10 Tips for Surviving Long RV Road Trips 3292

RV road trips are a great and affordable way to travel! You can take the whole family, have all the comforts of home, and there are many great camping destinations to choose from!

But the truth is, long drives and travel days can be pretty tiresome. We’ve got all the tips you need, though, to survive long RV road trips so you can sit back, enjoy the ride, and arrive at your destination safely.

1. Safety first

Be sure to pack a roadside emergency kit, check your tires, and walk around and inspect your RV before you leave.

Leave information with a loved one regarding your route, estimated arrival day and time, and anything else relevant to your travel plans. Keep in touch with that person throughout your trip to inform them of your location and any changes in plans.

It’s common to lose cell phone service as your driving along and if something were to happen, you’d want to make sure someone was aware and could send help.

2. Prepare healthy snacks and drink lots of water

It’s tempting to load up on junk food to help make the drive more enjoyable and pass the time. It’s also convenient to get fast food while on the road. While you can definitely enjoy these foods, we like to also bring along healthy snack options. Be sure to drink plenty of water too—stay hydrated.

3. Stop every couple hours

It can sometimes be hard to pull off every 2-3 hours when you’d rather keep going and get to your destination sooner. But, you don’t want to push it too much, which can lead to burnout and exhaustion.

Allow yourself breaks to step out, get fresh air, and recharge as often as possible. It’s a good idea to take shifts driving, if possible, too. While driving doesn’t seem like that much work, it can wear you down quicker than you realize. You don’t want to risk falling asleep or mentally checking out and losing concentration while on the road.

4. Exercise or stretch during breaks

Go for a walk or run every chance you get while on a long road trip, especially if the trip is a couple days long. Moving and stretching your body is important to avoid cramping, soreness, or stiffness.

You don’t want to show up to your vacation with an achy body and not be able to fully enjoy the activities you’ve planned. Moving your body can also help you stay alert and energized so you can power through!

5. Gas up often

Don’t let your tank go much below half a tank. We become so accustomed to driving our cars until we’re close to empty, knowing we can usually find a gas station within a few miles.

However, driving longer distances, you’re likely to pass through rural areas where gas stations can be harder to come by. You also can’t always go off your vehicle’s typical mileage per gallon, as varying speeds, wind and other factors can greatly impact your gas mileage. Again, you can’t guarantee that you will have cell phone service either, so running out of gas could mean you’d be stranded until someone stopped to help.

6. Entertain yourself to pass the time!

Whether you listen to an audio book, sing along to your favorite tunes, or play the classic road trip games, you’ll want to find ways of keeping everyone in the car occupied. Don’t forget your furry family members too. Give them bones and toys to avoid boredom. Nothing makes a road trip feel long like being bored or having cranky passengers!

7. Try not to drive past dark

Many people think that driving at night is best for road trips because there’s less traffic, and the passengers can sleep to pass the time. However, driving tired is dangerous and dark roads mean reduced visibility. Wildlife also tends to be more active at night and harder to spot on the side of the road, increasing your chances of hitting an animal and causing an accident. It’s important after a long day of driving to rest and get a good night’s sleep so don’t hesitate to pull over and catch some z’s.

8. Give yourself an extra day or two

Don’t cut it close by assuming your road trip will be as long as the GPS suggests. Tack on at   least one extra day to your agenda. Weather can interfere with travel, things could go wrong with your vehicle, or you could come to an unexpected road closure or other delay. It’s better to have extra time than be stressed about being behind schedule and rushing, which is never a safe way to travel. Road trips are much more enjoyable when you can take your time.

9. Double check your route ahead of time

Don’t just type in your destination as you get in your car and mindlessly follow the directions on your GPS. Driving an RV is very different than a car and the fastest route isn’t always the best route. Popular cell phone navigation apps may not take into account weight limits, low clearance bridges, hair pin turns, and other factors that are critical for safe RV travel. There are RV specific resources you can use to check your route, such as GPS units, and road atlases.

10. Enjoy it!

Sometimes it’s more about the journey and not just the destination. Allow yourself time to pull off, enjoy sights and detours, take photos, and make the trip memorable. Your vacation should start the moment you get in the car, not when you arrive.

We hope these tips prepare you to have an safe and enjoyable road trip! Let us know if we missed any tips in the comments!

Lindsay McKenzie Contributor
Lindsay McKenzie travels full-time in her Winnebago Navion with her husband Dan and their 2 dogs. Originally from Colorado, they have been seeking adventure together for 10 years now and have done a lot of international traveling, including living in Costa Rica. They took the leap into full time RVing after experiencing life-altering news. They viewed the news as a life “detour” and started a travel and inspirational blog called Follow Your Detour. Lindsay has grown more passionate about pursuing her dreams and a leading a fulfilling life, while inspiring others to do the same. She loves that RVing allows her to be in nature and do more of what she loves. You can usually find her on the river fly fishing, hiking to sunset spots, or at a local brewery. (All photos by Lindsay McKenzie, except where noted.)

2 Comments

  1. I am 61 and wife60 we are thinking about renting a RV for 3 weeks this will be our first time how many hour’s should I drive before taking a break

    1. I say 2 hours give or take. Watch the gas too. don’t go much under half a tank. Then you have choices. Less and you chance getting in a pinch.

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