How To Easily Plan and Organize A Stress-Free RV Camping Trip

camper trailer campfire

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**updated 2/4/20

How do you plan and organize everything for an upcoming RV Road Trip? 


Let’s face it…packing the trailer, packing the right amount of food, making sure you have everything you need for the dog, kids, husband AND yourself! There is no doubt—it can be stressful! 


 And...Camping should not be stressful!  Use my tips and download my Free Weekly RV Trip Planner to make your RV camping trip fun, organized and stress-free!

Tips For Planning A Successful RV Road Trip

If you’re a New RVer and are just starting out on your RV Adventures, you might be thinking about everything that needs to be done before you hit the road in your new RV!

Yes – it’s exciting!

Yes – it can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be!

And Yes – it DOES get easier!

Here are my tips to help you easily plan a Stress- Free RV Camping Trip EVERY time!  You’ll be sitting by the fire and say to yourself, “That Was Easy!”


  Easy Tips To Plan A Stress Free RV Road Trip  

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience which means that if you click on one of the links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Please read my Disclosure Policy for more information.  


How To Plan Your RV Road Trip

There’s nothing worse than on “Leave Day” you’re running around for last-minute items. 

You haven’t gone to the store yet, or maybe you didn’t put things that you “borrowed” from the RV to use in your house back into the RV! 


Yes, I am guilty of that!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back into the trailer for my olive oil or ketchup because I was cooking in the house and ran out!)  


Heading Out For Our 4 Day Camping Trip  


I am always “borrowing” from the trailer with full intentions of replacing it before our next trip. 

Then, as I’m going over my checklist of items for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc. I realize – oops!  I still have the olive oil in the house! It happens!


Related Reading:  You might enjoy reading my blog post The Best RV Kitchen and Pantry Must-Haves For Your RV


But, with a little careful planning, you can make “Leave Day” stress-free!  

Sure, we usually leave the ice for the morning of departure, but for the most part, we have it down to a system that seems to work every time! (Maybe my years as a corporate event planner helps a little too…)!  


Related Reading:  If you want to know an easy way to organize the back of your truck, you can read my article How To Organize Your RV Camping Items in the Back of The Truck.

  10 Things To Put In The Back of the Truck  




Tips To Easily Plan Your RV Camping Trip


  1. First, back into the Date & Time you want to leave.   

As an example, let’s say our next RV Road Trip will be Friday – Monday.  If it is during the summer, all I have to do is think about:



How many hours to our destination:  _____ (our answer for this trip is 3.5)


What time is check-in at the campground:  _____  (our answer is 1:00 p.m.)


So, our approximate time to plan to leave is 9:30 a.m.  (1:00 p.m. – 3.5 hr = 9:30 a.m.)


2. Using another scenario, let’s say this camping trip is during the school year, so we can’t leave until 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.


So, I have to look at it a slightly different way:


How many hours to our destination:  ________  (3.5)

What time can we leave:  ________  (3:30 p.m.)


3:30 p.m. + 3.5 = 7:00 p.m. (or later on a Friday night!)


This tells me that I won’t arrive until 7:00 p.m. (or later) and we may be setting up in the dark (if it is in the Fall).


For this trip, I need to keep an eye on the latest time we can check-in (which is 9:00 for this campground).


I think I’m going to have to ask my husband to try to leave work a little earlier because there is nothing worse than setting up in the dark!




Have you heard of the 3:30 rule?  This has been a great guideline for us!





  3.  Now that I know time will be limited on Friday, I need to decide a few more things:


Do we have time to pack the RV/trailer on the day of departure?  ___ y   ___ n

Do we have time to hitch up the trailer?  ___y  ___n


(For those of you in an RV – no need to think about this one … just get in and GO!)


For this trip, my answer is NO to each of these questions.  I want to leave at 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, so “no” I don’t have time to pack the trailer on Friday.


It takes us approximately one (1) hour to hitch up, go through our checklist, make sure everything is secure before we head out on the road. 


My answer to the second question is also “no” because I just want to get into the truck and head to the campground!


  OK….No Stress!  I Just need to plan my week! 


Here’s a Free Weekly RV Trip Planner I’ve Created For You!


You Can Download The Weekly Planner Below! You can print out as many pages as you need (they will be blank of course!)

  Download Your Free Weekly Trip Planner Below      


Weekly Plan - How To Easily Plan and Organize Your RV Trip Sample  

As you can see, since we have little time on Friday to do much, I have to plan out my entire week to spread it out so I am not stressed!  


