There is something about the open road that appeals to people’s instinctive nature. Whether it’s the sense of freedom associated with travel or experiencing new faces and places, a cross country road trip is a dream vacation for many. Although there are several modes of suitable transport, nothing comes close to an RV when it comes to a long journey. It’s not only capable of making a cross-country trip, but it can also keep you safe and sheltered along the way.
Many factors must be taken into account when preparing your RV for a cross country road trip. Two of the most important considerations are safety and organization. From sourcing top-rated RV covers to planning your pit-stops, it’s important to prepare before you depart. Here are some essential tips on preparing your RV for anyone who’s getting ready to embark on a cross country road trip.
1. Perform a pre-trip maintenance check.
Safety while traveling is paramount. Your RV must be in top condition to ensure your safety on the road. Similar to regular car maintenance, performing a pre-trip check on your RV gives you peace of mind that everything is in working order. If you discover that something is wrong, you can get repairs done before the trip.
If you aren’t mechanically savvy, hire a qualified mechanic to inspect the vehicle. If you know your way around your RV, here are a few things to look out for.
- Tire conditions, including checking for the tread depth, air pressure, cracks, punctures, and damage
- Monitor essential fluid levels, such as oil, transmission, steering, brake, coolants, lubricants, and washer
- Check on the condition of the engine battery
- Inspect your windshield and windshield wipers
- Check seals around doors and windows for leaks
If your RV is due a service within a few weeks of your trip, get a tune-up done ahead of time.
2. Pack for emergencies.
Although it may be the last thing on your mind before a pleasant get-away, it’s important to pack for emergencies. Equip your RV with at least two emergency kits:
Emergency breakdown kit
No matter how well you take care of a vehicle, there is no guarantee that it won’t break down. Whether you get a flat tire or run into engine trouble, it’s always useful to have an emergency breakdown kit. While it might not provide a permanent solution to your RV problems, a breakdown kit can get you out of a tricky situation. Most hardware stores or auto sales shops sell pre-assembled kits. However, you can also put together your own. Here are some items to include:
- Jump leads
- Motor oil
- Engine coolant
- Tool kit
- Tire puncture repair kit
- Portable car jack
- Light reflectors
First aid kit
When you’re spending your days exploring the landscape, relaxing by a lake, or sightseeing, it’s easy to slip, fall, or cut yourself accidentally. Having a first aid kit on-board allows you to deal with any such occurrence quickly. Keep a first aid kit in your RV at all times, and make sure to check on your supply levels regularly. Your kits should include bandages, compression dressings, disinfectant, gloves, antihistamines, Ibuprofen, gauze, and tweezers.
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3. Create a schedule.
Organization is essential in planning a road trip, but you should allow for some flexibility. It’s difficult to know how your body will react to frequent long journeys. Some days you might not feel like clocking in the distance that you had planned. It’s also common for people to discover unexpected gems on their road trip. Allow yourself the freedom to fall in love with an area and spend additional time taking it all in.
4. Use technology to make the most of traveling.
While there is an element of romance involved in an old-school road trip, you should take advantage of technology when preparing. Before the trip, you can use a smartphone, computer, or mobile device to map your route, research locations, and plan activities. There are plenty of great apps to help with this. Install a satellite navigation system in your RV to enhance your driving experience. In most areas, you can use your phone as a navigation device; however, you might lose service along specific routes. A satnav is more reliable in these scenarios.
5. Cater to cuddly companions.
In theory, bringing a pet on an RV road trip seems simple. In reality, taking them with you requires some forward-thinking. First, you must create a checklist detailing all their primary needs, such as food, bedding, toys, dishes, bowls, and clean-up equipment.
Next, make sure to allocate specific areas in the RV for your pets to stay. This helps keep you organized and prevents them from being a distraction. Finally, you need to confirm that your destinations are pet-friendly. If you’re planning to stop at a campsite, hotel, motel, or Airbnb, call ahead and check that they welcome pets.
6. Plan for the weather.
Pay attention to the weather forecast at every stop along your journey. A cross country trip is a long one, meaning you’re likely to encounter some significant changes. Try to plan, so you’re driving in the best possible conditions.
7. Stick to a budget.
Fuel takes up a significant portion of your budget for a cross country RV road trip. You may also come across tolls and unforeseen costs. Estimate the cost of your trip and budget accordingly.
You can enhance your fuel efficiency with careful driving techniques such as slowly accelerating and braking and avoiding speeding. Changing your air filters and tuning the engine can also help cut down fuel costs on a long trip.
It’s almost time to hit the road!
There are few better ways to discover the beauty of your country than taking a road trip. Through thorough planning and the right preparation, your RV is the perfect travel companion. Remember to prioritize safety and stay organized where possible. Most importantly, savor every moment and appreciate what the road has to offer.