Make your next vacation a gay camping trip in an RV
Whether to be COVID- consciousness or budget consciousness, your next best vacation may just be a gay camping trip in a tent or RV. Here’s how to plan and save today for that fabulous road trip, and here’s where you can rent an RV if you don’t already have one.
What you’ll find here:
- Why should you plan a gay camping trip?
- What’s a recreational vehicle or RV?
- What’s the difference between gay RVing and gay camping?
- So, what’s glamping, and how does it compare to RVing?
- How to plan your first (or next) gay camping or gay RV trip?
Why should you plan a gay camping trip?
Gay travel is a popular and profitable niche within the travel industry. A good percentage of LGBTQ influencers on Instagram and YouTube are gay travel bloggers and gay travel vloggers. A niche within the gay travel niche that’s often overlooked is gay camping and gay RVing, which is the perfect vacation for these unique times.
No doubt, you miss your international travel, too. We hear ya! But what we’ve learned to love over the last year-plus in dealing with COVID-19 is that there’s a lot to love here at home in the good ol’ US of A. With the CDC still cautioning about air travel and the expectation that COVID may be with us to some degree for the next two to three years, the best way to see the good ol’ US of A is on the road.
To do that in comfort and style, we suggest signing up with RVshare.
RV Share is a portal that lets you rent someone else’s RV while they’re not using it. Whether there’s one of you or 11 of you, whether you need an RV for two nights or two weeks, RVshare can help you find the RV that suits all your needs for a very reasonable price per night.
One of the best parts about using RVshare is that a lot of RVshare RVs are deliverable usually within 50 – 100 miles of your destination. So, if you’re not entirely comfortable driving one of these bigger vehicles or if it’s simply more convenient, RVshare will help you out.
Oh, we may have lied! The best part of using RVshare is that many of RVshare’s inventory permit dogs. How great is that! It’s especially great because, as you’ll see further down, most campgrounds permit one to two dogs as long as they’re friendly and aren’t barkers.
What’s a recreational vehicle or RV?
The cool kids abbreviate “recreational vehicle” as RV. An RV is essentially anything on wheels, such as a motorhome or trailer, with living quarters and accommodations. Accommodations is a respectable way of saying bathroom – toilet, sink and shower.
Probably the most well-known RV in queer history is Priscilla from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
RVs, like people, come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. That last one isn’t totally true. Most RVs are beige.
You can tow an RV on the back of your car or truck with a proper hitch or you can drive an RV that’s the size of a large truck or a bus. Priscilla was the biggest, grandest most over-the-top kind of RV you’ll find.
Be aware that to drive Priscilla or any RV her size requires a Class A driver’s license. If you don’t have a Class A driver’s license and aren’t interested in getting one, don’t go with a bigger RV than one that requires a Class C driver’s license.
What’s the difference between gay RVing and gay camping?
You may not know it, but there’s a contentious debate about whether camping and RVing are synonymous. Many people think of traditional camping as temporarily living outdoors, usually in the woods, and living in and off of what you can carry on your back. This includes a tent to sleep in at night or to hide from the elements.
Camping purists think if you’re living in or off of anything that’s on wheels, you’re not really camping. Generalists see RVing as a subset of camping.
As with your gayness, don’t let folks box you into labels. If you’re like us and prefer a bed to the dirt and want to call it camping, you’re camping. Your being gay makes it gay camping. Your being gay makes it gay RVing if that’s what you want to call it.
You’ll be excited to know that there are, in fact, gay campgrounds and gay RV parks all over, which we’ll discuss later.
So, what’s glamping, and how does it compare to RVing?
Glamping is glamorous camping. If you’re not the type of gay person who loves the outdoors and getting a little dirty in nature but would like a dose of outside time, glamping may be right up your alley, and you can glamp it up in a tent or an RV.
Glamping can also be done in a yurt, eco-lodge, hut, or treehouse and any other accommodation that feels extra. Glamping is essentially camping that includes amenities or luxuries not traditionally associated with camping.
Along with more comfortable accommodations, a glamping trip may include mood lighting, plush blanketing, 5-star meals and entertainment or services such as yoga, tai chi and massage. Glamping sites include one of the many premier U.S. National Parks, the African Safari and a winery.
Your next gay camping trip can be a combination of traditional camping and glamping made easier to travel from one to the other in an RV. To be sure, there are gay campsites, gay RV sites and gay glamping sites popping up all around the country.
But with all these options, how do you pick the right type of camping and campsite for you?
How to plan your first (or next) gay camping or gay RV trip?
Either we or your friends have you excited about going on a gay camping trip with the boyz. What’s next?
1. Decide what you want to get out of your nature vacation
First, decide on who’s going on your gay camping trip and what everyone wants and needs for this fabulous nature trip.
How many of you are going? Knowing whether it’s just you, maybe just you and that someone special or a gaggle of you will help you decide when, where and how to camp.
What does each of you like doing and what are you all comfortable doing? Some boyz just want a few good night’s sleep out in the fresh air with days spent reading, eating and talking around a campfire. Others may want to go hiking, inner tubing and even horseback riding. Some of you may be ready to become one with nature and get all dirty while others may freak at the first sight of a bug.
These are all important things to know.
2. Pick your activities
As we suggested, everyone may want to do something different or nothing on your camping trip. Nailing down what you all individually or as a group wants to do can help you decide where and how you’ll camp.
Do you want to go hiking, rafting or biking? Do you want to go swimming in a lake or river, or would you and your group prefer swimming in a pool? Are you looking for themed events and drag shows or a milder trip?
3. Pick the amenities your group needs
You can be an extreme camper like REI’s your favorite emporium, or you can glamp it up better than folks at a Motel 6. It’s entirely your call and one you and your camping mates will wanna make.
Do you require bathrooms, electric hookups and running water on-site? Will you need WiFi or can you and your boyz go totally off the grid? Do you all want a dining hall or restaurants or access to a spa? Do you want fire pits or grills? Do you need pet-friendly or are the bears already too scary?
You can really “camp” however you like, just pick what you want to narrow your search.
4. Budget for your fabulous gay camping trip
You had to know that we’d bring up budgeting for your gay camping trip. Look, we want you to have a fabulous, stress-free vacation and not return with a money hangover. So, budgeting’s important if for no other reason than to let all the bears, cubs, otters and wolves going on your nature adventure how much their participation costs.
