When it comes to taking a vacation, traveling in an RV can offer a unique and unforgettable experience. With proper planning and organization, your next RV adventure can be an enjoyable and enriching journey. In this article, we will discuss the various steps and considerations needed to plan your RV trip.
1. Establish Your Route
When planning your next RV adventure, one of the most important steps is to . As you map out your journey, consider the following key points:
- Budget: Determine your budget in advance to help you plan your route accordingly. Don’t forget to include the costs of potential destinations, must-see stops, and accommodations.
- Time: Estimate how long you want to stay at each destination and allot enough time to factor in the drive. This will help you maximize the time you have to explore.
- Destinations: Research the attractions and activities at each destination and decide where you’re most interested in going. You want to make sure you’re making the most of your trip.
When finalizing your route, choose the route of travel that accommodates lodging and fuel availability. To ensure your comfort and peace of mind, consult road conditions and closures in advance. When navigating through big cities, the GPS may not always be the most valuable tool. Consider alternative navigation sources too.
Your route should factor in flexibility. Options, such as an early check-in at a campground or setting aside a day for sightseeing, provide you with the ability to adjust to accommodate spills in your plans.
2. Gather Necessary Documents
Before you can begin to plan your RV trip, you’ll need to gather and prepare the necessary documents and paperwork. Make sure you have any and all information required for your journey. The specifics may vary based on the type of RV you have, your destination, and your type of travel.
- Obtain a copy of your vehicle registration—all the members of your travel party should have a copy.
- Confirm that you have the correct insurance coverage for your RV and any items you plan to transport. If necessary, consider any additional policy riders.
- Check travel alerts before setting out for your destination. Have a Plan B ready in case one route is unsafe or closed.
- Research the RV parks and campgrounds along your route. Reserve any spots in advance to avoid disappointment. You may need to bring proof of payment or registration with you when you check-in.
- Determine what supplies you’ll need to bring or buy ahead of time. Make sure you have adequate water, food, and camping supplies. Don’t forget toiletries, sunscreen, and other items to make your journey more comfortable.
- Lastly, bring a handbook or travel guide about the area so you can get to know more about the places you’ll be visiting.
3. Research Campsites and Facilities
Once you’ve determined when and where you plan to travel, researching campgrounds and their amenities is essential to successful RV trip planning. There are many factors to consider when searching for a campground. Here are some important things to look for:
- Location: Are you looking for a campground in a rural or urban area? Are there nearby attractions or activities you want to be close to?
- Amenities: Reputable RV campgrounds usually have electrical hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and a dump station. Some might also provide additional services for guests, such as food truck visits or access to Wi-Fi.
- Activities: Are there activities available in or around the campground? You can often find additional recreational opportunities, such as fishing, hiking, or bike trails.
- Cost: Generally, RV campgrounds charge a fee per night for campsites. You may also need to pay an additional fee for any extra people or for using amenities.
- Duration: Many RV campgrounds set a limit on how long visitors can stay. If you plan to stay severely longer, you may want to consider selecting a property that does not have strict time restrictions.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of online resources to help plan your stay. Sites like Campendium and The Dyrt have comprehensive lists of campgrounds, complete with ratings, photos, reviews, and prices. You can also find more traditional campground guides and listings on websites like Camp USA and Kampgrounds of America. Doing some research ahead of time can ensure your campground meets your expectations and provides the amenities and activities you desire.
4. Consider RV Equipment Requirements
Items You May Need
If you’re planning an adventure in your RV, the items you’ll need to bring can vary greatly depending on the type of RV and length of your trip. Before heading out, consider the following items:
- RV camping gear, such as camping stools, chairs, and outdoor tools
- Cooking equipment and cookware
- Clothing essentials, such as layers and protective clothing
- First aid kit and emergency supplies
- Travel and navigational items, such as maps, GPS devices, and other travel accessories
In addition to camping gear and first aid, you may need other RV equipment for a successful camping trip, including:
- RV-specific electrical cords and adapters
- RV-sized sewer hoses and connectors
- Water pressure regulators
- Properly sized wheel chocks for holding the RV in place
- Heavy duty exhaust pipe insulation
If you plan to camp in cooler weather, you may also want to include such items as an insulated cover for your main sewer line, a heated hose that attaches to your water supply, and an RV heater. Some items, such as satellite antennas and awnings, are optional depending on your preference.
Depending on the type of RV you have, you may also need to consider additional items, such as trailer brakes, sway bars, and a trailer jack. Additionally, if you have a tow vehicle, make sure you have the necessary accessories, such as tow hitches and vehicle brakes, plus extra gasoline tanks for long trips.
Preparing your RV and the items you need for an extended journey is important, so plan ahead and take the time to research items that may be necessary for your journey.
5. Finalize Plans and Get Ready to Head Out
Gather Supplies: Before concluding planning and heading out, it is important to gather the essential supplies. Whether that be last-minute snacks, extra supplies, or any kind of gear, make sure to have it ready prior to leaving. Check the RV and make sure all tanks are filled and that the 220v system is in working order.
Check for Changes: Even if you had everything planned out, review your plans one last time. Have there been any recent changes to your destinations or routes? Are there any new places of interest that you should consider along the way? If so, adjust your plans as needed.
Check the Weather: Knowing the weather conditions is essential to your trip, as it can have an effect on road conditions, comfort, safety and so on. Make sure to check all of the weather predictions up until the time you are hoping to arrive.
Prepare an Emergency Kit: Put together a kit that includes first aid supplies, spare fluids, charger cables, batteries, flashlights, and any other items you might need in case of an emergency.
Practice Grooming: Apply insect repellent, stow away food and understand basic grooming practices for when in nature, like disposing of trash properly and never feeding wild animals.