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The 5 Ws of RV Trip Planning

RV trip planning doesn’t have to be rocket science. In fact, you can go back to your early years of school for some help. Do you remember the 5 Ws plus an H? If you don’t, this article will help refresh your mind along with your skills. Plan your trip by simply answering the age-old questions of Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.

Man hiking in wilderness for NextRv.co  The 5 Ws of RV Trip Planning. Photo by Hermann Traub
Wilderness Wandering by Hermann Traub

Why

You’re probably scratching your head at this one. Why am I planning a RV camping trip? “Well, to take a trip of course.” “I want to take a vacation.” “I want to get out of town.” These are just a few obvious answers to this question. But that’s not what we’re after.

The answer to this question involves answering more questions. It is more along the lines of figuring out why you are getting away. What is your goal for this trip?

  • Are you seeking total relaxation?
  • Do you crave adventure and non-stop excitement?
  • Will a mixture of both fit the bill?

Finding your “why” will help you determine the answer to our next question – What?

What

Now that you’re “why” has been answered, you can move on to the “what” portion of our program. This one is probably a little easier. What do you want to do on this RV trip?

  • Do you want to hike trails, ride your bicycle or meander along a shoreline?
  • When you’re out on the water does the need for speed consume you? Or do you just want to float along the river in a kayak?
  • Does gazing at the nighttime sky from a quiet mountaintop sound like heaven to you?

So which activity, or mixture of them, is most appealing to you? Answer this and it should make it easier for you to choose the Where (to go).

Where

The choice of a destination RV park or multiple stops can be based on many factors. You may choose to just wander without an ultimate goal in mind. Or you might be an RVer that picks a spot and gets there — no detours. Either way, you’ll need to determine if the amenities you need are available.

  • Are the activities you’re looking for close to your RV campground?
  • What type of amenities does the site have?
  • Is the site easy to access from the freeway or major highway?
Boy and his dog swimming for NextRV.co.  The 5 Ws of RV Trip Planning. photo by Marilou Burleson
A Boy And His Dog by Marilou Burleson

Who

This may sound like another of those questions that is obvious. It really is important to plan your RV trip knowing who will be going with you. Aside from food, travel and sleeping considerations, you need to think about other special accomodations.

  • Elderly or disable travelers may have accessibility issues and need assistance.
  • Check your list for kid friendly destinations and activities.
  • Don’t forget about Fido. Be sure there isn’t a no-pet policy where you’re going.

When

There are actually more “when” questions to be answered than you would think — knowing the answer to them can make or break your trip.

  • What time of year do you want to travel? Are you a winter camper?
  • When is the best time of year to visit your chosen spot?
  • How early can you make reservations and for how long?*

*Reservations can be one of the biggest factors in determining your “when”. Many RV campsites fill up quickly during the summer so book your trip as early as possible.

How

As with the others above, your “how” is dependant on your previous answers. You should plan your route long before your departure because knowing how you’re going to get there is crucial. Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when mapping your trip.

  • Weather, Weather, Weather. No explanation should be needed.
  • Road construction usually ramps up during the summer. Check the road conditions.
  • Check your route for interesting things to see and do along the way. Don’t forget to bookmark rest stops along with food and fuel locations.

Have some old-fashioned printed maps as a backup to your GPS and phone apps. You never know when technology might let you down.

RV on country road next to a turtle crossing sign for NextRV.co
Photo courtesy of Noah Wieder.
The 5 Ws of RV Trip Planning
Turtle Crossing by Noah Wieder

RV Trip Planning Made Easy

Now that you’ve discovered the secret tool used by elementary school kids every day, you will be able to plan your next trip with ease. Keep the rule of 5 Ws and an H in mind every time and your RV trip planning will mean less stress and more fun. Enjoy your recess from home life.

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