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RV Road Trip of a Lifetime – Expert Tips and Itinerary

with 6 Comments
RV road trip to Banff National Park.

So you’re thinking about taking your family on an RV road trip but don’t know where to start. I’m here to help with some tips and tools to get you excited for the long drive! I’ve also included a sample itinerary for an epic RV road trip that’s sure to entice you to get on the road ASAP.

RVs are a great way to travel, but they can be expensive. I will also share tips on renting an RV for your next road trip.

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RV road trip tips

Timing

When you plan your RV road trip, timing is key. You don’t want to be in one of the most popular locations when everyone and their aunt and uncle are there.

You will have more choices, availability and usually save some money if you plan your trip during a less busy time like a shoulder or off-season. It might also be difficult to enjoy all the amenities and attractions during peak times. If National Parks are on your RV road trip travel list, check out National Parks to Avoid During Peak Season.

The weather might also be an important factor to consider when planning your RV road trip because it can have some significant effects on how much fun and enjoyment you. If you are a hiker, a summer temperature of 100 degrees is probably not the best time to enjoy a bucket list hike.

Another consideration you must make before embarking on your next epic RV road trip is the length of time available for travel. Whether a leisurely 2-week trip or a quick-hitting 1-week adventure, more time will allow you to experience new areas at an unhurried pace while exploring them in detail.

Destination

There are a plethora of options available for choosing the right destination for your RV road trip but not all will satisfy your vacation style. There are some questions that you and your family should consider before you begin planning.

Do you want to get to your destination within a certain mileage radius of your home or get on a plane and begin your RV road trip from that location? What are your goals for the trip? Hike every day and see wildlife in a National Park or relax with a margarita by the beach at a luxury RV resort? Real planning can’t begin until you get clear on the expectations of your entire group.

RV rental search

You know the timing, destination, and dates for your RV road trip but what if you don’t own an RV. Let’s talk about the best options I know to rent an RV. If you already own an RV, scroll down to “planning your RV road trip”.

My go-to RV road trip rental recommendation goes to RVshare. The website is user-friendly and the company is reliable. You are connected to owners of RVs in your hometown or your destination. You will be offered the largest choice of rentals in the country.

Rent an RV from RVshare

The type of RV options is numerous. Do you require an RV you can tow (you already have a tow vehicle), such as a fifth wheel or travel trailer? Or, do you need one you can drive like a Class A, B, or C. If you are unfamiliar with the differences, learn All About the Different Classes of RVs: An Illustrated Guide.

Now your search begins. Go to RVshare to set up an account. Then search the vast inventory to find the right RV to meet the timing and destination needs of your family. If you don’t want to drive or tow an RV but still want to experience RVing, there are delivery options for many of the RVs on the site. Just click delivery when filtering your search.

RVshare rental search.

Strategically searching for an RV road trip rental can be tough without the right resources. Luckily, RVshare has made finding your perfect match easy with their detailed inventory and helpful filters! You’ll find prices ranging from reasonable to five-star luxury. You will also see a map showing the approximate location of your RV rental.

RVshare rental search results example.

If you can’t find what you are looking for on RVshare or just want to see what else is out there to rent, another option with a fantastic reputation is Outdoorsy.

#1 RV Rental Marketplace


Planning your RV road trip

For those seeking adventure, planning your RV road trip may be the perfect opportunity. The best RV road trip planner that we can’t live without is RV Trip Wizard. To begin your journey, choose a starting location, either a city, campground, or point of interest.

RV Trip Wizard gives you the freedom to customize your RV road trip. How much time do you want to spend driving each day? How close do you want your campground to be to the points of interest you craving to see? Do you want to be in an RV park with amenities for the kiddos such as a pool or is a National Park campground more your jam? How much are you comfortable spending? The app helps you answer many of these questions as you go through the planning process.

RV road trip map of a 2 week round-trip RV rental road trip starting in Flagstaff, AZ.

RV Trip Wizard allows you to track your expenses, mileage, and time between destinations, read campground reviews, route around dangerous RV hazards such as tunnels and low-clearance bridges, total mileage and time between destinations and estimates the location to stop for fuel along the way.

Need more RV road trip planning tips and tools? Click here: RV Trip Planning Made Easy – Top Tips and Tools.

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RV road trip comes to life

Now that I have you planning your next RV road trip in your imagination let me entice you even more. I am providing you with a FREE round trip itinerary from Flagstaff, AZ. This was an easy-driving, epic RV road trip we took a few years ago with our fifth wheel. It’s the same trip highlighted in the last map photo, but with greater detail.

