If you’re an RV park owner, chances are, you’re probably already spread thin. Knowing where to invest your resources, especially when it comes to attracting new campers to your campground, is critical.

What are RVers looking for in a campground? What makes a campground stick out? What make for the best RV park amenities?

We had the same questions, so we surveyed over 600 full-time and part-time RVers all over the country to ask them all the same question:

What makes a campground awesome?

Then we rattled off a nearly-exhaustive list of amenities and asked them to rank “how much they love” each of them. These are the top 10 RV park amenities campers are looking for, as well as resources and solutions to go with them.

# 10: Restaurant (or other food services like a concession stand or food truck)

campgrounds with food
Food trucks like Voodoo Momma’s visit RV parks in southern Texas, serving up unique local flavors like their Cajun tacos.

Why It’s a Great Amenity:

According to our poll, roughly half of all RVers want on-site options for food.

With that, more and more private and public parks alike are adopting new options for dining. According to Foodtruckoperator.com, via the Associated Press, the federal government “is looking to modernize campgrounds at national parks, and is considering allowing the private sector to run the parks to free up park staff for other tasks.”

That being said, running a restaurant on top of your campground can be a lot of extra work, but with the rise of food trucks, you can add a flare of hospitality without ever having to flip a pancake. (In many states, a food truck will need to require a simple permit, but check your local laws for any licensing requirements.)

What RVers had to say:

  • “Restaurant and food service is always better with local flare.”
  • “I like to eat from a restaurant if it creates a nice ambiance.”
  • “Restaurants. CLEANLINESS IS VERY IMPORTANT!”

Resources and Solutions:

  • Research and connect with local food truck owners in your area.
  • Test out food trucks during holiday weekends and/or peak season.
  • Not sure where to begin? Find food trucks and costs on Foodtruckbooking.com.

#9: Camp Store

camp store

Why It’s a Great Amenity:

Retired camping and outdoor industry expert, Gary Forster says that “There are many reasons to have a [camp] store. The first is people expect it.”

When campers need a quick snack, laundry detergent, or toilet paper, nothing beats the convenience of a camp store. Just keeping the basics on hand, like drinks, ice cream, and firewood, goes a long way with campers.

Not to mention, a number of folks added they really appreciate when a camp store reflects the local community by selling products from local artists or businesses and by selling their own branded materials, like t-shirts or camping mugs.

What RVers had to say:

  • “[I look for a] camp store that has sundry items (and maybe milk, beer, and frozen pizzas) and propane.”
  • [A] camp store would be more interesting if it sold locally made artisan products.”
  • “Not having a camp store is a deal breaker.”

Resources and Solutions:

  • Add branded merchandise that guests will wear and use.
  • Keep overhead and inventory lean to reflect past purchasing decisions of your guests.
  • Adopt a point of sale system to accommodate cash-less guests.

#8: Dog Park

dog friendly campgrounds

Why It’s a Great Amenity:

When it came to canine-friendly amenities, our data was split. 31% of our RVers mentioned that a clean and accessible dog park was a “must,” 34% said that they were “indifferent,” and the remaining 35% fell somewhere in-between.

A quick informal survey said that as many as 90% of RVers choose to bring their family pet with them on road trips, and many responses from our research mentioned that it was a dealbreaker if a park didn’t have one that was maintained. Dog owners noted it was major bonus points if a dog park includes a bench, a trash can, and a dog waste bag dispenser.

eureka springs arkansas
The Farm Campground in Eureka Springs, AR

What RVers had to say:

  • “We travel with our dog so we usually try to stay at places that have a dog park.”
  • “Dog park if it was kept up.”
  • “A nice clean dog park goes a long way.”

Resources and Solutions:

  • Add spacious and/or multiple dog parks throughout your campground with plenty of doggy bags and trash cans.
  • Add dog-friendly bathing areas and ponds for them to swim in.
  • For more inspiration, here’s a list of 20 pet-friendly campgrounds from RVshare.

#7: Paved Roads and Sites

campgrounds with paved roads

Why It’s a Great Amenity:

Most of the campers we surveyed mentioned the importance of accessibility within parks. Not just for making maneuvering the RV a little easier, but also for navigating in a wheel chair or scooter.

Campers are passionate that they want the campground roads and campsites to be paved (as opposed to dirt or gravel). And “for the love of all things holy” those campsites must be level.

Klahanie Campground
Klahanie Campground in Squamish, BC

What RVers had to say:

  • “Level, paved sites to ensure no damage.”
  • “Paved roads and sites are a must.”
  • “LEVEL SITES. For the love of all things holy.”

Resources and Solutions:

  • Here’s a helpful camp road maintenance manual from the Kennebec County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Bureaus of Land Resources and Water Quality.

#6: Showers and Restrooms

Why It’s a Great Amenity:

Many of the RVers we asked said that few comforts compared to a shower with hot water and pressure. One RVer made note of how small their rig’s shower was, and that they were likely to stay longer at a park with quality restrooms.

Campers also noted that individual shower doors should lock and not be a simple shower curtain separating the shower from the rest of the bathroom. And, while it should go without saying, the showers should be cleaned regularly.

