The weather has warmed up and the kids are out of school, which must mean summer is here! And normally that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy Mother Nature by RV camping. But obviously, this year has been very different due to COVID-19. So what does that mean for your camping plans? Well, you can rest assured that it’s still safe to go camping, as the experts have deemed it a low-risk activity this summer. But you can bet there will be some changes to your normal camping routine in order to stay healthy and abide by the new rules in place. So before you pack all your gear and head to the wilderness, here’s what to expect when RV camping this summer.
Stay Aware of the Latest Campground Closures
Many campgrounds have put restrictions in place or even closed altogether to keep campers safe, so you should look up the latest news on your favorite campground before you go. Even if the campground is open, many have closed any shared bathrooms, swimming pools, or other amenities, so be prepared for restrictions.
If you plan on RV camping in a campground that requires reservations, you’ll likely be notified of restrictions when you reserve your spot on the website. Be sure to leave current contact information in case the campground has to close at the last minute. If you’re going dispersed camping, look up the website for the state or national forest or park you’re camping in to see any updates. You can also get the latest information on their social media pages, as well as from any camping groups you’re in or RV camping apps you use. It’s a good idea to call the campground or forest ranger for the latest updates the day before you go, as well.
Be Prepared for Crowded Campgrounds
With so many businesses being closed this summer, more families than ever are going tent or RV camping. After all, it’s a great way to get out of the house and social distance! But that’s only if you can avoid camping at the same time and place as everyone else. As you make plans, try not to camp at popular campgrounds, especially during weekends and holidays.
Instead, go during the week if possible so you’re less likely to have close camping neighbors. And use this time to explore campgrounds that aren’t as well-known, as they’ll be less crowded. In fact, this is a great time to try dispersed camping rather than sticking to developed campgrounds, as you’ll have plenty of room to spread out.
Be Prepared if Needing Roadside Assistance
With more people camping than ever and more people on the road, roadside assistance providers are definitely in high demand. Every year roadside assistance providers always take extra care to prepare for their much anticipated high traffic summers, but with the unprecedented demand for road trips and RVing, this summer is proving to be exceptional.
To help your provider assist you as fast and efficiently as possible and as dispatch centers are experiencing higher call volume, try to have all of your member information and your vehicle information ready. If you are on the side of the road and not in a safe place, immediately notify your roadside assistance provider when they answer your call. Your safety is top priority and your provider will want to do everything they can to ensure you and your family are secured as fast as possible. No matter the reason you call needing help, just remember: we’re all in this together.
Consider Boondocking This Year
In most states, you can drive down a national forest road and camp for free, though you might want to check the forest website for restrictions first. Boondocking is the best way to reduce your odds of camping close to people, which is perfect for social distancing.
Of course, boondocking means you won’t have access to amenities, such as electrical, water, or sewer hookups. So conserve water or bring your own for drinking and washing your hands, and bring a generator if you want electricity. And consider buying a camp toilet—or at least toilet paper and a shovel—to make up for the lack of sewer hookups.
Prepare for Campground Safety Regulations
If your preferred RV camping spot is open, find out if it has any safety requirements due to COVID-19. Many campgrounds require campers to wear face masks when there’s a risk of contact with anyone outside of the household.
You should also bring hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and gloves to keep your hands and any surfaces clean during your RV camping trip. Consider sanitizing your RV before the trip, too.
Find Ways to Avoid Contact with Others
Part of safe RV camping during a pandemic is avoiding contact with people outside your family. To do this, drive straight from your home to the campsite. This means you should shop in the grocery stores by your house, getting grocery pickup or delivery if possible. Also, fill up on gas before you leave. If it’s necessary to get gas on the way, be sure to pay at the pump.
You can also look for campgrounds that offer online payment and remote check-in so you don’t have to talk to or exchange money with anyone once you arrive. Of course, since you don’t need reservations or payment for dispersed sites, boondocking helps with this.
Stay Informed on COVID-19 Guidelines
Experts are always learning new details about this virus, so guidelines change frequently. This is why you should stay updated on the newest information while you plan your RV camping trip.
You can start by signing up for emails or following the social media pages of the CDC. You can do the same with the campgrounds and national or state parks you might plan to camp in this summer, as following their social media pages and websites will prevent you from missing any updates that would affect your trip.
Taking these precautions can help you keep your family and community safe while you enjoy the great outdoors this summer. Happy camping!
Kathleen VF. ~ “Both the person that answered the phone call and the technician were very helpful, pleasant, friendly, and very knowledgeable. They were so caring, the first thing they did was ask if we were in a safe place. Exceptional.”