When we started this adventure in November 2016, it started to rain within the first hour of picking up our little Homegrown trailer. Then it didn't stop raining for our first week of traveling. And then even a month later when we made our first big move down the coast of CA, not only had it rained most days that we had been repacking the trailer, it also rained for our first really long travel day and first time fully setting up the trailer. Despite a very wet start to this adventure, we have had bad travel days and good travel days since then, and have learned some good lessons.
Things we have learned to make travel days easier and actually fun:
- Start early. Pack up early and leave your site early.
- Get to your new spot before dark
- Respect mother nature and be open to adjusting your timeline or route.
- Eat before you leave and have snacks available (hangry is the worst way to travel)
- Cracker Barrel Restaurants make for a comfortable night stay when you have long travel days back to back.
- We made a very detailed check list and got it laminated. We mark it off with a marker before we head out from a campground. (We highly recommend double checking your list even when you make quick stops. See below)
- Double check your check list. Our favorite stool on the side of a hwy in CA agrees.
- Harry Potter on audio books makes for excellent entertainment for the drive.
- We like to travel 4-5 hours on a travel day and get to our destination with enough time to explore our surroundings in the evening.
- Things move around in the trailer way more than expected, even on smooth roads.
- When your trailer looks unique, be prepared for people to take pictures and give you thumbs up while they drive by. (aka, don't be stuffing your face with cheesy popcorn or be picking your nose) We may have learned this from experience.
- When you carry your house behind you, take advantage of it and make lunch on the side of the road, or hang out and watch a show while you wait for the restaurant to text you that your table is ready.
- Stop at things that look interesting. When we were driving through Arizona we made a detour and drove through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. It was totally worth it.
- Small is good. We might not have as much room as we would like, but wind isn't scary, and getting into gas stations is a breeze. We have also driven through cities and parked in cramped downtowns.
Here is an example of one of our favorite travels days. We stopped at Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monument, cooked soup in the parking lot of the monument, and drove through the gorgeous landscape of the Black Hills National Forest.
Most recently, the fall colors gave us a fantastic show on a travel day from Coeur d'Alene, ID to Seattle, Washington. Another reminder to take your time on travel days and to pull over even just to look at colorful leaves.
I hope this helps anyone thinking of adventuring in an RV! If you are already living full time in an RV, what are your recommendations for travel days?