The Ultimate Guide to RV Camping in Louisiana

Travel Inspiration

RV camping in Louisiana is a fantastic vacation option that everyone should consider at least once. Traveling in an RV allows you the freedom to really explore off the beaten path while also seeing all of the popular attractions in the cities. We recommend hopping around the state in your RV in order to see as much as possible.

Of course, planning a trip requires a bit of research, and this is even more true when it comes to RV travel. For this reason, we highly recommend using this Louisiana travel guide to plan your getaway. This will ensure you have a blast while RV camping in Louisiana.

Preparing for RV Camping

First things first, you have to get ready to go. You’ll need a comfy RV to stay in, as well as all the gear required for a successful camping trip. If you already have your own RV, you’re likely all set. If not, you will want to grab a Louisiana RV rental for the trip. 

Choosing the Right RV for Your Needs

Not sure what you’re looking for when it comes to RVs? We get it; choosing a rig can be a bit overwhelming. The best thing to do at the start is narrow down your choices based on your needs. 

First, ask yourself if you’d rather drive the rig or have it delivered. If you wish to drive, do you have the ability to tow a trailer, or will a motorhome be necessary? Just answering these few questions could narrow your options significantly.

From there, think about what size you’d like your RV to be, keeping in mind the size of your campsite and the size of your travel party. Think about what sorts of floor plans might work and how many sleeping spaces you need. Of course, price, amenities, and items included in the rental should also be considered. 

Packing Essentials for a Successful Trip

Some RV rentals include certain items such as linens and camp chairs. Whatever your rental doesn’t include will need to be packed by you. Not sure where to begin packing for an RV camping trip? The list below will help 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, pans, 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

The list above is pretty basic and you’ll likely need to add to it. If you aren’t sure what else you might need, check out this RV packing list.

Remote gravel road in Louisiana

Considerations for Camping in Louisiana

Like every other state, Louisiana has its own set of laws regarding driving an RV as well as RV camping in the state. Knowing these laws before you cross the state border is always the best course of action, so we’re going to lay them out for you here. 

In Louisiana, no rig may exceed 65 feet in total length. Trailers must be 30 feet long or shorter, and motorhomes can’t be more than 45 feet long. 8.5 feet is the max width for all RVs, and 13.5 feet is the max height. Triple towing is allowed, but only if the total length is 70 feet or less. 

Trailers must have a safety chain if over 6,000 pounds, and a breakaway switch if over 3,000 pounds. Overnight parking is allowed in some state rest areas, but signage must be obeyed. 

Finding Campgrounds

Now it’s time to find a place to stay while in Louisiana. This state is home to a wide variety of campgrounds, including luxury campgrounds, state park campgrounds, and even campgrounds located right in the middle of the city. This is great because it means no matter what your camping style happens to be, you’ll find a great place to stay. 

Exploring Public Campgrounds in Louisiana

Let’s start by discussing the state’s public campgrounds. In Louisiana, these include state parks as well as national forest camping. All of these options are ideal for those who like to park their RVs in gorgeous natural areas. 

National Forest Camping

Kisatchie National Forest is the perfect place to escape into nature while in Louisiana. This beautiful forest provides all kinds of amazing outdoor recreation opportunities. Hiking is popular throughout the forest and fishing is plentiful. You’ll also find a lot of great camping spots in the forest.

One of the best places to go RV camping in Kisatchie National Forest is Valentine Lake Recreation Complex. Here, you’ll find 14 campsites, great fishing, access to trails, and more. 

State Park Camping

Louisiana state parks are also pretty fantastic for campers. These parks are just lovely and offer some pretty surprising amenities in their campgrounds. Best of all, some of the state parks are very near area attractions, meaning you can escape into nature while still seeing the sights.

Our favorite Louisiana State Park for camping is Bayou Segnette State Park. This park is located just outside of New Orleans and features some beautiful wetlands with walking paths throughout, as well as a wave pool and opportunities for boating and fishing. The campground features partial-hookup sites, a dump station, a clean boathouse, and even laundry facilities. 

