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Introduction to How To Plan The Perfect RV Trip
There are a lot of things to consider when you’re planning an RV trip. How long will it be? How much time do you have available? How many people will you be traveling with? How many nights do you want to camp each day, and how often would you like to stop for the night? These are just a few questions that can help determine your route, budget, and experience. In this blog post, we’ll go over some helpful tips as well as phone apps that will show you how to plan an RV trip that will go down in history as your best one yet!!
Build A Budget
One of the first and most important questions to ask yourself is how much money you want to spend on your RV trip. This, in itself, will set up the foundation for your trip planning. How long will the trip be? How many people do you need to plan for? What activities do you need to spend money on each day, and how much do they cost? How much time are you going to spend at each destination before moving on? These factors can help determine how much money you will need to save and budget for your upcoming trip.
Don’t forget to set aside money for fuel and emergencies. We hope that they don’t happen, but it is always better to be prepared.
Figure Out What To Pack
Once you have a rough idea of where your destination will be and the cost of your upcoming trip, it’s time to figure out what everyone needs to pack. How many days do you need to pack for? How often will each person need clean clothes or new supplies? This can be tough to work through, but it’s necessary to plan for.
What will the weather be like at each destination? How many days can food supplies last before needing a restock? These questions are important and help plan your trip, whether long-term, short-term or even just overnight!
If you are bringing your pets along with you, you will also need to bring food, toys, bedding, and other pet supplies as well.
For more information on traveling with pets, check out this article!
Plan For Emergencies
It is important to have a contingency plan in case of emergencies when traveling in a motorhome or towing a travel trailer. How many cell phones do you have on your trip? How much gas is left in the tank, and how far can it get you? How long will food supplies last before needing a restock or grocery run while on the road? These are all important questions to ask while setting up an RV travel plan! Below are some tips for those just-in-case scenarios.
Don’t Forget Insurance
Don’t forget to have your RV insurance up to date and current before leaving. How will you plan for any damages if they happen to your RV while on the road? How much will it cost if you have to replace a tire or repair the RV for any damages? How does your insurance cover all of these scenarios, and what is typically included with each policy?
What About Roadside Assistance?
It is important to have roadside assistance for any of your family members traveling with you for this journey. How many phone numbers can they call if their RV gets stuck on the side of the road or if they get a flat tire? How long will it take before someone comes to help them out, and how much is roadside assistance going to cost monthly? These are all important questions to plan for before your trip begins.
Create A Timeline For Your RV Trip
It is time to create a timeline for your trip.
How Long Will You Stay At Each Destination?
The longer you stay at each place, the more time you will have to explore and relax, and the less time you will spend driving. This will give you more adventures and memories to take home with you.
How Far In Advance Do You Need To Book Your RV Park Or Campground Site?
This simple question will determine when you can leave for your trip or how far in advance you will need to plan your vacation. Many popular destinations book many months in advance.
How Far Will You Drive Each Day?
Seasoned RVers follow the 3-3-3 rule. What this refers to is traveling no more than three hundred miles per day, stopping at least every three hours during travel days, and that once you arrive at your destination, you should stay at least three days.
When Do You Want To Arrive Back at Your Start Point?
How long do you want to be gone? This will be important when determining your route. Some people work backward when planning their trips. This ensures that they can be back for work or important dates.
Which Roads Do You Want To Take?
Be sure to avoid high traffic roads, highways with large tolls, or roads that are not meant for RV travel. Do your homework before rolling!!
Do You Want Tolls?
(Check the route beforehand to see if there are any tolls and adjust or plan accordingly- some require transponder units).
Be sure to map out your route and add any tolls to your budget before leaving for your RV vacation. These types of expenses can add up quickly. The toll cost for RVs and travel trailers are more costly than the average car.
Plan For Fuel Stations
Don’t get caught out on a long road without any fuel. Be sure to watch that gauge and stay fueled up. Use the listed apps below to find the correct type of fuel and the best prices.
Choose Your Campgrounds
Before leaving for your fun adventure, be sure to read the reviews and find the best place to park your RV. Be sure to check out the amenities, hookups, site size (make sure that you fit), and the surrounding areas. Make sure that you make your reservations in advance. Be prepared. Know the rules, check-in times, pet allowances, and occupancy (sometimes they charge per person).
The Best RV Trip Planner Apps To Use
Apps For Finding Campgrounds
The Campendium app is a great way to find campgrounds. This app is free to download and has thousands of reviews on each specific place you are looking for camping at along your trip.
RVParky also features an RV community that can help answer any questions or concerns that arise during the planning process, as well- as to provide suggestions for an RV resort or a great campground.
The wikicamps app allows you to search by multiple factors such as state, city, or even zip code, along with what amenities are available at that particular place. They list campground fees and how many open spots are available at the time of your search, and more.
Campermate is a free app for Android phones that allows you to find rv parks or campgrounds along your travel route based on their available amenities.
Allstays is a free app for both Android and iOS users. How much does it cost to stay at campgrounds or RV parks? How far are they from your route or destination- as well as what amenities are available.
