6 Things You Need To Do BEFORE Your Next RV Trip

One of the first things many new RVers discover is that planning an RV trip requires a lot of forethought. You can’t just hitch up your RV and head out for an adventure. A successful RV trip requires weeks and possibly months worth of planning.

The best parts of RVing are the trips themselves but many people are filled with dread when it comes to planning. To help you feel confident about navigating the challenges of travel logistics here are five important things to do before you take your next RV trip.

1. Plan your route

There are a handful of questions to ask yourself when choosing where to travel. What appeals to your lifestyle? Are you looking for hiking opportunities? Or would you prefer to relax? Some enjoy the tradition of returning to a favorite spot whereas others may be inclined to go somewhere new.

Of course, some people know exactly where they want to go next. Whether you’re traveling to the beach or the mountains, you will need to plan and budget your route. To make the most of your road trip, research scenic areas, historic sites, landmarks, and roadside attractions.

If you’re interested in efficiency, you can download an app such as GasBuddy to determine how much you’ll spend on fuel before you even hit the road. You can then figure out how long you want to be on the road or how long you’ll be staying in your desired location.

Here are some articles to help:

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Write your packing checklist

Once you know where you’re going—and for how long—you’ll have a better idea of what items to bring along with you.

It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of your RV trip plans. However, if you’re not careful you could leave behind some important items. I recommend keeping a detailed packing list of everything you want on your trip.

Many RVers find it very helpful to list out the days and plan out their outfits and meals. This can help ensure they have enough clothes and food for the RV trip. You don’t want to hit the road and discover you only have two pairs of underwear for a week-long RV trip. If you do, your first stop will likely be a local Walmart.

Perhaps most importantly, you should make sure you have a first-aid kit on hand. Keeping a tool kit handy is never a bad idea, either. And always store on the curb side.

Besides clothes perhaps (everyone packs twice as much as they need), small personal items are easy to forget. These include your toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, toiletries, and accessories such as belts, hats, and sunglasses. Plenty of premade packing lists are available online but since everyone is different it’s a good idea to write your own list and check things off as you go. Just don’t forget toilet paper!

That’s why I wrote these two articles:

Padre Island National Seashore, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Secure RV protection

Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned. That’s just the way things are so be prepared. Check the expiration on your insurance policy before you head out. The last thing you want is for something to go wrong only for you to realize your safety net has expired.

In addition, you may want to consider investing in an RV extended warranty policy. Although they aren’t legally required like insurance warranties will cover everything your insurance policy doesn’t. Unexpected breakdowns are often expensive and inevitable. Let your warranty policy administrator cover your repair bill.

Here are some helpful resources:

Badlands National Park, South Dakota © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Address routine maintenance

As mentioned in the previous section, prevention is important when it comes to protecting your RV. Before heading out, make sure your home-on-wheels is in good running condition.

In preparing for your next road trip check your roof, tires, and tow equipment (if applicable). You should check your RV tire pressure if your vehicle has been in storage longer than a month. Tires lose up to 2-3 psi per month in storage. To be extra cautious, this is also an opportunity to check for air leaks, lug nut tightness, and wear. Examine the tread and sidewalls for obvious signs of damage such as cracks or wear in the tread. Tires should be replaced every six years or earlier if there is obvious wear.

Don’t wait for it to rain—you’ll also want to inspect your roof for leaks. Over time, sun and air exposure weaken seals. You’re looking for cracked or broken seals. To check the integrity of the roof itself, you can do a hand test. If there is white residue on your palm after running your hand along the roof, this may indicate that it’s time to reseal your roof.

If you suspect any component may require attention, it isn’t a bad idea to get an RV inspection. The technician will alert you to any mechanical or electrical problems you may have missed. They will take a look at your filters, fluids, brake system, and so on. RVs continue to age in storage; it’s important to address any repair needs before your next trip.

Read more:

White Sands National Park, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Have snacks or meals on hand

On long travel days, the last thing you’ll want to do is stop to make an elaborate lunch to satiate your hunger. Always have a few road trip healthy snacks or meals prepared to make your breaks easier and make sure you’re not stuck eating greasy or highly processed fast foods on your route.

We love having leftovers from dinner the night before, salads that are pre-made and just in need of dressing, or sandwiches. Nuts, hummus, veggies, or fruit can be another great snack.

