When it comes to planning an affordable vacation or a weekend retreat, there’s nothing that compares to an RV road trip. Whether you’re an experienced camper, simple novice, or admitted first-timer, the basic preparations are similar. This process can be simplified by dividing your trip planning into these three phases:
- Pre-trip (what is required prior to the trip?)
- On the Road (what is needed while traveling?)
- Final Destination (you’ve arrived—now what?)
Regardless of your destination, it all starts with the RV.
Prior to setting out, RV owners need to perform some basic and routine maintenance to ensure their RV trip goes smoothly. Regardless if you’re an RV owner or renter, your RV requires a full safety inspection prior to travel.
The first thing to do is a visual inspection of your RV exterior. Check to see if any damage was sustained over time, looking especially for evidence of water leaks. In particular, focus on the roof and caulking around windows, vents, air-conditioning unit, and doors. Look for cracks, holes, stains, separations, and leaks. Also, check for nests and evidence of chewing activity.
Roll out the awning and inspect it for tears. Check the fluid levels and top them up as necessary. Inspect hoses for any tears or holes, and valves for leaks.
If you’re renting, your vehicle should be prepared by the rental company beforehand, but still, it never hurts to be aware of what general safety issues to look out for.
Once your RV is ready for travel, now comes the fun part: planning your trip! Three important things to consider when organizing an RV trip: Where are we going? How long are we going? What do we do once we get there?
By asking these questions, you’ll need to consider what clothes, gear, and supplies you’ll need to pack for your trip. Maybe it’s taking extra coats and hiking gear for the mountains? Perhaps packing some additional food and water for a lengthy stay? What activities are available where you’re staying and what else might they require?
It’s ideal to map out your trip in advance and check for stopping points along the way, in case you need to take breaks for rest, fuel, food, etc. The more you plan ahead, the better you’re prepared for any potential issues or needs that may arise.
On the Road
Now your RV is packed and ready for travel. What concerns are there once you are out on the highway? Hopefully, you’ve tackled most potential concerns with some proper pre-trip logistics, but there are always things you simply can’t prepare for. Be aware of the height restriction of your RV. Watch out for clearance signs when approaching underpasses and tunnels.
Information on national and state parks, campsites, and weather conditions can go a long way for helping you to make the most of your adventure. By doing a little research in advance, you can prepare for most situations and elements.
Make your choice, adventurous stranger.
Strike the bell and bide the danger.
Or wonder ’til it drives you mad,
What would have followed, if you had.
— C.S. Lewis, The Magicians Nephew