If you’re an RV camper, you already know how wonderful it is to experience life outdoors. It’s one of minimalism—food, shelter, a bathroom, and some clothing. You know, the essentials.
After all, who needs material items when you’re face-to-face with a herd of bugling elks or an expanse of starry sky unfettered by light pollution? What about waking up in a hammock by a stream or hiking to a top-roping location? It doesn’t get more maximum than that.
But, if you haven’t done some Yellowstone RV camping yet, it’s safe to say you’re missing out on some beautiful experiences. Yellowstone has it all—towering waterfalls (almost 290, to be exact), massive geysers, a plethora of hot springs, and the largest concentration of mammals, including grizzly bears. It’s also got 285 bird species, over 1,800 archaeological sites, and 1,000 miles of hiking trails.
See? We weren’t kidding. And that’s not even everything.
Keep reading as we help you pack for an epic trip to this beautiful place on Earth.
First: A Camping Plan to Get You Started
Being as popular and well-visited as it is, Yellowstone is full of options. No two camping spots are alike, and it’s up to you where you choose to stay. Your location is a significant factor, but so are things like your amenities.
Do you need WiFi, flush toilets, a laundry room, or more space for your big rig? Or do you prefer your site to be more nomad-friendly—only featuring the bare minimum, such as your electricity and sewer hookups? Do you want access to hiking trails, waterfalls, and more nature-centric activities, or are you planning to spend most of your time close by the RV?
Answering all these questions can help you narrow down where your own site will be. After all, Yellowstone National Park alone has twelve campgrounds with over 200 sites. Each has its own perks—spectacular views, freshwater lakes, fields of wildflowers, and maybe a bison sighting or two.
Depending on how long you’ll be camping, you may be able to move sites, too. Many sites have fourteen-day limits, requiring you to move after that time. See this timeframe as an opportunity to move around, trying out new views, and having different experiences.
The most you can plan in advance, the better. Yellowstone’s popularity means it gets booked out early and often. So, make a Yellowstone RV camping plan early on, booking sites well ahead of schedule.
Next: Everything RV-Related Needs Checking
All RV dealers will recommend the same thing before any camping trip—and that’s RV maintenance. Even if your RV remained parked in your driveway, there are certain things every owner should do to maintain the quality, durability, and lifespan of their RV. That fact is especially true for people who use their RVs actively, such as traveling long distances to Yellowstone.
Some of the most important things to check before you embark on your adventure include:
- The condition and charge levels of the battery
- The RV’s entire water system, whether that’s checking the seals for leaks or de-winterizing during the summer—and of course, don’t neglect to check the status of the water pump and plumbing situation
- Your RV’s tires need an air pressure check (which can lower significantly during storage); you should also check the air pressure of your spare tire
- The fluid levels—of the transmission, engine coolant, engine oil, windshield washer, brake fluid, power steering, etc.
- All the seals need checking, as some may require resealing due to damage
- If you use a generator, check its oil levels, too
These are all things that should be done ahead of time, as they’re easier to manage when tools and resources are accessible. Don’t wait until you’re camping during your first night to find the battery of your RV wasn’t trickle-charged enough during the drive over! Instead, make sure everything has redundancies, bringing along any additional items (like fluids or spare tires) that you may need in an emergency.
Finally: The Essentials for a Fun Time
And last but not least—the reason you’re camping at Yellowstone: to have an amazing time.
No matter what you do, you’re sure to enjoy yourself, but the specifics of your trip are unique to you. If you’re planning to hike, you’ll need all your hiking gear—boots, a backpack, trekking poles, thick socks, good outdoor clothing. If you’re simply planning to enjoy the beautiful weather and gorgeous surroundings, consider bringing items like a hammock, outdoor games (think: Frisbees), fold-out chairs, a blanket for laying on, etc.
Planning on having a fire? Bring the tools to start one—and maybe even eat over it. Pack sticks for grilling hot dogs or bring your cast iron pan to make a breakfast skillet.
Anything that resonates with your reasons for camping at Yellowstone, be sure to curate a detailed list of what would make your experience that much more enjoyable.
Enjoy Yellowstone RV Camping—Because How Could You Not?
This guide should help prepare you for an epic RV camping trip.
As you run through this list, make adjustments that make sense for you—adding or subtracting as needed. For example, if you’re more of a kayaker than a hiker, bring the things you need for that (a suit, swim shoes, sunscreen, etc.). If you work from home, your prep list might include figuring out a remote office space for that time being . . . And so on.
We hope you enjoy your Yellowstone RV camping adventure, and with this checklist, you’re well on your way to an unforgettable time.
Keep scrolling our page, where you can find even more lifestyle blogs to suit your interests (and keep you entertained as you ride passenger!).