There are several expenses to consider, but the most expensive will be the following.
Whether because your campground destination isn’t in your backyard or because RVs drink a ton of dinosaur juice, the cost to get you from home to your campsite and back home again will cost a pretty Lincoln.
The amount this will cost you is ultimately determined by what you’re driving and the cost of gas at the time. You can usually expect that the cost of gas in the warmer months, too, will be the most expensive gas all year round.
To find out how many miles per gallon your personal car or truck will cost you, check your owner’s manual. The average camper properly attached to the hitch of your car or truck will cost about an additional 7 miles per gallon. This, of course, is contingent on the weight, aerodynamics and size of the camper you rent or own.
The average motorhome gets between 6 – 10 miles per gallon with gas and 8 – 14 miles per gallon with diesel.
Multiply the average estimated miles per gallon by the quality of gas or diesel your vehicle requires and multiply that by the number of miles you’ll be driving. After all that math, you’ll have your estimated cost for gas or diesel for your camping trip.
2. Campground fees
The average nightly campsite fee is between $25 – $80 and can be as high as $300 depending on the site location, size and the season of your camping trip.
If you’ll be camping regularly – heck even if you’ll be camping once and then want to do a single additional hike in the same year – get an interagency or national park pass. The pass costs $80 with discounts for active military and seniors.
With the $80 fee, you’ll get access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites, including entrance fees, standard amenity fees and day-use fees for drivers and passengers. You’ll also get up to 50% off for special amenity fees, such as camping, swimming, boat launching and more.
For more information or to purchase your national park pass, click here.
3. Camper or RV rental fee
According to RVshare, you can get a camper for as little as $60 per night or a fabulous 27-foot motorhome that sleeps six people with all the amenities you could want for $1,700 a night.
As with food below, the sky’s really the limit. Of course, if you’re going with friends or family, you may want to split the cost.
Your camping menu can be as basic as water and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for as little as $5 a day per person or you can serve fire boiled lobster with your favorite New Zealand sauvignon blanc for over $80 a day per person. It’s really up to you. The fancier the pricier, though.
If you need to save money on your camping trip, your food budget is the first and most effective place to cut expenses. For most trips, it’s nice to have a healthy balance with one or two fancier breakfast and one or two fancier dinners and every other meal being somewhat basic.
Remember to total your food budget and divide it appropriately among all parties, so that the people or couples assigned the fancier meals don’t unfairly pay for everyone’s champagne tastes.
5. RV decorations and/or costumes
This might have you twerk your head a little, but these are expenses you should consider especially as they can be expensive.
If you’re going to Burning Man, celebrating Pride or your campgrounds hosting a theme night (there are a lot of theme nights), you’ll very likely want or need a costume. On many occasions, you’ll want to decorate your tent, camper or RV.
When the gays want to do it up (see Priscilla above), we don’t do it cheaply. And even when we do it cheaply, as Dolly says, looking cheap is expensive.
So, as ridiculous as it may sound, add a line item in your budget for decorations and costumes.
5. Reserve your camp or RV site
Once you figure what you, you and your main man or you and all your friends want and need out of your gay camping trip and you’ve narrowed down the campgrounds that meet your needs (we have a huge list below), it’s time to reserve your site.
There’s a good chance one or more of your camping buddies has recommendations either from their own experience or a recommendation. Starting with a recommendation’s always good. If you don’t have any recs or none of your recommendations work, use the complete list below to pick your spot.
Before you reserve or trek to your spot, be sure to call the campgrounds to confirm it’ll meet your needs and confirm availability. Depending on the time or year and location of your camping trip, it may be easy or next to impossible to get a reservation especially over holidays, such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, or if your group is large enough that you require multiple spots (ideally next to each other).
So, it’s wise to never just show up. In fact, some campgrounds require that you register in their database first.
When you talk with someone at the campgrounds or read its website, you’ll want to confirm the late arrival policy. You’ll want to know the window the campgrounds permit arrivals and plan your travel accordingly.
You’ll want to confirm the campgrounds you’ve chosen has accommodations for RVs if you plan on using an RV from RVshare here to make your trip a little more fabulous.
When confirming RV accommodations, confirm if there are any RV weight restrictions. Of course, you’ll want to confirm the weight restrictions of your RV before loading it up with all your valuables and perishables. You can weigh your loaded RV at a commercial truck stop near you.
You’ll also want to confirm where at the campgrounds is the dump station.
If you’re not going completely off the grid, and if you’re gay RVing you’re not going 100% off the grid, confirm with the campgrounds the available electricity at your reserved campsite and be clear on the electrical load your RV can handle. Most RVs are wired for 30 to 50 amps.
Gurlfriend can’t have her phone, air conditioner, toaster, TV and hairdryer plugged in use all at once.
6. Plan your camping menu
If you’ve ever camped before, you may wonder if camping is all about eating and, yes, it is.
The quiet and serenity of being out in nature, hearing the water and birds, seeing all the stars in the sky and disconnecting from tech is all awesome and stuff, but nothing beats a flame-cooked burger with a beer or a messy but delicious s’more.
So, yes, the food’s important and you’ll want to plan as such. With the right planning and preparation, you could eat almost anything you and your friend’s desire. We’ve seen some spreads as good as any buffet at any Golden Corral.
We’ve seen pancakes, skillet hash, oatmeal, tacos, ribeye steak, stews, paella, nachos grande, fresh fruit salad, s’mores and even ice cream bars.
The key is planning and preparation.
Once you’ve booked your camping site, you’ll know how many days and nights you’ll be there. That means you’ll know how many meals you’ll need to prepare.
Depending on how many people or couples are going, our gaggle assigns each couple or couple of people a dinner to make. Simply assign each group a night to prepare and serve dinner and have them tell you what they plan to make so you make sure you have a variety, and you can plan for any food restrictions.
Then, prepare in advance. Slicing, dicing and seasoning are always – always – easier and cleaner at home. Chop your fruits and vegetables at home and put them in an airtight sandwich bag. Slice and season your meats, make your burger patties, shell and devein your shrimp at home and store in an airtight sandwich bag. We prefer to store as much as possible in sandwich bags to save storage space.
In steal or plastic containers, you can prepare a signature cocktail for your camping trip. You can crack your breakfast eggs in advance and store the yolks until you’re ready to scramble your eggs on an open flame. The possibilities are endless with the right planning and preparation.
Especially if you’ll be camping for a few nights or more, you’ll want to store all your food properly. As such, coolers and ice are your friends. For that matter, confirm with your campgrounds if it sells ice or if there’s a convenience store nearby where you can buy ice. If neither option is available, eat your perishable foods first and save your less or non-perishable foods for later in your trip.
Of course, you may have ample food storage, including a refrigerator and freezer if you get an RV from RVshare.
Next, you want the right cooking tools for your outdoor cooking. As with cooking in your kitchen, having the right tools makes cooking outdoor easier and more enjoyable.
Again, knowing if your campground offers grills or firepits is helpful. In case your campground doesn’t have grates for open firepits, you’ll want to have your own. We have a comprehensive list below of all the cooking tools (and then some) you’ll need.
If it’s of interest and available to you, we’ve seen mega gay camping pros store all their cooking gear, seasoning and anything else they’d ever want for future camping trips in a storage container. This way, they don’t need to re-prepare for each camping trip and they’re less likely to forget something important. It’s a little disheartening when you’re out in no man’s land without a can opener and all you have are canned beans.
Why all you’d have left is canned beans or go to a land with no men is beyond us, but these things happen.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, you’ll want to have or have access to enough water. We consider water an ingredient, staple and tool. Experts suggest having at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day.
You’ll want more water to use for cooking, washing and cleaning. For example, you’ll want water to make a fresh batch of steel-cut oatmeal. You’ll also want water for people to wash their hands after using the bathroom or when cooking.
If your campgrounds and RV have water services, wonderful. If not, you’ll need to bring your own. Water’s nonnegotiable.
7. Pack all your (other) gear
The gear you’ll need will be contingent on where you’re camping, what you’ll be doing while you’re camping and whether you’ll be sleeping in a tent, RV or a yurt.
Whether you’re going with a tent, a pop-up gazebo or the back of your car, you’ll want some protection from the elements. If the weatherperson says there’s no chance of rain, there’s a 50% chance of rain and lightning. So, be prepared.
You’ll want to know where you’ll rest your head at night. While it may seem romantic to rest your head on your husband’s chest, at some point in the night he’ll push you off. So, have the appropriate bedding, pillows, blankets and all.
Speaking of sexy time, preparation’s a little different when you’re in the woods compared to in your tile bathroom. You’ll want to have your lubes, condoms, travel douche and distilled water.
Next, you’ll want your supply of necessary personal care items, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, soap, first aid kit and whatever else you’ll need to keep yourself tolerable to yourself and others.
Finally, you’ll want to follow the Burning Man ethos of “leaving no trace.” That means you’ll need trash bags, paper towels and napkins, bins to store dirty dishes and more.
We have a full and comprehensive list below for all the gear you could possibly need.
8. Plan the trip to your campsite
For most of your gay camping, gay glamping or gay RVing trips, you’ll have a reserved spot that’s all yours. If you’re only camping with a tent and a sleeping bag and need minimal gear, just throwing all your gear in the back of your car or truck and hitting the road is all you’ll need. If you’ll have more, you’ll have to do more.
First, you’ll want to know how to get to your campsite and how long it takes to get there. Keep in mind that some campgrounds are way off-road. So, it may only take a half hour to get to the campgrounds but could take an hour on a bumpy, dirty road to get to your campsite. Considering this, you’ll just want to be aware of the campground’s late arrival policy.
If you’re taking an RV, whether hitched to the back of your vehicle or one that’s drivable, you’ll want to map an RV-friendly route to your campsite. Remember that many roads on the way to campsites aren’t paved or aren’t paved well. Some roads have more overgrowth than others and, especially during the warmer months, you’re bound to hit road construction.
There are two rules of thumb for estimating your travel time in an RV:
- Use a 50-mile per hour estimate, or
- use the 3/300 rule, meaning drive 300 miles a day and plan to arrive at destination by 3 pm
These may feel like conservative estimates, but you’re just not going to drive an RV nearly as fast as you drive your car. Plus, considering earlier sunsets in forests and campground policies, arriving at your destination by 3 pm is optimal.
Extra considerations for RVing:
You’ll want to take into account some extra considerations if you’re renting an RV from RVshare here:
1. Pick the right RV for you and your trip
If this is your first time RVing, avoid an RV or camper that requires a hitch as they’re more complicated to maneuver. Of course, depending on your destination, a tall RV may be something you want to avoid, too.
This is why it’s super-important to be crystal clear on where you’re going and what you’re doing.
2. Book reservations far in advance
Because of their size and what’s required to store them, there are fewer RV sites than there are basic campsites. For that reason and especially during peak months, you’ll want to book your RV campsite far in advance or you risk not getting the dates or location you want.
3. Get RV insurance
You’ll want to ensure that your RV rental is appropriately insured. General car insurance does often cover some level or RV rental coverage. Check with your existing car insurance plan to be sure. You’ll want to make sure your car insurance covers your RV rental for liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.
Fortunately, RVshare’s standard insurance coverage is automatically included in your quote when booking an RV that’s covered by RVshare Rental Insurance that’s applied by the RV owner. Per RV Share:
Standard coverage of motorhome rentals includes:
- Up to $200,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV
- Free 24/7 roadside assistance and free towing and tire service
- State statutory limits of liability
Standard coverage of trailer rentals includes:
- Up to $200,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV
- Free 24/7 roadside assistance and free towing and tire service
Renters are covered in all 50 states and Canada and both renters and owners will be issued a certificate of insurance on a per rental basis.
4. Get travel insurance
You’re thinking, “Dudes, we’re going on a camping trip in the woods not an all-expenses-paid trip to PV.” True, but hear us out.
While booking a campsite in and of itself isn’t expensive, campgrounds often have strict cancellation policies – the summer months are competitive. Travel insurance will cover you.
While reimbursement for your campsite or RV rental won’t be huge, what could be huge is reimbursement for your camping gear. Camping gear’s expensive. Even if you’re borrowing a friend’s gear, you want to make the whole if anything you borrow is lost, damaged or stolen.
