More people are traveling than ever before. The record number of Recreational Vehicles (RVs) on the road is a testimony to how many people have decided to get out and see the country. More than 10 million American households now own an RV.
The average traveler spends 3-4 weeks per year vacationing in the RV. They tend to travel the entire country and see everything that the United States has to offer.
Unlike a flight, an RV allows you to take in nature’s beauty. Everyone should take an RV trip at least once in their lifetime.
Read on to learn how to plan the perfect RV road trip. Explore 7 essential tips for taking the RV trip of a lifetime.
1. Select a Final Destination
You cannot navigate the perfect RV road trip without selecting a final destination first. Travelers handle this selection a few different ways.
Some select a vacation destination to camp out at for several days. For this strategy, you can choose to road trip on both the way there and home.
The other option is to find a resting place each night. This means the final destination is back at your home. Either way, there are many great destinations to choose from in the United States.
2. Join a Club
Owning an RV is like joining a fraternity. There are millions of RV owners and, as a result, clubs are forming across the country.
Perhaps the greatest benefit is meeting fellow RV owners. Joining a club is a great way to socialize and meet up with other people on the road.
Another benefit is that many clubs give discounts to their members. This means that you can see significant cost savings on each nationwide trip.
There is a growing list of well-known and reputable clubs. Good Sam RV Club and Passport America are only a few clubs of the clubs that RV owners can enjoy.
3. Choose Your Stops
Each night, you will need to find a resting place. There are thousands of private campgrounds across the United States.
Here you can hook your RV up to utilities like water, electricity, and sewage. In addition, privately-owned campgrounds offer amenities like pools and outdoor movies. These are great places for children, as the campgrounds have many kid-friendly activities.
Another option for RV travelers is public campgrounds. These are federal or state parks that allow RVs and campers to spend the night.
Many public lands have the same amenities and are affordable. In fact, there are over 13,000 public campgrounds in the United States and Canada. Whether it is public or private, each site features beautiful scenery like mountains or lakes.
4. Plan Your Route
Once you finalize all your landing spots, the next step is to plan your route. Most people put a destination into their GPS and hit the road.
Things are not so simple in an RV. For starters, some roads may not be accessible to an RV.
You may need to avoid steep inclines or narrow roads. It is also wise to avoid construction areas and heavily congested roadways. In other cases, some states charge significant tolls for larger vehicles.
Lastly, you will need to know where accessible truck stops are. Some gas stations are impossible for a large RV to pull in and out of.
The good news is that there are many online resources and apps available to help RV owners. By using their filters, websites like Google Maps or Mapquest are helpful. The bottom line is to prioritize route planning upfront and avoid relying on GPS.
5. Perform RV Maintenance
One surefire way to ruin the perfect RV road trip is by breaking down. The truth is that an RV requires the same love and attention that you give your daily automobile.
The most effective strategy is to take your RV to the mechanic before departure. Ask for a multi-point inspection and to perform any scheduled maintenance like oil changes.
If you don’t have time for the mechanic, take an hour to check the RV’s health for yourself. Start by checking the fluids and topping off any reservoirs that are low. Also, check each tire’s air pressure and fill them if they are low.
6. Conduct a Supply Inventory
Another thing to avoid on the perfect RV road trip is scrambling for missing items. The most successful campers create a detailed inventory checklist.
Obviously, there are items like food and paper products. Also, board games and other entertainment options are a must for a rainy day. There are also critical items such as tools, hygiene products, and weather-appropriate clothing.
You should perform this supply inventory well in advance. Some items have a longer lead time than others. You don’t want to be searching for fuel transfer tanks for sale. Diesel fuel transfer tanks are not available at the local convenience store.
7. Learn How to Safely Operate Your RV
You do not want to ruin the perfect RV road trip by pushing too hard. There are certain technical characteristics you need to know to operate your RV in a safe manner.
For example, an RV cannot run multiple electrical appliances at the same time. Amateur campers want to plug in the toaster and Keurig while running the air conditioner.
Therefore, you need to know what your RV’s maximum power usage is. Then, you need to know how many amps each appliance runs on.
Another safety factor to consider is the weight of your RV. Are you aware that there is a legal weight for your RV? Take this into consideration while packing and stocking up on fuel and water.
Finally, you should check the weather reports before commuting each day. Driving an RV in inclement weather is not easy. Avoid driving in storms, snow, and heavy winds if possible.
A Recap of the Perfect RV Road Trip
With proper planning, your RV road trip is certain to be a memorable experience. Taking steps like pre-planning your route or making an inventory checklist go a long way.
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