Which Two?


May 8, 2023
I am currently researching camp grounds and I am finding that they have a two tent limit. For those that camp a lot, do they consider your gazebo tent a tent? Is the pop up camper considered a tent? I only ask because I will see RV being able to have two tents in addition to the RV. Is that because of space? I do see open RV/ Tent spots but I feel a little guilty booking them cause there are Tent only sites available. This leads to my last question……if you could only take one tent with you to go along with your pop up, what tent would you choose? A personal bathroom tent? A gazebo? Extra living space tent like a hub?


Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
Call and ask if you can. We can't really say without locations because there are no standards.

I've never seen "tent only" sites as walk ups where I camp (NFS and state parks in western states). Tent sites are just sites with small parking spots. :) Walk-in only sites are usually called exactly that.


Active Member
Jun 5, 2014
LG Region NY
For me the rule has always been either 2 tents or 1 hard wheeled and a tent. Ive had the pop up, a tent, ez up and even pushed the rule with a hammock with a fly over it. Lol I remember the ranger a little miffed about it but didnt make me take anything down.
Like Ray said, check to make sure you can drive your pup in to the tent site.


Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
Albuquerque, NM
Where we often camp, sites labeled “tent only” are usually not usable by popups or small RVs. The parking area is sized for just a vehicle. In some places, a tent only loop is just that, no camper of any sort, van, popup, etc. is allowed.
In some campgrounds, a tent only site may be remote from the parking area, which maybe side-by-side parking.
best bet is to call and get definitions and regs for that location.


2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
Northern Virginia
Only once did I have someone count the canopy as a tent. We had my popup, a regular tent, and the canopy and the campground gave us issue told me we had to take something down. Even though it all Fit on my site they said we had too many tents. had the same setup at another campground with a similar rule and no issue. Think it depends on how the ranger or camp host interprets the rule. Personally the canopy should not count as a tent because you don’t sleep in it.


Active Member
May 29, 2016
Mt. Wachusett area, MA
My take is like PUSteve's: not more than two sleeping shelters.
JPJunkie's post 7 image shows two sleeping shelters and some rain protection. What if these rain flys were umbrellas instead?
jmk, Do you think your canopy would have been re-classified as an awning had it been attached to the camper?

and I've had pop-ups small and light enough that we were able to unhitch and then push the trailer down the foot path to our 'walk-in' tent site.


2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
Northern Virginia
jmk, Do you think your canopy would have been re-classified as an awning had it been attached to the camper?
Thats the kicker of it. I did not have an awning on my popup so the canopy was pushed up against the popup to act as my awning. The canopy wasnt obnoxious looking, No walls or screens were attached. So No, I think he was just having a power trip or something. Or more likely finished yelling at another camper over an issue and took it out on us.


Active Member
Aug 23, 2019
New York State, Erie County
we've rolled with the PUP, a Gazebo and a Shower/Poop Tent...still do

when our boys were in their "Tweens" and Teens, we'd have a 3rd " (edit) tent (sometimes a 2 man, sometimes our 6 man) 'cause they were Scouts and, didn't want anything to do with Mom & Dad except for food LOL 😂

bottom line: in all our years, not once were we challenged by the Park Rangers

I'm guessing that the "Rules" might be more strictly enforced at "Popular" CGs... keeping up appearances, and all (we tend to stay away from those "Most Popular" places...

FWIW: we've seen others using those "potable garages" or "Party Tent", and pitching their tents under them... one time, they were up for all of the 10 days we were at this State Park(Poe Valley SP, PA)

Happy Trails!

PS: DW just informed me that one of those "Party Tent" setups was at "Watkins Glenn" SP... go figure


Active Member
Sep 23, 2014
My take on this is it probably depends on where you are and how busy they are.

Here in CA, the campgrounds are basically full all the time anymore (the ones we look at visiting anyway). A place like KOA here might enforce the 2 tent rule because of the small sites, and there's no privacy so everyone would notice. Our regional and state parks are different though; they also have the 2 tent rule and I bet it's overlooked until it's a problem. Out at the coast I've seen a lot of tents set up (including one that looked like a castle from memory) with no issues; I would imagine though that once you have 5 vehicles parked near your site and a loud party going on, then it's an issue.

We've definitely had our pop up along with 2 or 3 tents in our campsite, but we're quite (and quiet) respectable neighbors and it's never been a problem :)



Active Member
May 18, 2021
Hot Springs, AR
Think it depends on how the ranger or camp host interprets the rule.
Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Our Corps of Engineers campsites around here expressly have a 2-tent or 1-rv, 1-tent rule, but that was ignored this past Memorial Day weekend. In the campground I was at, there were 3 tent only sites together, not a group site, that had 12 tents, plus gazebos and screen houses and floodlights on poles. Some other tent sites had 3 tents. The rv site directly across from us had a popup, 3 tents and a gazebo. We had our popup, screen house over the picnic table and a tent, so yeah, it's possibly at the ranger's or host's discretion.


Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
Southeastern PA
In addition to the number of tents rule, most campgrounds limit the number of occupants on any individual campsite. So perhaps the ranger or camp-host need to take that into account as well.

The county campground which I use every-other weekend, has this in their reservation rules.
  • Two camping units are permitted at each site, one unit must be a tent. Sleeping in personal vehicles is not permitted.
  • The maximum number of people per site is six. At least one responsible adult over the age of 18 must be included.
I would think that the wording "Two Camping Units" would mean "sleeping" units. Although, the next part has always confused me, "one unit must be a tent". If I were to have a Class-C, would I have to also setup a tent?


Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
I think it depends on the ranger/host as well. Most parks around me have a 2 tent rule, which is usually interpreted as 2 sleeping tents, not canopies/gazebos. If the sites are close to each other though then multiple gazebos can be an issue if the encroach into the neighboring site.

This last trip at an ACOE park there were a couple sites that had multiple tents in addition to a gazebo and a camper, and they were that way all weekend so I guess the host didn’t have an issue. However we got scolded for parking the TV and pup in the restroom parking lot while we took showers after getting everything loaded and hooked up for departure.