Author’s Note: This post is not meant to disparage anyone on how or where they camp, but to inspire everyone to reject mediocrity and make each and every RV outing the best it can be. 

youtubeWhat’s the view out your window? Is it a reflection of your lifestyle and where you truly want to be in your RV or is it a compromise chosen out of convenience and lack of perceived options?

Yes, the past 18 months has been a tough time for everyone including RVers. There’s the ongoing pandemic, social unrest, unprecedented wildfires raging in the west and hordes of people discovering RVing competing for already scarce places to camp. It seems like everyone has either experienced or read stories of rude behavior, overbooked RV parks, bad etiquette from newbie RVers that don’t know any better, staying in a rundown campground full of “seasonal sites”, those not following the rules, RVs sardined together, or ending up camped in an undesirable spot (view of the dumpster or restrooms), etc.


Don't Settle for This

Unfortunately, many RVers have become wary when searching out a place to camp accepting any available campsite. Yes, it is discouraging as I, like others who have RVed for years, fondly remember the days of freely roaming the Northwest with no worries on where to camp for the night as campgrounds were rarely full and if so, there was always another one nearby with space available. 

However, there is no reason to despair as there are many options you may not be considering!

Here are some strategies to improve the view out your window:

1 - Add an extra house battery and travel with a couple days worth of water in your potable freshwater tank. By equipping your RV to spend a night or two of dry camping you have options on where to camp when all the hookup sites are booked. The Pacific Northwest contains a cornucopia of rustic (no utilities) public campgrounds like those operated by the US Forest Service offering a “healthy dose of scenic beauty” not typically found in a full hookup RV Park. Yes, you can still enjoy a front row seat of the mountains, lakes, or the proverbial babbling brook out your window when camped at such locations as thousands of dry camping spaces remain vacant each night. Here is a great resource for locating lesser-known public campgrounds.

2 - If there is a popular recreation area and all the campsites are booked, park for the day and enjoy the view with your RV in the day use area. You will have your own bathroom, kitchen, and camp chairs with you during the day, then when the day use area closes, drive down the road to an area that has open campsites or somewhere to boondock for the night.


Beach Day Use Area


Enjoying a Day Use Area on Puget Sound

3 - Check out Harvest HostBoondockers WelcomeHipcamp or other providers that allow RVers to camp on private property. Often these sites include a scenic view for you to enjoy out your RVs window.

4 - If your route takes you across public land on the way to your destination and you are just looking for a spot to spend a night or two before moving on, consider dispersed camping in the wild where the view out your window is always better than Walmart, Cabela’s or Cracker Barrel. Two quick tutorials to help you find a spot.

 • Knowing where public lands are located - Note: As of this writing Publicland.org mentioned in the video isn’t offering the public lands overlay. Here is a good alternative.

  How to find a campsite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCkLWhCxHOA


Camping in the Blue Mountains

5 - Take the time and effort to reserve the best campsite with the stunning view. Yes it takes advance planning, but as the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm”! Many campgrounds now offer photo(s) of each campsite or drive through videos on their website allowing you to determine the view out your window before you reserve the space.

So what is the view out your window? Is it where you want to be or a compromise?’

The Pacific Northwest has lots of RV friendly scenic locations, so don’t settle for mediocre, take the extra effort to make RVing what it was meant to be.

Questions? Comments? Please add your thoughts below.

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

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