Planning A Cross-Country RV Trip – 4 Considerations


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Road trips are exciting enough in regular cars, but taking an RV is a whole different ball game. You get to enjoy the vehicle’s numerous amenities, and you don’t have to worry about paying for lodging. Everything you need is already inside the vehicle.

However, a few challenges may arise during the planning stage that you might not have thought about before. Here are four considerations every traveler must make when planning a cross-country RV trip.

1. Map Out Your Route

The first part of the planning process should be to map out your route. Write down where you want to go, then determine the when and why. You want to ensure your party has constant access to food, fuel, and other supplies. Identify RV-friendly rest stops and gas stations near your main route so you don’t have to take extensive detours.

As a general rule, you should underestimate your daily drive time. RVs are slower and more difficult to handle than normal-sized cars. Experienced motorhome owners recommend doing less than 300 miles each day and never driving after dark. These precautionary measures will help you conserve fuel and energy, keeping you focused behind the wheel.

Planning your checkpoints beforehand will make the trip much more enjoyable. You won’t have to worry about the trip’s logistics – you can simply watch the landscapes pass by and take full pleasure in the moment.

2. Get The Right RV

There are many different categories of RVs for different kinds of trips. You might be tempted to get a huge 30-foot RV with all of the luxuries of home, but a vehicle of that size isn’t always ideal for long-distance travel. Fuel costs, narrow roads, and other problems will arise. These RVs are more versatile and better suited for road trips:

  • Class C: This RV class is a perfect balance between large Class A and small Class B motorhomes. It’s small enough to navigate side streets but big enough to comfortably house four to eight people. You can always spot a Class C by the overhead sleeping cab.
  • Fifth wheels: This option is similar to a Class C RV in almost every way except one – it’s a detachable trailer instead of an independent vehicle. It’s usually safer for beginners to use trailer RVs instead of full-fledged motorhomes.
  • Travel trailer: If you have a tight budget, a travel trailer is your best option. They don’t have all the amenities of other RVs, but they can easily fit up to eight people.
  • Camper van: These classic vans are great for solo and couple travelers. Some people turn their camper vans into minimalist mobile homes so they never have to stop traveling.

Your party’s size is the most important factor, but you also have to consider the road trip’s activities. How long do you expect the trip to be? Can the RV make it to your desired locations? These types of questions are critical to helping you find the perfect RV and determine the best options for financing. Using a financing calculator can help you decide the best course of action. 

3. Stock Your RV With Supplies

Cross-country trips often include multiple climates, especially if you’re visiting the United States. It has mountains, plains, deserts, woodlands, and rainforests. You need to prepare for all kinds of weather conditions. If you’re staying in Canada, try to take advantage of the mild weather between April and October instead of traveling during the colder months.

Additionally, you might get a flat tire or encounter another issue with your RV. Accidents become more likely when driving a large vehicle on unfamiliar streets. Make sure you have the following supplies to address these problems:

  • First-aid kit
  • Extra food, water, and clothes
  • Satellite messenger
  • Tire-change kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Reflective cones or road flares
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter or matches
  • Emergency fuel supply

We know this is a lot of equipment, but a cross-country road trip requires nothing less. You have to be prepared for every scenario when you’re far away from home.

4. Pick The Right Campsites

The rest stops or campsites you choose will make or break your RV trip. Not all sleeping areas can accommodate RVs. Some places only fit camper vans and smaller vehicles. Many sites also require you to book a spot in advance and get permission from local authorities. You could avoid these hassles and stay in random parking lots, but where’s the fun in that?

Try to find campsites with as many amenities as possible. Showers and electricity are the two most important features. Unless your RV has a full bathroom, you won’t have many chances to get complete privacy on the road. Anything that makes your overnight stay more comfortable is worth a little extra cash.

Sites with scenic views and various outdoor activities will also enhance your road trip. Look for sites with hiking trails, swimming areas, and other fun attractions. These little details often lead to the trip’s most memorable moments.

Make Your RV Trip A Success

Traveling with an RV is more complicated than using a regular car, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. With the right RV type, proper planning, and emergency preparedness, you can make your RV trip a life-changing success. Get out there and start looking for your family’s ideal RV so you can make your dream road trip a reality!

About The Author:

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded, where he writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors and more. Check out @TModded for regular updates! 

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