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Whether you’re a seasoned RV traveler or a newcomer to the lifestyle, one thing is for sure: your RV campsite setup can make or break your outdoor experience.
From cozy evenings by the campfire to the perfectly curated area to enjoy a morning beverage, an optimized RV campsite can transform an ordinary camping spot into the ultimate camping setup!
That’s why we’re breaking down the benefits of RV campsite setup ideas to help you create a haven of comfort, convenience, and enjoyment that works for you during your RV travel adventures.
We’ll cover RV camp setup ideas that enhance the functionality of your space and infuse your campsite with personalized touches that reflect your unique camping style and preferences.
Whether you’re looking for tips on:
- setting up outdoor cooking stations
- finding the perfect lighting solutions
- creating cozy lounging areas
We’ve got tons of RV campsite decorating ideas that will inspire you to elevate your camping experience.
So, grab your favorite camping chair, sit back, and get ready to transform your campsite into a space you’ll always look forward to returning to.
1. Outdoor Rug
Outdoor rugs are one of the best ways to start laying the groundwork (pun intended) for your outdoor camping space.
This camping item serves both practical and decorative purposes in your RV space.
Functionally, an outdoor rug provides a clean and comfortable surface for various activities.
It creates a defined space to relax, work, or enjoy meals outside, free from dirt and debris. It even provides a comfy and dirt-free area for pets to relax!
An outdoor rug also helps to keep the inside of your RV cleaner by preventing excess dirt from being tracked inside.
A rug that fits your style will add a touch of personalization to your campsite and is a good place to start with RV camping decor for your outdoor area.
Available in various colors, patterns, sizes, and textures – you can express your style and create a welcoming campsite atmosphere!
Whether you choose a vibrant design to liven up the space or a more subtle and natural look to blend with the surroundings, an outdoor rug brings a sense of coziness and adds a finishing touch to your RV campsite setup.
Our Outdoor Rug Pick
We personally like the rug options from Glamplife (below) since their stylish, easy to clean, and hold up to the RV lifestyle.
- Recycled reversible waterproof RV rug for outdoor use
- Available in 3 sizes: 5 x 8 ft, 9 x 12 ft, and 8 x 16 ft
- Available in 3 patterns, Black and Tan Doeskin Boho, Black and White Tribal, and Denim Blue
- Includes storage bag
PRO TIP: To clean your rug, use a battery-powered leaf blower to blow off dirt and debris after a storm or windy day. Many of the battery-powered tool sets sold at home improvement stores have these as an option, including Kobalt, Ryobi, and DeWalt.
2. Portable Pop-Up Gazebo
A pop-up tent acts like an enclosed RV patio to create a comfortable outdoor space RV campers can enjoy almost anytime.
Popup gazebos offer a ton of functionality to an outdoor RV campsite. Let’s look at a few of the benefits.
- It offers shelter from the sun’s rays and provides a shaded area to relax, dine, or socialize while still enjoying the view from your site.
- It offers protection from the rain (as long as you have side or shade panels)
- The mesh walls do a good job of keeping pesky bugs at bay.
If you purchase a large gazebo, you can actually set it over the top of the picnic table, creating a bug-free zone where you can enjoy the outdoors without the annoyance of insects.
With different sizes available, you can select a pop-up gazebo that is the right size for your RV traveling party creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere for you and your fellow campers.
Our Gazebo Pick
We have the CLAM pop-up gazebo below. The biggest advantage of these tents is that they can be set up super fast.
The company claims it can be done in 45 seconds. I would say it’s closer to a couple of minutes with two people, including unpacking it from the bag.
PRO TIP: You can add shade panels to the CLAM popup gazebo above to protect the inside from the rain. We’ve even heard campers say they add a heater inside, and the panels keep it warm.
3. Outdoor Lights
Outdoor lights create a lovely atmosphere in your camping spot while also being a functional and affordable way to decorate your RV campsite.
There are many different types of lights and lighting decor for your campsite. Consider how often you’ll be traveling before choosing a lighting option.
For example, if you have a seasonal camping spot, you may want to go all out with torches along the edge of your outdoor rug and a decently secured long set of string lights around your awning and outdoor tent or gazebo.
