Now that the summer camping season is officially upon us, you may be thinking about planning an escape and enjoying a bit of respite in your RV. Luckily, our country’s national parks offer an excellent option.
Created in 1916 by Woodrow Wilson, the National Park Service now protects hundreds of parks and national monuments that host millions of travelers each year. The draw to natural beauty is so strong that many people want to feel even more connected to and “live” inside national parks by camping overnight, rather than just visit for a day. And thankfully, RVers are welcome at many parks across the country.
If RV camping in a national park is on your to-do list, check out these four tips:
#1 Be prepared to boondock.
The national parks are protected for a reason: To keep the beauty of nature intact. As such, many campgrounds in protected lands encourage dry camping or boondocking and don’t have many site with electrical and water hookups, if any at all. That approach helps keep natural surroundings from getting torn up. Think about how much upheaval there would be just to run plumbing and electrical lines in a remote setting? What’s more, this approach limits the strain on natural resources. If you choose to camp in a national park, be respectful of the land and be prepared to boondock.
#2 Make reservations well in advance.
Whether you require hookups or not, make reservations at your chosen campground as early as you can. Reservations can easily be made on individual park websites. Be sure to check a campground’s RV size restrictions and understand the layout of the sites and the campground itself before you book.
#3 Stock up before you hit the park.
Depending on the national park you choose, you may be far removed from chain grocery stores and gas stations. Fill up and do a big grocery before you head to camp to ensure you’re covered for the entirety of your trip. Many parks have stores and even gas available, but you’ll pay a premium to buy anything there.
#4 Keep your campsite clean.
National parks offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and are teeming with wildlife…including wildlife searching for food! Bears and other animals who scavenge are common in national park lands, so it’s important that you keep a tidy campsite at all times. Never leave food out and dispose of trash according to park guidelines. In some cases, the park you camp in may ask you to use bear lockers or other wildlife-proof storage and to not leave food in vehicles. Even scented toiletries left in a car can attract a bear looking for a meal!
Have you ever RV camped in a national park? What tips would you give other travelers? Tell us about your experience in the comments or contact us today!