Tips for Planning Your Summer RV Trip: Get Ready for an Unforgettable Adventure!
Determining the Best Time for Your RV Trip
In the United States, the peak season for RV camping is typically from early July to mid-August. However, it’s important to consider various factors when choosing the ideal time for your trip:
- Temperature: Check your RV or van’s cold weather limits as specified by the manufacturer before embarking on a winter adventure.
- Interests: Consider your family’s interests. Are you into skiing, waterskiing, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, or other activities that may influence your travel season?
- Preference: If you prefer to avoid large crowds, an early spring or late fall adventure might be more appealing.
For most campers, summer remains the best time to enjoy the benefits of RV camping.
Planning Your Route and Making Reservations
A well-prepared plan and early reservations can make a significant difference in your summer RV trip. Here’s what you should do:
- Map Your Route: Research and explore various options using apps and websites like RV Trip Wizard, Roadtrippers, KOA Trip Planner, The Dyrt, and iOverlander. Alternatively, consider pre-planned scenic US routes offered by CruiseAmerica for some inspiration.
- Make Reservations: With a growing number of RV enthusiasts, securing campground reservations in advance is crucial. Websites such as Recreation.gov and Campgroundviews.com are great resources for booking campgrounds. Remember these tips:
- Private RV parks often allow bookings up to a year in advance.
- Public parks, like national forests or state parks, typically have rolling schedules ranging from six to eight months ahead. Set reminders for your must-see parks.
- Be creative in your choices. If a popular spot is fully booked, consider alternative locations nearby.
- Always have backup plans (Plan B and even Plan C) in case things don’t go as expected.
Preparing Your RV for the Journey
Before hitting the road, ensure your RV is in optimal condition by following these essential steps:
- Visual Inspection: Walk around the exterior and check the trim, doors, lights, and caulking.
- Exterior Cleaning: Clean the roof, windows, and the entire exterior of your RV while keeping an eye out for any signs of leakage.
- Inspect Extensions: Check slide-outs and awnings for proper functionality and potential tears.
- Check and Clean Appliances: Thoroughly inspect and clean all appliances, including the fridge and stove.
- Change Filters: Replace air conditioning, fuel system, and engine filters as needed.
- Test Detectors: Ensure the smoke, carbon monoxide, and LP gas detectors are in working order.
- De-Winterize: Flush out any antifreeze or chemicals from the freshwater and plumbing systems with professional assistance if needed. Check the Plumbing: Clean the holding tanks and ensure the water heater’s exterior vent is clear.
- Power Up: Check the external batteries, top off fluid if necessary, and test the remaining voltage. Seek assistance from a professional RV service center if required.
- Check Your Levels:
- Tire Pressure: Inflate the tires to the recommended level and inspect them for any signs of damage.
- Propane/LP Tanks: Check for leaks when refilling the tanks for the season.
- Monitor Levels on the Road: Consider using a DIY-friendly system like ProSmart to easily monitor water levels, gas levels, tire pressure, temperatures, and battery charge through a smartphone app.
Preparing Your Travel Companions
Before hitting the road, it’s essential to ensure everyone is on board and prepared for the adventure ahead. Consider the following tips:
- Build a Bucket List Together: Engage each traveler and ask what they’re most excited to see or do during the trip. Creating a collective bucket list ensures everyone’s interests are considered, even if plans change along the way.
- Set Expectations: Discuss the realities of life on the road, from limited entertainment options (Wi-Fi can be scarce) to food choices. Being prepared and aligned on what to expect will help avoid disappointments.
- Embrace the Unexpected: No matter how well you plan, unexpected situations are bound to arise. Prepare your travel companions to embrace the spontaneity and beauty of adventure, and to adapt to unexpected changes along the way.
Get ready to embark on an amazing summer RV journey! By following these tips and preparing your rig and travel companions in advance, you’ll be well-equipped to make lasting memories on the open road. Enjoy the ride!