A Complete Guide to RV Camping in State Parks of the United States

a vintage 1976 airstream travel trailer at big bend ranch state park, surrounded by blue skies and big mountains


If you were going to define your dream home, what would you include?

A nice sized yard, immediate access to nature and spectacular views? A quiet neighborhood along a babbling brook, maybe a place to have a fire and listen to the sounds of crickets go symphonic on a nightly basis? How about $600 / month? Did I mention that you could move every few days (or weeks if you get really comfortable) without any moving expenses other than gasoline?

This is more or less what living in state parks is like. The rent is low, usually $20 / night. Utilities are included (when available). They’re less than half of the price of privately owned RV parks, and typically three or four more times as spacious. That’s just for your site alone, aside from the patch of forest you get to call your home, there’s an entire piece of preserved nature just waiting for you to explore.

When we first started this whole full-time traveling around in an RV thing, we would just go wherever. Small towns were quite popular with us. We wanted to be in on the action, close to bars and restaurants. This landed us in plenty of privately owned RV parks. That style of travel is fun, particularly as you have less children. As our little entourage of rugrats grew in number, our desires changed a bit. We moved out of the city RV parks and into the “suburbs” you could say. Except these suburbs are the state parks, and they’re a helluva lot better than any housing development.

What follows is a succinct explanation of the average costs, typical hookups, and more or less what to expect from state parks around the United States. Listed by state, with a picture or two here and there, and our notes and the thoughts of other full-time travelers sprinkled throughout. Enjoy!

Table of Contents


It was six months into our relationship, the Lady and I–along with my then 9 year old son–were living in a Volkswagen Bus and making a pilgrimage from Texas to Florida. A small state park just outside of Mobile, Alabama set the scene for a romantic dinner of smoked salmon and torn bread, a little mustard, a few pickles, and some beers. The sun set down over the Gulf of Mexico, and it was all quite serene.

We were young and in love then, that mad kind of early love that makes everything–a butterfly flapping its wings or a semi spewing noxious black gas into the air–more beautiful.

I want to be positive about Alabama, and so there it is. On the other hand, the state is constantly in turmoil. It ranks 4th in terms of the percentage of people who live in poverty and has the 7th worst education record in the nation. From the mountainous north to the Gulf, it can be a very beautiful state, but economic concerns plague even the natural beauty: as of April 15, 2015, the state is looking at closing 15 of its 26 state parks, including 14 of those that offer RV camping.

That would only leave 7 parks open that could accommodate RVs for overnight stays, and it leaves the state of the entire parks system in question for the future.

What was it that Neil Young sang about her? Oh right, “Alabama, the devil fools with the best laid plans.” Decades later it looks like they’re still working out the kinks.

In / Out Rules

As many of the Cotton State’s parks allow weekly and even monthly stays, there appears to be no maximum stay.


There are reports of people being arrested for drinking in Alabama State Parks, though the official laws and rules posted on the state park’s website do not specifically state that having a beer or two at your campsite is illegal.

the sun setting over a pier, the Gulf of Mexico
Meaher State Park. Photo by Outdoor Alabama.

List of Alabama State Parks with RV Sites

Alabama State Parks with Full Hookups

Alabama State Parks with only Water & Electric


Alaska has 3.3 million acres of state park and recreation lands. There is little information easily available about the parks, and we haven’t had the pleasure of visiting any of them. What information is available tends to indicate that most of the sites are primitive, occasionally with water available (but not at your site).

Alaska is for the tough people who don’t need sewage, just ask the Bush People…

We don’t have much to say from a firsthand experience sort of angle, given that none of us have been to AK in our adult lives. I can, however, remember a trip when I was young, riding in my uncle’s old blue pickup (which was probably new at the time) blasting through snowbanks and along a steep cliff up through somewhere-Mount-McKinley. If we ever do Alaska, it’ll be in a supervan and so off road I don’t know that we’ll even care about state parks given the amount of sheer open land one can find a corner to hide in.

In / Out Rules

Most of the state-run campgrounds in Alaska have a 15 night maximum stay.

List of Alaska State Parks

There are dozens of places to camp in Alaska. Much of Alaska is only reachable by dirt roads, or in many cases by plane or boat. Figuring out every state park that accommodates RV camping has been difficult, thus the list below is likely a partial one, and common sense will tell you to call ahead or do some research of your own before heading on up into the Last Frontier.


Home to botanical wonders from the Saguaros to Organ Pipe cactus, red rocks to golden desert sands, bands of color in the earth to sparkling lakes, Arizona is one of the most beautiful, still wild states left in the nation.

While the Grand Canyon gets much of the attention in Arizona, the state park offerings are exemplary as well.

Catalina State Park stands out. From the campground, the Santa Catalina Mountains boast impressive granite cliffs to the south. Saguaros with dozens of arms, a rarity, can be found along the trails. The sun shines heavily across the entire campground, and velvet mesquite trees provide opportunities for shade. I watched the moon set over the mountains one early morning, and the stars–even just 9 miles from bustling Tucson–were impressive. The proximity to the city means that within a few minutes you can find everything from a locally owned guitar store to a Whole Foods. Modern conveniences but without the noise and hectic affairs of a city as soon as you slip back into the state park.

Catalina also puts you nearby the eastern unit (Rincon Mountain) of Saguaro National Park, which offers no RV camping at all. And though not a state park, just south of the western unit of Saguaro is a local park by the name of Tucson Mountain, which features one of the most spectacular campgrounds we’ve ever stayed in, Gilbert Ray, an electric-only facility completely entrenched in saguaros, palo verde trees and other desert flora.

mountains painted in late afternoon sun rise above a mesquite forest
The Santa Catalina Mountains as seen from the A Loop in Catalina State Park.

For a completely different landscape, near the sleepy towns of Cottonwood and Jerome, Arizona there is Dead Horse Ranch State Park, a perfect basecamp for exploring the ancient Indian ruins of Tuzigoot National Monument or the natural beauty surrounding Sedona.

a city appears to be carved into the top of a mountain
Tuzigoot National Monument as seen from Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Photo by Gary Minniss.

In / Out Rules

Typically 14 nights in a 30 day period, some “long-term stay” parks offer 29 nights for every 45 day period.

Junior Ranger Program

Arizona does have a State Junior Ranger program. It’s more or less the standard affair, complete some activities, get a button. Some parks have an individual additional activity you can do as well.

Our 2 and 4 year olds completed the state-wide Jr. Ranger program in about 30 minutes.

List of Arizona State Parks with RV Camping

AZ Parks with Full Hookups

AZ Parks with Water and Electric Only


The Natural State, as Arkansas claims, offers a more luxurious RVing experience than most states, simply because all of its parks have at least water and electric, and often full hookups.

In / Out Rules

We couldn’t find any maximum stays for Arkansas State Parks, nor have we ever personally visited any.

Junior Ranger Program

Jr. Ranger Programs in Arkansas are on a park by park basis, and not all parks have a program.

List of Arkansas’ State Parks


The Golden State is well known for it’s scenery, almost as it is–among RVers anyway–for having one of the most expensive state parks systems of any state, even for little or no hookups. Still, from the Sierras to the Redwoods, the deserts to the oak forests of the central valley, you certainly get what you pay for.

