The Do’s And Don’ts of RV and Road Trip Planning

The idea of jumping into your RV or car and going wherever the road takes you might sound incredible. But in reality, there is much more a road trip than you probably realize. Doing minor planning and preparation before you set off could be a recipe for disaster. You might get lost, break down or run out of money. Plus it can cause unnecessary stress and prevent you from having the best time possible. So to make sure you maximize the fun on your RV road trip adventure, use these do’s and don’ts to help you.

Do: Check your vehicle

This is a pre-trip activity you must complete to ensure your fifth wheel or travel trailer is road worthy. Even if this is your first trip in your brand new RV, that doesn’t mean you should forget about checking its components. The dealership where you bought the vehicle should do efficiency checks before you get the key but take the time to check yourself too.

The constant movement of the RV can cause things to come loose or fall off as you are driving. So schedule in some time before you plan to leave to check the important systems such as the tires, generators, and lights. Most of this applies to any vehicle you’ll be taking on the road. 

If you’ll be attaching a trailer or camper to your vehicle, a good trailer hitch lock is essential.

Also, keep in mind things like temperature control. If you’re bringing a camper, remember it can get pretty warm, especially during summer days, and bringing a portable air conditioner would be a great idea. And a travel trailer to protect you from weather elements like rain, heat, snow, and wind, gives your RV extra insurance.

Columbia River, from the Washington side.

Don’t: Over plan

There are loads of road trip planners available online. They can create personalized itineraries which include parking, restaurants and rest stops. For some people, this is fantastic, especially if they are nervous about entering a state they have never visited before. But it also takes some of the fun out of the experience. You might find you enjoy a location that is off the beaten track and want to spend more time exploring. Or somewhere you thought might be interesting, may not be to your liking. While you need to have a final location in mind, you’ll have a more fulfilling experience if you keep your route planning to a minimum.

pendleton oregon6
Pendleton, OR

Do: Pack a spare map

GPS is a brilliant invention which makes finding and driving to your destination much easier. But they can also be temperamental and fail when you need them the most. You could use your smartphone’s GPS capabilities, but this could quickly drain all of your battery leaving you without a source of communication. So packing a spare map is always a good back up to have. You could use a traditional paper map or print off directions from Google maps. Make sure you brush up on your map reading skills before you go and don’t be afraid to ask for directions from locals if you need to.

Wrexham, Wales
Wrexham, Wales

Don’t: expect your plans to go perfectly

No matter where you are travelling to, it’s likely that you will face a detour or issue of some kind while on the road. Plans can change in an instant, and you may find the route you had in mind won’t work out. So when down or upset, try to see the bright side and add some humour to the situation if you can. There is always another option or possibility you can explore.

Remember that the journey is the most important part of your RV adventure. So be open minded and enjoy every second of your trip.

Have you ever gone on an RV road trip? Is it something you would like to do?

4 thoughts on “The Do’s And Don’ts of RV and Road Trip Planning

  1. I would love yo go on a road trip! It’s one of my dream trips. Maybe one day!


    1. You don’t have to go very far! You could just jump on the car on a weekend and head somewhere a bit farther than usual. It’ll be fun 😉


  2. My husband and I want to borrow my parents’ 5th wheel RV and take it on a road trip through Wyoming, Montanta and Alberta, Canada. However, we have never taken a trip this big before and so I’m sure that some planning would do us some good. I like that you discuss the importance of over planning, because that is exactly what I tend to do when I go on a trip. I like to plan every detail of every minute, but I really like the idea that leaving things less planned would allow us to explore things off of the beaten track.


    1. I think less planning also allows for less disappointment or stress if things don’t go as planned! 🙂 Your trip sounds great.


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