Touring the whole country in an RV is a bucket list travel item for a lot of people. Particularly if you have an RV of your own, or you’re looking into buying one, this is undoubtedly one idea that’s on your radar. There’s just an irresistible sense of freedom and exploration about it, not to mention innumerable specific destinations you be excited to see along the way.
If you’re plotting out a trip like this, there’s almost something to be said for simply hitting the road and seeing where it takes you – or at least, it’s sort of a romantic idea. That said, the reality is that you’ll probably get the most out of the experience if you do some fairly extensive preparation. And to help get you thinking about the things that might help you get the most out of the trip, here are a few tips for that preparation.
1. Find A Good GPS
The easy temptation today for a lot of people setting off on road trips is to give little thought to directions in advance. Smartphones have placed up-to-date maps and even traffic updates in the palms of our hands, and the average driver would sooner trust Apple Maps, Google Maps, or an independent app like Waze, before glancing at a map or planning a route in advance.
Even so, if you’re going on an extended trip in your RV, you’ll likely want to have a good GPS on hand. These can still be more precise navigational tools, particularly if you get into more remote areas, or you’re navigating the internal roads at a national park. In places like these, a mobile app might not quite recognize all the routes you need it to; in some cases, it might not be able to maintain a connection either. Plus, you’ll drain your phone’s battery continually if you rely on it for navigation. For all of these reasons, we’d recommend spending some time finding a GPS to keep in your RV. Our buying guide is a good place to start.
2. Plot Your In-Between Stops
While your GPS will help you with your specific routes, it’s still a good idea to plot out your stops in advance – and to consider the in-between places. For portions of your trip, you’ll likely be able to get from one destination to the next in a matter of hours, such that you’re always staying overnight at a place you prioritize visiting.
If you’re truly looking to tour the whole country, however, or anything close to it, there will also be some time spent in between top destinations. By plotting out your stops and estimating drive times in advance, you can avoid these feeling like dull interruptions to your exciting trip, and instead try to find interesting places along the routes between primary destinations.
3. Take Out A Loan To Cover Costs
Because you’ll be taking your own vehicle, driving to destinations, and perhaps camping (which we’ll say more about below), a cross-country RV tour can seem at first like a very inexpensive trip. However, between supplies, gas, and campsites and attractions along the way, things can actually add up quite a lot. It’s for that reason that we’d suggest you research title loan options so as to potentially cover the costs of your trip in advance.
For those who are unfamiliar with this specific version of a personal financial loan, the basic idea is that a lender can give you cash now for you to pay back over time – with your equity in your vehicle (possibly the very RV you’re using to travel) serving as your collateral for funding. Covering title loans for the Ohio region, LoanMart further explains that these loans can be available to a wide range of people with different financial backgrounds, and can be obtained via brief online forms.
They can also be arranged such that borrowers have fairly small loan repayments that can stretch out for well over a year! Now, lenders in other states may have slightly different conditions, but this general overview of a vehicle-based title loan shows what a convenient option it can be. You can use your RV equity to secure the funding, gain quick cash, and pay it back so gradually that it will hardly feel like you spent money on the trip.
4. Seek Out Free Camps
The very idea of camping sounds as if it shouldn’t cost you a dime. Yet as you’re undoubtedly aware if you enjoy camping, hiking, and RV travel, it’s not uncommon to have to pay to stay overnight at a campsite. It’s usually a fairly modest fee, but such fees can add up over the course of an extended trip, and in many cases you can find free alternatives!
While you may reach a destination here or there at which you simply have to pay to stay where you’d like, Campendium offers a look at free camping sites that may save you quite a lot of money over time. You can essentially search around your destination and find campsites where you might be able to park or even pitch a tent overnight for as little money as possible.
5. Emphasize Comfort Before You Set-Off
This is a broad suggestion, but one that’s still important to take to heart. When you’re traveling in an RV – particularly if it’s a new one you’ve only just recently purchased – it’s easy to take comfort for granted. After all, you have a lot more at your disposal than you would in an ordinary vehicle, and you’re set up to sleep on a mattress rather than on a pad in a tent.
However, a full RV vacation still means an awful lot of hours on the road, and if you have friends or your family along with you, things can get cramped as well. So, broadly speaking, remember to consider your comfort when planning for your trip. Whether it’s by purchasing extra cushions for seats, stocking a closet with some spare blankets, or simply reorganizing things to maximize space, you’ll want to do all you can to turn the RV into a sort of miniature hotel on the road.