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How to Plan Your RV Road Trip

Let’s first take a look at your general RV Road Trip Checklist, where you can find the basics to get you started on planning your RV road trip. From here, we can dive into the fun stuff. By fun stuff, we mean details – the who, the what, the where, the when, and all the little (and big!) experiences in between.

Planning a road trip may seem like a no brainer. Grab your friends, your wheels, and hit the road, right? Well, kind of. A lot of the road trip details build off one another, so it’s important you smooth out all the details. Don’t worry though, consider us your wanderlust best friend, who just so happens to be an expert in the RV travel industry.

We’ve got you covered, so let’s plan that trip!

Step 1. Decide Where You Want to Go

This is probably your easiest step (or most difficult if you are stuck between several destinations!) but this step is also fun because you get to start daydreaming about the open road, and the places it will take you. Dream big here, the U.S. is a massive, beautiful place with so much waiting to be discovered, by you! Tumbleweed Travel has a few destinations if you need some inspiration.

Step 2. Find Your Vehicle

There are actually several types of RV’s to choose from when heading out on your trip. Ask yourself questions like “will this accommodate my whole family?” “what is the driving curve for this?” or “is this RV able to access the places I am planning on visiting?” to help point you toward the right vehicle. If you aren’t yet familiar with the terms Class A, Sprinter, or Class C – check out our in-depth descriptions of each type of RV to find which works best for you.

Step 3. Decide When You Want to Go

Your timeframe is crucial, as everything about the trip is centered around it. When you, your friends, and or family’s schedule matches up for a vacation. When to pick up and drop off your RV rental. When your reservations across the country are scheduled. And another, sometimes overlooked, crucial aspect is that the destination you are visiting often has low and peak seasons as well as closed seasons. Figure out when these are, and make sure they line up with your travel dates.

Step 4. Check Campsites

Piggybacking off your timeframe, you’ll need to start checking in with campsites and such to see if they are available to host you and your crew during the dates you are traveling. While there are some FCFS (first come, first serve) spots around the map, the majority of campgrounds require reservations made in advance. Keep this in mind, and start planning sooner rather than later!

Step 5. Research Your Route + What to Do in Each Place

Remember, there’s more to the destination than the destination itself! One of the best things about RV travel, and road trips in general, is the fact that you have the freedom to stop whenever and wherever you want. Something catches your eye, or pops up on the map? Pull over, and soak it in for however long you want! Turn the road trip into your destination(s) too by adding stops along the way. Once you finally make it to your destination(s), what do you do? Where’s the best coffee shop in town? What’s a fun activity you can do? Where’s the perfect photo op? These are all the little details that make the trip. And, if you know where to go and what to do before you get there, you optimize your time.

Step 6. Book, Book, Book!

By now, you should know where you are headed, how you are going to get there, and what areas you are going to stay in. Next, it’s time to lock in all of these by booking them out! If your destination has activities you are planning on indulging in, book them now. You know what type of RV you need, so book your wheels now. You know where you are going, and which campsites you like, so book your spot. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can relax until it’s time to hit the road. And when you do, everything will already be laid out for you. All you have to do is go!

Step 7. Create Your Packing List

We’re list people, can you tell? How can you blame us though, lists lay everything out for you, keep you on task, and give you a little satisfaction after each “check.” A packing list also keeps you organized when it actually comes time to pack. You know where you are going to put your bags? In whatever free space you can find in your RV, so pack accordingly. Know the weather during the time you’ll be visiting, and adjust your outfits to best suit it. Don’t forget the toiletries, chargers, cameras, etc. Give yourself time to make this list, but also time between now and take off day to add or remove anything you need.

Now What?

Okay, so now you have a glimpse into just how much goes into planning an RV road trip. Some people quickly become overwhelmed with all these logistics. And that’s okay! And the others? They geek out on all the details that allow the rubber to meet the pavement *eh hem, guilty!* No matter which one you are, we are here to help. So take this handy How To guide, and get to planning, Or, hand us the reigns.

Every trip with Tumbleweed Travel Co includes routes + driving maps, the right RV for you, travel tips + tricks, suggested activities, digital documentation, and pre-booked reservations. Book your dream RV road trip – we can’t wait to see where the road takes you!