After purchasing your RV you are probably filled with excitement. You have been filled with ideas of where to go for months and finally, you have an RV. It can take you anywhere you want to go across the country. However, you might begin to realize how quickly RV campsite get booked and how expensive RV campgrounds can be. So, this article is all about how to pay less than the average RV park rates so you can save money!
One thing you will learn very quickly when you spend lots of time at different RV parks around the country is that RV campsites get booked super early, especially in and around the most popular National Parks. Unfortunately, you will also learn that RV park rates can be very high. To avoid paying more than you need to, you will need to make sure that you do your research and stay at locations that have a more reasonable price.
As you get more and more experienced in RVing, you will learn different tricks to save money on RV park rates. Unfortunately, it will require you to do a decent amount of research to save as much money as possible. This is especially true if you are traveling all over the country. Many discounts are not available in all states, so you need to be aware of which locations you can use your discounts at. However, as long as you keep that in mind you should be ok going forward.
It may be worrisome to hear that RV park rates can be high, but there is no need to worry. Pretty soon you will be filled with knowledge on how to save money, and you will only need to pay a portion of those rates. As long as you do your research everything will work out for you.
What Are the Average RV Park Rates?
So, now that you have heard that RV park rates can be exceptionally high, you are probably wondering what those rates look like. Rates can vary dramatically depending on the time of year and location of the park. The average is around $60, but these numbers can vary drastically depending on the location of the RV campground and the time of year. Here are a few examples of RV park rates around the country.
1. Camp Gulf; Destin, Florida
At Camp Gulf you can expect to pay between $65 and $85 in the winter, and between $67 and $90 during the autumn. There is an uptick during the spring and summer as the rates are between $90 and $120 in the spring, and $97 and $126 in the summer.
2. Durango RV Resort; Red Bluff, California
This resort in California does not have changes in rates during the year. You can expect to pay between $50 and $60 no matter the time of year. There is also a $5 daily use fee, $3 extra visitor fee, $3 guest fee, and $2 extra vehicle fee.
3. Zion River Resort; Virgin, Utah
This resort in Utah charges between $35 and $50 in the winter. In the fall prices go up to $50, and in the summer prices go up to $60.
4. Oak Grove Resort Campgrounds; Holland, Michigan
Here in Michigan you can expect to pay $55 in the fall, $60 in the summer, and $65 during the holiday season.
5. The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course; Borrego Springs, California
Here you can expect to pay between $64 and $84 a night from October to mid-January. From then until late April you can expect to pay between $77 and $101.
6. Mill Creek Ranch Resort; Canton, Texas
At this Texas RV park you can expect to pay between $162 and $255 a night at any time of year.
7. Libby’s Oceanside Camp; York Harbor, Maine
At this location you can expect to pay between $60 and $100 a night. There is a also a $3 visitor fee, $5 adult fee, $3 extra child fee, and $5 extra vehicle fee.
8. Wagonhammer RV park & Campground, North Fork, Idaho
Here you can expect to pay $37 a night all year round. There are all $6 additional guest fees, and $8 additional vehicle fees.
9. Sea & Sand RV Park; Depoe Bay, Oregon
This location charges $64 to $80 in the summer, between $54 and $69 in the spring, and between $44 and $59 in the winter.
10. Polson Motorcoach & Resort, Polson, Montana
Here you can expect to be charged between $60 and $100 a night during the spring and autumn. However, prices do increase to between $90 and $225 a night in the summer.
11.Five Pines Camping & Recreation; Farmington, Pennsylvania
Prices here range from $10 to $38 a night all year round.
12. Grand Canyon Camper Village; Grand Canyon, Arizona
If you are interested in staying near the Grand Canyon, you can expect to pay $41 a night in the winter. In the summer prices increase to $56 a night.
13. Doc’s RV Park; Gulf Shores, Alabama
This location charges $40 a night all year round. You can also pay an extra $40 a month for RV storage if you wish.
14. Camp Hatteras RV Campground and Resort; Waves, North Carolina
This location charges between $43 and $45 from January to mid-March. Then prices increase to between $65 and $75 through late May. From then until September, prices increase to between $81 and $110. Until November prices drop to between $63 and $75. Prices then drop again for November and December as you only need to pay between $43 and $45.
15. Americamps RV Resort; Ashland, Virginia
This location charges between $40 and $50 for a back-in site RV, $50 to $60 for a pull-thru site RV, and $55 to $69 for a concrete site RV.
Why Are RV Parks So Expensive?