Exploring Private Campgrounds and RV Parks

Private campgrounds are another great option when RV camping in Louisiana. They provide a variety of options, from simple campgrounds with nothing more than a dump station to impressive glamping resorts. This makes finding the perfect Louisiana campground a cinch. 

Cajun Palms RV Resort in Henderson is one of our favorite RV parks in the state. This place offers guests cable TV, an onsite store, a resort-style pool, a bar, a workout facility, an arcade, and more. It’s a truly relaxing place to stay. 

Another great option? Three Oaks and a Pine RV Park, which is located just five miles from the famous French Quarter. This park features full-hookup sites, free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and a laundry room. The public transportation right across the street is pretty awesome as well!

Boondocking in Louisiana

Those who like to disappear into nature (or want to save money) should look into Louisiana boondocking. While there isn’t a ton of boondocking in the state, there is some to be found, and what’s out there is pretty nice. 

Our favorite option? Pearson Camp in Kisatchie National Forest. This is a designated Hunter’s Camp, but can be used by anyone. Vault toilets are the only amenity, but it is private and the price can’t be beat!

Researching Campground Options and Making Reservations

For even more suggestions, we recommend heading over to Hipcamp. You can also try RoverPass, Campspot, and BookOutdoors for suggestions and to book online. Those looking for unusual places to camp might appreciate Harvest Hosts, and families with kids should check out Jellystone parks

Cool building in New Orleans

Planning Your Itinerary

Now for the most fun part: planning your itinerary. We absolutely love the variety of awesome things to do in Louisiana, and we’re betting you will too. Whether you’re looking to explore New Orleans and all it has to offer or head out into nature, there is something for you. 

Features and Attractions in Louisiana

One of our favorite ways to start any trip is by taking a drive. This allows us to take in the sights and get acquainted with the new area. Of course, it’s an added bonus if it’s a beautiful drive on a scenic byway. For this, we recommend the Bayou Teche National Scenic Byway, the Cane River National Heritage Trail Scenic Byway, and the Boom or Bust National Scenic Byway.

Whether you see them while out on your drive or another time, Louisiana landmarks should also be part of your plan. Make time for the James H. Dillard House, the Galilee House, or the George Washington Gable House if you’re in the NOLA area, and you can check out the USS Kidd if you’re in Baton Rouge. 

Some of the best landmarks in any state are the NPS sites. In Louisiana, we recommend checking out the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, Poverty Point National Monument, and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

Festivals, Fairs, and Events in Louisiana

What about adding an event into the mix for even more fun? Louisiana has a variety of awesome annual events to choose from, and working one into your trip itinerary is sure to leave you with lots of happy memories. 

The best events in Louisiana include Mardi Gras in NOLA (or pretty much anywhere in the state), the Louisiana Catfish Festival in Des Allemands, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge, and the International Rice Festival in Crowley. 

Exploring Outdoor Activities

Want to get outside? Not to worry, there are plenty of opportunities to do that. No matter what kinds of outdoor activities you prefer, we’re betting you find something to suit your fancy while in Louisiana. 

Hiking, Biking and Nature Trails

Trails are plentiful in Louisiana. From simple walking paths to hiking trails to trails meant for bicycles, there are tons of great options for immersing yourself in Louisiana nature. 

If you’re a hiker, we recommend trying one of the trails below:

The following trails are good for cyclists:

Not sure any of these fit the bill? Heading to AllTrails and using the search filters to find the perfect trail for you is very easy to do. 

Fishing, Boating, and Water Activities

Feeling a bit hot? Hop in the water to cool off! Louisiana has tons of great bodies of water. These are ideal for cooling off in the incredibly hot summer months, but are also great for fishing and boating. 

If you want to try some fishing while in Louisiana, you’re in luck. The state has lots of good fishing spots. Caney Lake is one favorite place to fish and is the place to go for largemouth bass, yellow bass, crappie, and bluegill. If you find yourself in northwest Louisiana, you can also try Caddo Lake in Caddo Lake State Park. 

Looking for beaches in Louisiana? There are plenty of those as well. For a lake beach with onsite camping, head to South Toledo Bend State Park. Meanwhile, those who prefer an ocean beach might try Holly Beach along the Gulf Coast. 

