4 Key Tips To Planning Your RV Vacation

Ah, life on the open road! What’s not to love? There’s the freedom, the adventure.

Fort Edmoton Park, a living history museum, in Edmonton, Alberta. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fort Edmoton Park, a living history museum, in Edmonton, Alberta. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And you’re the master of your universe, with a kitchen and fridge on board, and no longer a slave to bathroom breaks and fast-food meals.

More than 20 million Americans will travel in RVs throughout the summer months, heading to the nation’s 16,000-plus campgrounds and enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

Before departure, however, planning is required to ensure that your vacation vision becomes your rolling reality. By spending time planning in advance of your RV vacation you’ll get more out of your holiday as well as avoid some of the common pitfalls.

Whether you’re headed to a nearby location or somewhere farther afield this summer, the following four tips from Vogel Talks RVing will help ensure you get the most out of your 2014 RV summer vacation travels.

1. Plan out your RV vacation

Have a plan. Start planning your RV vacation well in advance of your anticipated departure.

Pore over some maps, browse online, and dream out loud with your family about the places you’ve always wanted to see.

Sedona and Red Rock Country, a vacation hotspot, has appeal for every member of the family. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Sedona and Red Rock Country, a vacation hotspot, has appeal for every member of the family. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A surefire way of making sure everyone is onboard with the RV vacation is to brainstorm favored vacation destinations. This list may include locales like beaches, lakes, mountains, forests, deserts, national parksstate parks, provincial parks, historic sites, theme parks, previously visited RV destinations, and other natural wonders.

Then, tally up everyone’s choices and you should have a good idea about an RV vacation that closely matches your family’s ideal RV vacation. The closest you can get to satisfying each family member’s wishes, the more successful your vacation will become.

Let a route and game plan start to ferment.

2. Plan a route & make campground reservations

Being a free spirit when you hit the road and going where the wind takes you does have a certain appeal. However, when you are limited by time and want to see the best of what an area has to offer it is advisable to plan a route before leaving home.

This applies to the route you plan to travel, how many hours a day you plan to drive, and where you plan to stay. To avoid disappointment make campground reservations well in advance. Remember, this is peak travel season.

If you travel with a pet always ask about their pet policy. Some parks have restrictions on the breed of dog they will allow. Always remember to pick up after your pet.

Historic Boston is another family destination vacation that has something for  every family member. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Historic Boston is another family destination vacation that has something for every family member. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Keep in mind that campground and RV park amenities vary. Amenities may include a club house, activity center, swimming pools, spas, hiking trails, dog walks, laundry facilities, restaurant, playground, cable TV, Wi-Fi, and organized events and activities.

3. Know your RV

You might be ready for your RV vacation but is your recreational vehicle?

Although it may seem that nothing could go wrong when you’re all packed and eager to leave for your trip, forgetting to check on all the important areas of your RV will, sooner or later, come back to haunt you.

Maintaining your RV is essential to ensure that you have a trouble-free trip. Inspect all the belts and hoses for cracking. Check your headlights, turn signals, and tires. Take a look at all your hitch and towing equipment. Check fire extinguishers, smoke alarm, and carbon monoxide detector. Taking a few precautionary measure before you hit the road could help to avoid a mechanical breakdown.

Every time before you head off, make sure you check:

4. Create an RV checklist

RV camping success depends largely on organization. Families will find limited room in their RV and need to pack accordingly.

Just when you think you’ve seen as much color and sculptured rock for­mations Mother Nature can create, you enter Bryce Canyon for yet anoth­er brilliant and stunning display. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Just when you think you’ve seen as much color and sculptured rock for­mations Mother Nature can create, you enter Bryce Canyon for yet anoth­er brilliant and stunning display. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Pack the right things. Several weeks prior to departure, create your RV checklist. This includes everything you will need for your trip including kitchen utensils and supplies, paper products, food, clothes, bedding, toiletries, picnic supplies, maps and GPS, first aid kit, tool box, flashlights, spare batteries, outdoor activity gear, camping chairs, digital camera, food for your pet, propane, and plenty of water.

Vacation time is valuable to all of us. Time away from work and the everyday stresses and worries of life at home is time to be treasured.

RV camping is a great way to combine a road trip with a relaxing outdoor family vacation.

There’s nothing quite like taking a road trip in an RV.

Summer is in full swing with people full of excitement, anticipating their family vacation. It’s a time to make new memories and see new places.

But these anticipated memories can soon turn into a nightmare for those who fail to plan ahead.

Worth Pondering…

RV vacations have beginnings and ends, but it’s what’s in between that counts.

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