Planning and preparing your RV for a travel day takes time. Give yourself the timeline flexibility to do it correctly because the last thing you want to do is rush the process. We like to go through each step methodically, slowly, and in the same order. Rushing only makes it seem you’re saving time but truly only adds stress and causes issues if something gets missed.
Start with the Inside
Start on the interior of the rig, working from front to back. Close or latch any doors, cabinets, and windows. Secure all loose items. Make sure you clear off any free-floating items that are not attached to flat surfaces such as countertops or tables. Sinks are great places to store these belongings. Do not forget to close roof vents! If left open, they can be caught in the wind and crack or break. Ask us how we know! Lastly, sweep floors of any rocks or dirt and fully close your RV slides. Be sure to watch and listen for unusual sounds or obstructions.
RV Exterior Check
Moving outside of the rig, confirm all slides are completely in and all doors and windows are closed. Hitching up might be the most critical part, so take your time. Triple check all hitching components: chains, coupler, breakaway cable, and trailer wiring. You’ll generally follow the same process if you’re hitching up a towed to a motorhome. ALWAYS do a final rig walk around to be certain the slides, windows, doors, stairs, and tires all look ready for your RV travel day.
Things WILL go wrong, that’s inevitable. Truck and trailer failures are actually very common. Engine trouble, overheating, wheel bearing issues, broken springs and shackles, and tire blowouts all come with the territory. Having the right tools for a tire blowout is very important. We recommend an impact driver and Andersen Rapid Jack. You might get lost or miss your turn, yes, even with GPS! You’ll want to check your route for low bridges, sharp turns, or steep grades. RV Parky is a useful tool for checking bridge height. At times depending on the size of your rig, you or your passenger might want to look ahead to confirm that your RV can easily fit under a gas station overhang before deciding to stop there. Our favorite tool for this is actually Google street view.
Helpful RV Travel Tips
Every RV travel day WILL take longer than you expect. Traveling with an RV takes more time than the same route would in a passenger car alone. Fuel stops, potty breaks, and driving at a slower speed are all factors that add time to RV travel days. DON’T SPEED, it’s not worth it. RVs can be harder to handle at high speeds and tire speed ratings have their limit.
Avoid plans to drive too far in one single day. We recommend the 3 3 3 RV rule: Limit your travel to 300 miles, stop every 3 hours, and plan to arrive before 3PM. A typical RV travel day will take 50% longer than what Google maps estimates.
Remember you’ll most likely have a few stops along the way. Some will be mandatory, while others will be voluntary. Many RVers will need to stop at a dump station before arriving at your next destination or returning home. Depending on the length of your drive, you’ll likely need to stop for fuel.
Pro tip: If you have a travel trailer or 5th wheel, fuel up before hitching up to leave if possible. This can save you time and energy and avoid awkward slowdowns with tricky navigating through gas stations. You’ll thank us later! Need to stock up on groceries? If possible do this task in advance too!
Interesting roadside attractions should never be skipped! This is the whole point of RVing! But we recommend trying to map them out in advance and allow for extra time to visit.
Lastly, enjoy the trip and try not to get stressed. RVing is supposed to be fun. Take your time and enjoy the open road!