If there’s one thing for certain when it comes to planning an affordable vacation or a simple weekend retreat — there’s nothing quite like an RV road trip. Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsman, simple novice or admitted first-timer, the basic preparations are still the same.
When plotting your expedition, you can simplify the process if you take a little time to breakdown your trip to these three phases:
- Pre-trip (what is needed prior to the trip?)
- On the road (what is needed while traveling?)
- Final destination (what is needed once we arrive?)
The first thing of course — no matter where you’re going, it all starts with the RV. Whether it’s a Class A motor home, travel trailer or truck camper — it’s priority one on your RV excursion.
Obviously, if you’re already an RV owner, You’re one step ahead of the game.
If you’re looking to rent, no problem. There are plenty of affordable options to navigate and find the right fit for your vacation plans. Websites like RV Share and Cruise America can help you with searching RV rentals in any state.
Regardless if you’re an RV owner or renter, your RV is going to require a full safety inspection before setting off. If you’re renting, your vehicle should be prepared by the rental company beforehand, but still, it never hurts to be aware of what general safety issues to look out for.
The RV Advisor can help you find a local qualified mechanic to service your RV. Looking to save money and do it yourself? YouTube has an endless amount of informative videos to offer by searching your specific topic of need. You can find a comprehensive RV preparation checklist here.
Also, keep in mind that it’s never a bad idea to look into RV insurance. The unexpected can always happen. Better to be safe than sorry.
Once your RV is ready for travel, now comes the fun part: planning your trip! Three important things to consider when organizing an RV trip: Where are we going? How long are we going? What do we do once we get there?
By asking these questions, you’ll need to consider what clothes, gear and supplies you’ll want to pack for your trip. Maybe it’s taking extra coats and hiking gear for the mountains? Perhaps packing some additional food and water for a lengthy stay? What activities are available where we’re staying and what else might they require?
It’s ideal to map out your trip in advance and check for stopping points along the way, in case you need to take breaks for rest, fuel, food, etc. The more you plan ahead, the better you’re prepared for any potential issues or needs that may arise.
On the road:
Now your vehicle is all packed and safe for travel. What concerns are there once you are out on the highway? Hopefully, you’ve tackled most potential concerns with some proper pre-trip logistics, but there are always things you simply can’t prepare for.
Thankfully, smartphones today can assist with a lot of issues by virtue of GPS navigation apps, remote phone service in most cases and even travel info/tips via websites and social media.
Something you’ll find instantly while driving an RV, is that there are limits to places that can accommodate parking. It’s good to know where there are truck stops such as Pilot and Flying J that offer plenty of parking for large vehicles. Most also offer food, restrooms, laundry services and even a hot shower if needed.
Taking the family dog on your trip? An app such as BringFido can help you find pet friendly restaurants, retailers and lodging along the way.
One last important detail to keep in mind when traveling is the height restriction of your vehicle. Always watch out for clearance signs when approaching underpasses and tunnels.
Whether you’ve made plans for your trip well in advance, or you’re just wandering wherever you may go – it’s always good to know the rules, regulations and amenities of where you’re planning to stay.
Information on national parks, campsites and weather conditions can go a long way for helping you to make the most of your adventure. By doing a little research in advance, you can prepare for most situations and elements.
Hopefully, this information will serve as a quick refresher or an insightful checklist for your upcoming RV trip. For more RV related news, tips and information, please visit The RV Advisor and ask the experts.