Courtesy of Gretchen Breuner
There's a lot to know before you go. Start here!
Figure Out Your Budget
Summer RV rentals typically range from $100 to $250 per night including insurance; in general, the longer the trip, the lower the price. Plan on bringing your own blankets, bed linens, cookware, and utensils because rental companies will charge you about $70 per person for them no matter how long your trip lasts. Also ask about how many miles per gallon of gas you'll get so you can factor fuel into your budget. Older models don't typically get more than 10 miles to the gallon, while the latest ones could give you twice that. To locate a nearby dealer, search by zip code at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (rvia.org).
Find a Family-Friendly Campground
If you'll be RVing for two weeks or more, join the KOA (Kampgrounds of America Inc.; koa.com) to coordinate its locations with your route. Also consider picking up a copy of Woodall's North American Campground Directory 2011: Everywhere RVers Go. Enter the promo code parents2011 at woodalls.com to receive half off the $26 cover price. Some great options for little campers: Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort, in Bar Harbor, Maine (hosts ice-cream socials, hayrides, and pancake suppers); Mt. Hood Village RV Resort, in Welches, Oregon (it's one of the few places in the U.S. where kids can ski or snowboard year-round); and Boyd's Key West Campground in Key West, Florida (great saltwater fishing and a heated fresh-water pool).
Children ages 12 and under need to sit in the back of the RV, just the way they do in a car. Make sure there are enough seat belts because state car-seat and booster-seat laws also apply to RVs.
Originally published in the May 2011 issue of Parents magazine.
This piece was accurate at publication time, but all prices, offerings and availabilities are subject to change. Please contact each hotel and attraction for up-to-date rates and information before taking your trip.