Families who own or rent RVs have discovered the joys of traveling with RVs all over the country. It’s a vacation option that allows you to direct your travel while carrying your portable living space in the back of the car. You won’t have to worry about hotel fees or constructing a tent. RV campgrounds offer low-cost nightly fees; you’ll typically have access to restrooms, showers, and sometimes laundry facilities and recreation opportunities.
Plan Your Route
Traveling across the country without a specific destination can be fun, but you’ll also want to be sure you arrive home safely. First, consider how much money you can set aside for the trip. You’ll need to calculate gas, food, and costs for attractions. Consider how much time you’ll have to travel.
Before going on the road, make a general plan for where you’ll want to go. If you’re traveling with your family, choose a few places the family would like to visit. You’ll want to leave some time unplanned in case you find an attraction you’d want to visit while traveling. When you have an RV, you have options for incredible vacations nationwide.
State and national parks often offer inexpensive places to park your RV for the night. If you’d like to camp at a winery, brewery, or farm, you can buy a membership to Harvest Hosts. Joining that organization allows you to park your rig overnight for free at one of those beautiful attractions. If your family is adventurous, you can go off the grid and go ‘boondocking’ by arranging it with the Bureau of Land Management.
Stock Your RV
Going cross-country in an RV on your incredible vacations can be like towing your home along with you. You won’t need to bring all the clothes in your closet, but you’ll want enough clothing to be sure the family has what they need for the expected activities and the anticipated weather conditions. Always remember to bring the basics: soap, shampoo, detergent, tissues, diapers, toilet paper, and garbage bags. If you stock those things before you leave, you won’t need to waste your time on a side trip to the store.
Although you won’t want to talk on the phone while driving, you’ll likely have your phone with you. Therefore, be sure you pack a charger for your phone – and for the phones of the rest of the family. To ease your driving, include sunglasses and chewing gum or mints. To keep everyone content, stock up on beverages and snacks for the family before you leave.
Other items on your packing list should include health and safety needs for the family. Always carry a first aid kit, flashers, and jumper cables in the trunk. If anyone in the family takes medication, be sure they bring enough with them to last through the trip. If the females on the trip need feminine hygiene articles, pack them, too.
Get Yourself Insured
When you get into your RV and begin your trip, you must be sure you have the right insurance. Some car insurance policies may extend coverage to your RV. However, not all policies include them, and the policies that cover them don’t offer complete coverage. Check with your car insurance company to be sure of your coverage.
Reasons for extending coverage to your RV include the need to have liability protection for the RV and your car. In some states, certain RVs do not require insurance. According to Trusted Choice, if your RV is a class C (a trailer or pop-up), it may not need RV insurance.
If your RV is rented, the rental company may require you to buy RV insurance. In some states, RV insurance is optional. State requirements for RV coverage amounts vary. To protect your incredible vacations, be sure your car and RV are covered, as required.
Get an RV
If this will be your first season with an RV, you may wonder if you should buy or rent an RV. According to Cruise America, for a first-time RV user, it makes sense to rent an RV. You will know how you like the RV experience after you’ve tried it. Another advantage of renting is trying different RV models before purchasing.
If you decide to invest in future incredible vacations by purchasing an RV, you must make some decisions before committing to your final choice. When visiting RV dealers, you should know whether you plan to tow the vehicle or want a motorized RV. You must know your car’s towing capacity if considering towing the RV. When calculating the total weight of what your vehicle can tow, remember to add in the weight of the passengers.
The next area for your consideration is how many people will sleep in the RV. Another concern will be which amenities you’ll want. An RV could include an upscale kitchen or a large entertainment center. It would help to consider how many bathrooms you’ll want included in your rig.
Get Cooling and Heating Facilities in Your RV
You’ll want the temperature to be comfortable inside the RV. Therefore, you’ll need to check its HVAC system before you go on your road trip. If you don’t have an HVAC system in your rig or the current system needs to be updated, you must decide if you can do an HVAC installation. Many RV owners consult a professional to ensure the system is installed correctly.
Some RVs will be sold with a unit that provides a combination air conditioner and heater. Some rigs will have separate heating and cooling systems. There are types which separate the furnace from the heat pump. Be sure you know the details of the HVAC system in your rig, so you won’t have to wonder when you get to your destination.
According to RV Share, most modern RVs have an air conditioning unit on the rooftop. This location is central and doesn’t take up any living space inside the unit. The heat in your RV will typically use propane gas, so be aware that you must stop periodically to get propane refills. Ask your RV dealer about the heating and cooling before you buy it to ensure your family will be comfortable on your incredible vacations.
