9 Reasons I Preferred Staying in RV Parks on My First Solo Trip

OK, I have to admit it, I played it pretty safe on my trip from northern California to southern Texas. This was my first time pulling anything larger than a horse trailer and I was traveling solo. As much as I might have liked to do more boondocking, I just felt more comfortable staying in RV parks.

Boondocking vs staying in RV parks. Here are the nine reasons I felt more comfortable and preferred staying in RV parks on my first solo trip.

I was on the road for 40 nights and stayed in RV parks for 35 of those nights. All but three of those 35 nights were at Passport America parks at half price. If not for Passport America, I would have been forced to do more boondocking to save some money because I could not have afforded to pay for that many nights at full price.


Flag City RV Park Lodi CA

Flag City RV Park, Lodi, CA

Most of the RV parks I stayed at were close to the highway or railroad tracks. This meant they could be quite noisy but, since it was cold out and the doors and windows were closed, I didn’t notice it much and it never kept me awake. A lot of people use a white noise machine and that might be something I will consider when I travel at a time when windows can be open at night.

Fisherman's Bend Newman CA

Fisherman’s Bend, Newman, CA

Park rates ranged from $30 to $65 a night full price but at half that, even the $65 a night parks weren’t completely out of range for a night or two. Of course, if I were doing this full time and not just taking a very long vacation this trip, I would need to do some things to reduce monthly costs.

Shady Haven RV Park Bakersfield CA

Shady Haven RV Park, Bakersfield, CA

Why I Preferred Staying in RV Parks on My First Solo Trip

  • I felt safe. There is safety in numbers and several of the parks were gated. Having people around meant that if you had a problem you would likely have help.
Fender's River Road Resort Needles CA

Fender’s River Road Resort, Needles, CA

  • I didn’t have to deal with the unknown of finding a free campsite.
Enchanted Trails Albuquerque NM

Enchanted Trails, Albuquerque, NM

  • With electric hookup, I didn’t have to worry if I would deplete my batteries. I don’t have solar but that’s something I definitely want to get before my next trip, which will include lots more boondocking.
Valley View MH & RV Park Fort Sumner NM

Valley View MH & RV Park, Fort Sumner, NM

  • Since I had electricity, I could use my electric heaters to supplement my furnace, saving on propane. Many nights in the desert got down in to the 20s and daytime temps were often in the 40s so the heater ran frequently if the electric heaters weren’t on.
Abilene RV Park Abilene TX

Abilene RV Park, Abilene, TX

  • Having sewer hookups meant I didn’t have to find a dump station and I could take showers without worrying about filling my holding tanks. I could empty them any time I needed to.
Oakdale RV Park Glen Rose TX

Oakdale RV Park, Glen Rose, TX

  • I had plenty of water for cooking, washing dishes and taking those showers.
Braunig Lake RV Park Elmendorf (San Antonio) TX

Braunig Lake RV Park, Elmendorf (San Antonio), TX

  • Spaces are usually level.
  • Some parks include cable TV and Wi-Fi in their rates. Using park Wi-Fi saves on my data plan. Wi-Fi in some parks leaves a lot to be desired but I was in a couple that had really excellent connection and speed. If a park didn’t have free Wi-Fi, I just used my cell data plan. I paid extra for Wi-Fi at one park where I had really poor cell service.
Wilderness Lakes RV Park Mathis TX

Wilderness Lakes RV Park, Mathis, TX

  • If you are there long enough and in to it, most parks have activities, often including local sightseeing.

I did boondock five nights at four terrific locations through Harvest Hosts. (Use my affiliate link to join and save 10%.) Even this was a bit of a cheat since I wasn’t out finding a free place on public land but it was a less intimidating way to start. A lot of anxieties were laid to rest after the first night. More on that in another post.

Walker Honey Farm Rogers TX

Walker Honey Farm, Rogers, TX

I’ll be staying pretty local for the next few months but I’ll be chomping at the bit to head north in the spring and try some real boondocking!

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Boondocking vs staying in RV parks. Here are the nine reasons I felt more comfortable and preferred staying in RV parks on my first solo trip.

Until next time…

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  1. Hi Ava,
    So glad to see you made your maiden solo RV journey safely. How does the New Mexico wine compare to Shenandoah Valley wines? Vineyard Vixens met today at Toscano’s and Wilderotter Wineries. There was a missing spot for you.

    • Oh, I miss you all so much! So sad that there are no wineries here without a four hour drive or so. I really enjoyed the wine at Casa Rondena in New Mexico. They had an interesting blend of merlot and viognier but my favorite was their 1629 which is a blend of tempranillo, syrah and cabernet sauvignon. Keep me posted on all the Vixens’ adventures!

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  4. I find it fascinating how RV parks are usually close to highways, so you could make a stop before continuing your journey interstate. I first learned about these parks in a movie I binged last night. Now that I know how these parks work, I believe my uncle could use this information for his planned getaway in the future!

  5. You should come down to Louisiana next trip! I’m glad you had a good and safe trip. Loved this article.

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