COTA Camping: 2024 Guide to Lot N and Premium RV sites

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

COTA camping for F1 - premium RV

Camping at COTA for the F1 is the single best way to avoid the chaos of the traffic and make the most of the weekend experience is to camp. 

Pretty much everyone that’s done it agrees that it’s by far the best way to enjoy the weekend and avoid the hellish gridlock that surrounds the circuit.

This article has pulled together as much information as possible to help people interested in camping at COTA for the F1 or other main events such as MotoGP or Nascar.

If you haven’t decided on your travel or accommodation plans yet for COTA then read this before you do. It might just save you a lot of time, stress and money.

Contents

COTA chaos

If you haven’t been to Circuit of the Americas for the F1 before, you might not be aware of the traffic chaos that surrounds the circuit. 

If you’re planning on driving and parking at COTA, or using one of the official COTA shuttle services, then you can expect to be stuck in gridlock at some point over the weekend. Read those respective articles for more info.

You can skip all of that by camping. The race weekend is Friday to Sunday but campers can arrive on Thursday and depart on Monday and avoid the traffic entirely. All from the comfort of their own RV or tent. This is by far the best way to experience the US Grand Prix at Austin (unless you have a helicopter).

COTA camping - official options

For the F1 (and MotoGP and Nascar) there are two camping options at the circuit, the Premium RV campground and Lot N dry campground. 

Prices below were for 2023 events, 2024 prices are not yet announced.

Premium RV campground cost

  • F1 event: $8000 for a weekend pass. Yes you read that right, $8k. And that doesn’t include general admission tickets.
  • MotoGP event: $2500 for a weekend pass. Doesn’t include admission.

Lot N dry campground cost

  • F1 event: $875 for the weekend pass. Doesn’t include admission tickets. 
  • MotoGP event: $250 for a weekend pass. Doesn’t include admission.

The facilities and amenities at both campgrounds are pretty similar for the F1 and MotoGP weekends. The following info is based on F1 weekend experiences but also applies to MotoGP.

Still need COTA F1 tickets?

COTA camping passes do not include admission tickets for the F1. If you still need those I’d recommend buying them on StubHub.

There’s a large number of tickets still for sale, and there are lots of much more affordable single-day options too. 

I’ve used StubHub for F1 tickets a handful of times over the last year, including for my trip to the inaugural Grand Prix in Las Vegas, and have always had a great buying experiences.

Their FanProtect guarantee is very robust at protecting both your money and tickets, and that gave me a lot of confidence when purchasing. 

COTA camping - premium RV

The COTA premium RV camping area is along the back straight of the circuit, between turns 11 and 12. The RV spaces are directly against the circuit fence, so you really can’t get any closer to the action.

COTA premium RV camping area

If you can get on the roof of your RV you’ll have an incredible view. Just note that the spots furthest to the east (on the right hand side of the map above) are slightly lower than the circuit, so you won’t be able to see the track from the spots at that end. But I think these are usually taken up with F1 equipment. 

For the F1 there is a temporary observation deck in the middle of the camping area only for premium RV pass holders to use. This gives amazing views from Turn 11 all the way down the back straight to Turn 12, right along one of the COTA DRS zones.

Circuit of the Amercas RV park observation deck

There are 75 spots available all 40’ x 20’, but for the F1 a few of these will be taken up by the observation deck. They are all paved hard standing and have 30/50Amp electrical hook ups, water hook ups and waste pipes. There’s a private shower and restroom block, a swimming pool and wifi.

Access is from noon on the Thursday before the race weekend to noon on the Monday after. But this is pretty flexible – turning up first thing Thursday morning is usually ok, as long as your space has been vacated by anyone staying in it the night before.

COTA premium RV campground

Booking Premium RV camping pitches for the F1 seems to be near impossible. They are normally listed as ‘sold out’ on the COTA website as soon as they are released. It seems you have to have either had one before or know the right people at the circuit to get a reservation here for the Formula One.

For the MotoGP these spots are normally available for a short while on the COTA website but sell out fast. For the Nascar they can be reserved through the Nascar at COTA website here. 

The only other option for getting a spot in the premium campsite during the F1 is to hope that there’s a free space on the day, find a campground manager and try and strike a deal.

It has been known that they are willing to sell off any unused spaces at massive bargains (less than 50% of sticker price) at the last minute. This only really works if you already have a spot in the Lot N dry camping area and are willing to get your haggle on for an upgrade.

COTA also provide some offical FAQs about this campsite.

COTA camping - Lot N dry campground

The Lot N dry camping area is the one most people will use and normally has a great atmosphere. It’s good for campers, trailers, RVs and tents. 

