Are you looking for a way to enjoy RVing without the hassles of packing, towing, and setting up? If so, seasonal camping just might be for you. Seasonal camping has been growing in popularity along with the growth of RV sales, as more and more RVers figure out why this lifestyle is perfect for them.
What is seasonal camping? Seasonal camping is when you rent a long-term spot at a campground and, sometimes, leave your RV there even when you aren’t in it. Some seasonal campers choose a campground close to home, while others snag a spot at a favorite destination, even if it is a bit of a drive.
We recently talked about seasonal camping with some experienced experts, Jon and Heather Anderson. We first met Jon and Heather at the Hershey RV show in 2015 when they purchased their Class A Winnebago Brave. Since then, we have been impressed with how much time and research they put into all their RV decisions.
Is Seasonal Camping for You?
Seasonal camping might appeal to you if:
- You like to head to the campground at the last minute. If you find yourself deciding to camp on short notice, you may have trouble finding open campsites. Having a seasonal spot means no more making reservations!
- You dislike the weekend camping hustle. By the time you get off work on Friday, get home, and get hooked up and packed up, you are exhausted when you arrive at the campground. You face the same struggle when you get home on Sunday. Having a seasonal spot means you can load up the essentials and head to the campground with much less hassle.
- You are paying for off-site storage. If you have a HOA or other reasons for not storing your RV at home, you might find a seasonal campsite that costs only slightly more than paying for storage.
- You would like to be part of a community. Some campgrounds have a lot of seasonal campers, and you may enjoy socializing at the campground (of course, you may discover you don’t like this aspect!).
- You’d like an affordable vacation home. If you’ve considered getting a vacation home near one of your favorite destinations, a seasonal campsite would give you a similar experience, while also allowing the flexibility to take your RV offsite for trips.
Five Tips for Finding the Perfect Seasonal Campground
Here are five tips for finding the perfect seasonal campground, right from Jon and Heather:
- Find a place that you love going back to again and again. Lots of campgrounds are just fine for a night or two, but how enjoyable is the campground for repeat visits? Think about the location, the amenities, the campsites, and the overall atmosphere as you consider how often you’d like to camp in a particular park.
- Do your research, and ask the right questions. There are a lot of elements to consider when you are looking at a long-term spot. Are other seasonal campers happy with their experience at this park? Will you be surrounded by other seasonal campers or overnighters? Can you get Amazon deliveries? Can you store stuff outside of your RV? Try to think about all of the items that contribute to a great experience and think of things that make the long-term experience different from a short-term stay.
- Check out the surrounding area. If you are returning to the same campground again and again, chances are you will also be exploring the local area. Does it offer the kinds of activities, restaurants, shops, and amenities you will need and enjoy? As with buying a home, think location, location, location.
- Do a trial run of weekends. Try out the seasonal camping experience by renting a spot for a couple of weeks. Leave your RV, and see how you like the experience of coming and going. You’ll soon figure out how far of a drive works for your situation. Be sure to include a holiday camping weekend to see how much the atmosphere changes.
- Calculate your costs. Does the cost of a seasonal spot make sense for your budget? Sure, it will cost more, but if you get out camping more, the cost could be well worth the experience. A seasonal sites may cost anywhere between $2,000 to $10,000 per year. Make sure you understand what is and what is not included (for example, some campgrounds charge extra based on usage for electricity or water on seasonal sites). Find out the exact dates that are included. Some seasonal sites can be rented for the whole year, while other parks offer shorter seasons. Ask whether you have to pay the fee upfront, or is it there a pay-by-month option. Also, you may want to check into any cancellation fees if you decide the park isn’t for you.
If this episode peaks your interest, make sure to check out A Beginner’s Guide to Seasonal Camping: 5 Reasons It Might Be Right for You! and Why We Gave Up Our Seasonal Camping Site.
You might think RVing is all about exploring new destinations and finding the next best campground. But we know that seasonal camping might be the best path to affordable RV bliss!
See you at the campground,
Jeremy + Stephanie