Let’s cut to the chase — many popular campgrounds started taking reservations up to 6 months in advance. This means, by now, most are already booked for the summer.
According to the Kampgrounds of America (KOA), more than 93.8 million North American households considered themselves campers in 2021. And based on our most recent survey, this number will only grow. In fact, more than half of the respondents are planning a summer RV road trip.
All this is to say, campgrounds, especially those in or near popular National Parks, will be booked and busy. BUT don’t give up on your summer road trip plans just yet. If you haven’t yet booked a campsite, there’s still hope!
So, where can you pitch your tent or park your rig when most campgrounds are full? You have a few options:
- Book a private campground
- Stay free on public lands
- Check campground apps
- Snag a canceled reservation
Here’s your guide to finding a campground this summer.
Book a private campground
There are plenty of private lands for you to camp. These sites will help you find them.
Whether you want to glamp, camp, or spend the night in a treehouse, there’s something for you on Hipcamp. Find a yurt at Zion or a cabin near Joshua Tree. Hipcamp makes it easy to find a campsite near you with unique listings and hosts all over the United States — and Australia!
Vanly has the coolest driveways on the block. Search by location and amenities to find a host with the perfect, safest place for you to park your van or RV for the night. #Vanlife has never been this easy.
With a Harvest Hosts membership, you have your pick of thousands of RV stays — wineries, breweries, farms, museums, and other unique campsites to choose from! For an annual fee, RVers can stay at any Harvest Host location at no additional cost. That annual fee is usually $99, but we scored you a 30% discount if you use this link to get your HH membership.
Stay free on public lands
If you want to camp for free and don’t mind the off-the-grid lifestyle, boondocking is always a great option.
Find a place to park your rig at:
- BLM lands
- RV-friendly businesses
- With friends
To find a place for boondocking near you, search boondocking.org or download the boondocking app — which leads us to our next campground hunting tip.
Check campground apps
Need to find a campground fast? There’s many an app for that. Here are a few you can download for free.
One-stop shopping for all things camping, you can search over 500,000 campsites, read reviews, and book your stay.
Another database full of RV and tent campgrounds, you can easily filter based on price, RV length, amenities, and more!
This app specializes in compiling and sharing data of free campsites, dispersed or without hookups. You can also help others out and submit free camping locations to the database.
Snag a canceled reservation
If you have your heart set on a popular park campground, you just might get lucky. Sign up to get notified of cancellations at your choice of over 8,000 campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada on Campnab.
We were able to score spots at two separate campgrounds that are extremely difficult to get into unless planning 6-12 months in advance.Mallory Bacon
Signing up for cancellation notifications could be your ticket to snagging those primo camping spots this summer.
Ready to road trip?
Campgrounds may be booking fast, but there’s still room for everyone in the outdoors. So, get looking and get booking! Your perfect RV and campground are just waiting for you to find them.