What you need to know when planning the perfect RV Road Trip is first of all a safe route and a good plan to get to your destination easily.
Is it a dream of yours to jump into your RV and just drive on? Drive to wherever you feel like going, not knowing what to expect, just drive wherever your RV takes you? Sort of ‘heading in a general direction and seeing where I end up’ ?
Yes, that is a pretty cool thing to do, some people can actually do that, but I need to know where I am going or at least to know approximately, where I am spending the night at.
And also I love to plan ahead, I want to see what is going on at my destination, is there a cool concert while I am there, something fantastic to see or do? I don’t want to miss anything.
If you are like me and you like to plan your adventure in advance, this is how to start planning a road trip.
Content of What you need to know when planning the perfect RV Road trip:
- Decide on the length of trip and your general destination
- Necessary Apps to download
- How many breaks should you take
- How long should you drive
- Day 4 should be a non drive day
- Best healthy snacks to bring
- How fast should you drive
- Make reservations, if needed
- Get the packing and tool list
- Must-haves in your RV
Start with the checklist in case you are not sure where your destination will be:
How to plan the perfect road trip easy
- Decide where you want to go by answering these questions: how much time do I have available, how far do I want to drive, do I want to go into warmer or colder weather, do I like to do some sightseeing, do I want to do something special?
- If you have answered these questions, you should have a rough idea where you can go during your time frame, if you have a time frame of course.
- Now that you know about the area you are going, find out what there is to do. Just start by googling “what to do in …” or “best things to do in …”. Just fill in the blank. TripAdvisor will give you a good idea what is going on in this area. If you want to do more research, check out Pinterest. I am sure you will get so much information from travel bloggers that you can’t decide what to do.
- If you are going during school holidays, consider more crowds, less available space in Campgrounds, more expenses.
Where is your road trip destination?
Have you decided where you want to go? No? Maybe you have been thinking about a place you always wanted to visit? Do you have a bucket list? Still don’t know where to go? Check out the Roadtrippers App with so many different ideas on road trips.
Our destination was San Diego, CA leaving from Charlotte, NC.
Necessary Apps for your Road Trip
- Download an app giving you route choices and finding the best road for you.
- Download the best app to find Campgrounds on your route.
- Decide if you want to take it slow or if you want to go sightseeing in between.
Download a Road App – Here are our favorites:
I always bring a physical map in case of any failure with the navigation. Just to be safe.
While we were researching the best routes to go to San Diego, we found the Roadtrippers App.
It is pretty simple to use. You just put the destination you want to go in and it suggests immediately which route to take. You can select if you want to use Highways or not, take the scenic route or rather the fastest one.
It also shows you all available Campgrounds on your route, Restaurants, Bars and Pubs and also popular sites.
It even features a lot of Classic USA Road Trips and tells you how long the drive will be, how many miles you are driving and where to stop.
For example, I love the Must Drive Blue Ridge Parkway which connects 2 National Parks or the Road Trip Down the Blues Highway, U.S. Route 61. They feature a collection of great Road Trips which we are all planning to take.
The free version allows you to plan a trip with 5 waypoints, that’s it. If you want to do more waypoints you need to get the Plus version which is $ 29,99 per year. This version gives you 150 waypoint trips, offline maps, a life traffic map and so on. So maybe you want to check this out.
RV Trip Wizard
RV Trip Wizard Most RV Planner tools only show campgrounds and locations affiliated with their publisher. RV Trip Wizard has no restrictions and is built to work with how you like to travel. It shows over 17,000 Campgrounds, over 57,000 Points of Interest, you can set driving times and distances, and see the cost of your trip. It costs $ 39,00 per year.
InRoute Route Planner
InRoute Route Planner, Charts show elevation, curviness and weather. This App is free for the first 7 days then you have to pay $ 3.99 monthly for using this service.
Download a Campground app for more detailed information
We found Campendium a very helpful app to plan our trip and to be able to decide where to stop on the way. I like how easy the Campendium app is to use. It is free (of course, you can also upgrade to the paid version with more features), features 27,000 RV and tent campsites.
It shows all the Campgrounds on the route with reviews. It also indicates if big rigs are ok to stop, if there is Cellular available, if it is expensive and the Web Site to make reservations or call ahead. Actually that is all I need and it was such a help already for us to decide where to stop.
