How Long Can You Stay at an RV Park?


If you are planning a short vacation or a short-term visit, most stay limits at RV parks won’t affect you. However, most parks have a max limit for stay time though each park has its own rules. But generally, how long can you stay at an RV park?

Here’s what I know having just come off a month on the road:

Many RV parks have a limit of 28 days, and others have no limit. Some will allow you to stay for a few more days if you have a membership with Good Sam or AAA, and they may offer discounts as well. For those with permanent residents, they likely offer weekly, monthly, and yearly rates.

Ultimately, the length of your stay really depends on the park itself and your membership.

So in this article, we’ll explore the different limits, how to know which parks have different limits, and what to do if it’s time to go, but you want to stay in the area.

So let’s talk more about park rules and where you can stay for long term plans.

Do RV parks have a time limit?

Many parks limit stays to 28 days if you reserve in advance. Not all RV parks have a time limit, but some parks won’t let people stay beyond 12 months due to legal or insurance reasons.

As most of this article will say, it depends on the park. The amount of time you can stay at an RV park varies by location.

If you are further up north in colder weather, you have to deal with pipes freezing. So, a lot of parks will close for the winter and only allow warmer weather for opening. The farther south you go, the more parks you will see that are open year-round.

In fact, one of our favorite RV parks, Rancheros de Sante Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico, closes at the end of October and doesn’t reopen until March.

For the most part, RV parks don’t have much of a time limit as campgrounds do. RV parks are looked at when you want a longer-term stay and are looking for discounts.

Some RV parks are limited on space, though, and while they might be ideal depending on your RV size, you might have to look elsewhere.

In some places, it’s illegal to stay in an RV for a full 12 months in one location.

That may be due to the laws, but you may also be contending with the campground’s insurance policy. After all, they may consider you to be a permanent resident if you stay for 12 consecutive months, which may increase the policy cost to the park owner.

Not to say that you couldn’t move for a month and come back though you may lose your spot and have to find a new site.

How long can you live in an RV park?

An RV park typically offers some long-term options for up to 12-months, but may even offer permanent residence spots. By comparison, campgrounds and RV resorts are typically short-term and the length will vary between 2-4 weeks.

But as I keep saying, it depends on the park and the area you’re in.

RV parks generally are looked at for more long term solutions. If you’re expecting a weekend trip, then you may want to look at going to a campground.

The rule of thumb for most campgrounds is that you can stay in them for up to 14 days. After that, you can move to another campground. However, this depends on each individual campground and who runs them.

RV parks in the Northern US are generally only open from mid-spring till late autumn. However, some parks may let you stay in place during the winter. Most won’t let winter stay due to hookup pipes freezing.

RV parks in the south, though, tend to stay open year-round, especially in Florida. If you’re planning on staying long-term at an RV park, you might even get discounts.

Do some RV parks allow permanent residents?

Yes. Some RV parks do allow permanent residents. Typically these fall into 2 categories; ones with older RVs and mobile homes, or higher-end parks with late-model RVs only.

Some of these parks don’t like kids and are looking for older people.

Think of it as living in an ordinary 55+ neighborhood, but the houses are RVs. This comes with having excellent manners and respect for the people’s sites next to yours.

This includes taking note of quiet hours, not walking into another site area, and making sure your guests don’t disturb others. On top of this, you need to be wary of reviews.

Since you might be a permanent guest, other guests, whether also permanent, can complain about you.

Complaining as in the appearance of your RV, if you’re too rowdy, and if your site isn’t well kept. It reminds me a lot of a house with an HOA.

While permanent residents may be the answer for some, it’s usually looked away by most.

If you have a pet, some RV parks won’t accept you, or they’ll have you separated into a pet-friendly zone. If these don’t bother you and you’re looking to live in your RV and not a house, this might be a good route for you.

Just remember, kids and pets, aren’t always smiled upon.

And if you do have kids, and aren’t still married to the other spouse, there’s potentially a lot of other issues that can come up living with the kids in an RV.

I even have a recent article that talks about whether or not CPS can take your kids for living in an RV. Just click the link to read it on my site.

How much does it cost to live in a campground year-round?

For full hook-ups, at a moderately priced RV park, you can expect annual costs to be about $9,000 a year. You may be able to get discounts off that with memberships to Good Sam or AAA.

I’ll start this off by saying living in an RV is often way cheaper than owning a house.  This includes upfront costs of purchasing either the home or a moderately priced RV.

I have a recent article that goes more in-depth about the comparisons between these two. I get into all the costs associated with living full time in both and the 1 way RV living beats homeownership every time!

Just click the link to read it on my site.

For now, though, let’s just focus on the cost of living at a campground year-round in an RV. This usually covers the cost of food, campgrounds with hookups, and overall maintenance you may have to do for the RV.

The total expenses turn into about $24,000 to $36,000 a year to live in an RV campground.

These numbers can be higher if you’re still paying for your RV or if you just bought a new RV. Overall though, your RV will still be cheaper than a house.

The main reason why an RV is cheaper is due to the RV itself being cheaper.

Obviously, this depends on what Class you get and how many features you get, but the average budget saver’s pricing should be reasonably low.

What are the average monthly campground rates for RVs?

A low-end campground with full hookups can range from $500/month to $700/month. A mid-range RV park will range from $900 to $1,200 a month. And a luxury RV resort can range from $1,200 to $1,900 per month.

As I mentioned, this depends on the campground you are at and what type of park it is.

There are public parks that are free to use and camp out on, and then you have the average park and a more luxurious park.

There are ways to pay nothing. I mean $0 a month for a campsite such as public campsites, dry camping, and Boondocking.

Overall, though, RV parks take a lot of factors into consideration when charging their prices.

Just to put it into perspective, these parks take employee wages, water, sewer and waste, maintenance, trash removal, and much more when it comes to price per night.

Remember, hotels don’t get that much cheaper either.

If you’re looking at luxury, you might find things in the park-like watercraft rentals, on-site picnic/playgrounds, swimming pools, saunas, better security, and much more.

Also, check your budget and where your comfort level is.

If you prefer a more comfortable spot, look at upping your budget. If you are willing to sacrifice some comfort, then you can lower your budget. Just remember, either way, you can’t get everything without giving a little.

If you’re planning on staying at a campground during the winter, I have a recent article that talks about how to winterize a 5th wheel. What really surprised me was when and how to add antifreeze.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Did I cover everything you wanted to know about staying at RV parks?

RV campgrounds and parks can make your adventure a little better. Whether you choose to spend more and get a nice park or stay on a budget, you’ll definitely have fun.

Just remember prices depend on the park and their location. They include a lot into the cost, so make sure you research before assuming the price is too high. Figure out what you want more (comfort or budget).

If you’re looking to stay in places long-term, you should look into getting a membership at a park, especially if you plan to stay in the area for a while. It will save you a lot and keep you on track with your budget.

Stay safe and have a great adventure.

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Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

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