RVs are ideal for long road trips. You get to drive at your own pace, seeing everything the journey has to offer before your destination, while giving you the chance to search for hidden gems on your route. Long road trips can quickly turn into a struggle if you’re not prepared, however.
These top tips will ensure your next long road trip in your RV is one you’ll all remember forever—for all the right reasons.
1. Set Your Budget
Long road trips can quickly get out of control budget-wise. On your journey, you may find yourself entering several stores, malls, and restaurants. When you’re out on the road for several weeks, the costs can quickly add up. Be realistic about your budget. Make sure to budget enough for food, gas, and some fun adventures, then consider how many days you can reasonably spend on the road without overspending. Of course, the actual cost of your RV matters as well, so work with your RV dealers to find the most affordable model for your needs.
2. Plan Your Route
Although there’s something to be said about getting lost on your journey—enabling you to discover new places and things to do—it’s typically best for all involved if you travel a planned route to your destination. Part of planning your route should also include a timeline of how much time you’ll spend at each location. In addition, make sure to map out gas station locations along the way to ensure you can get gasoline before you run out. Often, gas stations are few and far in remote areas, and your RV is going to need a lot of gas.
3. Plan for Spontaneity
Although planning is a good idea, keep in mind that some of the best times you’ll have on your road trip will be unplanned, spontaneous adventures. Leave time in your schedule to spend a couple extra days here or there—you may meet some locals you want to spend more time with, discover parks or scenery you absolutely need to see, or just love a town so much you don’t want to leave yet. By planning to be spontaneous, you can avoid the stress of strictly meeting your timeline.
4. Share the Driving
If possible, share the driving time with others in the RV. This will make for a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. It’s also safer—driving while tired isn’t a good idea. Everyone should have time to rest their eyes and stretch their legs on the trip.
5. Pack Entertainment
Looking at the road and chatting with your family is going to be fun for a few days, but you might quickly get bored of it, so make sure you pack entertainment. Along with electronics, such as DVD players and music players, pack hard copies of books, board games, and playing cards to keep every day fresh and fun.
6. Pack Hard Copies of Key Information
Though everyone tends to rely on their smartphones these days, you never know what might happen to it on the road. You might forget it at a dinner or drop it in the lake! It’s a good idea to pack a hard copy of your map, your route, any campsite reservations you may have, as well as emergency information.
7. Purchase a Backup Camera for the RV
Though you already have towing mirrors, it’s a great idea to purchase a backup camera. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll be able to pull in and out of campgrounds when you can see behind you.
8. Make Your RV a Home
It’ll make your experience that much better if you add some homey touches to your RV before you leave. Add some art to the walls, bring some throw pillows and blankets from home, and add other personal touches. You’ll feel less homesick this way.
9. Bring a Toolkit
You never know when you’ll need to do some RV maintenance, so it’s a good idea to bring a toolkit with you just in case—consider bringing a drill, a shovel for unexpected storms, and a caulking gun for roof leaks.