Since I’m talking snacks, here are a two related articles:

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Tie up loose ends

Now is the time to review your to-do list. Did I pack sunscreen? Did I check the oil? Are the slide outs functional? Is the sink working? There are so many factors to consider when embarking on a road trip. These may seem like obvious factors to address but planning trips can be stressful.

There are so many things to remember and there is so much to do! Make sure your awning is closed and secured. You also don’t want to take off with your leveling system deployed—that is an expensive repair. Items often shift around in transit so make sure loose items are secured and cabinets securely latched. If you’re worried about kitchenware rattling around, consider purchasing the special grippy mats that prevent this. Storage bins, bungee cords, and magnets are your friends.

Planning your road trip should be exciting, not stressful. The more informed you are, the better prepared you will feel on your journey. We want you to hit the road with peace of mind. Good luck and safe travels!

Read more:

Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Make some priceless memories on an RV Trip

Hopefully, these tips will ease a bit of the stress and headaches of planning an RV trip. Just remember, things can still go wrong even with the best of planning. It’s easy to get frustrated and stressed if that happens but don’t fret. It’s all a part of the experience. I can assure you that years from now, you’re going to look back and cherish the memories you’ll create while on RV trips with your friends and family.

Take advantage of every opportunity to go on an RV trip. Where are you planning your next RV trip?

Worth Pondering…

Destination is merely a byproduct of the journey.

—Eric Hansen

Planning your Summer Road Trip Begins NOW

Mapping your route and stocking up on gear in advance will pay off when you hit the road

In February’s cold, dark days, a summer road trip might be the farthest thing from your mind. Without the need to book a flight or coordinate other transportation, it’s easy to rely on spontaneity for a last-minute escape once the weather warms up. The beauty of an RV road trip is its structured freedom: you can do anything you want just as long as you are willing and able to drive.

But pushing off your planning until sunnier days could affect your vacation down the road. Investing a little time now will go a long way toward making the most out of your summer.

If plotting a course feels daunting, start by clustering destinations that will you give you something concrete to plan around. Depending on the number of days you expect to travel, you can add or remove stops along the way.

White Sands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For example, a trip through three national parks in New Mexico and TexasWhite Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, and Guadalupe Mountains—could be knocked out in a long weekend. Tack on Big Bend National Park for an additional few days to account for the extra mileage and time to explore.

A classic way to plan a road trip is to follow one of America’s best-known vacation drives such as Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway, or the Lewis and Clark Expedition Trail. Though they may seem cliché these drives are still famous for a reason: They capture the history of America. You can use social media to find modern attractions along these well-tread routes.

Search for geotags along the route for crowdsourced advice on what to visit while you pass through. Use hiking apps like All Trails to explore what nature recommendations people have outside of national park suggestions. Start following accounts of bloggers or local experts who post about the areas you’re visiting. To keep yourself from overcommitting, keep a list of these potential food stops, campgrounds, roadside attractions, and nature areas along the way to reference when you need options.

Whether you’re planning to follow a well-known path or keep a looser schedule, become familiar with your major waypoints by April. This will give you time to research lesser-known sights and dig for local suggestions. By the time you hit the road, you’ll have the confidence to make quick (but informed) decisions.

Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Make reservations at national parks

While reserving a spot inside a national park isn’t the only way to camp near popular nature sites, it is well worth the foresight if you can book a few nights ahead of time.

Every park has its own schedule of openings, reservation requirements, and campsite availability so the best advice is to closely track a few parks for announcements. While some national parks save a portion of their campsite reservations to be released a week before booking, most park reservations open six months in advance.

Most National Parks reserve a few spots per campground as a first-come, first-serve option. They can be impossible to predict so do not rely on their availability if you are set on camping inside the park. Note that reservations often become available at 8 a.m. in the time zone of that park.

Permits for popular hikes and activities also become available at this time at Recreation.gov.

Timed entry reservations will still be required at a handful of popular parks during the peak summer months: Yosemite, Arches, Zion, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, and Haleakalā National Parks will all require some reservation to enter.

For complete details read 10 National Parks That Require Early Reservations for 2024 Visits

To the National Park Service’s credit, these required dates cluster around the most popular weeks and holidays and there are usually exceptions like entering a park before 5 a.m. that still allow for some flexibility if you can’t score a reservation in time.

Friday’s Fried Chicken, Shiner, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Buy gear and supplies

A backpack, good walking shoes or hiking boots, wide-brimmed hat, and sun protection are all important regardless of how much outdoor activity you’re planning. It’s not just the outdoor gear to keep an eye out on—road trip essentials range from storage options to electronics to RV supplies.

Be sure to stock up on household and RV-related items: paper products, water filter, plastic bags, tissues, disinfecting wipes, and a fully stocked first aid kit.

That’s why I wrote this article: 35 Little Things to Remember to Pack for Your RV Road Trip

Bluegrass Country, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check your vehicle

Don’t forget about a checklist for your RV. A tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, and a roadside tool kit can all come in handy even if you’re renting an RV. And always keep a paper atlas on hand in case you’re out of cell service range.

Beyond the typical under-the-hood checks—engine oil, transmission fluid, hydraulic oil, coolant, and washer fluid—be sure to check your lightbulbs and brake reactivity, even in rentals. Spending hours on the road can decrease your focus and reaction time so ensure that the RV will be safe and comfortable. That’s why you should follow the 330 Rule.

The biggest investment to make in your pre-road trip vehicle is a new set of tires especially if you tend to only drive in the city. If you’re planning on driving or pulling a camper, van or RV and have been putting off upgrading your tires consider buying tires with a longer tread life or thicker tread for more diverse terrain.

Historic Route 66 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Here are some helpful resources when it comes to tire safety:

Worth Pondering…

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

—Miyamoto Musashi

Campspot Outdoor Almanac: Outlook on 2023 Road Travel and Camping Trends

The biannual Campspot Outdoor Almanac reveals that 2023 will be another big year for outdoor travel and highlights where to go and what to expect while enjoying the open road

As the seasons change and we move into the quieter half of the year, we often have more time to reflect and take stock. Which is nice! Really, it is. But when the holiday lights are stored away and the cold creeps into our bones, even the most winter-obsessed of us can start to feel a little cooped up.

Driving Red Rock Scenic Byway, Sedona, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And that is why planning ahead is important. Just as gardeners plant seeds and are bolstered by the promise of what is to come, so too can RVers make plans for what is ahead. Whether you arrange a short winter getaway in the mountains or the desert or work out the finer details of a family reunion at a camp resort, that plan is how we’re able to look forward to the good times ahead.

In a chaotic and stressful world, plans are our reprieve—the daydreams that get us through. Because when we’re planning, we’re invested in tomorrow. In the road ahead and the time we get to spend together. And when we’re packing up—when we’re camping—we realize what it is we really need. The essentials! What you can fit in the available space of the RV?

The Springs at Anza-Borrego RV Resort & Golf Course, Borrego Springs, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When we’re camping, we’re getting back to the basics. We’re retreating from the din of society and finding safe haven in the great outdoors and the campgrounds offering tucked-away corners, epic adventures, stunning scenery, and even luxury RV resorts.

Whether you’re planning for your cross-country RV trip, snowbird escape, hiking adventure with Fido, or next summer’s trip to a camp resort, the Campspot Outdoor Almanac provides information for plotting out the ultimate road trips and retreats—no matter the season.

Readers can access top destinations for camping in 2023 along with inspiration for top road trips and scenic drives, recommendations for road trips for each season, helpful statistics and data about national and state parks that are trending, and demographic information about road travelers.

Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some top insights from travelers planning trips include:

  • Budget-friendly trips: Continued increased interest in shorter road trips is expected in 2023 as travelers discover their home states and local region
  • Average road trip route distance: 1,223 miles with a 20.5 hour driving duration
  • Top national parks: Grand Canyon, Arches, and Zion
  • Percentage of campers who are traveling as a couple: 67 percent
  • Top camping destinations: Moab (Utah), Sedona (Arizona), Florida Keys
Tent camping in Arches National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The latest camping trends

Types of campers:

  • RV (61 percent)
  • Tent (19 percent)
  • Glamper (12 percent)
  • Cabin (4 percent)
  • Car Camper (3 percent)
  • Boondocker/dispersed (1 percent)

Camping and work-life balance:

