If your RV is over-sized, don’t give up on finding national parks with big rig camping. Plan carefully and there’s no need to deny yourself the experience of living among regional wild animals and timeless scenery in a national treasure. Here’s how.
How to Score Great Spots in National Parks with Big Rig Camping
Many U.S. national park campgrounds were designed decades ago, but they’re not always off limits if you have a larger RV. Do a little digging and you’ll find plenty of ways to RV camp inside park boundaries.
Unfortunately national park camping is so popular now that reservations are mandatory during the high season. The days of spontaneous road trips and first-come, first-served camping in national and state parks is slowly fading away. The trick for a big rig RV owner to score camping inside the park is to get your reservation in early.
It pays to plan for at least a six month window from booking your spot until arrival. And if your RV is longer than 40-feet, be patient in your reservations search. You’ll need flexible dates and plenty of good luck on your side since extra long RV spots are limited in most national parks.
Now that your reality check is out of the way, consider pointing your rig to the west. There you’ll find the easy life inside these three great U.S. national parks with big rig camping.
Big Bend National Park’s Rio Grande RV Village
True to the motto that “everything is bigger in Texas,” so are the Big Bend big rig RV accommodations. The 25 extra-long back-in full-hookup campsites at the concessionaire-run Rio Grande RV Village aren’t much to look at with their parking-lot ambiance, but you’ll be close to must-see Big Bend attractions, trails and gorgeous scenery.
Big rig RVs of nearly any size easily fit into these bare-bones campsites adjacent to the Rio Grande Visitor’s Center. The Fall and Spring seasons are perfect times to secure a spot.
Death Valley National Park’s Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells
Another park that’s great to visit in fall or spring, Death Valley National Park’s 5,262 square mile vistas and stark, beautiful landscapes offer an otherworldly experience. Nearly as vast as the west itself, this below sea-level destination has tons of spots for large RVs.
You can find a big rig boondocking campsite almost any time of year at Fiddler’s Campground or Sunset Campground in Furnace Creek. But for more comfort, secure one of the 19 full-hookup sites at Furnace Creek RV Park. It’s located on the south end of the park and features a restaurant, swimming pool, fuel and laundromat.
When you’re done exploring southern Death Valley delights like Badwater and Artist’s Drive, pull up stakes and move to Stovepipe Wells in the north. You’ll find it slightly less charming but offering just as many creature comforts. As a bonus, these RV spots are near other attractions like Scotty’s Castle, and the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
Badlands National Park, Cedar Pass Campground
The massive 244,000-acre Badlands National Park is as endless as the open prairie. It’s also one of America’s most big-rig friendly national parks. Whether this is your ultimate destination or a stopping point on the way to Mount Rushmore and Devil’s Tower, the Badlands feels like driving backward in time.
Your big rig home base will be Cedar Pass Campground, an easily accessible location perched in the midst of geologic wonders and ancient fossil deposits. The 96 reservable campsites are on the rustic side. You’ll only get an electric hookup for comfort, but drinking water, restrooms and a dump station are available. Campsites are near a lodge, restaurant and amphitheater with ranger-led campfire chats.
This is just glimpse of a few great national parks with big rig camping. For more tips, bounce ideas around with other oversized RV owners in the iRV2 Discussion Forums topic “Camping, Travel and Trip Planning.”
Parnell Creek RV Park in Woodville is a comfortable year-round resort located about 25 miles east of Huntsville, Alabama. Featuring southern hospitality at its best, this RV park is a favorite of families and travelers alike.
Other amenities at Parnell Creek RV Park include full hook-ups, Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a pet area, and rec room. Also, the remodeled Log Cabin Store is about a quarter mile from the park. This convenient store offers gasoline and limited food items.
Just down the road in Scottsboro, Goose Pond Colony Resort is set on the banks of the Tennessee River’s beautiful Lake Guntersville and nestled into the picturesque Cumberland Mountains. The resort offers two quality 18-hole tracks: The Lake Course and Plantation Course.
A George Cobb design that opened in 1971, the par 72 Lake Course stretches to 7,101 yards from the tips. The Lake Course offers an excellent layout with lake views on nearly every hole. The course gently wraps around the lake, but water is never an imposing hazard. The greens are in great shape year-round.
Goose Pond’s Plantation Course was designed by Don Croft and Phillip Green and opened for play in 1994. The par 72 track measures 6,855 yards from the back tees. Wide open fairways and excellent greens are hallmarks of this popular course.
