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5 Tips for Staying at a Private Campsite

Skipping the public campgrounds in favor of parking at a private campsite? Follow these tips provided by Joel Holland, owner of Harvest Hosts, to be an always-welcome guest!

1. Call ahead.

Don’t just show up and expect to have a parking spot. While wineries, farms and museums may have plenty of parking for cars, that doesn’t mean they can accommodate large RVs or trucks with towables. Even if they advertise that they offer RV parking, the spots may be limited. Call ahead and schedule your stay.

This is also a good time to ask about the availability of hookups. While some places may offer electricity or water, don’t assume you’ll have access to services provided at public campgrounds.

2. Arrive and leave on time.

Find out what time you need to arrive, how long you can stay and when you have to leave. Don’t wear out your welcome or show up sooner or later than your arrival “window.” If you’re held up on the road, call the location and let them know. Otherwise, you may lose your spot to another camper.

3. Don’t be a “camper-spreader.”

Generally speaking, private sites prefer that you don’t set up your canopies, put out your lawn chairs or pull out your grill and start cooking your dinner. And keep your pets and your kids with you at all times. Remember, this isn’t a public campground but a business offering overnight RV parking.

4. Know what the site offers.

Will you be able to tour the grounds, take part in some site activities or enjoy other experiences while there? Are any areas on the premises off-limits to visitors? And are there any must-see attractions the host sites can recommend?

5. Show your appreciation.

This is especially important if the location doesn’t charge for parking. For instance, Harvest Hosts sites are available for free to members, but in return, they are expected to give back in the form of buying the products the host site has. And if you’ve enjoyed your stay, spread the word among your fellow RV-ers!

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