RV travel options are expanding across the country. Many citizens even call their RV home for extended periods of time. Whether you’re happy in a stick and bricks and just ready for a change of scenery or headed out for a full-time nomadic living, the tips below can make for much better RV travel.
Spend a Night in the Driveway
Whether you’re driving a brand new rig or taking your existing rig out for the first trip of the season, it is recommended to spend a night in the driveway. If your screens are letting in bugs or there are any water issues, you want to know before you get far from home.
This is also the time to make sure that your bedding is appropriate for your destination. A cold night under a cold weather sleeping bag can make for quality sleep, but you don’t want to be 30 miles from town and find out that your mattress needs a topper or your comforter will not keep you warm.
Driving an RV is vastly different than driving a car. You are managing a much bigger vehicle, wind resistance will be much more tiring and other drivers will need more careful monitoring. If you can, keep each day’s driving under 3 hours.
Allow plenty of time for breaks. Stop and fix lunch, use the restroom, do some laundry or just get out and walk the dog. Keep an eye on your gas gauge and try to keep the tank filled up once you get to half full. There’s nothing fun about having to backtrack to fill up with gas or worry you’re going to run short.
Drive and Park in Daylight
Do your best to arrive and park in full daylight. Whether you plan to hook up or dry camp, finding a level camping spot and getting everything connected will be much easier if you’re not doing it by flashlight. Put a weather app on your phone so you can check conditions along the way; it will be much safer if you can hook up your electrical and put out your slides in sunlight.
Keep an eye out along the way for temporary stops you can use if the weather gets bad or you notice a problem with your rig. Anytime pushing through starts to feel like a great deal of pressure or things behind the driver start swaying, you want an option to safely pull over and wait out weather or winds.
Carry a Back-Up Map or Atlas
Always have a paper map of your region and your route. GPS can go out, phones can break and the most direct route may not be available. A paper map can give you more options to stay out of bad weather and away from construction zones.
Paper maps with no colors can also be used to keep children engaged. Encourage young travelers to search online for fun things to do near your campsite and pencil them in before they color the map.
Don’t Max Out Your Sleeping Space
Even if your rig sleeps 6 people, try not to pack the rig with the maximum people and gear, particularly if you’re traveling in cooler weather. Jackets and boots will take up a lot of bulk on the coat rack. It will only take one or two rainy days to turn your restful vacation into a stressful, crowded, and rather muddy mess.
If you plan to travel with a large clan of folks, carry outdoor gear. Bring
- a tent for more sleeping space
- a screen house for a daytime hang-out
- hammocks for daytime naps outside the rig
Make sure you also stock up on desiccant to keep down the moisture in your rig. If every bed is full, moisture from exhalations will build up in the rig and may create dampness issues within the rig.
Invest in battery-powered fans that you can mount all over the rig to keep air moving. If it’s going to be cold, consider also adding a catalytic heater to warm up the space without having to burn a lot of electricity or fuel. Of course, any time you are burning anything in a rig you will need a fire extinguisher and a carbon monoxide detector for the safety of everyone in the rig.
If you are not sure where you can find the best RV readiness tips, feel free to check in with one of the many RV dealers in Wisconsin or wherever you may live to get a quick inspection on your rig before you hit the road.
A self-contained rig can make your relaxing vacation much easier. As possible, gear up to avoid having to shop along the way except for water. If you can get as close to your campsite as possible before you load up on water, you will save on fuel.