Can You Pitch A Tent Camp In An RV Spot?

There is nothing greater in life than getting back to nature and spending time in the great outdoors. For many people, this means camping in a tent and there are thousands, if not millions of campsites around the world to choose from.

However, at times, you may find that your only option is to head to an RV site but many campers find themselves questioning whether it is OK to do this. Is it even allowed and what is the etiquette?

In this article, we are going to explore the answers to these questions and look at the rules involved in using an RV spot for a tent.

Are You Allowed To Tent Camp In An RV Spot?

If you’re on the road, heading to a campsite, but find that, for whatever reason, you aren’t going to make it before nightfall, you may have to find an alternative. If you are fortunate enough to stumble upon an RV site, you might think that this is the perfect place to pitch your tent for the night. 

The truth is that each RV site will differ. There are some that will happily welcome campers in tents and others that absolutely prohibit anything other than recreational vehicles from using the spots on-site. The only way to find out is to speak to the site management. 

Quite often, the reason that an RV site would not allow tent camping is for your safety. The spots designed for an RV may not be sufficiently roomy to safely pitch a tent.

However, there are other reasons that you might not be able to camp in an RV spot and some reasons why you may not want to. Let’s take a look at these a little more closely. 

The Differences Between RV Sites And Campsites

It doesn’t take us to tell you that RVs and tents are dramatically different types of accommodation. As such, those using them will need vastly different setups when they set up camp. 

When you pitch your tent at an RV ground, you will notice that there are far fewer facilities compared to a campsite that is designed for tents. This is because an RV will have a lot of these facilities built-in. Quite often, you will find that each spot has a hookup and not much else, making it unsuitable for tent camping.

In line with this, RV sites will usually be equipped with additional features that you wouldn’t usually see in a tent campsite. This includes things like Power for Campers, WiFi and sewage. This pushes up the cost per pitch somewhat dramatically when compared to the humble tent campsite where you often pay for the privilege of using that small patch of land and not a lot else. 

RVs are big vehicles and as such, it may not be suitable to park them on a grassed area, especially in wet weather. For this reason, a lot of RV sites will have concrete spots and of course, this is not good news for those looking to pitch a tent. 

One of the things you may notice about an RV site is that they are a lot more active and noisy than their tent-based counterparts. This is because RVs typically have a lot of the mod cons that you would have at home. If you are favouring your tent over an RV, it is likely because you want to experience peace and quiet; something you typically won’t find at an RV ground. 

Do RV Owners Get First Choice?

While a lot of RV sites will try to cater to tent users, many of them simply do not have the space to accommodate both types of campers. 

If you head to a more traditional campsite, you will likely find that there are areas for both tents and RVs. In this instance, you will be able to secure a spot, provided that there is one available and this will be in the appropriate area. 

However, when it comes to RV only sites, you will likely find that the site management will always favour RVs over tents. This is mainly because they will make much more money this way and be able to rent out more space. However, if there is room at the inn, tent campers may acquire a space. 

Can You Stay At AN RV Site Long Term?

If you really get a feel for the outdoor life then you may wish to extend your camping break and stay on at the site for a longer period of time. 

Each site will have different rules on how long you can stay and when in a tent, you may not be given an advantage over an RV.

The type of site you are staying at will play a large part in whether you can camp long term. If the site is more of a holiday resort, then you can expect to be given limitations on how long you are permitted to camp. In contrast, there are sites that are designed to cater to long term campers. These typically have a wider range of facilities and services and will normally provide pitches for both tent campers and RV owners.


If you ever find yourself at a loose end when travelling, you may come across an RV site and decide to pitch your tent here. You might also find an RV site that is close to places you want to visit when campsites aren’t available. 

However, you should keep in mind that not all RV spots can be used by tent campers. There are some RV sites that will not allow tents at all and others that will permit them if they have the capacity. But you should consider that these sites are not set up with tent camping in mind and as such may not have large enough spots, the right facilities or even the right type of ground for pitching a tent.