7 Tips For The Perfect RV Road Trip

I think taking a road trip should be on everyone’s’ bucket list! It’s a must!  

But then again it isn’t something that is for everyone. I’ve done a road trip in an RV through Australia for 7 days. I’ve also done another road trip through the California coast in a campervan for 7 days. Both vehicles significantly different. Both experiences (locations) completely different.

As much as I loved my camper van experience there is nothing like a real RV experience. Living in an RV will certainly change your perspective on life and how to live mobile. It isn’t for anyone, but those that are up for the challenge will find it rewarding. There are several things you should know or practice before renting or purchasing an RV. Here are some tips I’ve acquired over my adventures.

Yosemite National Park

1. How to Drive an RV

Driving an RV isn’t difficult, per se, it’s more about getting used to it. You have to navigate turns more carefully, be pickier about what roads you take and where you park and be very cautious backing up. Class C RV’s are a little easier to drive (it’s like driving a big truck or van), so it might be a good choice if you’re new to RVing. Class A’s are big and bus-shaped, and that’s exactly how they drive. If you’re renting an RV, the company will likely have you watch a tutorial video when you pick up the rig, but it’s always a good idea to watch a few on your own before the big day.

2. How Stuff Works

Maybe you’ve wanted an RV for years and finally have the money to buy one. Or perhaps you’re new to the whole idea, and you’d just prefer to rent one. A great site to use for renting RVs is RVshare. Either way, you’d better learn how an RV works. RV’s are homes on wheels – you have a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, all within in an arm’s reach. Just like with a sticks and bricks house, though, things can break at any minute. It’s important that you learn to use your RV’s basic systems, like how to dump the tanks, and how many appliances you can run without blowing a fuse. You should also learn how to change a tire if you don’t know already. Lastly, it’s a good idea to bring a homeowner’s toolkit along with you in case you have an issue with an appliance. The last thing you want is to have RV problems. 

What the back of our camper van ‘kitchen’ looked like!

3. Plan as Much as Possible

Planning is one of the major components of RVing! – I can say this, I am not a planner! This for me is the hardest task to completely, but time and time again I am always reminded I should have planned better. I would have had more times in certain places if I did. Or better yet, I wouldn’t be spending 3 hours of my night looking for a campsite.

Plan your campground stays, routes, and daily mileage. There are several reasons for this. First, so that you don’t get turned away from a crowded campground when you’re exhausted and just want to rest. Second, so you don’t get lost on your way and waste gas looking for your destination. And third, so you don’t have to pull a last-ditch effort and stop in some creepy parking lot to spend the night. Use a route planner like Roadtrippers, and check out Allstays to find campgrounds nearby.

Driving in Australia

4. Let Others Know Your Plans- Safety!

You should always let your friends and family know where you’ll be heading. America is a big place, and if something were to happen to you, it’d be helpful if your family had a general idea of where to find you. If you can, let them know whenever you arrive at a destination and how long you’ll be staying. You should also shoot them a text or give them a quick call before you head out since you’ll probably encounter long stretches of road without cell service.

Purchased Stock Image

5. Stay Aware and Use Common Sense

Anxiety can be a great tool when it’s not being a pain in the rear. If you’re feeling nervous about a certain place, situation, or person – trust your intuition. One of the best things about traveling in an RV is that it’s your home on wheels; if something doesn’t feel right, you can get back to your RV and get out of the lodge. When you’re out exploring the town or hiking a trail, use every day common sense. Don’t wear touristy clothing or expensive jewelry – it’s like a walking advertisement for muggers. Stay aware of your surroundings, don’t wander around at night, and don’t talk to weirdos.

PRO TIP: If you camp out at your local Walmart make sure you let the manager to the store know you’ll be there. Especially the night manager. They will make sure you’re safe! (Ps- it is common for people to spend nights in Walmart Parking lots.)

6. Protect Yourself from People and Nature

Mother nature can be just as scary as people. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to protect yourself not just from people, but from animals and the elements as well. Most travelers carry bear spray with them, which does double duty to repel bears and unwanted human intruders. You can also carry a small stunner or even pepper spray. Finally, be prepared in case bad weather comes your way. Whenever you pull into a campground, check if they have a safe shelter. Usually, the clubhouse or bathrooms are the safest places to be during a severe storm.

PRO TIP: Always try and find a spot on a campsite near the bathroom. Those areas usually have better lightering. Which means that it is the safest area because of the lighting. 

7. Stay Organized

Being organized is important for all RVers. Keep all your insurance and medical documents organized and nearby in case of an accident. You might want to keep them in a waterproof bag or container. It’s also handy to have a checklist for setting up camp in addition to a pre-departure safety checklist.

Purchased Stock Image

Last but not least…

Now that you’re packed, prepared, and know your way around an RV, there’s only one thing left to do – hit the road! A road trip is like no other. Not only will you explore the world around you and see new places, but you might also discover some new things about yourself; and or your friends! Are you a road trip RVer? Is it really made for you? Be honest! Share your stories and tips in the comments below! 

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  1. This Big Wild World July 29, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I’m actually considering my first RV road trip this December – thanks for the tips and inspiration 🙂

      THE SOCIAL GIRL TRAVELER July 29, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Amazing!! December is a great time! Hehe Come back and visit this site soon. Ok one adding some links at the bottom with discounts for renting an RV!

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