Some people think that rain during a camping trip is the worst thing that could happen. We’re here to tell you otherwise. Not only is camping in the rain totally possible, it can be downright fun. The trick? You’ve got to go in prepared, pack a good attitude, and get ready to splash in some puddles.
Make Sure the RV or Van is Well Sealed
First, before the rainy weather ever makes its way into your neck of the woods, you will want to ensure there are no leaks. Check windows, your roof, and any other potential areas that might leak. Finding a leak in your van during a rainy camping trip will definitely put a damper on things, so sealing things up before you hit the road is always the way to go.
Pack Tarps and Eternabond Tape
Nobody is perfect, and sometimes even the most seasoned of campers will miss a seal. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to pack a roll of Eternabond tape and a couple of tarps in case a leak pops up despite your best efforts. Having the things on hand for a temporary fix will take the panic out of the situation and allow you to enjoy your trip, even as the rain continues to fall.
One of the things that can quickly make camping in the rain a miserable experience is wet clothes. Since you’re going to want to be outside sometimes, you will need to pack in such a way that you can avoid being in uncomfortable wet clothes the entire trip.
This means packing extra changes of clothes and ensuring you have a waterproof top layer, as well as a good rain hat and rain boots.
In order to keep everyone safe as you travel, be sure to drive slowly and carefully with your lights on. Leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you, and don’t make unnecessary lane changes. RainX can help improve visibility through your windshield. You will also want to anticipate the wind gusts that tend to come along with rainy weather.
If things get too hairy out there, find a place to pull over and wait out the storm. The campground will still be there after the storm passes.
Find the Right Site
You’ve arrived at the campground, and it’s time to pick out a site. Fortunately, you’ll be in a van, RV, or class B rather than a tent, meaning your bed isn’t likely to be flooded. However, there are still some things you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Park away from rivers, creeks, lakes, and other bodies of water that might flood.
- Look for a site on higher ground so water will be flowing away from your rig, not toward or around it.
- Try not to park in a dirt or sand site, as it will become a giant mud puddle when the rain comes.
Create an Outdoor Living Area
Obviously, you won’t want to stay cooped inside the whole trip, but you probably won’t want to sit out in the rain either. Instead, it’s a good idea to set up an outdoor living area.
A Clam tent is perfect for this, as it can be popped up quickly and easily and is relatively sturdy. Put down an outdoor rug inside of the tent to keep the floor from becoming a muddy mess, and then put your camp chairs inside. You might also want to put up some lights inside the tent to brighten things up, especially since the outdoors can look so dreary when it rains.
Store Firewood Under the Van
Want to have a campfire while camping in the rain? It’s going to be darn near impossible to keep one going while it’s raining, but if you get a break between showers, it should be doable. The trick is to ensure your firewood (and tinder and kindling) stays dry while the rain is falling.
To do this, simply place the firewood under the van or inside your outdoor living area. Be sure to place it on top of something to keep it out of any water that may run under the rig!
Hang Wet Clothes Inside
Clothes are going to get wet while camping in the rain. There really isn’t any way around it. Obviously, you can’t hang the wet clothes outside and expect them to dry while rain is still coming down, and you definitely don’t want to put them in a wet pile to get stinky. This is where a bathroom clothesline comes into play.
Can’t run your vent fan because it’s raining? A MaxxAir vent fan comes with a rainproof cover that solves this problem. Using a roof-mounted air vent can help keep moisture out of the van. However, the best way to do this is with a small dehumidifier.
Play in the Rain
You packed all the right stuff and got everything set up just so—now go ahead and enjoy all your hard work! Yes, it’s raining, but you aren’t likely to melt in the rain, and playing in the rain can be pretty darn fun.
Go ahead and splash in the puddles, catch raindrops on your tongue, go on a hike in the sprinkles, and watch birds take baths in the small pools that form near your campsite. You might just find that you enjoy the new experiences that camping in the rain brings.
Enjoy Indoor Activities
Of course, you don’t have to spend the whole time getting soaking wet in the great outdoors. Make sure to bring plenty of inside activities along as well. Movies, board games, and arts and crafts can all be done in the tent living area or in the RV.
These activities are just as fun as the outdoor activities, and you will still be creating amazing memories that will last a lifetime.
Join The Discussion
We’d love to hear your experiences and tips for van camping in the rain! Share your stories in the comments below. Also, if you have any questions or need advice about rainy camping, feel free to ask.