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Riding the Asphalt Ribbon: RV Trip Planning Pointers for Perfectionists

Everything you need to know about renting a Campervan in New Zealand. Photo CC thedailyenglishshow

Something is nagging you – right there in that back of your mind. Do you feel it? It’s that feeling that you forgot something.

But, what is it? Oh great. Now you can’t concentrate on anything else until you figure it out.

Do You Have Enough To Eat?

Seems like something no one would forget, right? But, it is easy to forget some of the details. So make sure you head out with these supplies:

  • Cups and mugs
  • Plates and bowls
  • Utensils
  • Knives
  • Mixing bowls and spoons
  • Pots and pans
  • Matches
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Dish soap
  • Sponges, towels, and rags
  • Tupperware, Ziploc bags, and aluminum foil
  • Bottle openers
  • Can openers
  • Condiments
  • Cooking oil
  • Whatever food you want to bring (make sure there’s enough for everyone).

If you’re planning on cooking meals out on the road, make sure you have filled up your propane tanks, or that you have access to electricity for cooking. You should also take into consideration the types of foods that are easy or difficult to make, too. How much time you have to cook will influence the types of cooking products and gear you take with you.

If you can prepare some food in advance, that will also make a big difference since you won’t need to take a lot of extra cooking supplies.

Do You Have Mapped Directions?

Map out your directions before you leave. Have at least two copies with you – one paper and one that’s saved to your laptop computer or tablet, so that you don’t have to rely on an Internet connection.

Of course, you can (and probably should), use GPS as the primary navigation tool. However, if you end up roaming through an area where wireless service is spotty or non-existent, the offline and hardcopy version of your map will help you get to your destination(s).

Is Your RV In Tip-Top Shape?

If you’re in the market for a new RV, you should check out If you already have an RV, make sure it’s in tip-top shape. Get it serviced before you head out, and don’t plan on any little maintenance or repair on the road.

Your trip is already complicated by the fact that you have to plan out eating and food preparation, washing your clothes, and driving a huge mobile house.

Photo CC by James West.

Do You Have Any Idea How Much You’ll Spend?

Make a budget. Once you have that in place, it’s much easier to have fun. You won’t worry about whether you can afford to eat out, how many times you will, and how many groceries you need to buy.

You should also put some money into an emergency fund, just in case something happens to you out there on the road. Book your reservations for parks in advance, if you can, and make sure the campgrounds you’re visiting (if you are planning a trip to a campground) has all of the utilities you’ll need for your trip.

A budget doesn’t have to be exact, but it should give you a general idea of how much you can spend. Set a soft budget amount, and then a higher hard “ceiling” on your spending. The soft budget is an amount you want to plan for. The hard ceiling is an amount you can’t exceed.

Some will argue that having a soft budget is a waste of time because most people will spend up to their hard budget 100 percent of the time. And, for some people, this is true. The soft budget needs to be taken seriously though. Its purpose is to control spending. If you view your soft budget as the ideal budget, you’ll be more inclined to stick to it.

The ceiling is an amount of money you will spend which will leave you with no emergency funds or anything extra – not a very good place to be.

Are You Protected From These RV Catastrophes?

Almost anything can happen out there in the wild. What if the RV floods? What if you have a kitchen fire? What if the RV is stolen, or what if someone breaks in? What do you do? Fortunately, there’s an app for that. OK, not exactly the kind app you were thinking about. It’s called RV insurance.

Buy RV insurance. Call up your local auto insurance agent, and ask about a policy – at least for the duration of your trip. Most people require at least some form of insurance just to cover liabilities and to protect passengers in the vehicle.

If you’re financing your RV, the bank or lender could require more substantial coverage than what you would normally carry on your portable house. You’ll often be given the opportunity to find an insurance policy that matches up to the bank’s requirements. But, if you don’t do this, the lender may include a policy with the purchase of your RV – adding the policy premium to the monthly loan payment.

If you’re renting an RV, it’s much simpler: take out a policy to pay for covered damages that might happen while you’re out there on the road.

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Howard Tisdale has clocked a lot of miles on roadways having worked in various driving positions. He also spends a lot of time in RVs lately and he enjoys sharing his ideas online.

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