15 Bargain Destinations for a Spring RV Vacation

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CAMP IN

Spring can be an excellent time to hit the road in a recreational vehicle, enjoying time with family and taking advantage of shoulder-season bargains at parks and RV resorts. Finding the right destination can be challenging, though. Spring weather can be unpredictable, and many RV campgrounds don't open until April or May. Here we highlight some top campgrounds for the spring, along with age restrictions and seasonal price changes that might catch travelers by surprise.

Vehicle renters will also find deals -- for instance, pick up from Cruise America in Chicago in March, arrive in Las Vegas by April 3, and pay a nightly $39 with a 200-mile allowance, $250 gas credit, waived drop-off fee, and $500 damage deposit cut by $200. (Standard, an 11-night trip would cost $100 a night with $38.50 in charges for each 100 miles driven.)

Related: 11 Hot Spots to Avoid on Spring Break

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HIDDEN SANDS GOLF & RACQUET CLUB, CALIFORNIA

Just north of Palm Springs, in Desert Hot Springs, lies Hidden Sands Golf & Racquet Club, a good choice for anyone who enjoys golf, tennis, pickleball, bocce ball, swimming, and billiards. Sites are $49 a night until March 31, when the weekly rate drops to $245, or $35 a night.
Photo credit: Courtesy of tripadvisor.com

ASHEVILLE WEST KOA, NORTH CAROLINA

Explore North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway region and Pisgah National Forest from the year-round Asheville West KOA in Candler -- one of 487 resorts in the Kampgrounds of America system -- where a pull-through RV spot in early April is $36 a day, rising to $42 in May. There's a seasonal pool, and Saturday baked treats and ice cream.

Related: 20 U.S. Road Trips With Stunning Scenery You Have to See

Photo credit: Mill Creek Ranch Resort/yelp.com

MILL CREEK RANCH RESORT, TEXAS

This East Texas park aims to provide some upscale touches at down-to-earth prices (smaller, back-in RVs can get spots for as little as $37 a day; larger pull-throughs typically pay $42). Mill Creek Ranch Resort in Canton has swimming pools, a hot tub, catch-and-release fishing, volleyball, basketball, nature trails, bird-watching, a spa, and activities such as hayrides.
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NATURE'S RESORT, FLORIDA

The Nature's Resort campground in Homosassa gives visitors a chance to see what Florida country life is all about, away from the theme parks and the big-city beaches of Miami. At $38 a day, it's one of the more affordable parks, and it offers a chance to get close to the state's wildlife -- Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park (including an underwater observatory) is just a few minutes' drive away.
Photo credit: Courtesy of koa.com

MOUNT RUSHMORE KOA AT PALMER GULCH, SOUTH DAKOTA

The Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch in Hill City offers an affordable vacation visiting the Black Hills and one of the nation's most prominent man-made outdoor attractions. There's also mini golf, swimming, and hot tubbing. A pull-in RV gravel site pad with full hook-up is $40 a day in May. The campground doesn't open until April 28.
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RAPID CITY/BLACK HILLS KOA, SOUTH DAKOTA

A spring holiday at the Rapid City/Black Hills KOA requires waiting until an April 15 opening, when a pull-through spot with full hookups is $43 a day. But Rapid City is another good spot for visiting attractions including Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, and Deadwood, all within an hour's drive.
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PECAN PARK CAMPGROUND, TEXAS

Pecan Park Campground is in San Marcos, between Austin and San Antonio, giving visitors plenty of countryside and a choice between the music and culture of Austin or the history of San Antonio and the Alamo. Spring rates (March 1 to 14) are $45 a night, slightly cheaper than the $47 charged in the summer.
Photo credit: Courtesy of yellowstonenationalparklodges.com

YELLOWSTONE'S FISHING BRIDGE, WYOMING

Fishing Bridge Recreational Vehicle Park is the spot to see the wonders of Yellowstone National Park while camping with a hard-sided RV -- but only a hard-sided RV: This is bear habitat. There are 340 sites for $48 a night starting May 5.

Related: 13 Money-Saving Tips for Visiting U.S. National Parks

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VENTURA RANCH KOA, CALIFORNIA

The year-round Ventura Ranch KOA varies prices by length of stay. One night in April costs $59; stretch that to five nights and each is $49. This 76-acre camp in Santa Paula has free nature walks, seasonal open-air movies, and a "jumping pillow."
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ZION RIVER RESORT, UTAH

Zion National Park's amazing rock formations and views are only a short drive from Zion River Resort in Virgin. It offers a March 1 to May 15 "midseason" rate of $50 a night for a standard back-in RV spot, which is $5 less than the May 16 to Aug. 15 summer season rate.

Related: Explore One of the Best National Parks in Every State

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MOAB KOA, UTAH

Arches National Park offers one of the most recognizable natural attractions in the country's parks system -- and it's a short trip from the Moab KOA, where a pull-through RV gravel site pad with full hook-up is $53 a day. Moab opened on March 10 and stays open until Oct. 31.
Photo credit: Courtesy of springsatborrego.com

SPRINGS AT BORREGO, CALIFORNIA

Just two hours from San Diego in Borrego Springs, the Springs at Borrego RV Resort offers activities for all ages, including golf, hot mineral baths, catch-and-release fishing, and an astronomy park. Get the best deal in late spring: A six-day RV spot from April 20 to 25 is $53 a night, while "high season" rates are $76 to $100 a night Jan. 15 to April 18.
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SUN-N-FUN, FLORIDA

Sarasota's Sun-N-Fun RV Resort is 178 acres with indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, tennis courts, musical events, and a hobby center -- and it's a short distance to many Gulf Coast attractions and beaches. Rates start at $57 a night in April for a standard grass RV site with picnic table.
Photo credit: Courtesy of fernwoodbigsur.com

FERNWOOD RESORT, CALIFORNIA

The winding Pacific Coast Highway is famed for its scenery, and Big Sur's Fernwood Resort charges accordingly: $60 for a camping spot without power, $80 for one with an electrical hookup. While there, visit an 1889 lighthouse or go whale watching and California condor spotting with state park rangers.

Related: The Best of California on a Budget

Photo credit: Courtesy of cal-am.com

VALLE DEL ORO, ARIZONA

Arizona is a good spring destination for those 55-plus and weary of snow, rain, and cold. Valle Del Oro in Mesa has facilities including softball diamonds, tennis courts, miniature golf, and swimming pools with spring prices of $69 nightly, or $345 by the week.