The fantasy of getting in a recreational vehicle and roaring off to explore the highways and byways across the country is a popular one. What most people would like to avoid is the corresponding nightmare where you are broken down on the side of the road 120 miles from civilization in a rainstorm. As with all things, the key to avoiding the nightmare version is preparation. Vacations are ironically the one thing you can’t afford to improvise, as the resulting confusion and expense will lead to an experience unlike what most people imagine a vacation should be.
When it comes to recreational vehicles, there are quite a few unique benefits to booking a trip well in advance. Here are a few things to consider.
Chief among the concerns when renting or operating a recreational vehicle is the reliability and repair status of the vehicle itself. The further in advance you can reserve the vehicle you plan to use, the more time you will have for mechanical evaluation and any maintenance or repairs. It is far better to discover problems when you are minutes from a repair facility than to discover them somewhere in rural Wyoming where you may be hours or days from the nearest mechanic. Be aware that in most cases, travel insurance or trip protection might not help you avoid unexpected repair expenses.
At the top of the inspection list should be tires, brakes, electrical system, transmission, generator and batteries. These are all single points of failure that can disable a vehicle and potentially strand the occupants.
The early drivers get the best selection. This is true at any rental agency and it is doubly true with RVs. Because there are practical concerns when it comes to RVs, like sleeping arrangements and trip length, having the best selection of vehicle types should be at the top of your priority list. Wait too long and your trip may not only be more expensive, but it might simply become impractical because you can’t find a vehicle large enough to accommodate your party or family.
Modifications and Extras
If the good vehicles are at a premium, you can bet the add-ons are even more precious. If you plan on a trailer or a hauler of some kind for your watercraft, motorcycles or other toys, you should give yourself plenty of time to make certain you can get add-ons that are compatible with your vehicle and are priced such that you don’t have to spend the entire trip eating ramen noodles.
Planning isn’t as difficult as it used to be. With all the tools available to the average person and the huge amount of information online, finding the right combination of availability and pricing is no longer as formidable as it once was. As with most things, the key is giving yourself enough time so you don’t run out your own clock before you get the show on the road.