RVing and camping are exploding in popularity. According to the 2022 KOA North American Camping Report, 59.9 million households camped in the U.S. in 2022 (with 9.1 million of those being first-time campers!), camping made up 40% of ALL types of leisure trips taken (e.g. cruises, plane trips, etc.), and there was a 36% increase in camping trips between 2019 and 2021.
All this means that camping is here to stay and camping demand will likely keep growing even if the economy cools down. The supply of RV sites — on the other hand — is a thornier issue.
Demand for camping and RVing is going through the roof, but RV parks take time to catch up. That means it’s becoming more and more difficult to find places to park your RV — especially if you wait until the last minute.
Let’s dig in to see why NOW is the time to reserve your campgrounds and a few ways to lock them in.
Book Your RV Sites As Soon As You Know Your Plans
We get it — part of the joy of RVing is flying by the seat of your pants. You like being able to roll into a place, explore it, and decide on a whim where you’ll hang your hat that night.
And if you’re ready to boondock, sites like Harvest Hosts can usually help you find dry camping spots (i.e. spaces with no hookups) on a dime.
But if your goal is to have a full hookup RV trip exploring popular sites — it’ll behoove you to book now. RV sites at places like national parks fill up fast, so you likely won’t find anything if you roll in without a reservation during the busy season.
That’s why we say you should plan your RV trip early and book accordingly.
Campground Booking Platforms
When it comes to locking in RV sites, there are a handful of platforms that’ll help you set it and forget it. Here are some of our favorites:
- Recreation.gov — Your one-stop shop for all things related to national park reservations. This is the easiest and most trusted way to book RV sites at national parks. Jump on here with plenty of lead time for places like Grand Tetons National Park so you can reserve the best campgrounds for your trip.
- Reserve America — With over 290,000 bookable campsites, Reserve America features one of the largest directories of reservable RV campsites on the web. They even offer an app so you can more easily plan your trip from the palm of your hand. Outdoorsy is synced right up with Reserve America so you can find an RV for rent near your campground reservations.
- Campspot.com — Campspot’s mission is to bring a modern booking experience to the many campgrounds that weren’t previously offering online reservations. The result is that they now have over 130,000 campsites (and counting) that you can book right online to dot your journey with places to stay.
- Direct booking — While RV parks have historically been late adopters of online booking platforms, many campgrounds have made the shift and can take bookings directly on their website. Even if a campground you want to stay at doesn’t offer online booking, direct booking via an old-fashioned phone call is still an acceptable way to plan an RV trip.
Both methods of direct booking help out the mom-and-pop owners of most RV parks because they don’t have to pay a booking commission to an online platform.
- The Dyrt — This is the new, cool kid in town who gives you the DL on over 6 million camping locations around the world. You can book many of them online and The Dyrt shines because of its extensive content library of photos, descriptions, and reviews (from people just like you) for a diverse array of campsites.
Demand for camp spots is much higher than the supply of available sites. That’s why the time to start reserving is as soon as you know where you’re going. Check out our catalog of RVs for rent here and jump on a site like Reserve America to roll smoothly into your vacation.