Are you thinking about enjoying the holiday season on the open road? Embracing the holiday spirit in your RV can be a unique and magical experience, but even the merriest of holiday travels come with their own set of challenges.
From packing smart to keeping the festivities bright in a compact space, a little planning goes a long way. Whether you’re a seasoned road-tripper or a first-time RVer, we want to make sure your adventure is merry, bright, and smooth.
RV Tips and Hacks for Your Holiday Trip
As the holiday season approaches, your RV becomes more than just a vehicle. It’s also a winter wonderland, full of joy and gathering. To make your holiday voyages both efficient and comfortable, we’ve determined 6 highly effective RV tips and hacks to keep in mind.
Tip #1: Plan Ahead
During the holiday season, you may find that roads and campsites are busy with bustling travelers. Planning ahead ensures you get where you need to go smoothly.
Start with Research
Begin by mapping out your intended route. Consider the weather forecast and road conditions you might encounter during your trip. Use apps and websites like Roadtrippers or RV Life Trip Wizard to help plan your route and take note of the RV parks, campgrounds, and service areas along the way.
Book Campsites Early
Popular spots can fill up quickly during the holidays, so reserve your campsites well in advance. Websites like ReserveAmerica or Campendium can be invaluable tools for finding and securing the perfect place to park your RV.
Service Your RV
Schedule a maintenance check-up for your RV before you hit the road. Mechanical issues can put a serious damper on holiday cheer, so it’s best to address them early. Make sure your tires are winter-ready, your batteries are charged, and your engine is in top shape.
When planning your trip, consider the space you have available and pack items that serve multiple purposes where possible. Consider planning your meals ahead of time as well, so you know what you’ll need to bring along. The goal is to create a cozy, festive atmosphere without overloading your RV.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Have an emergency kit ready and stock up on supplies like food, water, and medications. Make sure you have a backup plan as well in case your route needs to change due to weather or other unforeseen events.
Tip #2: Get Creative with Decor
Decking out your RV with holiday decorations can instantly boost the festive spirit of your travels. However, in a confined space, less is often more. You may need to get creative with your decor to keep it functional, yet fun.
Use Compact Decorations
Choose decorations that are festive but don’t take up too much space. Think window clings, door wreaths, and small, battery-operated LED lights that can bring in the holiday vibe without clutter. These items can add a touch of cheer without compromising your living space.
Try Magnetic Decor
Utilize the metallic surfaces in your RV with magnetic decorations. They’re easy to set up and remove, and they won’t damage your interior surfaces like adhesives can. From magnetic snowflakes to festive holiday characters, these can be a fun way to get into the spirit without the fuss.
Another option is to get creative and make your own decorations with materials you already have on hand. Homemade garlands made from popcorn or cranberries are not only a classic touch of home but also an enjoyable craft to create with family. Plus, they're biodegradable and can be used as a snack or for wildlife when you're done with them!
Embrace the digital age by decorating with screens. A digital photo frame can cycle through family holiday photos or display festive scenes. Tablets or TVs can play a digital fireplace video or snowfall animation, adding ambiance without taking up any physical space at all.
Be Mindful of Weight
Remember that every decoration adds weight to your RV. Keep an eye on your overall load to avoid overburdening your vehicle. Stick to lightweight materials and avoid going overboard with heavy adornments.
Tip #3: Pack for the Holidays
Packing for holiday travel in your RV requires a combination of strategy and skill. Space is at a premium, and with the added need for holiday gear, gifts, and cold-weather clothing, it's important to pack smart.
Use a Checklist
Start with a comprehensive packing list that includes all your holiday essentials. This will help you stay organized and ensure you don't forget anything important like gifts or your favorite holiday sweater.
Vacuum Seal Bags
For bulky items like winter coats and blankets, vacuum seal bags are a lifesaver. They can drastically reduce the volume of your soft goods, freeing up space for other essentials.
Gifts on the Go
If you’re bringing presents, consider flat-pack or experience-based gifts that won’t take up too much room. You can also ship gifts ahead to your destination or give digital gifts like subscriptions or gift cards.