Bucket list road trip itinerary example

Zion National Park driving
Zion National Park from the Canyon Overlook Trail.

This RV road trip sample itinerary assumes a 2-week round trip journey with 3-night stays in each location. You can easily adjust for timing and points of interest preferences. With this itinerary comes options to visit 3 National Parks, 2 National Recreations areas, 2 National Monuments plus gives you time to take other adventures and explore more towns in each area. The distance between destinations is no more than 3.25 hours so, driving will be a breeze.

  • Begin with a 3-day stay in the Flagstaff, AZ area. There are multiple locations to camp with your RV or to pick your RV rental. You have 2 picturesque locations to visit while in Flagstaff, and both are only an hour away:
    • Sedona, AZ – epic hiking in the vortex and excellent dining options with views
    • The Grand Canyon National Park – the South Rim is easily accessible from Flagstaff.
  • Drive 2 hours north on scenic route 89 (photo ops abound) to the quaint desert town of Page, AZ.
  • Spend 3 nights at a campground on or near breathtaking Lake Powell. From here, you have access to the following:
    • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, including the famous Lake Powell – boat rentals, a tour of the dam, and breathtaking boat cruises of sandstone and crystal blue water are waiting. Make reservations ahead of time.
    • Horseshoe Bend – a breathtaking Instagram worthy view of a bend in the Colorado River (pictured below)
    • Lower Antelope Canyon – not to be missed slot canyon tours that will have you in aw.
    • Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
    • Rainbow Bridge National Monument – I highly recommend a Lake Powell boat excursion to this Navajo Indian sacred monument.
    • Grand Canyon National Park – the North Rim is 2.5 hours away
Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ.

The RV road trip continues

  • Travel 2 hours west to Virgin, UT. This drive offers a breathtaking journey through the east side of Zion National Park. RV Trip Wizard will alert you to a low clearance tunnel on this route, the Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel. It’s important to always be aware of your RV height and width to avoid this type of hazard. If you are too high for this tunnel, make sure to take this drive after you park your RV. It’s not to be missed.
  • Stay 3 nights in the Virgin area to have access to the following adventures:
    • Bryce Canyon National Park – hike amongst the hoodoos pictured below.
    • Zion National Park – the popular Angels Landing hike is a must-do but not for the faint of heart.
Bryce Canyon National Park.

You’re not done yet

  • Travel 3 hours southwest through red rock canyons and around the Las Vegas strip to Boulder City, NV.
  • Stay 3 nights in Boulder City, NV, great launching point to the following:
    • The Hoover Dam – an engineering marvel.
    • Lake Meade National Recreation Area- boating and views of this man-made lake because of the Hoover Dam.
    • Grand Canyon National Park – the West side of this National Park, which includes the infamous skywalk, is located less than 2 hours away.
    • Las Vegas – a quick 30-minute ride to the strip.
  • Drive a little over 2 hours southeast to beautiful Lake Havasu
  • Stay 3 nights in the desert oasis of Lake Havasu to explore the following:
    • Lake Havasu – kayaking, boating, swimming, picnicking
    • London Bridge – cross and view the original London Bridge reconstructed over Lake Havasu in 1968
    • Desert Bar – jump in a four-wheel-drive vehicle to visit this solar-powered bar in the desert less than an hour away
  • Travel 3 hours east back to Flagstaff to end your RV road trip of a lifetime.

Need a more detailed or custom itinerary?

Does trip planning stress you out? Let me help! Send me an email today about the RV road trip you would love to take and I will get in touch within 48 hours with how I can help. Looking forward to getting you on the road to new adventures.


What has been your most memorable RV road trip? Share in the comments below.

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6 Responses

  1. Denise Bumby
    | Reply

    Love this article Tina, RV trip planning is a huge undertaking and you are so experienced. You are like having a travel agent for RV road trip holidays. You know so many different ways to do it. What a great service to offer.

    • Tina Klinefelter
      | Reply

      Thank you Denise! It really was so overwhelming in the beginning that’s why I love helping others with it.

  2. Cindy
    | Reply

    So many great tips in here for RV trip planning!! Love it! Thanks for sharing with all of us!

    • Tina Klinefelter
      | Reply

      Thank you for the feedback Cindy! You know I love helping others get on the road and experience all we are. 🙂

  3. You had me at pick up the RV in Flagstaff and visit Sedona. My family and I have been looking for new ideas on how to kick off an epic RV trip with mountain biking and this is genius!

    • Tina Klinefelter
      | Reply

      Love this. You made my day. Enjoy your trip, sounds like a blast!

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