RV Parky is also a great app that lets you see RV parks rest areas, gas stations and stores. You can write a journal in the app and safe your favorite spots. And it is free.
The Dyrt App
The Dyrt App helps you find campsites with many reviews and also gives a lot of information around camping. You enter the State you want to go and it shows you the best campgrounds in that area.
Harvest Hosts is a membership site, which provides access to a network of more than 900 wineries, breweries, farms and golf courses across the US. If you have a self contained RV, you can stay there for free.
The $79 yearly membership gives members unlimited access to stay overnight at any one of the Host‘s locations.
- You must have a self-contained RV with a toilet, water tank and inside cooking facilities
- No tents of any kind are allowed
Not an app but good to know is Reserve America, the website that manages online campsite reservations for most state and local government park campgrounds in North America.
What else to consider when planning the perfect RV Road trip easy:
- How many breaks should you take during a drive?
- How long should you drive in a day?
- How fast should you go to be safe?
- Road trip with children and / or pets?
- Useful items to bring on your journey. Must-haves.
How many breaks should you take?
As a general rule, it’s best to take a break of at least 15 minutes every two hours, and to not drive for more than six to eight hours in a day, to ensure you stay alert. Get out of the car and go for a short walk, stretch your bones, let the dog and the kids run.
How long should you drive during the day?
In order to stay safe and also taking into consideration that you will hit some traffic jams, a weather change, or anything unforeseen, you should not drive more than 300 to 400 miles a day or no longer than 6 hours.
Because out of a planned 6 hour drive can easily become a 12 hour drive when stuck in traffic. (Happened to us for sure).
How fast should you drive with an RV?
You should not go faster than 65 miles per hour with an RV or Travel Trailer and always have your tires checked before you go on a long trip. Your tires should not be older than 6 years (check the date on the tires). It is certainly no fun to be in an RV when the tire bursts.
Day 4 should be a sightseeing day
If you want to get to your final destination as soon as possible but you have many miles ahead of you, plan day 4 to be a sightseeing day to refresh and to get away from driving for at least one day. Step out of the drivers cabin and have a relaxed day at the pool, or go for a hike or do something out in the nature. Also when you are driving with your kids and pets, it is good for them to have a no drive day and to just enjoy the outdoors.
Healthy snacks to bring on your journey
Pack a cooler with lots of water and healthy snacks. Best snacks to pack are:
- Beef jerky – full of protein
- Nuts – just fill small bags with peanuts, pecans, walnuts, cashews.
- Popcorn – is a great source of fiber and complex carbs.
- Hard boiled eggs with whole wheat crackers – easy to eat and healthy.
- String cheese with apple slices.
- Carrots, celery sticks and humus.
- Dried fruit without added sugar or corn syrup.
- Fresh fruit like apples, grapes, bananas are easy to eat.
- Whole wheat crackers and tuna salad
- Homemade cauliflower and broccoli chips.
Make reservations ahead
If you are planning your road trip during the summer vacation you have to book your Campgrounds ahead of time. Especially if you are going to highly frequented places like Yosemite or Yellowstone Park, Disneyland or California. A lot of places also do a ‘first come – first serve’ option for some campsites.
Must-haves on your road trip
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Keep your packed cooler in the car so you have easy access to drinks and food. The best cooler we bought so far is the Yeti Cooler.
This cooler is not cheap but it stays cold for days, even if you don’t get a chance of exchanging the ice.
If you don’t have one, you will definitely need one now, important to have in your RV and in your car. If you have a First Aid Kit in your car, check through the contents, if everything is available and has not expired.
If you travel with kids, bring enough games and blankets to make it very comfortable and cozy. Bring a surprise game, download a couple of movies to watch or an audible to listen to. Have everything organized so they find their things easily as they need it.
Get your RV ready
Pack your RV with all the necessary things you need. Download the Packing and the Tool List to have an overview. Also read 15 Must-haves and RVing for Beginners. Absolutely helpful if this is your first Road Trip.
I hope you will have a great time on your road trip. Let me know which of the apps you like the best or if you found an even better one.
See you around,
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