On the other hand, supply and demand is in effect, and CA’s state parks can fill up months in advance.

The state more or less defines its parks as either being a “State Beach”, “State Park” or “State Recreation Area”. Generally, the recreation areas tend to have the full hookups, whereas the beaches and parks are more primitive in nature, though this isn’t a hard rule. There are also the “Redwood State Parks”, which simply denote those parks where you can still see some of those colossal ancient beauties.

While a state as massive and diverse as California makes it hard to say, “this is the best spot”, there is certainly something so impressive about the redwoods, particularly Jedediah Redwood State Park, that simply can’t be explained. Like living in the shadow of a history older than Jesus Christ, and knowing that these massive trees will still be hear long after I and my offspring are gone.

In / Out Rules

Every park has a maximum number of nights you can stay. Once you hit the max, you have to leave the park for 48 hours, at which point you can come back (or just go to another park after you hit one park’s max). Additionally, each park is supposed to enforce a 30 day max stay per calendar year. We have heard this rule is rarely enforced.

Junior Ranger Program

California’s Junior Ranger Program is a bit more extensive than our typical Jr. Ranger setup. You get a logbook and a badge when you begin, and can then start racking up stamps in a single park or spread it over multiple parks, with various rewards / awards along the way.

The night sky like one rarely finds in the US, at Anza-borrego State Park in California. Photo by Kevin.
The night sky like one rarely finds in the US, at Anza-borrego State Park in California. Photo by Kevin.
sunlight streams through the redwoods
Redwoods in the collective Redwoods National and State Parks of California’s northern coast. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Pfeiffer Big Sur. Photo by Justin Kern.
Pfeiffer Big Sur. Photo by Justin Kern.

List of California’s State Parks with RV Facilities

The state parks in these lists are generally listed from Northwest to Southeast

California State Parks with Full Hookups

California State Parks with Water & Electric Hookups

California State Parks with Water & Sewage Only (no electric)

California State Parks with Primitive Camping Suitable for RVs

As of August 10, 2014, McGrath State Beach is closed due to flooding. Some of the other parks listed above are seasonal only.


One of the most rugged, beautifully mountainous states in the nation, Colorado is home to 42 state parks, 31 of which have some type of camping available.

While everyone thinks of the Rockies, Colorado offers landscapes from desert to prairie. In general, the parks are pretty minimal: sewer hookups are rare, and most parks don’t even have water at your site. Typically, there’s a place to fill up a jug of water near your site to replenish your RV’s tanks, and a sewer dump that requires hooking up and taking a drive. Note that many of the state’s parks are primitive camping only, meaning there are no hookups whatsoever, and those that do have water often turn it off in the colder months (October through May).

If you’re looking for a little input on where to start, Golden Gate Canyon is National Park-class, and nearby the coolest town ever, Nederland, Colorado.

On the other hand, we often joke that–as a family–we never even bothered to visit nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, because so very much of Colorado is like a national park or forest. It’s a stunning state that has done an excellent job at keeping much of its mountains wild, and so the state parks are more there for a beautiful place to stay, often with some hookups, instead of a destination unto themselves.

mountains and trees rising high into the air
Golden Gate Canyon State Park in Colorado. Photo by Yann Ropars.

In / Out Rules

You can stay in any given Colorado State Park for 14 consecutive days, and up to a max of 14 days in any 45 day period. So if you stay at Lake Pueblo State Park on April 1st for two weeks (14 days), you can’t go back to that particular park for another 31 days (ie, 45 days from your first night’s stay). You can always go to another park, though.

Colorado State Park Junior Ranger Program

Most of the state parks we’ve visited had some type of activities for kids, even if they weren’t specifically called a “Junior Ranger Program”. These are typically coloring books or craft ideas that are related to either the park or Colorado’s outdoors in general.

List of Every Colorado State Park with RV Camping

Colorado State Parks with Full Hookups

Colorado State Parks with Electric & Water Hookups

Colorado State Parks with only Electric Hookups

Primitive Colorado State Park Camping


Many of the Connecticut State Parks that offer camping are not available year round, and most are actually only open from Spring through early Autumn.


Housatonic Meadows, Macedonia Brook Campground, Black Rock State Park and Kettletown State Park both do not allow alcohol in the park at all, even at your campsite.

In / Out Rules

In most Connecticut State Parks, you can stay 14 days, and then you have to leave for 5 days. Two parks, Hammonasset Beach and Rocky Neck, allow a 21 day maximum consecutive stay. Again, you then have to leave for the 5 days before you can camp at those parks again. You can move to another state park during those five days, except they consider Pachaug State Forest, Hopeville Pond, Kettletown and Black Rock State Parks to be one park.

Junior Ranger Program

The Connecticut State Parks website doesn’t list anything on their website and we’ve never personally explored the option.

List of Connecticut’s State Parks

The parks in this list are generally ordered from Northwest to Southeast.

* Indicates the park doesn’t allow alcohol at all (and therefore hates freedom?)


Quaint coastal towns and easy to find empty beaches separate Delaware from many of the other ocean states in the Northeastern US.

Delaware only has five state parks where you can camp or RV. They range from dramatically gorgeous to more or less parking lots beneath a big, lit up bridge. Most have water and electric hookups, and like everywhere in Delaware, all are generally pretty close to civilization.

In / Out Rules

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, there is a 14 consecutive day limit per park. You can camp up to 14 days per 21 day period in any given park, but can move back and forth between parks to avoid this limitation.

List of Delaware State Parks with Camping


In stark contrast to the strip malls and suicide five lane highways that mark most of Florida’s coastal areas, the state parks are jungle wonderlands where pristine springs, tropical wilderness and underwater reefs welcome a much slower, more affordable pace. Where the average cost of a private RV park in Florida is above $50, sometimes significantly above in more sought out areas during the snowbirding months, the state parks are a cheap way to see “the real Florida” as the parks currently boast with their slogan.

Because of this, it can be nearly impossible to get into a state park in the southernmost part of the state, particularly the Keys. Planning ahead is your best bet, but know that retirees and vacationers alike often book these places up entirely almost a year in advance. The northern part of the state, including the panhandle–and during the much hotter months statewide–are easier times to visit the Sunshine State’s parks.

When you do manage to find yourself a spot, though, the rewards are plentiful. From the northwestern and Panhandle parks ripe with crystal clear springs and their adjoining rivers to the island parks in the Keys where you can watch the sun rise over the Atlantic and set into the Gulf, to the jungle habitat of the interior parks, Florida is a place like no other in the Continental US. It can be hot, humid and critters of all sizes and unrecognized shapes abound, but open your mind a little and enjoy an escape from the typical woods and mountains experiences of most state parks.

Driftwood and the beach at Bahia Honda State Park. Photo by Phil's 1stPix.
Driftwood and the beach at Bahia Honda State Park. Photo by Phil’s 1stPix.
crystal clear blue and green flickers in the waters of manatee springs
Manatee Springs.
trees that grow thicker as they near the swamp water they live in lined up into the distance
Baldcypress trees in O’Leno State Park. Photo by Phil’s 1stPix.
Sunset from St. George State Island State Park.
Sunset from St. George State Island State Park.

