3 Types of RV Camping
Acquiring the recreational vehicle you want is only one step of owning it. After that comes the best part: taking it out and using it. For that, it’s important to know your options. Here are three major types of RV camping:
1. Full Hookups
When you think about camping in an RV, an established campground may be the destination that comes to mind. And there are plenty of good campgrounds from which to choose. But they’re not all created equal.
Some include full hookups, which means you can plug into an electrical box, connect fresh water to your rig, and hook up your sewer hose. This “all-inclusive” option is sometimes referred to as “glamping,” or glamourous camping, because it provides all the normal luxuries you’re likely accustomed to.
This is the type of “camping” we did when we first moved into our fifth wheel. We parked it at a mobile home/RV park with all the bells and whistles, which provided the perfect setting for us to move our belongings into our new home, get used to it, and fix up a few things.
It’s also the type of camping we did in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which freed us to spend more time with my parents, who were about a 10-minute drive away.
Also referred to as “dry camping,” boondocking is the opposite of glamping. This is a much more rustic option with no hookups whatsoever. That means you have to run your rig off batteries, solar panels, generators, or a combination of these sources of energy.
For us, it means our microwave doesn’t work, among a few other things. And it’s definitely not glamping without a microwave.
You can find boondocking options in some campgrounds, but you have many more (free) opportunities on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, national forests, and places like that. Some websites, such as Campendium and freecampsites.net, are dedicated to helping campers find these options.
We boondocked in northern Arizona and really enjoyed being in nature, despite dust. Our site was private, remote, and refreshing — and close enough to the city when we needed supplies. We also boondocked one night at a Minnesota campground with no hookups on the Mississippi River and relished the beautiful view.
This is a bit of a hybrid of full hookups and boondocking. Essentially, moochdocking is camping on the property of family or friends for free. As Bob likes to explain, “It’s where we ask, ‘How big is your driveway?’”
Moochdocking is what we’re doing at my cousin’s farm in Michigan. We have a sweet setup on the property with an electric hookup, access to water when we need it, and even a place to dump our black and gray water holding tanks.
Not wanting to take advantage of family or wear out our welcome, however, we’re helping around the farm and keeping track of the amount of electricity we use so we can pay for it. After all, it’s hot and humid in southwestern Michigan in July, which means we’re running our air conditioner.
What’s Our Favorite RV Camping?
These three types of RV camping are not the only options. Many others combine different pieces of each. For example, you can find campgrounds that offer partial hookups, such as electricity and water but not sewer. In those cases, the campground usually has a dump station where you can empty your holding tanks before moving on to your next destination.
If we had to pick a favorite type of RV camping, we’d probably say moochdocking. But we like any option that allows us to spend time with family and friends. And in some areas, boondocking or a full-hookup campground might facilitate that best.
7/2/2020 02:31:52 pm
7/2/2020 04:08:45 pm
Awesome, Wendy! Thanks. We'll definitely keep that in mind for the next time we're in the area. ?
7/2/2020 06:50:55 pm
Well when your ready to mooch-dock back home, I will be ready-lol. That was fun and informative to read. I can just imagine how you must feel after all these years to finally have time for yourselves doing the very thing you dreamed of doing.
7/2/2020 08:45:37 pm
I’m certainly learning a lot through your travels..thank you! My driveway is small..but if you pass through SC, I’d love to see you guys! ❤️
7/3/2020 04:38:30 pm
Good to hear from you again. All your little tips are insightful for us. Won’t be long and we’ll be on the road, too. Love you💕
7/4/2020 12:21:55 pm
Love the term Moochdocking. Short story: When my son was deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S.M.C. our marines wrote to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts requesting coffee which was in short supply. Starbucks sent a case and Dunkin Donuts sent them a full pallet of coffee with a heartfelt note thanking them for their service and advising them to please ask again when they need more. I am a huge fan of Dunkin Donuts forever.
6/20/2021 01:17:52 pm
The other day my sister shared that she was looking to go on a camping trip with her RV. I appreciate that this post reminded us that when looking to go on an RV camping trip, it is important for us to ensure that we have all the necessary gear to ensure a smooth experience. I will remind her to have jer RV inspected before going on the trip.
8/19/2021 12:54:37 pm
It's great that you mentioned that full hookups are good for RV camping when you want to socialize with people. When you are going RV camping, it seems like it would be important to remember to respect the other people at a campsite. It would be important to make sure that you aren't too loud at night.
I like that you talked about parking your fifth wheel at a mobile home/RV park because it would have the perfect setting to move our belongings to. I will keep that in mind because I plan to get one for the family to use it this summer. It has been the dream of my kids and my husband to go camping for a week in different locations, so this information will help us a lot in this activity.
10/9/2022 01:36:10 am
Grateful for sharing tthis
Leave a Reply.
This is the travel blog of full-time RVers Bob and Lana Gates and our truck, Gulliver, and fifth wheel, Tagalong.