The season of road tripping is upon us.
But for those with access to an RV, there’s never really a bad time to pack up and go explore. So before you hit the open road, here are seven tips to help you get the most out of your next RV trip.
Look into your camping spots ahead of time
A successful RV trip doesn’t have to be micromanaged, but it does help to do a little research.
Take some time before you leave to look into which camping spots and RV parks will be best suited for you and your family. Look into — and make notes of — where you’ll be able to fit your RV, which offer sewage facilities, etc. Book ahead of time to save a little cash, but you should also keep a list of backup plans in case you fall behind schedule find yourself wanting to see something new.
Stock up before you leave
On that same note, some pre-planned shelving can go a long way toward making your vacation as relaxing as possible. Stock up on essentials like toilet paper — biodegradable, obviously — water and snacks.
You never know when you’ll need to pull over for the night or where the closest convenience store is, and impulse purchases can add up quickly.
You’ll also want to carry enough cash to get you a full tank of gas and enough quarters to pay for a quick shower. There are few things more embarrassing than knocking on a neighbors RV in your robe to ask for spare change.
Make friends along the way
That being said, you should try to make friends with your fellow travelers.
You’ll inevitably meet some fellow road trippers along the way, but your campsite neighbors are an excellent resource when it comes to RV recommendations, minor repairs and spare marshmallows.
Add some eco-friendly flair
Those who choose to travel in an RV know they need a bit more bang for their buck. This is where you look for a portable power station to power everything you need. Once you have one of those, you can find a sturdy or a flexible solar panel setup — depending on your RV model— to make your travels more sustainable, and to charge and recharge your power station in a way that’s easy and cost-friendly.
From there, you can begin to have a bit more fun with solar-powered tools, like window chargers, patio tables for game nights on the road, and even a coffee-maker powered by the sun. With all these comforts and the freedom of the open road, you may never want to go back to a regular house.
Keep your tank full
Fueling an RV is not a cheap task, but shopping around could save you a significant chunk of cash.
First, try not to pay for convenience. Stations a little farther down an exit road are proven to have lower prices than those located closest to freeways.
Second, be smart about your fuel. Don’t wait until your tank is nearly empty to fill up; turn off your engine when possible; and keep your tires properly inflated. Taking minor steps like these will help you turn what used to be gas money into more adventure funds — and gives you more cash to use on the fun stuff.
Invest in sleep
This might seem obvious, but a well-rested driver is a safe driver. And a well-rested co-pilot is more valuable than you could ever imagine.
Pack enough pillows and blankets to keep everyone comfortable, a space heater during the colder months, and some blackout shades for those early summer mornings.
Have fun knowing you’re not breaking the bank
Finally, find a loan that fits into your budget.
Financing an RV shouldn’t be a stressful experience. Your time is better spent planning where you want to camp and sight-see. So before you start looking for RV financing, be sure to get your credit score in order, lower your debt-to-income ratio, and save enough to make a sufficient down payment to qualify for the best possible RV loan rates. RV loans can have stricter credit qualifications, so the more prepared you are before you buy, the better off you’ll be.