Camping setups: How to camp with a large group

Joshua SchukmanFebruary 23, 2022

Camping setups: How to camp with a large group

RVing trips often involve more than just your immediate family. When you plan that epic road trip to places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, The Smokies, Glacier, or a host of other spectacular locales, the chances are strong that aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends might want to join you. 

And while camping with a crew can be a wildly fun adventure, it also begs the question: how do you camp with a large group? 

The best way to camp with a large group often involves bringing a campsite setup that includes extra tents and possibly even an extra RV. With the right tent camping tips and tricks in place, you can be sure that everyone will have a spectacular time while joining you on your RV camping trip.

RV + tent camping tips

Camping as a large group often means finding a campground that can accommodate RVs set up right next to each other, tents set up in an RV campsite, or some combination of all of these. The good news is that many campgrounds will — at a minimum — have a tent camping ring that your travel companions can use as a sleeping area while you turn your RV campsite into the central gathering spot. 

how to camp with group

14 must-have camping setup items

The top tip we can give when it comes to camping in bigger groups is to bring these 14 essentials that make for a good time and comfortable camping.

1. Lawn games

Games like bean bag toss, ladder toss, life-size Jenga, and many more are great camping set up items to keep everyone — especially the kiddos — entertained.

2. Folding chairs

You’d be amazed at how many folks forget this uber-important tent camping set up item when traveling with a large group. By having enough seating for everyone in your group, you’ll be the unspoken hero of the camping trip.

3. Outdoor kitchen setup

Many RVs these days have outdoor kitchens built-in. Even if yours doesn’t, having an outdoor cooking setup like this one will keep your RV kitchen cleaner while providing your camp cook with ample room to serve.

4. Additional RV

If you’re traveling with an extra-large group, you might want to consider renting an extra RV to accommodate. You could pick up an extra rig for rent near your home or campsite, or you could even have a rented RV delivered!

5. Folding camp table

Most campsites will have a picnic table included, but you’ll likely want to provide more space in your tent camping setup.

6. Outdoor yard mat

Yard mats, or camping rugs, are a great place for people to sit, for stuff to hang out, and for folks to gather — making them a camping setup necessity.

how to camp with a group

7. Canopy tent for extra large groups

If you’re camping with a very large group, you might have the need for additional covered areas outside of your RV’s awning. Canopy tents like this one are a great camping trick to expand sheltered space in your campsite. 

8. Inflatable pool

While this might seem like an outlandish addition to your camping setup, inflatable pools can double as a large cooler for your traveling group. And when the pool isn’t being used as a cooler, it can be used to keep kiddos cool and happy.

9. Inflatable couch

When it comes to the ultimate camping set up, few things are greater than having couches at your campsite.

10. Pop-up fire pit

Because you never want to be caught camping without a way to roast s’mores. Solo Stove has some great smokeless fire pit options.

11. Walkie talkies

If you think you’ll be able to use your cell phones to communicate with your camping group, think again. Some of the most spectacular national parks and camping areas are also cell phone dead zones. Because of this, having a set of radio walkies will allow you to keep in touch with your traveling companions as you roll over the road or help each other back into a campsite.

12. Extra tent/sleeping bag padding

No tent camping setup should be without a sleeping pad like this one — it’ll help keep your guests who didn’t make the RV sleeping cut much happier.

13. Turkish towels

A top tip for camping is to find things that are compact and multi-functional. Turkish towels check all those boxes because they can serve as a bath towel, beach towel, ground mat, shawl, and blanket.

14. Solar Lanterns

Lanterns like LuminAID are solar-powered and will provide that much-needed light for your outdoor camping setup.

Tips for choosing where to camp

Along with the above gear for your camping setup, there are other camping tips related to the types of places and amenities you might want to look for when camping in a large group. Here are those camping tips:

Camp during the week

RV parks and national parks fill up primarily during the weekends. If you’re able to camp with your group during the week, you’ll stand a better chance of getting the space you need and being close together.

Camp at a campground with a pool

Many RV parks, and KOA Campgrounds especially, feature full-size pools for the family. If you’re camping in a large group with tent campers among you, a pool is an especially helpful feature.

Seek out an RV park with a clubhouse

Many RV parks and campgrounds these days have clubhouses that feature games, TVs, and even pool tables. One of the best ways to camp in a large group can be staying at a place that has these amenities so your family and friends can do their own thing from time to time.

Make use of extra RV sleeping areas

Another tip for camping with a large group is to make use of extra RV sleeping areas. Even if you have some of your group camping in tents, your RV will also have areas like the couch and dinette that can fold down into sleeping areas. 

Other tips for camping in large groups

Beyond the above tips and tools for the ideal camping setup, here are a few other ideas for things you can do to make sure everyone in your camping group stays happy:

  • Let other group members plan daily activities periodically
  • Have a steady s’more supply at all times
  • Plan dutch oven meals over the fire
  • Do potluck meals where everyone contributes something
  • Plan hiking and biking trips together
  • Make use of RV park amenities such as pools, clubhouses, and game rooms for group activities

How to find cool tent camping spots

Another fun way to enjoy camping in a large group is to take an overnight trip where your whole crew goes even more remote and does some tent-only camping.

rv and tent camping

This can be a fun way to rough it and create some very special bonding time. Here are a few ways to do that:

Get group campin’

When figuring out how to camp with a large group, it’s important to be deliberate about the camping setup you want to have. The good news is there are many options for group camping from tent setups to multiple RV setups to tent-only camping. The camping tips above will help ensure that everyone in your camping group has the camping experience they’re hoping for. 

Looking to rent an RV? Check out our RVs for rent on Outdoorsy. 

Joshua Schukman, auteur Outdoorsy

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