In / Out Rules

Generally, the rule is a maximum of 14 days at any given Florida State Park. At the discretion of any given park, the rangers can extend that period up to 28 days if there is availability. We have never stayed for 14 consecutive days in any given park, but have stayed longer than two weeks as we hopped around from park to park. This was in the “springs” parks of Florida’s northwestern coast and the panhandle parks, so your results may vary.

Junior Ranger Program

Florida has a fabulous Junior Ranger program, the most involved we’ve ever come across. First, you get a starter kit with 6 core activities. You complete these and get sworn in, as most Jr. Ranger programs.

You are then given a passport and a member card, complete with a specific “member number”. The passport has four different categories, each of which you need to get three stamps in. The categories are Recreational, Cultural, Service and and Natural Resources. Get three stamps in each category and you’re done…well, except that you have to mail in the passport to Tallahassee or email a scan/picture of it. Then you’re done!

Getting the stamps in your passport is fun and the program offers a little more in-depth learning than the usual rehash of “don’t litter, prevent forest fires, don’t feed the wildlife” stuff nearly every other park dabbles in (though that stuff is in there, too).

List of Every FL State Park that Offers Camping

List of Florida State Parks with Full Hookups

List of Florida State Parks with Water & Electric


Two of the most beautiful forested sites in the east we’ve ever had were in Georgia State Parks. We backed into a spot in Unicoi State Park, near Helen, Georgia, and even with a lackluster shine on our Airstream, the autumn foliage painted itself in the reflection of yellows, reds and ambers as tall, tall pines swayed in the wind above us. A few weeks and a few dozen miles south at Fort Yargo, we arrived at a pristine moment in time: when there was only one campsite left and since we had a reservation (and no one else could show up that night), we scored the ADA accessible site right next to the lake itself.

Further south in Georgia one enters the part of the country where the transformation from the Appalachians into the palm flats more commonly associated with Florida, and along the coast a completely different experience opens up as the Atlantic’s waves dominate the scenery and hiking trails gives way to lackadaisical afternoon baking in the sun.

Easily our favorite southeastern state, Georgia looks good for months at a time on any travelers East Coast Agenda.

another blue lake juxtaposed against autumn foliage
Unicoi State Park
a blue lake against autumn trees
Fort Yargo State Park, the lake as seen from the campground.

In / Out Rules

There do not appear to be any maximum length of stays with Georgia’s State Parks.


Georgia has more discounts than any other state park system we’ve stayed at. For example, this winter they ran a “Snowbirds Special”, where anyone who stayed 30 days or more got 50% off of camping. Considering many state parks won’t even allow a stay of 30 days, this is a pretty fabulous deal.

We were also given a card whereby if you stayed 10 nights, the 11th night was free.

It should also be noted that when you visit a state park, even if you’re camping, you must pay a $5 fee. It’s not “per day”, it’s per visit, so if you stay 1 day or 7 days, you pay the $5. For $50 you can get the annual pass which waives this fee. Seniors get 50% off of the $50 fee, and active military and veterans get 25% off the fee.

Junior Ranger Program

Like many State Park Junior Ranger Programs, Georgia’s spans across most of the parks. So you can start in one park and finish in another. Additionally, there are three badge levels–Deer, Owl and Fox. Earn your first badge and keep at it to get the other three. Additional badges are occasionally available, such as their current “Civil War Badge” and “Get Outdoors Georgia” badges.

List of Georgia State Parks with Full Hookup Camping

List of Georgia State Parks with Water and Electric


While Hawai’i is not doubt a gorgeous f*ing place to camp, the State Parks on the various islands, as their website puts it, “are not setup for sleeping in a car, van or camper”. So sleeping in a car, let alone any type of RV, is not permitted. While I’ve never personally been, I hear it’s a wonderland over there for VW Buses and vandwelling, so maybe you’re not in a state park, but it’s a frigging paradise.

The Only State Park in Hawaii with Official RV Camping

That said, Wai’anapanapa State Park on Maui has some RV spots. Specifically, they’re $18 / night ($12 if you’re a Hawaiian resident) and this park is on the famed “Road to Hana”.


It’s a tragedy that Idaho is best known for its potatoes. From the raging rivers like the Salmon and Snake to some of the most untouched, rugged terrain left in the United States, Idaho is a paradise for fisherman seeking solitude to naturalists desperate for one of those few remaining places in the world where the sound of civilization truly cannot be heard.

Junior Ranger Program

There doesn’t seem to be one unified Jr. Ranger program for Idaho, but rather individual “programs” for kids in some parks. The programs aren’t the traditional “do a workbook, get a badge” but rather activities like painting pinecones or identifying trees with rangers.

List of Idaho’s State Parks

Note that “companion” sites listed below basically mean one campsite that has two sets of hookups. You and your buddy each bring your own camper, and get to spend that good ol’ quality time you’ve been waiting for without so much as a short walk.


Alcohol Ban

Many Illinois state parks do not allow alcohol, even at your campsite.

In / Out Rules

Max stay of 14 days out of 30 at any particularly campground, and reservations often need to be made 5 days in advance.

List of Illinois State Parks


In / Out Rules

You can stay a maximum of 14 consecutive days at any given Indiana State Park. Inversely, a minimum two night stay is required Thursday through Sunday (so Thurs & Fri, Fri & Sat, or Sat & Sun).

List of Indiana State Parks


In / Out Rules

Two week max per campground, with a 3 day out rule. Not too shabby.

List of Iowa State Parks

All of the parks listed below have electric hookups. If they have some full hookup sites as well, it’s noted. Many of these campgrounds have additional non-electric sites suitable for RVs.


The Sunflower State is perhaps best known for being that huge, flat tract of land that adds an extra day to any good westward roadtrip. And though that is largely what it is, for those who are interested in looking beyond the typical 75mph non-stop via I-75 to Colorado, there are some sites worth seeing.

Clinton State Park is a great place to call home while exploring the trendy college town of Lawrence, Kansas, where everything from fancy shopping to kayaking to great local beers can easily soak up a week or so. Eisenhower and El Dorado could be strung together with a smidgeon of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve thrown in the middle.

Don’t expect monumental, but the state certainly has more to offer than corn fields and a very, very long horizon.

In / Out Rules

Typically there’s a 14 day max, though this can be extended by an additional 14 days with written permission from the park manager. 5 days out and you can go back again.

List of Kansas State Parks with Campgrounds

The information below reflects the number of reservable campsites. Actual campsites are about double these numbers.


Kentucky has both “normal” state parks and “resort” state parks. The resort parks typically offer WiFi and have a lodge you can rent rooms from, and additional extras like golf courses or restaurants.

In / Out Rules

14 days, though this can be extended with permission from a park manager.

Junior Ranger Program

While there is no official “Junior Ranger” program for KY State Parks, many parks offer a variety of programs and field trip opportunities for school-aged children.

List of Kentucky State Parks

The number of sites and list of hookups below is not necessarily even. That is, a campground with “100 full hookup sites” may have some portion of those sites that do not have full hookups, but just water & electric.

