It’s that time of year: the spooky season, when ghouls, goblins, witches, werewolves, zombies, and sundry other frights are par for the course. Whether you’re dusting off that motorhome for the perfect weekend getaway of fall camping—or a full-time vanlifer or RVer migrating southward with the seasons—there’s a lot you can do at the campground to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve.
In the following article, we’ll run through some RV Halloween decorating tips: sturdy each and every one of them, but also useful just to get the ball rolling when it comes to your own creative scheming and crafting!
Let your imagination run wild this haunted stretch of the calendar with Halloween RV decorations of every description! Many campgrounds even run RV Halloween decorating contests, boosting your creativity with a little friendly competitive fire. And campground trick-or-treating is just one more incentive to up your game in a big way.
Here are some ideas for how to decorate your RV for Halloween!
Appropriately spooky string lights are about as quick and easy a way to give your RV or campervan a Halloween theme as anything. Pumpkins, ghosts, black cats, bats, witches on broomsticks—well, needless to say, the sky’s the limit when it comes to achieving a truly Halloweeny campsite with a few well-positioned string lights. The trick-or-treaters will love it!
Nothing says Halloween quite like a classic jack-o-lantern. The tradition of carving creepily grinning faces into pumpkins is thought to be an American twist on an old Irish custom inspired by the legendary character “Stingy Jack,” who outsmarted the Devil in various run-ins. Barred from both Heaven and Hell, Stingy Jack eventually ended up roaming the Earth by the light of a hellfire ember nestled in a carved-out turnip—the origin of the jack-o-lantern.
A good old-fashioned round of pumpkin carving is the perfect “pregame” for an evening of Halloween decorating at the campground. And along with (or instead of) the standard leering faces or screeching cats, you might think about scheming up some appropriately camping-themed imagery: old-school A-frame tents, travel trailers, snow-capped peaks, etc.
Consider lighting your own collection of campsite jack-o-lanterns with LED candles or other electric lights for the sake of safety and convenience.
Another easy-peasy option for RV camper Halloween decorations is the decal, whether a skeletal silhouette in your window or some spiders, wraiths, cauldrons, or what have you plastered on the RV interior and exterior. You can even make your own with cardboard or poster paper, working up a genuinely customized Halloween look to your road-warrior rig.
Turn your RVing campsite into a hair-raising graveyard to delight trick-or-treaters and everyday passersby alike! Erect some fake tombstones (hopefully sporting some tongue-in-cheek inscriptions or epitaphs), position a few tasteful corpse hands busting up above the grass, and go nuts with the spider webs and battery-operated skulls.
Few Halloween decorations offer quite the DIY opportunity as scarecrows. You can get pretty darn elaborate constructing these effigies, which—while offering loads of opportunity for spooky Halloween decor—can also, of course, double as timeless autumnal harvest symbols wonderfully evocative for fall camping. And, hey: Maybe you’ll dodge some troubles with the local crows, to boot.
Campers can bring the whole monsters-under-the-bed aesthetic to their motorhome or campervan. Tuck a few goblin hands or tails from the dollar store under your rig so that they stick out, or maybe the bony legs of a toy skeleton.
Speaking of skeletons, you can have endless fun with a few lifesized (or thereabouts) models to play around with. Set up a bony squad around a fake campfire outside your RV—armed with hotdog or s’more-roasting sticks—or maybe playing a few (undead) rounds at a poker table. Costume them up to your heart’s desire!
Set up some cutouts representing classic horror-movie icons under your RV awning. Frankenstein (and Bride of Frankenstein), Dracula, the Creature From the Black Lagoon, perhaps Freddie Krueger: You can turn your rig into a real rogue’s gallery in no time at all.
With premade decals or your own DIY materials, you can turn the front of your RV into a monstrous face—or some other visage appropriate to the spookiest of holidays—to turn some heads when you pull into the campground or picnic area.
Of course, it’s completely up to you whether you want to keep that getup going the whole year round.
Some RVers and vanlifers go all-out when it comes to vehicle and campsite Halloween decorations—and that’s awesome. Just remember to clean up thoroughly after yourself, as it’s all too easy to overlook some of those cobwebs, or a few of those rubber bats or centipedes, when you’re getting set to head out.
Of course, abide by any and all regulations set by particular campgrounds, RV parks, or managing agencies when it comes to materials, quiet hours, and all the rest. And don’t veer too hard to the creepy or gory side of things when it comes to your Halloween RV decorations. After all, you want to keep things family-friendly and respectful, even while having a little spooky fun.
From a few simple but effective Halloween lights to a campsite so utterly decked out it might as well be a haunted house, it’s a blast to work a little All Hallow’s Eve decorating into your seasonal vanlife or RVing routine. Maintain your creative juices and fuel up for a night’s worth of campground trick-or-treating with camping-friendly, just-add-hot-water meals from Mountain House!
And for Halloween camping or hitting the road any other time of year, bone up on the ins-and-outs of vanlifing and RVing via our other Mountain House blogposts—not least our overview of vanlife essentials.