Proper travel insurance, such as baggage benefits, will reimburse you if your gear is lost, damaged or stolen in transit. So, if you have to fly somewhere first to get your RV rental to drive eight hours to your campsite, the gear, whether brand spanking new or new to you, will be insured from start to finish.
Finally, ever wonder what it costs those poor souls that are airlifted from the mountains by helicopter? It can cost upwards of $30,000 to $50,000. Do you have that kinda money? We don’t!
Though it’s rare, it happens. If you need an emergency evacuation of any kind from wherever in nature you are, travel insurance will cover you.
5. Maintain your RV before and during your trip
Before and during your trip, you’ll want to do a safety check of your RV. This means checking fluids and hoses, checking tire pressure and brakes, checking the security of your hitch if you have one and looking on the ground for any possible leaking.
Finally, as the RV will be bumpy and bouncy during your drive, you’ll want to make sure everything is bolted down or stored properly so as not to fall, spill or break, including anything that’s attached to the outside such as a ladder or bikes.
6. Get roadside assistance
Murphy’s Law says anything that can go wrong will. So, can you guess where your car, truck or RV will break down or get a flat? When you’re in the most inconvenient place. Do yourself and your boyz a solid and get roadside assistance.
Again, this is included in your RVshare rental coverage here.
9. Finally, check the weather
Being in nature is beautiful, but it’s no fun when nature’s in a bad mood. Be sure of where and what you’re headed into by being sure of the weather to and at your destination. Your smartphone likely has reliable weather reporting, but it’s also a good idea to check weather.com, NOAA and the Road Trucker Weather Forecast.
All the gear you’ll need for your big gay camping trip
Now that you know all you’ll need to know to prepare for your queer camping trip, you’ll want to be sure you don’t miss anything you may need to take with you. Below is our comprehensive list for your convenience.
Cooking tools to blur the lines between a gay camping trip and glamping
Baggies, bottle opener/corkscrew, bowls, cups, plates, mugs, stove and propane, can opener, cast iron pan, cooler/ice, cutting board, deep frying pan, dish bins, dish soap, dish sponge, dish towels, eating utensils, folding table, food storage, frying pan, grill brush, grill skewers, grill rack, heavy-duty foil, steak knives, chopping knives, long-handled spatula, long-handled tongs, mixing bowls, paper towels, percolator, pot holder, pot, scrapper, slotted spoon, small pot for cooking (1.5 Q), table cloth, table clamps
Personal care for you (and the ones you love)
Earplugs, pillows, sleeping bags, blankets, sleeping mask, clothes including rain gear, backpack, fanny pack, bikes, books, camera, journal, games, hammock, note pads, pens, water bottles, tote bags, shower caddy or bag, travel douche, anal lube, condoms, Calamine lotion or After Bite, comb/brush, contact solution, contacts, glasses, deodorant, first aid kit, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, lotion, pain reliever/medications, razor, camp shower, shampoo, conditioner, soap, shower flip flops, sunscreen, toilet paper, toothbrush, towels, washcloths, tweezers, lube
All the camping gear for the camping queer
Sleeping pad, small broom and dustpan, hammer, mat for RV entrance, tarp, ax, bug spray, bungee cord, camping chairs, clothespins, fire gloves, fire starter, firewood, flashlight, headlamp, lanterns, maps, matches, pocketknife, pop-up canopy, rope, solar charger, trash bags, bear spray, rainbow fire powder.
The 53 best gay camping sites and gay RV sites
Gay camping in Alabama
1. CampOut Alabama
Partners Jason and Matt (and Bear, their chocolate lab) had a spontaneously wild dream in 2017 and bought an abandoned gay campground that was up for sale. They have since set the bar for what a gay campground can be.
With their full calendar of fun and cheeky events, from fetish parties, bear weekend, Carnival and so much more, CampOut Alabama has it all. It accommodates campers, RVs and offers cabins. You can even get a pass for the day, though you probably won’t be squeeze in all the fun with the pond, creek, pool, hot tub, trails, dance club, clubhouse and so much more.
Call them at 334-684-0188.
2. Bluff Creek Falls Campground
This 21+, men’s only campground spans 44 acres in the Appalachian Mountains. Bluff Creek Falls is open all year round and is available for single-day visits and year-round living. Bring your tent, pull-through RV, camper or semi-tractor rigs, or stay in one of the 10 beautiful and rustic cabins.
Bluff Creek Falls offers a hot tub, pool, waterfall, trails and wide-open spaces. It, too, has a packed calendar that includes military and firemen weekends, Pride and Halloween parties.
For reservations, call 205-515-7882.
3. Wildwoods Hideaway
Wildwoods Hideaway is a men’s only campground for those 18 and over. With all the standard campground amenities such as trails, open spaces, grand pavilion, Wildwoods Hideaway also has an indoor/outdoor kitchen and bar, two hot tubs and two saltwater pools.
4. Lizard Landing Camp
Lizard Landing Camp is a gay-friendly, clothing-optional resort that sits on about 11.5 acres just near the Georgia border. It has a saltwater swimming pool and clubhouse. It offers primitive tent camping, deluxe cabins and 27 RV spots for RVs and campers.
For reservations, call 334-696-2047 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in Arizona
5. Copper Cactus Ranch
Copper Cactus Ranch is a 40-acre, men’s only for those 21 and over. The owners’, Bobby and Rich’s, mission is to offer a safe venue to enjoy male bonding and camaraderie in a comfortable and fun environment with the core values of kindness and respect for others.
With that, Cooper Cactus Ranch offers an outdoor pool, hot tub, gym, hiking, live band karaoke, a BYOB saloon and airport transportation.
For reservations, call 520-231-5034.
Gay camping in Arkansas
6. Magnetic Valley Retreat
Magnetic Valley Retreat is a private men’s-only, clothing-optional retreat in Eureka Springs in the Ozarks owned and managed by husbands Alvin and Charles. Amenities include a heated, saltwater pool, sundeck, 7-man hot tub, sauna, outdoor showers, fireplace, gas grill and pool table.
With a sizable LGBTQ community and numerous gay-owned and gay-friendly businesses; Eureka Springs offers shops, galleries, outdoor activities and a wide variety of restaurants, bars, live music and nightlife.
Stay for the day or the season. Rent one of the two duplexes, their three-suite house or park your RV on-site. For reservations, call 479-363-1143.