The Dyrt is another great app for finding campgrounds along your route. How much do they cost? How far are they from your current location, and who has reviewed the particular place you plan to visit next, so you know what to expect before arriving, as well as if it’s right for you or not!
Apps For Finding Fuel
How far out of your way will it be to go to specific gas stations? How much will the fuel cost you, and how do they charge for the service? These are all important questions that GasBuddy can answer before getting on the road!
How does each RV park or campground price their fuel- and can you get a discount? How much does it cost to fill up your tank with the particular fuel they offer, and what amenities are available when fueling up.
The Waze app can also assist you in finding gas stations along your route. How much will it cost to fill up your tank, and where is the closest place you can go?
How much does it cost to fill your tank up? How far is the next place you plan to stop for gas from where you are currently at, as well as what amenities they have available while fueling up? The Dash app will help with all of this.
Apps For Dumping Stations
This app shows you the closest dump stations and their hours of use.
This app helps you find the closest dumping station to your current location.
Apps For Boondocking Locations
A great resource for finding free camping locations.
A community of RV and van campers who offer boondocking spots at no cost to those traveling in self-contained units (e.g., motorhomes, travel trailers, or camper vans). This is a paid membership.
This app offers a good mix of public and private boondocking locations.
TheDyrt has over 50,000 user reviews of free and paid campgrounds.
This community-driven platform allows you to share, discover and book campgrounds.
This app centers around overnight camping and offers a list of locations, ratings, and reviews.
This app offers over 30,000 user-submitted boondocking locations in the United States and Canada.
Allstays Camp & RV:
An all-inclusive camping app for finding public land, national parks, state parks
US public Lands:
Find public land while out in the boonies.
National Park Campgrounds:
This App will assist you in finding out all about National Parks located in the United States, camping in the parks, and fees associated with the entry.
Apps For Navigation
Roadtrippers is a free app that will help you plan your route. How far is each stop from another? How much does it cost to stay at the campgrounds along this route, and what amenities are available?
This app offers turn-by-pass routing, road warnings. It also includes speed limits.
This crowd-sourced navigation app will help you avoid traffic jams in real-time!
RV Trip Wizard:
The RV Trip Wizard app can help you with navigating to your destination.
This navigation app will map out your route to any destination.
If You Are Renting: Find The Best RV Rental For You
If you are renting an RV for your upcoming trip, it is important to find the best rental available in your area. How long is the company willing to let you keep this Rv? Do they require a cleaning fee if not cleaned before returning? How many miles can be driven without additional fees? It is important to figure out these details ahead of time, so you know what to expect for this next big trip!
Helpful Tips: How To Plan an RV Trip
Below are some helpful tips to help you plan your trip and make the most of your time on the road.
Know Your Vehicle
When you begin planning your trip, it’s helpful to know the specifics of your vehicle. How many miles does it have, and what is its fuel efficiency? Know the height and weight capacity. Know how to use all electrical systems, tanks, awnings, and slides.
Bring All Necessary Items
Sewer hoses, water hoses, water pressure regulators, etc. Check out this article on the top necessary RV accessories for every trip!!
Know Where Dump Stations Are
See the above list of apps to learn how to find locations of dump stations on your route. Know how to empty and clean the black tank.
To learn more about your RV’s black tank and how to dump and maintain it, check out this article!!
Fill Your Propane Tanks and Fuel Tanks Before Departure
This article has the necessary checklists for every RV trip!!
Make sure you know your vehicle’s limits before planning a route or leaving for your trip.
- Don’t overpack!!!
To learn more about GVWR and GCWR, check out this article on RV faqs.
Outline Your Route:
- a helpful tip that will speed up your planning process is to outline your route ahead of time. You can use Google Maps or any of the apps above to create a route that considers the number of days you plan on driving.
Bring a departure and arrival checklist with you on EVERY RV trip. This article has every checklist you will ever need.
Stay connected with friends and family. Be sure that someone always knows where you will be during your travels. Check out this article on RV wifi to ensure that you always have the best cell and internet service.
Know Campground Etiquette
Mind your p’s and q’s when camping near others and know the rules!! Know the campground and RV park’s specific rules for guests, pets, check-in times, and noise ordinances.
Plan Your Meals
Stay healthy and eat well. Don’t run out of food. Fuel yourselves well while enjoying the outdoors. You are traveling in an RV, use the kitchen! Here are some great recipes to help you out!
What To Do In Each Destination
Most of all, have fun. Be sure to make plans and take advantage of specific points of interest each destination has in store. Make your plans ahead of time and plan your hikes, ski, beach, kayaking, and other adventures to make the most of your vacation time.
Enjoy the outdoors responsibly! Take care of yourselves and clean up your messes!!
Conclusion To How To Plan An RV Road Trip
If you are planning a vacation to escape the heat of summer or looking for an adventurous getaway this fall, then it’s time to start mapping out your next RV trip. There are many things to consider when doing so. Whatever RV vacation you choose, these tips will help make your route planning easier than ever. We hope that you get out there and find your next adventure!!
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