The lure of the open road and the comforts of home come together when you're traveling in a recreational vehicle, or RV. But before you hit the road, there are a few things you should understand about RV parks.
Not all RV parks are created equal. Campers can find RV parks in state and national parks as well as privately owned campgrounds. And the quality varies from budget to swanky. Chain campgrounds like KOA and Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Campgrounds operate around the country and offer some continuity from site to site.
More rustic campgrounds may offer little more than a parking spot, while other spots offer facilities including water and electricity hook-ups. On the higher end, more luxurious sites offer RV visitors access to pools, restaurants, free WiFi and business facilities.
Intrepid travelers exploring the country in an RV will want to put on the brakes and stay for a while at these parks and campgrounds around the United States.
Durango RV Resort
Red Bluff, California
The Durango RV Resort is a high-end escape with 174 sites on the Sacramento River. All sites are equipped with Powerhouse Pedestals that provide electricity, high-speed WiFi and cable television. Meet fellow travelers by the pool, in the clubhouses or at the outdoor fireplaces. Pamper your pooch with a run at the 45-acre dog park followed by a scrub down at the self-serve automatic dog-washing station.
Boyd's Key West Campground
Key West, Florida
Featuring oceanfront campsites located just a few minutes from the action of Key West, Boyd's is a great way to experience this favorite Florida hot spot. Boyd's boasts a pool and beach area as well as conveniences including bathrooms, a marina and free wireless internet. The camp has 250 sites and does get crowded, especially when all sites are reserved. But you can't beat the location which is just a few miles from the fun on Duvall Street and downtown Key West and easily accessible by city bus or cab.
Horse Thief Lake Campground
Hill City, South Dakota
Horse Thief Lake is a no-frills, family-owned campground with rustic charm and a convenient location near many of South Dakota's natural wonders. Buffalo roam in nearby Custer State Park and herds of wild mustang run through the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Mt. Rushmore is just 12 miles away while Crazy Horse Mountain and the Mammoth site are a short drive. The campground itself is a quiet respite from the nearby activity and offers fire rings at each site, a shop for basic goods and a small heated pool.
Rivers Edge RV Park
Sleep under the midnight sun in this well-appointed RV park in Fairbanks. There are 190 sites, but the resort maintains a peaceful vibe with plenty of room for guests to spread out. There's a network of walking and biking trails to stretch your legs and the resort's restaurant, Chena's, serves 3 square meals a day. When you're ready to explore Fairbanks, there's no need to unhook the RV. Hop on a shuttle bus to nearby attractions including the Riverboat Discovery cruise, Pioneer Park, the Trans Alaska Pipeline and the historic downtown area.
Yosemite Pines RV Park
While there's RV camping available inside Yosemite National Park, the campgrounds are primitive, with no hook-ups. If you're looking for more amenities, the best option is to set up camp outside of the park. Yosemite Pines RV Park is just 22 miles from the park and offers premium pull-through and back-in sites. This family-friendly resort has a gold mine where kids can pan for gold and a petting farm with alpacas.
Zion River Resort
Just 13 miles from the south entrance to Zion National Park, the Zion River Resort is popular with tourists and snowbirds who put down more permanent roots in the winter. This RV resort has full hook-ups, concrete parking pads, grills and free WiFi. After exploring the red sandstone cliffs at Utah's first national park, you can also use this campground as a base for day-trips to explore Bryce Canyon National Park and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
The Shady Dell RV Park
Shady Dell is an RV park with a twist -- if you can't bring your own RV to this corner of southern Arizona, you can find one here. This resort is home to 9 lovingly restored antique trailers. These charming stationary trailers include a 1949 vintage Airstream, a 1947 Tiki bus alongside an outrigger tiki bar and the fancy-pants 1951 Royal Mansion complete with a full-sized bed, breakfast nook, private bathroom and leopard carpet. Dot's Diner is a classic greasy spoon that serves homemade breakfast and lunch. A limited number of spots are available to park your RV if you're on the road and in the mood for some classic kitsch.