How to Plan an RV Road Trip

Last Updated on September 9, 2021 by Jessica

Road trips can be a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of work, and that’s why you need to learn how to plan an RV road trip.

Planning an RV road trip is the perfect way to make sure you have all your bases covered and enjoy every moment. In this blog post, we will go over how to plan your road trip from start to finish with some helpful tips for how to get started, so keep reading.

When Should You Start Planning RV Trips?

You should start planning your road trip as soon as you know you want to go. Some items may take a few days to collect and prepare, so don’t wait too long or you might forget something important!

What Should You Take On an RV Trips?

Here are some items you should take on an RV road trip to make sure your journey is safe and enjoyable for everyone, whether it’s a short day trip or a long vacation.

Maps of the Area You Are Visiting

You need to know where you’re going before you can head out! Make sure that if there are any changes to the area that you are visiting, that they have been accounted for in your map.

Water

Make sure to pack enough water for everyone on the trip, so nobody is dehydrated or feels awful later! It’s also important to think about how you’ll be traveling with everything else. You’ll need to consider the weather, your trip duration, and how much space will be required for all of your stuff when packing for extended trips, but water isn’t something you should skimp on.

Snacks and Food If You Are Staying for a While

Make sure your trip is enjoyable by bringing food and snacks. If you are planning on staying overnight somewhere, make sure there will be healthy food available to keep the energy up!

Toilet Paper

You can never have enough toilet paper so bring some along just in case! Don’t overpack, though. You don’t want to carry the whole store with you.

How to Plan an RV Road Trip

Camping Gear

Some places may have all the basic necessities, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own camping gear, so you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong! It also never hurts to have extra just in case something breaks or gets lost.

Sunscreen

When you are out on the road, there is a lot of sun exposure, so make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen! It’s important if everyone in your RV wants to avoid skin cancer.

First Aid Kit

Accidents happen, so it’s important to have a first aid kit on hand just in case. It’s especially useful if you are camping because there may not be easy access to medical care nearby!

Tire Repair Kit

You never know when your tire might get punctured, or something else goes wrong with the RV, but it’s good to be prepared with a tire repair kit so you can fix it on your own.

Blankets and Warm Clothes

When the sun goes down, temperatures drop quickly! It always helps to have extra blankets or warm clothes in case it gets chilly.

RV GPS App

If using Google Maps or Apple Maps isn’t good enough for you, you can use RV GPS apps for your route planning.

There are a few different options for RV GPS apps, and I’ve gone through a whole list of them so you can look through them to see which one is the best one for your RV travel plans. Picking the right RV routes that help you avoid steep grades, propane restrictions, and other things that can make your trip a bit trickier is important.

What Not to Bring on an RV Road Trip

You should not bring any items that are illegal or dangerous, such as drugs or weapons! You also do not need to pack too much food because there will be plenty of places nearby for you to get something nice and fresh unless you plan on going out into the middle of nowhere.

Also, make sure you don’t bring a bad attitude. Bad attitudes can make your road trip seem super long, so if you’ve got a grumpy family member, make sure you do your best to put them in a good mood.

Where Should You Plan Your Road Trip To?

You should plan your road trip to a place you have never been before, but one that is still within driving distance. This way, if something goes wrong on the trip, it’s not too far away from home or other help.

One of the greatest things about RVing is that you don’t have to stick to a single area. You can literally go anywhere in North America with your vehicle and spend as much or as little time at each place before moving on. The further away from home that your destination is, however, the more planning it will take, so start by thinking about where you really want to go.

How to Plan an RV Road Trip

Visit National Parks

A great place to start is at The National Parks of America. These are natural wonders that were preserved for future generations to enjoy, and they cover a huge range of locations throughout the country!

One example would be Glacier National Park which consists of hundreds of miles worth of trails where you can find lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, mountains, and more!

Visit Popular Cities

If you’re looking to see some of the most popular cities in America while also camping, there is no better option than an RV road trip! You can park your vehicle somewhere safe while immersing yourself in local culture with all the fun you can handle.

Some of the most well-known cities in North America are New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Las Vegas!

Visit National Forests or Public Lands

There are tons of scenic landscapes all around where you can enjoy nature and even go on some great hikes. This is especially true around National Forests or public lands that the government maintains.

Visit a Wildlife Refuge

One cool place to visit is a wildlife refuge that’s been created just for the animals. It’s important for them to have a place where they can thrive without being in danger from humans or other predators!

They are usually located way out of town, so you should plan your trip accordingly. You will need all supplies and must follow strict rules about staying safe while you are there.

RV Camping on the Beach

Who doesn’t want to go on an RV road trip where they can see some of America’s most breathtaking scenery? A lot of people love going camping near a beach because it makes them feel like they’re really experiencing something out of this world!

You can either use your own RV or you can find an RV people already rent out that is on the beach.

Choosing Your RV

If you’re new to RVing, then it may be best for your family just to rent a camper first and try out some day trips before spending money on an actual vehicle, but if you know that this is something you will enjoy doing again in the future then purchasing an RV may be the right choice for you.

You can either opt to buy a new or used vehicle, but just make sure that it’s big enough to accommodate your family and any guests who may join you on future trips.

How to Plan an RV Road Trip

How Many People Will Be Going On The RV Road Trip With You?

You should plan your road trip with the number of people you are bringing on board with you. You’ll need to make sure there is enough room in the RV for everyone and that they have everything they need.

