Mistakes to Avoid on Your First RV Road Trip
If you love family road trips, you may be planning to make your next vacation as comfortable and affordable as possible by traveling in an RV. Say goodbye to expensive hotels and plane tickets, and hello to the great outdoors!
Many people rent recreational vehicles for short trips, but owning an RV offers several benefits. For instance, ownership gives you the flexibility to pick up and go whenever you feel like it, and you can travel for as long as you want. Plus, if your RV has sleeping, cooking, and bathing areas, you might be able to call it your second home when filing taxes, allowing you to deduct some of the cost from the initial purchase price.
Are you ready to take your first-ever RV road trip? Here are some factors to consider—and common mistakes to avoid—as you begin planning an RV road trip.
Choosing the Wrong Type of RV
You have many options for choosing a recreational vehicle:
- Class A motorhomes are your traditional RV. There’s enough sleeping room for six or more people and all the amenities you could want for an extended vacation or alternative living situation.
- Class B motorhomes, or camper vans, are full-sized vans with a compact kitchen and bathroom. Three travelers can fit comfortably and enjoy several weeks-long trips together.
- Class C motorhomes fall between Class A and B. They’re less roomy than Class A RVs, but they’re easier to drive and comfortably accommodate up to six people.
- Travel trailers come in all sizes and hitch to the back of a truck or SUV. They have many of the same amenities as motorhomes, just without a cab.
Rest assured that you don’t need a special license to drive most RVs. As long as the vehicle is under 26,000 pounds, your regular driver’s license will do.
Not Planning the Route in Advance
You may love the idea of winging it, but your RV road trip will be much less stressful if you plan which roads to take and where to stop along the way. Remain informed of any road closures, and be prepared to take alternate routes if needed. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for quirky roadside attractions as well! These unplanned stops are bound to make your road trip even more memorable.
Not Considering the RV’s Size Limitations
When you’re enjoying time with your family on the road, it’s easy to forget that you’re driving an oversized vehicle with a higher weight and larger clearance restrictions than you’re used to. When planning your route, make sure there aren’t any narrow roads, low-clearance tunnels, or weight-restricted bridges to worry about. If you encounter them along the way, you may need to pay a fee for access or take the long way around.
Not Reserving a Campground
Once you pick a route and know which campgrounds you want to stay at, don’t stop there—finalize your plans by making a reservation. Otherwise, you could pull up to a campground at the end of a long day only to find that every spot is booked. This is most like to happen if you pick a popular campground during peak travel season. Recreation.gov lets you reserve your place months in advance at over 4,200 facilities and 113,000 individual sites across the country.
Forgetting to Download Offline Maps Before the Trip
A GPS or smartphone with navigation capabilities is an absolute must. But during RV road trip planning, don’t forget to download offline maps in case the GPS signal is lost on the road. A shoddy connection is especially likely on mountain roads or in rural areas. It also doesn’t hurt to have a physical map in case your phone gets lost or damaged during your trip.
Failing to Adhere to Campground Rules and Etiquette
You may be on vacation to let loose, but that doesn’t mean you should break RV campground etiquette. Make sure everyone’s a happy camper by following these rules:
- Plan to arrive no later than 8:00 pm and check out no earlier than 8:00 am.
- Keep the volume down.
- Don’t rev or idle your RV during quiet hours.
- Keep your dog on a leash and pick up after them.
- Drive slowly and dim your headlights when driving through the campground at night.
- Don’t drive through other campsites on the way to yours.
- Make sure your parked RV doesn’t protrude onto the roadway.
- Turn off bright outdoor lights at bedtime.
- Don’t burn trash to avoid giving off toxic fumes.
- Be mindful about where you smoke cigarettes.
- Leave the site cleaner than you found it.
RV vacations are unlike any other. You aren’t quite roughing it, but you don’t have access to the same amenities as you would by staying in a hotel. Ensure the most comfortable experience by adding these must-haves to your RV road trip packing list:
- Wi-Fi signal booster
- Car adaptors for phones and other devices
- Heated blankets and mattress pads
- Non-glass cutlery
- Folding lawn chairs
- Outdoor adventure gear
- Dump hose
- Leveling blocks
Once you return from a successful road trip, you need a place to store your RV until your next vacation. Why not reserve a space at RV Storage Depot? If you live in the Orlando area or California, we are the best place to keep your recreational vehicle safe and secure. We are the largest RV storage facility in Florida, two locations in Orange County, and one outside of Sacramento offering the lowest prices without skimping on indoor storage space, state-of-the-art security, and video surveillance. Reserve your space online today!