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RV Campground Itinerary to Disney’s Fort Wilderness from PA
Planning to head down to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground with your RV? If you are leaving from PA, or any spot relatively close in the Northeast, check out our itinerary for tips on where to stop and what kind of travel time to expect.
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know by now that we enjoy Disney. We have driven to Disney World from PA 5 times in the last 7 years and as you might imagine, we learn a thing or two on each and every trip to make the next one go even smoother. It is no small fete to caravan the family across the country, but with a little bit of pre-planning, it’s possible to make the journey and live to tell the tale.
Once you have your road trip hacks and travel activities for the kids all planned, your attention will likely turn to your travel itinerary. I’m talking about mapping out your drive and trying to pinpoint possible stops if you plan on breaking up the drive over a day or two.
RV Route to Disney World from Pennsylvania
Last fall, we set our sights on Disney World yet again, although this trip was going to be very different that all previous trips. We were driving to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and towing our own camper behind us! As much as we love Disney, we also love camping. Two years ago we bought a travel trailer and before that new camper was even in our driveway, I started to dream about a camping trip to Disney. We had heard nothing but wonderful reviews from friends over the years about what a great campground Disney has. Not only did it get glowing reviews, the pricetag is also quite a bit cheaper than staying at most other Disney resorts. The notion that we could not only stay at this supposedly great campground but ALSO save a bundle while doing so was incredibly appealing!
We booked our campsite at the Fort more than a year in advance and then the countdown began!
Propane Restrictions in Maryland Tunnels
One thing that we came to find out as we planned our route south was that two of the tunnels in Maryland (Fort McHenry on i-95 and Baltimore Harbor Tunnel on i-895) both prohibit the transport of propane (or at least, anything bigger than a 10 pound bottle and on our camper we use standard 20 pound bottles, the same that you’d use on a propane BBQ.
An alternate route to these tunnels is the Francis Scott Key Bridge via i-695. This restriction factored heavily into our itinerary planning process.
Campgrounds Between Philadelphia and Disney World
In previous years, we would usually take an evening and then the entire next day to get to Disney from PA. We would leave our house in the Philadelphia suburbs around 3 pm and drive for about 6 hours, getting a hotel in Virginia. The next day we would drive all day long, arriving in Disney around dinnertime. You can check out a detailed post about that itinerary here.
When towing an RV, your travel time is going to be a little longer than normal because of the speed restrictions that come with towing that extra weight. We tried to be realistic and planned for plenty of travel time because we knew that it wasn’t likely that we would make it to Disney as quickly as we had on previous trips.
King’s Dominion KOA Campground (Doswell, VA)
We left home with the camper in tow by late afternoon on a Thursday in November. We drove for just over 5 hours, taking i-95 and then bumping over to i-695, crossing the Francis Scott Key Bridge in order to avoid the propane restrictions in the Maryland tunnels. This was fall, so the sun set earlier in the day and by the time we pulled into the King’s Dominion KOA Campground, just north of Richmond, in Doswell, VA, it was dark. We arrived after the office had closed, but found our check-in packet in the after-hours box. The campground was super quiet and empty as we pulled into our spot. We were just there for a quick overnight and had a pull-through spot, so we didn’t even bother to unhitch from the truck that night. We marched out of the truck and right into the camper and into our beds!
The next morning, we got on the road early, by about 7 am. We had a lot of ground to cover that day and we made pretty good time! It took us about 11-12 hours to make the drive from just north of Richmond, VA all the way down to St. Augustine, FL. Keep in mind, we did have 2 young kids with us, so while our stops were pretty minimal, there was of course the occasional pull-off for bathrooms and food.
St. Augustine Beach KOA Campground (St. Augustine, FL)
Just as the sun was starting to set, we arrived at our pre-Disney destination. We spent the night at the St. Augustine Beach KOA Campground. While this campground was a little further from the highway than we might have liked, the only other decent looking campground that we found had been booked solid. So we decided it was worth it to drive a few minutes out of the way to stay at this KOA, which looked nice from the website and had decent reviews.
It turns out, it was definitely worth it. The campground was a fine place to hang our hats for the evening and if you were looking for some beach time, the beach was literally a 5 minute (or less) drive. In fact, since I’m always a sucker for catching a sunrise over the ocean (and because we were up anyway), we hopped in the truck and watched the sunrise before hitching back up and heading over to Fort Wilderness.
I will be writing a much more detailed post about our week at the Fort, but we had an absolutely excellent stay. We made it to Fort Wilderness from St. Augustine in about 3 hours or so. We were pulling into the campground by noon and since our campsite hadn’t been assigned yet, we were able to park in the storage lot and get some lunch while we awaited our site.
We spent a beautiful, perfect weather, warm fall week enjoying Disney to the fullest!
Campground Between Disney and Philadelphia
Our return trip only took us 2 days since we were able to leave first thing in the morning on the day of our departure. We made it home after two long days of driving, as opposed to the night, long day and morning that we took to get to Disney. We pulled out of Fort Wilderness a tad later than we intended, but all things considered, we made good time.
Raleigh Oaks RV Resort (Four Oaks, NC)
When you are traveling up (or down) i-95, the location of Raleigh Oaks RV Resort is absolutely prime. It sits RIGHT next to the highway on/off ramp which makes it incredibly convenient for a quick overnight en route to your destination. After a long day of driving from Florida, we pulled into this campground after dark. We grabbed our check-in packet from yet another after-hours box and found our campsite quickly and without issue. We left the camper hitched to the truck overnight and crawled into our beds within minutes of pulling into our campsite.
Home Sweet Home
We were up and out early the next morning with about 450 miles left in our journey. We cruised home via i-95 (hopping over to the Francis Scott Key Bridge to once again avoid those tunnel restrictions). We pulled into home by mid-afternoon and were pleased with the time that we had made!
I hope this gives you some ideas of where you might be able to stay on your own camping journey to Disney. We felt that we had lucked out and that all of the campgrounds were very good choices. Whenever we find ourselves heading down the the Fort again, we will very likely re-book all the same campgrounds!