While in Scottsboro, every visitor should explore the Unclaimed Baggage Center. If you love browsing in thrift stores, this is the place to visit. Everything in the store was left at the nation’s airports—yes, everything in the store.
When bags or belongings are left at the airport, the airlines conduct an extensive three-month tracing process. If they are unsuccessful in connecting the bag with the owner, airlines then sell the lost items to the Unclaimed Baggage Center.
Everything in the store is restored to like-new condition, or at good as it can get, then a price tag is affixed. Some of the items are also donated to charity throughout the year. Browsing the Unclaimed Baggage Center is a good way to spend an afternoon!
Full hookups and 40 sites are available at Fairway RV Park. Other amenities include 20/30/50 amp electrical, water, sewer, showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, and picnic tables at each site. This quiet, pet-friendly park is set on 110 acres.
Those planning on golfing can take advantage of the RV and golf combo packages. For $250, the weekly plan for two includes the RV site and unlimited golf at Woodland Hills Golf Club.
Open to the public, the course is nestled in the pines of East Texas. It features finely manicured greens, tree-lined fairways, and great scenery at every hole. There is also a full-service pro shop, driving range, and practice green, along with foot golf for all ages.
The 18-hole, par 72 Woodland Hills features four sets of tee boxes and stretches to 6,620 yards from the tips. This is an excellent golf choice any time of year.
At nearby Stephen F. Austin State University, you can find many fine attractions, none more picturesque than the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden. Billed as the largest azalea garden in Texas, this eight-acre garden is absolutely breathtaking during springtime. It also features lots of colors during the fall months.
Also worth a visit is Millard’s Crossing Historic Village, an authentic reconstructed historic village in Nacogdoches. The village portrays the spirit and ingenuity of pioneer settlement in East Texas with the goal of creating a greater awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the region’s pioneer and agricultural heritage. Founded in 1779, Nacogdoches is considered to be the oldest town in the Lone Star State.
Some RVers prefer a more quiet setting without kids running around everywhere. These 55-and-older RV parks are dedicated to traveling seniors and they have some fabulous amenities.
1. Sunny Acres RV Park, Las Cruces, New Mexico
Seniors and snowbirds love Southern New Mexico for its sunny year-round weather. This RV park is ideally located in Las Cruces with easy access to Interstate 10, I-25, and US-70.
The resort is 12 acres large and has 40-foot-wide spaces with full hookups. You’ll appreciate the wide gravel roads, laundry room, restrooms, and meeting room facilities. Discounts are available if you’re a member of AAA, AARP, Good Sam, or Escapees.
2. Waters Edge RV Resort, Punta Gorda, Florida
Southern Florida is another hot spot for senior RVers. Waters Edge RV Resort is a popular favorite for its central location between Sarasota and Fort Myers in Punta Gorda.
The resort surrounds a 20-acre fishing lake with over 100 RV sites for rent and for sale. They have activities planned throughout the year; from November through March, the events range from golf and water aerobics to game nights and Bingo.
The community comes together to celebrate events like Thanksgiving dinner, a Super Bowl party, and even a cribbage tournament. If you’re staying long-term, join them on an organized trip like dinner theater, a ladies’ luncheon, fishing, casino trips, or cruises.
3. Voyager Resort & RV Park, Tucson, Arizona
Voyager Resort is a quick stop off I-10 near Tuscon with over 1,500 spaces for RVs. The gated RV park has full hookup sites as well as park homes and hotel rooms.
The resort has their own bar and grill, 9-hole golf course, and heated pools. They also have outdoor sports like pickleball, volleyball, tennis, shuffleboard, and horseshoe pits.
4. Venture In RV Resort, Show Low, Arizona
A scenic drive north of Tucson will lead you to this resort in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona. The RV park is at 6,300 feet in elevation and opens seasonally from May through October.
Some of the best trout fishing in the state is within a half-hour drive. Their facilities include a game room, laundry, a clubhouse, library, and access to bike and hiking trails.
5. Lakewood RV Resort, Flat Rock, North Carolina
Lakewood Resort lies off Interstate 26 in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Their large shaded sites include full hookups, concrete patios, picnic tables, and WiFi. Discounts are offered for members of AAA, Good Sam, FMCA, and for seniors.
They also have a clubhouse, a large heated swimming pool, a catch and release fishing pond, and a dining area with a full kitchen. The resort is a quick drive to downtown Hendersonville, the local Cracker Barrel, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
6. Caliente Springs Resort, Desert Hot Springs, California
This mineral springs resort in the hot and dry California desert is a true oasis. Caliente Springs Resort has hot tubs you can soak in along with matchless views of the San Jacinto Mountains.
