Tips for RV Travel
For young families or retirees alike, RV trips and travel offer a world of adventure, freedom, and convenience. It is an exciting way to stay mobile without having to depend on the availability of hotels in the area. Although RV lifestyles sound quite extravagant, the average family actually saves as much as 74% compared to costs of regular travel methods. Across the country, RV enthusiasts total around 30 million! The following tips, helps, and links are provided as a service for the RV enthusiast by Action Donation Services®. Action is America’s premier processor of donated RVs and motorhomes for some of America’s best known charities.
Even before the trip starts, there is much excitement in preparing for the journey. The driver should always do a full inspection of the RV well ahead of time to check for any mechanical issues. The inspection should also include checking window seals, door locks, sewage systems, propane tanks, lighting and so on. When packing, try to stick to the essentials. Avoid unnecessary or overly heavy items.
Finding RV-Friendly Campgrounds
There are hundreds of campgrounds and sites across the U.S. that welcome RVs. It is particularly helpful to find these types of campgrounds since they offer amenities such as larger parking or pull-through areas, electrical hookups, clean water filling stations, washrooms or comfort stations, and sewage disposal facilities. There are several websites that offer comprehensive RV campground listings within states or even on a national scale. The government’s National Park Services website is another excellent and reliable source of such information.
Must-Have RV Kitchen Supplies
While it is important to pack light, it can also be annoying to find that you lack the cooking tools you need while out in the middle of nowhere. Try to balance a selection of tools for cooking in the kitchenette and also for preparing barbeque or campfire meals. Some common examples include a few pots and pans with appropriate utensils, along with barbeque tongs, skewers, and a skillet. Food storage containers are always useful for safely putting away leftovers. Don’t forget a few essentials such as a can opener, bottle opener, matches or lighter, and a large roll of aluminum foil.
RV Travel with Kids and Pets
Of course it’s fun to travel with children and pets, but they certainly do require a few special considerations in order to make the trip stress-free. Safety is the first thing to keep in mind. Find out about your state’s laws on child restraints or harnesses in vehicles in advance, so that they are safely strapped in. Similarly, look into harnesses or crates for pets depending on their size. Even if they are well-behaved animals that sit quietly in the back, they can be badly injured in the event of an accident without appropriate safety restraints. While the kids might be extremely excited at the time of setting out, a couple of hours into the drive parents might hear that dreaded refrain, “Are we there yet?” Pack some travel-edition games or activity kits to keep children occupied along the drive. For children and pets alike, it helps to schedule a few stops along the way, especially on longer road trips. Children appreciate the break to get out of the car and release some pent-up energy, while pets have a chance to relieve themselves and stretch. Do make sure to bring along any medication and special care items that might be necessary, such as asthma inhalers, a first aid kit, and sufficient snacks and drinks.
After arriving at the destination, keep everyone occupied with a series of activities and games. Children can very easily get bored if there is nothing to do. Find out about local attractions in advance, or by talking to someone at the information booth. Alternatively, ask what they would like to do. Even if their ideas are a little silly, indulge them as long as it is safe. Always keep kids and pets close by and never let them wander off unattended.
- Using RVs in Winter (PDF)
- Understanding RV Septic Systems (PDF)
- RV Travel Tips and Articles
- A List of RV-Friendly Campgrounds
- Educational RV Travel Video Series
- RV Fire Safety and Preparation
- RV Inspection Guide
- Printable RV Equipment Checklist (PDF)
- Donate your no longer needed RV or Motorhome
- Things to Leave Behind on an RV Trip
- Child Seats and RV Travel
- RV Ideas for Families
- RV Trips and Border Crossing Considerations
- The Essential RV Packing List
- How to Pack Effectively in an RV
- RV Packing and Shopping Lists (PDF)