Our family needed a vacation, and like many others, we have stayed close to home over the past year due to the pandemic. We asked ourselves — what adventure could we do that would keep our family safe and allow us to go where we wanted to go? Our answer: a recreational vehicle (RV) vacation!

Photo courtesy cookelma

In August, our family went on a 1300 mile road trip, visiting Harris State Park, Eureka, Crater Lake and Steens Mountain along the way. We quickly discovered this is a great travel option for families. If you are considering a RV vacation, here is a quick guide to get the most out of your adventure.

Where to rent a RV: There are rental companies such as Cruise America or sites like Outdoorsy or RVshare, where you rent from private owners. Pro Tip: When comparing rental options, review what costs are included and not included, such as mileage, in the daily rate.

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Where to go and stay:  Once we determined our destinations, we finalized our itinerary. We stayed at both private and public campgrounds with no hook-ups (rustic) to full hook-ups (water, electricity, and sewer). Pro Tip: During peak seasons make campground reservations in advance of your trip. For our trip, the nightly rates ranged from $6 (no hook-ups) to $90 (full hook-up with amenities).

How to plan meals and pack: For meal planning, I used RV meal planning tips and recipe websites; check out Beyond the Tent, Glamper Life or The Touring Camper for ideas. Once I finalized our meals, I created a packing list of what we needed including spices, utensils, pots and pans. Pro Tip: Bring your Instant Pot or Crockpot for an easy way to prepare meals. We had BBQ ribs made in the Instant Pot one night and they were a hit with the family.

For packing, I created a customized list used by several RV packing lists I found online. Pro Tip: Look at multiple packing lists since each is a little different. This helped me include items that might be helpful during the trip, such as duct tape or clothesline.

Returning the RV: The RV had to be returned in the same condition as when it was rented, including filling the propane, emptying the holding tanks and cleaning the outside and inside of the RV. It took a little extra work, but it was worth it. Pro Tip: Ask the rental company/owner if there are locations near the return location to fill the propone, empty the tanks and an oversized vehicle car wash.

Enjoy your trip! We had a great time exploring and enjoyed the flexibility that came with traveling in a RV. Our only challenges on the road were getting used to driving a larger vehicle and increased travel time. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your adventure! I hope you and your family enjoy the exploration as much as we did during our RV vacation.

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