Thinking about taking an RV vacation this year with your family? Vacations in an RV can be a lot of fun. They offer you the opportunity to have a flexible schedule, adding in new stops or staying longer in some places than you thought you would.
They’re also very affordable and aren’t as stressful. But if you’ve never embarked on an RV trip before, you may not know exactly where to start. Renting or even purchasing an RV has to be done carefully because there’s a lot that goes into it. You have to decide what to bring with you and how to put together your itinerary.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the three most important questions you have to answer before you start out on your fantastic RV vacation.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RV TO FIT YOUR FAMILY’S NEEDS
The first tip for choosing an RV is to take your time. Start looking at options several months before your trip, maybe even earlier. There’s a lot to consider here. Some people only look at the price, but you’re likely to find a number of models that fall within your budget. Don’t always pick the cheapest one, especially if your family includes several children. You want to make sure you stay within your budget, yes, but you also want to be confident everyone has the space they need.
Remember, your family isn’t just taking a long car ride. The RV is also your hotel room and will serve as your primary base at each stop. You need to be sure everyone has the personal space they need. If you’re all practically on top of each other the entire trip, people are going to start annoying each other. Be sure the RV you get is designed for the number of people going on your trip.
In addition to the size and the price, take a look at the floor plan, the accessories offered, and what the depreciation is. Like any vehicle, your RV will lose value the instant you drive it off the lot. You need to have an idea of how its value will change over the years just in case you decide to sell it.
Also remember that RVs with larger floor plans are not just more expensive, they can also be more difficult to drive. Are you comfortable maneuvering these large vehicles? If not, you might want a smaller RV.
WHAT SORT OF ACCESSORIES SHOULD YOU BRING?
Now that you’ve selected your RV, you have to decide what you’re taking with you. Some RV rentals come with the basic necessities, but that’s not always the case. Plus, there may be things you need that the RV doesn’t have.
There are three kits you’ll always what to have: the equipment needed for your RV’s bathroom, the items you need to get water in the RV, and your emergency kit. The first two kits should have come with the RV, and you should have manuals outlining how to use them.
You may have a basic first-aid kit in your rented RV, but you’re likely going to want to add to that. Be sure you have flashlights, batteries, an emergency radio, blankets, and a solar-powered charger for your phone.
Your RV may have a good sized kitchen, or it may only have a microwave, sink, and a small refrigerator. Either way, you want to have the right cooking gear with you along with the food you want to enjoy on the trip. You can always make a grocery run, but it’s a good idea to have the first couple of day’s meals with you when you leave home. If you’re going to be cooking outdoors, you may want to bring your own grill or grilling accessories. Don’t forget plates, cups, silverware, and plenty of napkins for those sticky fingers, too.
When you set up your RV at a campsite, you’ll want to put up an RV awning to help keep the sun off of you. Some new and rented RVs come with an awning that attaches to the side. If yours doesn’t, you may need to purchase one. They will provide cool and refreshing shade and prevent sunburn.
Don’t forget other extras such as a TV, a DVD/Blu-Ray player, movies, board games, books, and everything else that can keep bored kids entertained. Some folding chairs, bedding, and cleaning products are also good things to pack along with your typical suitcase for vacation.
HOW SHOULD YOU ORGANIZE YOUR TRIP?
Organizing your RV vacation is up to you, but keep in mind that flexibility is the key. Decide what the goal of your trip is. Are you headed to a particular destination, or are you planning a path that lets you hit up a number of stops? Will you be near any relatives or old friends you could look up? Remember that other than the overall length of your trip, there’s nothing set in stone. Even the length of the vacation might be a bit flexible.
Know where RV campgrounds are, have everyone make a list of things they want to do along the route, and then go adventuring! RV vacations are all about having fun, so there’s no need to stress over a set schedule.