So, if you are doing the math, you can probably see that staying at an RV park will cost you more a month than many apartments do. So, why are they so expensive? It is mostly because of the increase in the number of RVers in recent years. People are purchasing and renting RVs more than they ever have thanks to the development of RV Rental websites. As a result, RV parks need to hire more employees to keep up with the maintenance, security, water, sewer, electricity, and trash removal needs of the campsite.
How Much Does it Cost to Stay at a Private RV Campground?
The average price can be a difficult number to nail down. There are so many factors that can cause a drastic difference in price from one location to another. This is especially true in the United States where taxes and amenities vary greatly from state to state. Many private campgrounds will charge between $30 and $60 a night depending on the location and amenities included. You can also sometimes get a cheaper price if you rent for a week or month.
How Much Does It Cost to Stay at State or National Park RV Campgrounds?
As you travel through the country, there is a good chance you have a few state and national parks on your travel list. However, you also need a place to stay, so you are interested in how much it costs to stay at these park campgrounds. Generally, they are less expensive than private campgrounds, but they also don’t always off full or even partial hookups. They will cost roughly $30 to $50 a night depending on the amenities available and the time of year.
How to Lower Your Average RV Campground Cost Per Night With RV Campground Discount Memberships
So, since you have made it this far you are aware that RV park rates can be very expensive. A lot of the time it will cost you more on average than your rent. As a result, the RV lifestyle might seem unsustainable. However, there are ways to lower the prices of these RV campsites. There are many discounts available that you can take advantage of to save money.
1. Passport America
With Passport America you can get up to 50% off campsite fees. All you need to do is pay $44 a year and you will be good to go. This discount applies to 1,800 campgrounds across the United States and Canada. Before you make the purchase you should download the directory. It will outline policies such as the number of nights the discount is applicable.
We use Passport America quite a bit and we save the most amount of money with it. But you need to be aware that many of the discounts are only offered Sunday through Thursday nights. If you are strictly a weekend warrior this might not be the best discount plan for you. But if you camp on weekdays this is the best way to cut your RV campground rates in half!
2. The Dyrt Pro
The Dyrt Pro is a membership that offers much more than just campground discounts. It also has over 1 million campground reviews for almost every campground in America. The Dyrt runs monthly contests to encourage campers to write reviews and we use these reviews to help find great campgrounds for our stays.
When you purchase The Dyrt Pro which only costs 35.99 a year, you get all of the campground intel and you also get discounts on campgrounds up to 40% off your first night ( Sunday through Thursday) and then 10% off after that for campgrounds participating in the premium discount plan. For campgrounds participating in the Standard discount plan, you can receive up to 10% off per night.
Plus The Dyrt has discounts on all sorts of camping gear and supplies, and a handy trip planning tool available to its Pro Members as well. We love our membership and highly recommend it to anyone looking to save on campgrounds, gear and equipment, and also to get great reviews to determine where you want to camp!
We use our Dyrt pro membership all the time to choose campgrounds because there are a ton of great reviews that we feel are very accurate.
3. Escapees Club
Escapees RV Club has several discounts available to you. The value of these discounts will vary based on the location. Some will be up to 50%, while others may be as low as 10%. Regardless, these discounts will help you stay on the road for longer. However, there may be restrictions on how many nights you can apply the discount. All you need to do to use the discounts is pay $39.95 a year.
4. Good Sam Club
Good Sam Club offers a 10% discount on fees at over 2400 campgrounds throughout the United States. Membership costs are only $27 a year, so it is a massive bargain. With the membership, you will also get a 5 cents a gallon on gasoline and 8 cents a gallon on diesel discount when gassing up at any Pilot Flying J location. You can also get your propane refilled at these locations at a 5 cents a gallon discount.
As a member, you will also enjoy a 10% discount on purchases at any Camping World retailer. There are also other discounts available related to dining, travel, and shopping.
5. KOA Membership
With a KOA membership, you can get discounts from campgrounds all across North America. The membership costs $33 a year, and once you have it you will receive 10% off daily rates year round at over 500 KOA locations. You can also earn reward points that you can use to save money on future KOA stays. We don’t have a KOA Membership but they are some of the more expensive campgrounds because they offer lots of amenities. So 10% off can add up if you stay at a KOA.
How to Use Free Camping to Lower Your Average Cost Per Night
Another way to lower your average cost per night is to take advantage of free overnight camping locations. Generally, free locations have a limit of one or two nights. These locations usually don’t have hookups ( but some Boondockers welcome locations do) so, you need to switch to a paid location every few nights so you can dump your tanks and refill with water.
