RV Travel Trip Planning
Updated: Aug 3, 2021
Let's get ready to hit the road!
Wine here writing about trip planning. I enjoy the process of planning because I am a list-maker type of person. Once a destination is in mind, like most people, the way I start is with Google Maps. I examine the miles and figure out the travel days needed to get there and then work backwards to create daily destinations.
We adhere to arriving at the day's destination by daylight, always striving for no later than 4:00pm. Sometimes to achieve that we depart at 6:00 am; having breakfast in the RV once we hit the road makes leaving the house or campsite super early doable.
Sidebar: I have cooked breakfast for Whiskey while driving down the road. This is very efficient use of time. I will be satisfied with a few spoonfuls of the cottage cheese shown above (Good Culture). If you like cottage cheese, you may really like this brand.
It is recommended by many in the RV lifestyle world to travel roughly a max of 330 miles per day and arrive to your destination by 3:30; it's call the 330 rule. We strive for no more than 450 miles, and no more than eight hours total including lunch, bathroom, and doggie breaks. Sometimes we push it a bit, but we always arrive at the destination in the daylight, hopefully by 4pm. Therefore, when planning I create legs of the trip based on these guidelines.
Sidebar: having lunch in the "mobile condo" is efficient. We make one stop for fuel, doggie walks, bathroom break, and lunch. Usually takes about 45 minutes for all of that. So I figure this amount of time into the travel time.
Once I have a travel plan roughed out I get detailed by using the subscription service RV Trip Wizard (RVTW). RVTW is a great tool to plan travel details. It calculates travel time and miles between stops and puts them into a trip folder so that it can be tweaked and modified as you develop your trip (screenshot of a trip above).
RVTW has campgrounds, attractions, and fueling stations within the platform so that you can search in real-time as you travel or as you prepare ahead of time. All of these can be added to your trip; you can plan every little detail if you like. I work on my laptop for the detailed planning. Once on the road I can access this on my phone so that I can see our itinerary and search for impromptu stops.
In addition to campgrounds I search for Harvest Hosts (HH). It is a membership service that provides overnight stays for free at wineries, breweries, farms, attractions, and golf courses. Planning stays can be done on a laptop or by using the app. The HH website and app show the hosts information and location.
The HH app does not work as GPS, it's just a listing site map. What I do is save my chosen HH locations in a Google Maps folder. This way I can hop onto Maps on my phone or laptop for directions. Then I can add to the RVTW trip folder if I want to add an HH to our trip.
The convenient aspect of Maps is the ability to create saved "folders" for different places. It is helpful to have saved places so that I can pull them up in a pinch to be able to plan a last minute destination, mainly for Whiskey's work trips. I will also save places once I learn about new areas and potential destinations. It helps remember them for future trips.
All of these combined tools make trip planning relatively easy. I have planned four long trips so far using this method and it has worked like clockwork. The downside of planning every bit of the trip is that it is somewhat inflexible. But as part-time RV travelers we make the most of our road trips so that is how we are rolling at the moment.
The thing we enjoy about RV travel is that we can get away with our dogs, our stuff, and it still feels like home where ever we are.
Shots from our Harvest Hosts stays.
Links for camping options and RV Lifestyle information: