Few things are more exhilarating than exploring the country in an RV. You get to see new places, spend time with friends or family, and experience a whole new side of travel that you just don’t get when you catch a flight. However, no matter how excited you are, keep in mind these simple mistakes to avoid on your first RV road trip. Learn how you can step over these pitfalls and get the most out of your journey with minimal hassle.
Not Booking Campsites
You can feel comfortable knowing that no matter where you are when you’re traveling by car. There is sure to be a hotel with some open rooms when you decide to turn in for the night. However, RV campsites fill up, and they fill up fast. We recommend knowing where you’re going to stop each night and ensuring that you book a spot in advance. Stopping for the night is a lot harder if you don’t have a designated spot.
Expanding on the Importance of Booking Campsites
Failing to secure a campsite can not only disrupt your plans but can also lead to safety concerns. Many areas have restrictions against random camping, and the last thing you want is to be fined or evicted from a spot in the middle of the night. If you’re traveling during peak seasons, like summer or major holidays, the need to book a campsite becomes even more crucial.
Neglecting Personal Space
Going on a road trip with people you love is always fun, but depending on the length of your trip, it’s only normal you may start to get on each other’s nerves. One of the best tips for surviving a road trip with your family and friends is to give each other some space now and then. Instead of filling every moment of drive time with conversation, have someone take a nap or put on some music for a while. Everyone deserves a chance to unwind, especially the driver.
The Psychological Benefits of Personal Space
Don’t underestimate the importance of personal space, especially in a confined setting like an RV. Maintaining mental well-being is essential for everyone onboard. Simple acts like taking time to meditate, keeping a journal, or simply looking out the window in silence can serve as small “recharging” moments. These practices can go a long way in maintaining the group’s overall emotional well-being.
Relying on GPS
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid on your first RV road trip is relying on Google Maps or other similar GPS apps. The problem with those systems is that they plot out the fastest route going the shortest distance. However, some of those roads may not be RV accessible, or certain speed limits may push your RV a bit too hard. We recommend looking for an RV-specific route or app to help plot out your road trip instead of going with the basic Google Maps options.
Why An RV-Specific GPS Matters
Traditional GPS systems and apps may not take into account several crucial factors for RVs, such as low clearance bridges, weight limitations, and steep grades that are hard for heavier vehicles to navigate. Invest in an RV-specific GPS system that can alert you to such issues in advance, allowing you to reroute as needed. This specialized GPS will not only save you time but also potentially prevent expensive damage to your RV.
Additional Mistakes to Watch Out For
Ignoring Vehicle Maintenance
Your RV is your home on wheels and needs the same level of attention as your actual home, if not more. Before embarking on your trip, make sure all systems are functioning correctly, from plumbing and electrical to tires and brakes. Nothing ruins a trip faster than mechanical issues that could have been prevented with a little pre-trip inspection.
RV trips can be more expensive than you think, especially when you consider fuel costs, campsite fees, and the cost of food and activities along the way. Create a budget and stick to it, but also have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
By avoiding these common mistakes and heeding the tips above, you can ensure a more enjoyable, safe, and fulfilling RV road trip. So go ahead, hit the open road and make some unforgettable memories!