$875 for a weekend might seem a lot, but when you compare it to the cost of official parking (starts at $250) plus how much you can save by eating and drink your own stuff in the campsite rather than paying the extortionate concession prices in the circuit, it’s actually pretty good value.

Lot N camping passes can be purchased through the official COTA website, but sell out quickly.

Campsite location

The COTA Lot N dry camping area is basically a big grassy parking lot with dusty tracks and lanes. There’s no shade, so you need to bring your own. 

It’s located right next to turns 3, 4 and 5, and whilst you can’t see the track from the camping area as there’ll be the large Turn 4 grandstand and general admission viewing areas in the way, you are never more than a 10 minute walk away from the action. 

There’s a dedicated circuit entrance for the Lot N camping area so you will rarely have to queue to get in, unlike most of the other spectator entrances. Read our full guide to COTA entrances for more info.

COTA lot N camping map

The entrance to the Lot N campsite itself is via small turning on Elroy Road to the east of the circuit. Here is the Google Maps pin for Lot N entrance.

COTA Lot N entrance

Camping pitches

Pitches are roughly 40’ by 20’. You cannot reserve a specific space when booking tickets for Lot N through the COTA website. The pitches are first come first served and are all pretty close together so you’ll get to know you neighbours very well.

There are actually around 20 pitches with an electrical hookup. These can’t be reserved online either, you might be able to grab one if you phone COTA early enough and pay a premium but generally it seems they’re always automatically reserved for a select bunch of guys who know the right people at COTA.

A lot of the pitches aren’t very level so bring a good supply of levelling pads and chocks. It gets very dusty so prepare for that and expect to spend a couple of days after the event cleaning your camper out!

COTA Lot N campground
Circuit of the Americas Lot N campsite

Campground access

Campground access times are noon on the Thursday before the race to noon on the Monday after. But this is pretty relaxed – people were arriving and setting up early on Thursday morning in 2023.

Getting there early is worthwhile if you are keen on bagging a level spot as close the circuit entrance as possible. If you turn up late on Thursday afternoon it’s likely there’ll still be good choice, but arrivals from Friday mid-morning onwards are going to have pretty limited options.

If you want to be sure of getting the best spots, you can pay to camp in the premium RV campsite on the Wednesday night. This is actually a normal campground most of the year called COTA Camping. Expect to pay $100 or so for the Wednesday night before the F1 weekend starts. Crazy prices kick in from the Thursday.

Staying there Wednesday night means you can scope out Lot N before everyone else and get your stuff moved over there first thing on Thursday. More info on how to book COTA Camping weekday pitches in the sections below.

Car passes

A camping reservation in Lot N officially comes with one parking pass for your trailer and one for your tow car. Some people managed to get an additional car on to their pitch as well, but don’t guarantee on being able to do this.

If you can’t but need somewhere to put a second car, try and find cheap parking at one of the unofficial private parking lots on Elroy Road near Lot T. More info on these on the COTA parking guide.

COTA Lot N parking and camping

Generators

Prepare for the unpredictability of the Texas weather. In 2022 it was incredibly humid for the F1 weekend and the heat was pretty oppressive. Without any electrical hook ups you need to bring a generator for power and cooling.

The official COTA camping rules state that gennies should be switched off between midnight and 7am, but the reality is that most people keep them running all night long. So bring enough fuel on the assumption you’ll be running your generator overnight, every night. 

If you do run out there is an Exxon on the FM 812 right by Lot A, but this will be busy. You could actually walk there from Lot N in around 30 minutes. If you need to drive there to carry more gas, do it when the traffic is at its quietest otherwise you’ll be stuck for hours just to go 1 mile.

Restrooms & showers

COTA lists the Lot N facilities as restrooms but they’re normally porta potties kept to a pretty good standard of cleanliness. 

The Lot N camping passes don’t include showers, but for an extra $35 or so you can buy a shower pass for the whole weekend which gives you as many showers as you want. 

These are located in trailers in the Lot N campground and have been pretty reliable at delivering hot water at a good pressure. Normally open 7am – 11pm Thursday to Saturday, 7am – 6pm Sunday and closed on Monday.

Image credit SYC2Vette.

Circuit of the Americas Lot N camping

Food & drink

There is no dedicated concession stand or store for the Lot N campground. There are normally bags of ice to buy for around $10, other than that you can only buy things inside the circuit at huge cost or walk to a local gas station for supplies.

Bring enough food and drink with you in your camper for the whole weekend. This is what makes camping at COTA such as good option; you can pitch up very close the circuit entrance and when you want a break from watching the track action you’re only a 10 or 15 minute walk back to your camp site.

