All You Need to Know Before Starting Your Trip in a Camper Van

RVs and camper vans are seeing a resurgence in popularity these days. There is an inherent old fashioned romance to taking your family out to explore the open road, and the idea has only become more popular due to the pandemic. It is definitely the safest way to travel and hit the road without risking infections and being jammed into a crowded airplane or train.

They are also an incredibly economic way to explore the country since you will not be spending extra money on accommodations, and you will be cooking and preparing your own food. If you’re feeling stir crazy and ready to explore the great outdoors with a guaranteed level of safety when it comes to your health, then the following primer should help get you started.

Driver’s License

Depending on the state where you reside, you might need to secure a special driver’s license in order to drive a camper van. Even though they are usually the same size as most cars you might be driving, it still has a different set of features, such as backup cameras instead of a center rearview mirror.

Or, perhaps, your state does not require a specific license, but the features remain different from your typical vehicle. So it would make sense to take it out for a drive a few times and get used to navigating it before embarking on a major trip.

Pack Smart

Since you might be traveling for a week or two – if not more – then packing smart is incredibly essential. As the experts at this website note, there are quite a few things you may need, depending on your trip. The basics should always cover enough food and beverages for the duration of the trip and portable water for dishwashing and cleanup. 

Other items that people tend to take for granted are clothes that can be easily layered in case you are going to a mountain or another place where the weather will get cold, and linens, pillows, and blankets are an absolute must.

You should also pack plenty of toiletries and cleaning products with you in case, as well as fuel for your mini kitchen – depending on the kind of model, you may need to bring propane or butane.

Make sure your packing list covers all your technological needs, too, such as phone chargers, a soft starter, or connection cables for campsites you plan to visit.

If you’re going to be on the road for the long term, consider investing in a citizens band radio for your camper van. There are also handheld CB radios that you can carry around. A CB radio is a handy communication device for emergencies and sending and receiving messages and updates from other CB users on the road. In case you find yourself in an area with no mobile reception, you can use your CB radio to call for help and tune in to the radio and weather channels.

Money Issues

Another crucial thing for you to do is to set a budget for the trip. Since it ultimately depends on how far you plan to travel, and for how long, make sure that you outline a concrete itinerary first! 

A few things to keep in mind is to make sure that the gas costs are accounted for, and any campground fees you might incur while traveling. Also, just because you can bring your own provisions does not mean that you won’t run out or want to try local restaurants! So, definitely allow the budget to have a bit of extra wiggle room for food and drink you might want to get while on the road.

And, while we all indulge in an overreliance on plastic these days, make sure to carry some cash with you in case of emergency.

Balance Spontaneity with Good Planning

As you can tell so far, renting a camper van doesn’t necessarily mean winging it. A measure of spontaneity is, of course, encouraged.

However, if you don’t devote some time to planning out the campgrounds you need to reserve ahead of time, you will be wasting a lot of time and money. You need to secure the space as soon as you can, at favorable rates that won’t burn a massive hole into your budget.

Research Destinations

As you plan out your itinerary, make sure that you research your destinations properly. Some national parks or campgrounds may be closed these days due to the pandemic, so don’t take for granted the fact that they might be open per usual. It’s important to put in some time researching these days than you normally would so as not to waste a lot of time or money.

Now that you have taken the steps necessary to plan your trip properly, queue your favorite music playlist or podcasts, and get ready to hit the road. You will finally be able to enjoy nature and a sense of peace far from your laptop and the home to which you have been chained for months.