How to Celebrate Christmas Camping in an RV

For many people Christmas traditions are sacrosanct. While the specifics may vary from family to family, the general gist is the same across the US: family, food, tree, stockings, presents. But for those of you willing to consider the possibility of making a new Christmas tradition, we’d like to propose a Christmas getaway in your RV. 


Now, this might sound crazy, but hear us out: this year, celebrate Christmas while camping somewhere spectacular (and maybe even warm) in your RV. 


The fact is that with an RV, you can go just about anywhere any time - including Christmas - and with some planning, you can even keep some of your must-have Christmas traditions and festivities alive. Here’s how to do it:

1. Pick a small (real) Christmas tree.

Even if you own a fairly large RV, you probably don’t have the space for a big Christmas tree. Size aside, it is also hazardous to drive around with an enormous tree crashing around in your travel trailer. 


If having a tree for the holidays is non-negotiable for your family, we recommend picking out one that is small enough to fit on a table or in a small corner. With this in mind, you may be tempted to buy a sparse, little Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but if you want a more fun, fresh, and eco-friendly alternative, you should consider ditching the artificial plastic stuff and getting a permit to cut down your own little tree. You’ll find that in some designated areas, the U.S. Forest Service will allow you to harvest a tree to bring back to your home or trailer. 


This is a fun activity that your entire family can enjoy, and may even become one of your new Christmas traditions. Alternatively, if you are in a forested area, you can decorate a tree near your campsite with environmentally safe decorations and save what little room you have inside for gifts and other decorations.

2. Hang stockings with temporary adhesive hooks.

Although empty wall space may be limited in your RV, you can typically find a spot to hang your stockings. It could be all in one place, or it might be scattered throughout the unit - in which case, the holiday spirit can be felt no matter where you are in your RV.


You don’t need to drill any holes in your RV walls. In fact, we would highly recommend that you do not create any unnecessary holes in your walls as it will depreciate the value of your investment and possibly void warranties. Instead, you can purchase some reusable and inexpensive Command hooks that can adhere to your wall.


These hooks are no joke. You would not expect something so small and easily removable to be so strong. They will hold a surprising amount of weight, meaning you can stuff those stockings to the brim without worrying about them falling off the wall.

3. Check out dollar stores for decorations - or take inspiration from nature.

For a variety of inexpensive decorations, don’t forget to take a look inside your local dollar store. You’ll be able to find all sorts of little knick-knacks (just don’t buy anything delicate that could break during transport). You will likely discover things like festive window-clings and holiday wreaths for your door that will completely change the atmosphere inside your RV.


For free eco-friendly decorations, look no further than around your campground. Collect pine cones and logs to craft an artfully-arranged rustic holiday centerpiece. Or put evergreen branches in a vase for a fabulous aroma and an endearing aesthetic. The only limit is your imagination!


A little bit of decor goes a long way in a small space. Pick a few of your favorites, and you’ll take that Christmas spirit with you no matter where you are.

4. String lights along the exterior of your RV.

Once your interior is decked out, don’t forget to spread the holiday cheer outside your RV, as well. Decorations like string lights or even inflatable Santas can transform your campground into a winter wonderland if you have the ability to power them. If you don’t have sufficient power, there are battery-powered fairy lights that are great for ambience. These lights on Amazon are a best seller and come in a variety of colors.


The good news is that stringing lights around an RV is a lot easier than stringing them on a house, so you can quickly set them up or tear them down if you need to relocate.

5. Host larger groups of people for holiday meals by eating outside.

Just because there isn’t an enormous dining table in your RV doesn’t mean that you can’t invite guests to feed and entertain. Depending on the weather where you are camping, you can host large groups of friends and/or family members for an outdoor holiday feast.


Due to the size of most RV kitchens, organizing a potluck-style dinner will provide more food options while keeping your RV from getting too crowded (or trying to calculate seven different food timers and rotating dish after dish in your RV-sized oven).


If your campsite already has a large picnic table to accommodate everyone, very little preparation is needed. However, if you are hosting more people or don’t have a table on-site, you can pack a large folding table and have everyone bring their own camping chair.


If this seems odd to you, don’t worry. Once you are all gathered around the campfire, the great conversation will remind you why you organized the get-together in the first place.

6. Prepare for the weather in colder climates.

If you have fallen for the siren song of snowy mountains and lush evergreen forests during the winter, there are steps you can take to prepare to camp in colder climates. For example, investing in extra power sources, additional insulation, and heated tapes and hoses, will let you  bring your RV almost anywhere.

7. Camp in a festive RV park.

One of the perks of living in town is the abundance of holiday festivities: parties, markets, light-viewing, and more. But just because you’ve chosen to head off the beaten track for Christmas does not mean you have to miss out on these traditions.


Many RV parks across the country celebrate the holidays all December long. If you need ideas for the family, check out Fort Wilderness in Florida where there are kid-friendly activities and all of the decorations you would expect from Disney. If kids aren’t your scene, try Stone Mountain, Georgia for their month and a half long Christmas festival, or if you’re itching for some powdery snow for skiing, Estes Park in Colorado has plenty of winter recreation and lots of seasonal events.

RV camping doesn’t have to be just a summer thing; with proper preparation, you can have fun camping during the winter, too. Wherever you go, you can find ways to celebrate Christmas in your Grand Design RV boondocking or camping in an RV park. We hope these suggestions will bring you joy this season.


From all of us here at Grand Design RV, happy holidays!