It’s no secret that the price of everything is on the rise due to rampant inflation. Even before the government started printing cash, people looking to save some money and avoid paying exorbitant rental fees asked themself, ‘how much does an RV park cost per month?’
The answer depends greatly on where you live and the quality of the campground or RV park you choose to stay at. But, you can undoubtedly find one that will work for you and your trailer or RV. You can even find ways to keep costs down and save even more money.
If you’re extremely savvy, you can keep costs below $350 per month, even at a fairly nice RV Park. And if you don’t need any amenities on-site, like sanitation, electricity, or water, you can pay as little as $100 monthly. Here’s how…
How Much Does an RV Park Cost Per Month?
Fancy RV parks in popular areas can cost from $500-$1500 per month. That’s a lot of cash, and the total expense rivals that of paying rent at an apartment. Less desirable locations with less pomp cost less, but usually more than $300. Bare-bones RV parks in out-of-the-way locales can cost as little as $100 monthly.
One way to potentially save money is to take advantage of lower fees for monthly or long-term rentals. Short-term or overnight rentals cost more, and many RV parks give a substantial discount to those who commit to a more extended stay. If you know you’ll be staying in a certain geographic area. You can compare a list of the rates and services at a few parks to see which one fits your needs and budget.
Pretty much wherever you choose to park, you’ll enjoy considerable benefits as compared to paying a rental fee for a hotel or apartment. First off, RV living offers a sense of adventure. You can pick up and move across the country if you’d like. And that segues into the second significant advantage of RV living: You don’t have to pack. Instead, you just drive to a new location. There are no boxes, no movers, and no big expenses to deal with.
For those who enjoy privacy and outdoor autonomy, a trailer park or RV park offers an alternative living style to the cramped quarters of a hotel or apartment building.
Types of RV or Trailer Parks
There are two main types of RV or Trailer parks.
Private RV Parks
Private RV parks come in two varieties: Bare-bones and Deluxe. A basic RV park typically offers standard hookups, pavement parking spots, and additional services on site. For instance, you can often find a laundromat, full-bathroom and shower facilities, and an office at a basic private RV park.
Plus, there are often steep discounts for those who reserve a place to stay for a month or even longer. The longer you commit to paying your bill, the more money you can save overall.
That same sort of discounted rate for a longer commitment also comes into play at a deluxe RV or trailer campground. But, the fees can be substantially greater than you’ll find at a bare-bones private park.
That extra cost translates into better services and more amenities. A deluxe campground will almost always have the three basic hookups (electric, water, sewer), but they probably offer quite a bit more. For instance, basic RV parks might only have 30-amp electric service, whereas a deluxe site might also offer 50-amp electrical hookups.
Plus, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the variety of things you can get at a deluxe site. It’s not uncommon for people to have substantial parking spots with a small shed, patio, landscaping, and even a hot tub. Of course, when you add in these features and more like extra parking spaces for visitors, and the area is naturally attractive, the price can skyrocket!
Campgrounds at National or State Parks
Typically, state and national parks have campgrounds that offer RV parking. However, they don’t usually offer discounted rates for longer-term stays. In fact, camping for more than about two weeks is often illegal at these locations.
But parking an RV at a state or national park is usually pretty inexpensive, with rates varying from as little as $15 to as much as $40 per night. Many of these locations also offer full hookups, so you can often find electrical power, water service, and black water connections to make your stay easier. Though, the rates for hookups tend to be on the higher side. You might even be able to find an option for hooking into cable TV if you’re willing to pay the fee.
While the general public isn’t likely to find a discount at a national or state park RV parking ground, US military veterans, Gold-Star families, and senior citizens are eligible for some cost reductions. You can inquire with the National Park Service to see which discounts apply. There are even some campgrounds with deeply discounted parking spots for veterans.
Six Factors That Affect RV Park Costs
There are at least six factors that have a substantial effect on RV park costs.
Length of Stay
You already know that committing to a longer stay can help you get a bigger discount. For instance, if a park charges $40 per night, you might be able to stay a whole month for as little as $400. That gets you almost twenty nights for free when compared to the single-day rate.
For an even bigger potential discount, inquire about yearly rates. That’s a massive commitment, but the cost savings can be equally significant. Since the rates and discounts vary considerably from location to location, even within one area, it’s a good idea to shop around a bit.
If you’re driving a fifty-foot Winnebago, you’re probably going to pay a bit more than someone with a tiny airstream towed behind their economy SUV or pickup. That’s because the monthly rates at an RV park usually vary depending on the class of RV that pulls into a spot.
There can even be variations in price if you plan to use your popout sides, as you’ll take up more room and might need a bigger parking area.
The RV parks with the cheapest monthly rates are usually pretty dreary places. They cater to people who are committed to the RV lifestyle long-term. The word trailer park isn’t a negative, but it does conjure up images of people barely scraping by.
That’s not really fair, though, because long-term RV parks offer cheap rates and are attractive to people with all types of lifestyles.
Typically, the cheapest spots offer long-term discounts and basic amenities. You can save over RV parks by opting to spend a night or two at a dry camping location, though. These are little more than parking spots in fields or big commercial spaces. For instance, you can probably park an RV in the parking lot of a big box store or commercial complex for a single night without drawing any negative attention.
But if you abuse the space by littering, urinating on the ground, or parking for more than an overnight rest, you’re likely to get a knock on the door from an angry manager or even the local police.
If you really need to save money but want to park for a few days or more, look to state or national parks for the lowest cost RV parking. Or, look for basic parking areas with steep discounts. You might even find a club that offers reduced pricing on RV parking in exchange for your membership.
RV parks cost more when they’re the most popular. As you can probably figure, that means that the warmer months of spring and summer are typically more expensive than months where there might be snow on the ground and frigid temperatures. But that logic might flip on its head in places like Florida, where it’s extremely popular for Northerners to visit in the winter.
So, think in terms of the seasons when comparing RV park pricing. For example, you might be able to spend the whole summer in a Florida RV park for a couple of thousand dollars in fees. But you’re going to sweat in the high temperatures and humidity. When the snowbirds flock to the warmer areas of the country, your rates might shoot up to a couple of thousand bucks per month.
If you want access to the things that don’t exist inside of an RV, you’re going to pay more than you might at a bare-bones RV park. But for your extra spending, you gain access to more support facilities than if you’re in a cheaper setting.
Some of the most common things people are willing to pay extra for include proximal access to:
- Laundry facilities
- Restaurants and food trucks catering to the RVs
- Pet parks and recreation
- Full camping sites with tours, hiking, skiing, or other recreation
- Clean shower facilities
- Swimming pools
- Barbecue, bonfire, and grilling
- Gym facilities
Some deluxe RV parks offer all this and more right on site.
In addition to all the other cost drivers, one of the biggest additional expenses you have to figure into your RV costs is for your utilities. You’re, of course, going to need fuel to run the engine in the RV anytime you want to move it or run the onboard generator. But you might also need propane for your cooking or a smaller generator you run for basic necessities around the campsite.
You may have to pay a surcharge if you exceed limits on your electricity usage through the site’s hookup.
And, if you want to stay connected, you might opt to also add in an internet and cable TV hookup. These individual expenses can add up quickly.
How to Check Monthly RV Park Rates
One of the easiest ways to check the rates at RV parks is to look on Google Maps. You can type in a location, and the words ‘RV Park,’ and a listing will pop up that shows all of the RV parks near the location. It works in all kinds of areas, and you can see each location on the map and a quick bit of information with the contact information for each park.
Then, pick out a few that you like and do some research. Sometimes the reviews even have pricing information for monthly rates. There’s also valuable intel like what days the laundromat is busiest or where to fuel up nearby.
You can also use Craigslist. But if you type in an RV park, you’re likely to just see a listing of RVs for sale. Instead, try looking for parking lot rentals. You’ll see a list of possible parking grounds for RVs and trailers. Or, try looking under services and travel/vacation. You can find local campgrounds that way too.
7 Cheapest Long-Term RV Parks in Fort Benning
Here’s a quick chart of RV parking rates in the area of Fort Benning, Georgia. All prices are monthly, so if you want to stay longer, you should contact them directly to see if there is a discount.
|Name of RV Park||Address||Monthly Fee|
|Okefenokee RV Park||252 Bowery Lane, Homeland, GA31537||$460|
|Paradise Valley Campground||1000 Paradise Valley Road, Cleveland, GA 30528||$650|
|Private Site||85 Allison Circle, Blairsville, GA 30512||$700|
|Shope Park||4596 Old Cornelia Highway, Gainesville, GA 30507||$550|
|Cornerstone Camp Ground||7062 Rogers Lake Road, Lithonia, GA 30058
|Private Land||14 Canary Way, Ball Ground, GA 30107
|Uchee Creek Army Campground
|Fort Benning, GA 31995-3323
|$702-780 (depends on if the site is paved or unpaved)|
Is Living in an RV Cheaper Than Renting?
The answer is that it depends on where you’re staying. For example, you could stay in a very inexpensive apartment in Louisville, where the median rent is around $700-per-month. You might only have to pay a few hundred dollars. In San Francisco, the median rent is $4000-per-month. So, living in an RV is probably cheaper than renting an apartment in San Francisco.
But that’s probably not the case in less expensive areas of the country where the cost of an apartment is more affordable.
How to Save on Monthly RV Park Costs
Here’s a list of tips to help you save on monthly RV camping costs.
- Consider using a smaller RV or trailer
- Purchase an RV club, or camping membership
- Stay at parks during the off-peak seasons
- Strategize with RV veterans who know the money-saving tricks
- Commit to a longer stay
- Do your research
- Minimize amenities where possible
Some questions about RVs and RV parks come up all the time.
How Much Can You Make Renting Your RV?
If you own an RV, you can recoup some of the cost by renting it out when you’re not using it. For large RVs, you can charge as much as $700 per night. Smaller RVs are less expensive to buy and don’t fit as many people, so the rates are more like $250 per night.
Do Parks Offer Special Rates?
There are sometimes special rates available. One of the most common discounts applies to veterans. There is also often a discount for senior citizens and members of RV and camping clubs.
Are There Free Rv Parking With Hookups?
Rarely. Hookups cost money to maintain, and if you’re using electricity, you’re going to pay for it. Alternatively, there are sometimes free watering sites and places that allow RVs to empty their gray and black water tanks for free.
How Much Is the Cost of Living in an RV Full-time?
The cost of living in an RV full-time isn’t as low as some people think. If you are paying off your RV, that’s a big expense. Plus, you’ll have to pay your parking fee, the cost of your hookups and the other ancillary expenses you incur can get expensive fast.
Can You Live in an RV on Your Own Property?
In many areas of the country, you can. But, there are some municipalities that prohibit full-time living in RVs on your own property. Some areas don’t even permit RV parking at all.
Where Are the Best Places to Live in an RV Year-Round?
The best places to live in an RV throughout the year are typically found in areas with lots of camping and tourism. For instance, RV parks are very common in Florida and along the Carolina coast.
Where Can You Park Your RV for Free?
If it’s permitted, you can find some places that allow you to park for free. Most often, these are big empty parking lots, like at a Walmart. You can usually only stay one night.