It’s exciting that RVing has become trendy, and many people are getting to enjoy the great outdoors. However, the frustrations of finding a campground with availability and price increases aren’t nearly as exciting.
Campgrounds all across the country have raised rates in recent years, but can we expect the same for 2022? Will RV parks continue raising rates this year?
Let’s take a look!
Why Have RV Parks Been Increasing Rates?
Campgrounds typically have a limited amount of campsites they can offer guests. Understanding supply and demand is simple economics, and campgrounds benefit from increased demand.
When you hear that RV manufacturers and dealers are setting records quarter after quarter, the RVs they’re selling likely come with owners excited to reserve a campsite to use them. With such a massive demand for campsites, campgrounds can adjust their prices accordingly.
Some campgrounds are doing their best to add sites, but they simply can’t keep up with the demand. For example, Grand Ole RV Resort in Goodlettsville, Tenn., recently added 30 RV sites to their campground. The campground’s management thought they’d rarely fill up.
However, the campground had no trouble filling the new sites with excited RVers. The campground is often at capacity, especially on weekends and holidays.
Campgrounds that are experiencing higher amounts of traffic also have bills to pay. More campers mean more waste, more power usage, and increased wear and tear to the facilities. Park management often covers these expenses by increasing rates for campsites or amenities.
What Is the Average Price for RV Camping?
There are a handful of factors that you have to consider when looking at the price of camping. However, campsites can range from $15 per night to over $100.
Expect to pay a premium price for luxurious campgrounds or campgrounds in popular tourist locations. The size of your RV and the type of power you’ll need will also play a part in pricing.
State parks and private campgrounds are typically the more affordable options for camping. They offer a variety of sites that may offer full hook-ups and 50-amp service.
However, campsite amenities will vary from one campground to the next. You can find state parks in New Mexico that provide water and electricity for $10 per night, and the same type of campsite in New York can cost over $30 per night.
If you’re expecting full hook-ups, anything under $30 per night is a needle in a haystack. Full hook-up sites can easily be over $40 per night but can get to upwards of $80 in some locations.
Some of the most expensive options for RVing are RV parks and resorts. Be sure to do your research when booking a site at an “RV resort.” Some RV campsites are rather liberal with the use of the term resort.
You may find that aside from resort pricing, the park falls well short of what you might expect from a resort. Luxury RV resorts can cost $80 to $120 per night.
Why Are RV Campgrounds So Expensive?
RV campgrounds are businesses and have expenses they need to pay. The increase in demand for campsites also increases the campground’s maintenance bills and operating costs.
More campers use more electricity and create more waste, all of which are expenses to the campground. They likely need to increase the frequency of sanitation trucks coming to empty dumpsters or dump stations.
The more guests a campground hosts, the more wear and tear the campground facilities experience. More activity means more maintenance, whether it’s a swimming pool, playground, or other community-use areas.
These areas can become rundown and unattractive when overused and not properly maintained. All of these things are possible due to campground fees.
Will RV Parks Continue Raising Rates in 2022?
There’s no end in sight when it comes to rising campground prices. The demand is higher than ever for campsites, especially on premium weekends.
The increase in demand also increases expenses. So don’t expect to get a deal anytime soon if you’re hoping to camp in 2022.
How Do RV Park Rate Increases Affect RV Life?
Rate increases at campgrounds directly affect those who enjoy RV life. Full-time RVers typically experience the most significant impact, especially if they park their RV in campgrounds.
A $5 increase per night might not seem like much for most people, but that’s about a $150 increase per month and $1825 a year. Even the smallest of increases can have a huge impact.
These increases force many full-time RVers to get creative regarding their camping options. Many limit the amount of time they spend in campgrounds and are opting for cheaper or free camping options.
How Can I Make Camping Cheaper?
Depending on where you’re camping, parking your RV at a campsite can be incredibly expensive. If you’re full-time RVing, you can easily find yourself spending about $900 a month on campsites. However, there are some cheaper options available that we think you should consider.
Across the country, there are thousands of campsites on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and USFS (United States Forest Service) lands. These public-use campsites can be very easy to get to, and some of them allow you to stay upwards of 14 days at no cost. Sites that do require you to purchase a permit are still very cost-effective options to consider.
Many RVers join RVing programs like Harvest Host, Boondockers Welcome, or Thousand Trails to save money on camping. Harvest Host and Boondockers Welcome are great for overnight or shorter stays. However, depending on your Thousand Trails membership, you can camp for weeks at a time with little to no cost after your membership and annual maintenance fees.
So, If you’re frustrated with camping costs, there are cheaper options. It may require you to think outside the box or purchase additional supplies to make it more comfortable, but it’s possible. You may discover that some free camping options are much more enjoyable than camping in a crowded campground.
Are RV Parks Worth It?
Depending on your camping style, RV parks can be worth it. They typically offer a tremendous amount of amenities at your campsite and throughout the campground.
An RV park can be a great spot to park your RV and relax with those you love. However, RV parks aren’t for everyone, especially on a budget.
Some RVers find that free camping options are more their style. For these RVers, RV parks just aren’t worth the premium price.
Have the increased prices or demand for campsites affected your ability to go camping?
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