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6 Red Flags To Look For When Finding an RV Park  

 June 28, 2022

Recreational vehicles (RVs) have long been a favorite of the great American pastime. It became popular with families who couldn’t afford the price of an airline ticket to fly an entire family somewhere. A day and age when national travel was expensive, and the average family couldn’t afford to haul all the kids and both adults to destinations for a vacation. That’s when the RV came into play. For a larger sum up front, a family could take off wherever, whenever they wanted in the continental U.S. Suddenly, travel became affordable and much more intimate. There’s nothing like being in a single vehicle for hours, or days, on end with your loved ones to test the limits of what a family could endure. However, it brought everyone closer. And thus, the image of the great American road trip began.

Today, RVs are associated with much more than traditional family fun. Individuals, couples, and of course, still families, have taken to RVs more enthusiastically than ever. As society has become much more reliant on technology and disconnection is a rarity, the RV symbolizes freedom in a new way. People now live, work, and play in their RV for days, weeks, or even live in them for years on end. It’s much more than a vacation. RVs have become destinations.

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But whether you’re riding in a casual, small-scale RV or have opted for more of a luxury travel trailer, no matter how you ride in style, you’re still going to need an RV park for your nights. Unfortunately, parking an RV on the side of the road just won’t do. If it’s your first time you might be wondering how to decide where to park your RV. Are there certain criteria? The answer is yes, there are certain red flags to look for when finding an RV park.  Some are obvious while others might go unnoticed. Yet, it’s always important to keep safe when you travel on the go.

Here are six red flags to look for when finding an RV park:

Learn the cancellation policy

RV parks always have cancellation policies. If you discover an RV park that is non-refundable or isn’t flexible when the weather conditions worsen (such as snow, hurricanes, etc.), that’s a red flag. Look up the cancellation policy and if you can’t find one try and find an email or phone number. Beyond weather, emergencies are bound to happen from time to time. At the very least you want an RV park that is understandable and will if you cannot cancel, let you reschedule your overnight stay.

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Look into the crime rate

An area’s crime rate always seems to seep into an RV park. If the park is located in a high crime rate zone then it likely will show up outside your RV. To keep yourself, and your family or loved ones safe, find a park that has a low crime rate. Drugs, theft, or other undesirable outcomes are the last thing you should worry about when on vacation.

Avoid the major highways

Once you’ve determined a cancellation policy be sure to look at the RV park’s location. RV parks that are close to major highways are a major cause for concern. Major highways come with noise pollution, and that only takes away from your stay and much-needed time away. You certainly don’t want to be woken up at four o’clock in the morning to someone else’s road rage or incessant honking! With that said, major highways also come with some traffic issues. Not the road traffic itself (although that is a point within itself) but how to navigate in and out of the RV park. If you’re new to an RV, or seasoned and know how your corners work, lots of traffic will only make entry and exit more difficult. Do yourself a favor and avoid the major highways. It’s one less thing to worry about and it can greatly impact your trip.

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Look out for amenities

RV parks will come with certain amenities. You want to be sure that those amenities are plainly stated, and listed, on their website. If they aren’t it could either mean two things—there are no amenities or the amenities are in such bad condition that the park will not list them. Either of these two options is an immediate red flag and should be avoided. If you want to shower, use the toilet, start a nice campfire, etc. you want these amenities to be listed.

Always check into the images

If your RV park has a website it should always come with images. As a traveler, you cannot see the park you’re going to before arriving. That means images are your sole source for how a campsite looks and feels. Before booking, cross-reference the images—website, Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor. While the RV park website is privately owned, public travel sites act as honest forums and reviews. If the images don’t match you know something might be falsely portrayed. Use your eyes for the final judgment call.

Read the reviews

Once you’ve cross-referenced the images, read the reviews of an RV park. Don’t just trust one good or one bad review, read at least five (although, the more the better). One person might have a bad day and complain, but if three or more persons complain about the same thing then there’s a high chance you will too. Carefully consider reviews as a red flag for any RV park.

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Consider this a checklist for your next RV trip, as these six red flags will help you avoid a potentially disastrous RV park experience. Know before you go.

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