The Expert Guide to Planning Your Next RV Trip

The warm weather has finally arrived, and that means it’s time to start planning your RV adventures. If you’re new to RVing or even just a bit rusty after staying home all winter, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed as you start the RV trip planning process. Lucky for you, we’re here to help!

In this article we will discuss the ins and outs of planning an RV trip. Follow these steps and you’ll be ready to hit the road in no time at all.

Have a Budget

The very first thing you will need to do in order to plan a successful RV trip? Set a vacation budget. It’s important to do this first because it will sway your decisions when it comes to choosing where to go and where to stay while you’re there. 

The good news? It’s pretty easy to take an RV trip, even when you don’t have a lot to spend. Choosing free attractions, boondocking, and camping close to home can all help you save money, so you can have your getaway without breaking the bank. 

Choose Destinations, and Don’t Be Afraid to Explore

Next, decide where you want to go. RVs are ideal for road trips, and we recommend taking advantage of this fact by choosing a few different things you’d like to see on the way to your final destination. Don’t be afraid to choose unusual or funny spots that are off the beaten path. After all, you’ll be traveling by RV, meaning you can be comfortable no matter where you end up. 

In the same vein, it’s always good to keep your plans as flexible as possible. This will allow you to stay longer in places you love most, cut those less-than-awesome stays short, and even add in stops if you see something interesting along your path.

Don’t be afraid to be adventurous in where you choose to take your next RV trip!

Know Your RV’s Capabilities

Of course, you will want to know your RV’s capabilities and keep them in mind when picking destinations and planning your route between them. Low-clearance bridges, bridges with low weight restrictions, steep grades, and rutted out roads can all be challenging when you’re driving an RV. Therefore, you will want to know exactly what your rig is capable of so you can avoid challenges that are too much for your home-on-wheels. 

Use a Travel App

One thing that can help you avoid those challenges and ensure you choose the best and safest route possible? An RV-specific travel app.


RV LIFE Pro and RV Trip Wizard are perfect for this. These programs allow you to create custom routes that are perfect for your RV. They can also be used to find campgrounds, gas stations, and certain attractions. And once you have the perfect route put together, the RV LIFE app can give you step-by-step directions as you drive. 

Book Campsites in Advance

Yes, it’s fun to be flexible and fly by the seat of your pants when traveling in an RV. That said, because RV camping has become so popular in recent years, it’s always a good idea to have campground reservations on the books weeks before you leave.

Generally, these can be adjusted as you travel to match any changes you might have to make, but it’s always best to have someplace to stay in case you find that all campgrounds are full in the area you are visiting.

Be prepared for whatever the road may throw at you!

Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Now that you have destinations picked, a route planned, and campsites booked, you’re well on your way to taking the perfect RV trip. The next step? Planning for the unexpected.

You never know what might go wrong while traveling, and this remains true even when you’re on an RV road trip. For this reason, you will want to have RV-specific roadside assistance and good RV insurance in place before you go. A well-padded savings account is also helpful, and a good attitude can go a long way if problems do arise. 

Pack Smart

At this point, your trip plan is coming together nicely and you’re prepared for emergencies. Now you need to start packing.

Start with an RV packing list such as this one. Pay attention to the weather report so you know what sorts of clothes to pack, and always bring hoodies and long pants for the evenings, even if you don’t think you’ll need them. Be sure to grab items such as medications that can’t be replaced while on the road, and go ahead and pack some simple games to keep everyone entertained.

However, do your best not to overpack, as an overloaded RV can be very dangerous to drive down the road. 

Prepare the RV

Besides packing up the things you need, you will also need to prepare the RV for the trip. There are a few different tasks that should be done in order to ensure the rig is totally ready to go. 

These include:

  • Charging batteries — Make sure your batteries are topped up, especially if you’ll be dry camping. 
  • Check the propane tank(s) — Propane can be extremely important while RV camping. Make sure your propane tanks are topped off. 
  • Filling the fresh water tank — You’ll want water while on the road. If this precious resource won’t be available at the campground, make sure to fill the fresh water tank at home. 
  • Filling the fuel tank — Obviously, you’ll need fuel if you’re going to get to your destination. Hit up the gas station before you leave town. 
  • Checking the tires — A blown tire can bring a trip to a screaming halt. Avoid this problem by checking your tires for damage and wear before you go. 


Once you’ve followed these steps, you should be ready to go! Grab your adventurer’s attitude, put a smile on your face, and get ready to have an amazing time exploring this beautiful world of ours. 

Need an RV so you can have an awesome RV adventure this camping season? We can help with that!

About Chelsea Gonzales

Chelsea Gonzales has been living in an RV and traveling with her family for 7 years now. She road schools her two children, using various travel experiences as lessons in history, science, geography, and more. During their time on the road, the Gonzales family has had the pleasure of touring the 48 contiguous United States as well as parts of Canada. They have learned a lot along the way and Chelsea is happy to share some of that knowledge through her writing.