The Ultimate Guide to RV Camping in Connecticut

Travel Inspiration

Connecticut may be a smaller state, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting to visit. In fact, we highly recommend a visit to this state to check out all of the amazing natural areas, historic sites, and other attractions it has to offer.

The best way to see Connecticut? By RV, of course! RV camping in Connecticut may not be the most popular option, but we definitely think it’s the best. It allows you to have your own space and be comfortable no matter where in the state you choose to roam.

All that said, it’s always best to go into any trip prepared, and an RV camping trip in Connecticut is no exception. That’s why we’ve created this guide to RVing in Connecticut. Read on to learn everything you need to know to plan a perfect getaway. 

Preparing for RV Camping

First, you will need to make the proper preparations. This involves ensuring you have the perfect RV and packing that RV with everything you need to have an amazing time. Don’t own an RV of your own? A Connecticut rental RV will do the trick just fine, and we’re here to help you figure out what to pack in it. 

Choosing the Right RV for Your Needs

Choosing a rental RV can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done so before. We recommend starting by deciding whether you’d like to drive the RV yourself or have someone deliver it for you. From there, think about whether you prefer a motorhome or a tow-behind rig. 

Once those things are settled, all you have to do is decide on things like floor plan and amenities, then find a rig that meets all of your qualifications and is within your budget. 

Packing Essentials for a Successful Trip

Onto the packing aspect of the preparations. Obviously, you will need the usual clothes and toothbrush, but because you’ll be camping, there is a whole list of stuff you might want to take along that normally wouldn’t make it into your suitcase. 

This is a very basic RV camping trip packing list to get you started:

  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Medications
  • First aid kit
  • Bug spray and sunscreen 
  • Tools
  • Entertainment (books, games, movies, toys for kids)
  • Outdoor recreation gear
  • Electronics and chargers
  • Pots, dans, and dishes
  • Paper towels
  • Groceries
  • Flashlights
  • Folding chairs
  • Bed sheets
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Pet gear
  • RV leveling blocks
  • Sewer hose and adapter
  • Freshwater hose
  • RV surge protector

For a more extensive list, check out this ultimate guide to packing an RV

Road in Connecticut

Considerations for Camping in Connecticut

While most RVing laws are pretty much the same from one state to the next, a few things do change once you cross state lines. For this reason, doing a bit of research to make sure you understand the rules of the road before you head out is always a good idea.

In Connecticut, the total length of your entire rig (including tow vehicle) should never exceed 65 feet. Trailers and motorhomes should be no more than 40 feet long and no more than 8.5 feet wide. 13.5 feet is the max height for any RV, and trailers over 4,000 lbs must be equipped with brakes. 

Trailers are not allowed to ride the Connecticut River ferry that runs between Chester and Hadlyme. Additionally, trailers may not drive on Wilbur Cross Parkway or Merritt Parkway. 

Finding Campgrounds

The next step? Finding a place to park that perfect rental rig, of course! There are a few great places for RV camping in Connecticut. These include luxury camping, urban camping, and camping in more natural settings for those who prefer to rough it a little bit. 

Keep reading to learn all about campgrounds in Connecticut!

Exploring Public Campgrounds in Connecticut

We’ll start by talking about public campgrounds in the state. In Connecticut, these include the many state park campgrounds. Pick one of these campgrounds if you like budget camping and/or being surrounded by nature. Just keep in mind, amenities will likely be minimal.

State Park Camping

Connecticut is home to 142 state parks and forests. Considering the fact that this is a smaller state, that number is pretty surprising, but it’s also absolutely fantastic, because it means loads of amazing camping opportunities!

Some of the best state parks in Connecticut include Black Rock State Park where you can camp right by the lake, along with the lovely Kettletown State Park. We also love Mashamoquet Brook State Park where you can swim, hike, and see historic sites. 

Exploring Private Campgrounds and RV Parks

Prefer something a bit more glamorous? Connecticut has you covered! This state has lots of private parks. You can try your hand at glamping or just enjoy having access to clean bathrooms with hot showers, laundry facilities, swimming pools, and dump stations

One of our favorite Connecticut RV parks is Sun Outdoorsy Mystic. Here you can camp in the adorable town of Mystic, where you can step back in time at Mystic Seaport Museum, check out the Mystic Aquarium, and wander the adorable downtown area. You’ll appreciate the full-hookup sites, sports courts, and clean restrooms and laundry facilities at this park. 

Salem Farms Campground is another good pick. This one is located in Salem, CT and offers free Wi-Fi and cable TV to all guests. The sites are big and shady and offer hookups. You’re sure to love the pool and onsite petting zoo, and everyone appreciates the ice cream stand on those hot summer days!

Boondocking in Connecticut

Lastly, there is the option of boondocking in Connecticut. Unfortunately, boondocking can be a bit more difficult to find in Connecticut than some other states, but there are a few gems out there. 

One of our favorite options is Beach Pond Boat Ramp near Voluntown, where you are camped right on the lake. We also appreciate the casino boondocking options such as Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort. 

Researching Campground Options and Making Reservations

Want to know more about your options for RV camping in Connecticut? We highly recommend using websites like Campspot, BookOutdoors, The Dyrt, and RoverPass to research and reserve campsites online. Families may also like the options offered by KOA and Jellystone. Meanwhile, folks who want a unique and memorable camping experience should turn to Hipcamp and Harvest Hosts

Mystic, Connecticut

Planning Your Itinerary

Now for the most fun part: planning your RV camping in Connecticut itinerary. There are tons of amazing things to see and do in this state. In fact, you could probably make two trips to the state and still not see it all. 

Whether you’re exploring the city of Hartford, following a hiking trail, or checking out historic sites, you’re gonna love this place!

