full time life with kids is really like? Check out my post about full time RV living with kids.