Gay camping in California
7. Highlands Resort
This LGBTQ and straight-friendly resort is located in the Russian River Wine Country in Sonoma County. What are the best reasons to go here? The LGBTQ-friendliness and the wine – it’s situated in over 250 different wineries.
Oh, and you can camp underneath the stars, too. With the hiking, biking and many outdoor activities, including swimming, along the Sonoma Coast, this is one place you’ll enjoy. Be sure to check out Gay Wine Weekend and the Rainbow Cattle Company.
There are limited spaces for camping with a tent and not spaces for campers or RVs. You can, however, rent one of the many beautiful cabins or rooms. For reservations, call 707-869-0333.
In the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree and Palm Springs sits Starland, an LGBTQIA inclusive resort for those 18 years and older. As a private not-for-profit organization, Starland Community’s residents and other volunteers serve as the keepers of the land, and the hosts to its members. It serves as a home base for Network for a New Culture, Radical Faeries, Burning Man and other groups and organizations.
Facilities include an assembly hall, a lodging house with a kitchen, dining room, lounge, sleeping room and restrooms, a large outdoor dining patio, labyrinth, shower building, hiking trails, several cabins, a trailer and ample space for tents and RVs.
For reservations, call 760-364-2069 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in Florida
9. Sawmill Camping Resort
This gay camping resort bills itself as a resort where camping meets nightlife and includes a clothing-optional pool, spacious campgrounds, Ricki Lake, zip lines, dancing at Woody’s Nightclub, smoking at Cigar Bar and drag shows on the Main Stage. With its hiking, volleyball, Withlacoochee River, themed parties and cabins, tent and RV sites, there’s literally something for everyone here.
Open year-round, you and your boyz can stay for the day or stay for a week. To learn more and reserve your spot, call 352-583-0664.
10. Vitambi Wilderness Resort & Camp
Vitambi is a tribal African term that means “pride.”
Vitambi is “primarily” an all-men’s resort for adults over 21. It hosts sites for tents and RVs and rents its cabins, bunkhouse and inn-style rooms. It offers the Bongo Bar, BOLO Café and a camping store, Safari Outfitters. Relax by the pool or enjoy one of the many, strictly monitored and controlled firepits, and Vitambi’s many themed events.
To book a single night or stay longer, call 863-983-8488.
11. Camp Mars
Cutely names Camp Mars in Venus, Florida, Camp Mars bill itself as the place to “find your planet”. Camp Mars offers a clothing-optional pool, rec hall parties, potluck dinners, bingo nights, dances with DJs, quiet trails and a beautiful night sky. It also offers a full calendar of themed weekends, including What’s in Your [Easter] Basket? and Wildlife Weekend to Tame the Beast Inside You.
You can go for a single day, go for a month, take your tent, RV or stay in a cabin. Your choice!
To book your reservation, call 863-699-6277.
12. Camp David
Camp David is a 16-acre campground that offers tent, camper and RV camping that serves mostly men and only those 18 and over – mostly older. The property is heavily wooded and includes three lakes, a hot tub, waterfall, fountain and wading pools, recreation hall with kitchen, basketball court and nature trails.
While Camp David does have full hookups for campers and RVs, the road into the main area is a bit arduous. To book your stay, call 352-344-445.
13. Sugarloaf Women’s Village
Sugarloaf Women’s Village is located in the Florida Keys. It was started by partners Barbara Deming and Jane Verlaine in the mid-70s. In 1999, it was turned into a land trust dedicating the property to all lesbians. It operates through a combination of donations and work exchange. It offers lush gardens and water features, as well as
Sugarloaf can accommodate tents, campers and RVs. It has two private rooms for rent in the community house and three private guest spaces. For more information or to schedule your stay or work exchange, 305-745-1281 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in Georgia
14. Oz Campground
Oz Campground sits on 150 acres and bills itself as “Georgia’s finest LGBTQ campground and resort.” It offers cabins, camper, RV sites and tent sites, hot showers, pool, hot tub, two bars, a 4,000 sq ft dance floor, hiking trails and themed weekends. From celebrating the Spring and Summer equinoxes to Lady Gaga’s birthday to Pride and men’s only weekends, there’s something here for everyone.
Oz caters to those 21 and older and you can stay for the day or stay for the week. To be your stay, call 478-892-2299.
15. Roy’s Hideaway
Roy’s Hideaway a lesbian and gay campground for those 21 and over. It boasts six freshwater lakes and springs, lakeside cabins, full RV hookups and tent sites for a single day or longer. Along with its pool, spa area and café, Roy’s Hideaway has a 4,000 sq ft stage, disco and DJ booth. In addition to its several nature trails, it has “rain forest showers”.
To book your stay, call 912-225-3900.
16. The River’s Edge
The River’s Edge is a gay-owned and operated, mostly men’s only, clothing optional resort 110 miles east of Atlanta. It offers short-term and long-term guests a clubhouse, game room with a pool table and darts, snack bar, general store, in-ground pool and 2,200-gallon in-ground and indoor hot tub.
The River’s Edge can accommodate tents, popup campers and RVs. It also offers a slew of cabins, cottages and refurbished campers. For reservations, call 706-213-8081.
17. In the Woods
In the Woods is a gay-owned, LGBTQ-friendly campground located in the rolling hills of Georgia’s upper Piedmont for those 19 years old and older. In the Woods offers 4.5 miles of nature trails, clubhouse, hot tub, inground pool, exercise rooms, themed weekends.
Bring your tent for both rustic sites and electric hookup, your camper, pop-up tent or RVs. RV sites with decks are also available. Rent a functioning RV or stay in one of the many cabins, dens or rent the bunkhouse.
Gay camping in Indiana
18. Camp Buckwood
This male and trans-friendly resort is a beautiful 48+ acre retreat in the rolling hills of historic northeastern Brown County, Indiana. With Buck’s Grill for food, The Pavilion for shaded (or shady) fun, Rusty’s event space, the beautiful Lake Shasta and wooded trails, laundry, heated pool, hot tub campers never need to leave Camp Buckwood once they’ve pitched their tents.
Camp Buckwood also accommodates tents and RVs and rents cabins. Unique to this list, Camp Buckwood offers pre-pitched glamping tents that are fully furnished and will make you ask yourself, “Am I really camping?”
