Adventurtunity Family: How to Plan an Extended RV Trip
Planning an extended RV trip can be wildly exciting, but also intimidating. Just to clarify, we are talking about hitting the road for several weeks or even several months at a time. That timeframe may be the longest time away from your home and much longer than the standard two-week vacation many of us are used to. One of the best benefits of traveling by RV is having the flexibility to change up where you go and how long you stay, if you so choose. Whether you are traveling in your own RV or renting one, another huge bonus is the ability to make your RV a mini home packed with all the items you need plus a few of your favorite things! Of course, there are definitely some key factors to consider along the way.
The first thing you will want to do is determine the type of traveler you want to be. Do you prefer to move around frequently and see many different places? Or is staying a while in a few locations more your style? Do you want to plan out every single day, or leave some gaps to see where the wind may blow you? Deciding how you want to travel will determine selecting destinations you want to visit and how long you would like to stay at each one.
Setting a budget for your extended RV journey will also be helpful in deciding where to stay, how far to travel, and what excursions you do along the way. When selecting a campground or RV resort, check to see if they have weekly and monthly rates. While many campgrounds publish their rates online, a few do not. A quick call to inquire about special rates for long term stays may be in your best interest. We have been pleasantly surprised that, more often than not, RV resorts offer significant discounts for monthly stays. Not only do they help your budget go a little further, but extended stays let you check out more restaurants, explore more trails in the National Park, or just “live like a local” in a place you’ve really wanted to spend time in!
Another thing to keep in mind when searching for and booking your stays is the popularity of the area(s) during the time of your visit. Peak season can be a tough time to find availability, especially on relatively short notice. We always recommend booking well in advance of your travels whenever possible, and many campgrounds and RV resorts will allow you to book up to a year in advance with a small deposit to hold your reservation.
Once you’ve made your reservations, or at least have a good idea of your places of interest, you will want to create your driving route. Don’t always take the most direct route to your destination, leave some room for roadside attractions and detours to can’t-miss stop-offs! Enjoy the ride! There are plenty of apps and online tools to help you create an RV friendly route to your destinations. This is important especially when traveling to new or unfamiliar areas because you’ll want to route around low bridges or narrow roads that may not be big rig friendly. Some of them even help you find rest stops and fueling stations along the way.
When it comes to getting your rig ready to hit the road, try to avoid the vacation packing trap. You will most likely have plenty of room in your RV to pack a lot, however you don’t need to pack enough clothes and food for your entire trip. Most campgrounds have laundry on site or laundromats near town. Depending on your season of travel, pack accordingly. It’s always great to have layers and options, but definitely plan on doing laundry at some point in your travels.
The same goes for your food storage too! There will be plenty of grocery stores and farmers markets along the way. We have found meal planning to be extremely helpful, especially when it comes to grocery shopping ahead of departures. If you plan meals for your first week or two on the road it will be a good guide for what you need in terms of food and ingredients, and it will eliminate having to figuring out what to eat each night. A day or two prior to your takeoff is a great time to pack the fridge, fill your pantry and maybe even add a frozen meal or two to the freezer. Trust us, they come in handy on late or challenging arrival days/nights!
And when it comes to your RV, do a walk around and double check all your gear is operational the day before departure. Run your slides out and in, set your leveling system, run some water through your sinks and toilets. Also make sure you have all hoses, cords, and adapters you may need on board and ready, especially if you haven’t used them in a while. Top off the propane, and if your extended RV trip has you traveling through winter temperatures be sure to pack a heated drinking water hose. And if you don’t already have one, an RV specific roadside assistance membership is a must. It’s great peace of mind on an extended trip, especially with an A Class motorhome. Hopefully you won’t need to use it, but if you ever need a tow or a tire change, you’ll be very glad you have it!
Throughout your adventures you will see some beautiful landscapes, meet incredible people and create forever memories! Research National Parks, state parks, excursions and activities near the areas you visit. Be sure to check all rules, regulations and permits necessary. And don’t forget to pack a camera! You never know who or what you might run into!
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