You can eat, drink, fire up the BBQ and grill as much as you like using your own food and drink that costs normal prices. You will save huge amounts of money when you’re not forced to buy food from the concessions and vendors within the circuit.

Open fires aren’t allowed, all fire pits and BBQs must be raised off the ground and well enclosed.

Image credit SYC2Vette.

Circuit of the Americas RV park

Water & waste

There are no water hook ups, fill points, faucets or dish washing facilities in the Lot N COTA campground, nor are there any waste disposal pipes or a sani-dump. There is however a truck service that comes round to offer fresh water fills or waste disposal. It’s around $55 for either service.

This can be arranged when you’re at the campsite but in the last couple of years it’s been pretty chaotic and poorly managed by the company offering the service. If you know you’re going to need one of the services, get it booked in well in advance as soon as you arrive. Hopefully they get their act together this year.

Alternatively if you can make it until the end of the weekend you could use the sani-dump at one of the local state parks (and fill up with water on the way in too). 

McKinney Falls to the west or Bastrop State Park to the east both have sani-dumps and water fill stations, and you can get cheap day passes at both (or it’s free if you have Texas State Parks pass). There’s a full list of sani-dumps near COTA here. 

Noise

Quiet hours in Lot N are officially midnight to 7am. But there will probably be music in to the early hours and people will be running generators all night long. Some have open frame generators that make a ton of noise but it’s kind of accepted as a way to keep people cool. Only occasionally have the very loudest generator owners been asked to shut them off.

So be prepared for the noise and bring some ear plugs if you value your beauty sleep!

COTA camping for Nascar

If you are camping at the Nascar event the same two campgrounds are available just at massively reduced prices. Information on these can usually be found on the Nascar at COTA website.

You can also speak to someone by (strangely) calling Texas Motor Speedway on 817-215-8500. Seems weird, but the people that manage the Nascar at TMS also manage Nascar at COTA and are normally much more knowledgeable about COTA camping than the people at COTA are themselves! Credit to RodtheCaptain on Reddit for this tip!

COTA camping year-round

When there’s not a major motorsport or music event on at Circuit of the Americas, the ‘Premium RV camping’ area is actually just a normal campsite called COTA Camping.

You can reserve spots here any day of the week and the prices are very reasonable. The price for a Saturday pitch in May on a weekend where there’s no big race events on is $45/night. Reservations can be made through CampSpot.

Camping near COTA

One of the few external campgrounds near COTA is Ruiz Parking. They offer cheap day parking as well as weekend camping. They’re located about a 15 minute walk from the Turn 1 entrance. They get pretty good Google reviews, if you can manage to make a reservation.

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Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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Chris

Thanks. Been desperately lookin for COTA Lot N camping info. Still unsure on what entrance to use

ERNESTO

Thanks for the information!!! Answered all my questions, it was very valuable.

Everett

Great info thanks so much. Very little on the COTA site of what you get for nearly $850! How do we get a shower pass, at lot N on arrival?

Amy

are you allowed having pets in lot N and / or premium camping for F1?

Louis

there were a ton of pets in lot N last year! tons of dogs!

Andrew

Is there a good forum to sell the Camping Pass? I have a conflict. Also a little concerned that the pass says non transferable. Can you not resell the pass?

Louis

hi! just received what i thought to be our Lot N Camping pass in the mail. however when i opened the envelope, it had 3 individual “Lot N VIP” parking passes. one for each individual day, Friday yellow, Saturday pink, Sunday Green.

im starting to freak out cause this is totally different that last year camping pass and we are a week away. ive tried calling the ticket office and i get no answer.

Hugo Gomez

If parking in lot N, what time do people line up before entering? I know it opens at noon but I’m assuming people get in line early? I was thinking about showing up around 10 and just waiting until it opens to get a good spot. Thanks.

Hugo Gomez

Thank you! How about wifi. Is there any wifi?

George N

I just bought my grounds passes for 2024 F1 USGP. It will be my 3rd year at the races but first camping. How and where do I buy the Lot N RV pass? I assume it’s through the COTA ticketing site but not available for 2024 yet? Any idea when they will be available?

Michael S.

Any update on Lot N RV passes for 2024? I haven’t been able to find any details and definitely would like to go next year. I already have my ground passes.

Chelsea A

I just purchased a pass for Lot N on Stubhub, but nothing on the ticket stated “RV Parking.” After reading everything, I’m assuming the entire lot is RV parking and you jut get there early to get a good spot?

Pam & Paul

This was a very helpful post on N Lot camping location, what to expect, etc.! We’ve got our tickets, and now our camping booked ~ looking forward to the 2024 race @ COTA! This will be our first time to an F1 race, and can’t think of a better way to do it than camping at the track!

Chuck Hull

Great details and really well presented, thanks!

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