For those who work in a traditional Monday-Friday world, Friday is generally a day of celebration. The end of the workweek, the beginning of the weekend.
It might even be a casual day as folks prepare for whatever they have planned for the weekend. You might even take off work a bit early.
Weekends are when you live life – getting chores done around the house, kid’s sportsteam activities, time with friends, lounging around or even a little mini vacation.
Perhaps even a camping trip to a nearby park.
And then that changes…
Many lifestyle RVers we know are hard pressed to know what day of the week it is. It’s a very freeing thing to not necessarily be tied to traditional schedules anymore.
That is, until it comes to weekends.
We always know when it’s Friday and when it’s Sunday.
Friday afternoon is when trailer after trailer is pulled into the campground. And Sunday is when the process is repeated in reverse.
Peaceful places now become full of camping noises. Air mattresses being blown up. Tent stakes being hammered into the ground. More food being put out than any human can consume in a month, let alone a weekend. Kids playing. Parents kicking back. Chatter around the campfire.
It’s especially worse during peak seasons around the country. When the weather is ripe for camping and everyone seems to be out enjoying the places we just want to chill at and enjoy the sounds of nature.
And hey we get it, we used to be those weekenders!
That’s how we thought campgrounds were all the time (thankfully, they’re not).
So just how does a full time RVer navigate a sea of booked up campgrounds over weekends and holidays?
Here’s a quick video we took to go along with this post:
Here’s some lessons learned over the years:
Tough it Out
Providing we can get a reservation or last minute spot in a campground, we put on our big-nomad pants and tough it out. It’s after all, just two nights.
We brace ourselves that there will be more noise than we like. There will be sounds of kids playing. There will be campfire smoke. There will be groups sharing in life long lasting memories. There will be more vehicles coming and going.
And hope with all our hope, that’s the worst of it and we have neighbors who appreciate general campground etiquette.
The weekend is after all made for weekenders. And many campgrounds are made for recreation.
We’ll sometimes just close up the windows, turn on the tunes and crank out some work if we can.
We’ll indulge in some movies or TV shows and try to ignore the increasing sounds next-door.
Or maybe we’ll find something to do outside the campground – go for a hike, bike rides, be tourists, go out for dinner or our latest escape, Pokemon hunting.
Or maybe we just decide to do as the natives… and indulge in a campfire ourselves. Sometimes we’ll even make new friends with our neighbors and join in the fun.
After all, life it too short to sit inside pouting.
Whatever we do, we know when Sunday morning rolls around, most our neighbors will be packing up to return home and our home surroundings are returned to relative peace and tranquility.
Sunday is when we celebrate the end of the weekend!
If we’re just not up for searching for open availability or enduring crowded campgrounds, that’s when we seek out alternative parking options.
First Come First Serve Campgrounds: We love these. Campgrounds that either take no reservations or keep some sites available for drive-ins. Show up Sunday-Thursday, and you usually stand very high odds of snagging a great site you can keep through the weekend. Sometimes, showing up on Saturday morning works too, some weekenders just have a change of plans.
- Boondocking: Dispersed camping on public lands can sometimes provide the peace and tranquility you crave, but sometimes they can be worse than campgrounds – as the locals know all the best recreational spots to head to when the weather is ideal. Sometimes ‘blacktop boondocking’ in retail lots like Walmart, Crackel Barrel and other places that allow it is heads and tails better than weekend campground chaos.
- Relocate: Use weekends as your driving days to make miles, staying overnight either in non-destination RV parks (ie. those that weekenders are not going to tend to find appealing for vacations) or dry camping in parking lots along the way.
Harvest Hosts: Weekends are great times for seeking wineries, vineyards, farms and museums to park at. We’ll use our Harvest Hosts membership to find options nearby, and sometimes they even offer to put us up for the weekend.
- Driveway Surfing: If we’ve had driveway surfing invitations, we love accepting those over weekends when campgrounds are not our ideal anyway. Another option is Boondockers Welcome, a site dedicated to matching up landowners to host RVers on their property.
- Elks & Moose Lodges: If you’re a member of these nationwide clubs, some offer overnight RV parking for a donation or fee. These are great options for parking in cities anytime of the week.
- For more tips: Finding Camping and RV Parking
However you choose to cope when Friday rolls around, always remembers – our weekender neighbors only get two nights to play.
When they pack up Sunday, we get five whole days with the campground mostly to ourselves.