Taking a family trip or vacation using an RV can be fun and stressful at the same time. If you want to enjoy one of the best fall RV trips, you need to prepare well since you will be sharing a small space with your family for a significant amount of time. Apart from ensuring everyone is comfortable, there are other things to plan for, such as packing, food, and making stops. To guide you here, here are a few tips on creating a fun family RV trip.
Choose The Right RV
The first step in ensuring you will have one of the best fall RV trips is getting the right vehicle. If you own one, now is the time to take it for a maintenance check at the mechanic to prep it for the trip. If there is any damage to the vehicle, an RV repair should also be done immediately to avoid putting everyone at risk. There is no need to worry about buying one if you do not own one. There are many RV rental agencies with different types of RVs, depending on your family’s needs. Check that there is enough sleeping space for everyone and room to lounge and accommodate everything you will bring on board. It should also have the right kitchen appliances for meal preparation. Depending on the road you are using, do not take an RV that is too long if you are using narrow roads. There are certain roads and RV parks with a length limit that you should also be aware of. If you have smaller kids using car seats, you also have to factor in how you will transport them. Ensure the RV you choose can safely accommodate them during the drive.
Choose Your Destination
Most families usually have a bucket list of places they would like to visit when they go for a trip. This is the perfect time to look at sites on that list which you can go to. When choosing a destination, first analyze the objective of your trip. Do you just want a getaway where you can spend some time with your spouse or family? RVing offers a great chance for family members to reconnect with each other. If the goal is to be off the grid and spend quality time, consider a destination like a country club where you are surrounded by nature. Some people plan their RV road trip for a specific reason, like seeing a relative, a music concert, or an attraction. The beauty of RVing is that you have limitless options. Whatever your destination is, you will have to consider the time you have and the distance you are willing to travel. During fall, the weather is quite pleasant and accommodating, and so the roads are pretty nice. However, you will still need to be careful as this is not your usual utility vehicle. Finally, for some people, choosing a destination may be a struggle. If you are in this position, look at your hobbies and those of your members. Do you like outdoor adventure, or maybe you would prefer to go to an art exhibit or a museum? The only way to make this one of your best fall RV trips is by choosing a destination where everyone will have fun.
Map Out Your Route and Rest Areas
Depending on your RV’s style and size, you have to plan early on the route you will use and the places you will stop to eat and rest. One of the ways to enjoy the best fall RV trips is by ensuring everyone is well fed and rested to minimize exhaustion. Gas stations are a great place where you can quickly stop and grab something to eat as you refuel the car. Some gas stations come with convenience stores where you can get food from the deli section and even carry some snacks from the road. Another great place you can stop for breaks is rest areas. Most of them come with grassy areas or small walking trails where you can take a break. Most of them have been designed to accommodate an RV of any size. Consider planning at least one or two stop activities, whether for sightseeing or getting everyone to stretch and relax. The best places to stop are often just off the highway, such as roadside attractions.
Consider Staying at a Full-Service Park for Several Days
One thing that comes with taking a trip in your RV is free lodging. In fact, if you want to experience the best fall RV trips, skip hotels and park in rest areas for the night. That being said, it is good to book space at a full-service park or an RV resort for a few days during the trip. These places are affordable and come with various amenities like laundry services, game rooms, trash disposal, jogging, hiking and biking paths, outdoor movie theaters, and water features. When looking for RV resorts or parks along your route, it is good to look at the attraction facilities near them. For instance, a family lake resort allows you to enjoy water activities like boating, fishing, and swimming. On top of that, full-service parks are often located near attraction facilities and great restaurants, which you can explore if you are tired of prepping meals.
One big mistake that most people make when traveling with family members in an RV is packing too much. Also, most people believe that since an RV is big, they can pack as much as they want. However, despite the extra space you have, you should still avoid carrying in too much. Imagine having to move luggage so that you can sit, sleep or even just move around. It will be a frustrating trip. Instead, ask each person to pack lightly and, for the younger kids, help them. Apart from the clothes, carry with you supplies like camping chairs, board games, beddings, pillows, snacks, and a first-aid kit.
