If you are wondering whether Hipcamp is a valid way to find affordable campsites and glamping sites or not, perhaps our review of our first time using the service will help you finally book accommodation through Hipcamp.
An Honest Review Of Hipcamp: A Legit Way To Book Unique Camping Sites
(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See disclosure page for more information.)
What Is Hipcamp?
It is a website (and app) where you can find unique places to go camping or glamping. Private landowners list most of the offered properties, but you will also find listings for small campgrounds and RV parks. Often a listing is just one campsite, but there are listings group size campsites.
These campsites vary from primitive sites for tents only to RV sites with partial or full hookups, yurts with access to bathrooms and showers, to treehouses with running water and electricity.
Some spots are remote, allowing you to unplug, while others offer wifi.
For our first stay, we stayed at a unique property with a day-use cabin, air-conditioning and heating, a flat gravel pad for an RV, and a 30 amp plug. The property was off on its own, with ample space between the neighbors and us.
How Do I Sign Up For Hipcamp?
Jump over to the Hipcamp website and create a free account. Make sure to take a few minutes to fill out your profile so that the people who own the campsites you want to rent can learn a few things about you.
I Don’t Tent Camp Or RV. Is Hipcamp Still For Me?
Hipcamp is not just for campers and those who travel in RVs; there are also listings for tiny houses and rustic cabins. But Hipcamp is not Airbnb–you won’t find listings for large luxury cabins with water views or downtown lofts.
You can play with the filters to ensure you get a place with indoor plumbing and electricity, so you don’t have to rough it unless you want to.
How Do I Make Sure I Get The Type Of Accommodations I Want? (Like A Toilet!)
Hipcamp has many filter settings that can help you ensure you get the type of accommodations you want. I have found it easier to add my list of wanted amenities, such as electricity, air-conditioning, heat, and running water, while using the desktop version of the website instead of the app.
How Do I Save My Favorite Hipcamp Finds?
Like Airbnb on Hipcamp, a heart symbol lets you save your favorite places in lists. I found this option useful as I narrowed down my choices to where we ultimately ended up staying.
What is the average cost of a Hipcamp stay?
The price of accommodation through Hipcamp varies. If you want a place to set up your tent for the night, I have seen tent campsites for as low as $15 a night, but then I have seen cozy heritage cabin rentals with all the amenities go for upwards of $299 a night. It all depends on how luxe you want your accommodations and what area you want to stay near.
Are There Added Fees?
Yes, there is a service fee charged by Hipcamp. The cost is a minimum of $3 and can be as high as 18 percent of the total cost of the site, depending on a few factors. You can see what the cost of the fee will be by hitting the “book” button. You are not charged at this point in the reservation process. If the fee pushes the site higher than your budget can stretch, click the back button.
This fee goes to Hipcamp, not the Hipcamp host, to help them maintain the website for its campers and its Hipcamp hosts.
What About Cancellations?
Cancellation policies are decided by the hosts. They can pick from 6 different options, from super flexible to super strict. You can view the cancellation policy of the campsite you are interested in by clicking on the “book” button of the site you are interested in. When you do this, another page appears, and on that page, you will find what level of a cancellation policy the host has above the subtotal for your stay. To view what the level means, click on the question mark symbol beside it.
Why Do Some Sites Have A Instant Book Icon And Not Others?
When you start browsing around the Hipcamp app, you may notice that some hosts have the “instant book” icon on their sites while others don’t.
This is another feature that is left up to the host. With an instant book host, you know instantly that you have booked the site. With a request book site, you could wait up to 24 hours to receive confirmation that your booking request has been accepted.
How Do I Decide If The Place Is As Good As It Looks?
Look for the green thumbs-up symbol by the listing to see how well the listing is rating. Campers are encouraged to leave a written description and a zero to five-star review after their stay. These reviews affect their overall thumbs-up rating.
Do The Hosts Off Anything Else Besides A Place To Camp?
The answer to this depends on the hosts.
Sometimes the sites are offered by farmers or ranchers with private land close to a popular place to explore, like Yellowstone or another attraction that makes camping in their area hard to find. In this case, you usually feel pretty blessed to have found somewhere to stay, and no extras are offered because they assume you won’t be doing much else but sleeping while you are there.
Then there are the hosts that offer unique outdoor stays on lands with hiking trails, places to launch a kayak, ATV rides, interaction with farm animals, and even yoga classes. These places are getaway destinations instead of simple plots of land to park your RV or pitch your tent.
In What Countries Does Hipcamp Operate?
You can book accommodations in Canada, the USA, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom.
You can search by City, Town, State, or Province. Another handy feature is that you can enter the name of a National park like Yosemite or a popular State park like Holland State park in Michigan, and it will give you a list of the campgrounds near it.
This is handy since finding camping inside these parks or even at the bigger RV parks in the area can be challenging. Hipcamp can be a great tool in your pocket to find campsites in popular places like these; no more being frustrated when you can’t book an RV site in an area you want to visit. (here is another excellent tool for finding campsites in high-competition areas)
What Is Expected Of Me As A Camper Using Hipcamp?
Review the Hipcamper standards before signing up and booking a site. Most are common sense and simple good manners, including reviewing and following the host’s rules, practicing leave no trace principles, and not creating unreasonable noise.
Others are for your safety and the host’s, such as being fire safe and keeping your pets under control.
What We Thought Of Our First Hipcamp Stay
We were thrilled with our first Hipcamp stay. All the pictures in this post were taken on the property we stayed at. It was full of special touches like a tree swing, a fire ring with firewood, and even a three-hole putting course.
This posting can be found on the HipCamp website in the state of Ohio under “Cabin And Company RV Site.” It is located just outside the small town of West Alexandria. During our stay, we visited nearby Dayton and Oxford, Ohio.
We found the booking process through Hipcamp to be simple and effective. We communicated with our hosts via text, which came in handy when we discovered that a swarm of wasps had decided to call the plug-in area for the RV home. The problem was quickly dealt with, and we could get our travel trailer plugged in and the A/C running.
The cabin was a nice extra space to hang out in and play cards, watch movies, craft (well, I did that, not Jack), and unwind from our busy lives–and it was air-conditioned, which is a must in the humid midwest summer weather.
I have started three lists of favorite Hipcamp finds for states near us, so yes, we will definitely be using Hipcamp again. We have already recommended the website to several others, both those who own RVs and those that don’t.
Save $10 On Your First Hipcamp Stay With This Code
If you want to try out Hipcamp for the first time and have not created an account yet, use our referral code during sign-up and save $10 off your first stay.
You can either use the link above or enter the code: VICTORIAHOE8BCE
I hope that you enjoy Hipcamp as much as we have.
Are you looking for an alternative to busy and expensive campgrounds and one-night Walmart stops on the way to your destination? Check out our post about our first time using Boondockers Welcome.