15 Bargain Destinations for a Spring RV Vacation
Spring can be an excellent time to hit the road in a recreational vehicle, enjoying time with family and taking advantage of shoulder-season bargains at parks and RV resorts. Finding the right destination can be challenging, though. Spring weather can be unpredictable, and many RV campgrounds don't open until April or May. Here we highlight some top campgrounds for the spring, along with age restrictions and seasonal price changes that might catch travelers by surprise.
Vehicle renters will also find deals -- for instance, pick up from Cruise America in Chicago in March, arrive in Las Vegas by April 3, and pay a nightly $39 with a 200-mile allowance, $250 gas credit, waived drop-off fee, and $500 damage deposit cut by $200. (Standard, an 11-night trip would cost $100 a night with $38.50 in charges for each 100 miles driven.)
Explore North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway region and Pisgah National Forest from the year-round Asheville West KOA in Candler -- one of 487 resorts in the Kampgrounds of America system -- where a pull-through RV spot in early April is $36 a day, rising to $42 in May. There's a seasonal pool, and Saturday baked treats and ice cream.
This East Texas park aims to provide some upscale touches at down-to-earth prices (smaller, back-in RVs can get spots for as little as $37 a day; larger pull-throughs typically pay $42). Mill Creek Ranch Resort in Canton has swimming pools, a hot tub, catch-and-release fishing, volleyball, basketball, nature trails, bird-watching, a spa, and activities such as hayrides.
The Nature's Resort campground in Homosassa gives visitors a chance to see what Florida country life is all about, away from the theme parks and the big-city beaches of Miami. At $38 a day, it's one of the more affordable parks, and it offers a chance to get close to the state's wildlife -- Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park (including an underwater observatory) is just a few minutes' drive away.
The Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch in Hill City offers an affordable vacation visiting the Black Hills and one of the nation's most prominent man-made outdoor attractions. There's also mini golf, swimming, and hot tubbing. A pull-in RV gravel site pad with full hook-up is $40 a day in May. The campground doesn't open until April 28.
A spring holiday at the Rapid City/Black Hills KOA requires waiting until an April 15 opening, when a pull-through spot with full hookups is $43 a day. But Rapid City is another good spot for visiting attractions including Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, and Deadwood, all within an hour's drive.
Pecan Park Campground is in San Marcos, between Austin and San Antonio, giving visitors plenty of countryside and a choice between the music and culture of Austin or the history of San Antonio and the Alamo. Spring rates (March 1 to 14) are $45 a night, slightly cheaper than the $47 charged in the summer.
Fishing Bridge Recreational Vehicle Park is the spot to see the wonders of Yellowstone National Park while camping with a hard-sided RV -- but only a hard-sided RV: This is bear habitat. There are 340 sites for $48 a night starting May 5.
Zion National Park's amazing rock formations and views are only a short drive from Zion River Resort in Virgin. It offers a March 1 to May 15 "midseason" rate of $50 a night for a standard back-in RV spot, which is $5 less than the May 16 to Aug. 15 summer season rate.
Just two hours from San Diego in Borrego Springs, the Springs at Borrego RV Resort offers activities for all ages, including golf, hot mineral baths, catch-and-release fishing, and an astronomy park. Get the best deal in late spring: A six-day RV spot from April 20 to 25 is $53 a night, while "high season" rates are $76 to $100 a night Jan. 15 to April 18.
Sarasota's Sun-N-Fun RV Resort is 178 acres with indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, tennis courts, musical events, and a hobby center -- and it's a short distance to many Gulf Coast attractions and beaches. Rates start at $57 a night in April for a standard grass RV site with picnic table.
The winding Pacific Coast Highway is famed for its scenery, and Big Sur's Fernwood Resort charges accordingly: $60 for a camping spot without power, $80 for one with an electrical hookup. While there, visit an 1889 lighthouse or go whale watching and California condor spotting with state park rangers.
Related: The Best of California on a Budget