top of page
  • Writer's pictureCampBrood

9 Secret HACKS to Score Great “Campgrounds Near Me”

Updated: Jan 27


Sometimes the simplest questions are often the hardest to answer. Come walk with us through some of our favorite campgrounds as we go through ways to find campgrounds near me and campgrounds where you want to stay. To watch the video version of this blog click here or continue reading below.




Let’s answer this first question while walking through Adventures on the Gorge at New River Gorge National Park


How can Google help to find Campgrounds Near Me?


Search engines can be the best place to find campgrounds near me.  We’ve noticed that this is the best place to start.  But, we don’t start on Google Search, we go straight to Google Maps.  In the address bar type in Maps.google.com or open the Google Maps app.  Where it says Search Google Maps type in Campgrounds Near Me or in this case Campgrounds Near New River Gorge National Park.  When searching “campgrounds near me” if your location settings are on Google will return results around your area.  We’ve noticed three icons to pay attention to.  Trees are State Parks, Tents are campgrounds, and beds could also be campgrounds but are more of an RV resort feel with cabins and other ways to stay but it could just be a hotel.  Or it could just be a dropped pin like here at Adventures on the Gorge Campground and Resort.  We will come back to Google in a minute to really take advantage of maps because this is where we usually start but,




Are There Campground Directories or Apps to Help find Campgrounds Near Me?  


KOA campgrounds have been around since 1962.  They are probably the most notable campground franchise known for their Yellow and Black branding and family friendly campgrounds as you can see here at the Albuquerque KOA.  But, there are also Jellystone franchises that are known for their Yogi Bear branding and laser focus on providing a great experience for kids.  Other apps you can consider are campspot.com which is a growing reservation system many campgrounds are installing.  But there are also websites like Campendium and Allstays which are RV Park and Campground listings websites that offer details about campgrounds and campground reviews. But with all these options.





Who Has the Best Campground Website?


After Google maps we go to KOA.com.  There are a couple of reasons why KOAs are worth looking into.  For us it is the largest network of campgrounds that have minimum expectations we are looking for.  The KOA brand covers over 500 campgrounds in Canada and the United States.  We know that when we are traveling across the country, we will find KOAs next to the interstates we are traveling with easy off/easy on access near the highway like the Tri-Trails KOA Ogallala Nebraska.  But, we also tow a vehicle behind our RV and all KOAs have pull through sites that make it easy for us to pull in and pull out of our site without having to unhook our towed vehicle.  3 we travel with our dogs and Kamp K9 as well as all of the KOAs being pet friendly is something we are happy we don’t have to worry about.  But, what might be most important is that KOAs have playgrounds, pools, and recreation for our brood to exercise after a long travel day.  But KOAs have been around for 60 years and some of them aren’t in the best shape.  So,




How Can you use Google Maps to Find the Best Campground?


Google maps is amazing for researching campground properties.  Once we have a few campgrounds that we are interested in at a location we continue with google maps to zoom in on the property and get a closer look like here at Spacious Skies near Shenandoah National Park.  We use the satellite layer to look down on the campground to see details of the RV park.  We look for ponds or rivers where our brood can fish.  We also seek out campgrounds that have swimming pools and bounce pillows.  Using the satellite feature we can see playgrounds, basketball or tennis courts.  But, we can also compare the campground map on the campground website with the view on google maps to see if the sites we are considering are good for our rig and what we hope to do in the campground.  If you really want to plan like us we can see how the roads look from the highway to the campground and plan our route.  There is one other feature we will talk about later.  But, we’ve only talked about private campgrounds.



How do you Find State Park and National Park Campgrounds Near Me?


