How to Plan Your RV Trip

Here’s What to Keep in Mind When Planning Your RV Trip

A Little Preparation Goes a LONG Way

Proper planning can make or break your RV adventure. While it’s easy to get lost in all of the luxuries of a modern RV, it’s important to remember how much of a journey RV adventures can be.

Simply put, most RV trips involve driving hundreds of miles or crossing state lines in a large, highly-complex machine. No matter how sophisticated modern motorhomes may be, there’s always a margin for something to go wrong. 

While nobody plans on complications, it’s always a good idea to prepare for them. Here’s what to keep in mind once you start planning for your RV trip.

It’s Better to Have Extra Food and Not Need It …

… than the other way around. Even if you’re one of those RVers who eats at restaurants whenever possible, it’s still a good idea to stock your pantry with enough non-perishables to last a few days. You don’t need to go full doomsday prepper, but it’s a good idea to stock several meals per person of dried or canned food. That’s something you can easily accomplish with a single large bag of rice and a few cans of beans. 

Don’t Just Count on GPS

Over the last decade, GPS apps have become so ubiquitous they’ve essentially replaced all other forms of navigation. While platforms like Google Maps may be incredibly accurate when routing through urban areas, they can lose a lot of their accuracy on more remote roads. In addition, GPS apps might not account for issues like road closures and detours. Plus, a lapse in cell phone coverage (or power) can prevent you from using them entirely. 

There’s no substitute for knowing how to navigate to your destination manually. Print out the driving route you plan to follow, along with any maps that will help you navigate it if your phone stops working. Nobody wants to load up the RV to spend a day driving around lost. That little bit of preparation can save you plenty of frustration. 

Know the Legality of Any Substances You’re Carrying

You should never get behind the wheel if you’re under the influence of ANY intoxicating substances. 

Suppose you’re the sort of person who enjoys sitting in front of your (parked) RV and relaxing with a cold beer. In that case, it’s a good idea to know the laws regarding alcohol (and potentially marijuana) consumption in both your destination and any states you plan on driving through. 

More than 40 US states have open container laws that limit where alcohol can be stored or consumed in a moving vehicle. The vast majority of these laws prohibit any consumption in the vehicle’s passenger seat, although many carve out an exception for any designated living quarters in an RV.

It’s essential to understand these legalities if you live in a state with legalized marijuana use. As states have vastly different laws regarding legalization and decriminalization, a perfectly legal $40 purchase in one state can be a felony if you drive just a few miles into another.

When in Doubt, Get Someone on the Phone

In a post-2020 world, there’s always the risk of disruptions or policy changes during travel, especially if you’re visiting a popular tourist attraction. It’s a good idea to review your itinerary ahead of time along with pre-purchasing passes and tickets whenever possible.

There are plenty of destinations where this won’t be an option. Any experienced RVer can tell you that RV attractions don’t always feature modern websites. If you encounter any confusion when pre-planning your trip, never underestimate the power of getting an actual, talking human being on the phone.

Whether you’re clarifying the check-out policy of an RV campground or trying to book day passes to a local history museum, don’t hesitate to call. After all, the worst-case scenario is that you confirm information you already know.

Of course, more goes into planning an RV trip than just preparing for worst-case scenarios. Figuring out a good trip itinerary can be a journey in itself, and that’s BEFORE you factor in all the long-term considerations that come with RV ownership. Storage, repairs and routine maintenance are all factors that greatly affect your RV experience.

Think of National Indoor RV Centers as your co-pilot in all of your RV adventures. We understand the ins and outs of everything RV, from sales to paint & body to storage. Our expert technicians have everything required to get you on the road – and keep you there.