  • 43 percent of campers take 2-4 weeks off from work annually
  • 36 percent of campers take 4-6 camping trips annually, 19 percent take 7-10 annually
  • 18 percent go camping for major winter holidays and 23 percent are interested in doing so
Newfound
Driving Newfound Gap Road through Great Smoky Mountains National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top 2023 camping goals:

  • Travel to new places to camp (69 percent)
  • Go camping more often (53 percent)
  • Explore more national and state parks (47 percent)
  • Spend more time in nature (37 percent)
  • Spend more time outside with family (30 percent)

Top regions campers are most excited to visit in 2023:

  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Colorado
  • Utah
  • Alaska
  • Yosemite National Park
Badlands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top states campers are most interested in visiting in 2023:

  • Colorado
  • Montana
  • Tennessee
  • Florida
  • North Carolina
  • Wyoming
  • California
  • Michigan
  • Oregon
  • Utah
The Grand Canyon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top destinations for RVers:

  • Grand Canyon
  • Las Vegas
  • The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, Florida
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Ginnie Springs, Florida
  • Zion National Park
  • Daytona International Speedway
  • Campland on the Bay in San Diego
  • Okeechobee, Florida
  • Moab
Along the Creole Nature Trail, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Road trips and scenic drives

Road trip trends:

  • 37 percent are willing to travel any distance on a road trip if they have time while 26 percent prefer trips that are 6 to 10 hours in length
  • After private campgrounds, public lands and hotels were the next most popular accommodation types for road trips

How far do roadtrippers travel?

  • Average route distance: 1,223 miles
  • Average driving duration: 20.5 hours
White Sands National Park © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top national parks where travelers planned road trips:

Picacho Peak State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Top state parks where travelers planned road trips:

  • South Yuba River State Park, California
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park, Iowa
  • Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Kentucky
  • Hanging Rock State Park, North Carolina
  • Watkins Glen State Park, New York
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
  • Niagara Falls State Park, New York
  • Letchworth State Park, New York
  • Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
  • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Florida
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Illinois
  • Custer State Park, South Dakota
Fredericksburg, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A road trip for every season

Take inspiration from these road trips and scenic drives to plan your 2023 adventures.

Spring

New Orleans, LA, to Fredericksburg, TX

Distance: 469 miles

With pit stops in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Beaumont, Houston, and Austin, this route is a Cajun food-lover’s dream. Be sure to drive the Willow City Loop just north of Fredericksburg for wildflowers galore.

Where to stay:

  • Sun Outdoors New Orleans North Shore, Ponchatoula, Louisiana
  • The Retreat RV and Camping Resort, Huffman, Texas
  • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg, Texas
Blue Ridge Parkway © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Summer

Blue Ridge Parkway

An epic drive filled with stunning vistas of the Appalachian Highlands, this route is known as America’s Favorite Drive for a reason.

Where to stay:

  • Montebello Camping and Fishing Resort, Montebello, Virginia
  • Halesford Harbor Resort, Moneta, Virginia
  • Catawba Falls Campground, North Carolina
Covered Bridge Tour near Terre Haute, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fall

Covered Bridge Tour in Indiana

Distance: 35+ miles

Indiana has 31 covered bridges that are super quaint and historic. According to locals, Sim Smith Bridge is even haunted.

Where to stay:

  • Turkey Run Canoe and Camping, Bloomingdale
  • Peaceful Water Campground, Bloomingdale
  • Hawthorn Park, Terry Haute
Amelia Island, Florida © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Winter

Florida East Coast

Distance: 470 miles

Whether you start in the northern or southern part of the state, a drive along the east coast is a perfect way to say goodbye to the winter blues.

Where to stay:

  • Ocean Groove RV Resort, St. Augustine
  • Indian River RV Park, Titusville
  • Sun Outdoors Key Largo, Key Largo

Worth Pondering…

Road trips have beginnings and ends but it’s what’s in between that counts.

Why Revisit a Destination?

RVing off somewhere new is the ultimate adventure but it’s also rewarding to return to places you’ve been before

When you begin planning an RV trip, your thoughts likely leap to somewhere new. Many of us want to experience the thrill of adventure when we’re traveling the U.S. and Canada and discovering new locations and experiences.

I read an article recently where the writer said she would never visit the same place more than once. That there were so many new places to see, how could you justify a return visit?

