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RV typically stands for Recreational Vehicle in most cases. But have you ever heard someone say that RV stands for “Ruined Vacation”? With the freedom that owning any type of RV brings, how can anyone possibly think that? Sorry to tell you, but an RV can ruin a long vacation or even a quick weekend camping trip. In this post I am going to give you a few tips to make sure your next, and future trips go off without a hitch. Let’s jump in.
Traveling in an RV or towing a camper is much different than just driving a car. Driving for hours on end in a car or truck is no big deal, really. I’m sure you have done it several times. However, pulling a travel trailer is a bit more stressful and exhausting, especially in high-traffic areas.
There are so many more things to deal with when towing an RV. Lane changes are more difficult. You have to watch your mirrors when making a turn. 18-wheelers blow you around when they pass. Being overly tired when you reach your destination isn’t much fun, for you or your travel companions.
Take Your Time
The best piece of advice I can give for any RV trip is to take your time. Plan your drive so you aren’t trying tackle too much distance in one day, otherwise, when you arrive you will be completely worn out. Being tired and cranky can really put a damper on the fun. Also, take your time when you are setting up your RV. Rushing only leads to mistakes and very important steps being overlooked, which can be costly.
Some RVers have adopted the 2/2/2 or the 3/3/3 rule for travel days. These rules can also come in handy on those weekend camping trips. What the 2/2/2 rule suggests is to not drive more than 200 miles in one day, stop and stretch your legs every 2 hours, and stay at least 2 days at your destination. The same goes for the 3/3/3 rule with not driving more than 300 miles, stop every 3 hours, and stay for at least 3 days.
In addition to this safe and effective way to plan your travels, you can also add arriving at your destination before 2 PM and 3 PM, respectfully.
Following these simple tips for taking your time will have an impact on the quality of your trip. Remember, nobody wants to refer to RV as a ruined vacation.
Don’t Over Plan The Day
Taking on too many activities in one day can become very difficult, which leads back to the first item on this list, taking your time. Let your vacation unfold and let it happen.
Being spontaneous can be a great way to build everlasting memories with your family. You don’t want to have a hike scheduled for 8 and kayak rentals at 9.
Arrive Before Dark
If possible, try to arrive at your site before dark. Getting set up after the sun goes down has it’s own set of challenges. Backing into a site in broad daylight is bad enough without compounding the frustrations of doing it in the dark.
No light to very little light situations can easily result in damaging your rig. You or your spotter may not see a piece of pipe sticking out of the ground or that low hanging branch that destroys you’re A/C unit.
This brings us back to the 2/2/2 and the 3/3/3 rules. Arriving at your destination well before dark can help avoid ruining your vacation.
Use Convenient Gas Stations
Try to keep your fuel level above a quarter of a tank and stop at gas stations that are easy to pull in and out of. If your fuel level gets too low, you may leave yourself in a stressful situation. You might find that the only available pumps are very difficult to access with your rig.
Truck stops are a great option if one is nearby. There are several free apps you can use to help locate the nearest gas station or truck stop, as well as the cheapest price in your area. I would suggest GasBuddy. It is a great resource for finding fuel while you’re traveling.
Plan Easy Meals For Travel Days
Planning easy meals on travel days is another way to keep your trip stress free. Afterall, nobody wants to cook a huge meal and clean up after a long drive. Avoid ruining your first day of vacation and plan to have something simple, like sandwiches. You might even opt for a pizza that you can pick up on the way to your destination.
Keep Up To Date On Your Maintenance
Get your maintenance completed before your vacation. Have the tires checked on both your rig and your tow vehicle and have them replaced if needed. In addition, if the oil needs to be changed, get that done as well. Getting required services taken care of before your trip will save the headache of a breakdown or a blown-out tire.
Take care of your RV air conditioner maintenance before a summer trip to make sure everything is in proper working order.
Check and double check your propane levels as well.
There are several free apps online that include a pre-travel checklist.
Check The Weather Forecast
If bad weather doesn’t ruin your vacation, it can seriously hinder certain activities you might have planned. In addition, driving or towing your RV in bad weather isn’t very fun. It’s also not very safe.
We can’t control the weather, but we can prepare for it. Check the weather forecast for the route you will be driving as well as your destination. If the forecast calls for extreme weather, it would be better to make a few adjustments to your schedule.
Be sure to have a few rainy-day activities planned in case Mother Nature deals up a rainy day.
WeatherBug and AccuWeather are two apps that we use to stay ahead of the weather.
Conclusion On How To Avoid A Ruined Vacation
And for a bonus tip, LEAVE WORK AT WORK!! You are on vacation, after all. Enjoy the sunsets and the sunrises. Listen to the birds while you have your morning coffee under your awning. Meet your camping neighbors, you just might meet some great people. Most of all, have fun with your family, and don’t let you RV ruin your vacation.
What are your thoughts on RV standing for ruined vacation? Have you had a horrible experience with your RV or camper that just ruined your vacation or camping trip? If so, please leave us a comment below and tell us all about it.
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