Planning your RV camping trip should be easy and fun. Just like making your delicious cup of coffee in the vehicle. Get the pro tips for your next vacation.
So the RV or Recreational Vehicle for you, is a motor vehicle that includes living spaces designed for accommodation and longer travel time. Types of RVs include motorhomes, campervans, caravans, fifth-wheel trailers, popup campers and truck campers.
This post is your manual of how to properly and simply utilize your RV for the best vacation! If you landed here, but you feel more like glamping on your next trip instead of RVing, check out this post.
1. Choosing your RV
Depending on how many people are in your party, you can choose an RV to reflect that number. The wonderful thing about RV’s is that you can bring the whole family along and not have to worry about the logistics of sleeping outside or getting the appropriate camping gear for a trip—all you need is food and gas!
The RV’s are usually furnished with kitchens, bathrooms, and a bedroom or folding bed. If you are wondering where to acquire an RV, the internet is your best friend here. Some online stores include Camping World, Giant RV, or online marketplaces like RV Trader. If you want to rent an RV for a short time vacation, RV Share will allow you to rent it directly from the owner for a fee per night.
If you are wondering "do I need a special license to drive an RV?" Well, this highly depends on the state you want to drive in. Check out this list for all the states RV license requirements.
2. Where to go?
After considering if you need a special license or not, you should also consider how far is your desired location from your RV pick up spot and if there is a dedicated parking place in reach. It also good to know whether you need a special permit to park your RV at the camping ground or if there is an additional nightly charge. We prepared this 4 RV-friendly locations list you can consider as well:
Red Bluff, CA
The northern California city is located 131 miles from Sacramento, the state's capital, and is a good stop if you are visiting the Red Bluff Recreation Area. The area is adjacent to the Sacramento River, which is a great camping spot. This site is open year round unless flooding or high winds. You can stay on location or at the nice looking Durango RV Resort.
Key West, FL
The beautiful ancient Florida Keys are a coral cay archipelago in the southeast US. They begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles south of Miami, and extend south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. There are so many beautiful spots, like Curry Hammock State Park, and 42 bridges you can drive on with your RV! Jolly Roger is only one suggestion for a conveniently located RV resort in The Keys.
Hill City, SD
Some fun information about this old town will include the fact that it is the oldest existing city in Pennington County, South Dakota, or that Tin mining was the most dominating profession amongst its residences in the 1880s, which led to an influx of capital and people into the area. More importantly, it is right next to Mount Rushmore National Museum and Custer State Park, which are both great spots for RV camping. Koa's location at Palmer Gulch has all the amenities you need for a stylish RV trip, including outdoor camping kitchen space, pools, mini golf, climbing wall and even limited WifFi!
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska and also the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). Fairbanks is the perfect starting point to begin your road trip into the Arctic. According to Explore Fairbanks website you should use the city as a basecamp where you can experience the vast wilderness panoramas, tundra-laden landscape, and the indigenous cultures that define Alaska’s Arctic.
In order to get to the Arctic, you will have to drive on The Dalton Highway, which runs 415 miles from just north of Fairbanks all the way south of the Arctic Ocean in the oil town of Deadhorse. The Arctic (the dividing line between the Northern Temperate zone, to the south, and the Arctic to the north - Remember latitude and longitude??) is about 196 driving miles or 140 air miles north of Fairbanks. You can stop with your RV in many beautiful locations along the road, and be sure to pay attention to all the trucks going back and forth.
Many national parks in the US can accommodate RVs and trailers, but make sure to do your research before heading out on the road! It would be a very unfortunate story to have your whole family packed in the RV with nowhere to stay.
3. Think about the drive
Most of the time spent in an RV will be spent driving. Especially if there are young kids or temperamental passengers in the car, it is very important to schedule pit stops. Before going out on your trip, look at each road you are taking to get to your final destination and see if there are any fun attractions on your way. If there are not many fun things going on, at least schedule some gas stops where everyone can get a snack, walk around, and get a break from the car. Even though your RV might be a home on wheels, it is still a moving vehicle and can make you carsick or just need to walk on non-moving ground.
Gas Buddy is a great app to have on your drive. It will help you find out where is the next gas stop, compare prices, and even plan your trip in advance incorporating only the most affordable gas stations.
Thinking about the drive, is also thinking about unexpected situations. Like when you are low on gas or when your air conditioner is suddenly broke. We recommend keeping these RV friendly portable car fans for when you don't want to waste gas blasting your AC, or when your AC has stopped working. It can be a very long drive if the fellows in the back are complaining about the heat.