Their sites are big-rig friendly and have full hookups and spacious patio pads. Cable TV and WiFi are available as well as laundry facilities, a clubhouse, and a couple of grassy, fenced dog areas.
7. Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, Casa Grande, Arizona
You can play pickleball, tennis, billiards, or a round of golf on their 18-hole course. Afterward, cool off in one of their three swimming pools or Jacuzzis and soak in the mountain views. They also have card games, lawn bowling, and special events planned every week.
8. Mesa Spirit RV Resort, Arizona
Mesa Spirit RV Resort is about an hour north of Palm Creek Resort in Old Town Mesa. They have over 1,800 full hookup sites as well as park models for rent and for sale.
They host seasonal activities and amenities including a pool, fitness center, and laundry room. The historic town has lots to see and do including Mesa Grande Cultural Park and Papago Park.
9. Olde Mill Stream RV Resort, Umatilla, Florida
Central Florida has year-round sunshine and close access to big-name attractions like Disney World. Olde Mill Resort is about an hour north of Orlando with 427 sites, each with a concrete pad, picnic table, and full hookups.
The landscaped resort has mature trees, grass, shrubs, flowers, and lampposts that light up after dark. The Rec Hall and Clubhouse house their laundry room, billiards and more. They’re within a day drive of attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, and Gatorland.
10. Mission Bell RV Resort, Mission, Texas
In Southern Texas, Mission Bell Resort is only minutes from the US-Mexico border. Their amenities range from two saltwater heated pools to a dog park and a pet wash station.
Guests can also make full use of their laundry room, picnic areas, and library. Their current activity schedule lists a little something for everyone from Bingo and potlucks to quilt making and cribbage.
11. Pegg’s Adult RV Park, Long Beach, Washington
The Long Beach Peninsula is a scenic stretch of the Washington Coast. One of the most popular age-qualified resorts on the peninsula is Pegg’s Adult RV Park in Oceanside. From your campsite, it’s an easy walk through the dunes to reach the sandy ocean beach.
Long Beach claims home to the longest continuous beach in the country that you can drive on (at 28 miles). This area has lots of museums and local shops and restaurants, and every August they host the International Kite Festival. I highly recommend visiting the wacky and wonderful Marsh’s Free Museum to see Jake the Alligator Man, their quirky gifts, and antique coin-operated machines.
If you’re not bringing the RV, you can rent one of their cabins or luxury alpine fifth wheels. They have local artistic wooden sculptures throughout the park as well as a pond and a book exchange.
13. Tropic Winds RV Resort, Harlingen, Texas
Tropic Winds RV Resort is less than an hour from South Padre Island on the Gulf Coast. The resort includes over 500+ RV sites along with a swimming pool and spa, fitness center, and a clubhouse.
The RV park is open all year with daily, weekly, and monthly sites available. You can learn more about Tropic Winds Resort on RV Park Reviews.
14. 81 Palms Senior RV Resort, Deming, New Mexico
You don’t have to venture far off I-10 to reach 81 Palms Resort in Deming. The senior resort has 106 long pull-thru sites with full hookups and access to their community amenities. They have spotless restrooms and hot showers, an indoor heated swimming pool, coin-operated laundry, and a pet run.
North of Phoenix, Sunflower Resort offers RV parking in addition to resort-style amenities. They have a swimming pool and spa, a Tiki patio bar with Happy Hour, an on-site salon and spa, and various activities like water aerobics, ping pong, tennis, and pickleball.
The resort is close to a golf course, as well as the NHL Phoenix Coyotes arena and NFL Arizona Cardinals Stadium at the nearby Glendale Sports Complex. If you plan on boating or fishing, you can easily reach Lake Pleasant about a half-hour north.
Outside of Georgia’s city centers of Atlanta, Athens, and Macon—and beyond the busier, trendy tourist areas, the Peach State encompasses more than 45 State Parks (with six offering RV campgrounds).
All of the parks are ideal for RVers to take a welcome rest from the road. Many of the State Parks are also easily accessible off I-75, further combining convenience with practicality.
While you can stay and explore on Georgia’s Jekyll Island, or visit historic Savannah, there are many other regions of the state that offer relaxing breaks from the road.
“Georgia has a vast State Parks system with campgrounds that are well-furnished,” Kim Hatcher, Public Affairs Coordinator for Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites Division, told RV Life. “We have modern campsites and many parks are easily accessible, even for larger rigs.”
