Planning Your RV Road Trip

Is a road trip on your agenda this summer?

A recently washed RV just begs for a thunderstorm storm to blow through. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A recently washed RV just begs for a thunderstorm storm to blow through. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Prior to departure 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.

The following checklist will help ensure a smoother take-off and ride along the highways and byways of America.

Get Insured

A recreational vehicle is a huge investment—and it can be a risky one if not adequately protected. RV insurance combines aspects of home and auto insurance to provide unique coverage. It is important to remember is that “specialty” RV insurance offers you protection that is not available with a typical auto insurance policy. Consider using an agent who specializes in RV insurance.

Plan Ahead

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 visit. 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. Flexibility is a perk of RV travel, but a tentative itinerary will help ensure a pleasant and enjoyable RVing experience.

RV Parks and Campgrounds

The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

From rustic to Wi-Fi enabled, camping options run the gamut. 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.

RV Preventive Maintenance

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 extinguisherssmoke 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:

Pack RV Essentials

Keep your RV stocked with basic supplies, nonperishable food items, linens and clothes, and you’ll be ready to go anytime, anywhere. RVs give you the freedom to be spontaneous.

Is your RV ready to roll this summer? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Is your RV ready to roll this summer? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Maintaining an on-going RV checklist will help ensure you’ve packed all the essentials for your road trip. Include everything you will need for your trip including dishes and cooking utensils, pots and pans, cups and mugs. kitchen tools and supplies, bottle openers, coffee maker, paper products, dish and laundry soap, trash bags, healthy snacks, clothes, pillows and sheets, blankets, cleaning supplies, toiletries, picnic supplies, maps and GPS, first aid kit, tool box, adapters for 30- and 50-amp outlets, potable water hose and pressure regulator, flashlights, spare batteries, jackets and raincoat, outdoor activity gear, collapsible shovel, gloves, duct tape and WD-40, tire pressure gauge, leveling blocks, camping chairs, puzzles and games, , pens and paper, digital camera and memory cards, insect repellent and sunscreen, fishing gear or other recreational equipment, comfortable walking/hiking shore, food for your pet, propane, and plenty of water.

Remember, you don’t want to exceed the GVWR, GAWR, or GCWR but it is also important not to exceed the tire ratings. It is a good practice to weigh each axle end separately to determine if the tire ratings are exceeded, and check loaded weight distribution.

Always check the pressure and condition of your tires before taking your RV on the road.

Always check the pressure and condition of your tires before taking your RV on the road.

Too much weight on the tires is the second leading cause of tire failure. Overloading the tires can lead to excessive wear and reduced tire life due to structural damage—which can lead to sudden failures, like a blowout. And remember, the less weight you carry, the better your fuel mileage.

Time to Roll

Checklist completed? Then it’s time to take off on your RV road trip.

Enjoy! Have a blast! And don’t forget the hot dogs and marshmellows.

Worth Pondering…

Speed was high

Weather was hot

Tires were thin

X marks the spot

BURMA SHAVE

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