Kentucky State Parks Open Year Round

All of Kentucky’s year round state parks with camping options offer full hookup sites, except for the the Kentucky Horse Park Campground.

Kentucky State Parks Open Year Seasonally

Most of these parks open on April 1st and close sometime in October or November.


There’s a beauty to Louisiana, like a burned out prostitute no one bothers to look at anymore, she is still beautiful in a way that may not be worth as much money anymore, but is priceless to those with the right eyes.

“It’s the people,” you’ll hear, when others speak of the population of New Orleans who stuck around after Katrina. And that’s true, friendliness abounds, a politeness exudes, but there is also a very real attitude that many of the state’s locals possess. So much of the Bayou State is below sea level, or protected by levees from the Mississippi’s runoff, that the state is seemingly continuously pummeled by misfortune. One can’t help but ponder the reality that humans building homes in places that were meant to be underwater by nature–and then trying to create manmade obstacles to combat mother nature–is just a bad idea. On one hand, it belches of stupidity, on the other, it breathes a testament to what humanity is willing to do for a piece of land.

All of that said, the people are not the most beautiful thing about Louisiana, it’s the swamps. Nature will always one up humanity in my book, and it’s a shame that the first things that comes to mind when this state is mentioned are New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and tragedy, because there is so much more down there.

It’s also a shame that lack of funding is leaving many of the state parks looking a little more like run down private RV parks. Ranger programs have been cut. Prisoners clean the bathrooms. Many amenities are closed indefinitely.

Still, the natural beauty of places like Fausse Pointe persist, and if you’re on a mission to traverse the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida, our money is on Louisiana State Parks every time.

a sun burns thick orange in the sky as it falls behind the swamps and a lake in Louisiana
Sunset at Fausse Pointe State Park in the great state of Louisiana.

In / Out Rules

Maximum 14 consecutive nights.

Junior Ranger Program

As of 2015, Louisiana’s State Parks are severely underfunded and don’t even have adult-focused ranger programs let alone Junior Ranger. Even amenities like pools aren’t open at this time.

List of Louisiana State Parks with Campgrounds

All sites are at least water & electric unless otherwise noted.


By far the most rugged place left in the Eastern United States, at times Maine can almost mimic the larger, more mountainous West, particularly when it comes to steep cliffs towering over the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Moose abound, and small towns that understand the value of remaining quaint aren’t particularly difficult to find.

In / Out Rules

Between the last Saturday in June and the third Saturday in August, you can camp a maximum of 14 nights in any given park, period, the entire summer. Outside of those days there is no official limit on how long you can stay at any one park, but you can only make a reservation for 14 days at a time.

Junior Ranger Program

Sebago Lake State Park has an official Junior Ranger Program. Additionally, you can also get a Passport and then get it stamped as you visit various state parks in Maine. 8 stamps gets you a sticker, 16 gets you a patch, and 40 gets you two free nights of camping!

List of Maine State Parks with Campgrounds


Maryland is one of those sort of “eh” states. Growing up in Pennsylvania, we’d drive on out to Ocean City for our annual family vacation, but unless it’s the closest state with a beach that isn’t New Jersey to where you live, most people just don’t think, “Maryland? Yeah, let’s go!”

However, the state does have a few gems, the shiniest of which is its association with Assateaugue National Seashore, and its adjoining state park. Feral horses are free to roam or run, and grow slightly fat with saltwater laden plants on a sandy, dune-laden shore, all with a state park campground for you and yours to kick back and watch the wild grapes grow ripe.


Maryland does not allow the consumption of alcohol in state parks, even at your own camp site. The only exceptions are during certain special events, or if you rent a cabin or are inside of your own motorhome (but not necessarily tent).

In / Out Rules

14 night maximum.

Junior Ranger Program

List of Maryland State Parks


Cape Cod, and particularly Provincetown, have always stuck out for us when we look back at our time traveling Massachusetts. From whale watching to some pretty flamboyant locals who chose to paint clothing on rather than bother actually wearing any, this corner of the state captured us for its beauty and small town charm alike, though the closest state park is still 40 minutes away.

Amherst and Northhampton, closer to the middle of the state, were some other wonderfully delightful small and college towns, but there are no state parks which offer RV camping near those towns either.

As big cities go, Boston is one of the best, stuffed full of the history of this nation and winding cobble streets to match…but again, you’ll have a 45 minute drive or so from the nearest state park with camping.

In / Out Rules

14 nights max stay at any given park. Some parks require a minimum 2 night stay as well.

Junior Ranger Program

Massachusetts has a passport program. Get the passport, get stamps in every park.

List of Massachusetts State Parks with RV Camping


Any conversation that includes the word “Michigan” typically involves a discussion of Detroit, and it’s rarely in the city’s favor. That is but one swath of a state that offers more outdoor opportunity per square foot than just about anywhere we’ve ever visited. Seventy two state parks, recreation areas and state forests should speak for itself. Particularly up north, and even more so in the Upper Peninsula, you’ll find some of the most beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife east of the Mississippi.

State Parks in Michigan are typically pretty rustic, though they almost always offer electric hookups. Bring your own water and use a dump station. And don’t get the locals started on their sunsets…

In / Out Rules

15 nights max and then you have to move to a new campsite.

Junior Ranger Program

Many state parks in Michigan have programs for children which are typically short hikes or explorations around the park where volunteers hand out bug boxes or let kids feel animal hides and learn more about the state’s wildlife and natural areas.

List of Michigan State Parks


In / Out Rules

14 days max except with permission by the park manager.

Junior Ranger Program

List of Minnesota State Parks with RV Camping


List of Mississippi State Parks where RVers can Camp

If a campground is listed as “full hookup”, it doesn’t necessarily mean all of the sites have sewer, water and electric, but that full hookups are available.


In / Out Rules

15 consecutive days within any one park, in a 30 day period. If you make a reservation, they’ll hold your site for 24 hours, so if you’re a day late, you still get your site.

Junior Ranger Program

List of Missouri State Parks with Campgrounds Suitable for RVs

All parks have electric available. Those that mention “full hookups available” typically have just water & electric sites, too, in addition to full hookups.


Whether you’re just passing through on I-94, or exploring around Glacier, Montana has some twenty-four parks that offer camping suitable for RVs. While these are largely concentrated in the eastern part of the state, there is at least one state park that can accommodate trailers and motorhomes in every corner of Big Sky Country.

Junior Ranger Program

Montana’s KUB Ranger program is similar to a Junior Ranger program, and there are additional activities throughout the parks focused toward kids.

List of Montana State Parks with RV Camping

Note that many of state parks in Big Sky Country have short RV length limits, sometimes 25 feet or less.


Like Kansas, Nebraska at times gets a bad rap as just being a big ol’ stretch of nothing en route to almost always somewhere else. With that in mind, and your imagination on overdrive, the stretch of US Route 20 that runs through the northern part of the state is particularly enjoyable. Small towns fighting off ghost town status, an easy two lane highway, and as you approach the northwest corner, sand dunes covered in flowing waves of amber grain. Walgren State Park would make a great place to explore this section of the state, which includes said sand dunes but also various other state parks (which don’t offer camping).

In / Out Rules

14 days in any one specific area, except for a few specifically designated “extended stay” areas.


