Tips for those Last Minute Camping Trips

Last-minute camping trips can be fun if you think through the details and set yourself up for success.

The freedom of owning an RV is being able to just hitch up go.  Every trip does not have to be a bucket list extravaganza.  Sometimes, it is fun and worthwhile to plan a spontaneous adventure.  It may seem like it is not worth the work, but you can do this with much less effort than you think.  What are my tips for a last-minute campout?

Keep Necessities on Hand

The best way to make that spur of the moment trip happen is to keep your RV ready to go.  Keep your linens clean and on hand.   Wash and restock after each trip so that you can take a trip without so much work to get there.  Keep your basic necessities in stock.  As you deplete your RV toilet paper or cleaning products, order them while on the go.  If you have the basics, you can always travel simply while having what you need.

Plan for meals using ingredients and items you have on hand.

Simple Meals

If you decide to take a last-minute trip, make it easy on yourself.  Look around your house and grab meal items that you have without having to shop.  Some ideas might include:
  • breakfast for dinner one night
  • oatmeal or cereal options you have in your pantry for breakfast
  • soup and sandwiches - canned soup and grilled cheese
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • crackers and peanut butter  or crackers and cheese for snacks
  • Fruit that you have on hand
  • Potatoes for a baked potato bar
  • Pasta sauce and noodles
  • Even ramen noodles with do!
Who cares!?  Sometimes the most simple meals taste the best eaten outdoors around the campfire.  And if you don't have a lot of groceries on hand, order them from a local store and pick them up on your way.  Or, just eat out!  There is no rule that says you have to cook.

Camping is a way to totally change the everyday humdrum of life!


Each person in our house has a set of packing cubes.  I put our clothes into the cubes and put them into the RV the week we plan to go.  Grab up whatever you have washed and ready.  It doesn't have to be a fashion show.  Better yet, tell everyone to grab 2 outfits, underwear, socks and pajamas and let's go.  Be sure to check the weather.  But, as long as you have clean clothes for the season you are in, just enjoy the time outdoors and don't worry about anything else.


If you are planning a last-minute trip, stick close to home.  This could be somewhere as close as 15 minutes from your home if you are lucky.  If you are up for a longer drive, do it.  But remember that farther isn't always better.  Many times, we skip the campgrounds closest to home because we want to venture farther.  The best way to get a reluctant traveler to be willing to participate in a repeat trip is to make it as stress-free as possible.

Set-Up and Take Down

Don't feel like you have to pull out all of the stops.  If you are taking a last-minute trip, just enjoy being outdoors.  Build a fire but skip the awning lights.  Don't feel like you have to set up whole glamping set up for a spur of the moment trip!

Inn Town Campground in Nevada City, California offers glamping tent rentals.  We camped there even though we didn't bring our camper or gear.

Consider Cabin Options

And if you are itching to camp but it is winterized or you don't want to tow it, rent a cabin, yurt, glamping tent or other alternative solution.  There are lots of private campgrounds now that offer vintage campers for rent on-site that are already set up.  Cabins are readily available at many state parks and private campgrounds.  And glamping tents and yurts are becoming more common.  Glamping tent companies cater to those that want a comfy camping experience without bringing all of the setup and gear.  So, take advantage of these options.

Anyone can find a great place to prop your feet up and rest with a little creativity.


Just realize that last-minute trips may not provide you with a dreamy spot during peak season without cancellations.  Be prepared to be flexible.  Get creative.  This might be a time where you could do dry camping or boondocking.  If you have friends or family with a beautiful property, set up camp there!  Maybe you want to try out Harvest Hosts.  The timing might limit some locations, but it is always worth trying.

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