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After attending RVX in Salt Lake City, Utah and learning about Go RVing’s Kickoff to Camping Season a few months ago, I knew I wanted to take my first RV trip as soon as I could. Once I started looking into planning an RV trip, however, I realized I had my work cut out for me. With no experience under my belt, I had to research how to rent an RV, how to operate an RV, and how to set up and break down an RV at camp. Luckily, I had learned a thing or two at RVX that helped in this preparation. I remembered learning about an RV rental company called Outdoorsy that had a great reputation, so that’s where I started. If you’re starting to plan your first RV trip this summer and feel completely clueless, this RV trip planner for beginners is for you.
Renting an RV From Outdoorsy
Once I remembered hearing about Outdoorsy at RVX, renting an RV was super simple. Outdoorsy has all types of RVs for rent, from small campervans that are perfect for solo travelers and couples to Class C motorhomes that can hold up to a family of 10 people. Simply type in your destination and travel dates into the search bar, and you’ll be able to view all the RVs available for rent. If you’d like, you can further filter your search by price, vehicle type, amenities, and more. Here’s a screenshot of what the website and search functions look like:
I decided on a Class C motorhome for my fiancé and me to explore Mount Rainier National Park over the July 4th holiday. While I would typically have gone for a smaller campervan, I thought I’d upgrade to a slightly larger vehicle to give my 6’4″ fiancé a more comfortable experience. We decided on a beautiful 24-foot 2018 Dynamax Corp REV RB that’s fully equipped with a kitchen, dining room, queen-size bed, toilet, and even an indoor shower. Another feature I was particularly drawn to is the solar panels on the roof, which not only eliminate the need to plug into a campsite but also provide energy in a more sustainable fashion. If you’re unsure of what type of RV you should rent for your trip, you can reference our guide to the different types of RVs here. You can also search for rentals nearest you at GoRVing.com.
Packing For Your RV Trip
If you’ve ever taken a camping or backpacking trip before, then you already more or less know how to pack for an RV trip. Bring lots of warm layers, waterproof outerwear, wicking base layers, hiking boots, and all your adventure gear like a hydration pack, headlamp, and first aid kit. If you’re lucky and manage to get your hands on an RV with a full kitchen and bathroom, then you can even leave your cooler and wipes at home.
Planning Your RV Route
Planning a route for your RV trip is a little different than planning a route for an ordinary road trip. The main thing you’ll need to take into consideration is driving times. It takes longer to get from one point to another in an RV than it does in a car. You’ll also need to map out your route in advance and make sure the roads are suitable for RV driving and aren’t too narrow for you to have a safe and enjoyable trip.
For my first RV trip, I decided to go to Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. Even though some of the roads inside the national park are quite narrow, most can still accommodate RVs. There are also plenty of RV campsites inside the park that can accommodate a 24-foot RV, so planning our trip was not nearly as difficult as I had imagined it would be.
Setting Up Your RV at Camp
One of my biggest concerns with renting an RV for the first time was having to hook up the RV to my campsite. With no experience with RV hookups, I was afraid I would show up to my campsite and not have a functioning RV if I couldn’t figure out how to hook everything up properly. That’s one reason why I was so drawn to the RV I ended up booking because the solar panels on the roof eliminate the need to hook up the RV to the campsite entirely. My recommendation to you, as a first time RVer, is to also rent an RV with solar panels that generate natural electricity, so you can give yourself a more gradual learning curve when it comes to taking an RV trip.
I could not be more excited about my upcoming inaugural RV trip to Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend RVX earlier this year, which spurred my excitement for RVing, and I am so excited to be in nature being able to look up at the stars every night without having to camp in a tent. If you are also in the midst of planning your first RV trip, I hope this RV trip planner for beginners was helpful for you, and please let me know in the comments below if you have any other questions about planning your first RV trip!
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