In the year 2021, around 57 million households shared that they embarked on at least one camping adventure, marking an impressive 18% rise compared to the previous year. This increase stands as the most notable year-to-year shift since the inception of the report.
Within the camping realm, various campground types exist, including RV parks, tent campgrounds, and cabins. Each type presents distinct merits and drawbacks.
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1. RV Parks
RV parks cater specifically to recreational vehicles. These parks usually offer spacious, paved sites equipped with full amenities like water, sewer, and electricity connections. Additionally, facilities such as showers, laundry rooms, and Wi-Fi are common features.
Among the assortment of campgrounds, RV parks reign as the most sought-after in the United States. The country houses over 40,000 RV parks, drawing in excess of 500 million visitors annually. Key RV camping destinations encompass California, Texas, and Florida.
This type of campground constitutes 62.5% of all campground visits in the U.S., significantly shaping the camping landscape. On average, a visitor to an RV park spends around $1,000 per trip. The states of California, Texas, and Florida boast the highest concentration of popular RV parks.
Also read: How to start a campground?
2. Tent Campgrounds
Tent campgrounds cater to those who prefer traditional tent camping. These sites usually offer smaller campsites compared to RV parks and may not provide the same extensive amenities. Tent campgrounds tend to be more budget-friendly, making them an attractive option for individuals seeking an authentic outdoor experience without the complexities of RVs.
- Popularity of Tent Campgrounds: Among the various types of campgrounds, tent campgrounds hold the second spot in popularity across the United States. With a staggering count of over 20,000 such campgrounds scattered throughout the country, they manage to attract a substantial crowd of over 200 million visitors annually. Notably, states like California, Colorado, and Oregon emerge as favored destinations for tent camping enthusiasts.
- Tent Camping Impact: This category contributes to around 25% of all campground visits in the U.S., showcasing its considerable significance. On average, a visitor to a tent campground invests approximately $500 per trip. Remarkable tent campgrounds can be found primarily in California, Colorado, and Oregon.
Also read: How to run a campground?
Cabins offer an appealing blend of outdoor experience and comfort. Equipped with essentials like electricity, running water, and bathrooms, cabins can also include added amenities such as kitchens, fireplaces, and even hot tubs. Their enhanced privacy and convenience make them an excellent choice, particularly for families or those who desire a more comfortable camping experience.
- Cabins’ Popularity: Among the available campground options, cabins secure the third position in popularity within the United States. With a count exceeding 10,000 cabin campgrounds nationwide, they manage to entice an impressive 100 million visitors annually. Noteworthy cabin camping states include Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
- Cabin Camping Impact: This category accounts for around 12.5% of all campground visits in the U.S., underscoring its meaningful role. On average, a visitor to a cabin campground spends approximately $750 per trip. Notably sought-after cabin campgrounds are concentrated in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
Also read: Mastering Campground Marketing
4. Head on Comparison: Different Types of Campgrounds
|Full hookups (water, sewer, electricity), restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, swimming pools, playgrounds, game rooms
|Basic amenities (restrooms, showers), some may have fire pits, picnic tables, and playgrounds
|Fully furnished with beds, kitchen appliances, bathrooms, may have porches, decks, or grills
|Less private, sites are close together
|More private, sites are further apart
|Most private, individual cabins
|More comfortable, RVs have all the amenities of home
|Less comfortable, tents provide basic shelter
|Most comfortable, cabins offer a home-like experience
|Easy, simply park your RV and connect to hookups
|Requires setting up your tent and equipment
|No setup required, cabins are ready to use
|Easy to move around, RVs are self-contained
|Requires a vehicle to get around
|Limited mobility, cabins are stationary
|Good, RVs provide shelter from the elements
|Limited, tents offer basic protection from rain and wind
|Excellent, cabins offer full protection from the elements
|Families, groups, people who want a comfortable camping experience
|Budget-minded campers, backpackers, people who want a more rustic experience
|Couples, families, people who want a comfortable and convenient camping experience
|May vary depending on location, could be private companies, national parks, state parks, or local government
|Typically managed by national parks, state parks, or local governments
|Same as tent campgrounds
|Often required, especially during peak seasons
|May or may not be required, depends on location
|Usually required, especially for popular locations
|May include additional fees for amenities such as pools or laundry
|Typically have lower fees than RV parks and cabins
|May have higher fees than tent campgrounds, but usually less than RV parks
5. Comparing Campground Types
- RV Parks: Notably, RV parks offer larger campsites compared to tents and cabins.
- Amenities Abound: RV parks stand out with a plethora of amenities like showers, laundry facilities, and Wi-Fi.
- Tent Campgrounds: These options present an economical choice when compared to RV parks and cabins.
- Cabin Comfort: Cabins lean towards higher costs, providing a comfortable and private camping experience.
- Travel Flexibility: RV parks suit those equipped with RVs, catering to those seeking flexible travel options.
- Budget Outdoors: Tent campgrounds attract those yearning for an outdoor experience without a hefty price tag.
- Cozy Retreat: Cabins are tailored for individuals seeking outdoor comfort, privacy, and a cozy retreat.
- Regulations Governing Campgrounds: Campgrounds operate under a gamut of regulations, spanning both local and state realms. Understanding and adhering to these regulations is paramount to ensure a smooth operational course.