Plan Your RV Road Trip

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Lynn

An RV road trip is an experience every family should go through at least a few times before any of the kids have flown the coop. It is a time when the life of a family is often chaotic, but it is also a time when the children learn things at an amazing rate. This is when children adjust quickly to all situations, and their sense of adventure overrides their need for creature comforts.

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An RV trip is a truly economical way to see places that you have always wanted to visit at your own pace. It is estimated that by going on an RV trip, a family of four can save more than 70 percent of what they would spend if they traveled any other way. The success of this outing, however, depends greatly on how well prepared you are for it. Read on for some important pointers on how to plan your RV road trip so you can have the grandest and most memorable vacations of your life.

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Agreeing on the Basics

Before you can go about planning and preparing for your trip in detail, there are certain things that have to be done.

  1. 1
    Decide on your budget
    Figure out how much you want to spend and set your budget so that you have a little leeway while you are on the road. As you make a list of your anticipated expenses, don't forget to set aside money for out-of-the-ordinary travel costs such as extra insurance if you need it.
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  2. 2
    Be clear about where you want to go
    It is important that everyone in the family is on the same page in this. You won't really be able to decide on what specific sights you want to see, but the general destination should be clear to everyone. For example, if everyone agrees to take a trip around the Grand Canyon, the specific stops can be decided when you map out your trip.
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  3. 3
    Let everyone know what the limitations of the vacation will be
    Rather than disappointing the children while you are in a cramped temporary abode, clear the air with them about the limitations imposed on this vacation. Let everyone know that tasks have to be shared, and that the limited space means making a real effort to keep things where they should be.
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  4. 4
    Make sure everyone is in good health
    If possible, get everyone checked before leaving on your trip. Being sick is never fun, but it can be doubly inconvenient when a member of the family becomes ill while away on an RV trip. Just to be sure, tell your primary doctor that you are going away on a trip and ask if you need shots.
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Getting Down to Business

Once you get the basics out of the way, you can begin to get down to business of planning and preparing for your trip. Here's how you can start…

  1. 1
    Map your route
    Once you know where you want to go, you can begin mapping your route. Get a big map, tack it on you wall and slip a plastic sheet over it so you can use a dry-erase marker to draw a route and change it without any trouble.
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  2. 2
    After that map is up and marked,
    get yourself an RV trip planner
    RV trip planners are available online, and some even come for free, courtesy of tourism offices, RV companies and RV clubs. Some even allow you to log in through Facebook.
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  3. 3
    The RV trip planner applications will not only allow you to map your specific travel destinations;
    if you give your beginning and ending destinations, they will also show you the following
    1. Possible routes you can take
    2. Tourist destinations and special points of interest along the way
    3. Campgrounds
    4. Restaurants, hotels, motels, stores throughout the route
    5. Gasoline stations
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  4. 4
    Create a checklist of what you want to bring and what you will need to do
    You will need not one but several checklists to prepare for your trip. For example, you need a checklist of the following:  
    1. Basic things you will "furnish" your RV with, such as linen, plates, trash bags, etc.
    2. Features to be inspected upon delivery of the RV. This will include its mechanical features, and the top-to-bottom, inside-out soundness of the RV, etc.
    3. Meals and shopping. Yes, you will have to draft and use many lists, including a list of the entertainment items you will be bringing (CDs, books, games, magazines, etc.). Fortunately, RV clubs and websites will give you very good samples of what to put in your checklist. Just surf and go through the many available details. Some are so detailed they will even tell you to check the RV's curtains! After all, you want those curtains drawn tight when you are all asleep.
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  5. 5
    Prepare your RV First Aid Kit
    If you inquire from RV clubs about first aid kits, you will get lots of good suggestions. A wise move to make, even as you prepare for the trip, is to look around for a club you might want to join. They will let you know what items have proven useful in their experience. Regardless of what other things you put in your kit, don't forget to include the following:  
    1. Pain relievers
    2. Scissors
    3. Ointment
    4. Wound disinfectant
    5. Bandages
    6. Insect repellent
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  6. 6
    Get your emergency supplies together
    Your emergency supplies will include a charger for each cellphone, extra batteries, rechargeable batteries, extra water, an extra supply of regular medications, etc. You should have a list of emergency contact information in your cellphones and on the wall of the RV.
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  7. 7
    Check on the campgrounds you will stay in
    Identify the campgrounds where you plan to stay and look for them online. Usually, these campgrounds will have a site that you can click on to read extensive information about their services. Then, surf around for ratings and reviews on the campsites you have chosen.
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  8. 8
    Equip yourself
    Buy a guidebook, get some maps, and, if possible, get a GPS. Download the relevant apps on your iPhone or iPad. This way you will always have help in finding your way.
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  9. 9
    Try it in your front yard
    Before you drive off into the sunset, why don't you try spending the night in the RV right in your front yard. Try cooking at least one meal there, taking your showers and trying the beds on for comfort. That way you will know for sure that you are ready for that nice, long RV trip.
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Having second thoughts about going on a long vacation with your fast-growing kids or bosom buddies? An RV road trip might be the right one for you. Imagine the thrill of going places, seeing sights and bonding with your travel companions at your whim. It is not only a great way to teach kids a lot of life lessons in a fun way, but you get to bond with them too, while building happy memories. With the economy of this mode of vacation, you get more while you are in the comforts of your "home."

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Referencing this Article

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APA (American Psychological Association)
Plan Your RV Road Trip. (2016). In VisiHow. Retrieved Apr 23, 2017, from

MLA (Modern Language Association) "Plan Your RV Road Trip." VisiHow, Accessed 23 Apr 2017.

Chicago / Turabian "Plan Your RV Road Trip." Accessed Apr 23, 2017.

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Categories : Travel & Leisure

Recent edits by: Nerissa Avisado

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