Leave Some Space
It’s tempting to pack your RV to the brim, but try to leave a little extra room. You’ll appreciate having space to maneuver inside the RV. This also leaves space should you pick up any items along your journey.
Tip #4: Stay Warm and Safe
Traveling in an RV during the chilly holiday season requires special attention to comfort and safety. Keeping warm and making sure your vehicle is properly equipped for winter conditions is important to creating a cozy holiday adventure.
Insulate Your RV
Proper insulation is one of the most important things to think about when traveling during the holidays. Use insulated curtains or thermal window coverings to keep the heat in and the cold out. Consider adding rugs or carpets for an extra layer of insulation on the floor.
Heating Systems Checked
Before heading out, have your RV's heating system checked and serviced. A reliable heating system is vital for those cold winter nights. Portable heaters can be a great supplement, but make sure they’re designed for indoor use and have adequate safety features.
Layer Your Bedding
Add flannel sheets, plenty of blankets, and a quality down comforter or sleeping bag rated for low temperatures to your bed. Layering allows you to adjust your bedding to stay comfortable throughout the night.
Seal Drafts and Check Ventilation
Inspect your RV for drafts and use weather stripping or foam insulation to seal them. Pay special attention to gaps around doors, windows, and slide-outs. Additionally, make sure your vents are clear and functioning.
Tip #5: Stay Connected
The holidays are a time to connect with loved ones even if you're miles apart. When you're traveling in your RV, staying connected requires a bit of planning and some tech savvy. Here’s how to make sure you can send season's greetings from anywhere on the road.
Invest in a quality Wi-Fi booster or a mobile hotspot for a stronger and more reliable internet connection. This will help you keep in touch with family and friends, stream holiday movies, and share your travel experiences on social media.
Use Communication Apps
Make use of video calling apps like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime to stay in touch with family. Schedule regular calls to share your adventures and keep up with holiday traditions from afar.
Download movies, music, e-books, and games before you leave. That way, you can enjoy entertainment without needing a constant internet connection.
Keep all your devices fully charged with a combination of in-RV charging stations, portable power banks, and solar chargers. Having multiple charging options ensures that you’re never out of touch due to a dead battery.
Have a backup plan for connectivity issues. Know where local libraries, cafes, or community centers are along your route, as these places often offer free Wi-Fi.
Tip #6: Celebrate with Community
The holiday season is all about community and sharing good times with others. When you're on the road in your RV, you have a unique opportunity to create and join a community of like-minded travelers. Here's how to make the most of your communal experiences during the holidays.
Participate in RV Park Events
Many RV parks and campgrounds host holiday-themed events such as potlucks, decoration contests, or caroling. Participating in these can be a fantastic way to meet other travelers and create a sense of holiday camaraderie.
Host a Gathering
If you’re up for it, consider hosting a small celebration at your site. Invite your RV neighbors for a cup of hot cocoa or a holiday cookie exchange. It's a great way to foster friendships and enjoy festive fun.
Share Your Traditions
The RV community is diverse, and the holidays are a perfect time to learn about different traditions. Share your own and be open to participating in the customs of others. You might find a new holiday favorite!
Use the Community Board
Use the campground’s community board to post invitations to events or to share holiday greetings. It's an old-school way to communicate, but it can be quite effective in a close-knit RV community.
If you're not one for large gatherings or if you're traveling in more remote areas, you can still join in the community spirit virtually. Share your holiday experiences on RV forums or social media groups dedicated to RV travel.
Secure Covered RV Storage After Your Holiday Travels
With these holiday travel tips and hacks, you’ll be prepared and ready to make your RV adventure the most memorable one yet. And when your travels are over, secure your RV in a storage facility that cares for it as much as you do. Oakley Executive RV & Boat Storage offers a secure and convenient storage option for your vehicle when you’re not on the road. Reserve your spot with us today and travel with peace of mind tomorrow.