An RV parked in the forest during a dispersed camping trip.

Dispersed Camping Tips for New RV Adventurers

When you own an RV, the doors are wide-open for your next adventure. With the amenities and protection offered by any travel trailer, you can camp for longer and with many more options for where to set up shop. With this freedom, you may be tempted to try dispersed camping – a favorite of veteran RV owners around the world. But before you go, read these critical dispersed camping tips to make your first trip a great one!

What Is Dispersed Camping?

When you arrive at a National Forest, chances are, you set up shop at a designated campground. These let you hook up your RV and stay near the camp’s facilities. For most campers, this is ideal. It lets you use your RV’s amenities to their fullest and keeps you connected even while you enjoy the park.

But some campers prefer a more intense camping experience, and they prefer camping away from the designated campsites in peace and solitude. This is dispersed camping. Dispersed camping in your RV offers you the comfort of your vehicle without the noise or distractions of a packed campground.

Who Would Enjoy Dispersed Camping?

Do you go camping to get away from it all, reconnect with nature or to just relax in solitude? Then dispersed camping is for you! You’ll still get to enjoy the amenities of your RV, though you’ll want to consider water and energy conservation to maximize your camping time.

There are several benefits to camping away from the primary campgrounds. You won’t have to worry about noisy campsite neighbors, you’ll be able to really experience the beauty of the land and in most cases,  you’ll be able to camp free of charge!

Don’t worry about feeling unsafe, either! Dispersed camping typically doesn’t involve going completely off-the-grid. There are areas designated for dispersed camping and you’re never too far away from help in the case of an emergency. You can enjoy nature without losing your access to the support services offered by the national park systems.

Dispersed Camping Tips for a Safe Trip

Ready to unhook your RV and go camping deep in the forest? We have some helpful dispersed camping tips to make your first trip perfect!

#1. Stick to Existing Roads and Campsites

It may be tempting when going “off-the-grid” to try and blaze your own path. The national parks and forests are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna that can be damaged if you’re not careful. Almost everywhere you go for camping will have rules that you need to keep to paths or campsites that are already set up or left behind from other recent campers.

This serves a few purposes. For one, it helps prevent campers from getting lost. Park rangers can easily maneuver through these paths to find RVs or park-goers that aren’t at the popular campgrounds. Secondly, it makes sure you avoid damaging critical park plant life or wildlife.

Most importantly, these existing campsites are familiar to the animals that call the land home. If you try to create your own new campgrounds, you won’t just disrupt the land there – you will also potentially encroach on wild animal territory. It’s likely that you may scare them away from their homes or foraging grounds. In the worst case, you may anger more dangerous animals that could put you or your family at risk!

#2. Avoid Other Dispersed Campers

The biggest draw of dispersed camping is avoiding the hectic campgrounds. One of the most frustrating things that can happen is finding a great spot away from it all, only for another group to park right down the road from you.

As a rule of thumb, if you can be seen or see any other campers from your site, you’ll want to find somewhere else to stop. This ensures that everyone can enjoy the full experience of dispersed camping.

#3. Bring Plenty of Water

Camping away from the park services means you need to be fully-stocked before you hit the road. Obviously, one of the most important things to be well-stocked on is water. However much water you may think you need, bring extra.

Keep in mind that your water will be for more than just sustaining you and the other campers. Any campfires you make need to be properly doused before you leave them for a hike or to go to bed. If you don’t bring enough water to manage these, you may have to pack up and hit the store a day or two earlier than expected!

#4. Don’t Camp Near Sources of Water

Speaking of water, you may be tempted to park along a stream, river or lake – don’t do it! Most national forests require that you keep your camping area at least 100 feet from any sources of water. Primarily this protects the flora and fauna near the water. Plants near streams are often far more fragile than other plants, and careless camping can damage them very easily.

#5. Bring Sanitary Wipes

If you often dry camp, you’ll already have some of the tricks and expertise that can make dispersed camping easier. One of the best dispersed camping tips you’ll learn is to always have plenty of wet wipes.

Water conservation is a huge part of camping away from camp services, and sanitary wipes can be used for everything from quickly washing your hands to cleaning up after a hike on a hot day.

#6. Limit Your Electricity Use

When your RV is hooked up, you can easily blast music, run the microwave and dry your hair all at the same time. But when you’re running on stored power, even with solar energy as a supplement, you need to conserve your RV’s electricity.

A camper roasting a marshmallow over a campfire.

Traditional, unpowered versions of many popular camping tools exist. You don’t have to completely rough it in the wild, but going to hand-powered tools or using campfires versus your RV kitchen can keep your RV powered for longer.

#7. Pick the Right RV for Your Camping Trip

Lastly, the most important thing you can do when planning a camping trip in the middle of a national forest is to hit the road with an RV that works for you. Without all the amenities offered at the full-service campgrounds, you’ll need to rely on your RV for more than you may be used to. Larger families may find after their first trip that they need an RV that offers more or different features.

On the other hand, dispersed camping can also take you on roads that are harder to navigate, but perfect for a lightweight model of your favorite make. Either way, there are plenty of RVs to choose from, so find the one that fits your needs before your next trip!

Browse travel trailers and see which model is right for you! Click here to view our inventory.

Find the Perfect RV for You – Contact RV Wholesale Superstore

Are you planning a trip that’s truly away from it all? The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the ideal RV for your budget! Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 596-7767.


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