Monday – I wash the bedding (if needed).  


Tuesday – I shop for my pantry items and then put those away in the trailer  


Wednesday – Turn on your refrigerator (if you turn it off in between trips). 


It takes a couple of days for the fridge to get nice and cold.


Today, I’m also going to shop for my meat then wrap in foil and put away in the freezer in the house. 


I don’t put this in the trailer because if the electricity goes out — which happened to us— well, you can imagine what happened!


I also shop for my other grocery items – i.e. yogurt, milk, eggs, cheese etc.  


Thursday – Pack the trailer with food, meat, bedding, towels (if they aren’t already in the trailer) & clothes Hitch up the trailer. 


Check lights, brakes, signals… Fix sandwiches for the cooler we carry inside the truck. 


We’ve had this 3.5-hour trip turn into a 5-hour trip and thank goodness I always pack sandwiches for the truck!  


Friday – Today’s the Day!  


Pick up the ice for the cooler on the way home. Pack the cooler(s).  


Head to the Campground!  

We Made it!!!


Camping In The Catskills Of New York


Here we are at Sleepy Hollow Campgrounds, Phoenicia, New York!!

Our site was right along the Esopus Creek.  We had a lot of fun watching the kayaks going by!

Sleepy Hollow Campgrounds  


Check Out My FREE RV Departure Checklist!  Never forget anything at the campground again!

PLUS You get a FREE RV Trip Planner!

RV Departure Checklist and RV Trip Planner      


As you can see, we were able to leave a little early so we could enjoy Friday afternoon at the Campground!  It was a beautiful day in the Catskills of New York! 

This happens to be one of our favorite campgrounds!  I’m sure you can see why!

  Sleepy Hollow Campgrounds Fall 2018  


But, unfortunately, the weekend is over…it’s time to plan what time we need to leave the campground!  I’m pretty sure Buddy is NOT ready to leave!!


Buddy at Sleepy Hollow Campgrounds


RV Departure Checklist

  On The Day You Leave The Campground…Remember These Things

You need time to:

  • Break down the campsite

  • Take the garbage and recyclables to the dumpster

  • Make sure the inside of the RV/trailer is secure

  • Hitch up and check tires, check signals, doors locked, stairs up!

  • If you’re not at a full-hookup site, you need time to head to the dump station (and on holiday weekends there is usually a line if you don’t time it right!)


Related Reading:  You might enjoy reading my post The BEST RV Departure Checklist For New RVers


My Special Advice To You —Take Your Time – Don’t Rush

We have forgotten to close the cover on the bed of the truck and merrily started driving down the road with the back of the truck open.

We forgot our Water Pressure gauge at one campsite because a neighbor came over to say “Goodbye” and we were distracted.


We forgot to secure the bathroom door, put the antenna down, left the fan open, lock the side storage door…


Make an RV Departure Checklist & Check it Twice!

I know you can do it!  Don’t be stressed! 

Use the Weekly RV Trip Planner to schedule your week and you’ll be All Set to Go Camping!  


Sleepy Hollow Campgrounds    

Next time we will discuss RV Meal Planning!

How do you plan for meals when you’re not even sure how many people are going to show up at the campground?  

Sometimes we have six (6) people camping when the kids come, and sometimes…it’s just me, my husband Tom, and Buddy!

How do you know how much to bring?  

Don’t Forget To Download your FREE Weekly RV Trip Planner

You can print out as many pages as you need!


Download Your Free Weekly Trip Planner Below      



I would Love for you to join my Email List!



Happy Camping! Safe Travels!


How To Easily Plan Your Next RV Camping Trip  


Looking to get even More Organized?


Take a Look at the RV Camping Checklists Bundle!




RV Camping Checklists New


Learn More About The RV Checklists Bundle


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  1. Thank you Lori! This will be so helpful in getting ready for our first trip with the camper. It’s coming right at a work deadline for me so I need to be uber organized so this is a stress free trip for us all.

  2. I noticed the photo with your bikes on the front of your trailer, I am interested in what kind of rack that is that you put on the front of the trailer for taking your bikes with.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Gail! We have a Jack-it 2 Bike rack and we love it. We are fortunate that it was one of the “extras” that came with our travel trailer. You can see better photos of the bike rack where I link to it in my blog post 5 New Favorite Must-Haves To Take RV Camping. I tried to add the link but I guess I don’t know how to in comments! Sorry! Thanks for stopping by! Happy Camping & Safe Travels!

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