If this is your first RV road trip, welcome to a very welcoming community! RVers are a friendly, hearty bunch as we always are up for making another friend.
Since you are new to the RV lifestyle, here are a few key considerations. These will ensure a successful journey and prevent any mistakes that could turn it into an awful nightmare.
Remember, be mindful to check local roads and highways for low-clearance bridges and tunnels (RVs of a certain size require special permits), and include some interesting roadside attractions into your itinerary!
Pick the Right RV for Your Needs
There are various RVs on the market, ranging from tiny trailers that fit under beds to motorhomes almost as big as small houses. You should select an RV that best meets your needs and lifestyle for the trip; there are various online tools to assist with this search process.
The Go RVing quiz can show which types of RVs are best suited to your personality and travel needs, while test driving a few models will help narrow it down even further.
Once you’ve selected an RV, the next step should be planning your route. We suggest consulting national and state park guides for helpful suggestions of where to stop along your travels. In addition, check any road or tunnel height restrictions that could impede your RV – for instance, some tunnels require vehicles over certain sizes to pay a fee in certain instances.
Rent or Buy
There’s a lot to keep in mind when selecting an RV for your first road trip, which can leave many feeling overwhelmed. YouTuber Long Long Honeymoon provides a helpful video guide for novice RV buyers so they can make informed choices.
One way to cut costs while traveling is by cooking your own meals. Eating out can quickly add up, especially on road trips where multiple restaurants may be visited each day; having a fully stocked portable kitchen will save you money in the long run.
Pack light for maximum cost-savings by not overloading the RV, and spreading heavy items evenly between axles. Packing light also cuts down on how long it takes to unload when arriving at your destination.
Make a list of everything you must do prior to departing for your journey, including those specific to your RV type. A checklist will ensure nothing important gets overlooked during preparations. There are various printable checklists online which may assist with this endeavor.
Stay Within Your Budget
One of the key RV tips for beginners is sticking within your budget. While it’s easy to get caught up in planning an epic trip and go over your limit, sticking tightly to a budget allows beginners to gain confidence with their RV traveling and the expenses it incurs.
Consider that driving an RV takes longer than driving a car, so be sure to factor this into your schedule and budget. An effective GPS or map app can help you find the most efficient route, saving both time and fuel on your trip. Just make sure it accounts for truck routes, low-clearance bridges, and any other factors which may hinder its navigation.
Establish a travel day checklist in order to ensure you cover everything before setting out on your RV road trip experience. Doing this can prevent any last-minute surprises.
Test Out the RV You Are Interested in
Prior to investing in an RV, it is advisable to test its capabilities thoroughly. One effective way of doing this is to visit local RV parks and campgrounds during your desired travel season. This will give you a feel for living inside an RV as well as ensure you’re comfortable driving it on long journeys.
Before setting out on your journey in an RV, it’s wise to create a detailed route plan. Avoid roads with low clearance bridges or tunnels requiring special permission for RVs of a certain height and size; the Roadtrippers app is specifically tailored towards this.
Above all, it’s important to remain open-minded and flexible when planning your itinerary. if something unexpected comes up – don’t be afraid to change plans! Just keep the larger picture in mind and be open to new adventures along the way.
As you start to look at campground prices, keep in mind that peak RV season is typically Memorial Day through Labor Day. This period is when prices are usually the highest, so consider having some flexibility and staying during the off-season. Snowbird season (the winter months) is the time to get the best price.
It’s a big country out there, so don’t be shy about traveling long distances to check that dream destination off your list. If going cross country, consider flying to your destination and renting an RV there. This tactic can often prove to save you time and money.
In addition to both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida, popular snowbird destinations include South Carolina, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. When renting we also recommend a lightly used RV over a brand-new one, as the savings could be well worth a little wear and tear.