To book your stay, call 812-597-2450.
19. Stag Run Club at Overlook Farm
Stag Run Club at Overlook Farm is a 50-acre working farm two and a half hours from Indy. The farm is home to horses, cows, chickens, ducks and other wildlife and you’re welcome to bring your horse (an actual Equus ferus caballus – not your husband). Campers are welcome to help work the farm if you’re so inclined.
Stag Run Club offers picnic tables, fire pits, a stone fireplace, alternative videos, stage, piano, pool table,
BYOB bar and a fully equipped kitchen, pool, hot tub, pastures, nature trails, woodlands and four ponds. They host bonfires, movies and hayrides, spelunking, canoeing and wine tasting.
Stag Run Club can accommodate tenters, campers and RVers. Pre-pitched tents and cabins are also available for the day or season. To reserve your spot, call either 812-844-5838 or 812-814-6969.
Gay camping in Kentucky
20. River Ridge Campground
River Ridge Campground is a men’s only (21 and older), clothing optional campground along the Licking River (no double entendre intended). It’s a campground and RV park where you can pitch your tent, pop the top of your camper or pop-up or park your RV and big rigs. River Ridge Campground also offers cabin rentals and has a dog park coming soon!
Of the many, many amenities, River Ridge Campground offers a pool, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, fishing, themed weekends and more. To schedule your trip, call 606-842-1385.
Gay camping in Maine
21. Twin Ponds Lodge
Twin Ponds Lodge is a “social club” of male naturists and men comfortable with male naturists and is a great place for gay men, though all men are welcome. It sits on 82-acres of fields and woods and has a 9,000 sq ft lodge, indoor heated pool, wood-fired sauna, hot tub, two ponds for swimming and fishing, volleyball, croquet, and nature trail.
Twin Ponds Lodge can accommodate tents, campers and RVs. It also offers cabins and even in-house rooms. To book your stay, call 207-437-200.
Gay camping in Michigan
22. Campit Outdoor Resort
Campit Outdoor Resort is a 33-acre, 22-cabin resort for LGBTQ adults only. It can accommodate tents, campers and RVs, or queer outdoors persons can rent one of the 22 cabins, bunkhouse or one of the refurbished vintage RVs on the site. Campit Outdoors Resort offers a clubhouse, rec hall, a game room, heated in-ground swimming pool, volleyball, horseshoes and popular nature trails.
To schedule your trip, call 269-543-4300.
23. Windover Women’s Resort
Windover Women’s Resort is a private resort for women 18 and over. It offers a heated in-ground swimming pool, tennis, dancing, campfires and themed events and is located near golf, boating, fishing, and water recreation sports. Windover Women’s Resort can accommodate tents, campers and RVs.
For reservations, call 989-375-2586.
24. CreekRidge Campground
CreekRidge Campground is a heavily wooded, 60-acre campground for men 21 years and older. It has hiking and walking trails, two ponds, a creek, a pool and a clubhouse. Membership’s required and day passes are available.
CreekRidge Campgrounds can accommodate tents, campers and RVs and offers cabins (basic and deluxe) and bunkhouse rooms. For booking, call 517-565-3800.
Gay camping in Missouri
25. Cactus Canyon Campgrounds & RV Resort
Cactus Canyon Campground is a 700+ acre campground in the heart of the Ozarks with woods, streams, prairies, waterfalls and natural pools for men (gay, straight and bi) 21-years old and over. Cactus Canyon is clothing-optional and offers hiking, swimming in the creek or in-ground pool, stream fishing, a sauna, hot tub, gazebo and a full-service café.
Rent one of the many cabins, stay in one of the nine dorm rooms or bring your tent, camper or RV. For more information or reservations, call 417-683-9199.
26. DawgWoodz Camp
At the foothills of the Ozarks sits the 65-acre DawgWoodz Camp, where men 21 and over can get away, get away and have a good time with other men. Owned by husbands, Greg and Tommy, offer a heated and cooled in-ground saltwater pool, pool table and darts in the game room, fire ring, charcoal grill, themed events, such as Masquerade Ball and Leather Run and food at Patsy Rae’s Café.
Stay in one of the many cabins, rough it in your tent or bring your camper or RV. For information and reservations, call 573-238-0144.
Sirenity Farms Campground is an all-male, clothing optional, 32-acre wooded retreat with a 2-acre lake, a pool, two hot tubs, cabins, their vintage or newer RVs for rent, and sites for tents and RV hookups. Fish, picnic, BBQ on the grills, meet new people, wander in the woods or take in any of the many attractions. Sirenity Farms is for men 21-years old and older. Owners Michael and Dennis would be happy if you stayed for the day or the season.
For reservations, call 314-320-7771 or 314-606-3770.
Gay camping in New Hampshire
28. Joe’s Hideaway Campground
Joe’s Hideaway Campground is a gay-owned and operated, men’s only camping facility for those 21 and older. It sits on 52 acres and offers a saltwater swimming pool, a recreation field with volleyball and horseshoes, themed events, picnic tables, a firepit and community campfires.
Joe’s accommodates primitive tenting, tenting with electrical and water hookup, popup campers and RVs. It also offers seasonal RV storage. Cabins are also available for rent.
For reservations, call (603) 495-1763 or (603) 680-1011 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in New Mexico
29. El Morro RV Park & Cabins
LGBTQ-friendly El Morro RV Park & Cabins sits beneath a sacred mesa and beside an ancient trail used for more than 10,000 years by those seeking community, sustainability, goods and medicines. Warm, sunny days and cool nights create the perfect atmosphere for hiking, biking, birding and fishing. Enjoy the Ancient Way Sculpture Walk, Timberlake Waterfalls, Timberlake Road Cliff Dwellings and Ramah Lake.
Spend the night in one of its mountain cabins, take your RV and stay in our full-service park, or camp in one of their private tent sites. For reservations, call 505-783-4612 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in New York
30. Jones Pond Campground & RV Park
Located in the rolling hills of the Genesee Valley in western New York is 117 acres of Jones Pond Campground & RV Park with a long history, including 31 years+ gay history. Enjoy hiking trails, a quick game of volleyball, the weekend dances, the 3-acres Jones Pond, the themed weekends, their pool, the Café at Jones Pond and the many themed weekends.