Finally, we must mention the state’s waterfalls. The Clark Creek Natural Area waterfalls are some of our favorites and well worth seeking out. We also love Rock Falls and St. Mary’s Falls in the J.C. Gilbert Wildlife Management Area. 

Wildlife Viewing and Photography

We’ve already mentioned many of the state’s natural areas. Any one of these would be a fantastic place to see local flora and fauna. You could also check out Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, or Clack Bayou National Wildlife Refuge. 

While you’re out, keep your eyes peeled for alligators, raccoons, bobcats, black bears, snakes, and many different kinds of birds. 

Family-Friendly Activities and Attractions

If you’re traveling with kids, you will absolutely want to make sure to check out some of Louisiana’s family-friendly attractions. These can be found in Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and everywhere else in the state, and can include everything from historic sites to amusement parks, meaning you should easily find some attractions the whole family can enjoy together. 

Historical Sites and Museums

Roadschooling (or learning as you travel) is fun even if you can’t do it full time. Why not try to squeeze a bit of education into your time in Louisiana?

Some of the best educational attractions the state has to offer are the aforementioned NPS sites. The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park is perfect for music-lovers of all ages, and Cane River Creole National Historical Park provides an awesome history lesson. 

Museums also provide excellent learning opportunities while keeping things fun. Some of the best museums in Louisiana include: 

  • The National WWII Museum in New Orleans
  • New Orleans Pharmacy Museum in New Orleans
  • Whitney Plantation in Wallace
  • Sci-Port Discovery center in Shreveport
  • Mardi Gras World in New Orleans

Amusement Park, Zoos, and Wildlife Refuges

Amusement parks are another excellent family attraction option in Louisiana. We appreciate that everyone from the littlest toddler to the adults can enjoy amusement parks together. The best amusement parks in Louisiana are probably Dixie Landin’ and Blue Bayou in Baton Rouge, but any of them would provide a good time. 

We also highly recommend zoos to families traveling together. When in Louisiana, you’ll find the Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans, BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo in Baton Rouge, and the Shreveport Aquarium in Shreveport. 

Alligator: watch out for these while RV camping in Louisiana

Safety and Preparedness when RV Camping in Louisiana

Obviously, you will want to ensure you are safe while RV camping in Louisiana. Packing a first aid kit is a good first step, and driving carefully will certainly help as well. But what about natural disasters and wild animals? Well, you can go in prepared for those as well. 

Weather Conditions and Natural Disaster Preparedness

In terms of severe weather, Louisiana can see anything from tornadoes to hurricanes to winter storms. We recommend sticking to summer travel to avoid the winter storms, but when it comes to avoiding tornadoes and hurricanes, you will need to do a bit more. 

Downloading a couple of good weather apps and paying attention to push notifications will ensure you know about any impending storms. If a hurricane is headed your way, simply pack up the RV and get out of the way of it. If a tornado warning is issued, grab a radio, flashlight, and some food and water, then head to a tornado shelter. 

You will also want to avoid parking in areas that are known to flood, as the state does see quite a bit of flooding. This is especially important if rain is in the forecast. 

Wildlife Encounters and Precautions

As far as animals go, you’ll want to keep an eye out for gators, bears, bobcats, and venomous snakes. 

Watch your step to avoid stepping on snakes, and if you do come across one, back away slowly without making any sudden movements. If a snake does bite you, be sure to seek professional help.

When it comes to gators, stay out of waters where they have been spotted. If you come across a gator, avoid startling them and back away slowly. 

Bears and bobcats can generally be avoided by making plenty of noise as you hike to let them know you are there. If a bobcat does happen to be in your path, make noise to scare it away while backing away. If a bear is in your path, raise your arms to look big, back away slowly, and get your bear spray ready in case it decides to charge. 

More Inspiration for Your Louisiana Travels

Louisiana is a wild and wonderful place, and RV camping in Louisiana is an incredible experience. Hopefully our article provided enough information to get your plans going, but if you need more help you can always use the handy links below: