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You’re planning a camping trip and want to use a class B camper van. However, you may have noticed that some campgrounds have campsites designated as RV or tent sites. So, where does a camper van fit into the mix, and does it matter what type of site you reserve while using one? 

We’ll break down the necessary information in this guide to help you make educated choices while planning your trip and securing a class B RV rental

Can You Sleep in a Van on a Campsite? 

Most campgrounds will allow you to sleep in a camper van in a tent campsite

Since these vehicles are very compact RVs, many can still fit in a tent site. The majority of campgrounds will just require that your vehicle can fit in the campsite’s designated parking space to use it in tent sites. The average camper van is 17-20 feet long, so consider that when reviewing parking space sizes for campsites.  

Can You Pitch a Tent in an RV Site? 

Sometimes, you might want to reserve a larger RV site where there’s likely space to park a class B RV and pitch a tent in one space. Most campgrounds will allow you to do this. Their usual regulations are that you can have no more than one RV and one tent per RV campsite. 

However, check the rules for each campground before reserving your site to ensure it’s allowed where you’re planning your trip. 

Can You Sleep in a Camper Van in National Parks? 

Like other campsites, you can sleep in a camper van in national parks. That said, while your camper van can allow you to sleep pretty much anywhere, make sure you’re reserving an actual designated campsite at national parks rather than just parking your van and sleeping anywhere. 

Also, make sure you secure a campsite that is big enough for your vehicle. Again, camper vans are longer than a standard car, so the campsite’s parking space will need to be large enough to accommodate them. 

Can You Pitch a Tent Next to a Campervan? 

When traveling in larger groups, some people prefer tent camping, and others like the cozy indoor space of a campervan. As long as a campground allows you to have a tent and RV in one campsite, it’s perfectly safe to pitch one next to your van. However, check with each campground’s rules and regulations first. 

If a campground doesn’t allow you to pitch a tent and have an RV in the same space, some will let you pitch an awning that acts as an extension of your van. Again, check with each campground to ensure it’s allowed. 

Rent a Camper Van at Escape Camper Vans

When you need a reliable and affordable travel vehicle for your next trip, we have you covered at Escape Camper Vans. Our vans are compact, so they fit into most tent sites while still providing many helpful features to make your trip easier, such as: 

  • Queen size beds
  • Bucket seats that don’t have to collapse to make your bed
  • Refrigerator
  • Propane stove
  • Sink with a water tank
  • Extra storage
  • Foldaway tables and benches

Reserve yours today at one of our 11 locations across the U.S., or contact us with any other questions. 

Escape campervan a Devils Garden

Find Reservations vs. First-Come, First-Served Sites!

You can look up camping options on National Parks’ websites and find out whether they are reservable or first-come, first-served. Many of the National Parks offer campsites that can be booked ahead of time on recreation.gov. At the more popular parks, campsites are reservable 6 months ahead of time, and they sell out quickly. Some parks also have first-come, first-served campsites, but there’s no guarantee you’ll snag one. If finding a site when you get there is the plan, show up in the morning as campers are checking out.

Make Sure You Book the Right Type of Campsite

If you book a site ahead of time, make sure you reserve a site that will fit the campervan. Recreation.gov lists the max length of allowable vehicles for each site. Luckily, Escape Camper Vans will fit into many tent sites. Our campervans range from 14.5 feet to just under 20 feet long, depending on which model you choose. You can find the campervan’s details on our website. It’s also best to avoid booking walk-to or hike-in sites, which require you to carry your camping equipment from a parking spot outside of the campsite.

Joshua Tree National Park

Know The Cost Of Camping At National Parks

In many cases, the cost of booking a campsite does not include park entry fees. When you arrive, you’ll still need to pay at the entrance. You’ll also have to wait in line to get into the park with everyone else. Some of the more popular parks can have very long lines to get in, so be prepared to pay a fee!

Think Twice Before You Bring Your Pet

Most National Park campgrounds will allow you to have your pet in your campsite on a 6-foot leash. However, most National Parks do not allow pets on trails. If you plan to use the park’s trails, it might be best to leave the fur babies with a sitter. 

Be Clear About Food Storage

It’s always best to keep a clean camp and secure food in the vehicle or a bear locker overnight and while you’re away from the site. You don’t want raccoons, chipmunks, or bears feasting on your s’mores, plus it’s dangerous for wild animals to consume human foods. If the campsite provides a bear locker, use it, and make sure it’s locked.

Capitol Reef National Park Campground

Make Sure You Have Drinking Water

Before you arrive, check if your campground has potable water available. Many National Park campgrounds have pumps where you can fill up water bottles and cooking pots. Some don’t, and you don’t want to be stuck there thirsty and munching on dry ramen. I always try to have a few gallons in the van at all times anyway, just in case I use up the campervan’s water tank in the middle of nowhere. 

Ensure To Extinguish All Campfires

Nothing is better than relaxing at a campfire, but make sure they’re allowed first. Check the signs at the entrance to the campground to find out if there is a fire ban in place, and if there’s no fire ban, only build fires inside designated fire rings. Use the firewood for sale locally so you don’t accidentally bring in pests from other areas. Most National Park campgrounds have firewood for sale from the campground host. Finally, put the fire completely out before you head into the campervan for bed. 

Campervans at Arches National Park

Remember These Tips When Camping At National Parks

Book your Escape Campervan now for your trip to our amazing National Parks! Remember, campsites are often reservable 6 months ahead, so it’s not too early to start planning now. 

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