The Complete Guide to Planning Your Next RV Trip

Do you get stressed out planning your RV trips? I understand it can be very difficult to get organized and plan an epic RV trip but I am here to help. I am sharing the process I use to plan out my RV trips so you can spend your days enjoying your vacation not figuring out where to stay next.

Choose Your Vacation Length

First, you will need to figure out how much time you have available for your trip. Do you only have enough time for a weekend getaway, a week-long vacation, or an epic one-month road trip? Once you have determined how much time you have for your trip you will have to decide on a time to travel. Do you have to work around the kid’s school breaks? Do you have a busy season at work that where you can’t take time off or maybe you have a special birthday or occasion you want to plan a trip for? Set your dates and take the time off of work if necessary.

Determine Your Budget

Take a look at your income and expenses and determine how much money you can set aside for your upcoming trip.  Once you set a budget break it down into the following categories:

  • Campground Fees (15% of your trip budget)
  • RV Rental (50%)
  • Meals (10%)
  • Attractions (10%)
  • Fuel/tolls (15%)

Looking for ways to stay within your budget,? Check out our previous blog post Budget Friendly RVing Tips.

Decide on Your Destination

Once you have a plan for your budget you can find out where you can afford to go. A lot of times people choose the destination first, however, I think it is best to first find out how much time and money you have for the trip. For example, I may really want to take a drive cross country this year but if I have limited time or money available, there is no point in considering this as an option. When considering your destination, you will want to take into account the following:

  • What time of year will you be traveling
  • Do you have family in certain areas that you want to visit
  • How do you want the vibe of your vacation to be
  • Are there certain attractions that you want to see
  • Is there an event you want to attend

Plan Your Route

The next step once you pick your destination is to determine the best way to get there. There are a few trip planning apps that are specific to RV travel that can help you route your trip.

1. RVParky

A free trip planning app.  Route multiple trips, choose surrounding campgrounds or rest areas based on chosen stops.

2. RV Trip Wizard

A trip planner customized to your RV. Set driving times and distances.  Connects to RVlife GPS for a small annual fee.

3. Roadtrippers

This trip planner and GPS allow you to access maps even when offline.  Plan out long trips adding up to 150 stops.

All of these apps are extremely helpful, however, I would suggest starting with RV Parky, it’s free and easy to use. Once you mark your destination, you can choose stopping points which can be campgrounds, attractions, or rest areas. The app also estimates mileage and gas costs for your trip.  You will also want to consider using a GPS that is for trucks or RV’s as you will want to avoid tunnels and areas with low overpasses.  Make sure you know the height of your RV to prevent any mishaps. If you don’t want to invest in an RV GPS, you can download ‎CoPilot GPS Navigation app which will you directions from your phone.

FInd Where to Stay

Researching campgrounds can be a difficult task, unlike hotels there is no one database that you can go to to check listings and availability. There are several sites that house campground reviews that are sourced by campers that have stayed there including Campground ReviewsThe Dyrt, and Campground Views. When looking at reviews you can focus on campgrounds that will fit within your budget.

State/County Campgrounds

If you are looking for less expensive options try to find state or county campgrounds, these often have lots of outdoor activities like hiking trails, beach access, and nature views. Although amenities may be basic, the nightly rates are low usually between $20- 45 per night making it an affordable option to get away from it all. ReserveAmerica to look up state campground availability.

RV Parks

Rv Parks are great for overnight stays or as a destination. They send to have more amenities than state campgrounds and offer things like electric and sewer hookups, pools, playgrounds, and more. Private campgrounds can be found on sites like Campspot or Goodsam if you are a member. KOA’s also fall in this category, prices average from 50-$100 nightly.

RV Resorts

If you are looking for a luxury or glamping experience an RV resort is the way to go. They include the best amenities includes swim-up pool bars, water slides, beach access, restaurants. Of course, you will be paying for the amenities, resort campgrounds run from $100 and up per night.

Decide on Siteseeing

Once I decide on where my stops will be and the campgrounds I will be staying at I then start to get a list together of attractions to see in the area. Think of what interests you which can include:

  • Historical Places
  • Museums
  • Zoos/Aquariums
  • Amusement Parks
  • Beaches
  • State/National Parks

If you need to do some additional research, I suggest using Tripadvisor. Enter the location you will be visiting to see the local attractions in the area.

Book Your Reservations

Now that you have it all planned out, you are ready to start making your reservations!  First, you want to make sure there is an RV Rental available for your requested dates here.  Once the RV Rental is reserved, you can book your campsites.  Most campgrounds require a one night payment to reserve your site. Make sure to secure your campground spots especially if it is a holiday or even weekend dates. When making a reservation for a campsite, make sure you have the correct length of your RV and whether it has slides and on which side. If you will be arriving at night consider booking a pull through site so that you don’t have to back up in the dark. Once your sites are booked you may want to consider also purchasing tickets ahead of time for popular spots like certain National Parks or amusement parks so you can make sure to get in the day(s) you want.

So there you have it, if you follow these steps, your trip should be all booked and you can start counting down the days until you get to leave for your vacation!  Feel free to reach out to our customer service team if you have any questions regarding booking an RV rental 269-305-3349.

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