Tips for Planning a Perfect Weekend Adventure

Hitting the open road in your RV is an unparalleled experience. Whether you go all out for one big trip per year, travel full time, or consider yourself a weekend warrior, there’s no wrong way to RV. If you’ve been wanting to take your RV out for the weekend, then check out our tips for planning a perfect weekend adventure for you and your family. 

Photo Credit: vehq.com

Choose your Weekend Destination

When going away for just the weekend, it’s best to stay closer to home so that you have more time to enjoy yourself. If you aren’t sure where to go, consider camping at a nearby state park, national forest, or even a Harvest Hosts or Boondockers Welcome location. Any of these options can give you a newfound appreciation for your area while allowing you to potentially meet new people and experience a new business. 

Depending on how far you live from your chosen destination, you can plan some fun stops along the way or additional activities around your camping spot. This can look like taking day trips to a nearby river or lake, hanging out at a brewery, eating at a local restaurant, or having a new experience such as u-pick produce or indoor rock climbing. Feel free to get creative on these weekend adventures and get your family involved in the planning as well. Some of their choices could surprise you and make for an even more memorable weekend.

Photo Credit: hgtv.com

Book Ahead When You Can

If you’re staying at a campground, Harvest Hosts, or Boondockers Welcome location, be sure to book or reserve ahead, ideally as soon as you know the dates of your trip. Depending on the area, places can fill up quickly, so be sure to have some backup options. Check Boondockers Welcome and Harvest Hosts locations along your route as well in case you need to camp a little ways away from your destination of choice. You can also switch gears and save that location for another time if it’s full on the weekend you’re traveling.

Prep Your RV

Before hitting the road even for a weekend, there is important prep work to be completed. First and foremost, there is regular maintenance that needs to take place on your RV. This includes checking the tires, brakes, battery, fire extinguisher, safety detectors, and roof, which should all be examined on both your RV and tow vehicle. If you have a generator, be sure that it has been serviced recently and is running smoothly. In addition to maintenance, be sure to clean your RV thoroughly and make sure your HVAC is working properly. If you will have hookups at your destination, then don’t sweat filling your water. However, if you’re planning to boondock, be sure that your fresh water is full and your black and gray tanks are empty.

Photo Credit: thervgeeks.com

Pack

The length of your trip greatly impacts the volume of supplies you may need to pack. You can also choose whether or not you will be cooking, participating in outdoor activities that require accessories, and anything else that requires supplies. If you use your RV a lot, consider purchasing extras and leaving them in your RV to reduce how much packing will need to happen. Below are some examples of common packing items that will help to ensure that nothing important gets left behind.

Kitchen

This list will vary based on how much you plan to cook and what you plan to cook, as well as the number of people in your party. Be sure to pack accordingly, and don’t forget your dish soap and sponges!

  • cups and mugs
  • plates
  • bowls
  • utensils (forks/knives/spoons)
  • napkins
  • paper towels
  • cooking utensils (tongs, big spoons, ladles, etc.)
  • can opener
  • frying pan
  • large pot
  • sheet pan
  • potholders
  • dish towels
  • sponge
  • dish soap
  • plastic wrap
  • aluminum foil
  • ziploc bags (quart & gallon)
  • cleaning wipes
  • tupperware containers
  • matches and/or lighter

Food

The amount and types of food you pack will also obviously depend on how much you plan to eat at the RV, whether or not you plan to cook and what you plan to cook, and how many people are traveling with you. The ages of the travelers will also factor into what you are packing, as children tend to change the food and ingredients lists. It’s always better to have too much food than not enough!

  • cereal
  • milk
  • salt, pepper, spices
  • condiments (mustard, mayo, ketchup, relish, BBQ sauce, salad dressing)
  • cooking oils
  • meats (chicken, hot dogs, brats, burgers, etc.)
  • fruits & vegetables
  • pancake mix
  • peanut butter & jelly
  • lunchmeat & cheese
  • bread
  • canned foods
  • s’mores ingredients
  • eggs 
  • oatmeal 
  • coffee & tea
  • baking essentials (flour, sugar, baking soda, etc.)
  • snacks (chips, cookies, trail mix, granola bars, beef jerky, popcorn, etc.)

