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If you’re longing for a vacation but not comfortable getting on a plane just yet, an RV trip may be the perfect option. RV trips are a great way to get out into nature and escape the crowds. If you’ve never RVed before, it can seem a bit intimidating, but just a bit of knowledge can help prepare you for the trip of a lifetime! Here are 5 things you need to know before you take an RV trip.

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Know the different types and where to rent

One of the most important things to consider is which style of RV to take on vacation. There are two main types of rigs:

  • Motorhomes you drive—including larger A class models, smaller C class models and vans
  • Towable trailers you pull behind a car or truck – including fifth wheels, travel trailers, toy haulers, teardrops and pop up campers

Assuming you don’t already own one of these types of RVs, there are plenty of places where you can rent one, including directly through Travelocity (in some areas of the country). Just click the Vacation Rentals tab, and then enter “RV” in the Property Name field. If you can’t find any available in your area or your destination, there are corporate companies that offer fleets of RV rentals, or you can rent directly from other RV owners on peer-to-peer lending platforms where you’ll find a large variety of rigs.

Write down your dimensions

Once you have your rig picked out, it’s important to know the length, height and width of the RV. Low hanging power lines, lower clearance on bridges or tunnels, and twisty mountain roads can all be disastrous to new RVers if you don’t know how long or tall your rig is.

Take a bumper to bumper measurement of your RV to get the full length dimension. Then measure from the ground to the topmost vent on the roof for the height. Write out the length, width and height of your rig on a notecard or sticky note and keep it on your dashboard where you can easily reference it. That way if you come across a low bridge or a restricted length sign, you’ll know instantly if your RV fits or not.

To make sure you don’t accidentally end up on a road with a low clearance bridge, download RV travel apps like Copilot or RV/trucking GPS maps. These apps let you enter your rig’s dimensions directly into their platforms and they will calculate the safest and most RV friendly routes to your destination.

Build in extra drive time

If it takes you three hours to drive somewhere in your car, it will always take longer when driving an RV. This is especially true when going up hills or through mountain passes. You’ll also be stopping for gas more often, so include extra time in your schedule. Rushing isn’t safe or fun, but if you plan extra time on driving days you’ll arrive to your destination safely, calmly and ready to enjoy your vacation.

Make reservations in advance

Summer is the busy season for RVing, and it’s highly recommended to make reservations for your site. Weekends and holidays tend to book up first, so make sure you reserve your RV sites early. Travelocity makes it easy to search for RV parks and book your sites. Simply enter your destination and the dates of your trip to search hundreds of RV parks and book right from Travelocity’s website. This way you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have a place to park your RV before you even leave for your trip.

Understand camping in National Parks

One of the best reasons to take an RV trip is to visit the National Parks. But they typically offer only a few RV camping spots inside the actual parks, and these tend to book up well in advance.

But not to worry, there are plenty of RV parks right outside most National Parks where you can stay. You can book your reservations for these RV sites directly on Travelocity. And to make your trip even easier, you can also purchase entrance tickets to your desired National Park on Travelocity before you leave. This way you’ll have more time to enjoy your day at the park instead of waiting in line at the entrance.

RVing is a wonderful way to see the country. You can travel to some amazing places and see sites that you wouldn’t normally visit on a vacation to the city. We hope these tips help you feel more comfortable when planning and taking your RV trip!


Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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