Selecting the best RV resorts

May 20, 2019

5 Must-Ask Questions When Planning Your First RV Park Experience

You probably picked a Fleetwood RV for the comfortable camping, the easy travel, or the no-nonsense maintenance. But RVing doesn’t have to mean portable toilets, peeling picnic tables, and weedy, cramped lots. RVing, you may not know, can be pretty boujee. Which is another way of saying elite or luxurious.

Whether you do want boujee, basic, or something in between, here are five questions to help you figure out what kind of an RV experience you want from your next trip. You may ask yourself these questions as you’re researching online (like you’re doing now, if you’ll allow us to break the fourth wall) or when you call the place you plan to stay (and you should always do that).

Is it a resort or an RV campground?
Duh, right? This one seems pretty simple. And yet, the term “campground” almost always means pretty basic amenities, including running water, a bathroom with (maybe) a shower, a table, and a place for a campfire. A “resort” can mean a lot more. Not all resorts are luxurious, but the term resort means the prospects of posh are much higher.

This is why some Vegas casinos prefer to call themselves “resorts.” The term implies five-star restaurants, upscale retail shopping, a bar with triple-digit wine bottles, a spa, a nightclub, and a super fancy aquarium. A “casino” could mean that, but it could also mean $1 blackjack tables, a smoke-filled slot room, and carpet that smells like cats.

RV resorts, by the way, are surging in popularity, and that means the competition is fierce, leading them to add even more fancy amenities. So, like your mama told you about that sixth-grade sweetheart, don’t settle.

What are those amenities?
Resorts can offer oversized lots of up to thousands of square feet, fully-stocked private fishing lakes, a private movie theater, fitness centers, putting greens, private bath houses, loaded kitchens, game rooms, concierge service, shade trees, lighted tennis courts, waterfalls, lamp-lined streets, tiki huts, spectacular views, designer pools, disc golf, walking trails, cooking classes, hearth fireplaces, live music, community decks, grills, supercharged hookups, housekeeping services, and fenced dog runs. And that’s just a taste of the more common ones.

Make a list of what you want—you can start with what we listed up above—and match it to what a resort has to offer. If you’re unsure what the resort offers, or if the website seems a little dated, call and ask, as they may have new attractions or may even be willing to work with you if they don’t offer what you want.

We probably don’t have to tell you that the swankier the resort, the higher the price, so you may want to remind yourself that you can’t have EVERYTHING on that list. Or maybe you can. If so, may we interest you in RVs perfect for that lifestyle?

Sorry for the shameless plug. It won’t happen again. No promises.

Do they have any restrictions?
Some resorts restrict to class A only, which tells you to expect elite comfort and features that high-dollar travelers have come to expect. Others demand requests to stay at their place rather than accept basic reservations. Others may or may not allow dogs or limit certain breeds, meaning even your dog needs to be boujee.

Yes, we’re serious.

Those are some restrictions. Here are some more practical ones to ask about.

How many amps do your hookups offer? How large are your lots? Finding out the restrictions can not only inform you on what you’ll need to play by the rules, it allows you to figure out what kind of experience you should expect when you arrive at your luxury RV resort.

What’s close to the resort?
If you have a travel budget—and you probably should—you may need to consider amusement parks, casinos, nightclubs, zoos, state or national parks, or other attractions that exist nearby. If you will want to visit those places, you may want a cheaper place to stay, as all attractions can cost a lot of money. If you’re going for the resort itself—and more and more RV parks and resorts are designing themselves as destinations rather than just a place to stay—then you may be able to splurge. In fact, you probably should.

What are others saying about it?
Perhaps nothing else gives you the kind of information you need about a place to eat, sleep, or have fun than the reviews that others post about it. Good reviews are the perhaps the best advertisement for any kind of a lodging area, so if they aren’t good, the chances are pretty high you don’t want to stay there. Bad reviews tell you the business doesn’t pay attention to customer complaints or simply doesn’t care. Good reviews, however, are like gold to your RV vacation plans.

What are others saying about the amenities? Did the resort live up to the customers’ expectations? What were some of the fun, even unexpected things about the resort that people really liked? Do those expectations match your own? You may even be able to find a cheaper, lesser-known place and have just as much fun, without much risk, if it garners a lot of good reviews.

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