Tagged as “modern nomads,” RVers move from place to place every now and then. They love authentic experiences and are always up for an adventure. Some of them even like to go on 100% spontaneous trips, which is why they don’t plan. For those wanderers who would like to explore but don’t want to go to battle unprepared, here is your guide for the best places to live in an RV for your year-round journey.
Where are the best places to live in an RV year-round? The best places to live in an RV year-round include Long-Term RV Parks, RV Resorts, RV Campgrounds, and even RV rental sites. Take note, however, that options may vary from state to state.
Living in an RV is one of the most adventurous things you can do. But, even when you like spontaneity, there are some things you can’t help but prepare for. This is crucial when you plan to be away from home with limited amenities for at least a year. Preparation for this can be overwhelming so we made a guide for you. Here, we compiled the places where you can go and the things you must know before you hit the road.
Most RV Friendly States
RVing in Texas is a popular choice for campers who are looking for long-term stays. If you don’t already know, living in an RV requires you to fix a few things with the government. One of these things is establishing your domicile or your permanent residence, basically for tax purposes. Full-time RVers then love to choose Texas as their domicile for the quick and hassle-free processing of their documents.
In line with this, the Lone Star State has a lot of locations where RVers can stay. From providing a range of free to paid spots, Texas naturally becomes the state people can quickly call their home. What makes a state RV-friendly include the variety of options where campers can go and the amenities available to them as they move from one place to another.
That being so, Florida is also an RV-friendly state. The state’s government supports mail-forwarding addresses and offers mail-forwarding services. More importantly, there are numerous RV parks in Florida, providing a lot of choices for campers. These characteristics make Florida a camper’s favorite and, with its sunny weather, the perfect place for a smooth-sailing roadtrip.
Full-time RVers also cite South Dakota as part of their top three choices because there are no income taxes. However, for those of you that are only looking for long-term stays but not necessarily state domiciles, South Dakota remains an attractive option. Home of the famous Mount Rushmore, South Dakota is a perfect place for more touristy yet uncomplicated RV trips. The Badlands National Park and Okaton Ghost Town are two of its strong points as well.
Of course, who could forget Nevada? There are a lot of parking options in Las Vegas, and it’s one of the most versatile places you can choose to stay in. If you want the right mix between city life and the adventurous life, Las Vegas is for you. A few miles away from boondocking opportunities, you can go back and forth, living either the urban dream or the rural dream. At Nevada, you really got the best of both worlds.
Arizona is also a good choice. In fact, a lot of campers like to stay there during the winter because the weather remains mild and sunny. Specifically, in the Phoenix area, there are many RV parks and other establishments like restaurants and malls which you may want near you. On top of that, there are also numerous public lands where you can go boondocking for a getaway.
Best Places to Live in an RV
RV Parks/RV Campgrounds
RV Parks are the most basic choice for campers for long-term stays. These parks are neither too expensive like luxurious RV Resorts nor are they completely free so as to have incomplete amenities. RV Parks usually have the most necessary amenities like dump stations, electric hookups, and potable water. They are also near other attractions and are more likely to have groceries and other supplies store you may need to visit.
The term “RV Campgrounds” is interchangeably used with RV Parks. Although RV Campgrounds are intended for more primitive types of camping, RV Parks have slowly integrated other outdoor recreational activities in their packages. This is why, nowadays, there is no clear distinction between them anymore. Modern RV Parks also tend to go for the rustic look that was commonly associated with RV Campgrounds. Nonetheless, RV Campgrounds are the choice of campers who like to see more of nature and are content with less modern and more basic amenities like communal bathrooms and fire rings.
Below are two short lists of the best RV Parks and RV Campgrounds with great reviews from campers like you.
Best RV Parks
- Grand Canyon Railway RV Park, Arizona
Since Grand Canyon Railway RV Park is right beside a hotel managed by the same company, staying at this park means having more amenities. There are volleyball and basketball courts, an indoor swimming pool, a convenience store, and even laundry machines. There are also hookups for water, electricity, and sewer needs. This RV park is very modern as it provides free access to WiFi and, if you have a digital tuner with you, HDTV. What makes this place even better is that it has enough space for big rigs. It also has three types of RV spaces: pull-throughs, buddy spaces, or back-ins, each of which come at different prices.
If you want to go to the Grand Canyon through the historic train depot, you can very much do so. And don’t worry, being near the railway is not as noisy as you think.
- Wanderlust RV Park, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
With its wondrous view atop the valley, Wanderlust RV Park is praised for its clean and leveled spaces for RVs. They hold many interesting events like “Bikes, Blues, & BBQ” which bring thousands of visitors to the park. Furthermore, in this RV Park, campers emphasize how neat the place is especially the shower and laundry rooms. Another thing RVers love about this place is the awesome service that the staff gives them. Wanderlust employees continue their service even after guests leave the place (for example, by attentively answering Google reviews of their clients). Access to shopping and local entertainment is also a plus point for this park.
- Deer Creek Valley RV Park, Topeka, Kansas
The top-rated Deer Creek Valley RV Park is known for being well-maintained. What’s great about this modern RV Park is that it prioritizes your vehicle. The roads and pads are made of concrete to make it easier to go in and out with your RV. More importantly, this RV Park is gated which makes for a resting place that is not just comfortable but also secure. There are activities you can enjoy nearby like fishing and boating in Lake Shawnee.
Best RV Campgrounds
- Three Flags RV Campground, Florida
Apparently, the only complaint people have for this campground is that it’s not huge enough, even with its 200 big-rig-friendly RV sites. Campers love to stay here so much that they wish the campground could expand to accommodate even more RVers. From the friendly staff and helpful managers to the complete and clean amenities, this campground is really set on making you feel at home. Simply said, this is a five-star experience for all campers.
