When it comes to camping, if you want to stay at a decent place, it’s going to cost a couple of bucks. How much would you be paying?
RV campsites typically range between $10 to $60 dollars, with more luxurious sites costing $70 to $100. The cost varies based on amenities, the location (where it is and how big it is), and the time of year.
If you’re planning a trip soon, here’s a list of different campsites across the United States. I’ll be including the cost for all times of the year and the amenities that they come with.
21 RV Campsites and Their Average Prices
|Campsite||Cost per night||Amenities (Standard & Extra)|
|Bluewater Lake State Park – New Mexico||$14 / $98 per week||Horseback riding, Fishing, Boating, Electric hookup, Cell phone service|
|Waylon Jennings RV Park – Littlefield, Texas||FREE for up to 4 days, then $20 per Toiletsnight after||Dump Station, Electricity, Sewer, Picnic Tables, Pets allowed|
|Santa Fe Park – Kansas||FREE for up to 48 hours||Electricity, Water, Dump Station, Dog Park, Playground Equipment, Basketball Courts, Boating, Fishing|
|Avila / Pismo Beach KOA – San Luis Obispo, California||$76 in the winter, $85 in the spring/summer/ fall||Electricity, WiFi, Cable TV, Pool (open year-round), Hot Tub/ Sauna, Propane, Bike Rentals)|
|Waldport / Newport KOA – Oregon||$40.50 in the winter, $48.50 in the spring & fall, $56.50 in the summer||Electricity, Wifi, Cable TV, Propane, Firewood, Bike Rentals|
|Yakima River Canyon Campgrounds – Washington||$15||Dumpsters, Vault Toilets, Picnic tables, Fire rings, Waterfront Sites. *Hookups and potable water NOT provided*|
|Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest – Montana||Some are free, most cost $5 to $10 (varies between campgrounds)||Most offer potable water and toilets, scenic views, hiking|
|Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park – Montana||$64.95||Electric, water, sewer, cable TV, WiFi, Toilets, Showers|
|Blackwoods Campground – Acadia National Park, Maine (Open Year-Round)||December to March: Free / April 1-30: $15 / May 1 to October 20: $30 / October 20 to November 31: $15||Flush toilets, running water, dump station, picnic tables, fire rings, showers (have to pay), and camping supply stores|
|Falcon Meadow RV Campground – Peyton, Colorado||Basic site: $24 / Water and electric site: $33 / Full hookup: $35||WiFi, Restrooms, Showers, Dump Station, Laundry, Playground, Golfing, Hiking/nature trails|
|Western Hills Campground – Rawlins, Wyoming (Open April through October)||No hook-up: $22.50 / Electric Only: $29.75 / Full hook-up without Cable TV: $34.50 / Full hook-up: $37||Electricity, Free WiFi, Pet Play Pins, Fire Pits, Cable TV|
|Adelaide Recreation Site – Kanosh, Utah (Open May through October)||$12 ($50 for a group)||Drinking Water, Flush & Vault Toilets, Picnic Tables, BBQ Grills, Fire Ring, Pets Welcome|
|Skagway Municipal / Dyea Campground – Skagway, Alaska||$10||Vault Toilets, Trash Cans, Cell Coverage, Fire Rings, BBQ Grills, Picnic Tables, Hiking, Fishing|
|Holiday Campground, Panacea, Florida||$38.75 to $45.75||Bath and Shower House, Free WiFi, Cable TV, Laundry, Swimming Pool, Horseshoes, Volleyball, Shuffleboard|
|Crowley’s Ridge State Park – Green County, Arkansas||$22 / $10 for Primitive sites ($5 December through February)||Hook-ups for Water and Electricity (30 amp), Picnic Tables, Fire Rings, Satellite Reception, Dogs Allowed|
|Ramhorn Springs Campground – Litchfield, California (Open Year-Round)||FREE||Restrooms, Trash Cans, Fire Rings, Picnic Tables, BBQ Grills, Biking, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing|
|Calamity Campground – Irwin, Idaho (Open Mid-May through Mid-September)||$12 for a single unit / $24 for double unit||Restrooms, Drinking Water, Boat Ramp, BBQ Grills, Fire Rings, Picnic Tables|
|Indian Creek Campground – Gardnerville, Nevada (Open June 1 through October 8)||$20||Drinking Water, Dump Station (fee charged), Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Fishing, Hiking, White-Water Rafting, Sightseeing|
|Glen Gough Memorial Park – Pickford, Michigan (Open April through October)||$12||Electricity, Restrooms, Showers, BBQ Grills, Drinking Water, Playground, Softball, Basketball, Horseshoe Pits|
|Big Run State Park – Swanton, Maryland||$10||Restrooms, Picnic Tables, Fire Ring, Boat Ramp, Fishing, Rock Climbing, Shooting Range, Hunting|
|Whistler Gulch RV Park & Campground – Deadwood, South Dakota||$50||Electricity (50 amp), Water, & Sewage Hook-ups, Picnic Tables, Fire Grate|
Factors that Influence Prices
Like I mentioned earlier, there are factors that are taken into account that determine a campsite’s rates. As you saw in my list, some of these campsites vary depending on the season.
So, what influences these prices? Let’s go over them!
Most states have sale taxes, but there are a handful of states that don’t.
Most states also require their citizens to pay personal or individual income taxes.
States that don’t charge personal income taxes are:
- South Dakota
Other Places You Can Camp for Free (and Stay Safe)
Camping is a time for people to unwind and relax. However, you shouldn’t relax so much that you put yourself in danger. Sure, you can camp for free in deserted country roads or streets, but you can put yourself at risk of criminal activity. Camping can extend to nearby places. Many venues and businesses will allow you to stay temporarily for free.