Toiletries

Specific toiletry lists can depend on specific people and families, but this general list should give you a basis to start from. This is one area in which you could purchase extra supplies and leave them in your RV to avoid having to pack them up each and every time you take your rig on a weekend trip. You could also consider purchasing travel-sized bottles and filling them from your full-sized bottles at home.

  • first-aid kit
  • peroxide, rubbing alcohol
  • pain relief medications (advil, tylenol, excedrin, aleve, etc.)
  • dramamine for motion sickness
  • any other medications you may need
  • hand soap
  • face wash
  • body wash
  • loofah and/or washcloths
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • razors
  • shaving cream
  • hairbrush / comb
  • hairdryer
  • hair gel /styling products
  • moisturizer
  • lotion
  • toothpaste
  • tooth brushes
  • floss
  • mouthwash
  • nail clippers
  • tweezers
  • hair ties / clips
  • makeup
  • cotton balls / q-tips
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray

Clothing

Your clothing packing lists will also depend on the people in your group, where you are traveling to, what season you are traveling in, what activities you plan to enjoy, and many other factors. Remember, it’s always better to overpack rather than to under-pack with clothing. Consider also bringing along laundry supplies and washing everything at the campground laundromat to avoid bringing home dirty laundry to do.

  • long sleeve shirts
  • short sleeve shirts
  • jackets / sweatshirts
  • pants
  • shorts
  • bathing suit
  • socks & underwear
  • shoes (sneakers, sandals, hiking boots, etc.)
  • rain gear
  • hats

Outdoor Gear

Your specific outdoor gear will also depend on which outdoor activities you and your family partake in, as well as the time of year, area you are traveling to, and any pother applicable factors. Be sure to take all of this into consideration and plan accordingly.

  • wood for fires (check local burn bans!)
  • hammock
  • camp chairs / table
  • binoculars
  • backpack
  • fishing rod(s) & tackle
  • sports equipment (football, baseball & bat, etc.)
  • water bottle
  • bikes
  • canoe or kayaks, paddles, life jackets
  • inner tubes
  • hiking poles

Misc.

Many of these items are also things that can be kept in your RV instead of having to pack and unpack with each trip. Cleaning supplies, bedding, and other necessary items can easily be stowed away for all future trips, while some even consider leaving extra pet food and supplies for help with planning and packing.

  • pillows & pillow cases
  • sheets
  • bedding
  • towels
  • alarm clock
  • extra blankets
  • pet supplies (food, bowls, toys, treats, leash & collar, bed, vaccination records)
  • phone chargers
  • cleaning supplies (all-purpose cleaner, bathroom/tub cleaner, wipes, windex)
  • broom/dustpan, vacuum, mop
  • cash

RV Essentials

These items are essential for any and all RV trips and ideally should be kept in your RV at all times so that you do not have to pack and unpack them with each trip. Be sure to consult your local RV supply store for which specific items work best with your RV and your setup.

  • sewer hose
  • black tank chemicals
  • drinking water hose
  • water pressure regulator
  • electrical cord and adapters
  • surge protector
  • extension cords
  • wheel chocks
  • leveling blocks
  • tire pressure gauge
  • fire extinguisher
  • emergency road kit
  • jumper cables
Photo Credit: cruiseamerica.com

Weekend warriors are important to the RVing community and can be some of the most well-traveled folks. If you are itching to go on a short trip, consider taking the RV out for a weekend adventure. I’m sure there’s tons to do in your area and can shed new light on local attractions. After all, you live in your area for a reason, right? Get out there and explore it like a true local. 

Photo Credit: blog.cheapism.com

What is your favorite weekend trip that you’ve taken in your RV? What are some of the best-kept hidden secrets in your area? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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  1. asdasd
    2nd August, 2022

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  2. E.H. Goree
    5th August, 2022

    While I appreciate the helpful intent of this article, it’s pretty much a basic list of what any of us would bring along for any short to extended trip. Admonishing us to involve family? Difficult NOT to do. Telling us to secure a campsite? I doubt anyone would even roll out of their driveway or storage unit without reset. So, please, folks; some real info would be welcome. Thank-you.