Make Good Use of The Space You Have
Take a situation where you are in a camping ground with various amenities, including swimming pools. And as you get ready for the in ground pools, you are trying to find your husband’s swim trunk, but you cannot because clothes are scattered all over the RV. On the other hand, your 5-year-old is throwing a tantrum because she cannot find her Disney sandals, and you are edgy since you cannot find your sunscreen. This leads to everyone being frustrated and angry at each other. However, to avoid this disaster, do not just shove your bags inside the cabinets or throw them beside the bed. Make use of the space in the RV and arrange your items properly. For instance, bring hangers with you, hang some clothes, and use drawers for pants and shorts. Choose a cabinet for the kids and, if they are old enough to clean after themselves, let them arrange their clothes the entire journey. You can then store the other luggage in the storage compartment outside. Most RVs have more ample storage than most people expect. And to have one of the best fall RV trips, try and make use of that space well.
Remember to Rest and, If Possible, Avoid Driving Every Day
You might think that driving an RV is the same as driving your car, but that is not the case. Due to its size, it is more physically demanding, and you will tire quickly. Anyone not used to driving a big vehicle will find it stressful. That is why you will need to rest often, unlike if you were driving your car. If there is something that can prevent you from enjoying one of the best fall RV trips, it is overly ambitious with your itinerary. Avoid driving for long stretches without making stops because you are in a hurry to get to a destination. Plan to drive for at least 7 hours a day and then pick a day that you can fully rest and recharge before hitting the road again. Also, it is best to avoid booking a different RV park every single day. When you get to a park, take a couple of days to unwind. Visit attractions near the park and even go to a pizza restaurant if it is nearby. A change in inactivity is not only good for the driver but the kids as well. It reduces exhaustion and makes the trip more meaningful.
Plan for Barbecue Nights and S’mores
Most kitchenettes in RVs are small and make cooking a bit stressful. It can feel cramped, especially when everyone is inside waiting for their food to get ready. What was starting to feel like one of the best fall RV trips you have taken can start feeling really stressed. Instead, you can carry a portable grill with you and grill some hot dogs or steaks outside. Most camping grounds usually have camping chairs and tables that you can borrow and camp outside your RV for some barbecued meals. After dinner, spend some time around the fire-making smores coupled with some good stories and bonding with each other. And when the young ones are off to bed, the parents can have a break and enjoy some wine while snuggling next to the fire. Save the RV kitchen for whipping out a quick breakfast or when it decides to rain outside.
Make a Plan for Screen Time
Most people agree that some of their best fall RV trips are when they put the phones and tablets aside and simply bond as a family. The point of a family trip is for everyone to get together and have fun. There is no point in taking the trip if people are glued to their phones, just like they do at home. Therefore, come with a plan that involves less screen time and more being present. For instance, since road trips involve long driving hours, it would be nice if the kids were entertained with some games, social media, and music. However, when you get to the camping grounds, everyone can put their phones away and help with unpacking, meal preps, etc. You know your kids well, so you can create a schedule that works for all of you. However, talk to your kids in advance about this plan and ask them for assistance in sticking to it. If you try to improvise as you go, combined with the exhaustion on the road trip and your kids not wanting to give up their gadgets, most likely, there will be more screen time and less bonding time than you expected.
Strategize Your Sleeping Arrangement
Considering how the sleeping set up in an RV differs from your home or a hotel, you may want to give this some thought. You might not have the luxury of your home bed, but you can ensure each family member sleeps comfortably. Some RVs have bunk rooms which allow everyone to enjoy some personal space but still be comfortable. Parents will also need a separate bunk room, especially if they plan to stay up late after the kids go to bed.
Do Not Forget to Have Fun
No matter how long your days are or how far your final destination is, do not forget to have fun in between. Go mountain climbing, visit a museum, have a jet ski experience, swim in the ocean, and take as many photos as possible. Also, as much as this is family time, you may need to take some time alone and just be yourself. Being near all family members for about two weeks can be a lot. Therefore, amidst planning for everyone to have a good time, you can also arrange for everyone to enjoy some time by themselves.
Even with accurate planning for one of the best fall RV trips, things might fail to go according to plan. One person may forget to follow the cleaning schedule, or another may leave clothes scattered on the bed. The most important thing is to try and get past anything that goes wrong and just enjoy the good moments. After all, excellent planning will ensure there is a success.