Rv travel planning for a long RV trip takes time. I’ll be leaving this week for a two-month trip through the heartland and I’ve been preparing for a few weeks. My travel style will be different this trip so my preparations are different too.
I’m used to staying in full-service RV parks and dry camping en route to my destination. This trip is my introduction to serious boondocking. I plan to spend as little money as possible on campsites. This will be a whole new experience for me. One that I’m really looking forward to.
You will be witness to my successes and failures because I’m going to be posting about how it’s going. I promise to post the good, the bad, and the ugly just like I always have.
Rv Travel Planning Tools
First, figure out a basic route. Where do you want to go and what do you want to see? I decided to see some of the National Parks in the Midwest and Great Plains areas. Also, there’s that annoying hole on my visited state’s map where North Dakota should be.
When you have a rough idea of your trip, use an app or website to do a more detailed plan. I use Roadtrippers for my planning. I can see my route, the distances between each stop, and trip totals for mileage, fuel costs, etc. I don’t plan to the last detail. I find I like to flexibility to stay an extra night or maybe go see something I just found out about. Some days I just don’t feel like moving on.
Prepare your RV and tow vehicle. Regular maintenance like tire pressures and rotation, oil changes, fluid level checks, etc. need to be done. Towing is much harder on your vehicle than just driving it. I always have extra oil, transmission fluid, and wiper fluid with me. If you’re going over mountain passes or traveling in the winter, make sure you have tire chains with you. If you’ve never used chains, practice putting them on. You don’t want to be on the shoulder in an unexpected snowstorm trying to figure out how to put the chains on.
Since I’ll be boondocking this trip I have my drinking water container, spare fuel can, generator, solar suitcase, power station, rechargeable blender, rechargeable fan, down blanket, propane heater, and more with me.
I have arranged my truck bed so the things I’ll need to use most are close to the tailgate. My generator can run sitting on the tailgate so I don’t have to lift it. My step stool is right there and easy to grab because, well, I’m just short.
Make sure you keep in touch with friends or family so someone knows where you are. My daughter always knows where I am. I also have a small satellite communication device for times when there is no cell signal. It’s great when you’re going out hiking alone too, just in case. There is a monthly service fee but it’s quite affordable and you can suspend the service when you are not using it.
The lowest-priced plan allows me to send a short message to preprogrammed cell phone numbers. I like to send a message when I end my day with no cell signal and let my people know I’m not reachable by cell phone. After I leave in the morning and have a signal again, I call and check in.
I also like to fill my truck’s fuel tank, hitch my truck and trailer, dump the black and gray tanks, and add a little fresh water the night before I leave. This makes a long travel day easier.
Check out my post on How To Find Free Camping on Public Land.
Now, prepare to have a fabulous time out there!