Three Tips for Maintaining Your Sanity on Long RV Trips



As I write this post, my wife Linda and I are fourteen days into a twenty-one day trip  (with our dogs Alie and Rooster) through the western United States. As of tomorrow, we begin setting a record for our longest RV trip thus far. So, I thought today would be a good time to discuss ways to help you survive ENJOY your RV trip.

Tip #1: Make Time to Stay Put

We use our RV largely for work (traveling from state to state presenting workshops). If we schedule our workshops too close together, we find ourselves having to make very long and difficult treks (sometimes for a couple days at a time) in order to meet our deadlines.

If we don’t make time to relax, our whole trip will end up being tedious driving, work, and more tedious driving. We have done this before, and it is not fun.

If you want to enjoy living in an RV for long periods of time, you should schedule plenty of down-time for relaxation between your commitments. Traveling is supposed to be fun. See the sights, explore, rest.

Tip #2: Learn to Do Minor Work on Your RV and Schedule Time For It

If you will be living in your RV for long periods of time, it definitely pays to be a bit of a do-it-yourself-er.

RVs typically are not built to residential standards. Things in RVs usually are smaller, lighter and more fragile. Additionally, RVs take a beating being driven or towed down the road. All RVs have issues from time to time, and if you do not take care of the issues promptly, your honey-do list can become daunting very quickly.

Of course, serious issues can occur that will require special skill-sets and tools, and you will need to get your rig to an RV dealership or repair facility. Such issues will impact your travel schedule and your wallet. But I recommend not having to run to a repair facility for every little thing that goes wrong with your RV.

When minor issues occur, you can save yourself time and money by being able to fix them yourself. (Even if your rig is under warranty, warranty work takes time; rarely is it quick in the RV world.)

On my own rig, I’ve had to learn how to do a variety of things: maintaining my batteries, changing blown fuses, fixing cabinet door hinges that have jostled loose, greasing stabilizer jacks, fixing leaky plumbing, caulking exterior coverings that are leaking rainwater into the interior, servicing my own generator, and even retracting a slide-out if a motor is not working.

It is beyond the scope of this article to provide a comprehensive list of things you should know how to maintain and fix, but suffice it to say: the more you can do the better.

Keep a running list of the little things that need fixing on your rig, and schedule thirty minutes or so every week to deal with those issues.

Tip #3 – Make Arrangements to Give Yourself a Little Space

When you are living in close quarters with other people (and pets), sometimes you just need a little space. And you are unlikely to find it in an RV. You do not have to wait until things get tense to make that space. It is better to take a more preventative approach to self-care.

As I write this article, my wife is out having her fingernails done. And sometimes I like to grab my camera and go for a walk. Whatever you can do to give yourself a little space from time to time will pay dividends in your overall enjoyment of your RV life.

What do YOU do to maintain sanity on long RV trips? Please comment below.