Seeking Info about RVs at RAGBRAI

A group of 4-5 of us are very interested in participating in RAGBRAI for the first time. We’re considering driving to Le Mars from Baltimore, MD, in a Class C RV and using it along the ride route as our nightly lodging. This site mentions RV campgrounds, but notes that hook-up not guaranteed. Without a hookup, we’d be forced to use a generator all night (noisy, unpleasant) or leave the vehicle running- neither option sounds good.

Does anyone have any tips for us? Is an RV an viable option?

Is there a way to ensure access to RV hookup ahead of time? Either in an official campground or perhaps a private home?

Any suggestions appreciate. Thank you.

This topic was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Becky Redett.

19 Replies

KenH, February 11, 2020 at 10:03 am

I perfectly understand Niles’ point of view and I share elements of it. But RV owners are a welcome part of RAGBRAI and RVs make an excellent team vehicle. To those nearby sleeping in tents the noise may be unwelcome and that is why I say that when “we” find ourselves in one of “their” campgrounds we should be polite and turn the generators off during sleeping hours. When “they” are in one of “our” campgrounds I presume they are ok with the noise and I don’t think hnschipper is alone in his tolerance of or even preference for the noise. If you are sleeping nearby in a tent it is true that you do not get the benefit of the AC but trust me the noise is MUCH WORSE inside a class C motorhome! And if the genny is running, and there’s nothing plugged into the outside electrical outlet, feel free to plug your phone charger in and “borrow” a few joules. If we’re around and you are feeling a touch of the heat stroke coming on by all means come inside and cool off. Enjoy a cold one from the fridge. We aren’t bad folks, not at all and most of us don’t a million dollar anything!


Herschel, February 13, 2020 at 7:01 pm

So Niles, did an RV run over your mother or what?

My major reason for using an RV and missing out on the true experience is I prefer my own shower. If the true RAGBRAI experience is standing angle deep in shower water with 5 men you don’t know then I will miss out then.


Mark Swanstrom, February 13, 2020 at 8:26 pm

Try being eco-friendly.
Try a solar panel and inverter setup. A deep cycle Marine battery, charged by solar panels, connected to 2000 or 3000 watt inverter. Might be able to run your AC for a few hours. You could also check into a portable wind system as well.


Iowa_Born Eastern_River, February 17, 2020 at 7:34 pm

The better pick of campgrounds is usually with a tent: often a large and open field, with quiet corners, if you are willing to walk far enough for them. But as others have pointed out, the issues are more than just about campgrounds.

The first RAGBRAI was self-supported tourists, though the baggage trucks and SAG wagon were likely, agreeably, reasonable additions during the second RAGBRAI. The couple of baggage trucks that RAGBRAI hires now support several hundred riders each, and the vehicles themselves don’t incite any additional passenger-car trips once at the overnight.

Try being eco-friendly.

Solar panels to run the A/C isn’t going to save the gasoline running from city to city; going with the largest charters, or the RAGBRAI trucks themselves is going to be the most ecologically minded (aside from carrying your own tent, for the enthused).

standing angle deep in shower water with 5 men you don’t know then I will miss out then.

The best showers on RAGBRAI are usually the community pools, or sometimes the high school gym lockers. I’ve never needed to use the haul-in shower trucks, but plenty line up for them (I think some accommodate a private stall and towel service). Showers were a requisite part of high school education and successfully prevent skin rash, guess I’ve never been too picky about it.

An RV sounds like a logical way to get 5 people, 5 bikes from the East Coast to Iowa (and back),

My personal pet peeve is observing people rolling into camp — people who have successfully ridden 60 and 70 miles — then climb into a vehicle to go one or two miles into town (where the cyclist traffic has often dispersed well beyond the route). I agree that an RV might be a logical way to move 5 bikes from the East Coast, but it doesn’t have to follow you for a week of bicycling.

If you still desire more-than-baggage-truck levels of support, I would encourage you first consider bringing your group with either an organized charter or as participants in a larger team (many Team buses support tens of riders). For out-of-state riders, the charters can typically provide a shuttle bus to or from either end of the ride. You can have the best campgrounds, the most eco-friendly approach, and all without the responsibility (and restrictions) of bringing along the RV. But most important for me, skipping the RV luxuries gets closer to the tradition of RAGBRAI.

This reply was modified 2 days, 15 hours ago by Iowa_Born Eastern_River.


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