The Ultimate Guide to RV Camping in Indiana

State Travel Guides

RV camping in Indiana is a great way to explore the state and all of the amazing things it has to offer. Whether you prefer exploring cities with their museums and amusement parks, or you like sticking to beautiful natural areas instead, there’s sure to be something for you to fall in love with in Indiana, and the ability to hop from one spot to another and stay in the middle of nowhere in complete comfort really can’t be beat.

Of course, you will want to do a bit of planning before you go RV camping in Indiana. That’s where this state travel guide comes into play. Below, we’ve gathered all the info you need to plan an amazing trip so you can get through the planning process and out on the road faster. 

Preparing for RV Camping

First, you will need to make a few preparations. Finding an RV to stay in is the first step, and packing that RV comes soon after. In this section, we will help you ensure you are fully prepared to hit the road when the time comes. 

Choosing the Right RV for Your Needs

Obviously, if you have an RV of your own, you will most assuredly take that when you go RV camping in Indiana (unless other plans come up for whatever reason). That said, many people don’t own RVs. That’s where our fantastic Indiana RV rentals come into play.

To choose the perfect rental RV, decide whether you prefer to drive the RV yourself or have it delivered. If delivery is your preference, make sure to narrow your options down to the deliverable rigs. 

Want to drive the rental yourself? You’ll need to determine whether you have a vehicle that is capable of towing. If not, a motorhome is a must-have. 

Other things to consider include the size of the RV (because many people aren’t comfortable with driving big rigs), the floor plan, and the amenities included. You might also want to find out what sorts of items are included in the rental. 

Packing Essentials for a Successful Trip

Anything that isn’t included with the rental will of course need to be packed by you. Clearly, this includes things like clothing and a toothbrush, but there are a number of other camping essentials you will want to pack as well. 

Below is a very basic RV 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, 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

This list is far from comprehensive, so be sure to add extra odds and ends to it as you see fit. Not sure what you might need to add? This article can help!

Road in Indiana

Considerations for Camping in Indiana

For the most part, RV camping from one state to the next doesn’t change all that much. That said, there are always some small differences when you travel into a new state. For this reason, we recommend checking into the RV laws and guidelines for Indiana before you hit the road. 

For example, those who are RV camping in Indiana must keep their entire rig (including tow vehicle) under 60 feet in length. Trailers should never exceed 28.5 feet long (which is relatively short) and motorhomes should be 45 feet long or shorter. All rigs must be no more than 8.5 feet wide, and the height of an RV must never exceed 13.5 feet. 

Want to tow a trailer behind a trailer? You can do that in Indiana, but make sure you’re being safe about it. Additionally, overnight parking is allowed in state rest areas, giving you quick and easy places to stop for the night on those long stretches. 

Finding Campgrounds

Next on the list of preparations? Finding the perfect Indiana campground. Fortunately, this state boasts a wide variety of RV camping options. Whether you prefer luxury RV parks, city camping, or boondocking in the middle of nowhere, you’ll find something you love. 

Exploring Public Campgrounds in Indiana

The first campgrounds we will discuss are the public campgrounds in Indiana. These include some beautiful state parks as well as national park camping and national forest camping. These options might provide fewer amenities than some RV parks, but they are typically much more affordable and offer some of the best scenery. 

National Park Camping

Let’s start by talking about Indiana’s national park. Indiana is home to the beautiful Indiana Dunes National Park. This park is the perfect place to go hiking, bird watching, or swimming. It’s also an ideal camping location. 

The in-park campground is Dunewood Campground. Here, you’ll find 53 RV campsites as well as modern restrooms with hot showers. There are no RV hookups in the campground, but the potable water and dump station make this manageable. 

National Forest Camping

Next up: the national forest in Indiana. Hoosier National Forest is nestled in the hills of south central Indiana and is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life with a hike or a camping trip. 

The camping options here are plentiful and include both developed campgrounds and dispersed camping. One of our favorite campgrounds in the forest is the Hardin Ridge Recreation Area. This campground offers both primitive sites and sites with hookups, and reservations can be made online. 

