Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Types of RV Parks - Glossary of Terms

Definitions for Types of RV Parks, Campgrounds and Camping Accommodations



Thinking about taking your family on an RV Trip, but don't know how to choose the right location? Here's a helpful glossary of types of campgrounds, as well as terms that will help you understand ammenities and accomodations.

Campground -- Any kind of park that allows overnight stays in an outdoor sleeping area. It can be accessible only by foot, by hikers or backpackers or can be a well developed RV Resort Park.

RV Park -- Almost always privately owned, caters to overnight or seasonal guests who have recreational vehicles.

RV Resort Park -- Almost always privately owned, caters to overnight or seasonal guests who have recreational vehicles. RV Resort is often an indication of a well developed, higher end park, but since any RV Park can call itself an RV Resort, this is not always the case. Read more about The evolution of RV Resorts.

Extended Stay Site -- Sites allotted for RVers to stay for an extended period of time, like a month or a season. Often times, parks that allow extended stays have restrictions against RVs that are more than 5 or 10 years old.

Full hookup -- sewer, electricity and water at the site.

Electrical -- electricity and water at the site.

Tent Sites -- no utilities, allows tent campers only.

Primitive -- no hookups; one water source may serve multiple sites in natural, cleared setting; Showers may be available in another area of a campground having other types of sites or at another nearby park.

Dry Camping/Boondocking -- camping in a recreational vehicle with no hookups and no utilities.

Yurts -- circular, domed tent-like structures with wood floors, electricity, heating, lockable doors and sleeping accommodations for typically for four or more people.

Covered Camper Wagons/Tepees -- canvas-covered wagons with or without electricity. Typically accommodates four or more people.

Log Cabins -- Typically two or more rooms, and accommodates four or more people. Cabins usually have private bathrooms and a kitchen area with a refridgerator.

Group Camping Areas -- Camping areas at a campground that accommodate larger groups of twenty or more. Typically group camping areas have a fire ring and/or other central location for group activities.

Federal Parks -- Parks run by the National Forest Service (NFS) or the National Park Service (NPS). These parks often offer work programs for reduced rate camping.

National parks -- These are relatively large areas protected for their unspoiled landscapes and native plants and animals. They are set aside for public education and recreation, and usually offer visitor facilities.

Nature reserves --These are areas of special scientific interest, set up mainly to conserve their native plant and animal communities. Few have visitor facilities.

State Park -- These parks, run by state facilities, have many recreation opportunities and/or visitor centers. They are set within an extensive scenic setting.

State Wayside -- Rest stops providing parking areas and restroom facilities with limited or no recreational opportunities.

State conservation areas -- These are parks, often containing important natural environments, which have been set aside mainly for outdoor recreation.

Regional parks -- Near large population centres, these parks offer open space and recreational and cultural opportunities for urban residents. Their environments have often been largely altered since colonisation.

Marine parks -- These are unique and outstanding marine areas, set aside to conserve seawater plants and animals. They're divided into zones that allow different, sustainable levels of commercial and recreational activities.

Historic sites -- These are sites of national cultural importance. They include buildings, objects, monuments and landscapes. Historic sites are generally open to visitors.

Karst conservation reserves -- These are outstanding cave areas that offer unique experiences with their spectacular beauty and stunning surroundings. They include Jenolan, Wombeyan, Abercrombie and Borenore caves.

Wilderness -- Wilderness is usually an 'overlay' on national parks or reserves. Wilderness areas are large, remote and essentially unchanged by modern human activity. They are managed so that native plant and animal communities are disturbed as little as possible.

World Heritage-listed areas -- The globally recognised World Heritage list contains some of the most important examples of natural and cultural heritage in the world. More than 600 precious places are on the list, from the Great Barrier Reef to the pyramids of Egypt.

Some of these terms were taken from the National Parks website.