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Wednesday July 8, 2020

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

RV Travel Tips in the Summer of COVID

My husband and I have been cooped up all spring and summer because of the coronavirus and would like to take a trip using a rented RV. Can you give us some tips and safety information?

Recreational vehicle (RV) travel has become a very popular option among U.S. retirees over the past few decades. It is likely one of the safest and most convenient ways to get away this summer.

Because it is a small home on wheels, RV travel will allow you to distance yourself from crowds of people. This reduces the risk of COVID-19 exposure that comes with other forms of travel, such as, air/train travel, lodging and eating in restaurants. However, there are still risks, especially in public places like gas stations, shared restrooms and picnic areas, so exercise caution. If you have never traveled by motor home or RV, here are a few tips to consider.

Renting an RV


To help you determine the RV size and model you need for your trip, consider your budget, your destination and the number of travelers. If it is just you and your husband visiting several locations and driving long distances, you may want a smaller motor home with better fuel economy. But if you are taking other family members or friends, you may want a larger RV with slide outs and more sleeping areas.

You may be able to locate an RV rental dealer near you. Other options include using peer-to-peer RV rental, which can be a little cheaper.

Rental costs will vary greatly depending on what you choose and how far you drive. Prices range anywhere from $50 up to $500 per day.

When renting, be sure you get detailed instructions from the owner or rental company on how to use the RV’s systems, including the generator, air-conditioning, leveling, slide outs, electric and entertainment, as well as how to empty waste tanks and refill fresh water.

You should also know that because of COVID-19, most RV rental companies are vigilant about cleaning and disinfecting their units. The CDC offers tips at CDC.gov/COVID19. To find the information easily, type “Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home” in the search bar.

Trip Planning Tips


It is always wise to map out your trip route and reserve your campgrounds in advance. This is especially important during the pandemic, because some campgrounds and RV parks, as well as local, state and national parks may be closed or operating with restrictions.

There are free tools that can help you plan your trip. Some of these tools allow you to plot out routes, calculate mileage and travel time. The tools may also identify RV campgrounds, points of interest and restaurants along the way.

Most RV parks rent spaces on a nightly or weekly basis with rates typically ranging from $30 to $50 per night, however some spaces in city and county parks may be $10 or even free. RV parks can also range from rustic facilities with limited or no utility hookups, such as those often found in state and national parks, to luxury resorts with amenities that rival fine hotels.

For first-time RV renters, staying at a fully loaded RV park or campground with full hookups, a dump station and staff on site is highly recommended. For more safe travel tips this summer, visit Coronavirus.gov. Some helpful information can be found by clicking on “specific resources for travelers.”

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published July 3, 2020
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