4. What to pack
OK, so you have the RV all picked out, you have planned your route and know where you and the fam are setting up camp each night. Now it is time to figure out what you are bringing. This will vary depending on personal taste and the amount of people on the trip, but you will probably need a fair amount of food.
If you are driving by grocery stores or plan to eat at restaurants most days, it would only really be necessary to pack snacks and light food for driving or random munchies and late-night snacks. However, if you and the family are driving through the middle of nowhere to another destination in the middle of nowhere, pack accordingly. You are going to want to hit all the meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—as well as drinks and snacks.
Also consider the amount of space you have in the RV. If you are working with a small mini fridge and an oven or microwave the size of a pillow, you are probably going to want to bring food that does not require much energy to keep fresh or prepare. In this case, think cereals, sandwich supplies, bagels, etc. On the opposite side, if you have room and energy to spare, the sky is the limit for your shopping list! Check out our lists for the 8 best coffee snacks to buy if you love the taste of coffee, or all the Keto friendly breakfast snacks you can have. All of the products are conveniently accessible to purchase on Amazon and will be a great addition for your road trip.
One of the most important things about an RV trip is making sure that the driver has energy to drive. When there is an entire family asleep or hanging out in the back of that RV, the driver needs to be awake and alert, which means coffee and energy drinks/food is essential to pack on this trip.
If you are also concerned about food on your RV trip, there are plenty of easy recipes you can make when camping for breakfast, lunch and dinner while in the outdoors. Starting at pancakes, scrambled eggs and even breakfast pizza and onion bombs.
5. How to make coffee in your RV?
Because space and energy is limited on an RV, we recommend bringing instant coffee for any camping or RV trips. Making stops can be annoying, disruptive, and cause extra time on a trip, which is why going instant is essential. Waka Coffee’s premium instant coffee is perfect for any trips of this nature, as it is very lightweight and high quality. Nobody wants a weak and bitter cup of coffee in the morning when they have a 10-hour drive ahead of them, so don’t waste time on products that don’t deliver quality! Waka Coffee’s instant coffee yields a cup of joe that is as good as if not better than a brewed cup of coffee.
Preparing Waka Coffee is super easy… like alarmingly easy. It comes in two forms—prepackaged little baggy filled with the exact right amount, and a larger bag full of loose instant coffee powder. If you have the prepackaged coffee, add one packet to cold or hot water and BOOM coffee is ready! Wait, did we just say cold water? Yes, we did! Waka Coffee dissolves instantly in cold and hot water making it easy to make iced coffee or hot coffee, depending on if you are trekking through the dessert or a winter wonderland. If you have the larger bag of loose powder, add about a tablespoon of instant coffee to your water and coffee is served. Bonus; it tastes amazing and the whole family will be grateful for a good cup of coffee on the road.
Now, there are also other ways to make coffee without a coffee maker even if you don't prefer instant coffee. Or if you want to mix your coffee making methods based on the time of the day (ground coffee in the morning, instant coffee as the second cup?).
You can have your ground coffee made in a French Press. It is usually made with a glass beaker and metal mesh. It works by steeping coffee grounds in the glass beaker and then using a metal filter to press the grounds to the bottom of the glass beaker. The coffee can then be poured into a mug leaving the grounds at the bottom of the beaker. One of the reasons French Press is so popular is because the metal mesh allows for all of the oils and flavor of the bean to remain in the coffee.
This powerful Coffee Gator French Press will be your best RV coffee companion.
It is made from 304 stainless steel and is 33% thicker and 20% heavier than the other products on the market. The advantage of not using glass French Press is that it is less likely to break while the car is moving or shaking.
Another method for making coffee without a coffee maker is using a Percolator.
A Percolator pot is used for brewing coffee by continually cycling the boiling or nearly boiling water through the coffee grounds. This stove top coffee-making method is good if you have an installed stove or camping stove in your RV.
The Coletti "Bozeman" Percolator Coffee Pot is made by a veteran owned company from "the rugged city of Bozeman" in Montana as they say. The rosewood handle on this Percolator not only gives it a classic look, but also prevents the handle from heating up to reduce the possibility of burns.
So this is for sure a trendy item for making coffee on the go (while still not as convenient as instant coffee). After you grounded your coffee beans, you insert them into the device along with boiling water. AeroPress uses gentle air pressure brewing method to produce your coffee or espresso. It makes 1 to 3 cups per pressing in about one minute and the package includes the AeroPress press, funnel, scoop, stirrer, 350 microfilters and a filter holder (mug is not included).
6. Have fun!
This one seems self-explanatory, but it is so important! Remember to always leave room for fun and playfulness on a long trip with family and friends. Bring along your camera and a scrabble board and keep the good times coming. Happy camping, everyone!
Try our best instant coffee and tea here.
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