Beach RV Camping Tips: Your Ultimate Guide to a Perfect Coastal Getaway

Beach RV Camping Tips

Everyone loves a good beach trip — from the relaxation of lounging by the sea to the excitement of boardwalks, watersports, and ocean fishing, beach trips have something to offer for everyone in the family.

When you take a beach trip in your RV, you have the freedom to bring all of your favorite beach gear and games for the perfect summer adventure. RV travel is also more affordable than booking a hotel or beach house rental, and you can still land a prime spot with easy access to the ocean.

If you are planning an ocean getaway in your RV, these tips and tricks for planning an RV beach trip will help make your vacation dreams come true.

How to Plan the Perfect RV Beach Trip

Whether it is to kick off the summer, enjoy a little surf and sand, or seek a warmer destination in the middle of winter, an RV beach trip is a perfect getaway. There is nothing better than playing in the ocean waves all afternoon and then sitting beside a crackling campfire late into the evening.

However, an RV beach trip can quickly turn from a fun adventure into a wet and sandy mess without the right preparation. From forgetting your swimsuits at home to getting stuck in the sand, there are a few challenges to keep an eye out for as you prepare for your fun in the sun.

If you want to ensure your excursion is a success, follow these steps for planning an awesome RV beach trip.

Beach RV Camping Tips

1. Book Your Campsite Early

During peak season, the best beach campgrounds will fill up fast. If you want to score the perfect site, reserve your campsite early. When you book your campsite in advance, you will have a better chance of getting the dates and site you want.

If you are willing to postpone your coastal camping trip until the off-season, you can often enjoy even lower rates and more space to yourself. Popular RV campgrounds on the beach tend to empty out later in the summer, making it easier to find a great campsite. In places like Florida, Southern California, and other Southern locations, the weather stays pleasant all year, so you can still get a healthy dose of seashore and sunshine.

Read also: The Best 14 RV Campgrounds In The Florida Keys

2. Prepare for Sand and Water

A beach camping tip that cannot be overstated is to prepare for the elements — sandy bed sheets and clogged RV showers can quickly ruin a family vacation. Here are a few RV beach camping tips for dealing with sand and water:

  • Pack extra towels: Bring different towels to use on the beach and for showering. Hang the beach towels up outside to keep sand out of your RV.
  • Pack an extra swimsuit: If you love swimming in the campground pool in the evening but want to hit the surf first thing in the morning, bring an extra swimsuit to avoid putting your suit on while it is still wet.
  • Use a clothesline: Bring a clothesline to dry your swimsuits and towels outside the RV. Clotheslines can be tied up between two trees at your campsite if they are available or can even be attached right to your RV.
  • Rinse your feet outside: Keep a small bucket of water outside your RV to rinse sand off of your feet. You can also tuck a pair of clean flip-flops right inside your RV door to grab and slip on before heading inside.
  • Rinse off before showering: Sand can damage your RV water system, so rinse off outside before showering. If your RV does not have an outdoor shower, you can rinse off at the beach showers, use buckets of water, or use baby powder to remove the sand. Baby powder will absorb moisture to dry the wet sand so it can be brushed off easily.
  • Bring extra chairs: You will not want to sit in a pile of sand when relaxing by your evening campfire, so bring a set of chairs for the beach and a set to use at the campsite.
  • Use mats or rugs: Placing a mat outside your RV can help prevent sand from tracking inside. Lining the floor of your RV with rugs also makes it easy to keep your RV clean. Simply shake the rugs outside every night to get rid of the sand.
  • Cover your furniture: Toss old blankets over your RV furniture to protect them from sand and dirt.
  • Bring a broom: Pack a small broom or brush to sweep sand out of your RV and off of your outdoor mats.

Before heading out for your beach camping trip, check what amenities are available at your campground. If you want to use your RV’s outdoor shower, choose a campsite with a water hookup.

3. Plan for Sun Protection

The fastest way to ruin a beach camping trip is getting a blistering sunburn on your first day there. Plan by packing ample sun protection, including sunscreen, umbrellas, and covering clothing. Here are a few important items to pack for your RV beach camping trip:

  • Sunscreen: Buying sunscreen from a store at home will typically be less expensive than waiting until you get to the beach, and you will also be sure to get your preferred brand. Packing sunscreen in your RV also means you can head out into the sunshine the minute you get to the campground.
  • Rash guards: A long-sleeved rash guard will protect your skin from harmful UV rays as well as from rough sand. Wearing a rash guard will also keep you warm if the ocean is a little chilly.
  • Long-sleeved shirts: When you are not playing in the water, wearing a lightweight long-sleeved shirt provides an extra layer of sun protection.
  • Hats and sunglasses: Bring wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses for everyone in the family. When you are lounging on the beach or beside your campground’s pool, your skin and eyes will be protected from the sun’s glare.
  • Pop-up tents: Pop-up tents are perfect for a little extra shade at the beach or around your campsite. Place a tent over your seating area, dining area, or places where the kids like to play.

When you plan for sun protection, you can avoid a painful sunburn and keep your skin safe. You also set yourself up for a much more enjoyable trip!

4. Pack the Right Clothing

Packing for your first RV beach trip of the season will inevitably mean pulling out your favorite shorts, tank tops, and sundresses. You will also want flip-flops or sandals for the boardwalk and your swimsuit and rash guard for the water.

