Buying an RV is a serious investment and not a decision to be made on a whim. But you have done all the research and finally committed.  And there outside your window sits a wonderful beast, ready to whisk you off for adventures aplenty. But, you may ask, what do you need to prepare and plan to ensure your travels are free of stress and full of fun? 

The Basics 

First things first, you must make sure your RV is up to date with any legal requirements. You don’t want your journey disrupted with any potential penalties to deal with. If you have recently purchased your RV, check with your insurance company that it is insured correctly, including any breakdown cover in case of emergencies. For extra peace of mind, consider adding some extras to your policy to have options if you are stuck somewhere remote. 

Make sure you spend some time before you embark on your journey checking all RV’s safety features. Brakes, tires, seat belts, lights, oil, wipers, etc., should all be double-checked for any faults and dealt with by a qualified mechanic. 

To ensure you have enough power in your RV for everyday tasks like cooking, lights, and entertainment, you need to choose a generator that suits your needs and a particular RV model. Generators are really important to ensure you have enough power for your journey. Many newer and larger RVs models have built-in generators, which are really handy, but for smaller versions, you will need a separate one. Before your journey, think about how much power you’re likely to use. It’s likely if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want a generator that can handle phone/tablets/pc charging. If you have AC, you will need a much bigger one. 

If you plan on going out of the country with your RV, don’t forget your passport! And always carry your vehicle’s documents with you. 

What to Pack 

If you plan hiking or cycling, make sure your bikes are securely fixed to your RV and pack all essentials you’ll need, like walking boots, flasks, warm clothes, etc. 

When it comes to packing, it is very useful to make a list. You will need to pack a lot more than you usually do when you stay in hotels or apartments. Many experts suggest thinking about your day from the moment you get up. Think coffee (first and foremost), then add:

  • Washing products (clothes and dishes) 
  • Matches 
  • Loo roll 
  • Food 
  • Toys (for kids) 
  • Chargers 
  • Deck chairs 
  • Sun lotion 
  • Crockery 
  • Towels 
  • Linen
  • Duvet 
  • Pillows

These are just a few things to think about when planning your trip. 

roadtrip in an RV

Route and Locations 

Planning out a route will save wasted time and energy when heading out for your first road trip. When planning the driving route, make sure that the roads are RV friendly; remember, some roads aren’t suitable for large vehicles, so always plan for this in advance. 

Checking out campsites en route to your destination means you know exactly where you will stop for the night. Pre-booking, especially at the height of the season, will give you the comfort of knowing you have somewhere to rest. Some sites will allow you to choose a location for your RV beforehand, so if you are picky, take some time looking through their website map for a suitable plot. Always make sure you get to your campsite before dark. It is really hard to navigate an area you’re not familiar with and then have to attempt the hookup malarky when you get there. Arrive as early as you can, so you can get all of the necessities out of the way, enabling you to relax for the evening. 

When booking campsites, do check that they have the facilities you need. Some basic campsites won’t always have the necessary hookups required for your RV. So, always check they have water, electric, and sewer hookups. Also, remember that not all RVs use the same amount of power, so you may need to invest in a converter, just in case. You don’t want to end up with less power than you need. 

Don’t forget your SatNav! An absolute ‘must-have’ …. There is nothing worse than getting lost in unfamiliar surroundings. 

You are probably not going to want to drive every single day, even if you enjoy driving. Remember, road trips aren’t always about the destination; they’re all about the journey and the experience. So slow down, enjoy the scenery, try not to plan everything, allow some room for spontaneity, and ENJOY! Life is for living.