Karyn Wofford is a freelance writer in the fields of travel, eco-tourism, and wellness. She’s an avid traveler and Georgia native. She grew up with a passion for travel, exploring everything from the mountains to the ocean, and continues to find new and unique things to do in the places she travels.
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It’s a cringing experience to watch an RV struggle to chug up a tight curving mountain road or pull up to an entrance only to find out that the roads prohibit the length of the vehicle. Planning ahead is the one true way to avoid road trip disasters like these, while picking a park that’s a little more suitable for welcoming your unit can relieve quite a bit of stress. We’ve sifted through various national parks to find ones with facilities and roads capable of handling these bigger vessels.
Everglades National Park can sometimes seem like a brutal place—the reptile laden waters and intense summer heat can often make travelers reluctant. While the dangerous nature of some of the lands and animals should be respected, this unusual landscape can be better explored via RV than in a tent. You’ll find quite a lot of RV friendly camping sites. However, if really wanting to get into the thick of the wildlife haven, an airboat tour is best.
Grand Canyon National Park—was that too obvious? It’s one of those places most know well even if they have never gone there. Grand Canyon Village is a popular stop for tourists, first-timers especially, and here you’ll find what is likely the best accommodations for RVs. Trailer Village is an RV Park with full hookups, and of course, it’s proximal to major sites. Acceptable RV lengths range from 22-50 feet depending on the area you are traversing. The South Rim tends to be more hospitable.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park does have RV campsites, and the night limit is generous—people can hang around for 14 days. Coming here is an excellent way to explore some of the prettiest parts of North Carolina and Tennessee. With more gently sloping mountains, things may be slightly easier for drivers. Another bonus is the more mild winters than of other parks further north or out west—it can be a place of reprieve, with just a dusting of snow at times.
Yosemite National Park has an impressive 10 campsite options for RVers. But it’s important to know that hookups are not available. Don’t panic—there are dump stations, and generators are allowed to be run at designated times during the day. So if you are okay with slightly roughing it, the park is hospitable to fifth wheels and motor homes. Most roads allow RVs, but a decent amount of experience is best when taking on some of the steep terrains. Parking gets tricky. Plan on using the public transportation system when available, while parking outside of the park, if wanting to do a lot of walking around.
Fishing Bridge, Bridge Bay and Canyon are a few of the RV equipped campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park—this means that this highly famous natural site can be a wonderful addition to a trip. Yellowstone is full of geothermal wonder that’s unlike anything else the United States has to offer. This park isn’t abundant in traditional lodging, so some actually think taking a mobile “hotel room” is the best way to see this park. Roads can wind at times, so try to master driving skills ahead of time and consider taking a smaller unit.
Redwood National Park is ready to accommodate RVs with solid basic amenities—there aren’t any lodges so honestly RV Camping is as luxurious as it gets. Be respectful of the iconic trees and avoid attaching anything to them, such as hammocks. Redwood is nothing short of majestic, and a stop that can simply be added to a road trip. It is important to note that some roads do prohibit RVs, so you’ll need to map this out ahead of time.
Arches National Park has one campground, Devils Garden. While there are no hookup options, guests enjoy boondocking while visiting these otherworldly shapes near Moab, Utah. Arches’ roads are well paved and can handle most RVs. Pull offs often have a turn around space that makes things even easier. Moab features more accommodating RV resorts and is a very short distance from the park entrance. The summer gets crazy hot, so always have water on board.
Grand Teton National Park has quite a few campgrounds in the area, that provide hookups and easy access into the park. Headwaters, Colter Bay and Lizard Creek are just a few of the options when needing to park your rig for a few days. Like many campgrounds, there are specific size regulations when it comes to RV length. Grand Teton National Park has various spacious roads that offer beautiful views, but avoid the winter when roads can be icy or closed.
Badlands National Park is a geologic wonder in South Dakota. This is a mesmerizing National Park with a multitude of interesting formations and sites. A Park Loop allows for visitors to take a relatively easy route with plenty of overlook points. Camping options are in the area, including the Cedar Pass Campground. While this may not have high-end amenities (there is an option for an electric hookup and septic dump station), the grounds are central, within Badlands. Sunsets here are incomparable, and truly make it a magical RV destination.