Q & A: Caravans, Camping, and Glamping in Ireland
My wife and I travel in the US in our motor home, mostly in Arizona. We were wondering if there are campgrounds in Ireland and if we can rent an RV (recreational vehicle) while we’re there?
– Jesse Marcus via email
Absolutely. there are a handful companies offering motor home rentals, and there are well over 100 campgrounds scattered across the country. Tent camping is also popular and facilities are available to rent gear upon arrival.
Here are a few tips:
- Look over the amenities and Failte Ireland grades for campgrounds… a three-star campground will likely compare to a standard campground you would find in the US.
- While many US National and State Parks are famous for their camping, Ireland’s National Parks do not generally accommodate overnight guests. The good news is that it’s easy to find a privately-owned campground nearby.
- Most motor homes available for rent in Ireland are under 25 feet long, which is good for driving on Irish roads, but you might feel cramped if you’re used to a 30 to 40 foot long rig with multiple slideouts.
- While on the road, be very aware of the shoulder – soft shoulders and rocky hedgerows are common and can damage your unit.
- In Ireland, travel trailers are called caravans, and your campsite might be referred to as a pitch. Meanwhile “mobile homes” aren’t really mobile; they are semi-permanent trailers that are often available for rent.
- Although you may see caravans parked on the side of the road, it is not recommended you roadside camp. Most of those caravans on the side of the road do not belong to tourists, they are home to members of the Irish Traveller community.
- Irish Caravan and Camping Council: offers a full listing of their Failte Ireland-approved campground members, sales/rental companies, and camping accessory rental. Their “Camping Info” and “FAQ” sections will cover other topics of interest. Meanwhile, their “Special Offers” could save you some euros.
- Glamping in Ireland: Discover Ireland recently introduced us to the luxurious world of Glamping… that’s GLAMOUR + CAMPING + a wee bit of PAMPERING.
- Camping and Caravanning in Northern Ireland: this overview of Northern Ireland camping includes a downloadable guide.
- 10 Best Irish Camping Sites: this article by Pol O Conghaile will give you an idea the prices and amenities at some of Ireland’s best parks.
- Total Camping Ireland: click the “Specialised Camping” link on their homepage for campgrounds grouped by themes… like surfing, 5 Star, and Winter Camping.