Vacation is about exploring somewhere new and escaping the rigors of everyday life, and what better way to explore than in a camper or motor home. The comforts of home and the open road combine to create the ultimate RV vacation experience. Road warriors take advantage of good food, ultimate freedom and an inexpensive mode of transportation. Oftentimes after a trip filled with exotic terrain and fun activities, the road-trip jokes and conversations leave a lasting impression. RV traveling emphasizes comradery and leads to lifelong memories.
Before you hit the highway, school yourself on these time-tested road rules.
RV Vacation Rules:
Spring for Insurance: Whether your renting an RV or driving your own, vehicle insurance will cover your RV in the case of an accident on the road. Be careful inside, however, many road insurance providers don’t cover interior damage.
Inspect the RV: You can’t eliminate the risk of a breakdown, but checking the RV’s tire pressure and liquid levels will start your trip with the right foot forward. Fill up tires to their ideal pressure, which is listed on the tire wall, and check that oil and coolant levels are stable.
Plan for the Worst: Hopefully, you never need to use it, but a thorough medical kit is a necessity when traveling cross country. Basic items such bandages, ibuprofen and and gauze should be included as well as more involved items like an EpiPen and burn relief ointment.
Map Your Stops: Positioned near some of the most beautiful terrain in the U.S., campgrounds offer a great opportunity to meet like-minded travelers. The wind may blow you in a unique direction, but planned stops will help you make the most of your trip. GocampingAmerica.com lists information on RV parks across the U.S.
Don’t Pack Too Much: Only pack enough clothes and food for a few days. You can do laundry at campgrounds and buy food in towns you visit. A camper may feel like home, but that doesn’t mean you have to bring your entire wardrobe.
Don’t Overbuy: When you purchase souvenirs, take care not to overcrowd your motor home; you can ship large items home.
Limit Driving: Try not to drive more than 400 miles each day. Take the time to stop and enjoy sites. Too much driving dulls your senses and increases risk plus, vacation is about enjoying the ride, so why not take a look around?
Plan Meals: Plan your meals as best as you can. Most RVs come equipped with a limited kitchen, so it’s possible to stock a freezer with meat and produce. Take advantage of grilling at camp locations as much as possible to avoid lingering smells in the camper and to avoid clutter.
Look for Bargains: Search the Internet for inexpensive local campgrounds.
Travel Off-Season: Plan your trip during less popular vacation times for big savings and less-crowded attractions.
The time is now to start planning your cross-country road trip adventure. Take the time to map out your route and find fun and unusual attractions and sites to visit along the way as you explore Americas roads.
Post by Dee Paulson
A retired world history teacher, Dee travels the world and shares cultural and political viewpoints in her stories online. She visits Cairo and Italy every year.
Check out this article excerpt from The News Journal in Delaware. We know gas prices can make an impact on vacation choices, but at Jellystone Parks we strive to provide a number of free amenities with your stay – from playgrounds to swimming pools.
RV Owners willing to pay in order to get away
By Dan Shortridge
Nationally, more than half of RV owners surveyed this spring by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association said they’ll be going camping more often than last year, with many taking more frequent, shorter vacations. Just 9 percent said they’ll go camping less this summer.
And the trade group expects overall RV sales to rise to 263,100 this year, up 8.6 percent. That’s still a far cry from the 390,500 units sold before the crash in 2006 but is a nice rebound from the 165,700 units sold in 2009.
“When gas prices rise, they don’t stop RVing,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “We will face some headwinds such as gas prices and uncertain economic factors, but overall, we have momentum now that will help us continue the recovery that began last year.”
This comes as good news to local RV dealers and to the operators of RV campgrounds.
A strong summer
Delaware’s campgrounds — public and private — reported being at or nearly at capacity for the Memorial Day weekend with visitors from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland and are looking forward to a strong summer.
The RV trade group’s survey found 53 percent of RV owners planning to drive more this summer, with 65 percent planning “mini-vacations.”
To trim travel costs, they plan to vacation more efficiently — driving slower, packing lighter to reduce weight and turning off home utilities while they’re traveling.
Even with gas nearing the $4 mark in Delaware, they contend it’s still cheaper to RV.
According to a 2008 study for the RV trade group, a 238-mile trip from Pittsburgh to Lancaster, Pa., would cost about $840 for the owner of a medium-sized RV, including a monthly stipend covering the purchase price; the comparable trip in a car, staying at hotels, would cost about $1,050. The $1 jump in gas prices from a year ago would add $17 to the cost of fuel for the owner of that RV owner and $6 for the car owner. Gas mileage varies on the size of the RV from 6 mph to 12 mph.
But talk to RV campers and they’ll tell you the decision is less about money than lifestyle — the freedom and flexibility they have to go where they want, when they want and how they want.
People ‘still want to get away’
Brent Fannin, whose family owns the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park campground in Milford, DE said its bookings are up more than 30 percent this year, with more than 200 of its 277 sites full for the Memorial Day weekend.
Fannin said it’s far enough inland to be away from the hustle and bustle of the resorts but also close enough to Rehoboth and other beach towns that visitors can go to the outlets or boardwalk. Many bigger RVs tow a small car so campers can travel while leaving the camper on site.