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The new year is in full swing, and that means it’s time to start RV trip planning for this year (if you haven’t already). There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to go, how to get there, and how to prepare for your RV travels. Fortunately, if you begin now, you will have plenty of time to figure it all out before springtime rolls around and it’s time to hit the road once again.
Not sure how to begin your RV trip planning? We’re here to help. In this guide we will go over our top tips for planning an awesome summer full of travels and fun. Let’s dive in!
RV Trip Planning: Deciding Where to Go
The first step is deciding where you want to go. With a whole entire gigantic and amazing country to explore, this can be a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to narrow down your options. Below are some suggestions that can help you decide where to go as you begin the RV trip planning process.
Look at Your Goals
The first thing to consider when RV trip planning? Any travel goals you may want to accomplish or bucket list items you may want to check off. Maybe you have a goal to see all of the states and/or every national park, or perhaps you want to ride in a hot air balloon or try surfing. Whatever your goals might be, try to find a way to weave some of them into your travel plans for the new year.
Consider Your Budget
As much as we’d all love to run around doing whatever we like whenever we like, money does have to be taken into consideration. Think about what your spending should look like for the year and let that guide your decisions.
If you need to save money, you might be best served traveling short distances and staying in each place longer. Meanwhile, those who have a good amount to spend this year might make it a big travel year with lots of extensive travel.
Find Out where Friends are Going
Friends make everything better, especially traveling. Before you decide where you want to spend your time in the upcoming year, find out where your friends are going to be. This might just guide your travels and even give you some good ideas of places to visit that you may not have thought of yourself.
Keep Weather in Mind
Weather should always be taken into consideration when RV trip planning. If you’re like the vast majority of RVers out there, you don’t travel to spend a bunch of time cooped up in your rig, and would much rather be outdoors exploring the beautiful world around you.
Obviously, this is much easier to do when the weather is warm and sunny rather than super hot, cold, or wet. On top of that, staying in an RV is much more comfortable when the weather is nice. Therefore, it just makes sense to let the average weather sway your travel plans some.
Look at Camping Options
Depending on your budget, the camping options offered in any given area might also impact where you plan to go. If you like to stay in the Thousand Trails system, you will of course want to stay where those campgrounds are available. If boondocking is your favorite camping style, heading to areas that offer lots of boondocking options will be a must.
Consider how you like to camp and whether that camping style will work in a given place before you settle on a certain RV destination for the year.
Learn about Events
Events are also a good thing to consider when RV trip planning. RV rallies, hangouts, and conventions offer opportunities to meet fellow travelers and learn more about RV living. Meanwhile, workshops, conventions, and competitions for those with other kinds of interests similar to your own will give you some direction as you decide where to go in the new year.
Planning Your Route
The next step in the RV trip planning process? Planning your route. Sure, you might have some destinations in mind, but you do still need to consider how you will get to those destinations. That’s where route planning comes into play. This is an especially important step if you want to weave several stops into one trip, or if you’re driving a big rig that may not be able to travel on certain roads.
Use a Route Planning Tool
Deciding how you want to get from point A to point B can be tricky. There are all kinds of things to consider, such as camping spots along the way, things to do to break up travel days, and which roads are safest.
We love using RV-specific trip planning tools to make this a bit easier. RV Trip Wizard is the best tool we’ve found for this purpose. It is a paid tool but is 100% worth the expense, as it makes route planning so much easier.
Avoid Dangerous Roads
As mentioned above, choosing a route that is safe for your rig is incredibly important. This means looking out for steep grades, low clearance bridges, narrow roads, etc.
RV Trip Wizard can help with this, but we also recommend double-checking the route it gives against a Trucker’s Atlas. These maps are made especially for truckers who drive big rigs, so using them to plan your route will ensure you are on roads that are both well traveled and safe for larger vehicles.
Add Fun Stops
If you have one end destination in mind and have a lot of driving between one point and the next, consider breaking up the drive by adding fun stops along the way. Pretty much any route you take in this great big country of ours will have a huge number of amazing museums, parks, zoos, and more to see along the way. It only makes sense to take your time to see as much as you can between key destinations.
Prepare for Your Adventures
The final step in RV trip planning? Making sure you and your RV are ready to go. This might involve purchasing some things and doing some maintenance work, among other things.
Here are some of the most important things to get done before you hit the road.
Purchase Necessary Gear
Depending on what you plan to do during your travels this year, you might need to purchase some new gear. Planning on kayaking adventures? A kayak will be in order. Want to do a bunch of boondocking? You might need to invest in a decent solar power setup.
Take a look at your plans and what you will need to carry them out, and then start shopping around. You might be able to find some great gear used if you keep your eyes peeled!
Invest in Passes and Memberships
Reciprocal attraction memberships can save you a ton of money if your plans include visiting museums, zoos, national parks, amusement parks, etc. Meanwhile, camping passes such as the Thousand Trails Pass, Passport America, and Boondockers Welcome can help tremendously when trying to save money on camping.
The thing is, these passes only save you money if you use them. Therefore, we recommend taking a close look at your plans and buying only the passes you will use often.
Ensure Your Rig is Ready
Finally, you’ll want to check out your rig and make sure it is totally ready for your upcoming adventures. Check the tires and replace any that look worn, give the RV a good wash, check for cracked seals and reseal anything that needs it, and check the slide seals. You’ll want to repair any broken pieces and replace appliances that don’t work anymore.
Getting necessary RV maintenance done and ensuring everything is in tip-top shape will help your spring and summer travels go off without a hitch.
There you have it, everything you need to know to finish your RV trip planning for the year. Hopefully this guide helps you plan some amazing travels and carry them out without any issues along that way. Why not get started now so you can start making amazing travel memories sooner rather than later?
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