State Park Camping

Of course, we also must mention the awesome state park camping found in Indiana. These campgrounds are perfect for those who want to spend some time reconnecting with nature. 

One of our favorite Indiana state parks is Chain O’ Lakes State Park. This is a gorgeous place with nine connecting lakes that offer a variety of water recreation opportunities. Campers will find almost 400 campsites in the park, many with electric hookups. A camp store and dump station are available. 

Other great Indiana state parks include Shakamak State Park, Clifty Falls State Park, and Spring Mill State Park

Exploring Private Campgrounds and RV Parks

Of course, there is also the option of checking out private RV parks in Indiana. There are a huge number of parks to choose from, so whether you want to experience true glamping at a luxury resort or just need something with a basic bathhouse and dump station, you can pretty easily find what you’re looking for.

One of our favorite private RV parks in Indiana? Grandpa’s Farm Campground. This family-run park is all about making you feel welcome. Here you can enjoy full hookups, hot showers, a swimming pool, and friendly staff in the beautiful Indiana countryside. 

Other great options include Lake Haven Retreat and Follow the River RV Resort. 

Boondocking in Indiana

Of course, there’s always the option of saving some money and doing some boondocking while in Indiana. There are actually quite a few boondocking options in the state, so if you can visit when the weather is cool enough (but not yet cold), then dry camping in the middle of nowhere could be an awesome, budget-friendly way to go. 

The Hoosier National Forest is a wonderful place to look for free camping, such as the dispersed camping near Maines Pond. Casinos are also good places to look as well, and the RV Hall of Fame and Museum offers free parking lot camping to visitors. 

Researching Campground Options and Making Reservations

We’ve given some great suggestions above, but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to places to camp in Indiana. To further your research and book online, try checking out websites such as Hipcamp, BookOutdoors, Campspot, RoverPass, and The Dyrt. You might also look into Harvest Hosts if free dry camping appeals to you. 


Planning Your Itinerary

Now that you have your lodging lined up, the next thing you need to do is decide what to do once you arrive in Indiana. With so many museums, hiking trails, festivals, and other attractions to choose from, we can’t imagine anyone having trouble finding things to do. Below are our favorite options.

Features and Attractions in Indiana

In our opinion, the best way to start any trip is by taking a scenic drive. Indiana is no exception—and luckily, the state features plenty of scenic byways, including the gorgeous Ohio River Scenic Byway. 

While out driving around, be sure to stop at any landmarks you might pass. Honestly, even if you don’t pass them during your drive, you will want to make time for iconic Indiana landmarks such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (no trip to Indianapolis is complete without this stop).

Other stops that are always worth your time? NPS sites. Be sure to check out the national sites in Indiana, including the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

Festivals, Fairs, and Events in Indiana

Adding an event to your travel itinerary is a great way to make the whole trip more exciting. Fortunately, Indiana plays host to a number of wonderful annual events that are well worth checking out while in the state.

Some of our favorite Indiana events include the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival in Morgantown in June, the Circus City Festival in Peru in July, and the Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival in Nappanee in August. 

Exploring Outdoor Activities

Getting outside is what camping is all about. Therefore, you will absolutely want to add some outside time to your to-do list while RV camping in Indiana. Not sure what to do? Below are some of our favorite things to do outdoors while in the state. 

Hiking, Biking and Nature Trails

Do you like to explore nature via trail? Indiana has some excellent trails to help you do just that. From awesome hiking trails to excellent biking trails, you’re sure to find something that suits your fancy. 

For hikers, the trails below are a good bet:

Meanwhile, cyclists will likely enjoy one of the options on the list below:

None of these seem quite right? You can always head over to AllTrails and filter the options yourself to find the perfect trail for you and your travel party. 

Fishing, Boating, and Water Activities

Creeks and lakes are all over the place in Indiana. Therefore, it only makes sense to take advantage of them and enjoy some time in or on the water while visiting the state. 

