Summer RV Trips for College Students: A How-To Guide

College summer RV trips are a great way to unwind after spending a challenging year studying and working toward your degree. You don’t just need a summer vacation when you’re in college; after all those weeks of midterms, term papers, and finals, you DESERVE one.  There’s no better (and cheaper!) way to see the country, make memories, and create friendships than a summer RV trip.

An RV offers the ultimate freedom for anyone on the road. You don’t have to worry about finding a hotel to stay in when you’re tired or need a break —  like a little apartment on wheels.  Did we mention the onboard bathroom? It’s definitely much more sanitary than anything you’ll find at a truck stop or a gas station. The bottom line is that if you are planning college summer trips, you need to consider the awesome potential of a summer RV trip.

rv on island bridge of lake.jpg

Who Should You Bring On Your Summer RV Trip?

The top of the list of tips is finding the best company for your trip. What’s the fun of going on any trip if you don’t get to spend some time with friends? So, who should you bring? That depends on what kind of trip you’re planning. Here are a few suggestions:

  • A group of good friends. The more, the merrier, right?! Bonus points if you get multiple RVs, so no one feels overcrowded.
  • Your family. In college, you are transitioning from being a “kid” dependent on your parents to an adult that’s entering the working world. What better way to show your parents that you appreciated everything they did for you than by spending a few weeks on an RV trip seeing the country with them? Your college years will be over before you know it, and when that happens, who knows when you’ll have time to go on a trip with your family like this again? Trust us; you’ll love hanging with them.
  • Your boo. Roadtripping on a summer RV trip is a GREAT way to get to know someone on a deeper level because there’s some much time to talk! That being said, this isn’t a trip you should do with someone you’ve just started dating. RV trips will have you living and spending a lot of time alone together. If you and your significant other are close, then a trip like this can bring you closer. But, if you aren’t that close or ready for a big step, it’s best not to force things., 

What Should You Pack And Bring With You, And What Should You Put In Storage?

RVs are convenient, but also small. Unfortunately, you’ll still have to pack. There won’t be room for everything that you normally keep with you in your dorm or apartment. Since you might be renting out your place for the summer, or won’t have anyone to check on your things, it’s safer to keep them in a storage unit. What’s great about storage units is that they are professionally managed, safe, and secure. The best part? Storage is cheap.

view across lake of rv and mountains

What should you pack?

  • This is a summer trip, so pack summer clothing. You need several changes of clothing so you don’t have to worry about doing laundry in hotels frequently.
  • Medications. If you regularly use any prescription or over the counter medications, bring them with you and make sure you have extra just in case.
  • Your laptop. Sure, you’re on a road trip, but you need to stay connected!t.
  • Pack plates, bowels, cups, and forks, knives, and spoons. If you don’t want to deal with a lot of dirty dishes on your trip, you can pack disposable and biodegradable items. You should also pack some basic cooking equipment, like a pot, pan, and skillet. You may not plan on cooking a lot, but once you’re on the road there’s a lot to be said for cooking at your campsite over an open fire. Plus, it will save you cash.
  • Pack food to cook, as well as emergency provisions. Having non-perishable foods such as beef jerky and peanut butter is important in case you run into any type of emergency and get stranded. You should also pack at least a gallon of water for each person on the trip.
  • A lighter and a backup fire-starting source. If you’re ever in a situation on your summer rv trip where you need a fire and can’t light one, you could be in trouble. So make sure you pack a lighter, and in case it gets lost or runs out of fuel, some matches are a good idea as well.
  • Sleeping bags. Sleeping bags come in handy for sleeping under the stars or used on your bed as well as a blanket. 
  • Camping chairs. Camping chairs fold up for easy storage, and they come in very handy when you’re parked and want to take in some fresh air.
  • Toiletries including toilet paper, soap, mouthwash, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and deodorant. And extras. You just never know.
  • A first aid kit. Again, you just never know.
  • A couple of flashlights.
  • A knife, tools, duct tape, cell phone chargers, and flares.

What should you put in storage?

rv traveling through some snowy summer weather

Where Should You Go?

The beauty of summer RV trips is that you can go all over the country and see a lot of things. Since you won’t have to budget for a hotel, you can afford to go on longer trips and see more things. On an RV road trip, you should be focusing on seeing the natural world. Here are a few suggestions of places to go visit if you are traveling through California, Arizona, and Nevada

Summer RV Trips to Take in California

  • The beach. There are so many beaches in California that you have your pick of many of them. An RV was practically made for the beach. You can lounge on the sand, or go for a dip in the ocean. You can quickly clean up and shower in your RV’. Talk about convenience!
  • See the Golden Gate Bridge. While this isn’t a part of the natural world, it’s still an outdoor wonder that you need to see in person if you’re traveling through California.
  • Redwood National Park. This is a beautiful outdoor park with giant trees that you have to see in person to appreciate.
rv on green pasture with mountains in the background

Summer RV Trips to Take in Arizona

  • The Grand Canyon. Any road trip in Arizona would be incomplete if it didn’t include a trip to the Grand Canyon. One of the wonders of the natural world, the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight that must be experienced in person to understand just how vast and beautiful it is.
  • Sedona. While the Grand Canyon gets most of the headlines, many people that visit Sedona find it to be more beautiful. The gorgeous red rocks, mild summer weather, and multiple natural creeks and swimming holes make it a great place to visit during the summer on an RV trip.

Summer RV Trips to Take in Nevada

  • Visit Sand Mountain Recreation Area. This vast sand dune is all that remains of an ancient lake, once you see it, there’s an unearthly quality to it that’s quite breathtaking.
  • Spend a day soaking up the sun or enjoying the cool, crisp, and blue waters of Lake Tahoe.

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