However, remember that it can get cooler at night when the sun goes down and the ocean breeze rolls in, so you will want to bring extra layers. A light windbreaker is perfect for sunset strolls on the beach, while a sweatshirt or sweater will keep you cozy by the campfire. If you want to go hiking or head into town during your beach trip, you may also want to bring socks and sneakers.

Because clothes can get sandy and dirty quickly during a beach camping trip, it is a great idea to bring an extra set of clothing for everyone in the family. You can also use campground laundry facilities to avoid wearing scratchy, sandy clothes all week.

Beach RV Camping Tips

5. Plan a Beach-Friendly Menu

When it comes to food, RV beach camping trips offer the best of both worlds — in many places, you can munch on boardwalk fries during the day and enjoy campfire cooking in the evening. To plan the perfect menu for your beach camping trip, bring your favorite food to cook over a fire, as well as snacks and easy lunches to enjoy on the beach.

Sandwiches, granola bars, and fresh fruit and veggies are great options to pack in your cooler for a beach day. You will also want to bring a lot of water to stay hydrated while out in the sun, especially if you are up and about playing beach volleyball or catching waves. When you get back to your RV in the evening, you can cook a full meal in your RV kitchen or roast hot dogs over the fire — the possibilities are endless.

6. Pack Beach Games and Equipment

With so much space in your RV, it is easy to bring all of your favorite beach toys and equipment. From frisbees and kites to kayaks and snorkeling gear, you can pack everything you need to have the perfect beach vacation. Here are a few ideas for fun beach gear and games to bring along:

  • Bodyboards and skimboards
  • Volleyball equipment
  • A beach ball or soccer ball
  • A frisbee
  • Kites
  • Sand toys and buckets
  • A bocce ball set
  • Bikes
  • Kayaks
  • Surfboards
  • Paddleboards
  • Fishing poles
  • Snorkeling gear

For activities like fishing and boating, check specific beach policies to see what is allowed, as different beaches may have different rules! When you are loading your RV with exciting games, remember to pack standard beach gear as well, such as umbrellas and beach chairs. If you want to pack light for your beach RV trip, you can also plan ahead to see what outdoor equipment may be available for rental at your destination.

7. Remember Your Camping Gear!

While you are focused on packing for sun, sand, and waves, it can be easy to forget the camping essentials. Bring camping chairs, your hammock, and any other gear to make your campsite feel like home.

With the right planning and preparation, your RV beach camping trip is sure to be a success.

RV Beach Trip Tips and Tricks

Camping in your RV on the beach can pose some unique challenges, such as strong winds and hot weather. Here are a few more RV beach camping tips to stay safe and cool.

camper van at the beach

1. Watch Out for Wind

If your campsite is right on the beach or close to it, you may experience gusts of wind. If you are not careful, you could lose your RV awning, tablecloth, or even your towels on the clothesline. Here are a few tricks for wind-proofing your campsite during your RV beach camping trip:

  • Keep your RV awning down so it is not damaged by a heavy gust of wind, especially when you are not at your RV.
  • Clip your tablecloth to the picnic table.
  • Stake down or bury your beach umbrella and pop-up tents.
  • Stake down your outdoor carpets.

Remember that coastal weather can change quickly, transforming a calm and placid day into a blustery one. Bring your chairs and umbrellas inside overnight and avoid leaving your pop-up tents unattended, or they may blow away.

2. Park Your RV Safely

When parking your RV at a beach campsite, choose your site wisely. Avoid parking on wet sand, or your RV may end up in a puddle when the tide rises. Place plywood or cardboard under your tires and jacks to prevent your RV from sinking or getting stuck. You may also want to use plywood or plastic to block wind from blowing sand out from underneath your RV and causing it to sink.

If you do not want to risk water damage or getting your RV stuck on the beach, choose a campground that offers paved or gravel RV sites instead. When camping near the ocean, park with the doors of your RV facing away from the water. This tip will prevent as much sand from blowing into your RV when you are going in and out, and it will also protect the doors from wind damage.

3. Plan for Bad Weather

Although you may not want to think about it raining during your beach vacation, it is always smart to prepare for inclement weather. Check the weather before you head out, but pack indoor activities even if the forecast looks sunny. If you do get stuck inside your RV on a stormy day, you will be grateful you brought board games or a deck of cards to stay entertained.

You can also plan ahead by researching indoor attractions near your destination. Going to an aquarium or playing at an indoor arcade can keep the beachy spirit going, even when the sun is not shining.

4. Wash Your RV Before You Go

Sand, salty air, and harsh UV rays can damage the exterior of your RV if you do not take steps to protect it. Wash your RV before your beach camping trip and apply a protective wax coating. A wax coat will help your RV maintain its shine no matter how many times you head to the coast.

5. Stay Cool

The inside of your RV can get pretty toasty and humid while camping at the beach. Check that your RV air conditioner is working properly before you go. Keep the blinds closed to prevent the inside of your RV from baking during the day. You can also put reflective foil inside your RV windshield and windows to deflect the sunlight during the day.



With these tips and tricks, you are well on your way to planning the perfect RV beach camping trip. From booking your campsite early to preparing for sand and water, planning for sun protection, and packing the right clothing and gear, you can ensure a fun and memorable beach vacation.

So pack up your RV, hit the road, and enjoy the sun, sand, and surf on your next beach camping adventure!

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