There is nothing quite so American as taking to the open road and experiencing all that the country has to offer. One of the best ways to travel across the states is with an RV. You can pack up your belongings, your family and even your dog and visit any city without the expense of hotel fees. However, before you hit the road, you should make sure you’re prepared for the trip. Check out this list of the best ways to make the most of your cross-country adventure.

What to Pack

While an RV gives you the freedom to bring more on the road than you could in a car, you still need to pack sensibly and strategically. suggests printing a packing checklist and keeping a copy in your RV. You can make your own or find several online. In addition to the regular packing essentials like clothes and toiletries, keep in mind you’ll also need to bring sheets, pillows and blankets for the motor home, outdoor furniture for camping, food supplies and cooking utensils and you’ll need to be prepared with supplies such as flashlights, emergency flares, a fire extinguisher, auto tool kit, first aid kit and anything else you might need for on-the-road maintenance.

Campground Etiquette

Staying at a campground or RV resort is different than spending the night at a hotel. Before you hook up your motor home for the evening, make sure you know the rules and regulations of the camp site. According to, some common rules for RVing include keeping quiet hours at night, making sure your vehicle isn’t encroaching on someone else’s campsite, picking up after yourself and your pets’ waste and checking out on time. While a camping site isn’t a hotel room, you should still respect the area and leave it as you found it for the next family.

Maps and GPS

You might be the adventurous type who likes to make decisions as you go, but knowing the general routes and stops along the way can save you headaches, like trouble finding a gas station or a place to park for the night, and can help you plan what attractions you want to see so you don’t miss anything. While traditional maps are good to have on hand and GPS can be a life saver, there are also tons of apps for your smart phone that can help you navigate your way through the country. Lonely Planet suggests apps like Waze, a crowd-sourcing app that has information on cities all over the country, and TripAdvisor’s city guides app, which can help you find the best attractions, routes and places to stay wherever you go.

Know the Driving Rules

There are different rules and safety precautions you need to know when driving an RV than when driving a car, especially when you’ll be traveling through multiple states. Nothing can put a damper on your trip more than getting a ticket or getting in an accident while you’re hundreds of miles from home. Read up on local driving laws in the states and cities you’ll be visiting before you go. If you’ve never driven a motor home before, you may want to do a couple test drives around town before heading out for the long haul. Get familiar with the vehicle you’ll be driving so you’re confident when you take it across the country.

Embrace the Adventure

While it’s always good to plan the basics of your trip, part of the fun is spontaneously doing something you never have before. If you’re well stocked and well prepared, feel free to take a new road, stop in a town you’ve never heard of and embrace your adventurous side on your cross-country road trip.