How to Pick the Best Site in a Campground

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Have you ever arrived at a campground and discovered your site is next to the restrooms? Or way in the back, away from all the amenities?

Of course, it’s hard to tell what you’re getting if you’ve never been to the campground before. But we hate feeling like we got the worst site just because we didn’t know what to look for.

Today, we’re looking at how to pick the best site in a campground and why it’s essential to book early. Don’t ruin a camping trip because you don’t know what to look for. 

Let’s dive in!

Can You Choose a Campsite at a Campground?

If you’re new to RVing, you’ll find that different campgrounds have various ways of taking reservations and assigning campsites.

For example, for campgrounds that use, you can usually look at individual site photos and choose your site for your stay. 

However, if you’re a Thousand Trails member and hop from one location to another in that system, you won’t find the ability to see or choose your site during the reservation process.

Thousand Trails typically allows you to choose your site upon arrival. You drive around, find the site you want, and return to the front desk to tell them your site number.

Some campgrounds will guarantee a spot but not a specific campsite until your arrival. This allows them to move people around as needed and ensure that a tiny teardrop doesn’t take a 50-foot space a Class A would need. You don’t get to choose your campsite. Instead, you’re assigned a site based on what’s available and your rig’s size.

View of RVs parked at a campground.

5 Tips to Choose the Best Campsite

If you arrive at a campground and are instructed to find your campsite, we have a few tips to help you choose the best one. Not all sites are created equal; your chosen campsite could make or break your adventure.

1. Choose a Level Site

First, you want to avoid any unlevel site. Check side-to-side and front-to-back as you drive around. If you have a smaller camper, you can position it in the most level spot and be okay. But if you have a big rig, finding a level site is essential. You don’t want to have to raise your RV on two feet of blocks.

Keep in Mind: Level your rig correctly with the best camper leveling blocks!

2. Consider the Location to Amenities

Another thing to consider is what amenities you want to be close to. You might want to be near the playground or swimming pool if you have kids.

And if you brought a boat, you’ll want to be near the boat launch. If you’re only staying a night or two and need to do laundry or use the bathhouse, choose a site convenient to those facilities.

A sign by a road pointing to a camp store, showers, laundry and campground.

3. Look for Low-Hanging Limbs

Low-hanging limbs can destroy an RV’s roof. Pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid sites with low limbs that may tear your roof membrane.

However, it’s not just damage you want to avoid; unhealthy limbs can fall easily in wind or rain. If a thunderstorm passes through, you don’t want branches falling on your RV.

4. Know Your Size

Not only is the height critical, but you should also know your length and width. Choose a site that will be comfortable for your rig’s size.

Consider slide-outs. Can you extend them without hitting a tree or the power pedestal? If you’re staying for several nights, you want a space that will be comfortable for you to enjoy the outdoor space and avoid damage to your RV.

Keep in Mind: Are you having trouble finding a campsite? You’re not the only one.

RVs parked at a campground during the summer.

5. Read Site Reviews

Finally, read reviews about individual campsites. Campendium,, and state park websites often have reviews. Pay attention to what other RVers have shared. It may save you from damaging your RV or going down a road in the campground only meant for RVs measuring 30 feet or less.

Consider the size of the rig that other RVers have. If you have a truck camper and a fifth-wheel owner complained about the site being too narrow, that might not apply to you. But if you have a Class A with four slides, you should avoid that site.

How Do You Choose a Good Campsite Online?

Some online websites don’t have reviews of individual sites. All you see is a campground map. You can choose your site based on the dimensions listed and the proximity to amenities, but you don’t have much more to go on.

We suggest looking at a satellite map of the campground. Pay attention to any tight turns getting through the campground. Are there lots of trees, or is it mostly wide open space? You can also call the campground and ask the staff for suggestions based on what you need.

How Early Should You Book a Campsite?

Your options will be more limited the later you wait to make a reservation. If you have a large rig, booking early is even more critical so you’re not stuck with a tight site. If you have kids and want to ensure you need family-friendly activities, make your reservation as early as you can.

Consider the time of year you’re traveling as well. Booking a Memorial Day or July 4th camping getaway is much harder if you wait until the last minute.

RVers with a small fiberglass trailer might not have as much trouble taking what’s available, but a family with a 40-foot fifth wheel can’t just reserve any site. Plan ahead to ensure you get the best site for your needs.

Pro Tip: Check out these Awesome Places to Stay for 4th of July Camping!

Your Campsite Can Make or Break Your Adventure: Choose Wisely

Your campsite really can make or break your adventure. Spending 30 minutes leveling your RV upon arrival isn’t how you want to start your weekend.

Walking half a mile to get to the playground isn’t ideal when you have young ones. So make the most of your camping weekend by booking early and choosing a site that best suits your needs.

Have you ever been stuck in a terrible campsite? Do you have tips you’d suggest to avoid such an ordeal?

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