If your idea of a dream holiday is waking up just steps from the day’s hike, paddle, or climb and finishing the day off chilling out under the stars eating dinner by the campfire against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful scenery the USA has to offer, then an RV road trip holiday should be the next adventure on your list! Imagine the joy waking up somewhere different every morning, all the while never needing to pack or unpack while enjoying a trip on your own time and pace, travelling through some of the most interesting parts of America.
Some of our own travel experts have enjoyed their own RV holidays in America and have put together everything you need to know.
RV Hire USA – What do I need to know?
The first thing to do when planning your holiday is pick which RV to rent and to make sure the one you pick meets your needs. RV’s come in many different sizes, and its important to pick the right one for you. They generally go from sleeping 3 -7 people and but other than the number of sleepers and the size of the vehicle, you’ll find that when it comes to RV hire USA most vehicles have the same facilities onboard. Most will have air con, a bathroom with a shower, fridge, microwave and gas cooktop. You can arrange rental of linen and towels etc for the duration of your trip.
Keep in mind your driving ability when picking out which RV you plan to rent. The bigger ones might have more space inside but that’s no good if you aren’t comfortable driving it! That said, you’ll quickly adapt to the bigger size of vehicle. It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the rules of the road, the different road signs and road types, just to feel more confident when you do get going. Have all your maps ready, rent or bring your own sat nav. The driving of most RV rentals will be covered under your normal Irish/British driver’s license.
Is One Way RV Rental Possible?
Once you know where you want to go and what type of RV you want to rent, the good news is there are plenty of pick up and drop off points all around America. Your route might loop back to the same pick up point or if you are travelling from one place to another you will need to bear in mind that you’ll have to pay an additional fee for one way RV rental when you return it. If you wish to travel into Canada from the US or vice versa, you are free to do that, but you need to return your RV to the same country you picked it up from.
RV Campsites USA
Then you are ready to hit the road! Of course the beauty of an RV holiday is that you are free to spend as much or as little time as you like wherever you go. However some campsites, especially those in the National Parks book up a few months in advance so if there are certain places you definitely want to stay, we’d advise you pre-book, especially during summer and other school holidays. For the quieter periods you can simply rock up and book in when you arrive. It’s good to remember that not all campsites in the US accept RVs or only have limited space for RV’s so make sure you check that when picking where you want to stay.
Of course different campsites have different facilities onsite. Most however will have toilet, shower and washing facilities, picnic and cooking areas. Some will have play areas for kids and some will even have pools! So its worth your while taking a bit of time to find the best RV campsite that meet your needs in every area you plan on spending your nights.
The best places to go on an RV holiday in America
RV road trips are hugely popular in America so there are plenty of campsites and routes all over the country to choose from. Your RV holiday can be a road trip through whatever region of the America you would like to explore on your own time on your own itinerary. Or another popular option is using your RV as your hotel on wheels as you spend time camping and exploring America’s National Parks. The great thing about exploring America by RV is that you are on your own itinerary and route, meaning you can discover some lesser known areas and avoid the busy touristy areas if you wish.
RV Holidays in America’s National Parks
The National Parks are a great option for RV holidays in America. Many of them have campsites for RVs and days can be spent exploring the beauty of the national parks and all the activities they have to offer, while nights can be spent watching glorious sunsets in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world as you then sit around your campfire under wide open dark skies full of stars.
On the East Coast, Acadia National Park in Maine offers 65 square miles of mountain peaks to explore including Cadillac Mountain, the East Coast’s highest mountain. With 26 mountains, 26 lakes and ponds and 120km of hiking trails, this is definitely one for those who love to get out among nature. There are numerous campsites in and around the park that are also in close proximity to the ocean where a quick dip at the end of the day will relax those leg muscles after a day of hiking!
Further south on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina you’ll find the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which is another great spot for those looking for an activity-filled RV holiday. This park is home to some of the most majestic forestry in the region – some of the Smoky Mountains are between 200million – 300million years old. The area is also well known for its abundant wildlife. With over 200 types of birds and 67 types of mammals 80 amphibian and reptile species, 67 types of fish, and 17,000 kinds of insects there is so much to see! Some of the activities available in the park include hiking, wildlife watching, ranger programs, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and whitewater rafting. Again there are plenty of campsites in and around the park, but some do not allow RVs so make sure you do some research on where you can stay!
