Everybody has fantasized at least once about going on the road for a vacation. RVing is an excellent way to make that vision come true. Whether yours is a short trip or a cross-country journey, successful road trips deliver memorable experiences.
Outstanding experiences need exceptional preparation. Although unexpected experiences tend to be the most remarkable, road trips should not be the product of last-minute improvisation. Without plans, disasters can transform a dream vacation into a nightmare. Getting to your destination without any hiccups needs detailed planning. From activities to reservations, planning is pivotal to success. Notwithstanding your RVing experience level, here are nine important things to consider before getting on the road.
1. Get Familiar with Your Vehicle
When renting an RV, it is pivotal to get familiar with the vehicle you are planning to use. RVs come in a variety of features and presentations. RV rental websites like Outdoorsy and Cruise America offer a broad selection of vehicles to fit your needs. RV dealers should give you a walk-through of the RV features, including information about electricity, water, and appliances. Furthermore, they should provide an operating manual for typical on the road questions. Also, practicing RV driving before hitting the road is essential. RV driving is different from smaller vehicles. Mirror’s use, accelerating, and braking are a few maneuvers that differ entirely from regular driving. Small city streets and parking can be challenging until you have enough practice with this large vehicle.
2. Keeping Things Safe
Insurance and road service are two fundamental elements of road trip security. Few road service companies tow RVs and trailers. Hiring their service beforehand can be lifesaving during emergencies. Be sure to make all questions if you have a specific towing service. Having an AAA membership is an unbeatable road assistance tool. If you don’t have it yet, it can be smart to hire their service as an additional safety asset.
On the other hand, insurance coverage should include every safety aspect of your road trip. There are specialized RV insurance services offering custom proposals to fit your needs. For instance, they can include driver’s safety courses for their clients. Define if your auto insurance covers your trailer, your custom rims, and any other feature. Keep in mind that you might need an entirely separate RV coverage.
3. Give Everything a Once-Over
It is a smart decision to take your vehicle for service and full inspection before beginning a trip. Its roadworthiness will pack you with confidence to hit the pavement. Preventable maintenance assures your highly anticipated road trip does not end prematurely. Review your tires and check the pressure, refill all the fluids, and confirm lights function properly. Having a vehicle under service is a safe practice for both owned and rented vehicles. By ensuring your vehicle is operational, you prevent future struggles and annoying issues from coming up.
4. Do Not Forget to Make Parking Reservations
As with conventional traveling, reservations play a lead role in road trips. Make sure to confirm these at least a few hours before arriving at your stop. Not having a place to make a comfortable stop overnight or after reaching the final destination can be troublesome. There is always the possibility to lose reservations during unexpected road emergencies if your campground does not offer 24 hours check-in. However, if you are sure you will not reach your campsite, canceling the reservation can save you money and trouble.
A handy resource is to keep some websites that grant a solution to this problem. Keeping a list of nearby campgrounds is the best alternative after losing a reservation. Find a website offering a solution to this problem. For instance, KOA lists over 500 campgrounds around the US. Other websites offer interactive maps of different RV parks.
5. Driving Distance Plays a Big Role
An important question to answer before starting the trip is how much road to cover daily. A ten-day drive to cover 3,000 miles is a lot of time on the road. On the contrary, a fifteen days’ journey covering 1,500 miles grants extra time for exploration. About six to eight daily driving hours can be comfortable enough depending on the driver’s limits. Keeping yourself comfortable and focused while driving is the main goal. A WonderGel seat cushion can become handy to keep things pressure-free during these long driving hours.
Since it requires a lot of concentration, narrow and windy roads cause fatigue to the driver. A piece of advice is to pack a few coffee cubes to boost your driving. These coffee treats will awake the drowsiest driver. A clever strategy for pushing driving hours longer is to share them and sticking to highways. Furthermore, it is always smart to drive with the company of the sun. Start when it comes up and find shelter and rest at nightfall. Driving at night can be an unnecessary risk.
6. Caution for Roadside Emergencies
It is wise to check road conditions and construction warnings along your route to avoid unexpected problems. Weather can be the main villain in your road trip story. Apps like Highway Weather offer exceptional help to prevent weather-related crises.
Running into constructions is a common scenario for road trips lovers, so you should check this out in advance. These can appear unexpectedly and delay all the planning but thanks to technology, you can get a heads up. The US DOT Federal Highway Administration website provides closures and construction information within your route. This is a great tool to avoid these frustrating scenarios.
7. Road Trip Does Not Mean Unplugging
Contrarily to what many people may think, road trips do not necessarily imply a tech-free vacation. Wi-Fi and mobile internet can be a useful tool throughout the journey. Cell phones, laptops, and GPS are devices that offer a handy solution for entertainment, aid, and problem resolution during the trip. Usually, road trip travelers take advantage of Wi-Fi at rest stops and truck stops. The state’s Chamber of Commerce of most cities also offers hotspots. Moreover, buying a TEP Wireless Wi-Fi hotspot can be an invaluable asset for your travel.
8. Do Not Overload Your Vehicle
RV is like traveling inside your home. However, the RV electrical load is very different from the home load. From 30 to 50 amps is the average limit for RV electrical load. Therefore, there should be a conscious effort to manage which home electronics and appliances are running at once. For instance, when traveling with a 30-amp RV and plugging a 14-amps toaster, a 5-amps egg cooker, and your 15-amp air conditioner during breakfast, you can easily find yourself with an electrical overload. This situation is extremely dangerous since the RV’s insulation burns and it could lead to a fire.
9. Don’t –Blindly-Trust GPS or Google Maps
Technology has supposedly made navigation easier. However, GPS services and apps like Google Maps offer accurate steering highways, but low reliability when it comes to roads off the beaten path. Roads’ condition often changes so it might direct you to dangerous tracks. Sometimes, longer roads can be more eye-catching than shorter routes. When navigating with GPS systems, these may lead you through more straightforward routes. This can make you and your fellow travelers miss out on all the fun and entertainment that nature and wildlife along the road can provide.
About the Author
Nathan Barnes has 3 years of experience as a content editor and almost 8 years of content writing in the Auto Market. He became a car enthusiast at the age of four when his father taught him the difference between Chevy and Ford. In 2012 Nathan put his knowledge in practice and started reporting on cars, races, and the auto industry on different social media platforms. Currently, he’s a happy owner of a 1967 Alfa Romeo and a Lancer GSR and a person who still has lots of topics to cover.
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