If you tend to travel at a faster pace, a few lanterns and a smaller set of string lights may be easier to set up and take down between sites.
Here are a few lighting options that also make good campsite decorating ideas.
You can use small solar-powered lights that don’t require cords running through your campsite.
The inflatable solar lantern below can be hung from just about anything – an awning, inside a popup tent, from a lantern hanger, etc. It can also be set on a number of different color options.
Solar torches are great for stationary RV campsites or seasonal or permanent camping setups.
BONUS: These are great for dry camping since you don’t need to worry about using power to charge them. They are also very light and compact, so storage space isn’t a concern.
String and Rope Lights
Opt for more traditional outdoor string or rope lights to discover more styles and options.
These can often be found in solar versions or 12-volt as well for dry campers.
- String lights. These can be hung along your awning, pop-up gazebo, or strung from your RV to a picnic shelter to light up all areas of your campsite.
- Rope lights. These can be used along the ground to define your campsite area and add to the overall atmosphere of your camp area. They also light up the entrance to your camping site so you can avoid tripping on any obstacles.
Use these clips that slide into your awning roller bar to easily hang string lights from your RV awning.
PRO TIP: Remember to check that the lights you choose are shatterproof and waterproof.
Creative Custom Outdoor RV Light
Another popular way to light up your campsite is to hang a 5-gallon bucket from your lantern post (if provided by the RV pack) and add a light inside.
Many campers will add a customized sticker to the outside of the bucket so it’s visible when the light is added.
I love this idea since the bucket doubles as storage when not in use!
4. Portable Fire Pit
If you hope to add a cozy campsite vibe to your outdoor setup, you need a fire pit.
Firepits give you a spot to keep warm while enjoying nature on a cool night. They’re the perfect social gathering spot with other RVers and a good option for making dinner or roasting up s’mores.
A lot of campgrounds have a fire ring at the campsite. Typically they have a grate you can set over the top for grilling. These basic fire pits can work often, but a portable fire pit has a few advantages.
There are two popular types of fire pits: wood and propane.
Propane fire pits are easy to set up and don’t require hunting down or purchasing firewood when you’re ready to get it going at the end of the day.
One of the biggest advantages of these fire pits is that they can be used during fire restrictions when you can’t light a wood fire.
There’s something special about wood fires and the authenticity they bring to your campsite.
Heck, we have a whole section of campfire quotes dedicated to the beautiful words and conversations that come from sitting around a wood fire.
Many RV owners love the Solo Stove for creating this “real” fire experience while also greatly reducing the smoke.
The downside of these fire pits is they are expensive. If you’re going to purchase one of these, make sure you’re really going to use it!
Solo Stove Add-Ons
A couple of other items we love that enhance the camping experience with the Solo Stove are the heat deflector (you can see this pictured above) for cool nights, and the accessories set, which includes an angled fire pit poker, a log grabber, and a set of roasting sticks!
NOTE: We have the Bonfire size Solo Stove, but sometimes we wish we had the Ranger (a size smaller), which is probably a better size for two people.
5. Dress Up Your Picnic Table
An easy way to add a little pizazz to your camping area is by decorating your picnic table!
Add a picnic table cover to give yourself a clean area to hang out, enjoy dinner, or play a game. A cover with an elastic edge will secure your cover in the wind.
Opt for a tablecloth set with bench covers to give you a clean place to sit. These covers are also easy to wipe down or dry after a rain storm.
Dress your table up more by adding a lantern at night or even potted plants for longer camping stays.
PRO TIP: High winds might try and steal your picnic table cover! We use IRWIN spring clamps to secure our cover to the underside of the table. They are not the prettiest, but we’ve seen them hold in some of the craziest desert winds!
6. Comfortable Camping Chairs
No campsite is complete without a few comfy camp chairs to create the ultimate outdoor RV setup.
After a day of exploring or hiking, having a cozy place to relax and unwind is paramount.
Camping chairs also provide a comfortable place to enjoy the scenery of your campsite or a conversation with friends and family while sipping on a beverage by the campfire at the end of the day.
Designed for outdoor use, the best camping chairs often feature sturdy frames and durable, weatherproof fabric. Many camping chairs also come with padded seats, armrests, and even built-in cup holders for added convenience.
A camping chair is often the most important aspect of creating a comfortable and inviting space to fully embrace the outdoor experience.
Most camp chairs are portable and foldable, which makes them easy to transport and store. However, some are lighter and take up less room than others.
The most comfortable seating options have a few trade-offs. Typically more padding means added weight and a chair that requires more storage space.
Finding the best balance between your comfort and camping storage is important when choosing a camping chair.
Here are a few different styles of camping chairs to choose from. We’ll talk about a lightweight chair option below.
Best Lightweight Camping Chair
The Helinox One camping chair below is a very portable option and great for additional seating since it takes up minimal storage space when not in use.
This chair is great for small RVs with limited storage space.
It’s also my go-to for day adventures, such as bike trips to the beach or a paddleboard across a mountain lake to a secluded spot.
An inflatable ottoman is another seating item that is an easy addition to your outdoor space.
This compact stool can increase the comfort of your camping chair by giving you a place to kick your feet.
It can also serve as extra seating or as a table if you add a large cutting board to create a sturdy surface.
NOTE: Look for ottomans with removable covers like the one above so they can be easily washed.
7. Outdoor Table
Sometimes a picnic table (typically provided by the RV campground) is not enough.
Or if you’re boondocking in an area with no campsite amenities, you might have to create your outdoor setting completely from scratch.
In this case, having a foldable, portable table, you can easily set up for cooking, eating, or simply offering a place to set a beverage is handy.
Many different camping tables are available, such as the popular one above that folds down flat and is easy to set up and stow away.
However, I also wanted to offer more out-of-the-box ideas for creating your own table from items you may already have at your campsite.
- Use a cooler or plastic bin as a table beside your camping chair. Add a decorative towel or outdoor blanket over it to dress it up.
- Use a telescoping stool as a small table. These also come in a version with a small table top. We love these stools for small RVs.
- For RVers with the Solo Stove fire pit mentioned above, if you have the optional lid, you can convert the fire pit to a round table during the day and as a fire pit at night.
- As mentioned in the previous section, an inflatable ottoman can also work with a cutting board or other sturdy flat item as the tabletop.
These are just a few ideas for creating an outdoor table space. See what you have lying around that you can turn into a table at your campsite!
8. Shade & RV Awning
In hot and sunny climates, an RV awning or shade (or both) is essential for a comfortable outdoor space that won’t leave you frying in the sun.
An RV awning can also keep the afternoon sun off your RV so your rig will stay cooler inside. This is crucial when you’re dry camping when you might not be able to run your air conditioner.
Most RVs will come equipped with a roll-out awning on the side, but you can also add a drop shade to your awning to block even more of the sun.
These are easy to attach to your RV awning and don’t take up a ton of storage space – win, win!
Pop Up Canopy Shade
Something as simple as a pop-up tent can create a lot of extra shade at your campsite.
We mentioned pop-up gazebos earlier, but a pop-up canopy is more versatile since it doesn’t have mesh siding. There are pros and cons to each. Sometimes simple is better!
Compact RV Awning Option
If you have a smaller RV, the MoonShade is a popular option for adding an awning to your vehicle, camper, or just about any other object. These awnings are lightweight and very versatile.
PRO TIP: Most shade options are made of fabric. Make sure to protect these items with 303 Fabric Guard, 303 Aerospace, or another UV protectant to ensure their longevity after many camping days in the sun.
9. Outdoor Games & Entertainment
Creating an outdoor space that provides fun and entertainment is one of the best ways to enjoy your campsite. Here are some ideas to keep the fun flowing during your camping adventure.
Fun Outdoor Games
Let’s start with some outdoor lawn games that are ideal for your outdoor RV space.
- A traditional cornhole set might be too bulky and heavy to tote around in your RV, but a portable cornhole set is perfect for RV living.
- Yardzee, the yard game version of Yahtzee
- Kan Jam, a fun disc-throwing game
- Portable Social Pong, beer pong that travels in a backpack (this company offers lots of beautifully crafted outdoor games)
- Playing cards. Don’t underestimate the versatility of a simple deck of cards.