Stay in one of the beds in the bunkhouse, rent a cabin, pitch your tent or pop up your camper or park your trailer or RV. Book your stay by calling 585-567-8100 or email [email protected]
31. Easton Mountain
Amenities include a large pool, sauna, hot tub, massage, ponds, temple, library and more. For overnight, weekend, or longer stays, Easton Mountain has a variety of accommodations, including private rooms, semi-private rooms, rooms for four and dormitory-style rooms. Tent camping is also available in the warmer months with bathroom and shower access in the main lodge. For reservations, call 518-692-8023 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in North Carolina
32. Ash Grove Mountain Cabins & Camping
Ash Grove Mountain Cabins & Camping owned and operated by The Koppel Family boldly states it doesn’t “tolerate intolerance” of any shapes, sizes or shade. Hike, bike or fish. Take a plunge down Sliding Rock or enjoy the local waterfalls.
Ash Grove offers cabins, as well as sites for tent camping and RVs. To book your stay, call 828-885-7216.
33. Starlight Trailer Lodge
Starlight Trailer Lodge is a secure, 75-acre campground in the Globe Valley that encourages diversity, respects privacy, offers riverside campsites with electricity and water, some with full hookup and restrooms with showers. Started by Perry and Clay, it bills itself as the premier LGBTQ+ campground and tiny home community.
Enjoy the swimming pool, the lake, the John’s River for fishing or walk the nature trails. RV sites with full hookup and sites for camping are available or rent one of the cabins or tiny homes. To book your stay, call 828-795-0491 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in Ohio
34. Freedom Valley Campground
Freedom Valley Campground welcomes men of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds 21 and older. Amenities include RV and tent sites, rental cabins and bunkhouse, vintage and deluxe trailers, 2.5-acre fishing pond, dance hall, themed weekends, free Wi-Fi, shower house, fire pit, flush toilets, dump station and laundry facilities.
For reservations, call 330-627-3101.
35. Circle JJ Ranch
Circle JJ Ranch is the first gay campground in Ohio and is a 30-acre resort in the rolling hills of Ohio. Amenities include a private heated in-ground pool, hot tub with large deck, steam room, recreation room, pool table & darts, Club JJ Nightclub, picnic tables and picnic area, Koi pond, and gym with treadmill and tanning bed. Accommodations include sites for RVs, electric and water for tents, camping cabins, bunkhouse and lodge rooms.
Stay for the day, stay for a season. Groups rates available. For reservations, call 330-627-3101.
36. Susan B. Anthony Memorial Unrest Home
Susan B. Anthony Memorial Unrest Home is a women’s land trust 501(c)3 located in Millfield OH. Two years ago, it went from being women-only to a women-centered, LGBTQ-focused 150-acres land trust that has campgrounds, two rustic off-grid cabins, and RV camping (with electric) open to all LGBTQ+ folks and their allies for very reasonable suggested donation prices.
It has an outdoor kitchen, 2+ hours’ worth of trails, compost toilets, a swimming pond, and a picturesque creek running through the property. SuBAMUH, as it’s endearingly called, hosts feminist, women-centered, and ecological education, workshops, special events, and skills education for women, LGBTQ+ people, and allies.
For reservations, email [email protected]
Gay camping in Pennsylvania
37. Hillside Campground
Hillside is a secluded 45-acre campground with a shaded creek in heavily wooded, 235-acre Pennsylvania mountains with sites that can accommodate groups of up to 100 folks. It’s a men’s only, clothing optional, private resort with a pool, hiking trails, wooded playground, nightly bonfire, dancing at Club Inferno and breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Embers Café. Hillside is BYOB.
Hillside Campground can suit tents and popup campers but unfortunately can accommodate RVs. For reservations, call 570-756-2007.
38. Oneida Campground & Lodge
Oneida Campground & Lodge is the oldest continuously operated LGBT Campground in the USA, hosting LGBTQ campers since 1980.
Oneida has two ponds with a dock on East Lake, a heated, inground pool with a spill-over spa, Club “O” for dancing and regular themed weekends and nightly bonfires. It offers rustic sites for tents or sites with electricity and water for tents. You can also take your camper or RV.
For reservations, call 570-465-7011 or email [email protected]
39. Camp Davis Campground
Camp Davis is a private, gay-owned and operated, membership-only, clothing-optional campground for LGBTQIA+ people that sits on 29-acres in western Pennsylvania.
Theme weekends and nights are regulars here. This May they’re hosting “Happy Mother’s Day, Karen,” inspired by the worst mother in the world.
To book reservations for your tent, camper or RV or to reserve one of their many cabins, call 724-637-2402.
40. The Woods Campground
The Woods Campground is a private, members-only, gay and lesbian campground on 161-acres in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains for those over 18 years old. The Woods has streams, a 4-acre lake, and spacious campsites for tents, popups, campers and RVs to stay for the day or the season. For those who prefer, rent one of the 22 cabins or 3 park model homes.
The Woods offers hiking, lake swimming, volleyball, an inground pool, a fully loaded bar, dance club, hot tubs, bonfires, paddle boat and nature trails. For reservations, call (610) 377-9577 or email [email protected] Either way, you’ll be required to set up an account in The Woods Camping Resort’s database.
Gay camping in Tennessee
41. Timberfell Lodge, Resort & Campground
Timberfell is a gay camping resort and lodge with rooms, apartments, a bunk room and dining. It accommodates tents, campers and RVs and offers rooms in the Main Lodge, The Annex and The Barn and cabins for those who prefer more privacy. Room rates include breakfast and dinner with dessert. Guests are welcome to use the sauna, steam room and pool or enjoy a nature hike.
For reservations, call 423-234-0833 or email [email protected]
42. Whispering Oaks Retreat
Whispering Oaks is a men’s only, clothing-optional resort that sits in 400-acres of wooded mountains with streams and hiking trails. Amenities include a heated pool, hot tub, recreation center, common showers and restrooms, two bunkhouses, cabins, and a commercial kitchen for groups and special events.
Whispering Oaks offers an abundance of cabins or quests are welcome to take their tents for rustic camping, campers or RVs. For reservations, call 629-210-00 or email [email protected]
Sugar Creek Campground is a men’s only campground that features tent sites, RV hook-ups, studio rentals and bunk beds, a bar, volleyball, and plenty of field space, charcoal grills, bonfires, Willie Lickit’s bar and grill for live entertainment. For reservations, call 931-209-1000.
