How To Plan An RV Road Trip

An RV road trip can be a real adventure, but you will need to do some careful planning before you set off. Here are the things you need to know ready for your trip.

overhead view of an rv on a road with fall colors around.

Photo by Tim Gouw

Where Are You Going?

There’s nothing wrong with being spontaneous, but at least some planning will make things a lot easier. It can be hard work to drive for long distances in a large vehicle, so many RVers like to mentally prepare themselves for how far they’re planning to go. 

If you have a destination, you can set a route on your phone or something like a Garmin RV GPS. It helps to know that your RV can actually fit down the roads too. 

You should have at least a rough outline and plan.

Use a printable PDF road trip planner to keep everything together when you start planning and to help visualize your journey.

Why Are You Going There?

This is one of the biggest things to consider. Is there somewhere you need to be by a specific date? Maybe you’re attending a wedding or heading home for Christmas. Maybe you have tickets to a festival. 

Planning where you need to be when can help you see how long you have to travel. Even if you don’t have an event to go it, it’s worth thinking about why you’re chosen a destination. Do you want to see some history, take part in water sports with Dip ‘N Dive, visit somewhere from your childhood, or see a famous sight? 

How Long Do You Have For Your Trip?

Does your destination make sense in the time frame that you have?

If you only have a week to travel and want to get somewhere 2000 miles away, you’re going to have to do a lot of driving and not a lot of sightseeing along the way. 

Traveling with children or pets can also make things a lot slower. They need more frequent breaks and rest stops than adults do, which can slow you down a lot. 

Try not to pack your itinerary too full. You’ll end up stressed, and have to miss out on interesting stops along the way. Leave yourself more time if you can. 

Plan In Some Downtime or Detour Time

Make sure you plan in some downtime during your RV road trip. There is nothing worse than just driving, driving, and driving for hours without a break. Ideally, you want to have a day that is free of driving that you can use for exploring every two or three days. 

Don’t make yourself a schedule that is so rigid that you don’t have time to explore the places that you visit. Otherwise, what is the point of your trip? Leave some time for random detours that you haven’t planned. 

You might reach an area and see a sign for a waterfall or walking trail that you didn’t know about, or a local festival that is going on. Adventures like this can be some of the best ones, so make sure you leave yourself some time for these.

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