7 Steps for Planning Your First Epic RV Adventure This Summer

If you’re a travel bug, the past year and a half have likely been a bit tortuous. COVID-19 forced so many of us to cancel our trips and postpone our bucket list adventures.

Finally, things are starting to get on the right path, and many travelers are looking for a safe way to travel this summer. Our top suggestion? Rent an RV. 

Traveling in an RV allows you to minimize your contact with other people, as well as reduce the risk of canceled hotel visits or exposure to COVID-19 at restaurants/public places. You have full control over where you sleep, who you see, and how many people you are around. 

However, if you’ve never been on an RV adventure before, there are some things you should know.  

We’ve compiled a short step-by-step guide for planning your first RV road trip in 2021. Take a look at this guide, then start the process of booking your own summer adventure. 

Step 1: Choose Your Destination

First things first: you need to decide where you’re going and how to travel there safely during COVID-19. 

Are you hoping to go somewhere cool in the mountains? Looking to book a beach vacation? Shooting for a cross-country road trip with many stops? 

There are many choices to evaluate. Think about the one that makes the most sense for your current location, hobbies, interests, and budget. 

Step 2: Pick and Rent Your RV

After over a year of travel restrictions and canceled vacations, RVing in 2021 is a little different. 

The most noticeable difference is the popularity of RV bookings. Tons of people are planning safe (but exciting) RV trips this summer – so if you want to book a recreational vehicle or buy one, you need to act immediately and check with the trusted RV Dealers for the best options.

Step 3: Plan Your Route and Campgrounds

Just like RV bookings, campground reservations are filling up faster than usual in 2021. Once you’ve determined where you’re going, you’ll need to reserve a spot ASAP. This is especially true if you plan to visit some U.S. national parks

Start by mapping out your path to your final destination. What stops will you make along the way? Will you be staying for multiple nights at places, or will you be on the move frequently? 

Then, when you’ve planned your stops, start researching campgrounds. We recommend looking for RV sites that offer: 

  • Access to the activities and sights you’re most interested in. 
  • All of the hookups your RV will need to cook, wash, and sleep comfortably. 
  • WiFi if you’ll want to stay connected to work or friends/family. 
  • Nice facilities for bathing or cooking out (if that’s what you want). 

Step 4: Decide on Your Activities

Once you’ve got your recreational vehicle and your campsite reservations locked and loaded, you can start focusing on the more fun element of your vacation: activities. 

Keep in mind that even if you’re interested in hiking or exploring nature, you may still need reservations for certain areas/activities. Do plenty of research to ensure you’re planning ahead now so that you can fully enjoy your vacation when it comes around. 

Step 5: Meal Prep or Plan Stops 

Food is a big part of every travel experience, but when you have an RV, you won’t necessarily dine the same way you do on other vacations. 

If you want to save money, you might want to consider grocery shopping ahead of time and planning meals for the road. This is an especially good idea if you will be traveling through areas where grocery stores and restaurants are limited. 

On the other hand, if you do want to hit some awesome restaurants and pit stops during your journey, ensure you’ve done your homework. When are they open? Are they still serving food during the pandemic? Are they actually on your route? 

Preparing your meals or restaurant visits in advance will make your entire trip more enjoyable. Don’t just wing it or you might wind up eating gas station food your whole trip. 

Step 6: Purchase Necessary Supplies 

Most RVs come with basic gear, but you’ll need more than some PB&J sandwiches and a first aid kit to prepare for your road trip. When people rent recreation vehicles, we recommend that they also travel with: 

  • Jumper cables
  • Battery chargers 
  • A tire pressure gauge 
  • Gloves
  • Bungie cords
  • Flashlights with batteries 
  • Road flares
  • A basic toolbox
  • Extra fuses 
  • Tape (electrical and duct) 

If you don’t have some of this on hand, talk to your RV dealers or service provider. They may be able to provide you with it or rent something to you. 

Step 7: Plan for the Trip Back Home 

Lastly, don’t get so caught up in your trip to the destination that you forget to plan for your trip on the way back. Ensure you have fully mapped out your route and planned for any overnight stops you may need to make.

In Conclusion 

Your first RV adventure is exciting, but remember that a lot of planning and research goes into any successful road trip. Take the time to properly reserve, prepare, and pack for your upcoming summer vacation. 

Have you traveled in an RV before? If so, what are your top tips for first-timers? Let us know in the comments below!

Author’s Bio-

Kevin is a proud San Diegan originally from Iowa. He loves hiking, surfing, rock climbing, and experiencing the outdoors in as many ways as possible. His love of exploring and writing motivated him to start Impulsive Wanderlust – a travel + leisure blog providing recommendations to travelers around the world.

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  1. Richard London
    17th June, 2021

    Take your time and enjoy the journey. NEVER rush, that’s when mistakes are made. And, whenever possible arrive early enough to setup during daylight hours.

    Be safe, and happy camping.

    1. Sam Leash
      20th September, 2021

      Awesome tips, thanks Richard!

  2. Rebecca Linkous
    15th June, 2021

    Be sure you understand the water and sewer systems. Make sure you know how to level and set up the vehicle. Be sure you have blocks to keep tires from moving while parked for the night. Never travel without filling your fresh water tank. Take short showers – rinse, turn water off, soap yourself fully, rinse and you are done. This allows more clean time on the road while keeping water for other uses too. Take gallons or larger bottled water for drinking and refilling to extend your onboard water.

    1. Sam Leash
      15th June, 2021

      These are all excellent tips for newbies and for water conservation. Thanks for sharing, Rebecca!