Hi, I’m Bethany! I’m an East Texas teacher and cat mom, obsessed with thrifty fashion and living a more simple life. My husband and I have recently downsized to a 350-square foot camper. I share our renovations, tips and tricks on this new adventure on my Instagram: @SimpleCatLady.
RV Tips: Choosing Where to Park Your Home
For short-term trips and overnight stays, picking a place to park may just be a quick online search and a matter of finding one closest to you. For stationary living, however, looking into a park before signing on the dotted line is a little more of a commitment.
I was surprised to learn that a lot of RV parks only allow a maximum of a 30-day stay. It makes sense, as most of these places were created for the temporary visit, but if you’re needing months there, that’s always a good first question to ask.
Visit the Grounds
If you can, always visit the campgrounds before choosing it. Just like homes and apartments, beautiful pictures can be deceiving. Viewing it in person gives you the true sense of the place. If it is too far and that’s not an option, browse around the location on Instagram. See what others have posted and try to get a better first-hand view of the grounds. We toured five parks before making our latest decision. They all looked very different and included different things.
If you’re like me and not necessarily in the camper for the great outdoors alone, a good internet connection is probably your best friend too. Some camp grounds offer wifi, while others do not. For those with, it may not be the greatest connection, but it’s better than nothing, especially if your cell service is limited. Our current park has free basic wifi and offers high-speed for a $30/month fee. We chose the high speed and all our subscription video streaming sites work great. The fee has been worth it to us!
While our rig has connections for a washer and dryer, we decided we needed that space for storage. That means hauling clothes to a laundry facility on a weekly basis. Having an on-site laundromat was another great perk for living at our current park. Ours has a large laundry facility with plenty of clean washers and dryers. It makes life so much easier not having to drive miles to find a laundromat.
If you’ve stayed in an RV long, you’ll know how freeing it is to be in a regular-size bathroom again. Finding a park with nice showers and restrooms available is great for so many reasons. Again, having more space to shower is always a plus, and the water pressure is fantastic. We use our community bathrooms quite often and appreciate having them nearby.
One of my favorite things about my current park is the lighting around the lots. As a runner, it’s nice to fully see my surroundings when I’m out and about getting some exercise. It also is relieving to see my well-lit porch and front door when I get home from work. I know my neighbors and I like that we look out for one another. Good lighting helps make that happen.
Finding a park with some fun amenities brings a little sense of vacation to your lot. Our current location has a playground, an outdoor pool, a basketball court, disc golf fields and horseshoe pits. Us RV-dwellers tend to go outside a lot, so might as well have some fun things to enjoy while we’re out there! Our clubhouse also provides things like board games, movies and books, which is especially nice for those of us who have downsized and gotten rid of a lot of those items. Extras like these make the grounds feel like home.
I hope those are some helpful tips to keep in mind when looking for a new place to park. Remember, the wonderful thing about RV life is, if you don't enjoy your stay at a location, you can drive right over to a new one as soon as your short-term commitment is up.
You can follow @simplecatlady and her RV journey on Instagram