Best Beginner RV Trips

Three Images of RVs in USA and France

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Three Images of RVs in USA and France
Cheapism/Daniel Garrido/wilatlak villette/Getty Images/Tashka/istockphoto

Best Beginner RV Trips

Ah, the great American road trip. A tried-and-true way to experience everything from the rolling hills of the Appalachian mountains to the sparkling California coast. And how better to see the country than in a recreational vehicle?

RVs offer many of the comforts of home (or a hotel) as well as the portability of a vehicle. If you’re new to RVing, here are a few easy starter trips to try. Pack up the family and pets and hit the road!

Related: 20 Bucket-List RV Road Trips Around the World

Man Working on Laptop While Sitting in RV in the Forest
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How to Plan a Road Trip

No matter where you decide to go, a little planning can take you far.

  • Step 1: Map your route.
  • Step 2: Book your campsites.
  • Step 3: Prep the RV.
  • Step 4: Enjoy your trip!
Couple With RV Enjoying the Forest
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6 RV Trips for Beginners

Now let’s look at a few trips you might want to consider as a first-time RVer.

Couple Sitting in Chairs by Camper in Front of RV at a Campsite

1. Somewhere Close to Home

Before you spend weeks on the road in an RV, consider doing a test run over a long weekend. Pick a state park or campground a few hours away from your home.

The advantage here is that you get to try out the RV without committing to weeks on the road. If there’s a problem, you’re still close to home and familiar resources. If there’s a mechanical issue, you aren’t stranded in the desert or far from a town.

Related: Rookie Mistakes That First-Time RV Drivers Make

Two RVs Parked in Country of Arizona
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2. Route 66

While the entire 2,332 miles of Route 66 might be intimidating for a first-timer, you can break off just part of this iconic American road trip for your vacation.

If you start in the west, you can see the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, and the Petrified National Forest. Begin your trip in the midwest and be sure to see Cadillac Ranch, Palo Duro Canyon, and the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. And for those of you in the east, your trip can include the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame, Lincoln’s Tomb, and the Mark Twain National Forest.

Related: 19 Historic Route 66 Restaurants Worth a Pit Stop

RV at a Campsite in the Alabama Hills of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
Mimi Ditchie Photography/Getty Images

3. California

Again, the entire 2,226 miles of California’s coastline and inland may be more than you’re looking for, but start in San Diego in the south, and you can spend a few days visiting the Anza-Borrego State Park, Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks, and the John Muir Wilderness.

If you start in northern California, Shasta National Forest is a must-see, as are the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and Lake Tahoe.

RV Traveling on the Seven Mile Bridge of the Overseas Highway Between the Florida Keys

4. The Florida Keys

Just a few hours south of Miami, the Florida Keys are a great beginner’s route in an RV. There are many RV-friendly campground sites, and plenty to do. You can visit the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the Dolphin Research Center, and the Hemingway Home.

One of the big perks of the Florida Keys is how easy it is to get around by bike, so you won’t even need a car once you park your RV.

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Empty Road Leading Towards Mountains Against Sky, Grand Teton, Wyoming
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5. The Rocky Mountains

Take your pick of which part of these expansive mountains to visit. There’s the perennial favorite, Yellowstone, as well as Grand Teton, Glacier National Park, and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, among others.

If you’re bringing furry friends, make sure they’re welcome on trails before you set out for a hike.

RV on Kancamagus Highway Near Lincoln, New Hampshire During Early Autumn
Cappi Thompson/Getty Images

6. New England

Seeing New England by RV, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing, is a memorable experience. From killer coastlines to lush forests to colonial towns, there’s something for every interest.

Many RVers start in Ferriss Lake, New York, then dip down to Hammonasset State Park, Connecticut, before heading to Cape Cod. From there, they go through Salem up to Acadia National Park in Maine. If you’re feeling adventurous, add Allagash Wilderness Waterway State Park in Maine to your route, then drive through White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.

Related: The Best RV Sites in Every State and When to Book Them

RV Parked With a Girl and Her Father in a Mountain Pass in the French Pyrenees Mountains
Justin Paget/Getty Images

Beginner RV Trips in Europe

Haven’t gotten your fix yet? Consider RVing in Europe! Here are some easy routes to start with.

RV on Road Going Through Austria Alps During Summer
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Kärnten Laketour, Austria

This picturesque trip through Austria takes you to Wörthersee, Weissensee, Millstätter See, and Ossiacher See, which includes breathtaking views of both verdant mountains and crystal-clear lakes.

Woman Reading a Book by a RV in Tuscany, Italy
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Lombardei to Adria, Italy

Dreaming of pasta and prosecco? This RV route focuses on the northern part of Italy, hitting cities and towns including Milan, Brescia, Venedig, Bologna, and San Marino (which technically is another country). You’ll avoid the throngs of tourists that are more commonly found in places like Lake Como and Tuscany and still enjoy Italy’s natural beauty.

Related: Avoiding the Crowds: Europe's 12 Biggest Tourist Traps

RV Parked at a Hot Air Balloons Carnival, Chambley, France
wilatlak villette/Getty Images

English Channel Route, France

The north of France has striking coastlines, gorgeous beaches, and of course, French food! This route takes you through Étretat, Dinan, Trégastel, and Camaret-sur-Mer, and you’ll see sights like the cliffs of Etretat, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Le Mont Saint Michel, and Cap Fréhel. It’s an ideal trip for hikers.

If you’re planning your first RV trip, pick a location you’re comfortable with. Over time, you can stretch out your trips and driving time to see more of America, Europe, and the world!

Related: Bucket List RV Trips to Take Next Year