When booking a campsite, you may see different site options available. You’ll likely see back-in sites and pull-thru spots for RVs. Campgrounds that offer pull-thru campsites can charge a premium price. So is the convenience worth it?
Today, we’ll look at pull-thru campsites and whether they’re worth the hype or if you’re wasting money when making your reservation. Let’s dive in!
What Are Pull-Thru Campsites?
A pull-thru campsite allows you to drive forward in and out of the space. As long as there are no trees or other obstructions, these are usually the easiest sites to get in and out of while RVing. Those towing longer rigs or driving large motorhomes typically opt for these spots.
Those new to RVing or backing their rig into a campsite often love these sites. However, they’re not perfect and require campers to make some sacrifices.
What’s the Difference Between Pull-Thru and Back-in Campsites?
Pull-thru and back-in campsites can be identical, except that pull-thru sites allow the driver to exit the site without reversing. Back-in campsites require drivers to maneuver their rig backward into the site.
Depending on the campground, both options may offer water, sewer, and electrical connections. However, some campgrounds may limit pull-thru sites to guests in motorhomes or specific lengths of towable RVs.
Pros of Pull-Thru Campsites
There are a few reasons you might want to consider booking a pull-thru campsite. Let’s look at what campers love about these sites.
One of the biggest reasons RVers choose pull-thru sites is the ease of arriving and departing. You simply pull in one side and pull out the other. Even if you have to center your rig on the site, you typically have enough room to pull forward to perfectly center your camper.
We cannot stress this benefit enough, as many camping couples and families will tell you that parking the RV is one of the most stressful parts of camping. There can be shouting, poor communication, misinterpretation of hand signals, and raised tension. Difficult parking jobs can take a long time, hurt feelings, and potentially damage your RV too. Pull-through sites reduce the chance of all of these by eliminating the need to back up into your campsite.
Great for Longer Rigs
It seems that manufacturers keep pushing the limits of RV lengths. Pull-thru sites are typically longer and work great for those with big rigs (38 feet long and longer!). We have seen some pull-thru sites nearly 100 ft long. You’ll have plenty of room for even the largest RVs, plus your tow or towed vehicle.
Pro Tip: Make finding the perfect pull thru campsite easy by using our tips on How to Use the iOverlander App to Find Great Campsites.
May Not Need to Unhitch a Towable
Those with towable RVs love that they often get away with not having to unhitch to fit in the space. This is especially great at the end of a long travel day when you just want to rest before hitting the road early the next morning. This can save you time, energy, and stress.
Leave Towed Vehicle on Motorhome
Many who drive a motorhome will often tow a vehicle behind them. However, due to how a towed vehicle connects to the motorhome, RVers have to detach the towed vehicle if they need to reverse. For back-in sites, these campers must detach before they can get parked in their site.
A pull-thru site means keeping their towed vehicle attached, which is one less thing to worry about while camping. This is especially convenient when you have a short stay planned or simply an overnight where you’re not going to even set up camp. Even for longer stays, leaving an RV tow dolly hitched up in place is one less thing to deal with.
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Cons of Pull-Thru Campsites
Pull-thru sites can be terrific, but they’re not perfect. You need to be aware of a few things before making a reservation at a pull-thru site. Let’s take a look.
These are typically the premium sites at most campgrounds. The added convenience and ease of use come with a higher price tag. You can expect to pay $10 to $15 more for a pull-thru site than a campground’s back-in rate.
RVers often have to sacrifice elbow room when choosing a pull-thru site. Many RV parks and campgrounds with this type of site provide minimal space between the campsites. You may only have a matter of feet between RVs with slide-outs fully extended in some instances. If you want more privacy and space, you may not want a pull-thru site.
Pro Tip: The closer you are to your neighbors, the more likely you are to annoy them! Avoid being a bad RV neighbor by considering these 8 Ways You’re Probably Annoying Your RV Neighbor.
May Be Wasting Space
Depending on your rig’s size, you may not need all of the space at the front or rear. This area can seem wasted as you likely won’t use it for anything. Most pull-thru sites follow the one-size-fits-all mentality, and even a tiny teardrop trailer can book it. Due to the location, you may not get the most use out of it.
Are Pull-Thru Sites Worth It?
Pull-thru sites can be worth it if you prefer not to worry about backing into a campsite. Doing so is not intuitive and takes a bit of practice. Even those who have backed in for years will still struggle from time to time with a difficult campsite.
Pull-thru sites work great for those looking to make a quick stop for the night and hit the road again early in the morning. Even if you have a massive rig, you can get in and out of the campsite with little effort or stress.
Will You Book a Pull-Thru Campsite for Your Next Trip?
With so many people looking to get out and explore the outdoors in an RV, you can’t easily snag a spot at a campground anymore. Hopefully, you can find a site that meets your needs and preferences for your next trip. A pull-thru campsite may work best for your setup and camping needs.
Do you prefer back-in or pull-thru campsites? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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