- Beaver Lake Campground, South Dakota
Just like Three Flags, Beaver Lake Campground is popular for its immaculate facilities. The place seems to have thought of everything you might need. For example, its bathroom has multiple hooks that you won’t know you needed until you use them. There are also separate areas for doing things like your hair and the restroom is conveniently placed for easy access. This campground also welcomes pets as long as they don’t harm other guests.
- San Antonio/Alamo KOA Holiday Campground, Texas
Located in the heart of Texas, the San Antonio/Alamo Campground is hailed as the best branch of the Kampgrounds of America (KOA). They have 50 max amp. for RV electrical hookups and 90 feet max length for RVs. As for paid activities and amenities, they also provide firewood, propane, bike rentals, and even a tour shuttle around the place. The unique features of this place are its proximity to the renowned AT&T Center, home of San Antonio Spurs, and its 8-Mile Bicycle Trail.
RV Resorts are on the pricier side of RV spots. They are luxurious and they have amenities you don’t necessarily need but would love to have, especially if you can afford them. The most expensive RV resorts can charge up to $70 per night excluding additional amenities while the priciest RV campgrounds/parks charge only up to $50. If you want this deluxe lifestyle, the following RV Resorts are for you:
Best RV Resorts
- Bella Terra of the Gulf Shores, Alabama
Dubbing itself as a “Five Star Class A RV Resort,” Bella Terra of the Gulf Shores has an infinity-edge pool, a Grand Clubhouse, a private movie theater, and even day-to-day planned programs and events. They have golf courses, a jacuzzi and sauna, a fitness center, and a business center. These premium amenities are available on top of the oversized RV lot that you can enjoy for some privacy and to set up some of your own foldable tables and chairs if you want.
- Zion River Resort, Utah
As the single 5-star RV Resort in Utah, campers say Zion River lives up to guests’ expectations. With its easy access to Utah’s famous beautiful parks like Bryce Canyon National Park, it is indeed a luxurious experience, not just for its top-notch amenities. Anyhow, the fire pits for each site and the playground for kids are some of the facilities worth mentioning. Campers also love their events like campfires (perfect for s’mores) and bingo night. More importantly, guests appreciate that management places great importance on campers following the resort’s rules and policies so that everyone can have an enjoyable stay.
- Aztec RV Resort, Florida
Placed in a gated community with night security, Aztec RV Resort is also a top choice for deluxe stays. In this resort, there are tennis, shuffleboard, pickleball, and volleyball courts. There are also putting greens for golf players. For activities other than sports, this RV resort has a concert hall and two spas. What is more impressive for luxurious campers, however, are the concierge service, 24/7 staff service, and daily garbage collection on every RV site. For sightseers, Aztec RV Resort is also located minutes away from Pompano Beach.
RV Rental Sites
RV Rental Sites are cheaper options for those who can make do with few amenities. Since this option is generally for long term stays, the rates are usually monthly. The most evident benefit you can get from monthly rental sites is that you can choose what type of spot you want to get. Unlike resorts that leave you with no choice if there are no other parking spaces left, with rental sites, you have the freedom to plan ahead and to compare prices online.
Best RV Rental Sites
- Destin West
Destin West is actually an RV Resort in the Emerald Coast of Florida but it also offers RV rental sites. Their website is very efficient. You can see photos of the spots and the number of guests that can stay at that rental site. They have pull-in and back-in spaces for both motorhome and towable RVs. They also have options for waterfront and waterview spots, if you would like that on top of a spacious RV site.
- Privately Owned Lots
Other options for rental sites are privately owned lots. These lots are said to be better landscaped compared to resorts and are generally more well-maintained because only a group of campers stay at a time. Since privately owned lots are commonly found near RV Resorts, they are also good alternatives if the resort you originally planned on staying in is packed.
- Facebook RV Living Local Groups
Rental sites can also be found on Facebook RV Living Local Groups where lot owners advertise their spaces for rent. It is a good place to spot great sites because transactions are more transparent. You can see people recommending the site or people discouraging other campers from trying to rent that space. You can also post your need for an RV site and people can refer you to places they’ve stayed in before or to other campers who might know how to find one for you.
How to Choose a Place to Park Your RV
The first thing you should consider when choosing a place is your budget. The price tag on these RV spots can get very big, especially that some amenities in the location are an added expense. Furthermore, you should also be wary of cancellation policies when you are required to make a deposit. Some locations only allow free cancellations one month before your scheduled stay. So, if you decide to cancel later than that, you cannot get your deposit back.
Next, think of the amenities you need and match them with the places you are considering to stay in. Naturally, you would want those with the most necessary facilities like full hookups, sewer service, and laundry. You should also research the cell coverage on the area, especially in RV parks which are known for bad WiFi signals. Lastly, consider the recreational activities you want to try. A lot of parks offer hiking, biking, and fishing, so go where your interest is.
Living in an RV
Before living in an RV, remember that you would have to change your lifestyle. With your limited amenities and space, you have to be prepared to abide by a minimalist lifestyle. You also have to be prepared to share a small space with your family members. This is where your recreational activities can come in. Regularly take breathers away from the cramped RV, like a walk or a hike. Third, be prepared to handle RV repairs. Know where you should go and what you should do if your RV breaks down in the middle of the road.
Despite these precautions, traveling at a relaxed pace to see sceneries, the big cost savings, and the overall experience push hundreds of campers like you to explore the wonders of living in an RV.
All in all, planning is really a significant part of making your long-term RV experience an enjoyable one. By planning, you at least get to prepare for where you are going to stay and what you need to pack for that location. More importantly, you get to research the other nearby places you could visit while you are staying there, making the most out of your money. This way, you’re not just a “modern nomad.” You’re a modern nomad who has lived in the most beautiful places one can only imagine.