The idea of traveling across the country is seemingly sewn into the mind fabric of most RV and camping enthusiasts in America. A trip that spans from coast to coast is an ultimate must-do for an RVer, it’s the gold standard of American vacations, it’s the type of trip that’s supposed to be life changing, eye opening, and unforgettable.
It’s also a beast of an excursion to plan. Luckily, there are only three overarching considerations you should keep in mind to help turn the cross-country trip of your dreams into a real-life epic adventure.
Plan Your Potential Route
There are lots of routes you can take to cross the country in your RV – Florida to California, Washington to Maine, Virginia to Oregon, and any other state-to-state variation in between. The route you ultimately choose will of course depend on what areas you want to see, but don’t forget to keep the total mileage in mind. Some routes will require that you drive, say, 2,800 miles, while others could reach 3,500 miles. And that doesn’t include side trips or meandering. Planning your general route out in advance will help you select a reasonable timeline for your trip.
Don’t Rush the Drive
Speaking of timelines … yes, you’ll be driving across the country. But that’s not the only thing you should be doing with your time. You should also be enjoying the scenery, making stops in places you want to visit, and even stop in places you never thought you would visit. Want to touch the hand of Elvis? Just pull over in Tupelo, Mississippi, and visit the bronze statue of The King. Did you know there are sculptures of enormous animals and people along the “Enchanted Highway” near Regent, North Dakota? You’d miss these things – and so much more – if you were simply barreling across the country in a hurry.
That said, for a proper trip, plan to travel for several weeks – at least four if you can swing it – and don’t plan to drive more than five hours each day. This will allow you to stop occasionally when you want to and not feel pressure to keep moving every second of every day.
When you get to the designated places on your itinerary, you should plan to stay in those destinations for at least two days. This will allow you to enjoy the area, get to know some local hot spots, and (perhaps most importantly) get a respite from being on the road. Make sure these longer stops have options for the type of camping you want to do, whether plugging in at a campground with amenities or boondocking under the stars.
The cross-country trip is yours, so make it the way you want it.