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Ohio RV Camping and Campgrounds

Ohio has a wide variety of RV camping locations with spectacular scenery, solitude, and interesting history. From the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, there are great camping destinations across Ohio. Public lands and private RV parks and campgrounds offer a wide range of camping facilities from full service RV hookup campsites to remote primitive camping (boondocking) locations. Industrial reclamation lands offer public camping, and county and municipal parks have campgrounds that are great for RV camping.

Ohio Private RV Parks and Campgrounds

Private RV Parks - Research tools for finding the best privately owned RV parks and campgrounds in Ohio.

Federal RV Camping Information

  • US Forest Service - Official USFS information about RV camping in the Hoosier National Forest in Ohio. Free dispersed RV camping (boondocking) is permitted on lands managed by the USFS. Includes public campground information.
  • US Army Corps of Engineers - USACE/COE information about COE lakes and RV camping opportunities in Ohio.
  • National Park Service - NPS information about Ohio National Park Service administered lands. There are no NPS campgrounds in Ohio.

State RV Camping Information

  • Ohio State Parks - Information about RV camping and campgrounds in Ohio.
  • Ohio State Forests - Information about RV camping opportunities at several state forests. Designated primitive campgrounds are great for smaller RVs and tents.
  • Official Ohio Tourism Website - Where to go, and what to do in Ohio. Includes RV camping locations and travel planning ideas.

AEP Recreation Lands

American Electric Power - Offers free camping and recreation opportunities. Free permit available online, directions, and information.

Campground Reservations

Camping Reservations - Make your Ohio RV camping Ohio Federal campground reservations and your campsite will be waiting for you when you arrive.

RV Dump Stations In Ohio

Free RV Camping In Ohio

Public land offers free dispersed RV camping (boondocking) opportunities. You can get camping location tips from the USFS (USDA Forest Service) Ranger Districts, as well as current restrictions and conditions. Several municipal parks offer limited stay free RV camping as well. Boondocking and Dispersed Camping has more information about how to find the best RV remote camping sites on public lands.

The following are just a few examples of free RV camping locations available throughout Ohio.

LECTA Lecta RV Camping Location Map
Free RV camping is permitted at the USDA designated Timbre Ridge Lake. There are no designated campsites, but a vault toilet is available. Great boondocking location.

NEW MATAMORAS New Matamoras RV Camping Location Map
Free RV camping is allowed at the USDA Haught Run Campground. From Interstate 77, take Exit 1 (S.R. #7). Go towards Marietta on S.R. 7. Turn right at Acme Street (the first light). Acme St. ends at Greene Street. Turn right on Greene St. (S.R. 26). This campground is approximately 14 miles north of Marietta. There is a vault toilet and 4 designated primitive campsites.

RUTLAND Rutland RV Camping Location Map
One of several free camping locations provided by American Electric Power is the 6,600 acre Gavin Wildlife Area. There are some small ponds and streams in the area open to hunting, fishing, and primitive camping. No camping/recreation permit is required. Map.

Ohio Public Campgrounds

Ohio public campgrounds are great destinations for RV camping trips. Located throughout the state, USDA Forest Service, State Parks, State Forests, and USACE/COE (US Army Corps of Engineers) offer facilities from primitive campsites to full hookup campgrounds.

The following are only a few examples of the great public camping opportunities available in Ohio.

BERLIN CENTER Berlin Center RV Camping Location Map
Mill Creek Campground located on Berlin Lake is a US Army Corp of Engineers managed facility. Both electric and non electric campsites are available as well as RV dump station. Recreation opportunities include a playground, group camping area, boating and fishing.

BLOOMINGDALE Bloomingdale RV Camping Location Map
The Harrison State Forest offers two campgrounds equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets. No water is available. Seven family campsites are located at Ronsheim Campground while 20 sites accommodating family and/or horse campers are available at the Trailriders Campground. No fee!

FAYETTE Fayette RV Camping Location Map
The Harrison Lake State Park has a 173 campsites, 152 available with electricity. Showers, flush toilets and an RV dump station is available. This park is popular for swimming, fishing, camping and canoeing.

IRONTON Ironton RV Camping Location Map
The Iron Ridge Campground offers reservable RV camping campsites, most with electricity. This family campground is located on a ridge above Lake Vesuvius and has drinking water and vault toilets. Special rules apply during Ohio gun hunting season.

MARIETTA Marietta RV Camping Location Map
The Leith Run Recreation Area is a multi-purpose area on the banks of the Ohio River. RV and tent campsites have electricity available as well as drinking water and flush toilets. Popular area and reservations are suggested.

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Federal Public Land
RV Camping Information

USFS (US Forest Service) - Describes USFS policies and rules about RV camping. Information about dispersed camping, and tips on how to find great free RV camping sites.

NPS (National Park Service) - General information about RV camping and campgrounds in US National Parks. With campgrounds in the most historic and scenic places in the country, the NPS offers some of the best places for RV camping.

USACE/COE (US Army Corp of Engineers) - USACE (perhaps better know as COE) manages water recreation areas throughout the USA. Information about finding USACE lakes, RV camping possibilities, and rules and policies for use of these water based recreation areas is included.

Family RV Camping

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RV Camping Ideas In Ohio

Here's a list of places to consider when looking for a free overnight RV camping or parking location in Ohio. We always recommend asking for overnight RV parking permission when looking for a free spot to spend the night. The smaller your RV, the better chances you will have finding places to stay if you choose not to ask permission. If you don't ask permission, you end up "sneaking" into places and hoping nobody bothers you or issues you a trespassing ticket before you move on.

Be smart and Be Safe...Ask Permission.

  • Truck Stops - Asking permission is usually not a requirement Be considerate of the big rigs!
  • Walmart - Not all stores allow overnight RV parking in Ohio due to city ordinances. Check store for policy.
  • Nightclubs - Had one too many or just pretending?
  • Grain Elevators - Ask where you can park your RV out of the way for the night.
  • Fraternal Organizations - VFW, Elks etc. may allow members free overnight RV camping.
  • Cemetery - Sounds creepy to us, but we've also heard they may have water available.
  • Fairgrounds - State and County facilities may allow RV camping when not otherwise in use.
  • Parks - City, County, State, and Community parks often have free RV camping.
  • Churches - You can almost make "reservations" by calling ahead for permission.
  • Hotel Parking Lots - Assuming a nightclub/bar is inside, had one too many or just pretending?
  • Truck Terminals - Parking areas for large trucks might allow you free RV camping permission.
  • RV Dealers - Pretty brave to us, but you could fit right in.
  • Cracker Barrel - These nationwide restaurants usually allow free overnight RV parking.
  • Movie Theaters - Too tired to drive home after the late show?
  • Highway Rest Areas - All rest areas allow a few hours of free RV parking, but noisy.
  • Drive In Movies - Got a small RV, park in the back row and enjoy the show. Fell asleep by accident right?
  • Vehicle Repair Shops - Need to see the repairman first thing in the morning?
  • Big Box Retailers - Kmart, Best Buy, Sams Club often allow free RV camping.
  • Roadside Parks & Picnic Areas - The early day version of the rest area.

As you can see, there are a lot of free RV camping and parking possibilities in Ohio. If you are not asking permission, it's best to keep a very low profile. If your RV has slide outs, jacks and TV antennas, don't use them so as not to draw attention to yourself. Consider your surroundings carefully and if you feel uncomfortable with the area, move somewhere else.

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