How to Make the Most of Your Weekend RV Camping Trips

Each year is made up of 52 weeks. That means there are 52 weekend RV trip possibilities! Each season of the year brings a new look to the world around you – especially in the Midwest. Weekend trips are a great way to explore all that your state or neighboring states have to offer.

Summer beach or fishing weekend getaways cool down into fall color tours or hunting excursions while winter tubing or snowmobiling melts into spring kayaking or hiking. There is something for everyone year round and no need to take vacation days when there’s a weekend at the end of every week!

Find Nearby Campsites

You don’t have to go far to get away from it all! You may be surprised at how many parks and campgrounds are within an hour or two of your home. When a weekend RV jaunt is what you’re planning, the closer your destination is, the more time you get to spend camping.

With shorter trips, every moment counts. So make every moment count and remember that every mile you drive away from home is time that will be spent on the return road trip, too!

Using online resources to both find potential campgrounds, as well as the distance and time it will take to get there, is a good way to plan your trip to get the most out of it. Tracking your route with a resource like Google Maps can give you very accurate travel time estimate which will let you know how much time you’ll have left to enjoy your weekend.  The shorter your drive is the more down time you have to enjoy, relax, explore and make memories.

Two-Day Trip? Don’t Go Crazy with Food

Weekend RV trips are all about maximizing your limited time. Make the most of your trip and plan quick, easy meals that don’t require a lot of prep or clean up. Anyone who’s spent any time in the kitchen (at home or at camp) can tell you that food prep can take a while. Even more time consuming is food that you need to prep at home for packing and then preparing it to eat at the campsite. Think “minimalist” when planning your weekend meals. The simpler your meals, the more time you’ll have for fun activities.

Another trick to simplifying your weekend meals is paper products. Paper plates, bowls and cups next to a campfire make mealtime cleanup a snap! When you’re only camping for a weekend, there are only a handful of meals, so the number of plates, etc., you’ll use is nominal. Worried about your frank-n-beans falling off “flimsy” paper plates?  Reusable paper plate holders give stability to those thin paper plates.

If you’re worried about the environment, look for uncoated varieties that burn clean. According to Green Lifestyle Changes, if camping for the first time or not camping on a regular basis, “I would honestly recommend taking some paper plates and cups.” Additionally, “… even if you’re experienced campers, if you’re going with young children and you don’t have extra adults to help with the clean-up tasks, you may want to use paper plates.”

Weekend RV trips can also be a great time to “splurge” on simple recipes. Additionally, things like favorite cereals or hot dogs over the fire are not only quick, but can be a “treat” if you don’t eat them regularly at home but reserve them for camping excursions. It’s amazing how exciting and “gourmet” a can of potato chips can be when only consumed on a weekend camping trip!

Pack Light

The skill of packing light is something that is eventually learned by all veteran RVers. Weekend RV travelers quickly learn that the less you bring, the faster it is to hit the road and enjoy the campgrounds. When you plan short trips you can skip a lot of the extra gear you might need for longer trips.

It’s easier to plan for the weather when you will only be gone a couple of days. Clothing can be worn in layers to accommodate the temperature fluctuations throughout the day and the same outer clothes can be worn for two days without getting overly soiled. You can even make a family challenge to see who can pack the lightest (spoiler alert: it’s usually the boys!)

One big benefit of packing light for the weekend is the time you’ll save unpacking when you get home. It also saves time on the laundry you’ll have to do when you get home, giving you time to relax and prepare for the work and/or school week ahead.

Look for Sites that Offer Your Favorite Activity

Weekend RV trips are unlike week-long camping trips so keep in mind that you won’t necessarily be able to take in everything a park has to offer. Many parks have unique features or are popular with a particular crowd of hobbyist. If you find a park close to home that has many opportunities that you’d like to take advantage of, plan return trips! Focus on one or two highlights per weekend trip in order to get the most out of each weekend visit.

