How To Find The Best Cheap RV Campsites According to Expert RVers

RV life is packed with adventure, fun, and memory-making. However, it’s also an expensive way of life, so saving money wherever you can is important. …

RV life is packed with adventure, fun, and memory-making. However, it’s also an expensive way of life, so saving money wherever you can is important. 

One of the best ways to do that is by choosing affordable campsites. Scoring a cheap campsite is one of the best things about living full-time in an RV. By finding more affordable places to spend the night, we can make our money go further and travel more.

This article will show you how to find the best cheap RV campsites. We’ve even enlisted the help of expert RVers to provide you with the best advice.

If you need help finding affordable RV campsites, stick around!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more info.

How Do RVers Find Affordable Campsites?

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Some of the best ways to find cheap campsites are to sign up for memberships, download apps, and purchase campsite books.

We have the Good Sam membership and app, and it’s saved us a lot of money. It gives us discounts at thousands of campgrounds across the US and makes finding the cheapest RV parks easier.

Other apps or websites you can use to find cheap campsites include:

When we spoke to Nicole Calvert from RV Doing This, she told us she uses a popular book to find the cheapest and free campgrounds. Here’s what she had to say:

“We use this book called ‘The Wright Guide To Free and Low-Cost Campgrounds.’ This book is so great and definitely our favorite way to find campsites. It also helps us find great boondocking areas where we can camp for free.”

What Is The Best Type Of RV Camping?

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One challenge you might face when looking for an RV campsite is finding one that best suits your travel style. 

For example, some RVers might prefer KOA parks, while others prefer staying off-grid.

So, what’s your favorite type of RV camping? Our favorite cheap RV campgrounds have to be state parks. We love how much easier they’re to book at the last minute and how they’re rarely near busy highways.

When we asked Nicole about her favorite cheap RV camping, she said, “Our favorite campgrounds are either family-owned RV parks, national parks, or state parks.” Like us, she also enjoys how quiet state parks are. 

She also enjoys KOA parks, but they’re usually more expensive and busier.

What Amenities Should You Look For At An Affordable RV Park?

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Generally, amenities don’t vary much between cheap and expensive campsites. However, we can’t always expect the best from affordable RV parks. Therefore, it’s important to know which amenities you need most.

Our expert RVer told us what amenities she looks for. She said, “The main amenities we look for at the cheapest RV parks are nice shower facilities and restrooms.”

She also keeps an eye out for sites with playgrounds for her children.

To be honest, I’m different. When I stay at a campsite with hookups, I much prefer showering in my RV. Instead, my must-have amenities include reliable free WiFi and a fenced-in dog park for my pooch.

RVers on Reddit also listed some amenities they look for at RV parks. Here are some of the top suggestions:

  • Laundry facilities
  • A convenience store
  • Cafe
  • Kayak rental
  • Boat launch

Is It Difficult To Find Cheap RV Campsites?

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The answer is yes and no. Generally, you won’t have much trouble finding somewhere cheap to stay. However, there are times when you might encounter some issues. 

When discussing this with Nicole, we both had the same response. The only time we have ever struggled to find a campground is in more populated cities.

When driving through New York, D.C., and Boston, Nicole struggled to find an RV park. She said, “These big cities only have a few campgrounds near them, so we had to be further away from the sights we were planning to see.”

To avoid the struggle, I recommend casting a wider net. Expand your search to national forests and public lands. 

Plan Your Campgrounds In Advance!

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Aside from casting a wider net, another great way to avoid disappointment is to plan your campgrounds in advance. Even just one day ahead will help you avoid the inconvenience of not being able to find somewhere to stay.

I usually book most of my stays a week or two in advance. I also use Harvest Hosts to find affordable one-night stays between cheap RV parks that I’ve booked for longer stays.

Nicole takes things a step further. Not only does she plan everything out in advance, she also makes a backup plan. 

She told us her backup plan is usually to look for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land or Walmart parking lots.

However, I recommend using highway rest areas (if RVs are permitted) instead of Walmart parking lots because overnight parking is NOT allowed at most Walmarts anymore.

Boondocking Or Campground Camping – Which Is Better?

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Two of the most popular types of RV camping are boondocking and campground camping. So, which is better?

According to Nicole, “Boondocking is great because you’re normally out in the middle of nowhere with no one around. It’s one of our favorite ways to detach and experience nature.” But boondocking comes at the cost of not having any amenities like running water, sewage dumps, and electricity. 

Campground camping offers full hookups, more security, and access to shower and restroom facilities. However, you must abide by park rules and pay to use the site. 

Nicole tends to mix things up by spending a few days boondocking before booking a campground so she can use the facilities. 

She gave us this advice: 

“It all just depends on your needs for that time frame, where you’re going, and what you’ll be doing.”

Our Favorite Cheap RV Campgrounds

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To make your life easier, we’ve listed some of the best cheap RV campgrounds we’ve been to. This should give you the head start to plan your next adventure.

Campgrounds: 

Boondocking Locations:

Top Tips For Finding Cheap RV Camping

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To finish, we’d like to leave you with the top tips for finding cheap RV campsites. The following tips come from us, Nicole, and other RVers:

  • Plan your campgrounds around what you want to see. Decide what you want to be close to and then look for a campsite nearby.
  • Use the BLM website to find boondocking areas. If you’re struggling to find an RV campground, you might be able to find a boondocking area on the BLM website.
  • Pick up your phone! You’ll be surprised how many great deals and excellent campgrounds you can find by talking on the phone.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family. Ask friends and family about staying a night or two and saving money.
  • Stick to a budget. This may sound simple, but it’s easy to spend more money than you have. Therefore, set yourself a budget and stick to it.
  • Stay for longer. RV parks often offer discounts and deals to campers who book longer stays, so consider spending a little bit longer in the places you love.

Now that you know how to find the best cheap RV campsites, why don’t you plan your next adventure? We can’t wait to see the fantastic campsites you find!

22 Tiny Campers That Pack a Punch for Epic Road Trips

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Tired of the tent-pitching hassle, dragging cooking gear around, misplacing tent pegs, and the discomfort of sleeping on the ground? Ever glanced at a luxurious RV and thought, “That’d be nice, but without the big price tag and complex upkeep?” Welcome to the world of micro campers!

These compact wonders are easy to tow, set up in a snap, and won’t break the bank. Plus, they’re usually small enough to tuck away in your garage.

11 Best Small RVs That Are Perfect for Couples’ Adventures

Photo Credit: Winnebago

Embracing life in a small RV comes with a heap of perks! You’ll find them a breeze to park and navigate, not to mention the lighter hit on your fuel budget.

The market is bustling with options for compact RVs, ranging from sleek Class B campervans to the slightly roomier Class B Plus and Class C models.

The best part? These pint-sized campers pack in all the essentials you’d expect in their larger counterparts – from climate control to wet baths, cooking facilities, and beyond. It’s all about big adventures in small packages!

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