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FMCA: What To Consider Before Buying an RV

RV Travel is Still Taking a Hit as High Gas Prices Change Plans

6 Steps for Planning an RV Camping Trip

RV camping

More than ever, people are packing up their RVs and hitting the road for a camping getaway. RV camping is a great way to explore the country and experience the great outdoors while enjoying some of the comforts of home.

To celebrate National Camping Month, RV Trader is giving away a camping experience. One lucky winner will be randomly selected to receive an annual Thousand Trails Camping Pass, along with a $500 Visa gift card, to spend on their RV camping trip. Click here to enter the sweepstakes. This is your chance to Make Adventure Happen as you enjoy the freedom of RV camping.

Before you load up your camping trailer or motorhome, there are some details to sort out first. To break it down, RV Trader has six steps for planning an RV camping trip.

1. Figure Out Where You Want to Go

RV camping allows you to travel anywhere accessible by vehicle. With so many options, it might be hard deciding where to go. There are a few factors to consider when determining where you want to travel in your RV:

  • Time of year
  • Scenery
  • Activities
  • Travel companions
  • Local events
  • Budget

Planning where you’ll travel for an RV camping trip isn’t just about the destination, you also have to think about what type of camping experience you want to have. Do you want all the amenities of a full-hookup RV resort, or are you okay with something more rustic? If you’re looking to save money, boondocking allows you to park at a public area, without hookups, for free.

2. Decide When You Want to Travel

RV camping can be a year-round activity. The ability to sleep comfortably in your camper allows you to endure both cold weather and the summer heat. While you can travel anytime throughout the year, when you go on your RV camping trip could depend on your destination.

National parks are popular spots for RV camping. However, if you don’t want to deal with busy crowds, it’s best to avoid the peak tourist season, which is typically during spring and summer.

You should also consider what type of attractions and activities you want to visit and do during your trip. If you’re traveling for winter sports, you’ll want to plan around peak snowfall. Or, if you want to spend your days camping near a beach, you should aim for the warmer months that are great for lounging in the sand and splashing in the waves.

3. Make Campground Reservations Early

Even if you don’t have the exact date of your camping trip locked down, you can still look at campground and RV park reservations. Reservations at most campgrounds can be made months in advance and, if you’re traveling during a peak season, you should make them as soon as possible.

Reservations can fill quickly, especially if you’re staying near a popular attraction. Having flexible dates gives you more options for booking. If your ideal travel date and campground is booked, check the reservation site regularly for any cancellations.

4. Make Sure Your Camper Will Fit

Before you click “submit payment” on your reservation, make sure the campground can accommodate your motorhome or fifth wheel. Many campgrounds, especially at national parks, are designed to host smaller rigs and tent campers. Be sure to check the campground or RV park’s website before you book to make sure there will be room for your rig, as well as a tow vehicle.

In addition to fitting in the campground, you should also make sure your RV can navigate the other attractions you plan to visit. Will your Class A motorhome be able to maneuver narrow roads and tight turns? Will you have to unhitch your travel trailer and just drive your tow vehicle? Some campgrounds offer shuttle service to and from popular attractions, so you won’t have to worry about transportation and moving your RV.

5. Make Your Packing List

It’s never too early to make your packing list. This is a good time to figure out what travel items you already have and what you’ll need to buy before your trip. If you’re traveling with children or pets, make sure you have activities to keep them busy as you rumble down the road in your RV. Check out our resource page for more tips on RVing with pets.

As you make your packing list, you should also start thinking about how you want to prepare meals on your camping trip. If you don’t want to do all of your cooking in your camper’s kitchen, you can also use a smokeless portable fire pit—one of our must-have camping gadgets.

6. Get Your RV Ready

Before you hit the road, make sure your RV is ready for adventure. Perform any routine maintenance and be sure your insurance and inspection are up to date. If you’re taking your RV out of storage for the first time, you may want to clean up your rig and ensure all the mechanical and electrical parts are working properly. For more tips, read our previous article on getting your RV ready for camping.

Hopefully these tips will inspire you to plan your next RV camping getaway. Once you’ve done all of your planning, you can start mentally preparing for the fun and relaxation you’ll have in the great outdoors. Don’t forget to Make Adventure Happen and enter our National Camping Month sweepstakes. Need an RV to take on your camping trip? Browse the nationwide inventory of new and used models on RVTrader.com.