For those who enjoy fishing, there are a number of great Indiana fishing spots to choose from. We especially love the Morse Reservoir just north of Indianapolis, where you can find catfish, largemouth bass, and more. Monroe Lake is located in Bloomington and is another good pick. 

Prefer relaxing on a beach? Indiana has you covered there as well. West Beach (in the aforementioned Indiana Dunes National Park) might be our favorite because of its soft sand and beautiful blue Lake Michigan waters, but we also love Pokagon Beach in Pokagon State Park. 

Finally, we must mention Indiana’s waterfalls. We’ve talked a bit about Clifty Falls State Park, where you will find some lovely falls. We also recommend Salamonie River Falls, located just outside of Wabash and not too far from Fort Wayne. 

Wildlife Viewing and Photography

State Parks, Hoosier National Forest, and the many other natural areas in Indiana offer some wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. You’re likely to see deer, a variety of birds, and if you go out at night, some bats. 

Want more great places to check out local wildlife in the state? Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge and North Fork State Wildlife Refuge might be good places to check out. 

Family-Friendly Activities and Attractions

Indiana is an excellent family vacation destination. Wondering what to do with the kids while you’re there? Whether you’re planning to see Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, or someplace else entirely, we’re betting you’ll find some great ways to keep the little travelers entertained.

Below are some of the best attractions in Indiana for kids. 

Historical Sites and Museums

Hoping to add a bit of roadschooling to your family getaway? Indiana has some excellent opportunities to do so. 

The state’s national sites include the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial as well as the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, which we mentioned before. Both are wonderful ways to learn a bit of history while having fun as a family. 

Museums are another great educational option. One of the best museums for kids in the state (and in the country, for that matter) is the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Conner Prairie in Indianapolis is a great way to learn some history with hands-on activities, and Science Central in Fort Wayne offers fun ways to learn about science. 

Amusement Park, Zoos, and Wildlife Refuges

Another great way to have fun as a family? Amusement parks, of course! Indiana is home to 9 fantastic amusement parks. These include the wonderful Holiday World in Santa Claus, the Indiana Beach Amusement and Water Park on the shore of Lake Schafer, and Big Splash Adventure Indoor Waterpark & Resort in French Lick. 

Zoos are also a good way to make memories with your kids. The Indianapolis Zoo is one of the best in the state, and Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is perfect for young children. 

Storm in Indiana

Safety and Preparedness when RV Camping in Indiana

Safety should always be the most important thing whether you’re traveling or not. For this reason, it’s important to take certain precautions before you go RV camping in Indiana. Packing a first aid kit is a good first step. You’ll also want to make yourself aware of potential bad weather, natural disasters, and dangerous animals. 

Weather Conditions and Natural Disaster Preparedness

For the most part, Indiana is a lovely place to visit. That said, just like any other state, the place can see some bad weather and natural disasters. 

The main thing you want to look out for in Indiana? Severe storms. These can result in flooding, hail, and dangerous lightning. Sometimes these storms even produce tornadoes. 

In order to stay safe while visiting Indiana, be sure to pay attention to the weather forecast (a weather app with push notifications is an excellent tool). You’ll also want to make sure you always know where the nearest storm shelter is. Keeping a bag packed with emergency supplies (such as a hand-crank radio, water bottles, and flashlights) is also a good idea. 

Wildlife Encounters and Precautions

Anytime you are spending time in nature, you will want to be prepared for encounters with wildlife. In Indiana, this means watching out for rattlesnakes and dangerous spiders, and seeking help immediately if one does bite you. 

You could also come across cougars while hiking or camping near the state line (they sometimes cross over into Indiana), but this is relatively unlikely and they almost certainly won’t bother you. If you do find yourself face-to-face with a cougar, don’t run or turn your back. Instead, make yourself as big as you can and make noise to scare the cat away. 

More Inspiration for Your Indiana Travels

Indiana is a fantastic place to visit, and RV camping in Indiana is probably the best way to make sure you really experience it all. Hopefully, our guide helped you make some tough decisions while planning your trip to Indiana, but if you need even more inspiration, be sure to check out the links below: