6 Things To Look For When Trying To Find The Best Campground Site – Day 170

truck and camper on pad
25 Feb

So what are the things you should look for most when trying to find the best campground sites?

Being on the road for what is now our 170th straight day, we have had the pleasure of staying at a myriad of campground sites. Most have been more than wonderful, while a few have certainly been questionable. One, meanwhile, happened to be really, really bad and somewhat scary.

But along the way, there have been a few that have simply been over-the-top stunning.

We were fortunate enough to stay at one such place this past week, the Bay Bayou RV Resort in Tampa, Florida. It has by far been one of the top campsites so far on our journey. The place simply gets it! And our stay there got us to talking about what really makes for the best Campground & RV sites.

best
Our wonderful stay at Bay Bayou Resort in Tampa got us to thinking about what matters most to us in finding a great campsite.

Beyond trying to find the best value, we are often asked how we choose our campsites, and what we look for most when booking. So we thought for today, we would highlight some of the things we value most in a great RV campground, beyond just the price tag.

What Makes The Best Campground Sites The Best

#1 Safety

By far, this is the most important factor to us. And there are a few key elements to a campground / campsite’s safety that make all the difference.

These are the three we find most important:
  • Is the campsite located in a good / safe area
  • Do they have on-site security?
  • Are the restrooms, paths, walkways and other facilities well lit and marked.

If they have these three things, it provides a sense of safety and comfort that certainly makes the stay more enjoyable.

#2 Level Sites / Pads

After safety, most important to us is the physical space where our camper will be parked. After all, it is the place that you will call home during your entire stay.

best campgrounds and RV sites
Large, level sites with concrete or brick are the best when it comes to camping sites and RV parks. This was our site at Bay Bayou, and as you can tell, it was plenty big!

We look for 4 key things in the physical spot – levelness, ease of available hook-ups, size of the pad, and the spacing between pads.

Concrete pads are by far our favorite. They tend to be the most level, and are great for keeping the camper area dry during rains. It can become hard on you and the camper’s floors wading through soggy mud or sand when hard rains and storms hit.

Our favorite camping spaces also include hook-up towers. It keeps everything nice and neat, and easy to find for hooking up electric, water, and cable when available.

best campground sites
Hook up towers make life easy hooking up at campgrounds.

The bigger the pad – the better! If it allows room for chairs and a table to be set up, it just makes our stay that much better. Finally, we always love it when pads are spaced at least 8 to 10 feet apart. We love people, but it’s always nice to have a little room to breathe. 🙂

#3 Bathrooms / Showers

Next comes the bathroom, shower and laundry facilities. Nothing makes you feel better and more at ease than a nice restroom area!

First and foremost, cleanliness is the top priority. One of the first things we always do is take a walk or a bike ride around to check out the facilities. Although we have an on-board bathroom and shower, it’s nice to use campsite facilities when they are nice and spacious.

best campground sites
Nice big clean bathrooms like these at Bay Bayou make camping life easy on the camper!

We really feel like we hit the jackpot when a campsite has private bath & shower rooms within the restroom facility. By far, they are certainly the most comfortable.

#4 Friendly, Helpful Staff

Staff friendliness is really big for us in making a campground site the best of the best.

It’s funny, but you can usually tell how great a location will be the minute you either book a site, or step inside to check in. Mary and I always use the phrase “Smiles are Free.” It doesn’t cost anyone anything to say hello and smile, but it goes such a long way to making people feel welcome and warm.

Believe it or not, we once checked into a campground where the camp host was not only yelling on the phone at a camper, but then ended his call and greeted us with a “I can’t stand campers!” statement. You guessed it – it was quite the NOT wonderful campground. 🙂

A good staff is not just friendly, but lets you know what to do in the area, and helps point out where everything is. This is where checking reviews comes in handy prior to booking.

#5 Internet Service / Phone Coverage Service

For us, good internet and phone coverage is so helpful. And they are becoming more and more of a necessity for many campers too when it comes to downloading movies, surfing the internet and more.

cell phone
Cell phone coverage and internet is important to us for both writing – and being warned of incoming storms.

We always check reviews and camping apps to make sure where we are staying has good coverage for our cell phones. Without it, it can be hard to use our phones and be safe with warnings from storms, etc.

Right behind the phone coverage is to have quality internet / wifi service. Most campgrounds are simply not set up for this. They may have it, but it simply has no power and is nearly useless. We were spoiled with our time in Bay Bayou, I think it was faster than our internet at home!

The Little Extras

best campground sites

This isn’t a must for us, but it sure is a big bonus when a campsite or RV park has extra amenities. A community room, a pool, fire pits, or perhaps a meet and greet morning time of coffee and donuts. It all just makes the campground a friendlier place to live.

So there you have it. Or at least you our take on what makes the best campground sites. It is hard to believe our time in Florida is nearing it’s end, and before we know it, we will be in Georgia!

Happy Traveling! Jim and Mary.

CURRENT TRIP STATUS TO DATE:

  • Day 170 of 365
  • States : 21/50
  • National Parks / Monuments : 20
  • Stayed In : Ocala, Florida
  • Miles Driven : 145.8
  • Total Trip Miles To Date : 18,422.5
  • Total Gallons Used : 1,315.89
  • Biking Miles : 3.5
  • Biking Miles To Date : 171.2
  • Hiking Miles : 1.6
  • Hiking Miles To Date : 383.9

About Our Living Simple Tour

On September 9th, 2019, we set out in our NuCamp T@B 400 Teardrop Camper to travel to every state. You can check out all of our dates here : Dates for the States

You can follow along by signing up for our twice weekly email updates at the bottom of the page. You can also follow us on Facebook : Live Simple Tour Facebook and Instagram : Live Simple Now Instagram Page.

3 thoughts on “6 Things To Look For When Trying To Find The Best Campground Site – Day 170

  1. When you get up to Maine I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of those on you list except that we’re very friendly and my husband and I have never been afraid at any of the campgrounds we have been to around the state. What we don’t have in comforts we can guarantee beautiful views everywhere. Most of our state is pretty rural and wifi in some places isn’t that great. Looking forward to sharing our beautiful state with you guys.

    1. We are really looking forward to visiting Maine. We enjoy all types of campgrounds – from rural and off-grid to resorts. We always make the best of every situation not only while we camp, but in life in general.

  2. I agree when you mentioned that phone coverage is indeed one of the most important things that an RV resort should have. I’ve been planning to go on a long road trip this fall with a few of my closest friends since it’s our goal to have a good travel adventure at least once a year. This will be the first time we will try camping in an RV though so it’s ought to be quite a new experience.

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