Having the best camping and RV trip planning resources is the most critical step in plotting your perfect RV vacation destinations and finding campgrounds or RV parks with this easy-to-use informational guide.
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Best Camping and RV Trip Planning Resources
Our RV trip planning adventure scene begins with clearing off our dinette table, filling our coffee mugs, and bring out our big rig RV atlas, maps and travel guides. We also open up our MacBooks, iPad and each of our cellphones.
Now it’s time to buckle down to plan our RV destinations. We’re going to figure out where we’re going to park, what to do when we get there, where we’ll eat and shop and everything in between.
It’s a necessary process we endure each time we do our trip planning. During heavy tourist seasonal locations, we’ll use these trip planning resources several months ahead to ensure availability. For other less-visited locations or during off-seasons, we trip plan only but a few days in advance.
Either way, by researching and using our RV trip planning resources, our trip planner will fill up with awesome adventures ahead!
So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty in helping to guide you with your own RV trip planning with these tools.
Get a Calendar or Planner
Having a trip planning calendar helps keep your travel plans and reservations organized. I admit, I’m still a paper person. And, it’s a concrete schedule we can refer to at a glance.
I typically make our campground or RV park reservations either online or calling them on the phone. Once I’ve nailed down our reservation, I block out our arrival date to our departure date. I’ll include the campground information (name, address, phone number, site number if assigned, person I spoke with who confirmed our reservation, confirmation number, and deposit amount).
After I’ve logged them into our paper planner, Dan transfers the information to our Google Calendar so we have it available on our digital devices to refer to at the touch of a button as well.
A few great paper RV Trip Planners
Network with Other RV Travelers
We’ve made great friends along the way who are are a wealth of information. And networking with them is one of our best methods of finding great RV destinations as well as campgrounds and boondocking locations.
Over a cup of coffee or around the campfire, we all share cool places we’ve visited, best hiking trails or kayak launches, favorite camping spots, awesome attractions and everything in between.
And remember, good RVers will share information. While there are those out there who will never divulge their secret boondocking spot, we’re not them. We love to share just as we love getting good suggestions.
So, don’t be tight-lipped of your favorite places to explore and camp.
Watch our video collaboration of how 10 RVers do their own RV Trip Planning:
RV Trip Planning Apps and Websites
We use a variety of digital device or smartphone apps and RV travel websites. Each is an integral part of our RV trip planning itinerary.
First, there’s a plethora of RV trip planning apps out there. We don’t use them because we’re spontaneous and we wing our travel planning. Well, sorta. We do trip plan but on a much shorter schedule now that we’re RVing with a tiny Class C motorhome that can go practically anywhere.
Here’s a short list of some of the popular digital RV trip planners out there.
When it comes to RV trip planning websites, our favorite is Campendium. It’s useful crowd-sharing RV trip planning and camping resource for every size and type of RV; whether its a big rig motorhome or fifth wheel to a small van or travel trailer. You can search for RV parks, campgrounds, free camping and dispersed camping wherever you’re headed.
Military RV Travelers
Since we are card-carrying military RV travelers (retired military), we often refer others of the same to Allstays Military Fam Camp Campgrounds for Apple users. And for Android users, the Ultimate US Military FamCamps.
And for a great Military FamCamp website resource, we love the crowd-sourced U.S. Military Campgrounds and RV Parks.
All are great RV trip planning resources for all branches of the military as well as Reservists, National Guard, Retired Military, and 100% Disabled Veterans as well as documented service-connected disability Military Veterans. Also DOD employees are entitled to use them as well. They provide military post and base FamCamp information; each with their amenities and contact information.
That said, realize each FamCamp’s standard operating procedures is up to each Command. They seem to all operate differently. So, it’s best to check the specifications and requirements of each FamCamp or military campground.
Watch our collaboration video on Favorite RV App or RV Website:
Read about our own Favorite RV Trip Planning Apps and Websites
If you’re new to the RV travel lifestyle, you’ve probably been bombarded with RV membership information. But knowing which one fits your lifestyle will help make deciding which one to get much easier.
Here’s a short list of some of the popular RV memberships:
One of the oldest, largest and most loved RV membership organizations in the world. They provide a total support network for all RVers, regardless of their travel style, type of RV, or experience level.
