Hitting the road for an RV vacation is the quintessential American dream. Prior to 2020, many Americans opted for travel by air. But after the pandemic, people are realizing the benefits and joys of traveling by RV.
Whether you’re an age-old RVer or brand new to RVing, here are 5 tips for planning an RV vacation.
1. Make a plan
Planning an RV vacation is an exciting but somewhat daunting task. It can feel overwhelming to know where to go, what spots to visit, or where to camp. Establishing a solid plan ahead of time is key to a successful trip.
A good place to start is by identifying the big destinations you want to visit. Whether that’s a historic route, national park, or big city figure out the main attractions you’re going to visit and plug them into a map to determine the optimal route to get there. You can learn more about how we plan our RV trips here.
We like to use the Dyrt Pro’s trip planner. You can enter your destinations, the type of vehicle you’re driving, and how long you like to travel on a given day. Then it maps out the best route with gas station tops and camping spots for the entire way. It makes planning an RV trip super easy and removes the hassle of going to dozen websites as you plan.
The Dyrt is the #1 rated camping app for both Apple and Android. It has the most campgrounds out of any online platform with over 1 million user-submitted campground reviews. If you’re interested in signing up, get 90 days free with the Dyrt Pro by using code “ESRV”.
2. Don’t over plan
It’s super easy to over plan an RV vacation. If you only have a limited amount of time to take a trip it’s understandable that you want to pack as much in as possible. You can fit a lot in an itinerary in just a short period of time. This can lead to burn out or ending up needing a vacation from the vacation you just took.
I suggest researching your big destinations. Then figure out how much time should be allotted to the place to see all you want. Certain destinations like Yellowstone National Park will warrant several days. Rushing through it in one or two days won’t do the park justice. While other national parks, like White Sands National Park or Carlsbad Caverns, are just a day excursion.
Also, keep in mind that traveling by RV can take longer because RVs are bigger in size and slower in nature. It can also be a bit more fatiguing, especially if you aren’t used to driving a vehicle of that size.
3. Get to know the RV
You don’t need to own an RV to take an RV vacation. Many choose to rent an RV, which can be a great option for those looking for a little getaway. However, it’s important to take the time to get to know the vehicle and how it works. All too often we see new RVers make some very unsafe decisions unbeknownst to them.
If you’re renting an RV make sure the company leasing the RV gives you a thorough walkthrough of how to operate things. If necessary watch a few videos on Youtube to help you understand the intricacies of a make and model similar to the one you own or rent.
It also doesn’t hurt to give a test drive. Go on a few smaller trips locally to the grocery store. Drive on the highway or park to get practice turning the RV, parking it, or backing it up. The last thing you want on your RV vacation is to break a part of the RV because you didn’t know what you were doing. As eager as you may be to get on the road, don’t skip this step!
4. Save money by cooking in
One of the biggest benefits of RVing is that you have all of the creature comforts of home with you no matter where you go. A huge part of any vacation is enjoying tasty meals at great new restaurants. But eating out non-stop, especially in remote areas (like near national parks) can get tiring after a while.
While RV kitchens may not be the same size you’re used to in your home, they are more than sufficient for cooking quick and tasty meals. Try to pre-plan what meals you will make in the RV beforehand. That way you shop for the proper ingredients before hitting the road. This cuts down on the number of stops you need to make and ensures you have food for when the family gets hungry.
5. Be flexible
A huge part of taking an RV vacation is being flexible. While it’s a good idea to have reservations for where you will be staying booked in advance. It’s also important to be flexible with your route and trip as a whole.
You may pass a cool town, unique attraction, or end up spending more time in one place than you originally expected to. By having flexibility (and not over-planning) you have the ability to re-route, pull over when you see something cool to explore or just have more time to enjoy with the family.
Hopefully, this article has helped you feel more prepared and excited for your next RV vacation. Get ready to hit the road exploring the incredible sights, food, and wonders our country offers!
Boondocking is our gig. No reservations, get an RV that has good clearance and no towing units. You can camp anywhere without leaving a trace.
Great tips! We love boondocking too, but it’s not always the best option for those who are new to RVing or just renting an RV for a family vacation.