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Camping Memorial Day Weekend: What You Should Know

Published on May 19th, 2023 by Emily Lawrence
This post was updated on May 26th, 2023

daffodils are growing in the dirt in front of a camper trailer in a wooded area, feature image for camping Memorial Day weekend

Tips For Camping On Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is just around the corner! This holiday often signifies the unofficial start of summer and, therefore, camping season. Camping on Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to grill some burgers, enjoy a day in the water, and relax with friends and family.

However, this holiday can be difficult for campers. Everybody is excited to enjoy the weekend, so campgrounds and RV parks are often crowded. This can be fun, especially if you want to participate in group events and cookouts. But this isn’t a good setup for those who just want to relax and enjoy a peaceful trip.

Camping Memorial Day weekend should be fun, but it does require some planning and work. In order to have a good experience, read the tips and advice below. With a bit of forethought, you’ll be able to enjoy a great weekend and start your summer on the right foot!

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State and national parks will be busy

Memorial Day is always a busy weekend for state and national parks. People want to enjoy the beauty of these locations and take advantage of the fairly cheap campgrounds!

There’s nothing wrong with visiting these parks, but you should be aware that they’ll probably be packed. Hiking trails will be busy, streams will be lined with fishermen, and lakes will be full of boats and swimmers. Navigating the holiday in these parks can be tricky, but it’s certainly possible.

If you do want to incorporate these parks into your plans, make sure you reserve a campsite in advance. That way, you’ll have a spot waiting for you and you won’t need to make last-minute backup plans.

Also keep in mind that these parks are protected, so there may be stricter rules compared to other campsites. You’ll need to obey these rules, even if it inhibits a bit of your holiday fun. Make sure you research the hookups and available amenities as well! It’s important to pack plenty of water if there are no hookups available.

Visit campgrounds off the beaten path

If you can’t visit your favorite parks, then how are you supposed to enjoy camping Memorial Day weekend? Don’t worry! There are plenty of campgrounds and RV parks around the country that are open for business during this time of year.

Although you might be tempted to head to locations with lots of rave reviews, take some time to consider your options. The more reviews a place has, the more popular (and crowded) it will be.

Instead, look for campgrounds that are off the beaten path. Some of my favorite campgrounds are small and easy to overlook! They may come with limited amenities, but it’s a worthwhile trade-off if you’re looking for peace and quiet.

Of course, you shouldn’t look for campgrounds with bad reviews! There are definitely places that would create bad holiday memories, so stay away from anything that looks gross or dangerous. But don’t be afraid to explore some less popular camping spots this year. Plan your trip with tools like RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard to find places along your route that best suit your needs.

Reserve ahead of time

One of the biggest rules of holiday camping is to reserve your spot early! Everyone wants to get out and enjoy the warm weather, so you’ll have lots of competition. Campgrounds might have increased holiday rates as well, so it’s important to prepare for these costs ahead of time.

Most campgrounds and resorts have websites where you can make reservations. If not, contact them via phone and check their availability. The earlier you can reserve a spot, the better off you’ll be!

Arrive early

Speaking of getting ahead of the crowd, that principle applies to your arrival too! Even if you have a reserved site at the campground, it can be difficult to navigate the space once it’s packed with visitors. It’s much easier to arrive early and set up your campsite before the crowd rolls in.

Many campgrounds allow you to arrive early in the morning. Check when they open and try to be one of the first people there. With this head start, you can pull out the camp chairs, set up your decorations, and be ready to relax by the time everyone else shows up.

The holiday only lasts for a few days, so make the most of it by getting to the campground as soon as possible!

Pack all the essentials and then some!

Speaking of your camping setup, let’s talk about packing. RVs are fantastic for camping Memorial Day weekend because you can bring all kinds of gear, food, games, and decorations.

Take advantage of your storage capacity and load up everything you need for a fun weekend. Some people like to pack light so they can save space in the vehicle. If you’re gearing up for a long road trip, this is a wise strategy. But for a weekend of fun and relaxation, you should fill the RV with everything you need or want.

In addition to essential camping supplies, you may want to bring items like:

  • Shade tents
  • Outdoor games
  • Kayaks, canoes, and inflatable inner tubes
  • An ice maker
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Outdoor rugs
  • Firewood
  • Extra propane tanks
  • Coolers for extra food storage
  • Your favorite snacks and drinks

Don’t forget to bring a camera too! You’ll want to document all the fun that comes along with camping Memorial Day weekend. Just make sure you clean up after yourself. Crowded campgrounds can get pretty messy, so do your part to keep them clean.

Try boondocking

Sometimes the hustle and bustle of official campgrounds is just too much to handle. Even small parks can fill up during holidays, and it can feel overwhelming to find a quiet place to settle. If you’re dealing with this situation, why not try boondocking for the weekend?

Boondocking (also known as dry camping) allows you to camp off the beaten path. You won’t have access to any hookups for water or electricity, so you’ll need to bring your own supplies for a few days.

Although you may need to cut back on your water usage, you can still have a great experience while boondocking. You can find a quiet, secluded place to relax and enjoy the weekend. It’s peaceful because the only people around are the ones you bring with you!

Camp a week early or late

Camping Memorial Day weekend is traditional for many people. Lots of jobs give you a day off, so it frees up your schedule for an extended trip. However, sometimes the crowds just aren’t worth it.

There’s nothing wrong with going a bit early or late around this holiday! You could spend the actual day doing something relaxing, then save your time and energy for a camping trip during a different time. Campground rates will be lower and there will be fewer people as well.

Although you won’t get a day off of work, many people prefer camping a week early or late. This strategy doesn’t work for everyone, but keep it in mind as an option! You can still enjoy the warm weather and festive spirit on other days.

Get RV-safe directions

For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campgrounds and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.

Been to a campground lately? Don’t forget to leave a review! Reviews help other RVers like yourself, and they help the campground. Leave a campground review today!

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