If you want to explore the USA or Canada, there is no better way than renting an RV (Recreational Vehicle) and going for a road trip. The highways are in good shape and there are plenty of services available along the way.
Following are a few simple steps that will minimize issues and maximize your return on investment, allowing you to stay relaxed while visiting as many places as possible.
- Both the USA and Canada are big countries and you cannot see everything on one trip. The first step is to decide which part of the continent you want to see and pick your starting point. If you are heading to the USA, I recommend visiting cruiseamerica.com; for Canada, see cruisecanada.com. Check if they have a rental location at your preferred starting point. If they don’t, choose a different city. Look at their inventory online to make sure they have an appropriate RV for the size of your group.
- Once you have selected your starting point and your RV rental location, you can begin planning your route. Make sure that you will have some time to rest between your arrival and the day/ time you will pick up your RV. If getting there will involve a long flight, waiting an extra day before picking up the RV might be a good idea, so you won’t have to drive while you’re still tired and jet-lagged. Pick-up times might be limited to certain hours, so be aware of this to avoid delaying your trip.
- Plan a reasonable driving distance each day, based on the number of days you have available. Avoid too much mileage, as you don’t want to spend your entire trip inside your RV, on the road. Make a list of the attractions you’d like to visit during the trip. Also make sure that every road you intend to take can accommodate your RV. Otherwise you may end up looking for alternative routes, which can cause delays and create related problems like missed reservations.
- Start designing your itinerary. Type the address of your RV rental location on Google, click on the map, then click on Directions. Add the places you want to visit one by one, selecting reasonable driving distances for each day. Look for nearby campgrounds in every place you want to visit. Make sure they have spots for RVs, and check the campground website to confirm that the length of your particular RV can be accommodated. In some campgrounds, spots for longer RVs might not be available or might be sold out. Most campgrounds can be booked online.
- Pay special attention to your schedule on the day you will have to return your RV, ensuring that you have a realistic driving distance to cover. Rental companies have limited hours for returns as well as pickups, so ensuring you will arrive on time will mean you won’t have to pay for an extra day’s rental.
- Once you have designed your trip, reserve your RV online at cruiseamerica.com or cruisecanada.com. Major credit cards are accepted. You will have to pay a non-refundable deposit up front. A certain number of kilometers (or miles) is typically included in the rental price, but be sure to check. Depending on the distance you plan to travel, it may save you money to pay for any additional kilometers (or miles) up front. If you have special requirements, e.g. your pick-up and drop-off locations are in different cities, you might need to call the rental company to make the reservation, as their online system might not be able to process more complex bookings. Consider the time difference, especially when calling from outside North America.
- Once you have booked your RV and your campgrounds, the most important part of your road trip itinerary is prepared. Congratulations!
Below is an example of an 11-day road trip through California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. Feel free to watch the video as well.