Every year, from February through November, thousands of RVers rev up their rigs and motor to NASCAR events across the country. From Daytona, Florida, to Watkins Glen, New York to everywhere in between, RVers plan way in advance to attend these RV-laden spectacles and take in the sport of speed.
RVing at NASCAR
While NASCAR is not for everyone (and to some there is a mix of the good, bad and great of NASCAR RV camping), many attend for the sport and RV camaraderie that goes along with it.
“People love the community of RVing and take it all in at an event,” says Greg Fresquez, communication manager of The Phoenix International Raceway, which hosts the popular Camping World 500 and the Can-Am 500. “As many RVers are fans of NASCAR to begin with, the RV community at an event is a huge part of the circuit. Those that attend should be ready to be welcomed into that experience. ”
The number of RVs (and RVers) at an event is incredible. At the Phoenix International Raceway alone, the grounds have 3,000 reserved sites and 3,000 unreserved sites. Plus, there other campgrounds available in the immediate area.
Unreserved spots are commonly based on a first-come, first-served basis. In fact, Fresquez says it’s common in Phoenix for fans to start lining up their RVS two or three weeks in advance. So, book a reserved spot well in advance for any given NASCAR race.
“The nicest sites here are not necessarily where people want to be,” adds Fresquez. “The popular inside track area is asphalt, with the ground being dirt at reserved or unreserved sites. Some prefer dirt over asphalt due to water run-off. Additionally, the bare ground can get dusty and asphalt gets hot as it retains heat.”
Although amenities are commonly nearby for basic supplies and food, you should prepare accordingly. There are several easy ways for great cooking on the road so bring what is necessary. You also need to be conservative with waste and grey tanks as many areas offer dry camping only, depending on the event.
For instance, at Watkins Glen International – home of the NASCAR Sprint Cup – the sites vary. They range from full service (with water and electrical) to bare bones sites. Prices also differ, depending on your location, preferences and budget.
“At Phoenix, service trucks make rounds to pump out RV tanks,” says Fresquez. “People can also rent them if they want them closer.”
Is there a Party Atmosphere at NASCAR?
At any large event, be it an NFL game or a music fest, RV tailgating is a blast for many. NASCAR is no exception. If you’re not a huge party hardy-type, some tracks offer family zones, quiet hours, and select times to run generators. Many RVers also opt for campgrounds off-site to meet specific needs.
“There is of course the party atmosphere but people – at least at the Phoenix races – are respectful,” says Fresquez. “There are day/night crews who monitor the crowds. Plus, there are quiet hours and 24-hour security. It’s amazing how accommodating people are if they are told they to keep the noise down. But RVers are usually a pretty safe group. There seems to be a common generality across the circuit.”
Aside from race weekend where speed, socializing and tailgating reigns supreme, many events such as those in Daytona, Phoenix, Watkins Glen , Richmond, or Charlotte, to name a few, are great destination places to enjoy before or after race weekend. Many hosting cities offer many attractions and things to do and see. Chances are a new experience awaits around every race.