It is common for small groups of RVers to travel together. Since three large RVs can require lots of parking space, when traveling in groups of more than three, simple plans such as stopping for lunch can be a real challenge. However, two or three RVs (assuming a maximum of six people) is the perfect number for gathering and traveling together on a short or long trip.
You can do a sit-down dinner for six inside an RV although it requires a bit of special effort from everyone—but feeding eight (assuming there are four RVs in your small group) is nearly impossible unless it’s just standing around munching appetizers. You cannot plan to be outside every evening.
Some older campgrounds may have just a few spaces that will accommodate large rigs. Calling for reservations for three large rigs will limit where you can stay. I would strongly recommend calling ahead.
A Few Ground Rules
We always recommend and literally talk over some “ground rules” when planning to travel with others. While these, at first, may seem somewhat blunt, they work, and no one will have their feelings hurt later. Here are some we use and you can add your own. None of these are meant to take personally…
- We don’t have to get together and visit every night. A quick chat about the next day is fine but sometimes we want to be alone. So don’t take it personally or get insulted if we turn you down when you ask if we want to go out to eat, come over and visit, watch a movie, or sit by the fire. Conversely, we won’t take it personally or have our feelings hurt when you turn us down.
- Bring your drinks with you. Don’t expect us to carry a variety of drinks for everyone—we don’t have room. Whether for a happy hour or a meal, bring your own drinks. Of course, if I buy a special bottle of wine (or anything) and invite you to share it, that’s different and is usually for a special occasion. Also, if I am serving something specific to drink with dinner, I will ask if you like it. If you do, great. If not, please say so and bring your own.
- If we are gathering outside, bring your chairs. We carry two. That’s a perfect match since we have two people living in our coach. We don’t have room to carry seating for others.
- When planning to cook and eat together, agree up front if one couple will provide the entire meal or if it’s to be potluck. However, if we agreed that I would provide the entire meal, don’t “surprise” me by bringing something. Since I didn’t plan for it, I likely don’t have room for it, and it may not even fit on the table. Remember, we are eating in an RV.
- Don’t assume that if you invite me, I will bring something. I won’t unless you ask. Please don’t hesitate to ask. I enjoy helping.
- When driving down the highway, if someone wants to stop (for whatever reason), we stop.
- If you have no interest in visiting a particular tourist stop, park, museum, or shop, say so. If I do want to visit it, I will say so, too. We can stop, we will go in, you can wait, come in, or drive on. If you choose to drive on, let’s agree where we will meet.
- It’s okay to part for a few hours or a few days and plan to get back together later. You may want to stay longer than we do in a particular area. It doesn’t make any difference why.
- Choose the lead driver based on their ability to judge RV maneuvering and parking—not their ability to drive a coach down the highway. They must have a pretty good “feel” for the space needed for all the coaches when pulling into or having to get out of some parking area.
- Let’s agree on a speed to drive. The lead driver can change this temporarily when conditions warrant it.
- Let’s agree on a route. If something comes up, we can change this during the day and the lead driver will have to choose the way if needed. We can all monitor our respective GPS units and offer suggestions.
- Let’s agree on some destination or approximate number of miles for the day. This, of course, is changeable.
- If you are the lead driver, drive with the cruise control when possible. I don’t care if you are convinced that you can hold a steady speed, you cannot match the steadiness of a cruise control.
- (Note 1: Be careful here. If one couple is an early riser and the other is a typical late-morning pair—the relationship will likely not work for long. You must be relatively compatible or you will rapidly drive each other a bit crazy.)
- (Note 2: You can always leave and travel at different times and just get together at a prearranged stop for the night.)Let’s agree on a time to leave in the morning.
- Let’s agree to pay for our own meals as we go. It eliminates the unnecessary haggling at the restaurant. We will ask the wait-staff to split the check accordingly.
- If I want to pay for some special dinner, like a birthday celebration, I will invite you and let you know I’d like to take you out for dinner. Your acceptance does not, in any way, require you to reciprocate.
Carry the two-way radios for quick communication between coaches. You may want to find a non-busy channel. Make sure the radios are all set on the same channel and have been charged up.
Don’t start using these for the quickie chit-chat while going down the highway. Also, it is not necessary for the lead driver to announce their every move. For example, “I’m moving into the left lane because there’s a truck off the road up ahead.” or “I’m picking up speed now.” or “We are coming to a stop light up.” While letting the other coaches know what is about to happen may seem helpful, all the extra talk and information may actually distract the driver of the lead coach.
A Successful Trip
Some compromise and flexibility on the part of everyone is the key to a successful trip. Agreeing on some/most of these “rules” just makes sense. However, traveling in a small group provides numerous advantages. You can check on, help, and watch out for each other. We’ve made several trips with friends and I can attest, it’s a great way to travel.