Let's Go Camping | Plan a great RV Trip
Is moss is starting to grow on your non-rolling stone? It is definitely time to get back in the RV and out on the open road. Whether you are leaving for a weekend or a few months, organizing your trip is similar. Here are a few basic trip-planning steps to help you plan your next Great Adventure.
Get your calendar. Everyone going on the trip needs to look over their schedules and make sure there are no conflicting dates. Also check to see if you will be traveling over a holiday. (Since our nest is now empty, we keep forgetting about Spring Break - one of the busiest travel times.) Busy holiday weekends can require weeks-ahead reservations.
Get your map, atlas or GPS and plan a route. Allow plenty of time - only you know how far you can safely drive in a day. If you know where you wish to camp en route, go ahead and make reservations - especially if it will be over a weekend. Even if you are playing it by-ear and simply wandering America's highways, do a little research before leaving home to learn if there are campgrounds or fuel stops in the general area.
Plan your activities. Are you going to camp in the woods and simply relax or will you be attending a dog show, track meet or garlic festival? Learn as much as you can about the event before leaving home can save hours on the phone later. Order tickets, find out about parking and check the weather.
Bring books. Don't leave home without a campground guidebook. Several are available and are the same size as a huge metropolitan phone book, but they are also available online or as a phone app. Also useful, besides a very good map, are area guides and vacation planners available free of charge from tourism boards - order on line. Tear pages from magazines and newspapers with information on interesting places, restaurants, people or events. Keep them in a file, or add the ideas to a list on your computer. (I use ONE NOTE so the links are always available via my laptop, tablet or phone when needed.)
Check the rig for safety and supplies. Check the tires, water lines, gas lines, brakes, hitches/tow bars, lights and turn signals. We have several packing lists available to print to help organize the inside of your RV and your kitchen.
Check the house. Alert the neighbors, cancel the newspaper, arrange for your mail/packages to be held or picked-up by the neighbor. If you have an alarm system, phone the alarm monitoring company and tell them you will be out of town and leave your mobile number.
Load the RV. Safety first! Turn the fridge on at least 12 hours before you fill it with COLD food. If you are going to be on the road for a few days to reach your destination, consider cooking ahead. For some reason, riding all day can be very tiring and it is nice to have an easy dinner ready after you set up camp after a long traveling day. Take a walk around the campsites while a ready-to-heat dinner warms in the oven - you will feel better. Don't forget a light rain jacket, slip-on shoes to keep near the RV door, an umbrella, your medicines, glasses, and campground memberships cards, Emergency Road Service or AAA cards, ID, credit cards and cash (including quarters for the laundry).
Sit. Stay. Fetch. If you bring pets along, don't forget their vaccination records (just in case). The records will be necessary if Fido needs to see a veterinarian or you wish to board him overnight or enroll Spot in a Doggie Daycare while you enjoy a long day of golf. I know people who bring tap water from home for their dog because "new" water can really upset a dog's tummy. Of course, this is only reasonable if you are gone for a week or less. As extravagant as it might seem, giving your pooch bottled water while traveling can help avoid stomach discomfort. We have only camped at one RV park that allowed dogs off-leash, so most-likely your dog will need to be restrained at all times. Bring a tie-out so the dog can hang-out with you under the awning. Bring pooper-scooper bags (and use them)!
See you on the road - soon!
FYI: The Goddess receives no compensation, kick-backs, free camping, free martinis or anything else for mentioning a campground, location, event, company or service on this site.