4 Important Things to Consider When Planning Your RV Vacation

You’ve done the cruises and the fly in and spend a week tours but have you ever thought of trying a road trip on a grand scale? If size doesn’t intimidate you, consider renting an RV and seeing the countryside.

The first time I went somewhere in an RV I found myself wondering if I could ever stand to do it again. The second time went better and I didn’t get as stir crazy. I knew what to expect and packed more appropriately.

The last time I went on one, I wondered if it might be worthwhile buying one eventually.

It’s definitely a different way to travel and things like your choice of travel companions and how well you pack become significantly more important, especially for longer trips into remote areas.

You will be spending a lot of time together. Do not travel with someone that gets on your nerves easily.

1. The advantages and disadvantages

There are a number of choices to choose an RV over other types of travel.

It can offer a different way to see off the beaten track sites and national parks and you can cover a long distance and still see the places in between. On the other hand, a flight takes you to your final destination and that is it – you miss all the ground in between your starting and finishing locations.

Also, it can be cheaper if properly planned than a traditional vacation or road trip.

If you are considering purchasing an RV for future use, renting one and taking a trip can be an ideal way to figure out if this is really what you want before you spend a lot of money.

For people who need their own space and prefer their own cooking to eating in restaurants and living in hotels, this can soothe the anxiety caused by being subjected to others standards of cleanliness.

If you like to travel with your pets, this can eliminate the headache of finding a place that accepts pets. Although you should check with any campsites you intend to stay at since not all accept pets.

2. People who shouldn’t rent an RV


If driving a big vehicle makes you nervous, you are not going to be comfortable driving an RV. That’s fine if your travel companion is willing to do all the driving but depending on how far you are travelling that can be a lot to ask.

Likewise, if your goal is to explore lots of facets of a big city, an RV can be difficult to navigate through city traffic, especially if the streets are narrow.

If you feel faint when you fill your car’s gas tank, filling the RV’s will make you pass out. Gas is one of the most expensive parts of RV travel and it can be pretty unnerving the first few times you fill up.

Look for places with lots of competition and take advantage of specials and discounts that come with purchasing a certain number of gallons.

Be aware of the maintenance aspects of RV travel, like handling black water. Trips of any real distance will require taking care of these things. If you hate small showers, you’ll want to plan on stopping at places with showers available for your use.

3. Planning your trip

Planning is important and so is budgeting. If you hope to save money by travelling in the RV, you need to make sure that you aren’t constantly backtracking to get and see things you missed. Most people will travel 150 miles per day around stops for breaks and sightseeing.

Decide on the places and attractions you want to see and then begin building your route around that. Make sure you have lots of flexibility built into your plan since there are bound to be things you discover en route that you want to stop and see.

Once you’ve mapped your basic route out, start looking into campsites in the areas you intend to stop at overnight. Make a list of the amenities that are important to you. After a day of travelling in an RV, many would like to be able to take a swim in a pool or lake or have a hot shower that offers a bit more space than your average RV.

If you or your travelling companions like to fish or play sports, look for campsites that offer facilities. If you are travelling with young children then pools and playgrounds can be very welcome at the end of the day.

For the technology obsessed, wireless internet is another option you may wish to check on. You’ll want to plan out stays at places with laundry facilities too so you can do a load or two as you go.

Make sure your budget includes fuel costs, rental cost if you are renting an RV, food purchases, camp fees, attraction fees, and goals for how much you want to spend each day.

You can save a lot of money by doing most of your own cooking rather than eating in restaurants all the time. You’ll want to go out for a meal occasionally but try to not to do it every night.

4. Packing for your RV vacation


If you are renting the RV, make sure you know what is included in terms of dishes, linens, etc. You don’t want to go overboard on the basics but the last thing you want to do is run out of toilet paper, either.

Make sure you have toiletries, soap, dish soap, pots, pans, dish towels and cloths, towels, bed linens, etc. In terms of clothing, if you can plan on staying somewhere with laundry facilities you can save space but not packing as much clothing.

You’ll want to have lots of snacks, beverages, and at least some meals planned for and packed for. Try to keep meals relatively simple. There isn’t a ton of counter space in an RV and trying to prepare gourmet meals in a limited kitchen can be frustrating.

Coffee lovers should ensure they have a coffee maker that meets their standards. You’ll also find that some evenings you are going to be tired and not want to cook a complicated meal. Many RVs come with a barbecue or provide space for storing one.

Take advantage of it and plan on cooking outdoors. You can also plan on making stops at grocery stores while travelling. Avoid small stores as they are likely to be pricier and they may also have smaller parking lots which can make parking more difficult.

Make sure that you pack any sporting gear such as fishing equipment, balls, swimsuits, etc that you are going to want at your stops. You’ll also want diversions for quieter times such as books, puzzles, games, and movies.

If you are travelling with a pet make sure you have a supply of their food, clean up bags, extra leashes and collars, etc so that you can take your pet out for exercise at your stops. If your dog is crate trained, you may also want to pack a kennel for him.

As with any trip, if anyone (human or pet) is on medication make sure you have enough for the entire trip as well as some extra just in case you get delayed or something goes wrong.

Regardless of where you choose to go, the road beckons. RV rentals are available in many countries for those venturing further afield. There are also many websites devoted to RV travel that can suggest routes, attractions, places to stop, and provide trip tips. So, hit the road and see where it leads you.

Cover photo: wantadtimes.com


About the author

Heather B

Heather is an avid traveller, lover of dogs, and baker supreme. She lives in a small town in Ontario, Canada where she raises German Shorthaired Pointers with her family. An explorer at heart, she travels whenever she can, wherever she can.

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