Some parks, specifically Lake McConaughy and Willow Creek State Recreation Area, prohibit alcohol all together. Additionally, it’s illegal to drink alcohol in any park after 10pm and before 6am. I guess a beer at 11pm is worse than one at 7am?

List of Nebraska State Parks with RV Camping

Most of the state run areas that offer camping in Nebraska are called “State Recreation Areas” and have been denoted as such or with an “SRA” after their names, for convenience when Googling.

Nebraska State Parks with Modern Camping

These campgrounds offer at least electric and a non-dirt camping service, and sometimes water and sewer right at your site.

Nebraska State Parks with Primitive Camping Only

While some of these campgrounds offer electric hookups, they are otherwise “primitive”. Those with electric are noted below.


US-50 through the Silver State is one of those rare routes left in the nation where the distances between gas stations is typically “about one tank”. Fill up somewhere, hit the red line just in time to see another one a few miles down the road. Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park can make that an even more remote experience with a little southerly detour.

But far from just the massive empty desert most of the state is comprised of, state park experiences in Nevada can range from camping under massive pine trees near the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe to the striating red rock experiences of Valley of Fire State Park, and yes, plenty of that Great Basin tan desert expanse the majority of the state exudes.

In / Out Rules

14 days in a 30 day period per park.

Nevada State Parks Passport

There is a fun program called the Nevada State Park Passport Booklet which is an actual passport-like book with lots of info on every park. You get one, visit parks, and get stamps for each park visited. Fifteen stamps and you get a free annual pass to Nevada State Parks.

List of Nevada State Parks with RV Camping

All sites are primitive, i.e. no hookups, unless otherwise noted. Most Nevada State Parks can’t be reserved and are all first-come, first-served.

New Hampshire

Though Mount Washington State Park, named for the mountain once thought to be the highest in the Eastern US, is probably the most famous of New Hampshire’s park system, it also offers no opportunity for camping. Luckily, the state which encourages its residents to “Live Free, or Die” has a plethora of opportunities to get out and RV it in the White Mountains and otherwise, particularly if you don’t mind boondocking.

In / Out Rules

14 night maximum stay. Inversely, if you make a reservation before April 1st, you have to reserve at least 3nights.


Pawtuckaway State Park doesn’t allow alcohol consumption of any kind.

List of New Hampshire State Parks

New Jersey

Bruce Springsteen doesn’t have a lot of nice things to say about his home state of New Jersey, and I don’t know many people who think “let’s get outdoors, how far to Jersey?” Nevertheless, the Garden State comes packed with fourteen places to call home for the night in a state park.

In / Out Rules

14 consecutive nights initially, then it’s seven nights out, seven nights in.


Alcohol is prohibited in New Jersey State Parks.

List of New Jersey State Parks with RV Camping

Note that there are no hookups within the Garden State’s parks.

New Mexico

Thirty state parks in New Mexico offer camping suitable for RVs, and their $225 annual pass program can get your nightly rate down to $4, making the Land of Enchantment an ideal place for full-timers looking to escape the northern winters on a budget.

If my math is correct, and it sometimes is, it’ll take you about 28 days to make your money back on the annual pass. So if you plan on hanging around for a couple of months, you could save some decent cash…

In / Out Rules

14 days in any given park out of 20. So 14 days in, 6 out.

List of New Mexico State Parks with RV Camping

New York

From old growth forests along mountain ridges in the Adirondacks to crashing waterfalls and sparkling water in the Fingerlakes area, the Empire State is full of nature. Including below is information on not only every state park in New York with camping, but also many public campgrounds found in the Catskills and Adirondacks as well.

In / Out Rules

From July 1st – Labor Day, 14 consecutive nights max per campground. Reservations can only be made for 14 days any time of year, but outside of those dates they can be extended if availability allows.


Most of New York’s state parks allow alcohol, with the exceptions of Stony Brook, Wildwood and Beaver Pond.

List of New York State Parks with RV Camping

State Parks with RV Hookups Available

State Parks with Primitive Camping Only

North Carolina

When it came time to settle down for a few months and find a spot where our third son could be born, we knew that this time around we wanted to be back east. The decision was based purely on wanting to be relatively close to family in Pennsylvania and Florida for awhile, before the little guy was born and we headed back out West. To that end, we toured extensively through the mountains of New England and the Great Lakes, certain we’d find some perfect place in of those two locations.

Unable to decide, we took a quick roadtrip to Western North Carolina and instantly fell in love. From the Smoky Mountains to small towns like Montreat and Bryson City to bustling Asheville, everything along the Blue Ridge Parkway and these largest-mountains-in-the-east sings of the kind of beauty usually only found out west.

In / Out Rules

14 nights out of 30.


Alcohol is not permitted in North Carolina’s State Parks.

Junior Ranger Program

North Carolina has a Junior Ranger Program, in addition to a variety of other children’s programs, like their Scavenger Hunt, where you can go out to any park, photograph 12 of the 15 items on the list, and then be entered into a drawing to win stuff like REI gift cards.

The Junior Ranger Program is statewide, but Carvers Creek, Chimney Rock, Mount Jefferson and William B. Umstead State Parks also have their own individual Jr. Ranger Programs. Note that none of those parks offer RV camping, though.

List of North Carolina State Parks with RV Camping

Note that “with hookups” typically means water and electric only.

North Dakota

In / Out Rules

14 out of 30 nights.

List of North Dakota State Parks with RV Camping


Ohio’s state parks largely reflect its residents. Fishing is encouraged. Hunting is even allowed. Otherwise, the experience can be imagined largely as your traditional family camping. S’mores over campfires and lots of tenters under trees. But without the beers, alcohol is not allowed (common for state parks in this part of the country).

In / Out Rules

14 nights out of 30.


Ohio is one of the states that does not permit alcohol at its state parks.

List of Ohio State Parks with RV Camping

Note that the hookups listed are the most possible, but not every site may have all hookups. For example, if a campground is listed as “50 site, full hookup”, only some of those sites may have actual full hookups. Check with the parks availability.


OK is one of the states with “resort parks”, where you’ll find things like shops, restaurants and golfing. They’re more or less one of the swankier of parks, and by that I do mean that there are no parks that offer primitive-only camping, so if you love to at least have an electric and water connection, you’re in luck in the Sooner State.

In / Out Rules

14 nights at any one campground. Extensions are available upon request.

Junior Ranger Program

List of Oklahoma State Parks


The entirety of Oregon’s coast is public land. That’s not to say that it’s all officially “state park”, but it’s a testament to the dedication this state has for nature. Probably one of the big reasons so many of the Beaver State’s residents are outdoor enthusiasts to the max.

Other perks, like lush rainforest, jagged mountains and the fact that you’re allowed to have a campfire on the beach, just add to the mix. Oregon ranges from coastal forest to desert plains, and plenty of cool towns and cities in between. Few other states offer the range of pure awesomeness swirled with liberal tendencies that Oregon does.

