Ultimate RV Road Trip Planner

Here’s How to Plan a RV Trip 

Essential RV Trip Checklist

It can be tempting to load up the RV and hit the road as soon as the last snow of winter starts to melt. While the call of the open road can be irresistible, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly prepared for your trip before you leave. A little preparation and foresight can save you some massive headaches on the road while freeing up the focus to really enjoy the world around you. 

Before you head out on the road, give some thought to these five things. 


Maintenance Is Key

Literally. Motorhome maintenance is important enough that you should view it as the key to getting on the road. Motorhomes are complex machines which require care and attention to ensure your coach’s systems are all in working order. You don’t want to find out about any engine issues while you’re driving on a busy highway or navigating a remote mountain road. 

At the start of every RV season, consider taking your motorhome in for a checkup. In particular, focus on servicing your RV’s roof AC, batteries, and generators. You’ll also want to inspect the roof and body sealant to make sure you don’t have any leaks. Finally, having your coolant serviced and tires rotated is always a good idea — especially if you’re planning to get a lot of use out of your motorhome this summer. 


Know Where You’re Going (and How to Get There)

It can be easy to take navigation for granted in the era of Google Maps, but you shouldn’t always count on having a GPS app available. There’s an unspoken rule amongst experienced RV campers that cell phone service always seems to vanish at the moment when it’s most inconvenient. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about paper maps losing signal; and while they may not be as immediately intuitive as a phone app, they’re invaluable in a pinch. 

Having a solid sense of where you’re driving before you leave can also save you from being stressed on the road. Identify alternate routes to get to your destination, so you have a backup on hand when needed. By being able to quickly pivot from Route A to Route B, you can minimize lost time while also taking advantage of any interesting destinations that your detour has to offer. 


Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Nobody plans to have an emergency during an RV trip. That’s why it’s all the more important to make sure that you’re prepared to react if something unexpected happens. You don’t have to map out every single RV service center between home and your destination, but you should be prepared if a tire bursts on the road. 

Speaking of front-end tire blowouts, there are a couple simple (yet powerful) safety products which may not only save you a lot of headache but could potentially save your life and the lives of those you love. One such product is called RettroBand®. This revolutionary run-flat tire safety system is installed inside your RV’s front tires and provides a built in, highly-durable doughnut for your motorhome!

How does it work? Well, should your RV’s front tires lose air for any reason, your motorhome will settle onto the RettroBand wheel enhancement band and will allow you to keep better control of your motorhome until you can find a safe place to pull over and stop. Learn more about RettroBand here.

Another critical and potentially life-saving product that every coach owner should have installed in their motorhome is the one-of-a-kind THIA by Proteng Fire Suppression System. Fire safety in any situation is very important, however, when it comes to suppressing a fire within the tight confines of your RV, having a fire suppression system which can give you time to escape a deadly fire, as well as operates even when you’re not in your motorhome is a must and simply priceless! 

The Proteng system is custom installed in your coach by placing Proteng tubes in areas of your motorhome where fires are likely to occur. Should a fire start up in your RV, these tubes are activated and rupture to release a non-toxic gas that lowers the temperature flash point of the fire, suppressing it completely or long enough for you to get to safety while not leaving any sort of residue. To learn more about Proteng, click here

Hoping for the best, but planning for the worst goes doubly for the possibility of medical emergencies. Make sure to confirm any allergies before you prepare food for the trip, and make sure everyone has enough medicine to cover the trip, along with a few extra days worth in case of detours or delays. Lastly, before you leave, make sure that your RV’s first aid kit(s) is properly stocked as well. There aren’t any fun ways to find out that you’re low on Band-aids. 


Don’t Forget Food

When people think of “RV food,” their minds almost immediately jump to their favorite mid-drive snack. While good snacks are undoubtedly a part of any good RV adventure, dining exclusively on Doritos and gas station takeout can get exhausting and unhealthy (not to mention smelly!) really fast. While planning food for a motorhoming trip may not be your favorite part of the RVing lifestyle, there are a ton of advantages to doing so.

Packing meals doesn’t just give you better control of what you eat, it also gives you extra control over where and when you eat! Being able to simply pull over to a rest station and dine on some sandwiches or burritos means saving time and money that would otherwise be spent pulling over to restaurants. Keeping yourself alert and full of energy during a long drive goes a long way towards maximizing your RV adventure, so you’ll want to make sure you’re packing meals that actually refresh you, instead of sending you into a slightly gassy food coma


Take a Moment to Be Mindful

If you can, try to set aside some time before your trip to take a deep breath and open yourself up to all of the exciting adventures ahead of you. In all the hustle and bustle of preparing for a trip, it can be easy to lose a bit of the excitement for the RV journey ahead and forget why you’re going on one in the first place.

At the end of the day, RV trips are about adventure, regardless of what that specifically looks like for you. Whether you’re looking forward to attending group rallies with your motorhome club (check out the AIM Club which NIRVC is a sponsor), evenings sleeping alone under the stars, or cooking some barbecue while watching a movie with your entire family. These adventures are a chance to unwind, decompress, and focus on the things in life that bring you joy. 


Happy travels!


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.