What to Know Before Camping in National Parks

One of the biggest benefits of traveling in an RV is the ability to go to remote areas without having to rough it. That makes hitting up the national parks throughout the country easy and far more enjoyable. But RV camping at national parks isn’t the same as parking at a resort or even a state park near your home. There are a few things you need to know as you start planning your trip to one of our country’s many natural wonders.

There May Be Length Restrictions
National parks are easy to navigate in cars and even large SUVs but because they try to keep as much of the area wild and natural, many parks simply lack the infrastructure to accommodate larger rigs. Before you head out, take the time to research the parks you’re interested in visiting and camping at. Pay close attention to any length restrictions in place. You should be able to find this information online, but it may not hurt to call the park and speak with a ranger to discuss your rig’s dimensions before you enter the park or try to book a campsite.

Pets Aren’t Usually Allowed on Trails
If you travel with pets, you’ll find it difficult to take them on adventures in the national park. Most trails are closed to pets. But some national parks have pet-friendly areas where you and your furry friends can hike without getting into trouble with the rangers. Additionally, most national parks allow pets to be walked on a leash outside of the visitor centers and in campgrounds.

You’ll Need to Reserve a Site Ahead of Time
Camping at national parks is incredibly popular year-round. That means reservations fill up fast and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to snag a site on a first-come-first-served basis. Do yourself a favor and plan your trip ahead of time. Reserve a site in advance and try to be flexible. You may need to move sites several times during your stay if you’re camping during the warmer months. 

Staying Outside the Park May be Cheaper
National park campsites aren’t necessarily expensive, but they’re not cheap either. And if you want full hookups, you’ll likely have to pay a higher price. If you’re trying to travel on a budget, you may find it cheaper to stay outside of the park. Most have RV parks nearby and within a short drive of the park’s entrance. 

Even better, those nearby parks tend to fill up less quickly, so you’ll likely have an easier time securing a reservation. 

It’s Best to Stock Up on Necessities Before You Park
Most national parks are in very rural areas. And most will only have a few basic concessions available nearby. Instead of taking chances, stock up on the necessities before you head out to the park. Pick up groceries at the closest city or large town and then make your way to the park. This will help you save money and help you stock up on more of the items you know you’ll want to have while you’re out in nature.

Keep These Tips in Mind
Camping at national parks lets you experience parts of the country that many people don’t get to see. As long as you remember these tips as you plan your trip, you’ll be in good shape. Just remember that some campgrounds may not have hookups at all.

If you want to boondock and camp in even the most remote national parks, consider upgrading your batteries to high-quality lithium batteries and install solar panels to keep those batteries charged up. GoHomePort can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let our team help you find the right off-grid setup for your needs. 

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