The United States is a veritable wonderland of places to explore. From coast to coast, it’s packed with beautiful, ever-changing scenery and an intriguing mix of cultural heritage. Whether you like to travel in luxury and style, or you prefer to dial it back and keep things simple, the U.S. has something for everyone. But there’s one means of travel that is better here than anywhere else in the world: RVing.
It’s like the U.S. was made for RVers! A bevy of bustling towns and remote wildernesses just begging to be explored. New people to meet and new friends to make at every stop. Wide-open highways where you can roll down your windows and feel the wind in your hair. Truly, the idea of the “Great American Road Trip” still inspires travelers to this day. We’ll help you sort out your itinerary with this list of RV must-see’s and do’s.
Step One: Get to Know Your RV
RVing offers the best in freedom and privacy. You get to explore on your own terms while avoiding crowds and busy city streets (if you want to). You can customize your RV trip to however you see fit. But, it’s best to know a little bit about RVs before you rent one from a peer-to-peer site like RVshare, so you can be sure you pick the best type for your travel style.
- Class A motorhomes are large and in charge. They tend to be the most luxurious of the bunch, and big diesel models can come with extra features like dishwashers, washer-dryers, and fireplaces. They’re a good option for families who want to feel at home on the road.
- Class B conversion vans are best for a traveling couple or individual. They’re compact and discreet, perfect if you want to try stealth camping in the city or hard-to-reach areas. Though small, a Class B van can be just as upscale as a nice Class A, especially if it’s a Sprinter van. However, don’t expect a ton of amenities in this small RV.
- Class C’s are the perfect compromise between the benefits of a Class A and the easy driveability of a conversion van. They range in size from 25 to 35 feet or so and have everything you need to feel comfortable. The over-cab bunk offers an additional bedroom of sorts, which is great for families with older kids or a group of friends who want their privacy.
- Travel trailers and fifth wheels are towable RVs, so you’ll need a tow vehicle to pull one of these bad boys. But, they make life a little easier once you’re set up at the campground. If you need to run into town for dinner or errands, simply unhitch the trailer and hit the road! What’s more, most smaller travel trailers can be towed using a regular car or SUV!
Step Two: Choose a Cool Route
Not all roads are created equal. There are just some routes in the U.S. that are picture-perfect; an RVers dream. Check out a few of these legendary road trip ideas:
- Route 66. Stretching from Illinois to California, this historic road takes you on a tour of kitschy Americana. Along the 2,500 miles, you’ll pass oddball attractions like The Cadillac Ranch, the World’s Second-Largest Rocking Chair, and the beautifully retro Blue Swallow Motel (RV’s welcome!). The trip ends at the Santa Monica Pier, where you can grab a bite to eat and soak in the sights of the Pacific Ocean.
- The PCH. Hey, if you’ve made it to California, why not extend your road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway to California wine country? The PCH is a north-south highway that starts just outside of LA and ends in beautiful Monterey County. The road travels along the coastline, surrounding you with views of the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. Plus, it’s also one of the world’s greatest wine routes, so what’s not to love?
- Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The beauty of the southeastern United States is nearly unparalleled. Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway take you through Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains. Low speed limits encourage you to take it slow and enjoy the breathtaking vistas all around you. In fact, it’s considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. Travel tip: make this drive during autumn for a panorama of mountains bursting with the colors of fall.
Step Three: Pinpoint the Perfect Places to Park
What’s an epic road trip if you can’t find a few awesome places to stay along the way? There are thousands of campgrounds and RV parks in the U.S., boasting everything from ocean-front camping to luxury amenities like spas and golf courses. Here are a few must-stay campgrounds along the routes mentioned in the previous section:
- The Route 66 RV Resort in New Mexico is a brand-new, upscale resort on New Mexico’s stretch of Route 66. Aside from an expansive pool with a waterslide, other amenities include access to the neighboring casino, where restaurants, games, and an indoor theater will keep you entertained for days.
- Malibu RV Park is the perfect place to camp before you start (or when you finish) your PCH road trip. This ocean-front park offers stunning views of the ocean or the mountains from each site. If the views aren’t enough to convince you, the park also offers amenities like a game room, convenience store, and an outdoor lanai.
- Camping on the Blue Ridge Parkway can be found at any of its eight federally-owned campgrounds. Keep in mind, you’ll be camping without hookups, but the tradeoff is that you’ll enjoy the pure experience of camping in one of the country’s most beautiful national parks. Basic amenities include campfire rings and picnic tables. A few of the parks have camp stores as well.
Where Will Your Road Trip Take You?
From oceanfront resorts to mountain campgrounds, the United States is fit for even the most discerning of travelers. Its astounding beauty and unique cultural quirks are some of the biggest draws for tourists. Whether you take one of the road trips listed here or forge your own path, you’re sure to find an unforgettable experience of your own. Have you rented an RV from RVshare or traveled the U.S. in an RV? Share your tips in the comments!