Gay camping in Texas
44. Circle J Guest Ranch
Circle J Guest Ranch is a rural event and campground/retreat for everyone, including LGBTQIA.
Circle J is 100+ acres of beautiful untouched wilderness, natural springs, and a 2-acre spring-fed pond for fishing, swimming, paddle boating, canoeing and a swimming pool, fishing kayaking and canoeing, horseback riding, bonfires, individual campfires and nature trails. Circle J is also a working cattle ranch. Grab snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Circle J Café.
Stay for the day, rough it in a tent, bring your camper or RV or rent one of the suites or bunkhouses. For reservations, call 903-479-4189 or email [email protected]
45. The Homestead at 3218
The Homestead at 3218 is a men’s only, clothing-optional resort in Crawford. Accommodations include fully furnished suites, bunk room beds, hostel-style sleeping cubicles, primitive campsites and RV pads (permanent & transient) with full hookups. Other amenities include a rec hall, steam room, pool table, charcoal grill, fire rings, picnic tables, outdoor movies, heated pool and Longwood Tavern.
For reservations, call 254-486-0032 or email [email protected]
46. Rainbow Ranch Campground
The Rainbow Ranch Campground is located on Lake Limestone and is the largest LGBTQ campground in Texas. It includes primitive tent sites (no water or electricity) tent sites with water and electric hookup, RV sites with full hookup, RV rentals, cabin rental or rent the house (sleeps up to 15 people). Other amenities include a swimming pool, hot showers, flush toilets, picnic tables, a 1,600 sq ft Pavilion, fire rings, pool table, big screen TV, themed weekends, nature trail, boats & canoes, 3 fishing piers, a sand volleyball court and a basketball court.
For reservations to stay for the day or the month, call 254-729-8484 or email [email protected]
47. Grizzly Pines
It can accommodate tents for rustic camping, tents for water and electric hookups, full hookups for RVs, cabin rentals and bunkbed rentals in the bunkhouse. Amenities include a large, inground swimming pool, themed events, Randy’s Big Gay Taco that serves much more than tacos, hot tub, massage therapy, fire pit and more.
To book your stay, either call 936-894-2030 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in Vermont
48. Tree Farm Campground
Tree Farm Campground is a 50-acre, 118-site campground located in a white pine forest. Ride your mountain bike, hike the forest trails and stay during the fall to enjoy the breath-taking colors of Vermont. Enjoy the community campfire, many family-friendly activities and the dog park. There’s a strong and proud beer community with abundant micro-breweries and brewpubs nearby.
Full hookups are available for RVs and large rigs, and tent sites are available. For reservations, call 802-885-2889 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in Virginia
CampOut is a private, members-only, women-only campground (boys under 5 are permitted) 96-acre campground where women can relax and enjoy themselves in safety. It’s situated between Richmond and Charlottesville and is home to the Virginia Women’s Music Festival.
CampOut includes Lake Towanda, an athletic field, sand volleyball, one basketball goal, miles of wooded hiking trails, plenty of recreational supplies, including frisbees, softball equipment, flag football, and horseshoes. Swimming and fishing in the lake, use of canoes and paddleboats, hiking trails, and heated showers are all free for our members. Nightly bonfires are available at the main fire circle and all campers are encouraged to spend the evening at the fire and meet new friends. CampOut is dog friendly to friendly, well-behaved dogs.
CampOut has been developed to offer comfortable spaces for tents, cars, RVs (minimal hookups available), or rustic cabin camping. For reservations, call 804-301-3553 or email [email protected]
Gay camping in Washington
50. Triangle Recreation Camp
Triangle Recreation Camp is a membership-only, volunteer-managed, LGBTQ campground in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. Triangle Recreation Camp is quite rustic with no WiFi, permanent toilets, shower facilities or running water and only a limited number of campers are permitted at one time with a maximum stay of 14-days in a row.
Rustic tenters and RVs are accommodated. Triangle Recreation Camp, also, offers tent camping next to the glacier-fed river. For reservations, email [email protected]
Gay camping in West Virginia
51. Roseland Resort & Campground
Roseland Resort & Campground is a gay-owned and operated resort for gay men over 21 years of age. It’s a 222-acre private resort in the rolling West Virginia forested hills and meadows. It features a heated swimming pool, 2 hot tubs, hiking trails, steam room, sauna and recreational facilities that include pool tables, darts and more. Relax in a hammock, make friends around the campfire or hike the 11 miles of nature trails.
The nightlife includes getting together at Town Hall for an evening of music and dancing. Eat at the Santa Fe SunDeck Bar, have dessert at the Cream! Coffee & Ice Cream Shop and have drinks at the Hayloft Lounge.
Rent a cabin or room or bed in the bunkhouse, stay in your tent, camper or RV. Group and military discounts are available. There are minimum stays for weekends and holidays. To book your visit, 304-455-3838 or email [email protected]
52. Rock Creek Camp Report
Rock Creek is a premier all-inclusive LGBTQ, members-only, camping experience located in the Appalachian woods for those 21 and older. Amenities include a pool, sauna, hot tub, lodge rooms, standard and deluxe cabins, RV and tent sites, indoor and outdoor bar areas, the Turnout Dance Hall with themed events such as Country Queens and Octo Bear Fest, swimming, hiking, biking, sightseeing and more.
For reservations, call 304-532-6022 or email [email protected]
53. Rainbow Country Resorts-Crystal Valley
Rainbow Country Resorts-Crystal Valley is a men’s outdoor retreat located in the Appalachian Mountains and is a perfect getaway for hiking and horseback riding. It boasts Crystal Valley Restaurant & Saloon primarily soured with local fruit, produce, meat and dairy, a dance floor and stage, artisan stalls, and an indoor arena and amphitheater.
Bring your tent, camper or RV or stay in one of the cabins, rooms or bunkbeds. For reservations, call 304-359-6833 or email [email protected]
If we’ve missed any LGBTQ-owned, operated and friendly campgrounds and RV resorts, please let us know.
With all that, you have everything you need to plan, schedule and enjoy the best gay camping trip ever.