Best of Oregon’s State Parks from Nealys on Wheels

Oregon is another state in which we found an abundance of great state parks! In particular we found several along the Oregon coast, but one of our favorites was farther inland. Camping is definitely part of the culture in Oregon, and residents and visitors to the state are lucky to have such a great state park system to take advantage of. One interesting difference we noted in Oregon was that the majority of the campers all had Oregon tags on the vehicles. It seemed like in most other states, there was always a good mix of in-state and out-of-state campers. But in Oregon it seemed most campers were happy to camp/vacation right in their own state. And with good reason–the state parks are excellent.

Memaloose State Park

Our favorite part of Oregon in general was the spectacular coast, but our favorite park was actually in Hood River – Memaloose State Park. The park is right on the Hood River and several of the sites have great views of the water. These sites are very popular, though, so if you want a river site you must book early. There is a mixture of full hook-up sites and dry camping sites. If, like us, you don’t like to plan too far in advance, the dry sites were pretty easy to get at the last minute. The park itself is full of lots of trees that provide shade. There is an active railroad track between the campground and the river, so you can’t access the river directly from the park. The entrance to the park is via a rest area of the interstate. This made it very easy to leave the park and visit the nearby town of Hood River, which we really fell in love with; restaurants, breweries, and lots of river activities including windsurfing and kiteboarding. The only small disadvantage is that when you return to the park, there is no exit off the interstate into the park from that direction, so you have to drive a few miles down the road to the next exit and then get back on the interstate in the opposite direction.

Nehalem Bay State Park

A close 2nd favorite park was Nehalem Bay State park near the adorable coastal town of Manzanita. The beach here is just gorgeous and we loved strolling the streets of Manzanita and visiting the restaurants, coffee shops, and cute stores. The park is beautiful with walking access to the beach and the sites are spacious. It’s a very popular park though–without advance reservations we were only able to snag a 2-night stay.

Bullards Beach State Park

Bullards Beach was another favorite park. This part of the coastline is amazing, and a photographer’s dream! The rock formations on the beach and other-worldly and we spent a few hours just walking around and gawking. The park also has close to 200 sites, most of which are full hook-ups (the others are water/electric only). There’s also a historic lighthouse with guided tours throughout the day. And the nearby town of Bandon was another cute coastal town that we very much enjoyed.

In / Out Rules

14 nights in, 3 nights out.

Junior Ranger Program

Oregon has one of the best state Jr. Ranger Programs in the country. Get a book, do the activities, get a passport, visit a bunch of OR state parks, have a blast!

Get four stamps in your passport and you get a badge. Two stamps after that and you’ve earned your patch. As if Oregon wasn’t fun enough, add a little Beaver-themed goodness for the kiddos.

List of Oregon State Parks


I grew up in Pennsylvania, and have had the opportunity to camp in many of the Keystone State’s State Parks.

It’s a largely wholesome experience. PA has very few dramatic features, but it is still beautiful in exactly the way you’d expect a state named for the forest to be. Rolling hills, mixed hardwood and pine forests, and when Autumn comes around the colors will blaze. Picture families roasting hot dogs over an open fire, maybe a little country music in the background, some fishing and a hike or two.

Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon, Pine Creek Gorge, and Ohiopyle, a white water rafting destination, are a couple of the highlights.

In / Out Rules

14 nights from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 21 otherwise.


Pennsylvania does not allow alcohol at it’s state parks. I’ve personally seen this rule enforced, and also seen it blatantly ignored by rangers and campers alike.

List of Pennsylvania State Parks with RV Camping

PA State Parks with Full Hookups

PA State Parks with Electric Hookups

Note that the parks in the “Full Hookups” list above are not listed here again.

PA State Parks with Primitive Camping Only

Rhode Island

The smallest state also offers the least number of state parks with camping suitable for RVs, but at four, you can bet that per capita, or at least per square footage, they’re doing alright.

In / Out Rules

During the summer, the max consecutive nights one can stay in a Rhode Island State Park is 14. The rest of the year (while the parks are open), it’s extended to 21 nights. In both cases, you have to leave for 7 days before you can come back to that particular state park.

Another interesting note is that if you make your reservation between November and May for a summer stay, you have to reserve at least four nights. Weird.


Rhode Island does not allow the possession or consumption of booze within it’s hallowed state campgrounds.

List of Rhode Island State Parks that offer RV Camping

Four of Rhode Island’s five state park campgrounds accommodate RVs. The only one that doesn’t, East Beach, is a beach camping area that requires 4WD, so if you’re in a van with four wheel drive or a truck camper, that may be an option too, but we’ve omitted it from this list.

South Carolina

From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, South Carolina is another great southeastern state that offers diversity not only naturally, but culturally as well. From small towns and farmlands packed with down home locals and hiking adventurers alike to the swank sophistication and fashion forward residents of coastal cities like Charleston, we haven’t found much to dislike when it comes to the Palmetto State. Oh, except for their Sunday alcohol laws. And Orangeburg. Stay away from Orangeburg.

In / Out Rules

Maximum stay on one particular site is 14 days.

Junior Ranger Program

South Carolina has an official Junior Ranger program, complete with its own website. 26 of the state’s parks participate in the program, including 20 of the parks that provide RV camping accommodations below.

There are three levels of completion for the program and each one comes with a different award, such as a flashlight, field notebook and a Junior Ranger hat or backpack. And of course, a badge!

List of South Carolina State Parks suitable for RV Camping

South Dakota

When it comes to South Dakota, we say “head to the Black Hills!” From the Badlands to Custer State Park, this corner of the state rivals anywhere else in the US simply for its combination of natural beauty and old time cowboy style small towns.

In / Out Rules

14 nights max at any one park.

Junior Ranger Program

Going by the name “Junior Naturalist Program”, there are three levels, each requiring varying tasks to be performed such as learning about nature and hiking a trail. Conquer level one and you’ve scored yourself a Junior Naturalist badge. Level two will get you a sleeping bag, and level three will get you the sweetest score yet: your choice of cool gear ranging from binoculars to snow shoes.

Grabbing that last level won’t be as easy as most Jr. Ranger programs though, one of the challenges includes “creating a nature program and presenting it to the public.”

Pretty extra fabulous South Dakota.

List of South Dakota State Parks with RV Camping

South Dakota “Prime Campgrounds”, including Electric Hookups and Waterfront Sites

These campgrounds have restrooms with showers.

South Dakota “Preferred Campgrounds”

This is a list of the most popular campgrounds in South Dakota. $19 / night for electric hookups, $15 for primitive. These campgrounds also have restrooms with showers.

South Dakota “Modern Campgrounds”

Those with more modern conveniences, like restrooms and showers, but which didn’t make the “preferred” cut. $17 / night for electric hookups, $13 for primitive.

South Dakota “Basic Campgrounds”

These sites may still have electric hookups, but offer no showers and only outhouse / vault toilets. $15 for an electric site, $11 for primitive.


Jerry Garcia claims there’s no place he’d rather be, and at times the understated natural areas of Tennessee do make one long to be in an old time hippy country band.

From parks dedicated specifically to birding to those in the Smoky Mountains area and even some not too far from metropoles such as Nashville or Memphis

In / Out Rules

Two weeks max stay.

Junior Ranger Program

Yes, Tennessee has an official Jr. Ranger program.