An outdoor theater can be a fantastic addition to an outdoor campsite setup. It provides a unique and immersive entertainment experience amidst the beauty of nature.
It’s a great excuse for RV friends to gather and enjoy movies, TV shows, or even live sports events under the open sky.
You typically need a large screen, high-quality speakers, and a projector for an outdoor theater setup. Throw in some comfortable seating, and you’ve got a cozy and cinematic atmosphere right at the campsite.
Whether it’s a family movie night or a group campground gathering, an outdoor theater creates an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in a unique way as well as the RV lifestyle.
10. Outdoor Cooking Area
All the best campsites have some sort of outdoor cooking element so you can enjoy cooking and eating meals outside.
Having a separate cooking area allows you to prepare meals in the great outdoors while keeping the cooking heat and odors out of the indoor living space.
In small RVs, it also gives you more room prep and cook your meals.
This setup can be as simple or complex as you’d like it to be. For example:
- Set up an outdoor cooking station beside your RV with a portable stove, grill, or even a pizza oven.
- Select a portable table with storage space for utensils and cooking equipment. Consider a grill table built to fit a specific griddle or grill.
- Use cast iron cookware to cook on an open fire.
Below are some options to consider for these cooking setups.
A griddle or grill is a versatile cooking appliance for your outdoor RV kitchen. A couple of portable (and decently compact) options are below.
The Blackstone has become an increasingly popular option in the RV community, and we have personally used the Weber Q1200. You really can’t go wrong with either of these options!
ALTERNATIVE OPTION: If you’re avid pizza lover, you might also consider an outdoor portable pizza oven. With a cooking range up to 900 degrees, this appliance can churn out pizzas at a campsite!
Outdoor Folding Cook Tables
You can go into full Master Chef mode with an outdoor cooking station at your campsite.
The lightweight tables below offer an easy way to organize your cooking gear and utensils so you can whip up delicious meals outside.
Open Fire Cookware
If you’re looking for a more simplified outdoor cooking setup, try cast iron cookware.
If you happen to have a Solo Stove fire pit, you can purchase a half moon grill or griddle like the one we use above to easily cook up a delicious meal on an open fire.
You can also set a dutch oven on the grate over a fire ring at your campsite or add a tripod to hang your dutch oven over an open campfire.
Dutch ovens are super easy to clean making this a hassle-free outdoor cookware option.
Check out these dutch oven camping recipes to get ideas for cooking simple outside.
READ NEXT: For more ideas on outfitting your RV kitchen, check out our list of must-have kitchen gear.
11. Outdoor RV Decorations
The perfect way to add campsite decorations and customize your camping area is with signs, flags, and other decor that adds a little flare or personalization to your outdoor space.
You can get creative setting up your RV campsite with a few carefully curated additions.
Here are some outdoor RV decorating ideas to start creating the unique campsite vibe you want!
- Small flag or personalized sign for your campsite. Whether it’s a wooden National Park inspired sign with your name and homebase, or a flag with your family (including your pups) – customized signs are a great conversation starter for your site. Check out Etsy for a variety of custom signs and flags.
- Lawn decorations. A set of flamingos, wind decorations, or other fun statues are the ultimate decoration for putting your personalized touch on a campsite. Etsy is a great place to find unique lawn decor, but we also love finding handmade items at an arts and crafts fair or small business in places we visit on the road.
- Flag holder mount. Personalize your rig with a US flag, state flag, or whatever else defines you with a flag holder mount for your RV ladder.
- Welcome mat. An RVing must-have is a mat for your RV door. This will help keep the dirt out of your rig but is also a great opportunity to style your RV space. You can find custom mats on Etsy or opt for a simple but durable mat like the one below.
Cozy Campsite Decor Items
There’s nothing better than finding decor items that are also functional for your RV life. Here are a few items you’ll want to add to your campsite for a cozy and comfortable campsite.
Outdoor blankets don’t just look nice. They’re a functional part of your outdoor space.
Rumpl makes a few different options for synthetic outdoor puffy blankets.
These blankets are basically high-end sleeping bags in a blanket style. They are super warm and perfect for cold days or nights.
The Nanoloft blanket above is very compact and great for small RVs without much space. We also have the Original Puffy, which is just as warm but takes up a little more storage space since it doesn’t pack down like the Nanoloft material.
Whichever you choose, these blankets are a must-have for a cozy outdoor space, and they come in a TON of colors and designs (that’s why this blanket also made our RV gift guide).
The downside of the Rumpl blanket is it’s an investment. For a more affordable option, try an authentic Mexican blanket that is super durable, fade-resistant, and adds a perfect touch of style to an outdoor space.
Lantern Bug Repeller
Nothing ruins an outdoor camping experience quicker than an onslaught of bugs! Thermacell lanterns are like citronella candles that double as decorative lights for your campsite.
Throw pillows are one of the most popular ways to decorate your camping spot, and for good reason.
There are a variety of great pillow designs and colors to allow you to put your own spin on your RV outdoor space.
For pillows that will stand up to the elements, we recommend investing in Sunbrella® fabric that will repel dirt and water. There are a lot of options for Sunbrella pillows on Etsy.
Hammocks make a great addition to a wooded campsite. They offer the perfect place to relax for an afternoon nap or curl up with a book.
Hammocks are also very compact, so they take up minimal space for storage.
Here are a few options for hanging your hammock.
- The easiest option is to hang your hammock between two trees.
- String it up from your RV ladder to a nearby tree.
- If your site features a picnic shelter, you can also hang a hammock between the shelter columns.
PRO TIP: Use hammock tree straps to attach your hammock to the tree securely.
If you’re not into finding a place to hang a hammock, try a portable hammock with a stand. This hammock style will take up more storage space, but you can set it up wherever you want.
13. Pet Fence
If you have RV dog companions, a pet fence will make your outdoor campsite setup much more enjoyable for your furry campers.
A pet fence provides a secure area for pets to roam freely while remaining within the RV campsite’s boundaries.
This ensures the pet’s safety and keeps RVers within the rules of the campground by preventing pets from being uncontained and possibly encroaching on neighboring campers’ spaces.
A fence also allows dogs to walk around without worrying about a leash getting tangled around the items in your RV setup.
An RV pet fence will add a decent amount of weight to your camping storage area, and it will take extra time to assemble the panels and set up.
However, it can be an indispensable item that enhances the safety, well-being, and overall camping experience for dogs and their owners.
NOTE: We didn’t want to leave out cat owners (as we are cat parents ourselves). Cats might prefer an outdoor cat tent instead of a leash or being stuck inside the RV.
Permanent Setup Campsite Ideas
RVers setting up more permanent campsites have the luxury of decorating without worrying about where they’ll store everything on travel days or how long it will take to break down the campsite.
Here are a few campsite decorating ideas that work best for permanent RV or seasonal setups for full-time RVers.
- Plants. Whether flowers or a vegetable garden, a little live greenery can make your campsite feel like home.
- Bird feeder. You can hang a feeder from an outdoor hanger you secure in the ground or install one on your window with a suction cup.
- Privacy screen or fence. A fence is nice for creating a more private RV campsite. It can also block the wind and create a more cozy space.
- Permanent patio or deck. Depending on your campsite situation, you may be able to install a deck to create a more defined space that is also out of the dirt.
- Sun shade sail. This more permanent shade option can be perfect for setting up shady spots around your campsite.
Finding the Best RV Campsite Setup Ideas
I hope you’ve found inspiration and practical guidance to elevate your outdoor RV setup and transform your campsite into a personal oasis that combines the comforts of home with the beauty of nature.
Remember, the key to a successful campsite setup lies in convenience, functionality, and (of course) personalization.
Prioritize keeping your setup manageable during setup and teardown, invest in durable and versatile camping items, and incorporate touches that reflect your unique style and preferences.
Whether you’re on a weekend getaway or an extended road trip, your RV campsite setup can become the gateway to unforgettable memories and a deep connection with nature.
Want to learn more about the best RV camping gear and items?
Check out our guide to outfitting your RV, including all the essentials to get your RV on the road, plus safety gear, kitchen items, and more – view our complete guide.
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