When we travel we typically pay to stay at a full hookup campground once every three nights. The other 2 nights we camp for free at Harvest Hosts, Boondockers Welcome, or OvernightRVParking free locations. So we pay $50 once every three days rather than $50 per night which lowers our average campground cost to just under $17 per night.
Another way we use these free locations is if we are traveling a long distance and just need a place to sleep for one night. We figure why pay $50 for a campground just to arrive after dark and leave first thing in the morning on our way to our true destination.
1. Boondockers Welcome
We love our Boondockers Welcome membership. Boondockers Welcome is huge network of people who allow RVers to stay on their property for free. Most of the hosts are fellow RVers so you can swap stories and share useful information. It’s only $50 to join and if you use it one time you break even!
To use Boondockers Welcome you start by making a profile. While making a profile, you should decide if you can host. This site is based on the generosity of others, so if you can host, you should consider it. Plus your membership cost gets cut in half so It’s only $25.
Once you have your profile set up, you can start searching for listings. Look for locations around where you plan on traveling. Be sure to check to see what amenities are available and how much space is available. Not all host locations will be able to accommodate every size RV.
Once you select a location, contact the hosts. Let them know which dates you are interested in staying there. Once they have accepted your request to stay, you can arrive at their location with the knowledge that you have a safe place to stay.
Most hosts allow guests to stay for a night or two (sometimes longer) and then be on their way. When you leave, thank your hosts and give them a gift if you can. It does not need to be big, but some sort of token of gratification is always appreciated.
Finally, you should leave a reference. If they were a good host leave a good review so that other RVers know that it is a reliable location with good hosts.
Here is an awesome location where we stayed! It had full hookups and a gorgeous view of the river!
2. Harvest Hosts
You can also join Harvest Hosts and gain access to over 1000 excellent locations across North America. These locations are free and are located at wineries, breweries, farms, museums, and more all across the country. The yearly membership is only $79 a year fee pays for itself after just one or two nights, so it is a no brainer.
By using this service you will also get the opportunity to meet people all over the country that you would never have the chance to meet otherwise. This way you can get an idea of how people live in all the different corners of America.
As always with these types of services, it is important to not overstay your welcome. These locations are not hotels where you can stay as long as you want. Plus most Harvest Host Locations don’t have any hookups. These are hosts that are letting you onto their land out of the goodness of their hearts. So, stay a night for free, be thankful, and be on your way.
We use our Harvest Hosts membership every chance we get! Here is a gorgeous farm and winery where we stayed for two nights! We had the place to ourselves and it was beautiful! And the wine was terrific too!
Overnight RV Parking provides the largest database of free RV parking locations across the United States and Canada. They charge a low annual fee of just $29.99 which will pay for itself after just one night.
To use this service you can search for locations near where you plan on traveling. Once you find a listing that you like, you can contact the hosts. Once the hosts accept you as a guest, you can travel knowing that you have a place to park your RV. You can stay there for a few nights and be on your way.
With RV park rates being so high elsewhere, using a service like this is a no brainer. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year if you travel enough.
We like our Overnight RV Parking membership when we are driving a long distance and just need a place to crash for the night like a Cracker Barrel, Costco, Walmart or Bass Pro Shop. The database has over 14,000 places across the US and Canada where you can stay (or not) stay for free. And every location is entered by fellow RVers or the staff at OvernightRVParking. We save lots of money every year with this subscription!
Get Ready for Your Next Trip After Learning All There is to Know About RV Park Rates
After reading, we hope you have all the information you need about RV park rates. As you can see, RV park rates can get extraordinarily high. However, there are ways to lower those rates and save yourself hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year. With how expensive RVing can be in general, it is a no brainer to try and find these discounts.
There are several services you can subscribe to that will give you discounts and select RV campgrounds around the country. These subscriptions generally will save between 10% and 50% off the price of these locations. There are several services that do this, so you can look around and find the best one for you. You should also take advantage of subscriptions that give you access to free campsites across the country. These subscriptions let you contract people that allow RVers to stay on their land for a few nights at a time. However, since these are free campgrounds, it is important to not overstay your welcome. So, only stay for two to three nights.
We know there is a lot of information to absorb, but it should all be helpful as you prepare for your next trip. No one wants to spend more money than they need to. So, take your time, do your research, and you will be saving lots of money the next time you take your RV out.
Have you ever got a discount at an RV campsite before? What type of RV do you own? What service are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments!