How To Transform An RV Road Trip Into A Legendary RV Adventure

Find Your RV Road Trip Adventure Today

An RV road trip adventure isn’t planned and organized.  The adventures begin with one uncomfortable decision after another.  Until a buildup of choices lead you out of your comfort zone.

Everyone wants to experience travel tales full of excitement and adventure.  An epic RV road trip adventure that delivers from start to finish full of unforgettable memories with adventurous travel partners.  Awarding you with bucket list photos and time standing still moments, but the best stories come from those “shit hits the fan” moments during these extraordinary travels.  Like my first RV trip or my first bear attack.  Where you’re experiencing a sensory overload of euphoria through a series of events, and the next moment you’re faced with a sobering dose of reality.  The choices that you make at that moment in time are what set the ordinary travel stories apart from the legendary RV travel tales.  Where RV road trips transform into legendary RV adventures!

Tips to transform your ordinary RV outting into a legendary RV road trip adventure

Epic RV Road Trip Adventure Intro

An entertaining recount of a legendary two month RV adventure. Complete with bear encounters, dramatic scenery, real live dinosaurs and the ultimate tragedy.In the last 60 days, I’ve been on 3 traditional Minnesota family vacations watching 4th of July fireworks.  Competing in turtle races and fishing contests in cabin country where there’s more fishing rods in one boat then there are businesses in town.  Before heading West to the mountains for ski season, and passing through the undeniable beauty Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.  Before finding myself shit-faced drunk standing in the middle of Yellowstone River between a massive mama bear, her three cubs, and an even bigger male grizzly bear.

Leading to get lost on an Indian reservation with no cell phone service, radio signal or civilization.  To finding myself bartering a freshly made turkey sandwich to another mama bear and her two cubs for the life of my beagle & myself.  The jury’s still out on the value of that trade.  Because 6 hours later I spun a bearing on my travel trailer.  Leaving me stranded at a ski resort playing mechanic with hand tools in a dirt parking lot for over a month.  While I fell in love with a town and it’s not because I got to hold a real live dinosaur!  No, this magical town offered more than just services, but before I could become a local I had to participate in a fight to the death.  Click here if you want to read the full version of that epic RV road trip adventure!

This adventure happened because my only plan was to turn the key and push the pedal on the right.  Maybe you’re not looking for an RV adventure that close to the redline of RPMs, but if you’re looking for any adventure be flexible in your planning.  Force yourself to be social.  Step outside of your comfort zone.  Do things you wouldn’t normally do, or at least don’t make a plan for every second of the day.  Try a new food.  Ask a stranger looking at the menu outside of a restaurant if they would like to join you for dinner.  With so many ways you can transform an ordinary RV road trip into a unique adventure without intentionally putting yourself in jeopardy.

Recipe for Road Trip Adventures

Start small.  Instead of making reservations for 7 nights at the campground.  Book only 6 nights and boondock it the last night.  You don’t have to hike out into the desert with no water to find adventure.  You just have to do something you normally wouldn’t do.  For example, rather than heading to your desired destination settle for somewhere close to it.  So that you can explore an area you know nothing about, and if it turns out to be a bust you always have a great backup plan.  But you’ll never know if the adventure of a lifetime was there if you don’t try.   RV road trips are so consumed with fuel economy, campground amenities, time of the year and annual passes.  Just turn the key and let RV life unfold.

Drive Wagon Wheel Road North of McCall in the fall on your next RV road trip adventure to capture Brundage Mountain reflecting off of Payette Lake with a ribbon of fall foliage color.

Lessons From Backpacking

Years ago when I was backpacking across Europe and Southeast Asia it was so much easier to find unknown adventures and travel partners because people were more social.  While backpacking you most likely stay at hostels.  Where you share a room with like-minded individuals and cook family meals in the community kitchen.  Sit down and share your travel stories.  Invite strangers along for the adventure because the more the merrier.  Each day started out in similar fashion with the intent of curious exploration but ended with a chapter of pushing your boundaries with newfound travel partners.  You never knew exactly what the day was going to bring, but you knew it was going to be something more than trivial routine.

Art of Travel Becoming Extinct

With people buried in their phones, laptops and various other devices to keep them focused on the goal at hand.  Those days are long gone.  It’s a research, seek and conquer mentality in today’s travel world.  The art of travel is on the brink of extinction thanks to technology.  Slow down.  Get to know the people and places your traveling too.  Take a wrong turn.  It will lead somewhere.

Some of my most memorable adventures began by turning down a dirt road.  From the badlands of North Dakota to the boondocking in dried up creek beds in Lake Havasu.  You never know what you'll find until you turn down a jacked up dirt road.  RV adventures await.

RV Must-Have Travel Apps

This is exactly how you can transform your ordinary trip into a legendary RV camping adventure that will make any audience jealous when listening to you regale the trials and triumphs of your experience.  Put down the technology.  Walk out the door and turn the key of your RV with only a direction in mind.  Refrain from using travel apps like Trover, ioverlander or other digital travel guides.  Walk up to a local and ask them, “What is the one thing you have to do before leaving the city?”  You’d be surprised at some of the responses I have gotten over the years.

Let Local Guide Your RV Travels

A lady in Chicago once told me bumper cars at this miniature golf course was the best thing to do in the windy city.  A drive-in movie theater was the best recommendation I got from a Pittsburgh native.  Locals live and breathe in the destinations we visit.

