Should we tent camp or RV camp? Pros and Cons
If you’re new to camping you may be surprised to find how many different options are available. While this is a good thing, it also can feel overwhelming. The two most common types of camping are tent camping and RV camping. Taking some time to understand the pros and cons to each scenario will help you make the best decisions.
When you think of “going camping” the image of a popped up vinyl tent in a forest is most likely to come to mind. This is the traditional type of camping. The biggest advantage to tent camping is price. You can purchase a good quality tent for under $100. If you’re not sure whether this is an activity you want to do again and again, or are on a budget, tent camping has the lowest entry point. Because of its small size, tent camping also opens up the possibilities to camp in many more places (that are off limits to RV’s, and renting a campsite is a fraction of the cost.
There are also downsides to tent camping. The biggest is comfort level. A tent is a basic structure that will protect you from the elements. It however lacks reinforcement, can easily leak during rain storms, and provides little warmth when temperatures dip. Unless you also bring a sleeping mat or blow up mattress you will be sleeping on the ground. There are very large tents on the market but more than likely the tent size will be limited to the number of people that will be sleeping inside. This means you won’t have much space except to sleep. Arrangements will need to be made to store gear, food, and have a space to do other needed tasks.
RV camping is gaining more and more popularity – and not just by the retirement set. There are dozens of makes, models, and sizes for RV campers at all price points. From a small 2 person travel trailer to self-contained drivable RV’s your options are really limitless. If you’re not interested in making the investment of purchasing an RV, they can be rented by the day, week, and month. When it comes to camping in comfort there is no comparison between an RV and a tent. RV’s have at a minimum sleeping spaces but many also have kitchens, bathrooms (with showers!), and temperature controls. Hook ups are available for water, sewage, and electricity at camp sites. Some have slide out canopy’s on the exterior to create a shaded outdoor area as well. In the event of bad weather RV’s are much safer and resistant to inclement weather.
If there is one drawback to RV camping it is cost. Purchasing an RV is a major investment and even renting can prove to be cost prohibitive. You will have limited choices of campsites and the cost of an RV space is much more than a tent space. If you want to use the water/sewage/power functions you’ll need to be parked somewhere that allows you to hook up. Finally, if the RV is pulled by a hitch, you need to have a vehicle with a tow hitch that is capable of towing.
No one says you have to only choose one style of camping. Maybe you want to go hiking and tent camping one weekend, but would prefer a week camping in an RV. With so many choices available on the market you’re bound to find the right style for you.
Does your family have a camping preference? If so, which do you prefer?