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Festival Camping with Your RV: The Ins and Outs of Having a Great Time

Published on May 1st, 2024 by Carol Carimi Acutt

The explosion of music festivals over the past fifteen years has been remarkable. Every place seems to have a festival with RV camping, where you can hear music, see art, camp and relax. From Burning Man to Firefly, Electric Daisy to the Hulaween, these fun music events are everywhere. I’ve learned a lot since taking our Shasta trailer to these fun events.

Some of our most treasured memories are those of RVing at festivals like Burning Man and Symbiosis. But festival RV camping requires a lot of prep. If the festival allows campers, usually there aren’t any amenities like campground stores or places to refill your supplies, so festival goers need to bring all the essentials.

If your summer includes a festival experience, first things first. Make sure you get your tickets well in advance as many of them sell out. Once you have that squared away, planning the fun can begin. From outfits to food to creature comforts to water, you’re going to need it all because most venues don’t have a store with convenience items for purchase. So you need to make a thorough camping checklist.

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Some festivals with RV camping like Symbiosis or Electric Daisy do have food trucks, but some like Burning Man mandate self-reliance.  To play is safe, you should always be prepared with enough food and water for each day you plan to attend the festival, plus extra. 

What to Consider When Festival Camping with Your RV

Before you begin to prep, read the festival guidelines, the devil is in the details. 

Do they offer food? What is the average cost of the food?
Do they take credit cards, Apple pay or cash?
Can you buy water or ice or coffee? 
Is WiFi available?  Are there electric hookups?
What does your parking pass get you? Is the cost of your attendee wristband included?
Do they allow pets? Most do not allow RVing dogs or other animals.
Lastly, check the weather. Will it be cold at night? How hot is it during the day?

Never leave home without the basics such as a sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, and warm hats, gloves and jackets. In some places like Tennessee, you might need umbrellas and raincoats too.

Don’t forget your cell phone battery charger. Solar panels that charge your RV batteries during the day are a fantastic luxury to have when boondocking.  And even better, if you have a system where your solar panel charges your batteries (lithium batteries are best), and converts D/C power to A/C power, you are set when it comes to using your electronics as needed while celebrating. 

Every festival with camping (or without) has its own style.

And by style, I mean fashion. Coachella has one look, Burning Man another, Electric Daisy another. Check out the fashion and figure out what you want to wear. Look at the website and check out festival photos on Instagram or online. This is also a great way to get inspired to create your own funky wardrobe. Shopping at thrift shops is an inexpensive way to find unique festival clothing and accessories. But this takes time, so give yourself a few weeks or a couple of months to get your stylish collection together.

If this isn’t your jam but you want to have a little style, ask your most stylish friend for help. There are also some websites dedicated to “festival couture,” like Dolls Kill, Revolve or 12th Tribe. These sites have pretty funky cool clothing, some better prices than others.

Lastly, be sure to bring comfortable shoes (that match your outfit of course). 

Next, do you need a bike? If you go festival camping with your RV, be aware festivals only allow attendees to walk or ride their bikes. Most do not allow vehicles to drive once they have parked in their designated spots.  This is often a good thing and keeps all festival pedestrians safe. 

unique RV camp lights by LITO Luxury
The more unique camping accessories, the easier it will be to locate your RV.

And don’t forget LIGHTS. You will need flashlights for yourself, for your campsite and for your bike.  Be sure to decorate your campsite so that you can spot it when you are heading home after a long night of dancing.

It’s always fun to put up unique accessories, like a flag or art piece with lights so that you can spot your home from far away. Get creative and have fun! We love to bring solar lights because oftentimes electricity is not available in these campsites. Decorate your campsite table with lights, a cute camping tablecloth, hang some lanterns on strings and light up that RV. Don’t hold back, create some campsite flair with your own unique style and color.

And don’t forget a camping rug to put outside your RV door or tent. This keeps your living space clean while festival going.

You’re also going to want a few little creature comfort items while exploring the festival.

We love to bring our lightweight portable camping chairs and a backpack to bring your supplies. Our RV also has a portable camping mess kits and stainless tumblers with leak-proof tops so we can picnic while on the move. We pack plenty of beverages and food, too.

Our festival supplies also include a basic first-aid kit in our festival daypack. You’ll find:

  • sunblock
  • electrolyte powder packs such as LMNT
  • bandaids
  • hand sanitizer
  • alcohol wipes
  • Neosporin
  • Benadryl (in case someone has an allergic reaction)
  • bug bite ointment
  • headache medicine
  • tweezers (you never know when you will get a splinter). 
A lightweight set of LITO camp chairs adds a nice touch to camp.

It’s always easier to have what you need for camping at a music festival.

Don’t arrive hoping a nearby stranger has those emergency toiletries with them. We also always bring a sarong which doubles as a picnic blanket or warm wrap in the evening. Most importantly, don’t forget that hydration is KEY. 

For drinking water, the standard recommended amount is two gallons per day per person when boondocking. This is enough water for drinking and cooking per person.
In short, if two people are attending a festival for four days, that equals a total of 16 gallons of extra water, at minimum. But, it’s always good to round up, so always have at least 20 gallons per person.

This extra drinking water does not include fresh water in your tank that will be used for the bathroom shower, washing hands or flushing the toilet. If you have a small black tank, it’s a good idea to bring a portable black tank (aka “blue boy” tanks) in case your RV black tank fills up and you prefer not to use the public restrooms. But truth be told, we have one and have never used it, it’s more of an insurance policy. 

We always make sure our trailer’s propane tanks are filled,

For inside your RV

Pack your favorite food and drinks, comfy pillows, comforters for a good night sleep.

Don’t skimp on your bath and beach towels, being extras! And lastly, make sure your kitchen RV is well stocked with gear you need, especially extra kitchen towels and cleaning rags.  For a thorough list of basics to pack, check out our RV packing list here.

Most of all, have a blast. Festival camping with your RV is a relaxing, wonderful kind of experience. There’s nothing else like listening and dancing to live music under the stars, with your home on wheels right there. Enjoy!

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