Enjoy a fall camping trip and discover the magic of the season before winter.
Don’t put the RV up for the season just yet! Fall is a terrific time to get out and enjoy the cooler temperatures. With fewer people inclined to camp during the busy school year, you can enjoy having more space at the campground. These six recommendations cover everything from RV packing to campground activities and will help you make the most of your fall camping adventures.
Fall is prime season for unpredictable weather. You can check the daily weather forecast and try to prepare for it, but need to that conditions changing is always a possibility. Packing clothing layers helps with fluctuating temperatures throughout the day, from cool mornings to warm afternoons and chilly nights. This tried-and-true strategy allows the whole family to stay comfortable by adding or removing layers the weather or your activity level changes.
Bring protection from wind and rain as well. Take them with you on every outing. Fall afternoons can cool down quickly, and you don’t want to curtail your fun because you’re not warm enough. Finally, don’t forget about the appropriate footwear. Fall means beautiful color-changing leaves, but those leaves make paths slippery. Choose shoes or boots with rugged soles that provide good traction.
Fill up the Propane
Don’t leave home without a full tank of propane. We all know that nothing uses up propane in the RV more than the heater, and you’re going to need it at night. While many campgrounds offer propane, they charge a premium for the convenience. The Good Sam Trip Planner shows the locations of propane retailers along your route, including Pilot Flying J Travel Plazas and Camping World and Gander RV & Outdoors locations. You could also pack extra blankets or sleeping bags to keep the thermostat a little lower.
Properly Inflate Your Tires
This is often an overlooked item, but you’ve got a lot riding on your tires. Did you know that for every 10 degrees of temperature drop, your tires can lose one to two pounds of pressure? It is important to keep your tires within the recommended inflation to maintain traction, handling and durability. The most important thing is the safety of you and your family. We also tend to pack quite a bit of gear, and underinflation has an impact on carrying capacity, which is the greatest amount of weight your vehicle can safely haul.
Follow these tips to ensure proper inflation:
- First, check the check manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure on the door placard or owner’s manual. The tire inflation pressure is a number that indicates the amount of air pressure, measured in pounds per square inch (psi), a tire requires to be properly inflated.
- Always check the tire pressure when the tires haven’t been driven on for several hours and have had time to cool down.
- Be sure you are using an accurate tire pressure gauge. Always keep one in your vehicle.
- Consider using a tire pressure monitoring system, an electronic system that monitors your tire air pressure and temperature as you are driving.
While you’re at it, learn the fundamentals of checking your RV’s weight to ensure that you’re traveling within the vehicle’s weight capacity.
Be Prepared for Shorter Days
We get spoiled camping in the summer with long stretches of daylight and have to be prepared to adjust for our fall trips. The first consideration is arrival time at the campground. No one likes to set up their campsite after dark. Things can get tricky when you can’t see well. Plan ahead to be sure you’re taking the earlier sunset into account. Try the weather channel app to get the accurate sunrise and sunset times. Also, pack a few flashlights or lanterns in case you’re unexpectedly delayed. Even better, a good headlamp allows you to have full use of your hands while lighting your way.
You’ll also need to plan your activities accordingly. Fall hiking is terrific because the cooler weather is often ideal for it. However, make sure you don’t get started too late in the afternoon. You don’t want to end up on the trail once darkness falls. Not only will the temperatures drop, but it will be more difficult to find your way. So check the projected sunset before you leave, and give yourself plenty of time to get back to camp.
Get Ready for the Campfire
One of the best ways to enjoy cooler evenings is sitting around the warmth of a campfire. Obviously, every good fire needs some s’mores, so pack the graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. Even more importantly, don’t forget the sticks! You may want to take advantage of the shorter days and plan your meals around the campfire with these recipes.
Once you have your tasty treats, the fun doesn’t have to end. There are so many good ways to enjoy time around the campfire. Don’t forget the power of music! Relive the your youth with classic campfire songs and sing-alongs. Telling scary stories around the campfire is a great way to bring everyone in close together.
Don’t let a burn ban or wet wood ruin your dreams of campfire fun, try a portable propane fire pit. It provides even heating with no pesky smoke in your eyes. Even better, there are no flying sparks, which makes it safer in dry areas.
Take a Trip Close to Home
You don’t have to travel far to have fun! If the kids are in school or you can’t get away from work, you can still enjoy an amazing weekend camping trip close to home. You may feel like you know your local area pretty well, but sometimes we miss the hidden treasures right under our noses. Even better, staying close to home with save you money on one of the most expensive aspects of RV travel: fuel.
So go ahead, pretend you’re a tourist. Get a guide book or check the Good Sam Explore tab for local destinations that you may have overlooked. Look for state and local parks if you want something rustic, or a local Good Sam RV Park which often have organized activities. Many RV parks and resorts host fall festivals with hayrides, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, pick-your-apple orchards, scarecrow stuffing and so much more.
There really isn’t a better time to pack up the RV and enjoy a weekend camping than fall!