Technically, it’s illegal to drink anywhere at a Tennessee State Park, except for the golf courses, restaurants and lodges that sell alcohol.

List of Tennessee State Parks with RV Campgrounds

All campgrounds have water & electric, except where noted elsewhere below.


Texas is, if I may be so blatant, friggin’ rad. Libertarian ideals in the rural areas, and liberal bastions of natural playgrounds in cities like Austin butter the bread, but for our money it’s all about West Texas. The entire Big Bend region is full of rustic, sometimes crusty, small towns and open vast endless Chihuahuan desert. It’s gorgeous, and it’s tough living, but the rewards are there for those who don’t mind dirty boots and quickly warming beers.

The Best State Parks in West Texas

As noted, when it comes to Texas, like the rest of the nation, the west is the best. Most of my first year on the road was spent in West Texas, and much of the second, too. This past winter we hung around there for over month. Here’s a little hint at why…

Balmorhea State Park

A massive clear and natural pool are the highlights of the park itself, but the surrounding cliffs–a black rock covered in green lichen–make the drive here from Fort Davis as worthy as the state park itself. Notice! The wind here will knock over a small child…

Davis Mountains State Park

This park boasts Indian Lodge, a full service hotel in a state park, not always an easy thing to find. But like the drive from the above mentioned Balmorhea, this state park is all chocolate colored mountains and vegetation between. While no cell service exists in the campground, you can drive up Skyline Drive to a vista spanning all of the town of Fort Davis, the National Historic Site, and miles beyond, and as a plus full service AT&T and Verizon reception meanders it’s way on in. The nearby town is not exactly plentiful in resources, but a hardware store, post office, a few Mexican restaurants and a bar open every day but Wednesday made it worth the visit. While this is probably our least favorite corner of West Texas, or Big Bend anyway, it’s the edge of the all of the good stuff.

Big Bend Ranch State Park

Easily our favorite state park so far in the Continental US. It’s puzzling why it isn’t part of the National Park, as it would be an addition that would easily double Big Bend National Park’s value. In fact, the state park is even better than the national, as the River Road makes our #1 spot on best drives in the US and everything is just so much more easily accessible.

Instead of driving half an hour between destinations as you need to in the national park, there are trails and ruins and interesting spots to pull over and play in old movie sets or dip your toes in the Rio Grande at nearly every mile marker in Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Best of Texas’ State Parks from Nealys on Wheels

Texas is generally more of a place-we-have-to-drive-through-in-order-to-go-west, rather than a specific destination for us, but because it’s so large we have spent quite a bit of time there, and we always stay in the state parks. Texas has a good state park system and with many parks to choose from, we were always able to find one that along our route. Many of these parks were just one-night stopovers for us, but there are two parks in particular in Texas that we really love.

Texas also has a pretty good state park pass, which gets you discounted camping fees. Even though we only spent a few nights in Texas as we were passing through, it was still worthwhile for us and would definitely be beneficial for anyone planning to spend a lot of time in Texas.

Caprock Canyon State Park

Caprock Canyon State Park was selected by us only because it was somewhat along our route. But when we got there we were surprised at how beautiful it was! As soon as we pulled in, we saw a sign indicating the park is home to the Official Bison Herd of Texas. And a couple of miles later…we saw the herd! The camp sites here are very large and spacious and we had plenty of room to stretch out. There are several miles of trails for hiking in the park. We only did a couple of them but I’d love to return someday and hike some more. The red rocks and canyons are really stunning and it’s definitely a park I’d recommend.

McKinney Falls State Park

Our other favorite Texas state park is McKinney Falls. For one thing, it’s right outside of Austin, which is one of our favorite cities. But in addition to that, it’s just a really great park. The sites are well spaced and offer water and electric (but no sewer). There are hiking/biking trails, swimming, and waterfalls. We were also treated a field full of the iconic Texas blue bonnets during our April visit.

In / Out Rules

While some parks do allow for monthly rentals during the winter months, the official stance of most parks is 14 days in, 14 days out. Some parks are less strict about this than others. Inversely, some parks enforce a “14 days in the entire park system, 14 days out of the entire park system”, so if you stay in Brazos Bend for 14 days and try and show up at McKinney Falls the next day, they will inform you that you can’t come back until you’ve been completely out of every Texas State Park for 14 days.

Junior Ranger Program

Texas has a great Junior Ranger Program where kids fill out the typical booklet where they learn about the history and nature of the state. Their are three levels, and kids can earn a button for each level they complete.

List of Texas State Parks with RV-friendly Campgrounds

Texas State Parks with Full Hookups

Texas State Parks with Water & Electric Sites

Texas State Parks with Primitive Camping Only

While offering no hookups, these parks can still accommodate RVs for the most part.


Ah, Utah, how we do love thee. From the cornucopia of color found along US 40 in the northwestern corner of the state to the entire southern National Parks area, we have spent months at a time exploring this paradise which is all too often given a bad reputation from the occasional media report on some messed up Mormon activity. Please though, do your good self a favor and look beyond that one dark spot the state is forced to endure and see the raw natural beauty that the state indeed does embrace.

Best of Utah’s State Parks from Nealys on Wheels

As far as spectacular, natural scenery, this state has several state parks that rank right up there with the best of the best. Utah is known for Arches, Zion, and Bryce Canyon National Parks, but we found several state parks that had some of the same natural beauty. One added benefit is that most of the state parks we visited allowed advanced reservations, whereas most of the national parks were first-come-first-served, or didn’t have big enough campgrounds to fit a larger RV (our RV is 35′ long.) We visited 5 different state parks in Utah, and camped at 4 of them. After two years of travel, the Utah state parks still rank among our favorites as far as scenery and access to hiking.

Kodachrome Basin State Park

This state park is located just southeast of Bryce Canyon. The name Kodachrome was inspired by the natural beauty and color within the park. The natural geologic features, including stone spires and sandstone layers, are simply outstanding. The park has the added benefit of several sites…with full hook-ups! There are good hiking trails right in the park, and you can access a part of the Grand Staircase National Monument via a dirt road right nearby, too. The only downside is there is zero cell service here – it’s a total dead zone. You’ll have to drive about 30 minutes if you need to check your voice mail or email. Of course, this may be considered a benefit if you’re really looking to disconnect!

Dead Horse Point State Park

This park is located southwest of Moab and Arches National Park. We didn’t stay in this park, but based upon several recommendations we decided to visit it on a day trip and do some hiking. It’s a mini-Grand Canyon, with dramatic overlooks of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park. In all honesty, I thought it was even more beautiful than the Grand Canyon! There are several hiking trails, including one which leads out to Deadhorse Point. Legend has it that cowboys would round up wild horses and bring them to Deadhorse Point, which provided a natural corral with the dropoffs into the canyon. The cowboys would take the best horses, leaving the remaining horses on the point to starve or fall to their deaths.

This is also where the famous final scene in Thelma & Louise was filmed.

Jordanelle State Park

If you want to visit Park City, Jordanelle State Park is an excellent place to camp. Park City is only about 20 minutes away, and the park has nice views of the Jordanelle Reservoir. Most sites do not have full hook-ups, but if you visit in the off-season, you can nab one of the full-hook up spots which are normally reserved for camp hosts.

