Planning on taking your RV to Sturgis during the annual motorcycle rally?
There was a time when camping at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally meant pitching a tent or dragging a trailer into City Park.
When the motorcycle rally crowd outgrew the park in 1983, it not only displaced campers, but it also spawned a massive new industry, giving birth to RV campgrounds for miles around.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally website lists a dozen different options, from family-friendly campgrounds to those billing themselves as simply “The Best Party Anywhere” and sporting names like Hog Heaven, Iron Horse, and The Buffalo Chip.
Many of today’s campgrounds rise out of the prairie like temporary boom-towns, complete with restaurants, convenience stores, bars, shuttle buses, and stage venues. And all have their own reputations and charms, playing host to an annual event that will draw over half a million people to the Black Hills of South Dakota each August.
“When they closed the park in the downtown area, it seemed like a good idea at the time,” said Rod Woodruff, owner of the legendary Buffalo Chip campground. “They needed someplace to go. It was very congested – general chaos was the reason they decided they couldn’t tolerate it anymore.”
Woodruff seized an opportunity, eventually opening 500 acres of alfalfa fields, native prairie and grazing lands to a sea of RVers and ten t campers each year.
“We started off with one or two campers, quite literally,” Woodruff recalled. “Every year we add more and more RV accommodations. There’s such a crossover between motorcycles and RVers. Now, we have over 1,000 improved RV sites.
“Put it this way: Within two days we go from being a pasture to the third largest city in the state of South Dakota,” Woodruff said.
Add to that formula 19 bars, franchise food vendors, and four stages, which feature free shows from big-name entertainers.
“When 38 Special did a live recording out here in 1998, they said there was a certain ambiance to the place that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world,” Woodruff mused.
“There is no place like the Buffalo Chip, no place that allows people to express themselves and be comfortable,” he added. “We promote ourselves as a party.”
Some campgrounds cater to families. Others don’t encourage people to bring children. Sturgis Motorcycle Rally campers should research sites and make reservations early.
“The bottom line is it’s a motorcycle rally,” Woodruff said. “I know we really don’t encourage people to bring children to the event. Our concerts don’t even start until 10:30 p.m. and we don’t offer children’s activities.”
Below are the top 10 reviewed RV campsites recommended for your stay during the rally:
Katmandu RV Park & Campground - Sturgis, South Dakota
- The reason we recommend this campground is because of the location. It is just south of Sturgis, so no long waits in traffic just to get back to your campground. They provide free shuttle service into town, plus very clean private restrooms and showers! This campground is one of the more quiet and reserve campgrounds in Sturgis, so if you are looking to party all night you may want to stay somewhere else.
Rush-No-More Campground - Sturgis, South Dakota
- If you are looking for some quiet time but still w ant to be close to all the happenings around this is the place for you. There is lots of shade in this park that is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Modern day amenities with top rated restroom facilities. If that’s not enough, they also have a beer garden that provides the cheapest beer in town!
- This campground is located about 20 minutes outside of Sturgis. They provide large and level sites for your RV. It is very clean and the staff is very friendly and helpful. If you don’t mind a little drive, this is a great campsite because they provide so many amenities.
Shade Valley Camp Resort - Sturgis, South Dakota
- Shade Valley Camp is conveniently lo cated, 10 minutes from all the activities downtown. Located on the camp’s ground are an eatery, convenience store, and a saloon that provides constant live entertainment. There are plenty of full service RV hookups available, plus other amenities as well. The best thing is that everything you may need is all here!
No Name City - Sturgis, South Dakota
- Located only 3 miles from all the party spots of Sturgis, is one of the reasons why this campsite made our favorite list. They also provide plenty of amenities such as free wireless Internet, Jacuzzi, private showers and toilets, restaurant, plus a free shuttle service.
Sturgis RV Park - Sturgis, South Dakota
- This park is within walking distance from downtown Sturgis, only 2 blocks to be exact. Their pull-through sites are big enough to accommodate any size RV. They offer clean, modern, well-maintained facilities to cater to any RVers needs. Since it is so close to all the action, it does get a little noisy at night but that is a small price to pay to be so conveniently located.
Glencoe Camp Resort - Sturgis, South Dakota
- This is what Sturgis is all about! If you want to be in the center of it all, stay here at Glencoe Camp Resort. They have plenty of full-hookup RV sites, dimensions are 25’x 75’. Individualized showers provide a continuous amount hot water. There are three 24-hour food facilities located on the grounds with great food. This campground provides a party atmosphere so beware if you are looking for peace and quiet.
Days End Campground - Sturgis, South Dakota
- Within walking distance to Main Street, Days End Campground is a great choice to stay during rally week. They provide an on-site convenient store, clean individual restrooms and showers. It is definitely a friendly atmosphere here, and for that reason we recommend this campground for RVers looking for a fun time.
- The best kept secret in Sturgis. This family owned RV Park offers a quiet place to come home and rest. But if you want to be in with the action on Main Street, it is just a short distance away. They provide large full service option sites for your RV. The best thing about Big Rig is they’re reasonably priced compared to other campgrounds during rally time.
Iron Horse Campground- Tulare, South Dakota
- Located on the quiet side of campgrounds yet still close to everything. Iron Horse has all the amenities you will need in order to have a pleasant rally experience. They provide a great party every night with live bands, great food, flush toilets, hot showers, and even a shuttle service to Broken Spoke, Bone Yard, Full Throttle Saloon, and Downtown…What else could you ask for?