The current health crisis has left many summer plans up in the air. With travel restrictions still in place in certain areas, the future of summer travel is uncertain to say the least.
Because of this, many people are seeing the RV as the perfect outlet for safe summer vacations. RVs minimize the need to interact with others, as you can explore exciting-yet-spacious places without the need to check into busy motels or eat at crowded restaurants. As more campgrounds are loosening their restrictions and more adventurers are determined to indulge their wanderlust in a safe manner, the perks of RVing are causing RV sales and rentals to soar.
While the advantages of RVing are real, it is still important to be cautious and do all you can to enjoy your trip while protecting the health of you and those around you during the pandemic. To help you do that, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Stock Up On Supplies to Minimize Stops
Minimizing the amount of public places you frequent and interactions you have with others helps to reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus. You can reduce stops by filling your gas tank all of the way when you stop for fuel and by bringing all of the supplies you’ll need for the duration of your trip with you. Make a list of everything you’ll need, and plan out your meals so that you can get all of your groceries in one stop. Before you leave, double check your list to ensure you don’t leave anything behind. This way, you’ll have more of a streamlined journey to your destination while minimizing any needless social encounters and pit stops.
Research RV Park Closures
Before selecting a destination, take time to research the RV parks you are interested in visiting. Some are completely closed currently, and those that have reopened may have restrictions in place, such as only opening at 50% capacity or only allowing in-state visitors.
Call ahead to secure a reservation, or visit websites like Campendium that provide daily updates on which RV parks are open with restrictions, plan to reopen soon, or are closed indefinitely.
Practice Social Distancing and Respect Your Neighbors’ Space
Social distancing guidelines have caused many public campground amenities, such as on-site bathrooms, to shut down. However, if they are open, try to avoid using them if you can, wear a mask if you must enter one, and try to keep at least six feet between you and other campers at all times. You can minimize your use of public spaces by asking to check in and pay virtually, using your RV bathroom, and hand washing your laundry.
While giving neighbors space and avoiding crossing onto their campsites has always been an important element of campground manners, it’s especially important now to be mindful of sticking to your own space. Similarly, it may be tempting to approach fellow RVers and strike up a conversation, but you’ll significantly minimize any risk if you stick to yourself and your own travel companions.
While all states, cities, and campgrounds will enact different policies, you may want to reach out and ensure that the RV park that you are interested in is implementing conditions that are conducive to your health and safety, such as ensuring each campsite is spaced adequately from the others. If possible, avoid traveling during major holidays and other major travel times to reduce contact with others.
Wash Your Hands and Keep Your RV Sanitized
It’s important to regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds throughout your day, especially after coming in contact with a public place, another person, or high contact areas. If soap and warm water are not available, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Similarly, keep your RV sanitized by regularly cleaning and then disinfecting surfaces, paying special attention to those that are touched regularly, such as doorknobs, lightswitches, etc. It’s also a good idea to routinely disinfect electronics that are regularly touched throughout the day.
Stay Close to Home
Most guidelines from health officials still say that the safest thing to do is to stay home, so if you do plan a voyage in your RV, avoid planning long cross-country road trips. Instead, stick to RV parks and areas that are close to your home that tend to draw fewer crowds. Similarly, consider boondocking in an area that you know well and where it’s unlikely that you’ll come into contact with many other people. In the age of social distancing, it’s the perfect time to revisit your local hidden gems.
Only Travel with Those You Live With
While it may be tempting to gather all of your friends and family for an epic summer RV adventure, the more people you interact with increases your risk of contracting or spreading the virus. You are already exposed to the people you live with, so it’s advised that you try your best to limit your social activity and avoid interacting with anyone who does not reside with you when it’s not absolutely essential to do so.
Plan Your Route Thoroughly
While life looks like it is slowly returning to normal, there are still many areas that are currently shut down or are operating differently due to the virus. Before hitting the road, take time to research the areas you’ll be passing through thoroughly. For example, some rest stops may be closed or operating with limited hours, so you’d want to ensure that you’d be able to safely make it to your destination and access anything you need with the route you choose.
Additionally, it’s important to know all of the regulations of the different areas you’ll be traveling through, as not every state or city is implementing the same rules. Some are fairly open, whereas others have strict laws in place and corresponding penalties for violations.
Stay Updated With the Latest News and Local Regulations
The best thing you can do when traveling during this unprecedented time is to make sure you’re up to date on all of the latest news. Things seem to be changing every day, so make sure you follow Federal and local updates, stay informed of any lifting or tightening of restrictions, and make note of any changes in health recommendations by the CDC. Similarly, keep up with industry trends as well, such as changes in whether certain stores continue to allow RVers to stay overnight in their parking lots. By being prepared and informed, you can make the best decisions on how to have a fun trip while keeping you and your family safe and healthy.
Hopefully these tips give you an idea of how to have a safe adventure if you choose to RV during these uncertain times. It’s unfortunate that so many summer plans have been cancelled, but for many RVers, getting out in a big open area and immersing in nature is the perfect vacation. If you take the time to plan the logistics of your trip and prioritize health and safety measures, this summer can still be one that’s full of adventure.
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