Once you’ve experienced the RV lifestyle, it’s tough to go back to other forms of travel. Between the freedom of the open road, the hands-on experiences you gain along the way, and the cost savings that come with traveling in your vacation home, RVing really can become a way of life.
But just like flying, cruising, or Airbnb-ing, there are certain tricks you can use to get even more out of your RV relaxation. So whether it’s your first time in the captain’s chair or your fortieth, these travel tips will help make your next excursion the best one yet.
Tip #1: Plan Your Destination Well in Advance
Make your campground and RV park reservations well in advance of your trip, especially if you’re traveling during peak season. As demand rises, reasonably priced spaces become harder to find.
If you’re visiting a site linked to a specific park or destination, consider staying at a campground further away. While it may be easier to stay in close proximity, it’s much cheaper to set up at a campground just a little farther away.
Tip #2: Pick the RV that’s Right for Your Group
Most larger RVs operate on diesel fuel, which can drive up your operating costs considerably. So renting the biggest RV available for only two people might not make good financial sense. Generally, the cost for renting a smaller RV — which can be filled with regular fuel — is only $100 per night. So if you’re not traveling with a large group, a smaller RV will be better on mileage and on your wallet.
Tip #3: Don’t Forget to Pack the Essentials
When camping in an RV you have all the luxuries of home, including a bed, kitchen, and bathroom. Allstar rental RV’s come standard with all camping and RV necessities, including dishware, utensils, blankets, tools, spare tire, and everything else you need to have an amazing trip.
If you’re traveling in your own RV, or borrowing one from a friend, remember that everyday items aren’t always available at campsites or surrounding stores. So be sure to bring plenty of water, food, and blankets. If you’re barbequing, don’t forget to bring a lighter, an extra propane tank, and cooking utensils such as spatulas, roasting sticks (hello marshmallows), tongs, and a grill brush.
Other camping essentials include bug spray, lanterns, extra garbage bags, portable chargers, and a first aid kit.
Tip #4: Maximize Your Fuel Efficiency
When vacationing by RV, the cost of fuel will probably be your single greatest expense. So maximizing your fuel economy is a great way to reduce the overall cost of your vacation.
No matter what kind of vehicle you’re operating, fuel economy is directly related to terrain and driving habits. The faster you drive, the more quickly you’ll use up gas. In terms of terrain, mountainous areas and steep grades suck up fuel fast. Whereas, if you’re driving the speed limit on a flat surface, you’ll have the maximum fuel economy.
The weight of your vehicle is another important factor, so packing lighter always helps. If you’re towing a vehicle, you can burn as much as 65-70% more fuel. This might cause you to reconsider whether your tow car is truly essential to the success of your next trip.
Running the air conditioning also has a big impact on fuel efficiency, so if it’s only 70 degrees out, roll down the windows and enjoy the fresh air. After all, that’s what summer is for! If it’s hot outside, and you have multiple zone air conditioning, shut off the ones you’re not using.
Most importantly, make sure your RV is well maintained. Tuning and servicing — especially the air filter and oil changes — is of utmost importance in achieving the best fuel economy possible.
Tip #5: Monitor Your Spending
The worst day of many vacations often comes with the arrival of the credit card bill, days or weeks after the trip has actually ended. To avoid this delayed sticker-shock, plan a budget before you leave on vacation and stick with it along the way.
Start by dividing your trip into segments — excursions, gifts & souvenirs, food & dining, entertainment, transportation — then set a corresponding budget for each. The goal here is to avoid impulse spending.
Whenever possible, pre-plan and pre-pay for your excursions and activities in advance. If you allow yourself to get caught up in the moment, you could come to regret those impulse purchases when the bill comes due. After all, making decisions with a few rum-runners in you is probably not a prudent plan.
During your vacation, monitor your daily spending carefully. Know exactly how much cash you’re leaving home with and what credit card you’ll be using on your trip. Even though paperless receipts are convenient, ask for paper copies with every purchase you make. At the end of each day, count your cash and add up all your receipts. This will keep you aware of just how much you’re spending day-to-day and make it easier to stick to your budget.
Allstar Coaches is Here to Make You an RVing Expert
The call of the open road is real, and once you notch your first RV trip, you’ll be hooked. But as with many things in life, there can be a learning curve to this mode of travel. Allstar Coaches is here to share the experiences we’ve gained from years of traveling the country and help you get the most from your RV purchase, rental, and service. Contact us today (866) 838-4465 to let us know how we can serve you.