Tips & Guides

Planning a Summer RV Vacation: For Airstreamers or Anyone

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Start planning your summer camping trip now so you’ll be ready once restrictions lift in your area. We’ll walk you through destinations, packing, and more.

We’ll go ahead and say it: this is going to be the summer of the road trip. After all we’ve been through this year, RVing is more perfect than ever, helping you save money, avoid air travel and crowded resorts, and still make some epic memories.

So while you wait for restrictions to lift in your area (or your dream destination), let’s plan your summer RV camping trip. From guides to apps to just good, old-fashioned pro tips from the road, this is the place to start for a well planned camping experience.

Part 1: Destination Planning
Part 2: Preparing Your RV
Part 3: Packing

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Part 1: Destination Planning

The First Step: Prioritize your bucket list

If you’ve always wanted to head to Alaska in your Airstream, this might be the summer to do it. Or maybe take that trip out west you’ve imagined doing with the kids. Make a vacation out of all the amusement parks you’ve never been to. Or head to South Dakota to see just how big those presidential faces are on Mount Rushmore. Stay at your first RV resort. Go boondocking. Whatever it is, let’s make it happen this year.

Our tip?

Write out all your dream destinations, then rate them as a family or a group together. The place with the most “Number 1s” wins.

Another helpful strategy is to plan trips by goals. Want to make sure you’re including something educational for the family? Ready to integrate giving back in some way into your vacations from now on? Prioritize your goals and work them into your dreams so your trip is as productive as it is meaningful.

Then, Let Roadtrippers Help: Pick a place by region

Anyone can use Google Maps to find camping destinations. But we’ve partnered with Roadtrippers to bring you even easier trip planning by region, all throughout the U.S. There’s so much beautiful country to see, and you might find some places you’ve never even heard of before.

Roadtrippers trip planning tool

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And We Can Help, Too: Our Favorite Trips

Airstream Supply Company Round Trip Series 

Our Round Trip Series takes one city at a time and dives into the vibe, the scenery, and an insiders’ perspective on what to do, what to eat, and where to stay – all focused on artisans and craftspeople who are passionate about manufacturing quality products, just like we are. 

Round Trip: Bend, Oregon

Round Trip: Joshua Tree

Round Trip: Salida, Colorado

National Parks

Our love for national parks runs deep. So whenever we think of majestic places to go, we start with our nation’s preserved lands. Here are two of our favorites.

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The Grand Canyon

If you’re making this a bucket list year, why not check off one of the nation’s favorite bucket list places? Grand Canyon National Park spans 277 miles of some of the most awe-inspiring views that you just have to see in person to really understand. There are multiple campgrounds in and around the park, and we’ve put together a list of our five favorite ones for you to check out. 

Grand Camping at the Grand Camping: Five Campgrounds to Make the Most of Your Visit 

Yellowstone National Park

Within a day or two’s drive of the Grand Canyon is Yellowstone National Park, our country’s very first national park. You’ve heard of Old Faithful and the hot springs, but there’s so much more hiking, fishing, and nature-watching to be had on this absolutely stunning preserved land. We’ve rounded up our favorite Yellowstone Campgrounds to make planning your visit easy.

The Best Yellowstone Campgrounds

Part 2: Preparing Your RV for the Road

Start by De-Winterizing

Has your RV been sitting in your driveway since Fall? Spend an afternoon de-winterizing it and getting it ready for the road again. 

Airstream Winterization Guide Flushing the System

  1. Flush your tanks, fill up your fresh water, and make sure it’s flowing properly. 
  2. Make sure your propane tanks are full and your battery is fully charged. 
  3. Give your Airstream a good, thorough cleaning inside and out. There’s no better feeling than starting with a fresh, clean space for the season.

Need some more guidance? Check out:

The Five Steps to De-Winterization

 

Make Some Upgrades

Now is an ideal time to make those upgrades you’ve been thinking about. From solar panels to Wi-Fi to new batteries, it’s amazing how one small upgrade makes life on the road so much more enjoyable.

Do you know about Airstream Connected? It turns any Airstream into its own powerful Wi-Fi network with flexible data plans from AT&T. Connected also features an Airstream locator so you can keep tabs on your RV when you’re not with it. 

Get All Your Important Info into One Place

Having all of your RV maintenance records, service contacts, and registrations digitized and all available in one place on your phone is a game changer. And that’s exactly what the Airstream Care app does. You get a dashboard of all of your service and maintenance activity, plus reminders for when service is due and what checks you can do on your own. 

 

Part 3: Packing for Your Trip

You know where you’re headed and what you’ll be doing, your RV is ready to roll, and it’s time for the fun part: packing. Your first instinct might be to bring literally everything you can think of. But we’re all about packing smarter and reducing clutter while you’re on the road. 

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Start with the Kitchen

Your kitchen is arguably one of the best parts of having an RV, so start your packing there. Think about your favorite on-the-road meals and check your inventory to see what you need to stock up on. Don’t forget the essentials. 

Kitchen Essential Checklist for an RV

Think About Your Camping Gear

Get your biggest gear sorted right away: will you need a bike rack? Will your kayak fit inside your travel trailer? Do you know where the air pump for your inflatable paddleboard is? Our rule for gear is: think about it first, but pack it last. That way, you make sure you have room for it but it’s always easiest to grab and go as soon as you hit the trails. 

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Grab Something New

Need a new sleeping bag or a better way to store your drinking water? We’ve got you covered. Airstream Supply Company is a curated collection of our favorite products for everything from tent camping to luxury RVing. Each and every item is vetted by real-life Airstreamers and fulfilled by us in Jackson Center, Ohio. Head on over and see your next favorite camping accessory.

Shop Airstream Supply Company

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Want more trip planning info? 

Start with Our Favorite National Parks Guide. From Acadia National Park on the east coast to Olympic National Park on the west coast, it’s full of insider info about our 10 favorite parks in the U.S. 

Download Guide