There is no greater freedom than cruising the open road in an RV! You’re not waiting in an airport or fixed to public transport schedules, you can go anywhere at any time.
There is no hassle with constantly repacking your suitcase as you’re in a home on wheels. Plus it is far more comfortable than regular camping, as you get to sleep on a real mattress and have a fridge for food and drinks.
Planning your first RV road trip can feel a little daunting, so we’ve narrowed down everything you need to know for a successful trip!
Table of Contents
How To Plan A Road Trip With An RV
1. Picking The Right RV
Your first challenge will be picking the right RV for your trip. A common mistake is immediately going for a large RV, just because it seems like the best option. People will book an RV with a toilet and shower, but then barely use these.
This means you end up paying for a more expensive RV than you need, and you’re also limiting where you can park and drive due to the size of the vehicle.
When choosing an RV for your trip, keep in mind:
- How many people will you be travelling with?
- How much time will you spend in the vehicle?
- Do you mind packing away a bed each day?
- Do you feel comfortable driving a larger vehicle?
- Will you be cooking a lot in the van, or mainly eating out?
- Will you be bringing bikes or other large items?
2. Choosing Where To Go
You’ve got your home on wheels sorted, so now it’s time to consider where you’ll go on your RV trip. You could either map out your own road trip to combine items from your bucket list, or go for a set route.
For your first RV road trip, we recommend following a well-known road trip. This will make planning a little easier, as it can be difficult to know how much you’ll want to drive per day or how to find the right campsites. You can find plenty of great road trip routes online, including at Goboony, an RV-sharing platform.
3. What To Pack
Packing for an RV holiday is both difficult and easy at the same time. You have far more space than you would if you were staying in a hotel or flying, as you’re not limited to a suitcase or specific weight. You’ll be able to properly unpack as you won’t constantly be on the move.
However, it’s easy to overestimate the amount of extra luggage you can bring in an RV. So be strict with what you’re bringing, and consider little home touches like spices or extra pillows.
As soon as you pick up your RV, we recommend properly unpacking and giving everything its own spot. This ensures that things don’t get messy later.
4. Pitching Your RV
Some countries allow wild camping, but the majority do not. To avoid getting a fine, it’s best to stay at designated campsites. These are especially great for new travelers, as you can speak to other RV travelers and get tips from them. You can also use their sanitary facilities and enjoy the extra space.
If you do wild camp, keep in mind that this is not the same as a campsite. You can’t set up completely and you can always be asked to leave.
When looking for a place to pitch, use apps like Park4Night or PitchUp.
5. Slow Down
Everyone needs to find their own balance in terms of how much they want to drive per day. It can also change by the day. Sometimes you want to do some solid hours of driving with a good playlist, while other days the weather is too gorgeous to be spent in the RV.
Take each day as it comes, and relish in the flexibility provided by an RV. But always make sure you’re enjoying your present destination enough and not just think ahead to where you need to go next.
It can be easy to slip into the mindset of ticking off enough destinations during your road trip, but is it worth ticking them off if you didn’t truly experience them? The beauty of a motorhome lies in the flexibility; the fact that you can leave a day later because you don’t have expensive hotel bookings to anchor you to a specific schedule.
6. Arrive Early
Our biggest tip is to arrive early to campsites, especially at the beginning. Make sure to pitch your RV before sunset, not only to enjoy the pretty view but also so you can set it up correctly. It can be tricky to connect to the electricity if you’re not experienced, so you need enough light to do it right.
Position your front door away from others to give yourself a bit more privacy, but leave enough room to set up the awning. Don’t forget to park on flat ground to avoid tilting the RV.
If in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask! Your neighbours or the campsite staff are usually happy to help.
And there you have it, everything you need to know for your first RV road trip! Your first trip will involve a lot of learning, but it can be a really fun experience. Things will get easier each time, and before you know it, you’ll be the one people are asking for advice. Happy roadtripping!