Where to Stay when Traveling Fulltime with an RV? How did we do it?

Majestic view of Grand Tetons from my window
Imagine waking up in the morning and this is what you see from your window. The view of Grand Teton National Park. So majestic! 

Where do we stay and not get broke when traveling with our RV fulltime?

How are we able to travel with our RV and staying at an RV resort up to 3 weeks at a time? How do we do it?  As we know, staying at an RV park can cost between $30 to over a 100 dollars per night. Of course, we can stay at a government park, which we have a few times but only for a few days. Government parks are not all that cheap and most of them don't have any hookup. 

We want to travel and travel comfortably the best we can!

View of the Ocean through trees and the Cabin
View from my window at Thousand Trails La Conner RV and Camping Resort

Sunshine picking though the trees
Thousand Trails Birch Bay Campground - Washington State

Palm trees and RVs
Thousand Trails Palm Spring Campground - California

How did we do it?

Before I resigned from my good paying job, we purchased a membership with Thousand Trails. Our goal was to travel the US with the comfort of our home. The membership is not that cheap but way more affordable than hopping from one expensive RV campground to another. And for traveling fulltime, Thousand Trails Membership does make a lot of sense. 

I am not trying to sell you their membership, I'm just telling you my experiences having them with us on our traveling fulltime with our RV. Not all of their resorts are the same. Some are better than the other. 

Here's what we get with our membership:

  • We can booked 180 days in Advance
  • We can stay up to 21 days at a time (except for some resort during high use season, they only allowed 14 days at a time)
  • 202 Campgrounds all over the US and 1 in British Columbia Canada 
  • Prime Sunbelt Destinations with Trail Collection with Encore RV Resorts (paid extra per year) 
  • RPI Resort Parks International  (included for 2 years) Best resorts but have to pay $10 - 20 per night depending on the resort. 
  • Discounts on Cabin Rentals
  • etc.
Coconut trees, RV's, Ocean, Sunshine Keys, Florida
Sunshine Key Resort in Florida Keys. We spent a week here.
View of Rancho Oso from the top of the hill
Thousand Trails Rancho Oso RV and Camping Resort - California

What do we do when no Thousand Trails Campground in the area?

Not all States in the US have Thousand Trails Campground. So, what do we do when there's none? That's when we utilize State Parks, City Parks, Good Sam membership discount, RPI (Resort Parks International), and sometimes we just have to pay the local RV Campgrounds. However, when we have to pay full price, we normally don't stick around, just maybe a day or two, three the most just to get through. 

White sand, RV, Truck, Trees at Fort Pickens Campground
Fort Pickens Campground. National Parks campground. Beautiful area. We only spent 2 nights here. Cost $40 per night with electric and water but no sewer. 

Dispersed Camping in Wyoming
Dispersed Camping in Wyoming. Stayed here for a night. 

Where else did we stay?

We also used government dispersed camping, boondocking, and parking lot. But when we don't have full hookups we don't stay long. We want our comfort when we travel. 

The badlands, the moon, colorful sky, looking from my RV window
The best views from our windows is when we boondock. Here is a view of the Badlands National Park in South Dakota.

View of Gooseneck State Park from our RV window
View from my window of Gooseneck State Park - Utah. So incredible! We were so close to the ledge! Dry camping and paid $20 per night. It's all worth it. 

Where do we find the info we need on where to stay when we travel?

Here are some websites that helped us through a lot when we travel away from any Thousand Trails Campgrounds Resorts or Encore RV Resorts. 

  • https://www.campendium.com/free-camping - This website had help us in so may ways in finding where to stay. RV parks, free camping, National Parks, National Forrest, BLM Lands, and State Parks. 
  • https://www.recreation.gov/ - Camping at National Parks, National Forrest, BLM Lands
  • https://www.reserveamerica.com/ - State Parks and other RV parks around
  • Google Maps - helps with overnight stay. Sometime people would leave comments on places they were allowed to park overnight. For example, Cracker Barrell, Walmart, Gas Stations, Rest Stops, etc.  
  • and other website for overnight stay or free camping. I just couldn't remember the website I've used before. 
The most important thing when traveling is to plan well in advance. If we know we have to spend a night in a parking lot, we search the area ahead of time. For example, not all Walmart stores allows overnight RV parking on their parking lot. Often times we have to call the store to make sure.  So before we get to were we are going, we've make sure that we have a place to stay, even if it's on the side of the road. 

State Capitol Building of Missouri and our motorhome and truck in front
State Capitol Building of Missouri. We have been so several State Capitol with our motorhome right in front. 

Boondocking in Holloman Lake in New Mexico
Boondocking at Holloman Lake in New Mexico - Stayed here while we visited White Sand National Park.

Where are we at the moment?

We are not traveling far at the moment, we've been staying around Washington State moving from one Thousand Trails campground to another every 21 days.  Other than the annual fees of $562, we don't have to pay anything to stay since we are a member. And that's how we are able to travel around the US.  https://thousandtrails.com/

Map of US where we have been
Here is our map. States that we have been so far.

Entrance of Thousand Trails Verde Valley
Thousand Trails Verde Valley RV and Camping Resort - Arizona

Swimming pool at Thousand Trails Lake Conroe
Thousand Trails Lake Conroe RV and Camping Resort - Texas

Trails to the beach at Thousand Trails Long Beach RV and Camping Resort
Trails to the beach at Thousand Trails Long Beach RV and Camping Campground - Washington

What ever way you want to travel, just keep on traveling! 

Thousand Trails Chehalis RV & Camping Resort
Thousand Trails Chehalis RV and Camping Resort - Washington State

Thousand Trails Russian River RV and Camping Resort
Thousand Trials Russian River RV and Camping Resort - California

Sunrise Adventures Ridgeview Resort
RPI Sunrise Adventures Ridgeview Resort - Arizona

Thousand Trails Leavenworth RV and Camping Resort
Thousand Trails Leavenworth RV and Camping Resort - Washington State

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