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What Is the Difference Between an RV Resort and Campground?

| Updated May 31, 2023

We explain the difference between an RV resort and campground, RV parks, boondocking, glamping, and more

When you first get into RVing, you’re bombarded with all kinds of new terminology. Much of that terminology has to do with different types of camping facilities and styles.

Words like boondocking, dispersed camping, glamping, and dry camping sound completely foreign. Plus, you’re not quite clear on the differences between an RV resort, RV campground, or RV park.

Well, we’re here to clear up that confusion. In this article, we explain the difference between an RV resort and campground, and the other types of camping styles.

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What Is the Difference Between an RV Resort and Campground?

Difference Between an RV Resort and Campground

An RV resort typically offers a more upscale camping experience than a campground. RV resorts tend to have many amenities, such as swimming pools, hot tubs, fitness centers, golf courses, and restaurants.

They also typically offer spacious, well-maintained RV sites with full hookups and easy access for larger RVs. Some have concrete pads and landscaping. However, there is a wide range of RV Resorts, from nice to ultra-luxurious.

You can see what RVers consider to be Must-Have Resort Amenities & RV Park Deal Breakers.

RV resorts often cater to retirees or those seeking a more luxurious camping experience, and they may have higher prices than campgrounds.

Campgrounds, on the Other Hand…

On the other hand, an RV campground usually provides a more rustic and basic camping experience. Campgrounds may offer various camping options, such as tent camping, RV camping, and cabins.

They often have fewer amenities than RV resorts but still often provide basic facilities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic areas. The campsites are usually dirt pads and not particularly large.

Many campgrounds do offer water and/or electric hookups or even full hookups. Many sites also have a picnic table, fire pit, and sometimes a grill. Just like RV resorts, an RV campground may offer a range of amenities, but more from nice to very nice.

Campgrounds tend to be less expensive than RV resorts. They are popular among families and those seeking a more traditional camping experience.

What About an RV Park?

An RV park is similar to an RV resort in that it caters to RVers but typically offers fewer amenities than a resort. RV parks are designed primarily for overnight stays and often have smaller RV sites with limited hookups.

They may have basic amenities such as restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities, but they usually lack the luxurious features of an RV resort.

RV parks are more affordable than RV resorts. In many cases, an RV park is a happy medium between a basic campground and a more expensive RV resort.

What Is the Difference Between Boondocking, Dispersed Camping, and Dry Camping?

Boondocking vs. Dispersed Camping vs. Dry Camping is a little trickier to differentiate. You can click on that link for the full explanation, but here is the gist of it…

Boondocking, dispersed camping, and dry camping all involve camping without hookups, but there are some key differences between them.

Dry Camping

Dry camping refers to camping without any hookups. Boondocking and dispersed camping are types of dry camping that take place in remote locations.

Dry camping can be done at an established campground or a primitive camping site, with some established campgrounds offering only dry camping options.


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Boondocking refers to camping in a remote location without any facilities, often on public land. It is by far our favorite way to travel, and we’ve written an article to help you decide if boondocking is right for you.

Plus, we've made lots of videos about boondocking on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel.

Camping in remote locations is attractive because it offers a true escape from the hectic pace of city life. Being alone in a serene natural environment allows you to avoid noisy and inconsiderate camping neighbors.

However, it's worth noting that camping in remote areas means foregoing the amenities and services of a developed campground.

Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping takes place in national forests managed by the U.S. Forest Service and outside designated campgrounds or recreational areas. It's important to note that dispersed camping doesn't mean you can park your vehicle and camp anywhere you like.

Instead, there are specific areas where camping is allowed but not necessarily designated for camping. These areas can often be identified by the presence of a fire ring or worn land that indicates previous camping activity.

How Is Glamping Different From Camping?

Difference Between an RV Resort and Campground

Glamping, short for glamorous camping, is a form of camping that combines the outdoors with luxury accommodations. Glamping typically involves staying in a fully furnished tent or cabin that provides all the comforts of home, such as a comfortable bed, electricity, and heat.

Glamping sites may also offer amenities such as hot tubs, gourmet meals, and guided tours. While glamping still involves being outdoors and connecting with nature, it provides a more upscale and comfortable experience than traditional camping.

Glamping is often more expensive than camping but may appeal to those who want to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort and convenience.

Some people consider RVing a form of glamping, which is why we wrote When Is It Considered Glamping?

More RV Terminology

Don’t worry; you’ll get the hang of all this RV terminology. To give you a boost, though, check out 17 Common RV Terminology & Acronyms for Newbie RVers.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-03-06

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

One Response to “What Is the Difference Between an RV Resort and Campground?”

November 11, 2023at10:41 pm, Alice Carroll said:

Thanks for the reminder that the remoteness of the area is also essential to consider when planning to find a good RV resort. I want to find a good one soon because I want to go camping with friends next year. I will be the one planning out our itinerary so finding a good RV resort would be very important.

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