Most State Parks and National Parks have campgrounds that are great for getting inside and setting you up close to the action.  Like Trailer Village in the Grand Canyon which we are walking through now. From Google Maps it’s best to click on the website for the government campground you are interested in.  But, each state has a network of campgrounds on their websites.  For example on alapark.com you can reserve great Alabama campsites like Gulf State Park.  midnrreservations.com is the place to go to reserve campsites at Michigan State Parks.  But, if you want to make a campsite reservation in the national parks you need to go to recreation.gov.  We’ve found these websites are some of the best in the nation for reserving campsites but these are also the most coveted campgrounds in North America.  So, you need to read their reservation and cancellation policies ahead of time to make sure you reserve early enough to get a site before they are sold out and are not surprised by their fees if the cancellation policy is expensive.  




But what if you are Traveling and Need to Find Campgrounds Near Me Along Your Route?


Apps are starting to get more sophisticated.  We’ve been using the Roadtrippers app on our mobile devices and laptops for years.  We found Little Bear Campground which we are walking through now using Roadtrippers.  This app is great for people traveling across the country with multiple stops or waypoints along their way.  We use Roatrippers for its search ability and route planning.  One of the best features and why we include it here is that it can search for campgrounds along your route within a certain distance off your route.  For example you can search for campgrounds within 5 miles of your planned route.  This will give you the ability to find RV parks that are near the highway and get you off the highway at night and back on in the morning as efficient as possible.  If you want a discount to try Roadtrippers today or to learn more click here Roadtrippers website https://roadtrippers.com/plus?fpr=lk9bx use Promo Code BTR5QTP at checkout

using the promo code we earn a small commission from Roadtrippers.

 



We review campgrounds in this walk and talk format to share with you as much of the campground as we can.  If you like it sign up today so when you search for a campground our review is at the top of your search results.  All right back to the list and   



How do you Know if these Remote Campgrounds are OK to Stay at?


We get back into Google Maps and search for the specific campground.  On the screen look for a photo, usually of the campground like here at Streetsboro KOA.  But, click on the photo and you can see other photos from the campground and also from people who have stayed there.  We’ve found a picture is worth 1,000 words and we can see a lot from these photos.  Google local guides will post photos of their stay and give you real insight into the campground that is more than what the campground website will show including the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  There is one more treasure on Google that we will share in a moment but let’s go back to Spacious Skies to answer 





What is Happening in the Campground Industry?


Over the last few years many companies have gotten into the campground game.  There is a land grab happening where private equity and other corporations are buying up campgrounds and building large networks.  Some that we have stayed at include Sun RV Resorts and Spacious skies.  When you find one of these that you like it is good to see where else they are located.  We like a Sun RV campground near us so we go to their website to search for campgrounds where we are traveling.  Spacious Skies have many campgrounds on the East Coast.  So far our destinations and their properties haven’t matched up but we keep looking.




We want to start a conversation with this post.  Tell us your favorite tip to find a campground near where you want to visit.  Join the conversation in the comments and teach us your trick or favorite tip. 


 Campgrounds will show their best self on the internet.  So, 


How do you get Unfiltered Reviews of Campgrounds that you want to learn more about?


There are a lot of websites that provide reviews by people that have stayed at campgrounds across the country like here at Dad’s Bluegrass Campground North of Nashville.  Some include Tripadvisor, Campendium, RVlife, and Good Sam.  But we’ve found Google to again have some of the best reviews and the most reviews of any site available.  The easiest place to find these reviews are on maps.google.com.  Search for the campground and in the detail panel there is a 5-star rating and number of reviews submitted to see whether the sample size is big enough.  If you want to gain a deeper understanding, click the tab for Reviews to see a breakdown of the reviews by star rating and then read the reviews in detail.  I like to go straight to the 1-star reviews and see how many were within the last year.  I love to read the ugly reviews.  A lot of the 1-star reviews are communication errors.  But other low reviews are the campground not meeting camper expectations.  Through the research we’ve discussed here, you can really set your expectations correctly.  The campground can only provide what they have and price it competitively with the surrounding market and demand.  We’ve booked a number of sites that we knew would be a challenge.  But did so because of their location to a National Park or other attraction.  Knowing what you are getting into before you make the reservation will make your experience better.  


Speaking of campgrounds people have mentioned these posts are a great resource to help you with your next trip











30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page