Get Prepped for Additional Items
If you haven’t bought an RV yet, consider whether you may prefer to get a trailer rather than an RV. You will drive an RV and have the living quarters behind you, while a trailer is pulled by your car with a hitch and attachment. RVs are typically more expensive than trailers. Many owners prefer RVs for their roomier accommodation, while others prefer trailers because the living quarters are separate from their cars.
Remember that if you have an RV and must go to the store or to an attraction, you’ll have to drive the RV wherever you want to travel. According to Instant Bazinga, another disadvantage of RVs is that they get poor gas mileage. With a trailer, you can leave the living quarters behind at the campsite while you get in the car and go where you want. You also won’t need to do engine maintenance on a trailer.
There are trailer parts and attachments that you should consider bringing with you on your incredible vacations. You can raise or lower your trailer for tire changes with an electric hydraulic trailer jack. Gates and lift ramps are a great idea, so you can tote things into and out of your trailer easily. Most trailer owners also bring a toolbox to be sure they have the tools available to fix their trailers.
Get The RV Serviced
To be sure your RV is safe and ready to roll for your incredible vacations, you should have a maintenance checklist for your RV. You must check things before a trip – and regularly – to keep your RV in running order. One of the most important things to check is its tires. You may need to purchase and install new tires if there are significant cracks or punctures in the tires.
According to RV Expertise, an RV has three holding tanks: freshwater, greywater, and blackwater. All these tanks must be maintained at their proper levels. You must drain the freshwater tank at least after each trip. You can dispose of the wastewater via a sewer hose at a dump site. Chemicals are also available to break up the solids in the wastewater and control odor.
Check your RV battery to be sure it’s still operational. A properly maintained battery should last about five years but must be charged regularly to ensure it keeps working. If you store your RV battery during the winter, you should regularly charge it. According to RV Expertise, you shouldn’t let your battery’s charge level drop below 50%.
Ensure You’re Knowledgeable of Road Safety
The rules of the road include regulations for driving RVs and trailers, and you need to be aware of them. Your family’s safety and your vehicle’s safety is essential to enjoying your incredible vacations. A guideline specific to RVs and trailers is to take larger corners when you turn – to allow space for the length of the vehicle. RVs also brake more slowly than cars, so drive slower – and allow more distance between the RV and the vehicle in front of you.
Although you will have done a maintenance check before you left, you should be prepared to do maintenance tasks while on the road. For example, check the RV’s water clamps to ensure they are operational – and if they need to be replaced, they should be replaced before you begin the trip. You can check with an RV mechanic if you don’t know how.
If you love driving your RV but encounter a legal issue where your driver’s license is revoked or suspended, you will need the services of a drivers license lawyer. These attorneys can help you meet the requirements to reinstate your license. Each state has different requirements for reinstatement. In some states, you must attend a hearing, while others require you to take a driver safety course.
Take Personal Safety Precautions
While on the road, you must take care of yourself and your family. You can catch a cold or fall on the road as quickly as you can at home. Remembering your daily medication and bringing a first aid kit is essential. If someone injures you, contact an attorney that practices personal injury law.
Always wear a seat belt while driving an RV. To keep your hands clean, whenever you stop, use the restroom to wash your hands with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer to clean your hands before eating or drinking or after touching something in the glove compartment or the floor. Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands.
If you fall or are injured while on vacation, you should visit an urgent care facility. This is especially essential if your injury occurred due to a vehicle accident. If you had an injury due to an accident, you will need documentation of the injuries from your insurance company. Your health is essential; don’t let a short delay ruin your incredible vacations.
Pave the Way with Maps and Reservations
While you’re on the road, use a GPS that’s securely fastened to your dashboard. A paper map is a good idea – but keep it in the glove compartment until needed. A GPS will alert you when tolls, bridges, and tunnels are approaching. They can also let you know where to stop for a restroom break.
Once you plan where you’d like to go, it’s a good idea to contact attractions ahead of time for tickets. In addition to ensuring you have the tickets, it’s a good idea to do this, so you won’t have to stand in the ticket purchase line. Other places to contact ahead of time are where you plan to park your RV for the night. Some of these parks have limited parking or limited space for you to camp.
An RV can be your personal passport to endless vacation options. When you have an RV, you can be sure of a similar comfort to the one you have at home. Keep your RV maintained and ready to go. And whenever you’re ready, enjoy your incredible vacations!