What RVers had to say:

  • “At minimum the RV sites should be level and there should be hot showers!”
  • “Because I have a small trailer, not having showers are a deal breaker for me.”
  • “For me it’s showers that are private, with hot water, and actual water pressure.”

Resources and Solutions:

#5: Fire Pits

campgrounds with fire pits

Why It’s a Great Amenity:

There’s nothing better than waking up at a beautiful campsite with the lingering scent of last night’s campfire.

45% of those we surveyed indicated that a well-maintained fire pit for group gatherings was among the most essential feature a campground can offer, due to its ability to foster community. If you’re on a budget, this is a very economic and accessible addition to your park. Just remember to stock all the fixings for s’mores at your camp store!

What RVer’s had to say:

  • “I need shade and fire pits.”
  • “Firepits always.”
  • “Clean and well-kept picnic tables and fire pits.”

Resources and Solutions:

#4: Hiking Trails

campgrounds with good hiking trails

Why They’re Great Amenities:

One of the best offerings a campground can provide is its access to nature.

While many of those surveyed dismissed indoor workout facilities or rec centers, there was no shortage of folks looking to explore the trails that surrounded them. And a bonus for campground owners, hiking trails require less ongoing maintenance than managing recreation centers and fitness centers.

What RVers had to say:

  • “Good hiking trails are essential.”
  • “Hiking trails to interesting spots.”

Resources and Solutions:

  • Place trash and recycling bins at trailheads.
  • Post signs that encourage guests to stay on the trail and not widen the path.
  • You can find more tips and trail suggestions on the American Trails guide for development on small acreage.

# 3: Trees

campgrounds with good trees

Why They’re Great Amenities:

Campers specifically want trees between campsites as a way to give a natural buffer between neighboring RVs.

Trees provide privacy, shade in warm moths, and a great spot for hanging hammocks. Planting more could easily be one of the best investments you make into your park since this amenity rang in at the 3rd most desired amenity at any RV park.

What RVers had to say:

  • “Shade and trees are huge. I very much dislike parking lot campgrounds. I want a view of a lake or river and nature. Dog park maybe if it was kept up and not busy. Store depends but not needed. I like rustic with a view.”
  • “The more spacious the sites, with as many trees/shrubs as possible in between to give some semblance of privacy, the better. We rarely go to private campgrounds because of this issue, and stick to the state/local parks as they provide much better spacing and nature at the site itself.”
  • “Trees are really nice, but any plants between sites that don’t stick out into the site too much are really nice to have.”

Resources and Solutions:

  • Planting local flora to give your campground a distinct look and feel—like aspens in Colorado, live oaks in Texas, or palm trees in Florida.
  • Become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation and get free trees for your park.
  • Take advantage of Earth Day promotions in your area.
  • Create an event where campers can receive free or discounted nights at your park by helping you plant trees and vegetation to beautify the campground. Bonus points if it’s during the week or shoulder seasons when the campground isn’t full.

#2: Wifi

campgrounds with good wifi

Why It’s a Great Amenity:

As far as sentiment went, poor wifi (or the lack thereof) was the biggest dealbreaker mentioned in our survey—which makes sense considering how many RVers work remotely today. According to BusinessInsider, via a recent study from RVshare, millennials are 73% more likely to find themselves taking a trip and, subsequentially, working from an RV this year.

Campers expect free wifi that works at their campsite. They don’t expect blazing fast internet speeds, but they do want to be able to check email, load webpages, and post photos easily.

What RVers had to say:

  • “WiFi would be the biggest thing for me.”
  • “When I’m working, WiFi and a place to sit down away from the rig is important.”
  • “Strong WiFi is really important.”

Resources and Solutions:

  • Place the wireless router or access point in the center of your campground, or wherever it can have the widest and most unobstructed reach from other buildings and trees.
  • Strategically add WiFi range extenders throughout your park to boost your signal.
  • Read our post on how to set up internet at your campground
campground amenities

Honorable Mentions

Before we get to the number one most desired campground feature, there are plenty of others that didn’t crack the top ten list.

We received lots of feedback from campers telling us how much they appreciated the following amenities and features:

  • Security
  • Laundry Rooms
  • Full Hookup Sites
  • Friendly Staff
  • Quiet Hours
  • Plenty of Space Between Sites

#1: Great Views

campgrounds with great views

Why It’s a Great Amenity:

73% of those we asked said that the greatest feature a campground could offer were the views that came with it.

Beach, mountain, lake, pond—it doesn’t matter what the view is, as long as it’s beautiful. Many of those surveyed said they would compromise on other amenities in this top ten list if it meant painted sunsets and scenic landscapes.

What RVer’s had to say:

  • “Views and nature rank high if it’s more than a couple of nights.”
  • “Good location, trees, views, outdoor beauty are a must.”
  • “[Campgrounds should] consider utility placement, prevailing wind direction, sunset and sunrise, and views from the site.”

Resources and Solutions:

  • Landscape and manicure areas of your campground that accentuate your park’s natural beauty.
  • Create well-kept pathways and seating in desirable places.
  • Advertise your campgrounds more aesthetic features on booking pages.

So, what makes a campground awesome? According to our study, nothing beats great views or decent WiFi, but trees and trails go a long way. If you’re looking to add value to your guests this year, these would be good areas to focus on.

Looking for more information on how to grow your campground this year? Check out: