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Whether you’re planning to head out in the summer or go RV camping in the winter, plenty of campgrounds will be set up for a few nights. Some are located in RV National Parks, where you can enjoy many other fun activities while you’re there. However, these may not be as available as you’d like to park your camper. Which National Park is the most popular among RV users, and should you consider booking a spot ahead of time?

A shot of fog rolling over the forests of Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville in the Appalachians of North Carolinia
Blue Ridge Parkway | Dukas/Christian Heeb/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The year 2022 was extremely popular for camping, especially for RVs. Across the country, people found their way to some of the most popular destinations to park their camper in. According to, the most popular spot is Blue Ridge Parkway, especially in the fall.

This park, located in North Carolina, offers a diverse experience. Besides letting you park your RV in the camping area, you can explore the area, where you’ll learn about history, nature, and local wildlife. The camping grounds are open from spring to fall. In 2022, 15,711,004 visitors stopped in. 

Another popular park is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is located in Tennessee and offers 10 different campgrounds for RVs as well as tent campers. With 12,937,633 visitors in 2022, it’s one of the most popular sites to camp at. This destination allows pets in the campgrounds, but they must always be on a 6-foot leash. Also, you can only take them on two designated trails. All other trails are off-limits to them. 

These destinations are so popular that if you plan on getting in on the fun, you’ll have to book ahead and reserve a spot, or you run the risk of missing out. 

Why you should book your campsite ahead of time

If you want to go to one of these popular destinations, you’ll need to reserve a site for your camper. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself staying at a parking lot while you wait for an opening.

If you plan on attending a concert, sports game, or other activity where tons of people may go and possibly camp nearby, it’s best to get your campsite reserved right away to avoid being left out. 

Summer and holidays are popular camping times for RV campers, so you’ll be competing with thousands of others for the places you want to set your RV down. National Parks, especially in large cities, will draw many for their other attractions. For example, Alcatraz Island is popular in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

What if your favorite spot has no openings when you want to camp?

If you have your heart set on going to one particular RV National Park for a festival or other activities, and it’s all booked up, you might not be out of luck yet. Try another campground close to the one where you wanted to go. 

You can usually still enjoy some of the campground activities without camping there. If you have to, broaden the search area surrounding the campground you want to be at. There are usually a few others within a certain radius that might still have availability. You’ll just have to travel back and forth to your RV. 

To do this easily, try using certain apps or websites to find the nearest site. This way, you can have all the info laid out before you while you plan your trip. One website,, allows you to pick one of numerous campsites to reserve for your camping trip. All the information you need will be right at your fingertips, including prices, activities you can do while you’re there, and the ability to reserve other items, like boats or tours. 

Some apps help you reserve a spot at your favorite camping area, but they also offer more valuable tools. Imagine getting reviews of the campground from others who’ve been there or taking a virtual tour to see exactly what to expect when you get there. There are even websites and apps that can point you in the right direction if you’re interested in a more remote camping experience. 

For your next camping excursion, consider reserving a spot before you go. If it’s as popular as those listed here, you might want to consider booking a campsite at least six months ahead of time to ensure you can get in. 

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