“There’s a wide range of activities,” adds Hatcher. “Many parks offer kayak, bike, paddleboard, and boat rentals as we are very focused on outdoor recreation. The parks have also recently hired many rangers to provide various educational experiences, including archery, astronomy courses, and many kids programs.”
Outdoor activities abound and many campgrounds are full-service with a range of available services. There are several attractions RVers can experience along U.S. I-75, but when visiting Georgia, you just may want to plan a visit to these areas on your next RV trip in the south.
1. Red Top Mountain State Park
Known for its 12,000-acre lake, Red Top Mountain State Park has more than 15 miles of trails.
In fact, a popular hike is the Homestead Trail. It’s a five-plus mile hike and meanders through hardwood, pine forests with historic homesteads along the way.
Also, the fishing for bass, catfish or crappie is great. So, if you have a boat or an inflatable bring it along. The 111-site campground offers big rig access with pull through sites, 30/50 amp, plus a boat ramp and a marina that are nearby.
Additionally, the park is just 16 minutes from the nearest community of Acworth, in Cobb County. Exit 285 at Acworth
2. High Falls State Park
High Falls State Park is known for its cascading waterfalls on the Towaliga River. It’s even considered one of the “Top 100 Family Fishing Destinations” for its active species of hybrid and white bass.
Additionally, the full service campground in the park offers big rig access, pull-through sites, and a dump station. Activities around the campground include pool access, mini-golf, a playground, hiking trails, and more.
Just 36 miles northwest of Macon, the park’s campground also features lakeside yurts (that are similar to canvas and wood tents). Each features a small deck, a picnic table plus a grill, furniture, and electrical outlets. Exit 198 at Jackson
3. Georgia Veterans State Park
In honor of Georgia’s veterans, this is one of the State Parks that highlights a golf course, plus a military museum that reflects the conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the Gulf War.
What’s more, it’s on Lake Blackshear where boating and fishing are popular pastimes. Hiking trails and the on-site golf club (featuring 18-holes) are also popular.
The club has 78 lodge rooms, 10 cottages, and 2 restaurants. At the campground are 77 full-service sites with pull-through and big rig access.
Many other amenities include beach access, a boat ramp, playground, a pet area, and workout facilities. Exit 101 at Cordele
4. Reed Bingham State Park
Located at the south end of Georgia, Reed Bingham State Park also offers excellent fishing. In addition, there is great kayaking and canoeing (that are available for rent).
Further, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the park’s Coastal Plain Nature Trail. This features one of the most diverse ecosystems in the country.
Additionally, swimming, mini-golf, geocaching, and birding are other activities. The 46-site pet-friendly campground offers pull-through sites with big rig access, plus a boat ramp. Exit 39 at Adel
Canada offers plenty of wide-open spaces with endless spectacular views. One area in British Columbia that offers both of those elements is Edgewater Hilltop Par 3 Golf & RV Park, located in the small farming community of Edgewater.
Set in the picturesque Columbia Valley, the family-owned and operated Edgewater Hilltop Par 3 Golf & RV Park is nestled between the Rocky Mountains and Purcell Mountain range and is a favorite of those who’ve been lucky enough to discover this hidden gem.
For the last 83 years, the Lautrup family has owned the property that now includes the nine-hole golf course and 12 site RV park. In 1994, 40 acres of the Lautrup farmland was converted into a golf course, and it’s been a popular draw ever since.
This bucolic track a few miles from Radium Hot Springs is a par 27 and a short 1,101 yards. A great place to practice your short game, the signature hole at Edgewater Hilltop Par 3 is the 83-yard, par 3, 7th. From an elevated tee box, your eye catches the pond on the right and the steep gully to the left.
Regardless of the outcome, you can’t help but enjoy the view! Walking the course takes about an hour-and-a-half, depending on how many photos you take!
In year’s past, the family owned and operated a small motel on the property. Keeping with that entrepreneurial spirit, current owners George and Jeannette Lautrup added a small RV park in 2015.
Seven of the sites offer full hookups that include 30 amp electrical, water, sewer, fire pits, and picnic tables. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi, newly-constructed washrooms with showers, and laundry facilities.
In addition to the golf course and fantastic scenery, Edgewater Hilltop Par 3 Golf & RV Park is also known by the locals as one of the best places to dine. Visitors soon discover that everything is made fresh, including the homemade pies baked daily.