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Get our top tips for saving money on a campervan trip:

By Kim Merryman

Renting an Escape Campervan is a great way to try your hand at camping without having to invest in a bunch of gear. While you won’t need to buy a tent to go camping in your campervan, you will need to figure out where to sleep on a road trip in your campervan. As you plan your trip, consider a few different options for setting up camp. Here are my go-to’s when I’m planning an Escape Campervan road trip.

Where to sleep while camping

First Find The Official Campgrounds in Parks and Forests

If you’re planning to visit a specific monument, park, or forest, check for campgrounds there first. National and State Parks, National Monuments, and National Forests usually have developed campgrounds, and you can find the information for most of them online. These campgrounds typically have fire rings, picnic tables, trash removal, and toilets. Often there’s even running water.

Some of these campgrounds will let you book ahead, providing peace of mind, but you might get lucky with first-come, first-served campgrounds. If you don’t book ahead, it’s good to have a backup plan in case the campground is full when you arrive. 

Is There Any Dispersed Camping Available

There are a few options for setting up camp in a dispersed campsite. You won’t have the amenities offered in developed campgrounds, but you’ll usually be more secluded and you don’t have to pay a fee. In most National Forests, dispersed camping is allowed throughout, and there will be signage indicating what areas are off-limits. The best practice is to find a fire ring that already exists and set up camp there. You can also try camping on Bureau Land Management (BLM) land. Be sure to check for campfire restrictions in the area. Learn more about dispersed camping on the Escape blog

Dispersed campground

Look At HipCamp

HipCamp is kind of like the AirBnB of camping where you can rent a campsite on private property. You could book an Insta-worthy, secluded campsite or a cheap parking spot in someone’s dusty driveway on this site. I’ve booked a hilltop site overlooking a Sonoma vineyard and a fancy campground on a working Christmas tree farm on HipCamp. HipCamp and sites like it offer unique and rare camping opportunities for a range of prices.

Also, Check Out The iOverlander App

This app has saved me a few times when I rolled up to several full, first-come first-served campgrounds in a row. On iOverlander, you can pull up a map of your area showing spots where people have overnighted for free. Each spot on the map will have a short review or a little blurb of information from people who have stayed there; sometimes you’ll get a photo, too. iOverlander spots might be roadside pull-offs for a few hours of sleep or gorgeous, riverside oases where you’ll want to spend a whole week.

Campervan kitchen

Don’t Forget About The RV Parks

After several nights in campgrounds, you might need to do a load of laundry, catch on emails, and take a shower, and these are the nights that RV Parks feel like luxury hotels. The nice ones usually cost a little more than a campground, but they’re often worth it to get cleaned up for a night. Sun River and KOA are reliable go-tos, but there are usually nice, private RV parks near popular outdoor recreation areas. 

Now That You Know Where To Sleep On A Road Trip Book Your Next Adventure

Wherever you end up overnight, you’ll have a cozy and safe night’s sleep!  Whether you’re an experienced camper or you’re looking to try out camping for the first time, book an Escape Campervan, they are the perfect way to take an adventurous yet relaxing road trip for your next vacation. 

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