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Campgrounds 101

The Beginners Guide to RV Campgrounds

You can’t talk about RV trips without talking about campsites and campgrounds. We will handle all of your campground reservations, but here are some things to learn about.

Reservable vs First-Come, First-Served

The first-come sites that are available can be booked when you arrive and paid upon arrival. These sites can be great, but during popular seasons and in popular places, we don’t suggest them. The fill up in the morning and can easily leave you without a place to camp by evening.

All the campgrounds we use can be reserved in advance. This gives you the advantage of adventuring all day and knowing you have a reservation at the end of the day.

RV Hookups Explained

No Hook-up

Cost: $
Hookups Included: None
Plain campground from Tumbleweed Travel

The heater, stove and fridge will run off the RV propane. Lights will be powered by the house battery in the RV.  The only thing that won’t work in your RV is your air conditioner and microwave. These need extra power to run. Most campgrounds that don’t have hook-ups will have a water fill up and dumping station within the campground for everyone’s use.


Cost: $$
Hookups Included: Electricity
Electric Hook ups scaled from Tumbleweed Travel

These sites have an electric box for you to  plug into your RV. This gives you unlimited access to your air conditioning, microwave, lights and power to charge your electronics. .

Partial Hook-up

Cost: $$
Hookups Included: Water and Electricity
Water Hook up from Tumbleweed Travel
Electric Hook ups from Tumbleweed Travel

Partial sites allow you all the fresh water you need.  However, without a sewer, your water usage will have to stop when your “black and brown water tanks” (dirty water) are full.  You may “dump” your tanks at the general camp dump station.

Full Hook-up

Cost: $$$
Hookups Included: Water, Electricity, Sewer
Water Hook up from Tumbleweed Travel
Electric Hook ups from Tumbleweed Travel
Sewer Hook up from Tumbleweed Travel

Water, electricity and sewer. These sites have it “all”.  You pull in, plug in your power, attach your water hose and your dump hose and you’re set.  It is a good idea to have one of these sites every few stops so you can refill fresh water,  dump your dirty tanks and charge electronics.

Amenities vs Scenery

The general rule is that campgrounds that offer full hook-ups are less scenic than those who have less services.  Campgrounds with more facilities are usually closer to towns and urban areas and further from the wilderness areas. Some scenic locations are definitely worth giving up some amenities/services. Keep this information in mind when planning your trip and know that we can help with all your decisions!

Boondocking and Walmart Parking Lots

RVs can be self contained, so it is plausible to camp anywhere you want. You have your bed, kitchen, and bathroom with you, after all. Boondocking is a term used by RVers to describe just this, Parking somewhere (wilderness, Walmart parking lots, casinos) and spending the night there. This can be a good way to travel if you know the area, are a full time RVer, and have the patience of finding spots.

When we organize trips, we will book you in a campground that can be reserved in advance. You will have a reservation and a secure place to spend the night, so you won’t ever have to “boondock.”