Smoky Mountains © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It got me thinking about the locations I’ve been back to—whether that’s once like the Smoky Mountains and the Black Hills or repeatedly like Tucson and the Rio Grande Valley. And I realized that my favorite trips had been the return visits. I love to discover new places too but often the second-time trips have been more relaxed, more spontaneous, and more enjoyable.

And who says you need a change of destination to see something new? Even if you live in a city for years you’ll never have seen everything. Going back to a place lets you dig a bit deeper and uncover another layer of the place.

The Black Hills © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While RVing somewhere new may be the ultimate adventure, it’s also rewarding to return to places you’ve been before. It may be to relive a special life moment or watch your favorite sport change through the seasons; either way, fire up your wanderlust a second time and discover why many destinations warrant a repeat visit.

Related: 10 Amazing Places to RV in July 2022

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why revisiting a favorite destination may be a great idea.

Tucson © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Feels like returning home

Returning to a destination you’ve previously enjoyed can feel like returning home especially if you are returning to a favorite RV park or campground. You can still explore new things but you also have a familiar home base to return to. This also helps in getting over the initial legwork that most road trips entail. You already know where you’re going and how to get there so you can focus on activities to enjoy upon arrival.

Santa Fe © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Since you’ve been here before, you’re familiar with the nuances of the location and can visit with added confidence. As you spend more time in a location you will feel less like a tourist. Whether it’s negotiating the winding streets of Santa Fe or wandering the Charleston Historic District, you’ll explore at ease armed with knowledge from your previous visit.

Historic Charleston © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You rarely see everything in a single visit

Unless a destination is very small or known for one specific attraction, chances are that you didn’t see everything there was to see during your previous visit. On an RV trip to San Antonio, you may have focused on the Alamo and the Riverwalk. By revisiting you could explore other historical and cultural attractions including the Missions National Historic Park, The Pearle District, King William neighborhood, Brackenridge Park, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, and the nearby Hill Country.

Related: 10 Tips for RV Travel: How to Make the Most of Your Road Trip

San Antonio Riverwalk © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

You can experience different seasons

The same location can feel like a different place with a change of season. Changing seasons will mean you concentrate on different areas and aspects of a place. Even a change of weather can do the same—you can spend a sunny day exploring local parks and other green spaces or a rainy day of museums and other indoor attractions. Many cities are transformed for special events like festivals or fairs at certain times of the year too. A visit to Roswell during the annual UFO Festival (first weekend in July), Tombstone during Helldorado Days (October 21-21, 2022), or Fiesta San Antonio (April 20-30, 2023) would be completely different from being there at any other time of the year.

Tombstone © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Places change

Even if you saw most everything you planned to see on your previous visit, changes occur over time. Now, may be the time to revisit and see what is new. This could mean new or upgraded attractions, restaurants, and even RV parks.

Also, consider the time of the year. Visiting Phoenix in the middle of a scorching summer and visiting it in the winter are going to be very different experiences. Not every city or destination will vary this much, but many of them will.

Related: Family-friendly Road Trips Through Arizona: The Old West

Papago Park, Phoenix © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Just like we do

Chances are, your interests have changed as well. You’ve learned new things and had experiences that will change the lens through which you view a given destination. This means that when you return years later you could end up enjoying a vastly different experience than you did at your original stop.

Enchanted Rock, Texas Hill Country © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why not?

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t strike off a destination simply because you’ve ‘been there, done that’. You never know what you’ll discover during a second or even third visit. And for snowbirds and full-time RVers, there are only so many places you can visit before you need to start considering a return trip.

Estero Llano Grande State Park, Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Numerous reasons can make revisiting a destination worthwhile, but do you need one? It’s your RV trip, so go where you want to go and do what you want to do.

In these social media-driven times, there’s pressure to view RV trips and other experiences as a bucket list to be checked off. If that’s what you want to do then go for it, but remember that the purpose of an RV trip or a vacation is to experience the things you want to experience—on your own terms.

Read Next: Road Trip Inspiration

Worth Pondering…

Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.

