Pelican Flyer • October 01, 2020
Camping has surged in America. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many have sought the great outdoors in their local region in lieu of resorts and overseas travel. And now, you kind of like the idea yourself. After all, camping can be an affordable option compared to the average vacation.
So how much does camping cost? Pelican breaks down the necessary costs of nightly sites and essential gear – plus, some useful tips for shaving your budget. Let’s dive in!
You can pretty much assume that privately owned and operated campgrounds accommodate mostly RVs. Occasionally, some private parks will offer tent-only sites and even small cabins, but RVers bring most of their traffic. The beauty of private-owned campgrounds is that they typically provide all the RV hookups you need like sewage, water and electricity, reducing the cost it takes to run a generator. Private campgrounds also offer some pretty swank amenities, like heated pools, wellness centers (can you believe it?), canoe rentals and a game room or arcade for the kiddos.
While prices can vary on site size alone, you can expect a privately run RV park campsite to cost $25 to $90 per night. Again, this can vary on whether you just have a pop-up camper or a full-on three-bedroom RV.
Government-run and operated public campgrounds offer fewer amenities, other than maybe a public restroom, occasionally an outdoor pool and rentable canoes (not inclusive!). However, in contrast, they are typically much more affordable. National and state park public campgrounds tend to cost around $15 to $30 per night, depending on whether you need RV hookups or a tent site only.
It’s worth noting that both private and public campgrounds can also vary by state. As you might guess, Florida is the most expensive state to park an RV due to all the snowbirds who travel south for the winter. Also, always ask about additional fees, such as pet fees and extra vehicle fees.
When it comes to camping costs, camp gear can vary in price enormously. When you consider what to bring camping, is it the essentials or is it the whole kit and caboodle? Can you camp minimally with a bivvy tent or do you prefer an RV lifestyle with the creature comforts of home? Most fall somewhere in the middle, so here are moderate prices of gear you can expect. Also, this breakdown is for tent campers, as RVs require their own set of equipment.
Most fall somewhere in the middle, so here are moderate prices of gear you can expect. Also, this breakdown is for tent campers, as RVs require their own set of equipment.
Other than these basics, there is the cost of meals, firewood, entertainment and activities. But this list should give you a general idea of a preliminary budget. From there, you can expand into more fun and practical gear such as dry bags, hammocks and illuminating solar-powered lights and such. Speaking of dry bags, a better option would be a crushproof Pelican case that can keep your gear dry and watertight, which comes in handy during rainy days and winter camping.
If you need to shave your camping costs, here are some extra tips for finding more affordable sites.
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