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How to plan your first U.S. RV trip - even during a pandemic


Image: Unsplash


Technically, no one in the UK is legally allowed to take a leisure trip right now. Whether that is fair or not, given that our rates of Covid are going down dramatically, is up for debate. There are loopholes, but most won't be able to take advantage of those.


I am one of those who can.


So, a travel prize I won two years ago that was going to be taken last year - and couldn't due to Covid - needs to be redeemed by April 21, 2021, or I would lose it. The winning ticket was an RV trip with the winner flying into San Francisco, picking up the vehicle and then traveling down the coast to Los Angeles. At this point, the vehicle is dropped off before said participant flies back home. Flights included, but few other extras.



© Cruise America - Compact C19



The thing is I can take up the prize at this point in time because I am a U.S. and U.K. dual citizen. It is a glaring loophole for travel and must be very annoying for people who want to be on the road again.


Yes, I can fly out and take this idyllic RV camping trip though the airline is saying my husband can't accompany me being a U.K. passport holder. Anyone from the UK is not allowed to travel on a leisure trip. But part of my itinerary is business so it all works out in the end.


In any event, enough of the personal drama, the following details are worth knowing if you are planning to rent a camper van for a camping trip.


First of all, a camping trip in the wide open spaces and, obviously, outdoors is going to be a safer option than staying in a hotel. It has been known for sometime that Covid spreads more easily inside. Also, campers generally have a large space that is fairly self-contained. It might be a good idea to shower and use the restroom facilities that are in your camper van rather than public ones.


This year, because of fears of spreading Covid and also due to a raft of forest fires, finding campgrounds has been problematic. I have learned a valuable lesson from this and my advice is to book well in advance if possible, several months before you will arrive if possible.


Here are some tips as you get ready to roll:

· Make sure your RV has a propane generator particularly if you are camping in a campground with no hook up for electricity. Even Cruise America’s smallest camper (C19) has a generator that will power the lights, fridge, and stove if you have no other electricity. But the catch is that you not only pay for the propane. You pay $3.50 an hour to use it. Ouch.

· If you are arriving at the location for picking up your RV via an international flight, you must book a hotel for your first night. This makes sense because there could be delays associated with flying. I also think expecting people to drive an RV (possibly for the first time) after a long flight is not a good idea. Avoid booking a hotel in San Francisco or any major city instead book one near the rental facility which is likely to be in the suburbs and much cheaper.

· If you are going to be driving a long distance to your campground, it is worth booking

the early bird service which means, obviously, picking up your RV early. I believe, included in this add on is a taxi pick-up if needed.

· There are provision kits that can be booked but it is an extra charge of about $100 for each kit. Pictured below are the kitchen accessories:


© Cruise America


A personal kit with Pillow Wash Cloths, Pillowcases, Bath Towels, Sheet, Dish Towel and a Sleeping Bag/Comforter is also at an additional charge.


I have been camping for most of my life but this is my first time to experience hitting the road in an RV. Stay tuned for more on this adventure from April 11th 2021.


For more general information: https://www.cruiseamerica.com/rv-rentals


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