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RV Camping finds a Pandemic Surge

RV Camping finds a Pandemic Surge

Living the RV life in Washington State Parks: Travelers find a pandemic-era bubble in nature

As 2020 unrolled with all its restrictions, many travelers scrapped traditional vacation plans. Many people looked to nature and camping for the first time. Most sought to salvage their summer while staying safe from COVID-19.

Enter the recreational vehicle.

In 2020 RV sales increased by 7.1% over 2019 – even with COVID-related factory closures – with more than 80% being first-time buyers. Rentals also skyrocketed – 650% over 2019! Due to this surge, RV sites at many Washington state parks stayed full all summer.

State Park RV Camping Tips from a Veteran

Dave Helgeson belongs to a five-generation RV family. He reminds RVers to book state parks in advance, as utility sites fill fast.

“With state parks, you need a plan,” he said. “Don’t be discouraged if all the hookup sites are booked.”

Helgeson suggests learning to dry camp – to RV camp without utilities, which he says, opens a wide world of self-contained possibilities when utility sites are all booked. Additionally, certain parks remain open for dry camping when they move to a winter schedule.  

Additionally, Helgeson encourages greenhorns to practice driving, backing in and parking – preferably in an empty part of a big box store parking lot and before that first camping trip. Two-way radios come in handy as the passenger directs the driver from outside the RV.

Winter RV Camping Tips

As winter descends, seasoned RVer and Grayland Beach fan chrisphillippi509 wrote via Instagram:

  1. Leveler blocks can freeze to the ground.
  2. Keep a sack of de-icer in the rig.
  3. Prepare for winter maintenance, including snow removal from the roof.

Other advice came from Darin via Facebook: “Turn off the lights at night. Bring garbage in or take it to the trash. Crows and ravens are watching you.”

A final word came from Susan via Facebook: “Check out smaller, more out-of-the-way parks that don’t draw huge crowds. Curlew Lake, Potholes, Conconully are great parks with lots of room for RVs.”

Most Popular State Park Destinations

Dosewallips State Park– Set on the forested eastern Olympic Peninsula, where freshwater meets saltwater, shellfish is plentiful and elk wander through camp.

Fort Flagler Historical State Park– A historic military fort on the tip of Marrowstone Island in North Puget Sound, where families explore the beach and old gun emplacements and batteries.

Grayland Beach State Park– A beach park set behind a grassy dune with easy access to the Pacific Ocean.

Steamboat Rock State Park– A gem located in an Ice-Age flood carved scabland near Grand Coulee with a soaring table rock.

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