RV Road Trip Planning Tips

A family road trip is about the destination―whether it’s a theme park or a national park―but a road trip is just as much about the journey.

Nestled between Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Scenic Byway 12 is located in one of the most beautiful places on earth. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nestled between Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Scenic Byway 12 is located in one of the most beautiful places on earth. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

An RV road trip IS NOT about getting from Point A to B to C. It’s about the people, places, and things that you meet and see and experience along the way.

If you are going on a family road trip, planning is essential.

That’s a big responsibility but with a little preparation, you can head off complications before they happen.

With advance preparation, the road trip can be one you will remember for a long time.

Like any getaway, whether it’s for a weekend, a month, or an extended period, an RV road trip requires careful planning to ensure all goes smoothly. When you think of what you’ll need for a road trip, a common list unfolds. Food, beverages, (healthy) snacks, paper products, lawn chairs and recliners, maps, and Good Sam GPS are all items you might bring along.

One of the best parts of a trip is often the daydreaming, discussions, and planning that precede it. Brainstorming ideas, doing the research, and putting together your itinerary are all just as fun and relaxing as the trip itself.

Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon,  Sedona is a scenic RV road trip destination renowned for its stunning rock formations such as Cathedral Rockt. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona is a scenic RV road trip destination renowned for its stunning rock formations such as Cathedral Rock. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

By keeping a checklist of mundane details as you go through your regular routine, you can be inspired in the weeks before your trip to remember all the little things that make your life easier.

Make a list and check it twice. Using a checklist is an excellent way to ensure you have everything you need. Even if you are not a list person, make one. Checking off items as you pack your RV will ensure you don’t find yourself in the middle of nowhere without toiletries or water.

There are some items you CANNOT do without while RVing and these should be at the top of your list. It’s important to take sufficient drinking water, a well-stocked first aid kit, paper towels, toilet paper, and clean-up materials (soaps, scrubbers, rags, trash bags, dish drainer).

If you RV on a frequent basis, have non-perishables stored in the RV. Items like plates, cooking utensils, pots, pans, dishes, and cutlery can be stored in cupboards in the RV.

Also store items like canned goods, can opener, bottle opener, coffee, potholders, ziploc bags, aluminum foil, wax paper, saran wrap, and cooking oil as well as paper products, towels, and first aid kit. Being prepared will save time and frustration.

Newmar Dutch Star Diesel Pusher and toad at Cajun Palms RV Resort which consists of over 300 Deluxe RV Spots,12 Chalets,and 25 Cabins. RV spots have full hookups, 30- and 50-amp, 70+ channels of digital cable, and on-site water and sewer. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Newmar Dutch Star Diesel Pusher and toad at Cajun Palms RV Resort which consists of over 300 Deluxe RV Spots,12 Chalets,and 25 Cabins. RV spots have full hookups, 30- and 50-amp, 70+ channels of digital cable, and on-site water and sewer. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This list will give you some of the pointers that seasoned travelers know can take a good trip and make it a great one.

There’s no shame in writing down even obvious things: You’re bringing your family’s entire life along with you, and everybody knows you can sometimes forget important things in that last-minute dash.

And during the RV road trip, make note of things to take on your next outing.

It’s important to keep in mind your goal for the journey. If you’re packing your family into an RV and driving a considerable distance, you will deal with some frustration and chaos―some of it normal stuff and some specific to being together in a confined space. Nobody wants to remember a trip where you yelled the whole time, so it’s important to be clear-headed about where you’re going and why.

Nothing goes perfectly smoothly all the time, but thinking seriously about how your family will interact in the available space is one way to head off problems before they surface.

Also be realistic about exactly how much you can do. Be generous with your timeline―your travel times from Point A to B to C―and you won’t feel pressured to keep driving after the whole family is exhausted and crabby. By following conservative estimates, you can ensure that the entire road trip is leisurely and relaxing for the entire family.

A toll for planning your RV road trip is the Good Sam’s Trip Planner.

Features include point-to-point trip planning and ability to research and add Good Sam Parks and points of interest to your route. You can also calculate fuel costs and travel time and use RV travel filters to find low clearance and tunnel warnings.

Worth Pondering…

People don’t take trips—trips take people.

—John Steinbeck

This entry was posted in Road Trips, RV Lifestyle, RV Tips and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply