Are you one of the 11.2 million Americans who own an RV? Are you craving the delights of the long and winding road? The U.S. offers abundant opportunities for long-distance RVing, but it’s not an undertaking for the faint-hearted or ill-prepared.
There are certain things you’ll need on an extended RV trip that you could normally do without. Leave home without them, and you’ll end up looking back on your vacation with anything but fond memories.
Read this guide on how to plan an RV trip and what to take along, before you start packing.
1. A Detailed Plan of Action
Sure, many RVers roll off into the sunset without a plan in mind, and you’re welcome to take this route. However, it’s never a good idea on your first long-distance trip.
Before you set off, you should discuss all your RV road trip ideas with your family. This will ensure everyone has an enjoyable time, and you don’t end up with bored, disgruntled traveling companions for weeks at a time.
Plan your route, so you can fill up with fuel, gas, and supplies when necessary, and make sure there’s an RV repair shop within reasonable reach of all your pit stops.
It pays to compose an itinerary of things to see and do along the way, so you can work out your route and plan your stopovers to ensure maximum enjoyment.
One of the best RV tips is to plan your route according to the popular ‘3 or 3 rule’ which means you never travel for more than three hours at a time or after 3 pm.
Never leave home without a detailed map of the area you’re visiting. GPS is all very well, but nothing beats an up-to-date paper map.
2. Essential Supplies
When you travel far from home, you’re likely to come across weather patterns that differ vastly from what you’re accustomed to. For instance, there’s no comparison between the winter months in Colorado and Florida.
Research the weather forecast for all the places you’ll visit, and pack accordingly. It’s a good idea to download an app on your phone that warns you of impending severe weather incidents.
Likewise, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your usual RV trip essentials. Make sure you have adequate supplies of medications, contact lenses, and contact solutions for your trip.
If any of your family has skin allergies, it’s best to stock up on their regular brand of toiletries and cosmetics, in case you can’t stock up in the place you’re headed.
It’s always a good idea to keep a few extra toilet rolls, wipes, diapers, and paper towels on hand for emergencies, too.
3. A Power Source
Wherever you go in your RV, it’s important to keep the lights on, but an effective power supply is one of those RV travel essentials that assumes a new significance when you’re vacationing in the middle of nowhere.
Solar panels are the ideal fit for RVs, but they can’t run on moonlight. An inverter and battery attached to your panels will ensure you’ve got power all night long, wherever you are.
Lithium deep cycle batteries are a long-lasting, efficient source of power when you’re on the road. They’re also smaller than regular batteries, which makes them ideal for space-conscious RVers.
If you don’t have solar panels, you’ll need to ensure you book campsites with electricity hookups wherever you go. Every avid camper can cope with a night or two without electricity, but not for the duration of a long-distance trip.
4. RV Trip Emergency Gear
When you own an RV, you must sign up for roadside assistance. You never know how long they’ll take to arrive, if at all, though.
You should have a tool kit containing plenty of commonly used tools, as well as a spare tire and puncture kit.
General repair tools come in handy for more than vehicle repairs, too. Any number of items can need screwing, bolting, soldering, or gluing during a long road trip.
You must have a fully-stocked first aid kit in case of minor scrapes, burns, and stings, too. Speak to your doctor or a paramedic about essential medical items you might need.
Regardless of how up-to-date your RV’s service records are, you should get it serviced before you head out on the open road.
5. Sufficient Funds
Make sure you budget for extra expenses beyond the price of your accommodation. While planning your route, calculate how much gas you’ll need per day and include that in your budget.
Remember, your fuel consumption will vary according to altitude. You should always keep a spare can of fuel handy in case you misjudge your next fuel stop and run out before you get there.
Other expenses to take into account, include:
- Unintended stops
- Eating out
- Price variations on food
- Toll fees
It’s a good idea to calculate a daily expense limit for incidental expenses like these.
6. An Open Mind
Plans and preparations are essential to a successful trip, but they can detract from the freewheeling aspect of an RV trip.
Don’t hesitate to try a scenic route at times, as long as it checks out on your route map.
Feel free to try new dishes and local eats, experiment with new experiences, and make the most of every moment on the road.
Travel Is the Tonic You Need
Regular vacations are one of the best ways to stay productive and energized, and a well-planned RV trip is one of the most affordable ways to get away more often.
Would you like more ideas to boost your welfare and enjoyment? Browse our blog for more of the best ideas to keep you entertained and motivated.
Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.