You can also find parks that offer what you love most and focus that. There may be several parks nearby that fall into your favorite category. Map them out and plan weekend RV trips to try them all. You may find a favorite or two that become your regular weekend getaways.

Remember, if you feel like you missed out on something at a park or campground, there’s always next weekend!

Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations

When you plan week-long or longer major RV road trips, you can always pack up and move elsewhere if your destination isn’t what you expected.  Time is of the essence on weekend RV trips. Moving to another location could eat away a lot of your relaxation time, if not your whole weekend.

One of the best things you can do is try to rely on other RV campers you know for great campsite suggestions. Word of mouth from campers who have experienced locations first-hand is a good way to avoid disappointment.  When you are gathering recommendations from others, keep in mind that everyone has different likes and dislikes. A rave review of a park from an avid boondocker may not be the best suggestion of a campsite for a first-time camper.

Annual Passes Could Save You Big

One money-saving option is to look into an annual pass if you plan to go camping at national parks most weekends. They cost $80 but cover your entrance to over 2,000 Federal recreation sites.

A nice feature about the passes is that one pass covers multiple people. A pass covers the pass owner + passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at locations with per-vehicle fees. In parks where per-person fees are charged, the pass covers the pass owner + 3 adults. The passes are available for seniors at discounted rates, and free for military personnel.

If you are planning your weekend RV trips within your state, keep in mind that many state parks also offer passes. Ohio doesn’t charge entrance fees to state parks nor does it have an annual pass. However, resident senior citizens can get a discount on camping fees with a “Golden Buckeye” card. Indiana sells annual state park passes as well as Michigan. Both offer resident and non-resident passes. For a list of all 50 states and their state park entrance passes you can visit sites like TripSavvy.

Prioritize Locations

When planning a weekend RV camping trip, it’s wise to select locations that won’t require extensive travel time. The sooner you can get to your destination, the more time you’ll have to enjoy it. Look for spots within a 2-4 hour drive to maximize your weekend.

Moreover, consider choosing locations that offer a variety of activities. Whether you’re into hiking, fishing, or simply lounging around, having options means you can easily switch gears if you find yourself wanting to try something different.

Plan Ahead

Planning is particularly crucial when you’re limited on time. To avoid disappointment, make reservations for campgrounds or specific attractions in advance, especially if you’re planning your weekend RV camping trip during peak season. Research the locale thoroughly, from hiking trails to tourist spots, so you know exactly what options are available and can hit the ground running as soon as you arrive.

Arrive Early, Leave Late

To make the most of your weekend RV camping trip, try to arrive as early as possible on day one. If you can swing it, taking a half-day off work on Friday can give you a head start on traffic and more time at your destination. Similarly, plan to leave as late as possible on the last day to make the most of your limited time away. Leaving late might mean returning home a little tired, but it’s worth it to squeeze every last moment out of your weekend.

Be Flexible

Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and flexibility can be your greatest asset on a weekend RV camping trip. Weather can change, or you might discover a hidden gem you’d like to explore. While planning is essential for maximizing your time, be open to spontaneous adventures. Sometimes the unplanned activities turn into the most memorable experiences of your trip.

Use Technology

We live in a digital age where technology can make our lives a lot easier. Utilize your smartphone to its full extent; download apps that can help with weather forecasts, route navigation, and even finding nearby attractions or events. These tools can save you time and make your trip much more efficient.

Relax and Unwind

Lastly, but most importantly, the ultimate goal of your weekend getaway is to relax and rejuvenate. While it’s tempting to pack in as many activities as possible, remember to leave some time to just sit back and appreciate your surroundings. A well-balanced weekend RV camping trip should leave you both fulfilled and refreshed.

By paying attention to these tips and putting in a little prep work, your weekend RV camping trip can turn out to be an exhilarating, relaxing, and fulfilling experience. Happy camping!

Contact RV Wholesale Superstore

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (419) 786-1126

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