Exploring great destinations like Alaska, Canada, Mexico, or even Europe by RV can feel intimidating if you’ve never done it. Some of that uncertainty is removed by going RV touring with groups. However you might be wondering: is touring with RV caravans worth it? The answers RVers give may surprise you.
RV caravan companies arrange group tours all over the globe. You’ll find caravans anywhere from Canada to Mexico. You can even join RV tours in Australia. Companies leading these excursions invest heavily in pre-trip research before they ever sell spaces to customers. Their goal is to cover popular destinations and uncover new ones to make RV touring with groups exciting and adventurous.
Using a combination of on-site research and locals on the ground, tour operators pinpoint the best roads, campgrounds, day trips and towns for RVers to experience. They hire experienced RV “wagon masters” to accompany group participants along the way. Wagon masters are invaluable if a mishap occurs.
“I wagon master on Mexican caravans,” says iRV2 member Paul Beddows. “They are not for everyone, but they do enable you to see a lot more stuff than on your own, In the case of Mexico it is also the fear factor and getting through the paperwork that make caravans not a bad idea.”
The pros of organized RV tours
- Know what to expect along the way. Guides ensure you won’t hit a low bridge on a backgroad, or get stuck in sand. Stress disappears almost entirely when someone safely guides you through an area.
- Get more for your money. The buying power of RV caravan companies outweighs what solo travelers can get for the same activities. Traveling with an organized group saves money on things like admission fees, campground rates, and even pre-booked meals.
- Meet interesting new people and strike up friendships. Travel with other RVers and you will share a few things in common. From a love of the outdoors to a fondness for new adventures, you’ll inevitably bring new friends into your life.
“We met a lot of good people who were enjoying the trip as much as we did. There are usually a number of free days that allow you to go exploring on your own or sign up for optional side trips.” – iRV2 Forums Member hikerdogs
The cons of organized RV tours
RV touring with groups has inevitable downsides. Sometimes personalities clash. Beddows says tours are great for outgoing personalities.
“You need to be somebody who’s reasonably social,” he said. “We have potlucks, happy hours, things like this. We have some that are more sociable than others. You don’t want people that are complaining all the time because it rubs off.”
Aside from getting a bad apple in the bunch, the other biggest disadvantage is abiding by pre-determined schedules.
“When you’re on a tour, you are on someone else’s timetable. You have to leave on their timetable, eat on their timetable, stop on their timetable, and on and on,” says iRV2 member Rusty Years.
If you ask others who have tried RV touring with groups, you’ll discover that most RVers who traveled with a group had a good time.
Some say they would do it again, others prefer to opt out. The only way for a person to know if it’s right for them is by giving it a try.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.