—Margaret Lee Runbeck

9 Things to Consider Before Making an RV Park Reservation

Finding a good campsite begins at home when you are planning your road trip

Finding the right RV site may be one of the most important decisions to make as you plan your next road trip. Before you book online or over the phone ensure you have a site that meets your needs. This may be one of the most important judgment calls to make on your trip.

Club house and pool at Red Bluff KOA Journey, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The quality of your time at the park may rest on whether you’re near the hustle and bustle of the clubhouse or pool, in a remote site under a shady tree, or backed up against a busy highway or railway tracks.

A+ Motel and RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For the best results phone RV parks to make reservations. You can find out about any specials going on, any activities or events you might be interested in, and have a better opportunity to secure a prime site in the park. Calling also allows you to have your questions or concerns answered. You can also find out about the park’s amenities such as Wi-Fi, cable TV, pool access, and special activities.

Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Most parks will require a credit card number for the first night to secure the reservation. Some RV parks will assign a site number when you make your reservation while others will wait for you to check into the park. Make sure to keep the reservation confirmation number or e-mail confirmation.

Related: How to Choose the Perfect RV Park and Campsite?

Choose wisely, consult guest reviews, and consider the following nine things:

Pull-in site at Vista del Sol, Bullhead City, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1) Size and Configuration

Most RV parks offer several types of sites: pull-through, back-in, and drive-in. A pull-through site allows you to enter and exit a site without unhooking the toad or backing up. Backing an RV into a site is one of the less appealing chores in the RV lifestyle but if you plan to hunker down for several weeks or more, a roomy back-in site may be preferable.

Pull-in sites at Bella Terra Resort, Gulf Shores, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some of the newer parks offer drive-in sites. This is particularly appealing for RVers with a Class-A motorhome. The site may face a river, fountain or water feature, or scenic vistas like the sites offered at Vista del Sol RV Resort in Bullhead City, Arizona (see photo above) or Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, Alabama (see photo above).

Leaf Verde RV Park, Buckeye, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4) Location, Location, Location

Each site in an RV park has its pluses and minuses. A site near the club house and pool is convenient but the foot traffic and noise may pose an annoyance. The same for sites near the playground or a dumpster. Study the park map to get the lay of the land.

Related: Consider Your Needs When Choosing RV Parks and Campgrounds

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5) Site Amenities

Consider the amenities that you like in an RV site. Fire rings and picnic tables are musts for some campers. Do you have room to unfurl the awning, fire up the barbecue, and watch the big game from your exterior TV? If you’re camping in the height of summer, look for a shady site. If possible, choose a north-facing site so that the summer sun has limited penetration into RV living quarters and your refrigerator is in the shade.

Dog wash station at Sun Outdoors Pigeon Forge © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7) Camping with Buddies

Are you RVing with friends? Some parks allow RVers to park in contiguous spaces giving them a chance to camp next to each other. You can arrange a “buddy site,” like those offered by Red Bluff KOA Journey (formerly Durango RV Resort, in Red Bluff, California (see photo above) . These sites feature pull-through sites up to 90 feet in length with a common grassy area.

Related: What Makes an RV Park A Five-Star Resort?

Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

8) Non-RV Alternatives

Do you plan to meet up with non-RVing friends? Many parks offer adjacent motel units, cabins, or park models. Then consider the following RV parks and resorts: A+ Motel and RV Park in Sulphur, Louisiana (see photo above); Canyon Vista RV Resort in Gold Canyon, Arizona (see photo above); Leaf Verde RV Park in Buckeye, Arizona (see photo above); and Cajun Palms RV Resort in Henderson, Louisiana (see photo above).

Dog washing station at Tucson/Lazy Days KOA, Tucson, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9) Canine Considerations

Dogs make great traveling companions but these furry passengers sometimes can be challenging. If your canine barks at everything that moves, you’ll want a site as far away from foot traffic as possible. The same goes for cats that are prone to stress. And if you opt to camp close to a dog run, you can give Fido a chance to burn off steam nearby. Some parks even offer a dog washing station including Sun Outdoors Pigeon Forge (formerly River Plantation RV Park) in Sevierville, Tennessee (see photo above) and Tucson/Lazydays KOA (see photo above).

Related: What to Look For in an RV Campground?

The RV site is an important part of the travel experience. A good site can contribute much to a great road trip and a poor site will deter from the overall experience.

Worth Pondering…

If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable to him.

—Seneca