One of the most fun parts of heading off to an RV park, national park campgrounds, or other scenic route is the people that you bring with you. Whether you’re in a truck camper or a class A, there is plenty of fun to be had.

Book Your Campsite

Even if RVing is completely new to you, there are tons of online resources available where you can book your campsite. If you don’t want to go through that hassle then take a tip from campers who are more experienced and find out where they like to stop for the night!

If you talk to other RVers you might be able to find an off-the-map spot for your next RV adventure.

You may be a little more bougie than that, though, so you might need to find campsites with more amenities. When you’re going through your campground search, makes sure you figure out everything you need the RV resort of campsite to have.

Where Will You Stay Each Night?

You should plan your RV trip with each day’s destination in mind, but also make sure that you have a good place to stay each night! It’s best if your campsite is located near an interesting or popular attraction so that everyone will enjoy their time there.

Keep in mind that you can just park overnight anywhere. Overnight parking is only available in places where it’s marked, so make sure you don’t park somewhere you’re not allowed to. Some rest stops do let you park your RV for a little while but make sure you don’t overstay your welcome and you stay at campgrounds that welcome your business.

What Types of Activities Will You Participate In?

You should plan your road trip with the activities you want to take part in, but it’s also a good idea to think about the activities your children will enjoy. It’s best if you plan on doing something active each day so that everyone remains engaged and having fun!

If all you want to do is stare at the open road and enjoy the great outdoors, but your kids or others in your party want to have fun doing other things, you might have a good trip, but they might not be so happy about it.

Where Can You Get Food?

How to Plan an RV Road Trip

You should plan your road trip with where you can get food in mind, but it’s also a good idea to stop at local restaurants to sample the local cuisine! You might be surprised at how many delicious places you’ll find to eat right near your RV spot.

You can either pack all of your food in the RV or shop for it along the way, but make sure you have enough to keep everyone happy! You don’t want to get stuck with a bunch of snacks while some people are craving something more filling.

Will There Be An Area To Dispose Of Waste?

It’s best if you plan your RV trip with an area to dispose of waste in mind, but it’s also a good idea to find out where the nearest dump station is. You don’t want to get stuck without somewhere to empty your holding tanks at night.

Dumping your waste anywhere that is not designated is a big no-no, so make sure that you follow the law and don’t mess with nature. Some people dump their wastewater because they don’t think it will harm the land, but that is absolutely not the case.

How Long Is Too Long of a Drive?

Is there such thing as being on the road too long? If so, what are some tips that can help with this concern?

You should plan your road trip with how long of a drive you are willing to take in order to reach the next destination. There is no exact length for what’s too long, but it will depend on each individual and their family situation. Be sure that everyone agrees upon a set point when they all want to stop!

How Often Do You Need to Fill Up the Gas Tank?

You should plan your road trip with how often you will need to fill up the gas tank in order to reach each destination. If you are trying out a new RV then it might be best for your family if someone is always keeping track of your gas levels.

When you’re planning an RV spot, you do need to keep gas station visits in mind. There’s nothing worse than running out of gas before you reach your destination, so look at the map for gas stations during your route planning.

What Is Going to Happen If You Break Down?

You should plan your road trip with what you will do if the RV breaks down in order to reach each destination. While it’s unlikely that anything serious would happen while traveling, being prepared for a situation like this is always a good idea! Make sure you have a plan laid out in case of a worst-case scenario, and be sure to let someone know where you’re going before your trip begins.

What Will You Do If Someone Gets Sick?

Plan your road trip with what will happen if someone gets sick during the journey so that everyone can reach their destination safely! Unfortunately, cars and RVs are not the most comfortable of places to be if you aren’t feeling well, but having a plan for this situation will make it easier on everyone!

What Will You Do If There Is A Storm?

You should plan your road trip with what will happen if there is a storm during your journey in mind so that everyone can reach their destination safely. Unfortunately, the weather does not always cooperate with our travel plans but having a plan in place for this situation will make it easier on everyone!

What Will You Do If There Is A Fire?

Unfortunately, things like fires happen even when we’re least expecting them but having an idea of where you’ll meet up and what you’ll do will make you feel much safer.

What Will You Do If Someone Gets Lost?

Know what you will do if someone gets lost on your trip.

This is a worst-case scenario and something that we hope no one has to face but it’s always important to have an idea of where everyone would go if this happened. Having the address or location of your RV campground will make this easier for everyone to get back together.

Also, have a phone number in mind for the area you are going to so that someone can reach you if need be. If there is no cell service where you’re going then having an address and emergency contact will be the next best thing.

How Much Will It Cost?

You should plan your road trip with how much money you have budgeted in order to reach each destination. You can always find coupon codes online or at the gas station to save you some money on your trip, so be sure to look around before buying anything.

There are various apps and extensions online that can help you find good deals on just about anything that you need for your RV trip. Make sure you don’t wait until the last minute to look for coupons and discounts!

How to Plan an RV Trip – Conclusion

Now you can get started on planning the perfect RV trip with your family now that you know how to plan an RV road trip.

If you want more help with RV trip planning and other topics, make sure to check out the rest of our blog. One post you might find especially helpful is about what to do on long car trips.

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Hi, I'm Jessica. Myself, my husband, 4 boys, our cat, Draco, and our dog, Patton spent 2.5 years RVing America full-time. It's an experience I'll never forget and I hope you get the opportunity to do something similar if that's what you want too. Make sure to bookmark the website and share it with a friend that wants to do the same.

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