National parks are amazing places to visit in your RV, with so much natural splendor to take in around you.
As you will know if you read this site often, RV travel has become extremely popular across the US. National Parks Traveler reports that 56 million Americans planned RV road trips from 2021 to 2022.
With that huge amount of people visiting national parks, it’s important to plan your trip and be responsible. You can minimize your impact and still have the best time if you pick a place that’s actually RV-friendly. Below, we’ve listed some of the best national parks you can visit with your camper.
The best thing about Arches National Park is that it feels like it was made to be driven through. You can easily take in the mystifying natural arches and rock formations from the comfort of your RV and not feel like you’re missing anything.
Like many other parks, Arches National Park has a size limit on RVs. You cannot exceed 30 feet in length, which makes sense considering the elevation and turns you’ll take on the available roads. Make sure you stick to the rules in this case at all times. As listed in my article on “Top 5 Smallest RVs with a Washing Machine”, you can find a camper like the Host Campers Mammoth 11’ 6” or the Thor Motorcoach Magnitude Rb34, which have sizes well below the limit but still have full bathrooms and comfy layouts.
2. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park has eight campgrounds you can use with hundreds of spots you can reserve to park your RV. The obvious thing to see here is the vast collection of Joshua trees that have made the park one of the most iconic in all of America.
One thing to note though is that there are no full RV hookups in some of the campsites. That said, there are still electricity and water hookups available with 20, 30, and 50 AMP options, so it shouldn’t impact your travel too much. If you need a dump station, make sure you get a spot in Black Rock or Cottonwood, as the other campsites don’t have the facilities. Proper waste disposal is essential for both your comfort and to help maintain national parks.
3. Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most fantastic and spacious parks you can visit with your RV in the United States. The only campsite in the park actually has full RV hookups. The campsite is called Trailer Village, so you’ll want to head there if you plan to camp overnight. There are also plenty of designated parking spots for RVs if you want to drive from the South Rim to the North Rim.
Because the trails are shared with smaller vehicles and hikers, it’s important to be mindful of others. In a post by LoveHolidays on visiting national parks responsibly, they state that considering other visitors is a key pillar in the Leave No Trace principle.
4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
According to the National Park Service’s visitation numbers, Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomes over 14 million visitors a year. That makes it one of the most popular national parks in the country, so you need to make sure you reserve your RV camp spot well before you plan on going.
Some of the RV-friendly sites are first-come, first-serve, but it’s still recommended that you stick to the reservable slots because of the park’s popularity. Some trails will be closed down to let animals graze, and it’s important to let the wildlife flourish in their habitat. You should always resist the temptation to drive close, as disrupting them can have catastrophic effects.
5. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is a classic choice for any RV owner that wants to take in the sights. There are 12 campsites that accommodate motorhomes here with full hookups available. Five welcome reservations, but the slots get booked fast.
When you go here, you’ll likely see lots of bison on the roads as you head toward the gorgeous falls, geysers, and lakes. It may be tempting to take some rocky souvenirs as RV decor after an eruption, but this is not advised as it can ruin the local ecosystem.
Studies from the American Psychological Association show that nature is a massive contributor to better mental health and cognition. With the gifts we receive from enjoying the outdoors, the least we can do is conserve it. So it’s always best to travel responsibly and aim to help maintain the beautiful nature we have been blessed with.