So many RV owners want to squeeze in more camping trips…but it sure is tough to figure out how to do that! Between work responsibilities and busy activity calendars, finding time to get away can feel like an impossible feat.
Plus, let’s face it: not many of us can find an extra week each year where we can say bye-bye to the boss and head out on the open road.
Don’t despair! There is a way to achieve that campground mojo more often. The secret is in becoming a RV Weekend Warrior.
What’s that, you say? Weekend trips are too short and too stressful? We feel you on that one. If they aren’t done correctly, weekend trips can leave you feeling exhausted and unprepared for the week ahead.
However, if you follow our Weekend Warrior training, you should return from the campground rested and refreshed. Here are our tips for getting the most out of weekend RV trips…
(Watch the Facebook Live post from Jayco’s page to see us talk about more indepth about these tips!)
#1 Take a Friday or Monday off of work.
Yeah, we know it’s hard to take time off of work. But more than 50% of Americans don’t use up all their vacations days, and a lot of doctors are telling us that’s no good for our health. Can’t take a full day? Try for a half day at least. This will get you to the campground early and the cares of the week will melt away by the warmth of the campfire.
#2 Reduce the driving distance.
The more time you spend in the car, the less time you spend at the campground, so keep the driving distance under two hours. Pay attention to traffic patterns, and try to avoid heavily trafficked areas to maximize relaxation and minimize stress.
#3 Camp close to home on busy weekends.
Can’t find a free weekend between sports games, baby showers, and birthday parties? Find a campground that is close to home, and head there even when a prior commitment is on the calendar. We found a nice county park just 20 minutes from our home where we camp even if the boys have a baseball game on Saturday. Why waste an entire weekend because of a 2-hour event?
#4 Reserve a seasonal RV site.
Seasonal camping is becoming more popular every year, and it’s easy to see why. When your fully-stocked RV is all set up and ready to enjoy at a campground, short weekend getaways are a breeze. Prices vary tremendously depending on location and amenities, so don’t assume a seasonal is out of your price range.
#5 Prepare incrementally throughout the week.
If you try to pack for your weekend getaway at the last minute, stress might be high by the time you hitch up and head out. We spend about 20 minutes every weeknight leading up to the trip, packing just one thing at a time: clothing, toiletries, bedding, food. On Friday you are all ready to go and your blood pressure hasn’t spiked. Win/win.
#6 Splurge for a late checkout on Sunday.
Many campgrounds will offer you a late check out if no one is coming into your site later that day. Sometimes it won’t cost you anything, but we have paid between $5-$20 to stay until late Sunday. It never hurts to ask, and having that whole extra day of downtime is might sweet.
#7 Enforce SWAT team Sunday.
We have a system in place where everyone (kids, too!!!!) helps unpack the RV when we get home on Sunday. No one sits in front of the TV until the camper is unloaded, laundry is running, and the food is restocked in the fridge. When we all pitch in, it really takes no time at all. Plus, we feel ready for the busy week ahead.
#8 Have a set weekend menu and shopping list.
Don’t feel like you have to be the king or queen of campfire cooking on a short weekend trip. A set weekend menu will mean that you spend zero brain power on food prep the week before your getaway. We do bagels and oatmeal for breakfast, PB&J or cold cuts for lunch, and a classic weenie roast on Saturday night. I could shop in my sleep for our weekend camping food, and you should be able to also.
#9 Grocery shop on Thursday for the weekend AND week ahead.
The worst thing ever is to come back from a weekend RV vacation and have to run out to the grocery store for the work week ahead. Plan in advance and shop for the whole week when you stock up for the weekend trip. Keep it simple for yourself, also. A post-camping trip week means tacos, pasta, and hamburgers around our house.
#10 Order out for Friday supper at the campground.
Getting to the campground, setting up, and then preparing dinner can set some folks over the edge…especially if you have kids that act like they haven’t eaten in seven days. Take that stress off the table by ordering something to go for Friday’s dinner. We like to pick up sub sandwiches from our local deli on Friday afternoon. Another option is getting pizza delivered to the campground. Call the campground office and ask who delivers directly to campsites. Place your order when you are just 15 or 20 minutes away.
It took us a few camping seasons to figure out how to make weekend RV trips relaxing and fun, instead of stressful and overwhelming. Now that we have been through our weekend warrior training, we look forward to escaping to the campground…even if it’s for just a few precious days.
Are you a seasoned weekend warrior? We would love to hear your tips in the comments below. And for more advice on making weekend trips worth it, check out our RVFTA Facebook Group!
You can also listen to our podcast episodes Becoming a Weekend Warrior, Part One and Becoming a Weekend Warrior, Part Two.
See you at the campground!