Setting Up Camp Outside Your RV

While traveling in an RV gives you a warm and dry place to sleep at night, you still probably want to spend most of your time outside – after all, that is a big part of the reason to go camping in the first place. When you want to spend time outside your RV, you will need to make sure you have everything you need to create a comfortable and relaxing spot to enjoy nature. While you don’t need to bring as much gear as if you were tent camping, it is still important that you are prepared with enough to make your outside time as comfortable as the time you spend in the RV itself.

This article will highlight a few of the items you should consider bringing with you on your next RV trip. Certainly you don’t have to include everything on this list – but it should provide you with a good starting point to make a custom list of your own.

  1. Outdoor Chairs

This is a camping staple, and you will have a hard time relaxing outside during your trip without at least a couple camping chairs. There are a variety of styles on the market today, but the ones that collapse down into a small size and can be stored in a bag are particularly convenient. Make sure you have enough chairs for everyone in your Family at picnic table.traveling party so that nobody is left standing around – or sitting back inside the RV.

  1. Portable Table

If the campground you are heading to doesn’t have picnic tables at each site, consider bringing along a portable table that you can set up. You will probably want to eat outdoors at least part of the time during your trip, and a table is a necessary part of that experience. Even a small table that can fold up when not in use can be sufficient to set food and other supplies on. Also, if you like to play card games or do other activities on your trips, having an extra table available is always a good thing.

  1. Firewood

This is one that you will need to do your research on ahead of time. There are a couple things to determine – First, are you allowed to have fires where you are going to be camping? Second, if so, is there any wood available locally? If you can get wood in the local area that will probably prove to be an easier option than hauling it all the way from home. However, you might not be able to find good firewood in the area, so packing it might be your only choice if you wish to have a campfire. For many people, having a campfire is an essential part of the experience – just make sure it is legal where you are, and that you are prepared with enough wood for the trip.

  1. Cover

Having cover for your outside area is an important part of setting up a campsite. Cover can protect you both from rain or sun, so it is important no matter what the forecast is looking like. Many RV’s include an awning that can be extended off the side of the rig, so you may have your cover already built-in to your RV. If not, you can purchase portable awnings that fold up when they aren’t in use. If you are camping in an area that is prone to rain, it is wise to bring along an extra tarp or two beyond your basic cover just in case the weather really turns against you.Camp Outside

  1. A Good Space

When you are picking out the spot to park your RV for the week, you should also pay careful attention to finding a place adjacent to the RV where you can set up your outside space. Ideally the outside camp that you set up would only be a short distance from the RV so you can go back and forth quickly. Of course, you want to set up far enough away so that you can safely have a campfire or run your grill without the RV being too close.

Camping in an RV still means that you are going to want to spend plenty of your time outside, so be prepared for that part of your trip as well. By taking a few basic items, and doing a little research ahead of time, you can have a great time on your trip both while you are inside the RV, and while you are out in the great outdoors.



  1. Check your states rules, Moving campfire wood in Michigan endanagers our trees as we have invasive bugs that are killing trees. Please do not move wood.

  2. In some areas of the west the wind blows so much that an awning on the rv cannot be left unattended (even the auto retract kind). Portable shades can be anchored firmly to the ground, and if a micro burst comes up at least you lose around 100.00 not an expensive rv awning.

    • We have one also and it is a great addition – no wood to mess with or ashes to clean up. turn it off and let it cool. It even has a carry case. Runs a long time on a 20 LB LP tanks.

  3. As someone who onwed a company that delivered and setup fully furnished RV’s for thousands of clients near ATL, I’d like to add one item to the list. The outdoor living space is only complete when you have an effective & efficient outdoor light. I clamped on an EZ-UP Light, which I invented and it provided general, ambience and task lighting, on each clients picnic table or deck railing if available. Only then did my clients begin to tell me about enjoying their night time outdoor living experiences. Just my two cents.

  4. I just bought a ground cover “carpet” to put outside my RV because here in Florida sand is EVERYWHERE! I’m hoping we can go enjoy the outdoors and not track the sandy grit back inside the RV.

    • Putting carpet on your steps really help. I would be nuts without it. And I try and have everyone take their shoes off when they come in, but with teens, that’s not always easy.

      • I agree. Carpet on the steps is key for keeping sand out. I also have carpet outside the camper, but it’s amazing how much it keeps the sand out when it’s on your steps.

  5. Our favorite state park has wood for you and only asks for a donation. If we go anywhere else, we usually bring our own or find the nearest place to purchase some.

  6. Transporting wood from one area to another can potentially affect the balance of ecological system in the new area. It is illegal to bring plants, fruits or vegetables across borders for a reason. Many species of trees and plant life have been endangered historically due to exposure of disease and insects to a new area.

  7. We have an 8′ x 16′ outdoor mat under our awning. I have a small mat on each of the 3 sides of the large mat so we can wipe the sand and mud off of our feet before walking on it. Then I also have a mat at the entrance to our rv. All of this keeps the ‘rug’ and the rv much cleaner……

  8. Don’t place the outdoor carpet on grass as it will kill the grass. And make sure your propane fire pit is placed so as not to burn the vegetation or grass or that you have a fireproof mat under it.

  9. One of the most important thing left out was the fact that many campers DO NOT FOLLOW THE RULES! There is such a lack of respect in the campgrounds these days. The biggest rule breaker is PET OWNERS who feel the rules don’t apply to their pets. Just saying…….

  10. We always have a bug zapper in the summertime. Also found a portable stand for the ice chest, don’t have to bend down and keeps others from sitting on the lid.

  11. You can’t bring firewood into New Hampshire, you have to buy locally. It transports insects. also lights are good!