Expandable fifth wheel RV parked at a campsite in Colorado.

RV Trip Tips: Preparing for a Long-Term RV Trip

One of the biggest benefits of owning an RV is being able to get away from it all for long stretches of time while still feeling like you’re in familiar territory. But a long RV trip, for many, isn’t something you should consider doing at the drop of a hat. Planning your long-term trip will help prevent surprises and let you relax. Before you hit the road, read these RV trip tips to prep for a long-term RV vacation.

Planning Your Trip

The first step for any trip, long or short, is to get a general idea of where you’re going and when. Here are some of the most important steps to take during the planning stages:

Do Your Research

No matter where you go, it’s important to scout out the area with tools available to you first. You may want to travel to the coast, but during the colder months of the year, campsites might not be available. These major surprises can ruin a trip if you’re left stranded without anywhere to set up camp.

Almost every campsite worth visiting will have a website or community site that can help you find the information you need regarding when they’re open, the cost of camping and more. Major parks, like national parks, also have detailed lists of activities and landmarks to visit within their boundaries. Use these sites to get a general idea of what you want to do and when.

Don’t let your research stop online, though! Always try to reach out on the phone to confirm the details your plan is based on. It’s more common than you think for a website to have outdated information, or for an unexpected natural event to temporarily close a park or campsite. Calling ahead helps prevent unexpected changes in your itinerary.

Establish a Budget

The cost of RV travel can vary dramatically – not just based on your trip, but on how you manage it too! If you expect to pickup food whenever you come across it, you may find your trip can cost two to three times more than it needs to.

Create a budget and use this number to inform your plans. There are several ways to keep costs down by packing your own food or taking optimal travel routes. However, if your budget is a bit flexible, don’t be afraid to take some detours to enjoy some of the more interesting roadside attractions that exist all over the country.

Outline a Travel Plan

Person creating a travel plan over a map

Once you know where you’re going and how much you want to spend, you can outline your actual trip. This key step is more than just putting your destination into Google maps. Look over which cities you might pass by on your trip, what attractions you could visit and the places you’ll likely need to stop for gas.

You don’t need to measure out every mile for your trip, but having a general idea can go a long way to keep you on target. If you travel with kids, it can give them landmarks to look for and help pace the trip. If you’ll be passing through long-stretches where there’s no place to stop, you’ll know before you get stuck on the road without any gas.

Packing Your RV

Once you have your plan outlined, you’re ready to start packing. Every person has their own unique needs when packing – some need a full wardrobe, while others just a few changes of clothes. No matter what type of traveler you are, these RV trip tips can help you remember to get it all packed without the stress.

Create a Checklist

Checklists are amazing to avoid mistakes. We recommend them for everything from packing to de-winterizing your RV. Your checklist should include the full range of items you plan to pack:

  • Clothes
  • Camping gear
  • Electronics (and chargers)
  • Dry food
  • Perishable food
  • Water and beverages
  • Recreational gear and toys
  • Tools

The more detailed your checklist, the less likely you are to forget a critical part of your trip. While it may be easier to just list “food,” you could benefit from categorizing your meals to not only establish the amount of food to bring, but also a general meal plan for the days or weeks of your trip.

Try Packing During the Week

Packing for an RV trip can be a chore. Even worse, when you’re trying to hit to the road on Friday night and you or the kids are still grabbing items to throw in the RV, it can cause serious stress.

Instead of packing before you go, take advantage of the space in your RV to slowly pack throughout the week. You could pack your clothes one night, non-perishable foods another, camping gear on another night and so on. Reduce packing to smaller chunks and you’ll not only find that it’s less stressful to load up, but you’re also less likely to forget something!

Prepping Your Home

Your trip is planned, your bags are packed – but it’s not time to hit the road yet! You’ll be on the road for a while, so unless you’re a full-time RVer, you have a home to worry about when you’re gone. It’s critical that you take the time to properly prep your house for the trip!

Lock All the Doors & Windows

This may seem straight forward, but a majority of home robberies aren’t actually break-ins; the thieves simply enter through something that was left unlocked. Triple check every single door and window in your home to ensure it’s secured. A trip through your house should only take a few minutes and can save you a massive headache dealing with insurance and anxiety that happens after a robbery.

Turn Off Electronics & Unplug Them

Power surges happen all the time. While it may be a hassle to unplug all your devices every day, it’s worth doing so when you won’t be around to use them for a long period of time. There are plenty of small appliances and electronics that can be permanently destroyed in a small surge:

  • Computers
  • Stereos
  • Device chargers
  • Televisions
  • Clocks
  • Toasters
  • Microwaves
  • Modern washers/dryers

You don’t need to unplug absolutely everything – but the more you can, the less you have to worry about. However, if you’re using a DVR to record shows while you’re gone, make sure not to unplug the DVR or your cable connection!

Stop Your Mail

Even if you don’t receive enough mail to overflow in your mailbox, it’s a good idea to put your mail on hold when you plan to be gone for more than a few days. For one, it prevents the appearance that your home is being unused. This can be a big sign for burglars that your home might be an easy target.

Second, especially during this time of year, thieves can steal important documents out of the mailbox like those relating to your taxes or tax returns. Identity theft can be initiated with very benign-looking junk mail, so don’t ignore this crucial security step for long vacations!

The Ultimate RV Trip Tip: Double Check Everything

Most trips don’t happen overnight. They take days and weeks of planning. Don’t take all that time for granted. Use the time leading up to your trip to look over your travel plan, budget and packing plans. Nothing can ruin a trip faster than finding yourself hundreds of miles away from home without your phone, your pre-purchased tickets for activities or other critical items.

Start Your RV Life Today – Contact RV Wholesale Superstore

Need an RV for the perfect long-term getaway? The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you! We can answer your questions and help you choose the perfect RV for you and your family! Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at 844-601-1171


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