Last Updated on June 15, 2021 by Lori
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!
Camping should not be stressful! Use these RV Trip Planning Tips to make your camping trip fun, organized, and stress-free!
Best Tips For Planning An RV Camping Trip
If you’re a new RVer and are just starting out on your RV Camping 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!”
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 The Best RV Trips
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!)
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 your family RV Trip 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.
Tips To Easily Plan Your RV Camping Trip
1. Back into the Date & Time you want to leave for the campground
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!)
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!!!
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!
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!
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!!
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
Best RV Travel Advice To New RV Owners
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!
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!
RV Travel Articles You Will Enjoy
I would Love for you to join my Email List!
Happy Camping! Safe Travels!
Looking to get even More Organized?
WHAT IF YOU HAD A TRAVEL PLANNER THAT ORGANIZED EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE?
Getting Organized For Your RV Camping Trips Has Never Been Easier With
The RV Travel Planner!
The RV Travel Planner Includes:
- RV Toolkit Checklist
- RV Maintenance Checklist
- Travel Bucket List
- Campground Research Log
- 12-Month Calendar
- Weekly Schedule
- Daily Schedule
- Campground Reservation Log
- Weekly RV Trip Planner
- RV Trip itinerary
- Weekly Meal Planner
- 2-Week meal Planner
- Birthdays & Anniversaries
- Emergency Contacts
- Password Log
- Travel Budget
- Weekly Expenses
- RV Campground Journal Log
Learn More About The RV Travel Planner!