If you do sign up for your Escapees RV Club membership, please click on ALWAYS ON LIBERTY as your Referrer.
Family Motor Coach Association educates, equips, and empowers RV owners in their journey to create, experience, and benefit from the outdoor lifestyle they dream of or deserve.
If you do sign up for your FMCA RV Club membership, please click on F516655 as your Referrer.
SIDE NOTE: Both, Escapees and FMCA memberships offer access to limitless opportunities for education, networking, and advocacy as well as discounts and other services. They each are beneficial even when used together.
Join thousands of other RVers in experiencing memorable, scenic overnight stays in more than 2128+ extraordinary locations across North America. Members can visit and stay at any of our stunning locations with no camping fees!
Opens up a world of new camping opportunities. What you might lack in services will more than be made up for in experiences. Every RV is made to be able to boondock for at least a night or two at a time. Disconnect from the campground, and fill up the fresh water tanks, charge the batteries, and connect with nature and our hosts instead.
Is a growing community of good-natured people and the most comprehensive resource for unique outdoor stays. By connecting people with the land and each other, Hipcamp works to support those who care for the land and get more people out under the stars. They do this because they believe humans in nature bring out the best of human nature.
Books and Magazines
Our main book we use is the Motor Carrier’s Atlas. Yeah, I know, its a big cumbersome book, however, since we don’t rely solely on our GPS, its a good resource especially for big rig RVs.
It lists roads that have low clearance, weight-restrictive bridges and other important information pertaining to big rigs or those with high(er) profiles.
One of our favorite books is 1001 Places to See Before You Die. This book is a great resource for finding those odd and quirky places you didn’t know exist.
Other books in our RV trip planning resources library:
- Casino Camping – Guide to RV Friendly Casinos
- Camping with the Corps of Engineers – Guide to 644 Campgrounds at 210 Lakes in 34 States
- RV Camping in State Parks
- RV Camping in National Parks
- The Next Exit – most complete guide of USA Interstate Highway exit services ever printed
- National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States
- National Geographic Guide to State Parks of the United States
- USA’s Best Trips: 52 Amazing Road Trips
Oh, and don’t rule out reading paper and digital magazines. Lippert Components LCI has a great publication called the RV Open Road. As well, you can find great destination ideas in Escapees Magazine, Trailer Life, Family RVing (FMCA) and Motorhome from those who have been there done that.
Check out our other RV trip planning books and guide recommendations:
Vacation Guides and Travel Brochures
I admit, I can be a hoarder of vacation guides, travel brochures and booklets! Not only are they great information resources, but they are also inspirational and give accurate information. They have great photos that lure you in to want to go there.
Anytime we stop at a state welcome center, I always go inside and peruse the thousands of travel brochures and pamphlets. When we get set up and settled, I’ll pour over them to see if we can fit some interesting lesser-known places and attractions into our sightseeing plans.
OH! And we absolutely love and collect the Oh Ranger Guides!
These little gems are jam-packed full of information for your RV family vacation and destination planning! We usually pick them up at local tourism offices and welcome travel centers. Oh, and they’re FREE!
When we’re finished with them, we pass them onto other RVers.
Chat with the Locals
This is probably one of the best pieces of RV trip planning advice we can give you. Some of our most favorite places and attractions are where the locals pointed us to.
When we get somewhere and need to get a bite to eat, we pay attention to which restaurants have the most cars. The local townspeople know where all he best eats are. Just follow the yellow brick road!
We also visit local farmer’s markets; asking farmers and crafters which attractions are worth the drive and visit.
And, when it comes to finding a quiet campsite, some locals may know where the best-kept-secret camping spots are. But be nice. They can be very protective of their private camping hideaways.
But, if they really like us, they may even share a spot on their own property where we may hang for a few days.
That’s a wrap!
Well, that about wraps this one up. We hope you bookmark these helpful RV trip planning resources. If you’re new to RVing, try not to get stressed as that takes the fun out of working out your itinerary.
And don’t go it alone. Get your family or travel partners involved in your RV travel planning. Take turns picking out attractions and places to explore. But most of all, enjoy the process of planning your ultimate RV travel adventure!
More RV Trip Planning Resources
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