Features and Attractions in Connecticut

One of the first things you should do after you arrive in Connecticut? Take a drive! Take in the beauty of the countryside and the lovely cities and make some stops at the state’s landmarks such as the Mark Twain House, Dinosaur State Park, and Gillette Castle State Park.

While you’re out, see if any of Connecticut’s national park sites are on your route. The New England National Scenic Trail is a lovely one that offers a great way to take in the natural beauty of the state. 

Festivals, Fairs, and Events in Alabama

One way to make sure your trip is extra fun is to plan the trip around one of the state’s awesome annual events. The Apple Festival in Salem happens in October and is a wonderful event to plan your trip around. If you visit during the month of March, you might consider heading to the Sugar Maple Festival in Hebron. Lastly, for summer visitors there is the inspiring International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven. 

Exploring Outdoor Activities

You will without a doubt want to spend at least some of your time immersing yourself in the beautiful natural areas found throughout the state. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to go about that!

Hiking, Biking and Nature Trails

If you enjoy hiking or biking your way through new places, you’ll be happy to hear that Connecticut is home to some wonderful trails. These are the perfect spots to wander into nature and enjoy the spectacular scenery. 

If hiking is your preferred activity,, we recommend the following trails:

Cyclists might check out these awesome trails:

See more great trails on AllTrails!

Fishing, Boating, and Water Activities

Looking to cool off? Want to enjoy something more novel? Head to the water! Connecticut is home to a number of bodies of water, making this an excellent state for fishing, kayaking, swimming, and more. 

Connecticut’s beaches are surprisingly diverse. You’ll find red sand beaches, black sand beaches, rocky beaches, and more. Fishing options in Connecticut include rivers, lakes, and some great fishing ponds. Meanwhile, Connecticut waterfalls include such beauties as Kent Falls in Kent Falls State Park and Buttermilk Falls in Allentown.

Wildlife Viewing and Photography

Wildlife in Connecticut is varied and tons of fun to go see. Some of the best places to see wildlife in this state are the many state parks and forests. Hammonasset Beach State Park, for instance, is the perfect place to see white-tailed deer, foxes, coyotes, marine life, and many birds of prey. More marine life can be seen off the shores of Silver Sands State Park, and Sleeping Giant State Park is home to black bears!

Family-Friendly Activities and Attractions

Wondering if you should take the kids along on your Connecticut RV adventure? Of course you should! 

There are plenty of awesome family-friendly activities and attractions in Connecticut. Visit the city of New Haven for an awesome ropes course and an interesting museum, check out the many Connecticut state parks, or make a point of learning about history. 

Historical Sites and Museums

One of the best ways to make the most of trips with kids? Include a little bit of learning. This doesn’t have to be dull. Instead, make it a fun, engaging, hands-on adventure that your kids won’t soon forget!

Connecticut’s many historic sites are perfect for learning while still having a fun time. We particularly like Weir Farm National Historical Park in Wilton. Here, you can wander the beautiful grounds while learning about impressionist artist J. Alden Weir. 

Another option? Head to a museum or two. Some of the best museums in Connecticut include the aforementioned Mystic Seaport Museum and Mark Twain House. We also love Kidcity Children’s Museum in Middletown and The Carousel Museum in Bristol. 

Amusement Park, Zoos, and Wildlife Refuges

Amusement parks are one of the very best ways to entertain the whole family while on vacation. Fortunately, Connecticut is home to some great amusement parks that are sure to please. 

Lake Compounce Theme Park is known as the state’s best amusement park, and it’s the oldest continuously running theme park in the country for a good reason. Meanwhile, Adventure Park at Storrs offers some different kinds of attractions that are perfect for the adventurous crowd. 

Prefer a zoo over an amusement park? Connecticut has plenty of those as well. The Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport is an amazing place to learn about animals, while the Riverside Reptile Education Center in Enfield is perfect for those reptile lovers out there, and Mystic Aquarium is tons of fun for viewing marine animals. 

Storm over lake while RV camping in Connecticut

Safety and Preparedness when RV Camping in Connecticut

It’s always best to head into any trip prepared for the worst. This will allow you to stay safe in the event of an animal encounter, natural disaster, or other unfortunate situation. 

Fortunately, it’s easy enough to stay safe when RV camping in Connecticut. The info below will help you do just that. 

Weather Conditions and Natural Disaster Preparedness

In Connecticut, hurricane season is from June 1st through November 30th. This does not mean you shouldn’t visit at all during this time. In fact, summertime is probably the best time to visit the state. That said, it does mean you should download a couple of good weather apps that offer push notifications and stay on top of the weather forecast. Have a “bug out” bag ready to go and get out of the way if a warning is issued.

In addition to hurricanes, Connecticut can also see flooding and even tornadoes in the summer, as well as blizzard conditions in the winter. Those weather apps will help you stay out of the way of these things as well. Always know where the nearest tornado shelter and evacuation routes are, and avoid parking your RV near bodies of water or in areas known for flooding. 

Wildlife Encounters and Precautions

We mentioned before that Connecticut is home to lots of wonderful wildlife. While this is great when you’re out wildlife watching, it can be scary if you find yourself face to face with a black bear, bobcat, moose, or rattlesnake.

To avoid meeting up with a bear or moose, try making plenty of noise as you hike. Bobcats can be avoided by skipping night hikes, and you should always watch your step to avoid stepping on snakes. Carrying bear spray might also help you feel safer. 

Of course, you never want to approach or feed the wildlife. If an animal seems like it needs help, don’t touch it or approach it. Instead, call in a professional.

More Inspiration for Your Connecticut Travels

As you can see, there are tons of amazing reasons to go RV camping in Connecticut, and you are going to have an absolutely fantastic time there. Need even more inspiration and ideas? Try the links below to learn about some more of our favorite spots in the state: