Camping at Penn State RV Lots for Homecoming Weekend

Penn State RV Lot

Penn State RV Lot

Being out of college for a few years now makes it more and more difficult to visit State College, PA without breaking the bank. Hotel rooms are generally over $300 a night on football weekends. However, with a little creativity & tolerance for the cold – we went camping at Penn State in the RV lots over Homecoming weekend.

Generally when visiting PSU, we would crash on someone’s crowded apartment floor, stay with a friend a short ways out of town, or drive there and drive back. When we heard that our one friend parent’s were parking their RV at the lot all weekend, we knew this was where we’d be sleeping all weekend.

Luckily for us, they drive a Pleasure Way RV – which I think has about a 17 foot body.


So, there was ample room to pitch a tent behind it for the weekend.

Emily and I made it into State College a good bit before our friends got into town. So, we met up with her parents and chatted a bit before they got into town. Her dad, Mike, warned us how when they went to park their house on wheels how people were already drinking. At 9am.

After telling us a little more, I conjured up the image that the RV lots became the wild west on football weekends. Just a lawless land where no rules exist.

We all ended up getting up there around eleven at night and immediately pitched the tent. After little deliberation, we decided that it would be best to stay at the lots for the night. With a noon game, it was a great decision.

We didn’t even wake up until 8am, but were already at the center of the party on gameday morning.

Distance from the RV Lots to Downtown

Distance from the RV Lots to Downtown

The one major downside of camping at the RV was the distance to downtown. As seen above, it’s a 40 minute straight walk. However, if you catch the Blue Loop you can stay warm and get there about 10-15 minutes faster.

Granted it was rather chilly, getting into the low 40s, it was an overall great experience since we were properly prepared.

I recommend the following:

  • Obviously a tent – the smaller, the better & preferably 3 seasons since it will trap the heat more
  • Mummy Sleeping Bag rated to 40* or lower
  • Some sort of Sleeping Pad to keep you off the cold ground
  • Bottled Water or a Nalgene for brushing your teeth in the mornings
  • A Beer helmet for tailgating

If you do not happen to know anyone with an RV, you could try your luck just pitching a tent up there or finding a person nice enough to let you camp behind them. Just be polite when you ask and I’m sure you’ll be fine. We had no problems with other RV’ers partying too hard. Plus, the generators provided a nice white noise.

If you don’t want to take this risk, Rothrock forest is nearby, as well as a few other open fields that you could put your tent up in.

All-in-all, I’d recommend the experience for anyone looking to save a few bucks.


Life-Long Learner, Explorer, & Web Developer. Currently a Software Engineer at Jazz.

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