If you just invested in a wheel on homes, it's pretty exciting knowing that you can go anywhere with a roof over your head! You're probably thinking about all the destinations you can go without having to worry about checking into hotels or setting up tents. No matter where you start, all you need are the open roads and some RV friendly sites to have the perfect trip. You're going to want to have some destinations lined up, since it'll be essential to regularly connect your sewage and plug-in your battery to keep things running smoothly. There are handful of factors will affect the price of parking on-site...
- Length of stay Your rate can change depending on whether you're just passing through for the night or setting up camp for a longer duration. You'll pay more for a one nights' stay than if you plan to stay at least a week. Most sites in the USA make a price break at a week. For example, at the Durango RV Resort in sunny California, gives you a day free when you make a reservation of seven days. Most parks' prices will range between 40-60 dollars daily and 200-400 dollars weekly. However, prices can still go higher or lower depending on the park. Very few parks will advertise rates that extend beyond a week but that doesn't mean that it isn't cheaper to stay longer. You may find that some parks offer special rates for longer-term stays. The River's Edge Cottages and RV Park in Vermont is a park that actually suggests calling ahead of time for special rates of stays longer than 89 days.
- Holiday pricing If you're planning a very special trip for a holiday, like the July 4th weekend, you may want to consider the cost of parking your RV as being more expensive. It goes without saying that most parks will take advantage of the increased demand during the holiday season and prices will jump compared to normal. Moreover, if you're planning on a long trip, you may really want to consider the holidays ahead of time, so as not to get surprised by a bigger bill. What is great is that some RV sites like the Cave County Campground in Kentucky show their holiday pricing on the website, so you know exactly what to expect.
- Seasonal pricing Normally, summer is the hot season for RV stays and prices will be at their highest and advertised as daily or weekly. However, if you want to reserve a site in the off-season, you may find yourself looking at way better prices and even monthly offers. For example, Anchors Aweigh RV Resort in Alabama is one that gives you a special pay-by-month price over the winter season. That's a whole seven months of really affordable RV living!
- Discounts Don't forget to consider the discounts that RV parks may offer. One of the most common discounts is the one for military personnel. It won't be a massive price break but you'll still be looking at around 10% off your total and possibly more if you're a veteran. Some parks also offer seniors discounts for those over 65. At the Zion River Resort in Utah, you can get a 15% discount just for having stayed there before! While you may be prompted for discount at reservation, it's never a bad idea to check out the website or call beforehand. You can end up saving a lot just by knowing what you're eligible for.
- Cancellation Always take into consideration that you may be subjected to cancellation fees if you've pre-paid your stay. Be sure about your destination in mind, since some parks don't offer refunds. This is the case at White River Campground in Indiana and probably many others. There are parks that do offer refunds, however other criteria may apply like a requiring a 14 days' notice or owing a fixed fee. You may not lose all your money for changing your mind at the last minute but it's better to know ahead of time if the cancellation policy is very unforgiving.
- Hidden fees In case you didn't realize, many parks add in little details about what's included in the price. Number of people per site, overnight guests and pets can all affect your total. If you're traveling with a very large group, you may be more prone to hidden fees since many parks limit the number of people per site. At Deer Creek Valley in Kansas, they allow up to four guests but a larger group or family may incur additional charges. Generally, couples won't run into this problem however they should still be aware of the cost of guests. Parks, like the Countryside RV Park in Connecticut have a visitor rate. It's not so bad if your guests pay for themselves but no one wants to get stuck with a surprise bill at the end of a visit! Finally, while most parks allow for pets at no additional cost, some do charge and it's likely to be a flat fee.
- Amperage Depending on your RV's amperage you may have to pay more or less for your stay. Sewage, electricity, internet and cable are generally all included in one nicely packaged price, with only the amperage changing the daily price. Looking again at the Cave Country Campground, you can see that you'll pay a few extra bucks each day just for having a 50 amp RV instead of a 30 amp one. If you're unsure of your RVs amperage, one quick way to know is to look at the plug. Normally the 30 amp plug has three prongs and the 50 amp one has four.
- Free things Now that we've considered the ins and outs of pricing, let's not forget that many places also offer free access to amenities and attractions. Some things that you will probably never pay extra for is access to common facilities like showers, laundry, restrooms, BBQ grills, picnic tables and fire pits. Many RV parks are also located close to water and your time at the beach or lake will be free. Other things like in-ground pools, play areas for kids and dog parks are common. Also consider the natural landscape which may offer hiking trails and beautiful views. So, when you're comparing the prices of RV parks, think about the features and amenities for the whole picture.
Hopefully now you feel all ready for your RV trip, at least when it comes to pricing! Remember that you may be eligible for discounts, you normally get a price break at a weeks' stay or during off season and you may pay a little extra for a larger group. Don't forget that many parks come with loads of excellent features like fire pits, beaches and hiking trails. If you still feel a little too overwhelmed by all the pricing options, you should know that you can stay at a truck stop or in a hotel parking lot for free. Do try calling in advance for permission or limit your stay. Never mind all that, you're going to have a great trip in an accommodating site and you're gonna get the bang for your buck. Bon voyage.