Top 10 tips for safe and adventurous USA motorhome holidays

Friday, 11 February 2011 12:00 AM

Bon Voyage

Bon Voyage

If you are one of the many people who dream of making a great road trip, then why not take a look at the advantages offered by USA motorhome holidays?

Booking motorhomes - or recreational vehicles (RVs) as they are known in North America - is perhaps the ultimate in fly drive holidays to the USA, as it will offer you total freedom to travel wherever you want in this vast country. Whether you wish to spend your break exploring a specific area, following Route 66 or embarking on an epic coast-to-coast trip, you can do it in a motorhome.

Having your accommodation with you means you can plan your own itinerary and change it at short notice if you decide you want to do something different. And travelling in an RV is a great way to meet people during America holidays, as socialising on campsites is an integral part of the motorhome experience.

But while a motorhome USA adventure is sure to be a liberating experience, there are some things you need to remember to ensure your holiday is safe and successful.

1 - Do some research about motorhome providers

Before you book a motorhome for your holiday, take a look round at what the various rental companies have to offer, but remember that price isn't the only thing to consider. Make sure you choose a vehicle that comes with all the practical things you will need, such as pots and pans. It is also a good idea to look for an unlimited mileage deal, as this will allow you to travel where you want.

2 - Choose a motorhome rental company with the right locations

Most motorhome rental businesses will allow you to collect a vehicle from one of its depots and return it at another. Make sure that you check the company has offices in the places you intend to start and finish your trip - there is no point trying to save a few dollars if it means you waste time travelling to pick up and drop off your motorhome.

3 - Familiarise yourself with the local driving laws

In order to stay safe and out of trouble on the roads it is important to ensure you know all the local laws. For example, there is no national speed limit, so you will need to be aware of the changes from state to state. The drink-driving limit also differs between states, so think carefully about how much you have to drink in the evenings if you are planning to get behind the wheel the next morning.

4 - Book a hotel for your first night in the USA

Many rental companies will not allow you to pick up your RV on the day you arrive in the USA, so make sure you have somewhere to stay when you get off your flight.

5 - Stock up on supplies

Your first call after you have collected your motorhome should be at a supermarket to stock up on food and essential supplies for the early part of your journey. The staff at the rental depot will be able to give you directions to a local shop with parking facilities for RVs.

6 - Arrive for your first night's stop in daylight

It is a good idea to book a spot at a campground for your first night on the road and to make sure you arrive in daylight. Hooking up your motorhome to the water, electricity and waste services available for RVs at most campsites is a simple process, but if you are unfamiliar with it, you won't want to try completing it in the dark.

7 - A bit of route planning can help make your journey a lot smoother

While one of the major advantages of motorhome holidays in the USA is that they offer you real freedom over your itinerary, it is a good idea to do some scheduling for your journey. Campgrounds close to major attractions such as Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park are always busy, so it is sensible to book spots in advance.

8 - Choose pull through campsites

Where possible select pull through campsites, which allow you to drive in at one end and out at the other, meaning you can avoid too many tricky manoeuvres in an unfamiliar vehicle.

9 - Fill up with petrol regularly

This may sound obvious, but as you are likely to be driving long distances through some wilderness areas, it is sensible to take whatever opportunities are available to keep your petrol tank filled up.

10 - Take regular breaks

Driving long distances without breaks can be dangerous, so make sure you stop regularly. Breaks will also help to ensure you don't miss too much of this country's stunning scenery while concentrating on the road.