Planning a trip builds excitement, and the destination itself rarely disappoints. But, actually enjoying a long road trip? You’ve got to be deliberate. Whether planning a cross-country road trip or journeying a few hours for a weekend RV staycation, the driving itself is something many overlook but shouldn’t.
How Often Should You Stop on a Road Trip?
We recommend stopping every two hours and getting out of your motorhome or tow vehicle for at least 15 minutes. As your drive time increases, the need for short breaks also increases. Try to stop for at least 45 minutes every 4.5 hours of driving. That equates to a minimum of two break hours for every nine hours of driving.
We also recommend limiting your total daily driving time to nine hours. That puts you on the road for at least 11 hours daily, provided you take the breaks at the intervals prescribed above. With a second driver, you can extend your daily driving time to 12 hours.
Still, we all have the tendency to push to a destination, especially if we’re close. However, the risks of pushing things too far include running out of fuel, reduced reaction time, and falling asleep at the wheel.
How to Make Your Road Trip More Comfortable
If you plan to tackle long trips, make your road trips more comfortable. Long drives take a toll on your body, sometimes leading to tight leg muscles or lower back pain.
Before you start out, ensure you’ve explored Good Sam Roadside Assistance. This service delivers assistance with flat tires, dead batteries, lockouts, running out of fuel, and other trip interruptions.
How Often Do You Stop On a Road Trip?
I used to be comfortable driving 8-12 hours a day, but I now try to limit my daily driving time to four or five hours. This is especially true when traveling alone on an extended road trip. I’ll stop after two to three hours for gas, snacks, and a dog walk. The next hour or two after that feels quite short.
When we asked other travelers, here’s what they had to say:
Every 2 hours or so for puppy and mama! We like to take in the sights and stretch our legs!
If it’s a true road trip, stopping is part of the journey. Enjoy your surroundings. We are always in such a hurry to get to our destination that we miss everything we’ve passed by.
In our RV, we stop only when we need gas, the driver has to use the restroom (about 4 hours), or we’re stopping for the night at a Cracker Barrel.
It depends on how much coffee I drink.
In the 5th wheel every maybe 200-250 miles? It depends on water consumption and what everyone has been eating. Lol.
Never more than 3 hours without stopping. I’m in no hurry, and the barkers need to stretch their legs.
When the dog starts crying.
When my bladder tells me.
Only for fuel. Snacks and bathroom breaks happen then.
Every time something looks interesting:)
Depends where we are going. When we drove to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort Campground, we wanted to get there ASAP, so we drove 12 hours, then stopped at a KOA and were back on the road the next day. Traveling from NJ.
How often do you stop on a road trip?
Share your thoughts on our poll below:
How to Make the Most of Your Road Trip Breaks
If it sounds like you’ll be stopping more frequently than usual (following this advice), here are some tips for making your breaks more fun:
- Sample local cuisine. Fill your belly and support local restaurants or food trucks along your route. Use review apps to find options, but try whatever looks good and what locals recommend.
- Find pet parks. This is a great way to let your furry road trip companions stretch their legs while you take a break from driving. Learn about the pet restrictions at all the national parks.
- Explore hike and bike trails. Make use of your break time to exercise or immerse yourself in nature. Try these six ways to exercise while RVing.
- Have a picnic. Find a county park or riverfront to put down a blanket, prepare a charcuterie board, and enjoy a glass of your favorite beverage.
- Discover roadside attractions. From petting zoos to alien museums, there are many peculiar attractions to explore along America’s highways.
- Stop at a Camping World. Refresh your stock of RV toilet paper or pick up replacement parts and accessories. Find Camping World locations along your road trip route.
What To Do When You Can’t Make Your Destination
Most RVers eventually encounter the unfortunate scenario of getting too tired to reach their intended destination. Even if energy levels aren’t the culprit, traffic, tire blowouts, and other delays can leave you needing an unintended stop for the night.
When you’re delayed so much that you won’t make it to your campground, here are a few tips:
- Contact the campground. Let them know you’ve been delayed but still intend to arrive the next day.
- Explore free places to stay. Apart from rest areas, you can use services like Harvest Hosts to find unique, free campsites at the last minute.
- Keep your refrigerator cool. Make sure you turn your propane on or plug into a portable generator to keep your perishables cold overnight.
Road trips are much more enjoyable in a motorhome or towable RV. You have a place to cook, relax, and sleep with you everywhere you go. Here are a few more resources to help you plan and prepare for your next RV road trip:
- 5 Ways to Save Money on Your Next RV Trip
- How to Find Your RV Travel Pace
- America’s Most Scenic Routes and Where to Camp Along the Way
Where are you heading on your next road trip? Share your destination(s) in the comments below