Why an RV is the Best Solution for Frequent Travelers to the United States National Parks

Are you an avid traveler looking to explore the breathtaking beauty of the United States National Parks? Are you tired of staying in expensive hotels and dealing with the hassle of packing and unpacking every few days?

If so, an RV may be the perfect solution for you! We’ll explore why an RV is the best way to travel to the National Parks giving you the freedom and flexibility to create an unforgettable vacation experience!

RV the National Parks


I’ll be honest, this is the primary reason our family invested in an RV. After researching hotel rates near many of our remote national parks, I was left feeling like my options were to tent camp or to go broke.

Even the moderate level hotel rooms charged close to $300 per night! (Check out the rates at the Yellowstone lodging and campgrounds HERE. )

We are avid travelers, and I don’t mind paying for a special hotel, but dropping that kind of money for a double bed and industrial carpet was not alluring.

When we realized that we could travel comfortably in our own RV, even taking a loan, for far less than a single night at a hotel, I was sold. Consider the savings on rental cars and excessive restaurant and fast-food stops, too!

Our RV adventures have been a comedy of errors, but the cost savings, comfort, and flexibility have been half the fun of our national park adventures!

Freedom and Flexibility

With an RV, you’re not limited to staying in one place or having to rely on hotels or other accommodations. You can pick and choose where you want to go, and you can stay as long or as little as you like.

If you’re not enjoying a particular location or the weather turns, just pack up and hit the road. Make some detours. Stop at some other parks, monuments, or museums along your path. You’re in control of your journey, and that’s a truly liberating feeling!

Plus, RVs offer all the comforts of home, so you don’t have to sacrifice your creature comforts while on the road. You can cook your own meals, have your own bed, and even bring along your furry friends.

One of our favorite perks of travelling via RV is that we always have a bathroom in tow. Especially when our kids were small or when one adult is travelling with multiple children, using the RV bathroom instead of policing public bathroom usage has been a huge safety perk!

RVs offer a sense of freedom that’s hard to beat. They allow you to create your own itinerary, explore at your own pace, set your comfort standars, and enjoy the great outdoors in a way that’s uniquely your own.


When you travel in an RV, you have all the comforts of home at your fingertips. This means you can have your favorite meals, drinks, and snacks whenever you like. You have plenty of storage and preparation tools, and you don’t have to worry about finding a restaurant or store.

You can have your own pillows and perfectly-weighted blanks. With a full kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping quarters, you can have everything you need to make your trip comfortable and enjoyable.

What you need to know about RV camping in the National Parks

The big considerations you will need to make when choosing National Park RV life are issues surrounding RV sizes and restrictions, as well as challenges and needs surrouding RV reservations.

RV Sizes & the National Parks

National parks have different restrictions on RV sizes depending on the campground, road access, and other factors.

Most national park campgrounds were not built in the age of large RVs, so many simply do not have RV pads that accommodate oversized rigs. While you definitely need to check on a per-park and per-campground basis, the general rule of thumb is that RVs at or under 25′ long should fit in most National Park campground sites.

Although most parks are built to welcome RVs, some national parks have limited parking opportunities for these oversized vehicles. Additionally, some park roads, such as Glacier National Park’s Going to The Sun Road and Big Bend National Park’s Chisos Basin Road, have RV and total combined length restrictions.

Make sure you research the specific park you plan to visit and check their website to ensure that your RV will fit in the campsites and can be driven and parked within the park boundaries.

RV Reservations the National Parks

Given the immense growth in national park tourism, reservations to many campgrounds without our park system are competitive.

There are campgrounds run by concessionaires, such as Fishing Bridge Campground in Yellowstone National Park and Death Valley’s Stovepipe Wells RV Park, and there are campgrounds run by the National Park System. During busy season, it is likely that all park campgrounds will be full or difficult to book.

It is important to note that you should consider your need for “hook-ups,” or power, water, and sewer access, before booking your national park campground site. Most NPS-run campgrounds do not have any hook-ups whatsoever.

So, assess your needs, do your research, and book your national park campgrounds as early as possible.

Private Campgrounds

Just because the park campgrounds may not meet your needs for a particular trip or destination, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy an RV vacation! Almost all of our national parks have gateway communities that offer private campground options.

These facilities often offer full hook-ups and many other amenities. You can find playgrounds, pools, ice cream shops, and even waterparks at some of the private campgrounds! They can offer a fantastic, kid-friendly, recreational pairing to a day of hiking and learning in the national park.

While they may be a little further from the park attractions and a little bit more expensive, the fun our kids have had at these private campgrounds makes them worth their weight in gold…and memories!

Read more about what you need to consider when RV camping in National Parks.

Watch more about why we love the private campgrounds:

An Unforgettable Experience

Finally, traveling in an RV to the United States National Parks will create an unforgettable experience. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the beauty of the parks at your own pace without worrying about schedules or deadlines.

You can experience campgrounds and discover the joys of your kids making friends wherever they go. RVs are homes on wheels, and the campgrounds become your neighborhoods.

They avail us all with the joys of decades-gone-by where the kids were tossed out of the house and they played until the stars shined at night. Many of our favorite travel memories have been at the campground.

For a great podcast and another great RV community, check out The RV Atlas.

An RV is the perfect solution for frequent travelers to the United States National Parks. With the freedom and flexibility it provides along with its cost-effectiveness, and convenience, an RV will give you the opportunity to create an unforgettable vacation experience.

So, if you’re looking for a new way to explore the National Parks, consider traveling in an RV. Road trip with the kids!

You won’t regret it!