You want a large camper, but you need a truck to pull it with. We’re here to tell you that you can stop brand surfing and check out your local Chevy truck dealership instead. Campers can weigh anywhere from around 2,000 pounds for a compact setup to well over 10,000 pounds when you’re talking about 5th-wheel campers. The great news here is that Chevy trucks can handle all that and more. And once you’ve found the right truck, there are tons of great campsites to explore!
Which Chevy Truck?
First, before we dive into campsites, let’s talk a bit about choosing the best truck to take camping. The main thing to consider is capacity. The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 can tow up to 12,100 pounds when paired with Chevy’s Max Trailering Package, which makes it a great choice for midsize campers. But if you want something larger, you should opt for a Silverado 2500 or 3500, upping the max capacity to 14,500 and 36,000 pounds. When figuring out how much trailering capacity you need, always remember to consider the weight of your passengers and gear as well!
If you aren’t planning on pulling a camper, then payload will be your main consideration. The 2012 Silverado 1500 can haul up to 2,280 pounds, while the Silverado 3500 can pack up to 7,442 pounds. Whether you need to load up supplies or you want a small truck bed camper, there’s nothing too big for a Silverado. However, make sure not to overestimate your truck – it is quite easy to overload if you aren’t paying attention and you don’t want to find yourself stranded far from civilization!
Best Campsites To Visit In The United States
There are many beautiful camping locations scattered across the U.S., so it can be difficult to narrow down your options. From the east coast to the west coast, incredible scenery is abundant. To help you choose your next camping location, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite campground hot spots.
#1 – Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Kentucky
When it comes to scenic trails, it can’t get much better than the Natural Bridge State Resort Park in Kentucky. The home of the Red River Gorge, this location is packed with unique trails and plenty of activities. Whether you want to go kayaking and canoeing, biking, or hiking, there’s an option here for you.
More specifically, you’ll want to check out the Underground Paddle kayak tour at the Gorge Underground. If you’re not so much into kayaking, you can also take a guided boat tour instead to explore this century-old mine. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even join the Red River Gorge Zipline tour or take the skylift all the way up to the Natural Bridge, a 65-foot high rock bridge.
As far as the campground itself goes, choose from dozens of different campsites on top of several primitive camping options. Rest assured that furry friends are welcome here, so whether you own a dog, a cat, or even a guinea pig, the whole family is invited!
#2 – DeSoto State Park, Alabama
Are you heading down south? Alabama’s DeSoto State Park has a campsite for you. With over 90 available full-hookup campsites, this campground is here to meet all your camping needs. You can choose from 30+ miles of hiking trails, and in the summer, a giant swimming pool is available.
This campground gives you access to several different scenic locations, including the DeSoto Falls Trail, which includes a pair of beautiful waterfalls. Not only is this location scenic, but it’s history as well. Legend has it that Hernando De Soto, a 16th-century Spanish explorer, left a piece of his armor here under these waterfalls. If you really want to get in touch with the water, you can kayak the Little River, which connects to DeSoto Falls. Whether you walk it or boat it, the DeSoto Falls Picnic Area is one of the greatest attractions in the area.
#3 – Chatfield State Park, Colorado
Colorado is known for its immaculate beauty. Nature is abundant in this area, making it one of the best camping locations in the United States. When it’s time to bring out the camper, Chatfield State Park is a great option. This campground offers 197 different sites with water, sewer, and electric hookups, ensuring that you feel like you’re home. Most importantly, this location is a top option for water dogs, welcoming skiers, sailors, kayakers, boaters, and fishermen.
Like any good recreation location, Chatfield State Park offers several different trail options. These include trails for bikers, skaters, and hikers alike. You can even rent a horse and explore the Chatfield Equestrian Loop. If you’re tent camping and want to bring your own steed, you can use your Silverado to haul your horse trailer and utilize the park’s corral to house your horse. No matter what your camping methods are, Chatfield State Park is ready for you.
#4 – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Campgrounds are located all across North America, but this one is extra special because it’s actually three in one – the Nantahala National Forest and Pisgah National Forest lie just across the border in North Carolina. With three distinct natural environments to explore, you are sure to have a busy schedule! There is also plenty to do in the nearby town of Gatlinburg if you want a break from the wilderness.
Dolly Parton fans will be happy to know that Dollywood is just a short drive away, providing many more opportunities for fun. Each season offers its own unique events. During spring, you can participate in the Flower & Food Festival. Summer and Fall camping seasons offer their own festivals as well, with Appalachian music and food to match the occasion.
#5 – Acadia National Park, Maine
We’ve already been east, west, and south, so it’s time to check out a great northern camping location. Acadia National Park is a diverse location that offers everything from tent camping to trailer and RV options. When you want to explore the rugged coastal wilderness of Maine, this is the place to visit.
Aside from the park itself, you can visit nearby attractions in Bar Harbor, like Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf Course, which is a giant putt-putt golf location. You’ll also gain access to biking trails, fishing locations, and, more importantly, the beach! While other locations include lakes and freshwater fishing, Bar Harbor is unique in that you can experience the nature-filled camping world and the beach life all at once. For a beachy camping experience, check out Maine’s Acadia National Park.
Get Out There And Explore The Country!
You don’t have to travel far to enjoy North America’s vast beauty. Whether you’re east or west, there’s plenty of campground variety. What’s important is that you have a truck that can get you there, whether you only drive 15 miles or 1,500 miles. When you need something reliable to pull your camper, trucks like the Chevy Silverado are here to help.
Are you thinking of going primitive? You can buy specialized truck bed tents. Ask your local truck dealership about camping accessories for your new model. When you go this route, you also free up trailer space to haul whatever you need. Whether you’re taking a horse to the park with you, or you want to head off-road with an ATV, you can pull anything with a good truck!