Fancy swapping hiking for skiing? Then Jackson Hole in Wyoming is the place to go on your RV holiday. Jackson Hole is a magnificent valley surrounded by mountains with plenty of ski slopes available to swoosh down as you view the stunning valley below. Jackson Hole boasts the longest continuous vertical rise ski area in the US, rising 4,139 feet from the valley floor to the top of the mountain. After a day on the slopes, pay a visit to the Granite Hot Springs or for a real treat take a ballooning excursion out over this stunning region. Staying in Jackson Hole means you are also in close proximity to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, and since you have the freedom of your RV, be sure to pay these a visit too and maybe spend a night or two in each!
The West Coast is home to some of the best National Parks in America. The Pacific Northwest region is home to the stunning Olympic National Park, located just 60 miles from Seattle. Home to glistening beaches, rich forestry and peaceful lakes, this really is an ideal place for an RV holiday. Olympic National Park includes an amazing 73 miles of breathtaking wilderness coastline so is great option for the sea worshippers! The Park is home to glacier clad Mt. Olympus and those who hike the mountain are rewarded at the top with stunning panoramic views over the Pacific coastline.
RV Road Trips in America
An RV holiday is also a great way to hit the road and see more of the region you are visiting. RV holidays are a great way to see expansive places such as Texas, where you can soak up some of the cowboy culture of the Lone Star State. Arizona with its miles of stunning national beauty to soak up is another spot perfectly suited to an RV holiday. Everywhere you travel through the Arizona landscape you’ll be surrounded by stunning desert vistas and red rock formations.
Over on the East Coast going on a road trip throughout New England during the fall when the fantastic fall foliage is on display is the perfect fit for a holiday where you want to have the freedom to do your own thing.
RV holidays are also popular in Florida where they can be combined with a few days of a road trip exploring the region along with a few days at the beach and of course a visit to Florida’s world famous theme parks!
California is another great region to explore on an RV road trip. There are so many fantastic coastal routes to drive in California and up into Oregon that are best experienced on the freedom of a holiday on your own time! Some people also choose to do the most iconic road trip of all time, RV holidays on Route 66, a great way to see so much of America driving from Chicago in the East to Santa Barbara in the West crossing through the heartland of America along the way.
Top tips for your RV holiday from our Travel Experts
• Once you pick up your RV have a look through it and make sure you have everything you need. We then suggest a trip to the supermarket to pick up supplies for your trip, from snacks for the drive, to whatever you might fancy for breakfast, lunch and dinner options. After a fun filled day of exploring, a trip to the shops might not be your idea of fun so stock up when you can as you go along! It’s also a good idea to stock up on sun cream, shampoo, toilet paper etc for your holiday, and a top tip is to throw in a flashlight and a bottle opener!
• Don’t overpack! Space will be tight in your RV, so leave the kitchen sink at home. Some campsites will have clothes washing facilities, so perhaps plan a stop at one such site so you don’t need to bring as many clothes. However, make sure you are appropriately packed for where you plan on going. For example if you are staying in some of the National Parks in the West, while the weather might be glorious during the day, it can get very cold at night so make sure you have something warm to throw on for nights sitting around the campfire.
• While it’s a good idea to have some kind of route and itinerary planned out, don’t be afraid to stray from it and if you see something interesting STOP and go explore! That’s the beauty of your RV holiday – the freedom to do what you want on your trip.
• Make friends at the campsites. RV holidays are really popular in the US so get to know some of your campmates, they are likely to be seasoned travellers and could well have some suggestions and tips of other areas of interest nearby that are worth visiting that you hadn’t realised. Again, since you have the freedom to do so, it might be worth taking a little detour the next day!
• Keep a diary of your travels – you tend to visit a lot of places on a trip like this so nice to look back on your day to day adventures long after you come home.
RV Holiday Deals
Planning your holiday and thinking of exploring the USA in an RV? Speak to one of our expert travel advisors, they will help you to choose the routes and destinations that appeal to you most. Give us a call now and our experts will create the perfect RV holiday package for you.