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Arielle Patterson
Arielle Patterson

Other Resources

FMCA: What To Consider Before Buying an RV

You may be thinking of purchasing an RV and hitting the open road, which is why FMCA has a few things to consider before buying an RV.

RV Travel is Still Taking a Hit as High Gas Prices Change Plans

6 Reasons Black Families Should Experience RV Camping

You may be hesitant to jump into a “wild” experience, but RV Trader has six reasons why more Black people should consider RV camping.

302 Responses

      1. With winning a $500 giftcard, you could buy a tent with several private rooms, a dual stove, a shower, and have some left over for pots/pans and new sleeping bags! 😁

  1. Gas prices so high and pulling our Pop Up uses even more gas, I’d stick to our local state parks

  2. These tips are great. We’ve been out a couple times this year. Looking forward to warm summer nights.

    1. 3 weeks and counting to getting the RV and boat out to Lake Mohave!
      Then Lake Powell in September! Can’t wait to see Mother Natures new landscaping unveiled with the water levels so low!
      #somerainwouldbeniceGod!

  3. Great tips! I make a spreadsheet to keep track of arrival/departure, type of campsite, mileage, estimated drive time, and estimated gas costs.

  4. As I look forward to retirement and RV travel, one more thing I need to remember to pack are daily medications and a list of closest hospitals incase of an old age medical emergency. Everyone should know what to do if medical care is needed by someone (animal or human) traveling with them. 🙂

  5. I want to try an RV and drive up Hiway 1 to Oregon, Washington, then across to Mt. Rushmore and the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, etc. See all of that part of the USA !

  6. I am 70 years old. I have owned one vintage Shasta trailer but had to sell it. (sad face). No. 1 on my bucket list, getting another small trailer that can be pulled with my Chrysler Town and Country and just taking my five little rescues and my husband on an adventure across the United States. I see the glass as half full so it is GOT to happen! 🙂

  7. I just wish reservations weren’t required so much. I enjoyed the days when you could be traveling and stop when you got tired and be able to get a campsite.

    1. Booking early is critical! We’ve been trying to book as soon as the reservation window opens for the campground we want. Waiting even a week and your site may not be available.

  8. We have our camping list on the computer so whenever we are getting ready for a trip, we print it up and start checking the items off and when they’re all checked off we’re ready to go.

  9. Wow….great info. This helps us Rookies prioritize what to do first. I love the comment about booking early. I found that the hard way.

  10. Yes yes yes! Book as early as possible I’ve been camping for many many years and places are booking up faster than ever! Sometimes I can’t even get into my favorite places I’ve been going to for years!

  11. RVTrader helped us find a new family for our class c and helped us connect to our new travel trailer. Great resource.

  12. Thinking about Professional Camping tired of Renting Lol
    Thanks for the Great Information RV Trader…!!!

  13. I can’t wait to travel back to Alaska from Maine with my son who has been in NZ for the past 2 1/2 years! It’s going to be such a great time together! Finally!

  14. Great advice, getting ready to start traveling, we appreciate all the information we can find!

  15. I can’t wait to retire and full time RV! Love camping when we can, and we have an RV Rental business too, to share the love we have for camping with others!

  16. We Just purchased our TT, ready to roll, but need so much guidance in the TT game now, we have rented, pop-up then tented again now our fun begins in the TT. Thanks for the information!

  17. Great tips. Deciding where to go & when to visit always get us over the hurdle and excited for the Adventure ahead.

  18. Tent camping is cheaper but dang, RV camping is so much easier. It’s so hard to find a happy medium!!

  19. I can’t wait to get an RV. We enjoy camping and sightseeing. It really is the best way to go…..

  20. Thanks for the great planning tips and suggestions. Always a great time in the great outdoors. Happy trails!

  21. I agree with your great advice. We have an old travel trailer but I would love to upgrade to a Class B or camper van. Hope to adventure soon!

  22. Great tips! Especially making sure your RV will fit. I’ve watched someone learn that lesson the hard way before.

  23. Really great tips. Best one: Make early reservations. It seems we always wait until the last minute and miss out.

  24. These are all great tips! We just bought our travel trailer and can’t wait for the adventure!! We would love this giveaway! Thank you for the opportunity! 🥳

  25. RVTrader.com is the most comprehensive resource for buying and selling RV’s nationwide.

  26. Great tips for those who’s wanting to have an RV and owners as well. Hopefully before the year ends I get my own RV. Thank you😊🙌.

  27. Used to own an RV. I miss camping so much that we are looking for a drivable RV although at this point we are trying tent camping again.
    I entered the contest and would love to win.

  28. We don’t have alot of years left in us to travel. Winning this would certainly help take some of the financial burden off us to travel and visit our out of state families possibly for the last time.

  29. An hour or two planning your trip (including campgrounds, routes, fuel stops, etc.) makes for a much more pleasurable trip and don’t forget to create and go through your checklists.

  30. This is our year for the central US camping, even with the outrageous fuel prices, we’re still going!

  31. We have been following RV trader for over a decade, fantastic ideas and sharing of information. Without this one could spend a lot of money wasted on items not needed. When we moved up in RV size and sold our 2014, RV Trader was our first choice and it sold in under 30days.

  32. We planned a National Park trip for September. Not as busy because school was back in session but still nice weather.

  33. RV Trader is the best. These are great tips and ideas. My husband and I cannot wait to buy our trailer and get out to see the USA!

  34. This is all so overwhelming! I want to take my son on a trip around the US but have never driven a RV before, much less pulling my vehicle. I am wanting a smaller class A. Our pets would go as well. I know I can do this though!

  35. I can’t stress strongly enough that, in addition to making sure your camper will fit (with the slide out open), PLEASE make sure that if you cannot back it in, you get a pull-trough space.

  36. I’ve been I have been searching for a year and a half for an RV great information on the RV trader looking forward to buying a class a from a private owner as soon as my house sells in Poway California anybody interested in buying a house?

  37. This contest ends on my birthday, June 14th! I’ve been reading and following all your great advice and tips. Thank you!

  38. Great tips! We’ve never gone farther than 2-3 hours away and only for weekends. Looking forward to a bigger, longer trip!

  39. Thank you for these tips! Many are common sense, but my common sense sometimes gets pushed out of the way because of the excitement of going. It is nice to have a good checklist so that there won’t be unnecessary disappointments on a trip.

  40. The RV tips have been a valuable help in avoiding the pitfalls of camping and traveling for me and my family. In addition, the savings and good info on where to go. Thanks for all the insites. Later..full time travelers….

  41. What a great article, I’ve done a lot of traveling and these are good points I’ve used but I’ve also just picked up packed up and went (which does seem harder to do these days). iCamping is the best thing you can do for you and your family.

  42. Awesome! Would love to take the family camping at Weber Lake in Michigan again. My wife’s favorite place because her dad took her there as a kid.

  43. Having a solar setup that could sustain you off grid for several days would eliminate campsite reservation surprises and would allow you to camp on BLM land free which in turn would help you monetarily to pay for unnecessary hi fuel prices.

  44. Rvtrader has many options on class A’s to bumper pull, it’s a great website for your camping needs

  45. I found my first camper on RVTrader! It took the search to a whole new level. Safe, easy and fun!

  46. I just bought our second motorhome that we found on rv trader. And we sold one on rv trader. Great way to buy or sell an rv.

  47. I’m amazed at all the new innovations that RV possess now a days I have a few of my own like rain collectors for the outside and moisture collectors and filyers for inside the unit as I I get to escape Connecticut Im not comming back if I have to live off the land at 65 it is horrible here I was tortured and driven out of 4 educational institutions which destroyed my life. It’s a zoo here.
    I was a nuclear security guard and built nuclear submarines but could not get an education and had to teach myself 4 trades

  48. Me and my diesel motorhome are SO ready to go BUT $6.00 + is a vacation killer. Winning would make it possible.

  49. Great tips and I agree with the comment above. Add factoring in fuel costs. Traveling is so important to me that our household has had to make some changes with prioritization so that we can continue fulfilling our goals concerning travel and vacations.

  50. I certainly could have used these tips when I first started rving! Thanks so much for the info!

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