8 Tips For Planning an RV Road Trip You Need to Know!

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This is a guest post from Alexey. Read more about Alexey in his bio at the bottom of the post. 

Recreational vehicles (RVs) bring the comfort of a home during road trips. And RVs are ideal for road trips to the national parks! With an RV, you can simply roll up and make a home for yourself or your family in a park’s campground.   Let's talk about what you need to know for your RV Road Trip!


8 Tips For Planning an RV Road Trip You Need to Know! 11

8 Tips For Planning an RV Road Trip You Need to Know!

RVs have all the essential facilities that you need to stay comfortable and safe during a visit to a national park. However, you might not have some of the best amenities and RV hookups if you choose a park’s campground.  

Private campgrounds usually have excellent RV hookups for your RV. But you can still choose a park’s campground especially if you’re into dry camping or if you want to wake up to spectacular scenery. You only need to plan and prepare yourself well. And for that reason, here are a few things to have in mind before taking your RV to a park’s campground.

Dry Camping

Be ready for dry camping

When in a park’s RV campground, you might not have access to full RV hookups. And this is deliberate for a reason: To prevent excessive negative impact on the scenic environment in a park.  

But you could still take full advantage of the RV campgrounds in a park if you want to be closer to nature. You only need to prepare yourself and family for situations when you don’t get all the RV hookup you are accustomed to.  


Related: How to Find the Best Free Camping Sites – Free RV Camping


Your cell service might be inaccessible 

Taking the RV campground in national parks is great if you want to experience the freshness of nature. But beautiful and natural land features such as mountains, forests, and canyons might limit the network coverage by your cell service provider.  

If staying connected is one of your top priorities when camping in a national park, choose an RV campground with the network coverage. You can check your service provider’s network coverage map to know which campground to take in a park.  

RV Road Trip

You might need to make reservations in advance 

Finding an RV campground with full RV hookups in a national park might be exhausting! And it’s even worse when the camping season kicks-starts. As such, you will need to start looking for such camps earlier once you’ve known your travel and camping dates.  

And when you finally find a suitable campground, be sure to know its regulations. RV campgrounds in national parks have size limitations depending on their regulations. This means RVs of certain lengths might have a limited RV utility hookup.  

Also, they might restrict the use of generators at specific times of the day or night. You will, therefore, have to know their regulations that govern how you camp in your RV campgrounds.   


Related: 26 of the BEST Gifts for RV Living


You need to properly keep foodstuffs 

One thing you can bet on when you visit a national park is a high level of wildlife activities. And because of this, you need to properly store foods away. Fortunately, wildlife attendants will provide you with lockers and wildlife-proof food storage facilities.  

This is to prevent wildlife from consuming food leftovers which might harm them thus causing their removal or euthanization. Scented toiletries such as deodorants and toothpaste are harmful to wildlife. Also, be sure to clean your cooking site and properly dispose of the food leftovers.   

RV Travel

Know which roads might be closed 

Navigating a national park is fun, refreshing and enjoyable if you know the routes to take. But sometimes, you might come across closed roads. And this might cause navigation headaches especially if you’re driving your RV along unfamiliar roads. 

As such, you need to know all the closed roads beforehand. Check the message boards within the national park you’re in for any closed route. You can as well use driving apps such as Waze which keeps updated information on operational and closed roads.  


8 Tips For Planning an RV Road Trip You Need to Know

The weather 

The weather in the park will affect you. And it’s a factor you need to consider before setting out to camp in your favorite RV campsite in a national park. You might be uncomfortable during hot summers or cold, snowy winters. And with limited generator hours, you will not use your air conditioner at all times.  

If you need mild temperature ranges, consider camping during temperate seasons of the year. Make sure you stay updated on the weather forecast before heading out for RV camping in a national park.  


Related: 55 Absolute MUST Have RV Accessories from Full-Time RVers


The RV camping budget 

If you’re planning to go on an RV camping in a national park, you’re going to incur some costs. These costs range from grocery costs to fuel costs. Also, you will be paying some amount for the RV campsite depending on the park you’ve chosen as your destination.  

As such, you have to know the upfront cost for RV camping so you can budget for the trip. Also, you will need to know the cost of a few essentials such as toothpaste and coffee in the park stores. The cost of supplies in the park stores will be at premium price points.  

To help save a few bucks, you should stock up your RV with groceries, fuel, and propane for the entire camping period. Only buy necessities from the park stores. Besides, gas prices rise with each distance you travel towards the park.  

Make sure you get your kids their Junior Ranger Books to get the badges. 


Traveling with an RV

Camp near your “Must see” attractions 

Before visiting a national park, it’s good to make up your mind about the attractions that you’ll visit. You can’t see all the scenes and attractions in one visit. And even if you could, you will not have sufficient time for each.  

The only thing that you can do is keep a list of attractions that you will visit. And you can save the cost by a substantial amount if you camp near your “must-see” attractions. You will be consuming less gas if you do this. And your visit to the national park will go according to plan.  


RVs have made camping in national parks convenient and comfortable. With RV hookup, you can spend the night running your recreational vehicle like a normal home. But just like other RV trips, you will need to plan and prepare yourself for successful camping in a park.  

There are a few factors that you will need to consider before heading to a national park RV camping site. Fortunately, you now know a few issues to have in mind. Camping at a national park should now be hassle-free since you know how to plan and prepare for RV trips.  


More on Alexy for DIY Experts

Alexey is an electrical engineer by training and owner of Diy-Experts website. He has a passion for camping, which, mixed with his passion for electrical engineering makes him intrigued by camping tools like RV Generators. If you have a question about RV generators, ask Alexey.


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