A number of businesses today are RV friendly; several of them have large spaces in their parking lots set aside for this purpose, and they provide security.
Some examples of these businesses are:
- Camping World
- Pilot/Flying J truck stops
- most other truck stops.
- You may also stay overnight at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or other big-box stores… Just ask for permission first!
If you’re going to use these facilities, you should be considerate and courteous during your stay. Practicing good etiquette will allow travelers to continue staying there.
- Ask permission to stay there. Don’t assume you can stay there, even if you know they’re going to say yes.
- Don’t literally set up camp there. Sure, they let you stay there, but it’s only temporary.
- Don’t dump your tanks on their grounds: It’s not courteous to the business. It’s just gross. You’ll leave the store, but they’re stuck with the grime and the smell.
- Purchase something from them: Whether gas, a candy bar, supplies, whatever; returning the favor is something they would appreciate.
Free overnight parking can be found at fairgrounds, city parks, and county parks. If it’s not being used, then you can probably stay there. Some of them have hookups.
Some casino campgrounds are available around the country; they let RVers stay overnight for free with professional security. They might offer hookups, but it requires a fee. They don’t require you to gamble while you’re staying.
If you ever stumble across a casino during your travels, keep these tips in mind if you intend to stay there. Some of these tips are the same if you were staying at other businesses:
- Get permission to stay overnight. Ask where they would prefer you to park, as they might have a designated area for RVers. It’s recommended that you call the casino before you arrive to make sure they offer overnight parking.
- Don’t set up a campground. Keep your activities to the inside of your vehicle.
- Don’t use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces, such as grass, dirt, or asphalt, especially during the summer. It can sink into the ground, and you can potentially get hurt.
- Leave the area cleaner than you found it.
- Ask security if there are any additional rules you should be aware of. Some casinos can have extra rules.
I listed a couple of free campgrounds above, but there are numerous of these hidden gems all over the United States. Some of them even include hookups.
Most of them are free, but some of them may ask for a small donation.
Some great examples of free campgrounds are National Forest sites and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) sites.
Most of these campsites allow you to stay for up to 14 days.
In truth, most of the free sites are going to dry sites. Usually, when you pay for a campsite, especially the ones on National Forest land, you are paying for the hook-ups and water accessibility.
Public vs Private RV Campsite: What’s the Difference?
If you’ve been looking at campgrounds and you’ve noticed some saying they’re public and others saying they’re private, you’re probably wondering what that means, what makes them private or public, and what are in each.
Public RV Campgrounds
Public campgrounds are owned by the local, state, or federal government. These include national or state parks, national forests, or even county or city parks. There are about 13,000 public campgrounds, and they’re a lot more known than private campgrounds, which means that there are a lot of people camping there, so it might get a little crowded. If you want to camp at a public grounds, there’s a chance you might have to reserve a camp spot months and months in advance.
Public campgrounds usually are in areas with beautiful and scenic views: oceans, mountains, lakes, plains, rivers, and forests to name a few.
Public campgrounds offer fewer amenities than private campgrounds- some offering none at all. There are some that have water and electric hookups, picnic tables, and vault toilets, and there are somewhere it’s nothing but you and what nature has to offer.
Lastly, if you’re wanting to stay for an extended period of time, public campgrounds typically have a maximum number of nights you can stay and don’t offer any discounts for staying multiple nights.
Private campgrounds are just that – privately-owned campgrounds. There are over 3,000 private lands, and they’re not as advertised or well-known compared to public grounds, which means it won’t get as crowded and you can enjoy a quieter camping trip. It also makes it easier to get a spot.
These lands offer many standard amenities compared to public grounds, such as electricity, water, sewage, and WiFi. Some grounds offer extra amenities, such as pools or golf courses.
Private campgrounds are more expensive per night; some can run over $100 depending on the location and time of year. Some campgrounds offer stores that sell candy, ice cream, and toys, so if your kids are coming along, you might end up spending even more.
Since private campgrounds are run by people who need the income, they’ll usually allow you to stay for as long as you like.
Tips to Save on Your Already Cheap Camping Trip
If you’re wanting to enjoy the outdoors in the most affordable and frugal way possible, here are some tips that can help you get there.
Go camping during the off-season: Summer is the best time to go camping, but it’s the time of the year when everyone else wants to go camping. Businesses will want to take advantage of this by charging more. Camping during the fall or winter will cost you less.
If you don’t like the cold, travel somewhere warm. There are plenty of super great RV campsites out there that don’t get touched during the winter.
Go camping in states that don’t have individual income taxes: There are seven states that don’t make you pay extra because for taxes. Those states are:
- South Dakota
Camp on public grounds: It will save you up to $50 a night than if you went to a private campsite.
Sign up for camping clubs and get discounts: The Escapees RV Club has partnered up with over 800 RV parks to give 15% to 50% discounts off their regular prices. To be a part of this RV club, it’s only $40 a year. Passport America offers memberships at $44 a year that will give you discounts to 1900 member parks around the US.
There are some other clubs out there as well, so keep your eyes peeled.
Purchase annual passes: The National Park Service offers a variety of passes for different groups of campers. For senior campers over 62, there’s a senior pass that gives you free admission to US national parks and federal recreation lands. The annual pass is $20 ($30 if purchased online) and the lifetime pass costs $80 ($90 if purchased online). Annual passes are available to everyone else for $80.
Keep an eye out for special deals: If you’re interested in camping at a certain place, check first to see if they’re having any special deals. You’ll be able to save a couple of bucks if you’re lucky!