What makes a good teardrop campsite?

Last weekend we took another teardrop trip up to Sierra County for some hiking, and while our pretty campsite had some great shade and was quiet, the picnic table and fire pit were a good 50 yards from where we could park the trailer. We usually use the trailer galley as a pantry and prep area and a picnic table to cook our food. This particular configuration was not ideal and I got to thinking about what makes a good teardrop campsite.

What we look for in a good campsite

While you can't always find the perfect campsite, some of our best campsites have had these good qualities:

A wonderful campsite at Crater Lake National Park with a view of a canyon and a visit from a silver tip fox.

It's wonderful to be able to put the trailer into a site that has plenty of privacy — preferably in the back part of the site.

Shade (or sun) and wind protection
Plenty of trees add to the privacy and provide shade. It's also nice to have a sunny spot if you are camping in an area that is more chilly. It's also nice to have a site with rocks or trees that offer protection from winds.

Site configuration
Being able to easily back up to a picnic table is ideal for us. We have also been able to manually maneuver the trailer so that the galley is close to a picnic table for easy cooking and eating. A pull-through spot is also nice to have, but those are usually reserved for larger trailers.

Great views
Who doesn't love a great view? It's the icing on top of the cake if you can open your teardrop doors and see a lake, river, canyon or snowed capped mountains.

Quiet or nature sounds
Having a quiet campground or site is wonderful. Add in the sound of a creek or river, birds or wind in the trees and you might have the perfect campsite.

What we like to avoid in a campsite:

We have had our fair share of not ideal campsites as well. These usually have the following bad qualities:

A cramped and noisy campsite at a KOA in Idaho is not our favorite type of spot.

No privacy
Everyone knows these types of campsites: trailers nearly on top of each other, noise and very little space available to spread out.

Bad terrain
Some campgrounds have sites in bad terrain. The ground is rarely level, there are usually badly located rocks, roots or tree limbs that make the site a walking hazard at night.

Road noise
Sometimes having quick access to a road is nice, but a busy road right next to your sleeping head is not.

"Nazi" camp hosts
We are quiet, clean campers who respect nature and campgrounds. We don't really appreciate being harassed by campground hosts who watch our every move or want us out of the site by 9:00 a.m.

Urban camping
I would love to have access to more big cities while camping, but have yet to find a beautiful, quiet campsite nearby. Has any city thought of opening up a teardrop campground in an empty parking garage? I'd go...


  1. All good suggestions. I would add: not too close to restrooms, human traffic can be noisy.

    1. Thanks Rich. I agree. The banging doors and potential odors are not great to have nearby. On the other hand, they are easier to find at night. :-)

  2. All good suggestions. I would add: not too close to restrooms, human traffic can be noisy.

  3. Been hassled by a camp Nazi when camping with my young family years ago. Still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. In another instance, generators were going on and off all night long throughout the campground at Convict Lake, California when tent camping with my kids. Talked to the camp host about it. All he did was shrug his shoulders and then proceeded to step back into his multi pop-out behemoth of a rig.

    1. It's such a shame that people have to act that way in nature. We also had a noise issue at Convict (one of my all-time favorite spots). The camp host at the time must have been better because he told the offenders to quiet down right away.