Not to be confused with preparation…JUST KIDDING HEHE.
But seriously, What to know BEFORE leaving for your RV trip.
The day is here friends! Well…almost here. We will be leaving Tuesday, September 15th. To say I’m excited is an understatement. I’m just ready to HIT THE ROAD! We’ve been spending weeks prepping the RV to ensure It’d be suitable to live AND work in (for Joe). I just wanted to hop on here and chat about a few things before leaving:
- Preparing for the big trip
- Travel plans
- Saving $$$ while RV’ing
We’ve been prepping the RV for just over a month now. What exactly does that entail you ask?! Since we will be living in the RV indefinitely (until we’re ready to come home), we had to make sure it was fully stocked with all necessities. Thankfully, our rig has PLENTY of space for 2 people and a tiny doggo. I packed up both summer and winter items for us being that we’re leaving right at the end of Summer and beginning of Fall. The weather is most likely going to be all over the place.
Most importantly, we had to find a RELIABLE source of internet to ensure Joe would have consistent connection while working remotely. After weeks of research and comparing different companies and reading reviews, we decided to go with BIX Wireless. We went with their “Rural Package” that included a Cradlepoint IBR600C modem + 400GB monthly service. The modem costs us about $500, plus an additional $100/month service costs. So, DEFINITELY NOT CHEAP! Fingers crossed it works as well as the reviews report. I’ll write a personal review on it after we use it for a bit if anyone is interested. We decided to go with this internet option since we plan on boondocking for a good bit of our trip. Plus, lets be honest, the internet connection at RV parks isn’t always the best.
Some other parts of our preparation stages included:
- Buying a generator to use when boondocking (we went with this one)
- RV inspection and Registration (because we are in PA)
- Buying the hoses for hook ups (electric, sewage, water)
- Preparing a med kit
- Buying spare tires
- Stocking the cabinets with non-perishables
- Decorating the interior
- Completing a “test run” at a local RV site
The beauty of this trip is that we’re just going to go wherever the wind takes us…or more so wherever the snow is not. Our current itinerary is VERY detailed. Ya ready….DRIVE WEST. Ideally, we would start by leaving the Philadelphia area, hitting the northwest of the country, then heading south after we make it to California. We plan to wrap up the trip by coming back east through the southern states. However, being that there was ALREADY snow in some areas of the US this past week, plans are contingent! We’re just going to take it day by day and do what we can to avoid the snow. Snow + 26 foot trailer + inexperienced RV’ers = One big hot mess I DO NOT want to be a part of. I’ve also been keeping an eye on each states travel restrictions due to COVID. That’ll play a role in what areas we hit and where we want to avoid.
Saving That MOOLA!
Now the important stuff, saving money. I’m really excited about this yearly membership I joined, Harvest Hosts! What is the hosting of harvests you ask?! For about $70 a year you can park your RV at over 1000 wineries, farms, breweries, museums and other awesome sauce locations. So instead of spending every single night at an RV park paying $30 – $60 per night (estimating), We can pay $70 a YEAR to park our rig on beautiful, quiet, secluded land. Harvest Hosts just ask that you support your hosts and buy something during your stay. Currently our plan to save money involves rotating between Harvest Hosts, boondocking on BLM managed (government owned) land, and staying in RV parks ONLY when electrical/water/sewage hook ups are needed.
Some other tips to save while traveling:
- Shop at local grocery stores and cook food over the fire, or in your RV, if you have propane. Try to avoid eating at restaurants as much as possible…yes, this includes all those WAWA and SHEETZ stops (;
- Consider an annual national parks pass if you will be going to multiple parks while traveling. It’s $80 a year per person versus $10 – $30 per park.
- Purchase a water filter instead of buying drinks each day….It adds up!
- Take advantage of shoulder season. Try to avoid peak tourists time and go during the so called “off season” (my favorite times to travel) since prices will no longer be spiked and it’s less crowded. WIN-WIN if you ask me!
- When getting gas, use apps such as GasBuddy to find the cheapest around
We have A LOT to learn guys. I am by no means an expert on the RV life. I just hope to provide some personal stories and experiences that may be able to 1. Help you learn from us…mistakes included 2. Inspire you to travel 3. Make ya laugh at some of our travel fails.
Hope to see you following along,