RV Road Trip: 10 Experts Share Their Advice

If you've seen the Robin Williams movie RV, you'd probably assume family Recreational Vehicles are breeding grounds for disaster. In fact, the opposite is true! Family RV trips are an excellent way to bond, travel the country, and go off the beaten path; all while keeping costs low.

To help you plan an enjoyable RV trip (and avert any crises that may arise along the way), we consulted the experts. We asked 100+ travel bloggers to share their best tips for planning a long distance trip in a recreational vehicle and narrowed it down to the best answers. Here's what they had to say!


 When traveling in an RV, I recommend using RV Park Finder or a similar website to map out your trip. I also recommend bringing bikes or scooters so that you can park your RV and still be able to get around. We typically park our RV during a trip and take our bikes with cooler backpacks to the grocery store when we need refill supplies. It's great exercise and saves gas money. We took our RV to burning man and the bikes were a lifesaver. We also have a RV set that we take with us when we rent. It has kitchen supplies, toiletries, bedding and adapters. The kit ensures that we are prepared for our trips at all times."

 When hitting the road with food stops in mind, don’t just count on fast food joints and convenience stores. Experience the authentic cuisine of the destination!


Plan ahead (even by a day, but ideally well in advance of your trip) and check a variety of sources including: The destination’s tourism office which often features places to dine and sometimes deals; see if there’s a local newspaper online and check the ads; sign up with Groupon in that area to not only know what restaurants there are but to get discounts and deals too; ask the RV park if you’re going to be staying in one; and check sites such as Yelp but verify the restaurant is still in business and look at the overall gist of the reviews – don’t go by the most recent only. Those are things you can do in advance, but once you get there, as soon as possible, start asking the locals for their recommendations."

After traveling the US for over two years, we've learned some tips and tricks related to RV trip planning. There are a handful of great websites and apps to help with planning, and one of our favorites is called Allstays Camp and RV. It has a one time purchase fee of $9.99 in the Apple Store and is absolutely worth every cent!


This app has the largest database of campgrounds and up to date information that is hard to find anywhere else. Don't fret Android users, Allstays Pro is the web version and has even more features than the app. No matter what your travel style Allstays has you covered. They list National Parks, State Parks, BLM land, RV friendly Walmarts (and other overnight parking), dump stations, propane, RV repair shops, and so much more. We like to think of this app as our one stop shop when trip planning. 

 To save cost on renting a sat-nav, rely on Google Maps for navigation. If you want to save costs further and don't want to purchase local data, download the location map on Google Maps offline so you can navigate on the maps normally even without any data or service! That is what I did when navigating a camper van through New Zealand."

Whenever I am going on a road trip, I always bring two phones and one massive battery pack with me. I make sure that I have both mobile phones fully charged and use one to run Google Maps with the itinerary that I am going on for the day, and the other to use for research on the possible stops along the way, or places we may see a sign on and which are coming up, or places that appear nearby on the map. This helps the driver continue using the map to navigate while the so-pilot can use the second phone to find the best place to eat or stop at."

One of the best tips for taking a long-distance road trip is planning out your stop-offs in an excel with minimizing how many hours between each stop-off.  I recommend ensuring that you drive a maximum of 3-5 hours per day before dark, so you have enough time in case of bad traffic or bad luck to still get to your final destination for the night. In case you end up a day behind, you can easily skip a day ahead with your schedule to double up your driving."

Plotting locations to refuel the car is essential but can be easily forgotten in your planning, especially when heading to remote places. Check where the closest gas station is at each stage of your trip to avoid being left on the side of the road.

Make sure you also consider parking options. First of all, is there any? Do you have to pay? If so, do they accept card or cash on? Are there limit parking spaces? And lastly, does the parking lot have opening hours? 

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Don’t be too strict with your itinerary. Allow for road closures, detours, and spontaneous when you see something interesting or want to stay longer in a certain place.

Finally, stay safe! If you’re driving long distances for extended periods of time, make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before, have plenty of rest breaks, and rotate drivers."

One big obstacle of a long-distance trip in a recreational vehicle is visiting major cities, where parking especially can become an issue. Make sure to find a hotel with open air parking or check if the parking garage has specialty spots for oversized vehicles. At the same time utilize public transportation or walk in metropolitan areas when traveling in an RV to avoid precarious situations when driving, especially if it is your first time driving a large vehicle."

My top tip for those who want to enjoy a great road trip is to not to try and cram too much into your itinerary. Allow plenty of time for driving the distances required and remember to schedule in downtime, as well as ample opportunity to enjoy sights along the way you may not have accounted for. There's always great surprises to experience you won't have thought of. Driving a lot and then having to rush your itinerary is no fun at all. So, my top piece of advice would be to underestimate how much you are able to see and do on your trip. Doing things at a relaxed and enjoyable pace will make for a much better and safer trip.

Don’t forget to download your favorite music or podcasts to entertain yourself during long miles. There are a bunch of cool scientific podcasts, podcasts about personal development or any other topic you are interested in. 

A very useful app for finding campgrounds, RV parks, backpacker hostels, day stops, points of interest, information centers, showers, restrooms, public dump points, and other places is called WikiCamps. It will definitely save you time and help out with planning your next stop on the way. 

Nobody says you have to go by the book when planning an RV road trip, but if you incorporate some of the tips given in this article, you can ensure your trip will go much more smoothly.


If you have any of your own personal suggestions that you'd like to share, please include them in the comments below.

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