Planning an RV trip route doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, these days it couldn’t be easier to plan your trip from the comfort of home. There are many planning websites, online maps, and phone apps to help you. These resources provide helpful lists of gas stations, places to eat, mileage and estimated route options, road construction, and so much more. RV specific GPS units can also help with route planning.
Are you taking an RV trip this summer? Are you unsure how to plan your route, and what stops to take along the way? Here are 4 essential tips to help you plan the perfect RV road trip route.
Tip #1. Online Resources for Route Planning
Use a map service like Google Maps or Mapquest. Enter your departure and your destination location. You will receive several options. Consider these options carefully. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does one route avoid congested metropolitan areas and another take you on the scenic route?
- Are there tolls (which can be very expensive for a large RV)?
- Are there any construction areas?
- Are there places to stop and rest along the way?
- Are there specific places of interest you would like to visit on the route?
- Are there low bridges, narrow roads, or steep inclines & declines.
You will also want to locate RV friendly fuel stations such as truck stops. It’s important to plan fuel stops carefully if you are traveling in a larger RV. It can be difficult to get in and out of a regular gas station without getting stuck (I speak from personal experience!) Knowing ahead of time where the next truck stop is will save you time and hassle.
Tip #2: Find A Campground
There are a variety of apps and websites that can help you find a campground. Many of these sites include helpful information such as type of site, amenities offered, and user reviews.
Here are a few websites to help in your search:
- Allstays – Website & Mobile App
- Roadtrippers – Website & Mobile App
- RV Parking – Website & Mobile App
- Campendium – Website only
- Camping Road Trip – Website & Mobile App
- US Campgrounds – Website & Mobile App
- RV Park Reviews – Website Only
- Tripadvisor – Website & Mobile App
- Yelp – Website & Mobile App
- KOA – Website only
Questions to consider when choosing a campground: How big are the sites? Are they pull thru or back in? Do they have full hook-ups? What time is check in and is there a late arrival policy? Do they offer any discounts? Is the campground big rig friendly? What are the amenities are offered?
Tip #3: Clubs & Discounts
Consider joining a few RV discount clubs before taking your trip. There are a number of different clubs that offer not only discounts on campgrounds and RV products, but also a wealth of information such as printed lists of campgrounds and other resources to make your RV trip easier and more affordable.
Here are a few RV Clubs that offer discounts and helpful resources:
Tip 4: Make a Reservation
Once you’ve picked a campground, make a reservation! In some cases you need to reserve as early as months or even a year ahead. Popular state and national park campgrounds fill up quickly during peak times, and if you don’t make a reservation you run the risk of showing up to find no available sites.
Every park has a different policy when it comes to cancellations. Find out what the policy is PRIOR to making the reservation. In some cases (such as during peak season) there are no refunds. Also, be sure to ask if there is a cancellation or change fee.
These essential tips will help you have a fantastic RV vacation. Remember, as with any good plans, things don’t always go exactly as planned. Be flexible and patient. Try new things when possible. You never know what exciting discovery is just around the corner!
Where would you like to plan an RV trip? What resources do you use? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below. Your suggestions could help other readers just like you.
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