Planning Your First RV Trip – Things to Consider

While it may not be the life for everyone, seniors frequently look forward to spending at least part of their retirement years traveling and many choose Recreational Vehicles to help cut the costs of eating out and staying in hotels while allowing for flexibility.  But be warned, the RV lifestyle can be challenging; it take lots of planning and extremely good organizational skills to execute a successful vacation.  Being mechanically handy doesn’t hurt either.

Newcomers to camping may want to rent a few different models of RVs at first to help determine their needs and get a better sense of what a long trip by RV really entails.  Especially if extended family is coming along, such as grandchildren, start off with a short trip to test the waters.  Taking an RV driving course may also be wise before setting off; at least two drivers should be able to navigate if the other becomes ill, is tired or has had too much to drink.

Planning ahead is the key to staying happy campers.  Plan your itinerary in advance and reserve spaces at campgrounds ahead, asking lots of questions about costs, amenities and restrictions.  Some parks don’t allow children or may cost more during peak season.   Always share your itinerary with family or friends and check in regularly or consider installing a GPS system.  Older adults with health problems should make sure they know where hospitals are along the route, have the ability to fill any prescriptions and are able to get cell service in case of an emergency.  And don’t forget to practice hooking up to RV dump stations and map out places to get rid of waste on your trip.  This is one of those things you do not want to get wrong!

If you do decide to make the leap and purchase an RV, don’t forget to include insurance coverage, maintenance and emergency road services in the budget.  Even with tax credits, it can often be less expensive to rent, but be sure to check your driver’s policy to ensure you don’t get caught with a huge bill for towing if something breaks down.

For more tips and information about RV travel, visit the American Association of Retired Persons(AARP) website at this link.