If you are an avid RV camper, then Halloween camping is something you need in your calendar. It is a tradition in many camping areas. Campgrounds hold competitions for the best decorations, best spooky food, costumes, and much more. Some families return year after year to try to win top honors. Take your RV Halloween decorating ideas to the next level.

Have you got kids? Even better. With Halloween activities, your children will stay safe, busy, and have a ghoulishly good time haunting the campground. There is no shortage of family-friendly activities (even socially distanced ones!): family haunted hayrides,  scavenger hunts, a night hike through haunted trails. Halloween camping in an RV is a secret that needs to escape. Put on your zombie make-up, and let’s go fall camping!

Campers around a campfire on a chilly autumn night

RV Halloween Ideas — Yep, It’s a Thing

Camping and decking out your RV for the holidays are two things that meld surprisingly well. Not only can you enjoy the great outdoors, but you can scare kids, and that is always fun!

But what do you pack for a Halloween camping trip? Generally, you would pack everything you pack for a typical camping trip, and then you add the Halloween decorations.

Depending on your location, you might need cold-weather clothing: warmer sleeping bags, boots, rain gear, and snowshoes. October can undoubtedly be a mixed bag in the weather department. So how do you plan for every contingency and still manage the Halloween decorations?

Basic Necessities to Bring

Start by evaluating your bare necessities. These are the items you need to haul along on any camping trip such as food, water, and clothing. Make yourself a checklist:

  • Food for the number of days/number of people in your party
  • Clothing for the number of days (plus spares just in case)
  • Warmer clothing — sweatshirts/light jackets for evenings
  • Firewood (please check local laws regarding firewood)
  • Food prep equipment/grill
  • Portable heater

That is a very basic list. Yours will probably need more equipment and provide more detail. Please don’t forget the sunscreen, bug spray, and first aid kit. If you are like many RV owners, much of your day-to-day camping supplies, stay packed in your RV year-round.

Cat silhouetted against a full moon at night

Because fall camping can be unpredictable, you should pack an array of clothing for warmer days and cooler nights. This should include items that can be layered if needed for extra warmth, but you probably won’t need parkas, scarves, and woolly mittens.

NOTE: A quick word on firewood. Due to invasive bugs such as the Emerald Ash Borer, many states prohibit transporting firewood from one location to another. Check local and state ordinances before your trip. Some states even restrict transporting wood from your home within the same state to a wilderness area.

Do You Need the Witch Automaton?

Whether you are a full-out Halloween fanatic or just enjoy camping, you can have fun decorating your RV for Halloween. Ideas begin with the RV itself. You can use spooky lights around the awning or in the windows. Grab some of that sticky, stringy spider web stuff and wrap it around the outside of your rig.

You can also set up decorations around your campsite. Fake tombstones, bones, and plastic garbage bag spiders are all easy to set up and remove when you leave.

Be mindful of the weather predictions when deciding on your decorations. If it rains the whole time you’re camping, you’ll be living with that electronic witch automaton inside the RV with you.

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Decking Out Your Campsite

Start with lights. One of the quickest ways to add lights is inflatable solar lights. If you have an awning, you have multiple light-style choices from simple rope lights to ornate pumpkin globes.

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If your budget is tight, these inexpensive lights are mostly battery operated, shorter than electric strands, but equally eerie:

The market is full of inexpensive ways to light up your holiday. These Holiday Ghost Lights have different modes so you can “redecorate” every night just by changing the mode. The basic idea is that it shouldn’t cost a fortune to decorate your RV for the season. A string of simple lights can offer the holiday spirit (ha — see what I did there?) to get you in the mood.

What would RV Halloween ideas be without pumpkins? This can also double as a camp activity for the family. Once you scoop the guts out of your pumpkin, you can carry them to a woody area and give the local critters a treat. Just make sure that you deliver your treat far away from all camping areas. Check with the park personnel for a safe spot to treat the birds and animals.

If you can’t feed the critters, wrap the pumpkin seeds in three layers of aluminum foil, keeping the package mostly flat. Toss the packet onto the coals of your campfire for a great human treat. Always use proper safety precautions with sharp carving tools, knives, and hot roast pumpkin seeds.

