In 2017, over 10 million households in the United States owned an RV. And because an additional 17 million were looking to invest in one, there’s no doubt that number has increased since then.
When you think about what RV trips offer those who partake in them, it’s no surprise that this is such a popular transportation mode for American families. You have the ability to drive anywhere in the country you want to go, creating unlimited potential for adventure while essentially bringing a small condo along with you.
That said, like any vacation, RV road trips take quite a bit of planning, and if you’re new to RV life, you might not know where to start. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered!
Outlined below are some of the best tips for planning an RV trip, including everything from designing your route to making a packing list. Keep reading to learn more.
Make a Budget and Plan Your Trip to Match
When you’re approaching planning a long-distance RV trip, the first step is to make a budget. Everything from your route to your stops to the length of your trip will depend on it. Though RV trips are less expensive than, say, a trip overseas, you’re still likely to spend a lot on gas, camping fees, and food.
Once you have the amount you’re able to spend on your trip, you need to design a route that matches your budget. For this, you’ll need to know the miles per gallon of your RV or tow vehicle.
If you don’t have this information because you don’t already own an RV, Leisureland RV can help you choose the right one for you and your adventure style.
In addition to your vehicles’ MPG, you need to make a detailed outline of your trip. This should list the stops you want to make, where you’ll park at each one, how much each campsite will cost, and what you will eat along the way.
Now, there are ways to make your budget stretch. Further, you have to decide what’s important to you. For example, you might forgo eating out on your trip and cook all of your meals in the RV kitchen or campsite instead. Or you could park at a Walmart or other large parking lot instead of paying for a private space at a campground.
Making sacrifices in some areas will give you a little extra money in others, but don’t make sacrifices that will jeopardize your enjoyment of the trip or your safety.
Start Planning Well in Advance of Your Departure Date
As we’ve already discussed, RV road trips are trendy, and if you’re staying at campgrounds, you’ll be sharing the space with tent campers as well.
Because camping is such a popular pastime, campgrounds fill up quickly. Depending on the time of year you’re planning your trip, the campground could reach capacity several months in advance.
To avoid any disappointments or adjustments to your plan, you need to do your best to start the planning and booking process well before your trip. Make reservations as early as possible, especially if your RV trip falls during peak season or you’re visiting popular locations such as national parks.
Remember, you can always cancel if your plans change, but you can’t make reservations at a campground that’s already booked up.
Ensure That Your Route is RV-Friendly
You have your stops, and your campsite reservations are taken care of; now, it’s time to map out the finer details of your route. Whether you’re driving an RV or pulling on behind your vehicle, it’s not quite as easy as driving a regular car by itself.
The first step is to decide whether you’ll take primarily interstates and highways or backroads and scenic byways. Then, do some research into what your chosen route looks like and take note of any potential roadblocks along the way.
Look for things like tunnels and bridges with low clearances, propane restrictions, and gas stations’ size and location. With an RV, you won’t be able to use just any gas station; pulling into the wrong one can leave you in a parking disaster.
You also need to take steep grades and sharp turns into account if you’re going to be traversing any mountains. These can be dangerous for all large vehicles, but especially inexperienced RV drivers.
Take Your Time Packing
The worst thing you can do when planning a long-distance RV trip is to pack at the last minute. Your RV packing list will be much longer than it would be for a typical trip, and leaving packing for the night before you leave is a great way to leave something important behind, ruining your trip in the process.
Please make a list far in advance of your trip and break it into the following categories: eating, sleeping, relaxing, bathing, outdoor activities, and RV essentials.
In each of the first five categories, think about what you use in a typical day-to-day routine and write it down. It’s helpful to actually go through your routine, writing things down as you go.
As far as RV essentials, include everything you would need for a regular car emergency kit (flashlight, tool kit, road flares, etc.), as well as things like propane, a water hose, and a fire extinguisher.
Plan Your RV Trips Like a Pro With This Guide
Making RV trips a frequent vacation for yourself and your family is a great way to bond with those you love most while experiencing everything this country has to offer. And when compared to other types of trips, they’re relatively low maintenance and easy to plan.
However, the planning process is still important, and to ensure that you have the best time possible, you need to have all the details ironed out before you hit the road. With this guide, you’ll be able to do just that.
Looking for more tips and tricks for planning your next vacation? Be sure to check out our blog!
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