They know where the worst places are to eat, and all the hidden little treasures to discover.  They know if you bring your receipt from this store to that club you get free door cover.  Locals know who has the best happy hour, and the best places to have a bonfire.  Where police won’t interrupt them for camping overnight.  The internet is a sea of regurgitated information, but locals will provide unique vantage points and treasured secrets of the areas you wish to explore.   So that you will see things other travelers won’t.  Allowing you to turn your ordinary trip into something spectacularly unique.

Talking to locals at the Big Sky County fair got me directions to a secret waterfall and free campsite high up in the mountains.  Locals are the key to RV adventures.

Travel Angels

These are the tricks of the trade when backpacking through other countries.  Traveling by foot mandates you to put yourself into a social situation.  Forces you to try new things and expand your comfort zones.  One undeniable characteristic I uncovered while backpacking around the world was everyone wants to be a hero.  Everyone wants to be friendly and help out where ever they can.  The cash register girl at the hardware store.  The bus driver who looks like he’s about to drop dead from fatigue.  To the random individual just walking down the street. There’s a reason why every travel blogger says, “This place is amazing and the people are so nice!”

Transforming your trip into an adventure is as easy as asking a simple question to a random stranger.  I understand its scary to strike up a conversation with a total stranger, but they feel the same way you do.  One of you has to make the first move, or neither of you are going to find your adventure.

RV life is amazing so dont forget to be awesome

RV Life

I have since given up my backpacking days for full time RVing across America before I attempt to drive around the world, and RVers have this one uniquely odd characteristic that I struggle with daily to overcome.  Most RVers are incredibly genuine level headed independent introverts.  That instantly disconnect from the community of travelers.   It’s kind of a cross between I don’t need anything from you, and I’m trying to respect your boundaries by not intruding on your campsite.   But if you somehow initiate a conversation with me I’ll be your best buddy until one of us has to leave.

The more social you are the more amazing RV life will be.

RV Social Scene

I get it.  You have all the comforts of home while you travel around in your metal box, and don’t need to rely on anyone for anything.  Because you can get directions, pay campground fees, make reservations and even find area attractions all online.  Taking also into consideration that the majority of the RV community is families on a road trip who already have enough to focus on or elder retirees on a limited income who cite safety concerns as well.   There isn’t a lot of ambition to become a social butterfly with strangers at a temporary home base.

Get out and explore.  The farther you get away the bigger the RV adventure you will find.

RV Travel Made Better

I can empathize with both of those scenarios, but the RVers who are content with sitting in the security of their tiny home allowing the days to pass by one TV show at a time baffles me!  For a single guy or gal to travel thousands of miles away for a paid parking spot to slam beers while watching daytime TV confuses the heck out of me.  There is no right or wrong way to travel as long you are out there traveling, but with just a little bit of effort, your trip could be drastically different.  To transform an RV road trip into an RV adventure take advantage of small opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise for a chance at exploring newfound experiences.  Some of these experiences may turn out to be awful!  While others may be life-changing.

Get off the pavement and travel down the dirt roads of America to find your next RV road trip adventure

RV Road Trip Options

Instead of heading south for the entire winter.  I challenge you to spend a weekend at “B” lot in Crystal Mountain Washington.  The experience is one of a kind, and changed the course of my life forever!  Next time you’re at a campground invite your neighbor over for drinks or dinner, or ask them if you can help them set up as they pull in.  You never know where the conversation will lead.  Freeways are great for delivering you to your destinations, but jacked up dirt roads leads to untold adventures.  Camping in the middle of nowhere under a blanket of stars in the backcountry is phenomenal, but discovering new boondocking destinations with travel partners is magical!  Next time you’re sitting around a social campfire see if anyone wants to play RV hide & seek?

RV mountain adventures.  Complete with crystal clear waters, stunning mountain tops and hiking trails to secret waterfalls.

Cheap RV Living

This is where one RVer drives off to an unknown boondocking destination, and a group of other RVers tries to find them the following day through clues.  Deliver the clues through group text messages or CB’s.  It’s a great way to add some spice to an otherwise ordinary weekend camping trip.  Make up some ground rules like the destination has to be within 50 miles and be able to accommodate at least 5 rigs.  We used to require each clue have 3 variables.  Direction, street name & landmark.  West of the red house on Maple Street doesn’t mean I am on Maple Street.  Just means I am West of the red house on Maple Street.  With so many different ways to transform an ordinary RV trip into an epic RV road trip adventure, but it all comes down to being social.  Traveling is awesome, but travel partners are life-changing!

No RV adventure road trip is complete without proper travel partners.

RV Travel Partners

Whether you’re traveling with friends, family or strangers travel becomes more than cherished moments.  When you have someone to share your experiences with they become highlights of life through an emotional connection of inspiration, passion & sentiment.  Sometimes people don’t mesh and it turns out to be a nightmare experience.  But even a that becomes a travel tale worth telling over and over.  The right personalities will transform an ordinary RV road trip into a legendary adventure.  That you will tell for years to come.

What was your last RV road trip like?  Ever had an RV adventure?  What do you do to turn a trip into a legendary RV road trip adventure?  Whats your best trick to meeting people out on the road?  Leave your thoughts, ideas and suggestions in the comments below.  Happy Travels, and if you want more RV Life tips or stories follow this link to all my camping related articles.

RV Road Trip Adventure Pins


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