RV Camping Guide: Everything you need to know about Fall Camping

Last Updated on March 18, 2024 by Christina

Labor Day is considered the unofficial end of the camping season, but the months after are the perfect time to take your RV on an adventure. The post-summer camping season is perfect for people looking to avoid the crowds. School is back in session, which means fewer people will be taking a family getaway. Campers are able to enjoy cooler temperatures and fewer bugs due to the decreased humidity and lower temperatures. For northern campers, the fall camping season runs from mid-September to early November. Meanwhile, southern campers can enjoy the benefits of the fall camping season from mid-October to late November.

Fall camping isn’t that different from summer camping, but as every good RV owner and enthusiast knows – you should always be prepared for anything. RVers should do their research ahead of time to ensure they are ready for their next adventure.

Planning a Fall Camping Trip

Some campgrounds and parks, especially national and state parks in colder climates, may close during the fall season due to weather. Campgrounds that stay open often drop their rates, stop taking reservations and operate on a first come, first serve basis. After peak season, some campgrounds may move to semi-modern campsites. Campers can expect to find either electrical service or access to modern restrooms. Drinking water may only be available by hand pump or pressurized spigots. Reach out to campgrounds and parks ahead of your trip to ensure you have everything you need to set up camp.

If you’re looking to dry camp or boondock during the fall, you will need to look ahead for potential road closures. The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management may also close access roads on public lands due to weather changes. Always call ahead and double-check before heading out on an unmarked road.

The highlight of fall camping is being able to see all of the leaves change. Smoky Mountain’s Fall Foliage prediction map can help you determine the best places to see skies bursting with bright fall colors. In addition to finding the perfect place to stay, you have to find the perfect outdoor fall activities. Check out some of our favorite fall activities to start planning your next RV adventure.

Fall Camping Pre-Trip Maintenance

Campers heading out during the fall, especially those traveling to a cooler climate, will want to do a few maintenance checks before hitting the road again. RVers should double-check tire pressures, brakes and towing gear to ensure their vehicle can handle different road conditions. People used to RV camping during the summer may need to familiarize themselves with their RV heating system to keep themselves warm during the cool evening temperatures.

Owners should also know how to protect their RV’s water systems in the event of a hard freeze. During a cold fall night, temperatures can fall below freezing which means you may need to know how to disconnect water lines and drain them to prevent damage to your water and waste systems.  To learn more about the process, check out General RV’s Winterization Guide.

Fall Camping Packing Necessities

Weather in the fall can fluctuate quickly from warm and sunny to cool and wet. While it’s hard to predict how the weather might change from day to day, or from morning to night, you can also be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. When packing your bags, be sure to include a variety of layers so you can adapt to the weather and stay comfortable. Rain jackets and waterproof clothes and shoes are also essential for those rainy fall days.

To prepare for cooler weather, you should throw a few extra sleeping bags or blankets in your RV. Wool and down blankets are excellent at keeping you warm and dry. Campers should also include extra water on their packing list. It is easy to get dehydrated with cooler, dryer temperatures. Water can be heated and put in a bottle to help warm your bed or sleeping bag.

Days are shorter in the fall, so it will likely be dark before you are ready to go to bed. Pack a few extra light sources like flashlights, headlamps or portable lanterns. If you need help filling out your packing list, stop by the General RV Parts Store. Our supercenters have thousands of RV parts and camping essentials along with knowledgeable staff who can answer your fall camping questions. Making sure you have the equipment to deal with changing weather can help ensure your fall camping trip is safe, memorable and enjoyable.

Ready to take your RV adventures to the next level? Let General RV help you discover the RV lifestyle. We offer a huge selection of new motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth wheels, as well as used RVs for sale. Need RV accessories and parts? We’ve got those, too. And our highly trained technicians can help with all your RV service needs. Visit our RV Virtual Showroom to start browsing now. Or find a General RV dealer near you. Whether you shop online or in store, our experts will help you camp with confidence.