You have an RV, because you want to see the country, and because you love the natural beauty of our land. But you likely won’t see much of that speeding down a big interstate highway.
While Google Maps or your GPS will likely direct you to the big interstate, try taking the roads less traveled. It’s a more relaxing and scenic way to travel with an RV.
State routes offer a slower pace, more scenery, and surprising small towns. However, in order to really discover the roads less traveled, have a road atlas and some paper maps on hand. You’ll discover things Google will never tell you about.
Paper Maps and RVing
Planning your next RV destination by pouring over a paper map can be interesting and absorbing; you will see things you won’t necessarily see online. The borders of national forests, out of the way lakes, obscure campgrounds, and more are marked on maps.
As you travel along, keep your eye out for free paper maps, they can come in very handy. You can find free maps at campgrounds, visitor centers, and many other places.
Try laying out a map, and see what lays ahead towards your next destination. Look for an alternate route to the big interstate highways, and mark off some interesting places to stop.
A vital companion to your road atlas is the Mountain Directory; one thing a map, or even a GPS, will show not you is steep grades and hairpin turns. That’s where the Mountain Directory comes in; you can check your desired alternate route against it, to ensure it’s RV friendly.
Finally, if you see a potential camping spot, you can search it on the internet, to find out more. You might find a YouTube video or a blog post to find out more about it. You don’t want to go down any roads less traveled that are not RV friendly.
The Advantage of Unpopular Places
While everyone has the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Yosemite on their RV bucket list, there lies the problem; everyone is going there, leaving less room for you and your RV. Look for places few people have heard of, and try going there.
Lesser-known national, state, or even county parks may not be as glamorous, but they have their own charm. A slower pace, fewer crowds, less expense, and wide-open spaces.
On your way to the tourist hot spots, stop for a while in the small towns most people just drive through. You might be surprised at what these places have to offer. It could just be a friendly, quiet, and safe place to rest up and do some laundry, but small things can be golden on the road.
Be Prepared for the Road Less Traveled
While taking the side roads through very rural areas is slow-paced and scenic, it can take some preparation.
First of all, fill up, and check for gas stations along your route; on some roads, gas stations can be few and far between. You can check for this on an app or with a web search.
Next, you might want to check with your cell carrier’s coverage map. Some areas do not have any coverage at all. While that may not stop you, it’s something to keep in mind.
Of course, stock up on food and essentials before you go. But depending on how long you’ll be out, you might want to check for grocery stores and other shopping along the way.
Finally, keep notes; write down your findings on paper, with addresses, phone numbers, or GPS coordinates. Keeping a travel notebook is a good idea for all RVers, that way you’ll have that information on hand for the next trip, or to share with friends.
While it may take a little more preparation, the roads less traveled are really the way to go in an RV.