Every day, more people decide to give up their sticks and bricks homes for the chance to explore the country in an RV. Gone are the days of retirement RVing: people of all ages and lifestyles are selling everything and collecting experiences instead of things. For some people, simplification comes by downsizing and purchasing an RV for fulltime travel. For others, it’s easy to experience a seasonal or short-term stint on the road by renting an RV. One thing that RV owners and renters have in common — besides the love of the open road — is the need to find a place to park their rig each night. Some RVers love the excitement of finding a new place to stay every so often, while other RVers want to establish a seasonal setup and plan adventures from their RV home base. Here at Outdoorsy, since we’ve tried almost every type of overnight RV accommodation, we’ve gathered our resources and shared our thoughts to help both experienced and newbie RVers find short-term, seasonal, long-term, and even permanent places to park their RVs.
Before settling on a long-term or seasonal parking space, it’s best to do a little planning. What part of the country do you want to explore? Do you plan on visiting certain national parks during your stay? Do you plan on attending concerts, festivals, or events? Choosing a space around the things you want to see and do is essential because it makes exploring a little easier if you don’t have to go too far from your home base.
In-season long-term camping
Aside from the experiences you hope to have along your journey, another thing to consider is the weather. If you want to get away from the cold during the winter, it’s best to drive south to areas located in the Sun Belt region of the United States. Keep in mind that the Sun Belt region is a popular destination for fulltime RVers. People flock to the warmer areas of the U.S. during the winter because of the temperate weather. Warmer winter camping is not only comfortable, but it also is easier because RVers can avoid freezing temperatures most of the season and generally avoid winterizing. Popular destinations, especially in the Sun Belt region, fill up quickly and scoring a coveted RV space at a monthly RV Park is challenging if you don’t plan ahead.
Off-season long-term camping
If you want to avoid crowds of people, and you have an all-season RV, consider migrating towards the opposite direction as the snowbirds. Winter camping is exciting and will allow those who crave quiet and solitude an opportunity to see the desirable middle to northern parts of the country during the off-season. Winter long-term spaces might be easy to snag since the demand for off-season RVing is low, but finding parks that don’t close for the season might be hard. In places where it drops below freezing, some parks winterize their water and sewer systems, making it a little more challenging to keep your rig topped off and cleaned out. Is seasonal winter camping possible? Yes. Just be aware that your preparation might look a little different than it would if you were to head south for the season.
Private and luxury long-term RV parking
Once you’ve determined the area of the country you hope to explore, it’s time to search for a place to stay. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-stop-shop resource available for choosing permanent, short-term, or long-term RV sites. Most privately-owned RV parks and resorts offer some extended stay options and monthly RV rates, even if the websites don’t mention long-term parking. If you need help finding an RV park or resort, Campendium is an excellent online resource. On-the-go RVers will like the AllStays app because it allows users to apply filters for location, rates, amenities, and restrictions, such as age-restricted or active lifestyle 55+ campgrounds.
KOAs make excellent places to set up your RV for one night or a month. Not only are KOAs situated in desirable locations, but KOA also offers RVers and campers three types of RV parks to choose from — Holiday, Journey, and Resort. The different campgrounds provide simple and resort-style amenities. KOA also caters to extended-stay guests, and the company helps provide KOA-based resources that help seasonal RVers locate the campgrounds that permit camping for a few nights as well as the parks that have monthly rates or allow seasonal camping. KOA’s app and the reservation section of the website are user-friendly. RVers can find and reserve a place to stay just by clicking a few buttons. Since extended-stay camping is a bit different than a 14-day stay, KOA requests that guests call the location they wish to stay in long-term. Phone calls guarantee that RVers get the most accurate information regarding extended stays, long term availability, and up-to-date rate information.
Renting or purchasing land for extended-stay parking
Staying at an RV park or resort isn’t always possible because of the time frame, location, or the ages of the RVers, and some travelers steer clear of RV parks because they crave open space and fewer restrictions. While boondocking is always an option, not all RVers like to live off-the-grid, so renting or purchasing land becomes the next viable choice. It’s possible to search for RV-deeded land through the classified section of a local paper, but services such as RV Property make it easier to find lots for rent and sale on private and developer land. With a little elbow grease and some careful searching, you might be able to find an open lot, perfect for long-term or permanent RV living.
Long-term camping with memberships or clubs
RVers who like exclusivity and savings tend to gravitate toward discount clubs. Discount clubs exist because people want the subsidized cost of long-term travel and the peace of mind that accompanies the lower rates associated with these clubs. Some discount clubs, like Good Sam’s Club, provide comprehensive members-only benefits such as member parks, overnight discounts, and easy-to-use search engines to find a place to stay. Other clubs like Thousand Trails or Passport America use a modified time-share model, allowing RVers to stay in member parks for the cost of a small usage fee. Depending on the level of membership, the RVer carries determines the member fee, yearly maintenance costs, and price to stay overnight in many of the clubs’ parks.
Where can I park my RV to live long term?
Regardless of the route that you take to find your short or long-term parking, the result will lead to adventure on the road. Outdoorsy is happy we can help point you in the right direction for RVing fun.
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