Campground Showdown: Private RV Parks vs. State and National Parks

Choices. It’s one of the things that draws people to traveling, and why so many people tend to spend their time on the road in an RV. The freedom to do what you want, when you want to do it calls to people from all ages and all walks of life.

Some of us like to wander in the woods all day, so we gravitate to places where access to trails and scenery are easily accessible. Others RV to be close to casinos, football tailgating gatherings and other activities that are done in more urban areas. Of course, there’s plenty of crossover between the two – that’s the beauty of RVing. It’s all about having choices.

We all have different ideas of what makes a comfy campground, but if you’ve spent enough time around RVers, the question inevitably comes up: Which are better, private campgrounds or state and national parks?

The answer to this question? Neither is better than the other. There are differences, of course. We’ll break down a few here:

Private parks

Generally speaking, private parks have better amenities in the way of full-facility RV camping. Things like good wifi, laundry facilities and full hookups are part of the draw to private parks for many RVers. Add in heated pools and recreation rooms and you’ve got some pretty strong reasons to choose a private park. That’s not to say that you can’t get a lot of these things at state and national parks, though. Some do offer all of these things, but those spots seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

State and National Parks

If you are into the traditional RV stuff like campfires, hiking and biking, scenery and getting off the pavement for a while, then you are probably drawn more to state and national parks. There are some tradeoffs for all that awesomeness, though – many campgrounds don’t offer too much in the way of laundry, showers or full hookups. Here’s an example: in Acadia National Park, there are bathrooms, but no showers. There is a dump station, but campsites don’t have electric or sewer hookups. Just water. This is the case in a lot of state and national parks.

Here at Outdoorsy, we’ve done plenty of both types of RVing. We’ve been to vintage camping rallies, beautiful state and national parks, and tons of in-town camping. We just love being out there, on the road and taking in a wide range of experiences.

We want to you have these experiences, too. Browse around on, where we have rentals available from coast to coast. Get out there and explore.