We also visited Palisade State Park, which has a golf course and kayak/paddle board rentals, and fishing, as well as Bear Lake State Park, which is a stunning turqoise blue lake nicknamed the Caribbean of the Rockies.

In / Out Rules

14 days in any 30 day period.

Junior Ranger Program

Utah does indeed have its own Jr. Ranger program – get the book, do the stuff, earn the badge!

List of Utah State Parks with RV Camping


Vermont means “Green Mountains”, and that’s what it has to offer. From Lake Champlain and the hippy hipster of Burlington to VT Route 100, small towns like Wilmington to the 3rd of July Parade in Montpelier. Vermont understands the beauty of keeping towns small and areas natural, and laws are in place to keep billboards virtually non-existent and even when chain stores like McDonalds do exist, there signage is kept low to the ground a low to the key.

In / Out Rules

21 nights at any one particular campground. There’s also a minimum 2-nights for any reservation, and before March 1st there’s a 4-night minimum reservation for Brighton, Burton Island, Button Bay, Coolidge, Emerald Lake, Half Moon, Jamaica, Lake St. Catherine, Little River, Maidstone, Ricker Pond, and Stillwater State Park.

Junior Ranger Program

Split into two age groups, kids can participate in the Salamander Junior Ranger Program (aimed at ages 4-8) or the Beaver Program (9+). Activities range from writing poems to identifying animal tracks, and you get a patch when you’re done!

List of Vermont State Parks with RV Camping

There are no hookups in any of Vermont’s State Parks. Generators are typically allowed, and water is available to refill your coffers every few campsites.


Though they say that Virginia is for lovers, we think it’s for families on the trail. The state parks are similar to nearby states–it’s less about dramatic natural features and more about the wholesome experience that families can experience by spending their days fishing, touring the trails, and picnicking and evenings spent ’round the fire. We particularly loved the state parks surrounding Shenandoah National Park, which offered a little hookup relief from the strictly boondocking experience the National Park provides.

In / Out Rules

14 nights in any 30 day period.


State Parks in Virginia don’t permit alcohol, except in private areas, which they define as more or less being inside. So if you’re in your RV it should be cool, though we’ve personally never had an issue with drinking beer around a fire at our campsite.

Junior Ranger Program

Individual state parks such as Pocahontas State Park have their own ranger programs, with a patch to earn and all.

List of Virginia State Parks

Parks are generally listed from West to East.


When we eventually stop this whole full-time traveling life, Washington is first on our list of places to “settle down”. Volcanos, rainforest, the birthplace of grunge…what isn’t to like?

Unfortunately, it’s state parks are some of the worst–at least when it comes to value–in the country.

They can cost as much as $45 / night which doesn’t even necessarily mean you’re going to get full hookups. And for a state so blessed with gorgeous natural environments, the state parks don’t always celebrate those. For example, a desert park near Quincy, WA is basically a big grass yard, an eyesore in the middle of a largely barren environment. Or the state park near Chelan, WA where we literally were electrified as we camped beneath so many buzzing powerlines that our Airstream was shocking us when we touched it. Bad form, Washington, you can do better.

In / Out Rules

10 days in any one park April through September, 20 days otherwise.

Junior Ranger Program

Certain parks, such as Deception Pass, have their own Junior Ranger programs. Others, like Cape Dissapointment, have programs integrated with nearby National Parks or Monuments. But many of the parks also offer out of the ordinary activities for kids, such as Cama State Park’s wooden toy boat building classes (which are free, or suggested donation of $3)!

List of Washington State Parks

West Virginia

Our favorite of all the Appalachian States, West Virginia is old growth forests on dramatic mountains and plenty of small towns like you won’t find in most of the heavily populated eastern states.

I could list of names of great areas, Fayetteville, Thomas, the Savage River area, but I won’t…oh wait, I already did. Well there you go.

In / Out Rules

14 consecutive days with exceptions granted during the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons.

Junior Ranger Program

No official program nor mention of one in individual parks.

List of West Virginia State Parks

West Virginia State Parks with RV Camping

West Virginia State Forests with RV Camping

West Virginia Wildlife Management Areas with RV Camping

All sites are primitive except at Panther WMA.


They’ve got cheese. And 32 state parks with camping that can accommodate state parks. All of which have at least electric hookups. So there’s that!

In / Out Rules

14 days in a particular park in any 21-day period. Two weeks in, two weeks out, not too shabby considering how many parks there are to hop.

Junior Ranger Program

Wisconsin’s version is called the Wisconsin Explorer Program. There are three different books, aimed at different age groups, and a badge for each when you wrap it all up. Start when you’re now, end when you’re then!


For the most part, having a beverage around your campsite is allowed. Even bringing a beer or two along with you to enjoy during day use at picnic areas is allowed. Exceptions are Bigfoot Beach and Heritage Hill State Parks. Heritage Hill doesn’t have camping, but it’s probably a safe bet that while you can’t drink on the beach, if you’re at Bigfoot and in a campsite you’re all set.


Wisconsin is not down with generators. Basically, get yourself an electric site or don’t show up.

List of Wisconsin State Parks with RV Camping

All sites primitive (no hookups) except where noted. The numbers reflect the amount of reservable sites, additional sites may be available.


The least populated state given the amount of land, Wyoming is more or less vacant, making it a perfect place to explore if you’re the get away from it all type. To match, there are only ten state parks with campgrounds suitable for RVs, but we can more or less promise that–if you love the wild wild west–you will not be disappointed.

In / Out Rules

14 days out of 30.

Junior Ranger Program

In addition to an official Junior Ranger program, Wyoming offers other experiences like “Trees for Wyoming”, where youth can help fight beetle infestations, and Off Road Vehicle Safety programs. It’s a pretty great place for kids to discover nature, and the state is trying to make such activities a priority.

Get ’em while they’re young.

List of Wyoming State Parks with RV Camping

Sites are all primitive unless noted otherwise

US State Park Systems Ranked

This is our list of how friendly each state’s park system is for RVers. We took into account pricing, availability, and the number of sites. Any ties were broken by our own particular fondness for a particular state. Ranked from best to worst.

  1. Utah
  2. Texas
  3. Colorado
  4. Oregon
  5. Wyoming
  6. Arizona
  7. North Carolina
  8. West Virginia
  9. South Dakota
  10. Idaho
  11. Georgia
  12. California
  13. Montana
  14. Alaska
  15. Vermont
  16. Maine
  17. South Carolina
  18. Florida
  19. New Hampshire
  20. New Mexico
  21. Tennessee
  22. Kentucky
  23. New York
  24. Nevada
  25. Michigan
  26. Pennsylvania
  27. Virginia
  28. North Dakota
  29. Louisiana
  30. Minnesota
  31. Wisconsin
  32. Delaware
  33. Massachusetts
  34. Connecticut
  35. Rhode Island
  36. Maryland
  37. Nebraska
  38. Arkansas
  39. Oklahoma
  40. Kansas
  41. Missouri
  42. Illinois
  43. Indiana
  44. Iowa
  45. Washington
  46. Ohio
  47. New Jersey
  48. Alabama
  49. Mississippi
  50. Hawaii