With so many decorating options, we can’t possibly cover them all, but perhaps we have spurred your creativity. You are only limited by your imagination. It’s Halloween — let your creepy side out.

Ghoulish Snacks to Pack

During Halloween, we all seem to stock up on pre-packaged candy and snacks to hand out to trick and treaters. We eat plenty of them ourselves, too. Since we can’t live on candy alone, if you are looking for RV Halloween ideas for healthy and ghoulish snacks, there are plenty of available options.

With a simple search, you can find recipes and instructions for simple cupcake desserts like Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes to elaborately decorated Skeleton Cookie Cupcakes. If you have a more sophisticated guest, you could opt for these simple Boo-Scotti Dippers, or perhaps some Ghoulishly Green Popcorn. If you are a baker, you can make snacks before your trip, like these scary-looking Broken Finger Cookies.

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While cupcakes and cookies may not fit the healthy diet ideas you want for your kids, there are plenty of ideas for the healthier side of things also. Adding red pepper “nail’ to pizza “fingers” turns a cheesy snack into a portion of witchy finger food.

Arrange colorful vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, and yellow peppers) on a platter to make a candy corn-inspired dish. These Frozen Yogurt Drops blend the concept of candy dots with a healthy alternative. Pretzel sticks and cheese make these cute little Witches’ Brooms.

As with our RV Halloween decorations, our food suggestions are only the tip of the broom handle. Rather than getting swept up in pointing out all the great holiday camping ideas for food and fun, we’ll leave that to your imagination.

Costumes, Kids, and Safety

Costumes are a Halloween must-have. While most commercially produced costumes carry flame-retardant properties, you still need to be cautious. Flame-retardant does not mean fireproof. (Scare alert!) They will still catch fire but will burn slower. Polyester and nylon will even melt and fuse with skin. With that in mind, use caution when selecting costumes.

Things to avoid when buying Halloween costumes for holiday camping:

  • Long, flowing costumes
  • Any costume with a cape
  • Synthetic wigs and wings
  • Costume gloves that limit the use of hands in any way
  • Costumes with larger carry-along props

We are sure you can probably add a few items to our list. If you are in the mood to make your kid’s costumes, there are some adorable and inexpensive ways to keep them safer in a camping environment. First and foremost is to keep them away from campfires, but you knew that, right?

Making a Halloween costume out of everyday clothing is relatively straightforward. With a pair of ordinary blue jeans and a flannel shirt, you can add a little “dirt” to your child’s face and make a lumberjack. With a white outfit and some white face paint, you can make a non-flowy ghost. Keeping your children safe and comfortable while exploring different options is fun and simple. Those blue jeans with the blown knees, and old ripped shirt, and some battered tennis shoes and you have a hobo.

Clothing to avoid is those items made with synthetic materials. Good, flame retardant natural materials such as cotton and wool are great options. They will keep your children safer, warmer, and can be used to create some cool costumes. Zombies are always a favorite and a perfect use for those short jeans your kid is now too tall to wear.

Have a Hauntingly Spooktacular Time

If you are planning on decorating your RV for Halloween, there is no limit to the number of RV Halloween ideas, decorations, and costumes to put a perfect spook on the holiday. While we couldn’t cover everything here, hopefully, we helped to get some great ideas churning.

Holiday camping is a fun and enjoyable way to get family time, say good-bye to the summer, and take a break from daily life. In some families, the Halloween trip has been a long-standing tradition. If you’re new to the concept, make the most of the weekend. If nothing else, you will have a short, fall camping excursion with your family. Pack up your pumpkins and enjoy the waning summer.

Whether you live in the north, south, east, or west, call around to your local campgrounds. Many have a whole list of program options and fall activities planned for Halloween. Some facilities have haunted hayrides, corn mazes, haunted RVs, night hikes, and many other season-specific activities to offer your entire family a great trip. Just remember that October weather can be fickle, so pack for a variety of different temperature ranges.