Blissfully married and a mother of three, I often have the difficult job of ensuring that our summer vacations in our motorhome go down as the most memorable ones ever, every time. Can you just imagine how challenging that can be every time? My husband’s perennially busy being a great provider for the family so I make do with what little help he can give in this aspect.
That makes my job even harder because I have to make sure all our family adventures are worth it. When planning an RV road trip or vacation, these things need to be done before leaving:
The right way to pack
As a rule of thumb, anything you pack should be multiplied by the number of members in your RVing party or family. That said, I still do not do that when it comes to the number of every toiletry item we bring along, so I just use common sense to figure out the optimal quantity of toiletries for the family during the trip.
Unless I am completely sure of the weather in the location we are heading, I pack at least one set of clothes for all seasons for everyone in our family. The weather can change pretty fast even if it’s just going to be a weekend trip.
Since the RV lifestyle is quite casual, I make sure to pack clothes for hanging out. We can always wear the same few outfits repeatedly. I also make sure to pack at least one dressy outfit for everyone, along with two casual dinner outfits. I never forget to add everyday items including undies, hose, socks, shoes, bedroom slippers, PJ’s, and jewelry. Oh, and not to forget, bathrobes.
I also pack everyone’s tennis shoes, hiking boots, and their flip flops and dress shoes. Flip flops are indispensable when using campground showers. Lightweight boots are needed to go over shoes and winter boots when you head over to snowbound locations. One light jacket and one winter jacket go into the packed bags, with at least one of them being waterproof.
Tools for RV travels
Don’t leave home without bringing the essential tools for a successful RV road trip or vacation. Those tools include hand tools like socket sets, wrenches, a hammer, screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, an Ohmmeter, pliers, a flashlight and penlight, some electrical and duct tape, a pocket knife, jack, clean rags, connectors, wires and splicers with a crimping tool, a wheel lug wrench, fan belts, cotter pins, slide-out pins or bolts, jumper cables, spray lubricant, fuses, some motor oil and transmission fluid, a tire pressure gauge, light bulbs, coolant hoses, and a tire pressure gauge.
You will also need to have antifreeze for the water system, a small folding shovel if available, emergency flares, the RV operating manual, the appliance operating manuals, the RV and tow vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and roadside assistance information.
I have quit getting maps and tour books since we bought an RV GPS. Finding a good GPS for my RV was not exactly a walk in the park, but with patient research, we have now been using a top-rated device perfect for our needs and our motorhome.
Things to remember about the house
A few days before leaving, I switch on the motorhome refrigerator to check if it works, and to begin freezing ice cubes and to load frozen foods. I also leave the license plate number of the RV with my husband’s parents, along with the telephone numbers and addresses of the stops we will be making en route to our destination.
When making arrangements for the mail, I simply ask the post office to hold our mail till we get back. I stock groceries in the RV. My husband checks the propane gas and fills the tank as needed. He also makes sure to obtain a supply of oil for the RV engine. During long-term vacations, I prepare a few rolls of quarters from the bank, which are handy for pay phones and laundromat services.
I also make sure all the essential bills are settled ahead including the gas and electric, the house and car insurance, the phone bill, and the fuel oil bill.