Thinking about going on a road trip on your RV? We can’t blame you. Nothing beats going on the open road with all the amenities of home. Of course, if you want to make the most of your vacation, a little bit of planning will go a long way. Below are the 6 most important things you need to do before you can go RVing with your family.
1. How Much Space You Need?
The first thing that you should consider is how much space you need for your travel. Imagine that you have already planned and packed everything and realize that you do not have enough space. Take into account every detail about the space, whether you are traveling with your pet/pets, and also do not forget about space for your children if you are traveling with your family. Note, there are several RV parks that have rules about pets and children.
So, you should choose an RV which will fit well for your family unit.
2. Choose Your Destination
Tempting as it may be to leave your destination to chance, it’s not a good idea when you’re RVing. You need to know in advance the places you can park your vehicle in. Plus, wandering aimlessly can burn through your budget fast AND waste precious vacation time.
So, where do you want to go? Take note that you will need to take into account the number of days you have available to drive to your destination and back with stopping points along the way.
3. Plan Your Route
Now that you know where you’re going, you need to outline your route. Are you taking the scenic route or heading straight to your destination? Do you want to avoid tolls? What are the potential places you want to visit along the way? Are there places where you can stop and rest? By planning your route and your timeline, you’re less likely to find yourself searching for something interesting to see. Worse, you could find yourself without a campground to park in or stuck in one that’s overpriced. In addition, you can make reservations which you may need to do if you’re driving there during peak season.
The good news is that planning your RV vacation is so easy nowadays. Google is your friend. If you want something that’s geared for RVing adventurers, you can check out Passport America, KOA, Roadtrippers, and RV Parking.
4. Make a Budget
Vacations cost money even if you’re bringing everything with you including the kitchen sink. You’ll need money for food, the campground fees, gas, and costs related to sightseeing (e.g. national park entrance fees).
With a route in mind as well as places you can stay at, you can estimate just how much you’ll need to pay for this vacation. Planning ahead of time can help you save money for your trip and even set aside extra cash for unexpected expenses.
5. Prepare Your Vehicle for Travel
Your RV will be your mode of transportation as well as your home away for home for a certain period of time. If any part of it breaks down while you’re on vacation, it’ll make a huge impact on your trip. Not a good one either. So, you need to make sure that your vehicle will be able to hold up driving for long stretches of time, possibly on rough roads and through bad weather.
To ensure your safety, make sure to check both the exterior and the interior of the RV. Check the air pressure on the tires to see if they’re correct. While you’re there, check the custom wheels to see if they have rust or cracks. Check the battery and oil. Test if the air conditioning is running properly. Make sure that your gas and smoke detectors are up to code. Inspect the appliances and make sure they’re all working. The same goes for windshield wipers. All the filters must be clean, the emergency equipment must be functional, and the hitch attachment must be working.
6. Pack Your Essentials
You’ve got a plan, a route, a budget, and a vehicle all set to go. It’s time to figure out what you need to pack. Obviously, you’re going to need the essentials. But your idea of essentials may differ from someone else’s. That being said, anyone RVing will need to stock up on household basics such as food, pots, pans, plates, utensils, towels, cleaning supplies, and bedding. You’ll also need to pack all the stuff you generally take with you on your vacations such as your clothes, electronics, etc. Portable grills, lights, lounge chairs, toiletries, insect repellant, and a first aid kit are other examples of items that should be on your must-bring list.
Take note that while you may have a large vehicle, that doesn’t mean you can’t overpack it. The RV will be your living space for the entire duration of your trip. If it’s full of stuff, it can make you feel cramped and uncomfortable. Not to mention, too much added weight can cause your tires to wear down quickly.
7. Purchase RV Insurance
Accidents happen. While it may not happen to you on this trip, it’s always best to be prepared. RV insurance prevents you from covering for damages and possibly medical expenses out of your own pocket.
8. Driving RV for the first time
Driving an RV is completely different from driving a car or even a truck, it requires some preparation and is not everyone. Learn everything about driving an RV before you will start your trip. And before you buy your first RV, it’s a good idea to try one out first to see what you like. You should choose an RV that is comfortable for driving and fits your family. If you aren’t sure that you are ready to drive an RV, take a few test drives before the long trip.
9. Don’t Stress It
You’re going on a vacation, so don’t stress out if you haven’t thought of or planned for every last detail. Anything you did wrong or forgot can be a lesson learned for next time. Go enjoy yourself. You can get things right on your next trip.