Planning an RV vacation takes a lot of work. You have to decide on a route that can accommodate your particular size RV, make reservations for your overnight stays and schedule all of your activities and tours in advance. Many people who want to have an RV adventure don’t want the hassle of all of the pre-planning that is needed. That’s where the guided vacation tour companies really fill a need.
What is a Guided RV Vacation Tour
A guided RV Vacation Tour is an organized trip where several RVers travel together in their rigs with a tour guide leading them along a pre-set route and agenda. Sometimes called RV caravans, these trips can be as short as a few days or last for a few months. All the trip planning is done for you in advance by the tour companies.
Reasons People Do Guided RV Tours
- All of the RV trip pre-planning is done for
The tour companies make sure that you take the best routes that offer the most scenic and safest way to your destinations.
- RV tour guides can show you some of the local
hidden treasures you might have missed on your own.
The tour operators work directly with local travel professionals and create packages that let you see the best the cities have to offer.
- RV tour operators provide mechanical support
during the trips offering you safety and peace of mind assuring that you won’t
Frequently referred to as the “Tailgunner”, there is always someone following the caravan of RVers to make sure to help with any breakdown issues.
- You may save money using an RV tour planner.
Because they are booking accommodations and site reservations for a group (generally no more than 20 at a time), there may be discounts and savings that you wouldn’t receive as a solo traveler.
- You can make new life-long friends traveling with an RV tour group.
These are very social trips and group meals and parties are built into the schedule. This allows you to get to know your fellow travelers and share the experiences, whereas if you are traveling on your own you may not have those same opportunities.
Do I Need My Own RV to Do An RV Guided Vacation
Yes, you will need an RV but if you don’t already own one then you can easily rent one to use along the tour. This is an excellent opportunity to explore the RV lifestyle before you actually invest in your own motorcoach.
What is the Difference Between an RV Tour and an RV Rally
An RV tour is a group of individual RV travelers following a pre-planned travel itinerary and led by a professional guide. All overnight site reservations, events, excursions, and selected meals are planned in advance.
There are a wide range of tours available to suit everyone’s interests. Some examples of RV tour destinations include:
- The American Music Trail
- Big Sky & Rocky Mountains Tour
- Civil War & Historic USA
- Niagara Falls
- New Mexico
- The Grand Canyon
- The Great Polar Bear Migration in Canada
An RV Rally is more like a gathering of people to celebrate an event (like the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta) or explore a particular location, rather than an actual tour. Just like the RV tours, all of the planning and activities are organized and included in the price of the Rally. These are generally much shorter (2 weeks or so) and end when the event is done.
RV Rallies, just like the tours offer an abundance of choices like:
- Mardi Gras
- Oshkosh Airshow
- Kentucky Derby
- The New Year’s Rose Parade
- Christmas in Branson Missouri
- Christmas in the Smokies
Many tour company’s offer trips specifically tailored
to Women RV’ers and other diverse groups.
How Much Does It Cost to Do an RV Guided Tour or Rally
A two-month guided RV tour of Alaska for a couple (there are additional charges for extra people) will cost approximately $13,000. This includes all of the park/event admissions fees, camping fees, trip tours in the locales, gratuities for the staff and several meals and social events organized by your guides.
A five-day RV Rally for a couple to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta will cost approximately $2,000. It includes the camping fees, some meals and ticket prices for access to the balloon field.
These prices exclude any RV rental fees you must incur and the cost of your fuel.
Pros of RV Tour Travel
- Stress-free and offers the convenience of having your vacation planned for you
- Traveling with like-minded people makes for a more enjoyable experience
- You gain access to tours and attractions that solo/couple travelers may not have
Cons of RV Tour Travel
- Very social groups, if you are an introvert this may not work for you
- Agendas are set, you will need to leave, have meals and attend the pre-set agendas
- The schedules may not fit within your travel times
- Most have familiar routes, so unless you are doing an entirely customized tour (which is possible for additional fees), you may find destinations to be a little more crowded
- You are traveling with a group, so your particular interests or requests may not be accommodated. You should then consider a customized RV Vacation Tour.
Links to RV Tour Groups
Here are a few companies that consistently receive great reviews and seem to be very professional. Be sure to contact them for the most current travel itineraries and costs.
What Is a Customized Luxury RV Vacation Tour
There are a few companies that specialize in creating the most luxurious and awesome RV vacations possible. These tours will come with their own luxury Motorcoaches that have every amenity possible. They stock them with plush linens, upscale bath amenities, luxurious bedding, and premium DirecTV services.
They will accept advance shipments of your luggage and supplies and provision your RV with pre-planned gourmet meals or your favorite beverages and snacks.
They can provide a professional driver and will book events, buy tickets, reserve campsites, arrange for activities, schedule tee times, and plan private jet or yacht charters.
You can choose to travel in style with a private chef, housekeeper, and personal concierge to attend to your every need.
They can even offer professional security details to protect your privacy.
One that sounds really fun to us includes spending a week on a private yacht touring the Caribbean with a professional crew. Once that part of your adventure is done, they deliver you to a luxury motorcoach which comes with a driver, personal concierge, private chef, and housekeeper. Sounds like fun to me!
This same company (AllStar Coaches) offers another package which they call their “Personalized Dream Makers” where they will “whisk you away from your luxury motorhome to a private picnic by helicopter, or go on a hot air balloon ride over the Grand Canyon”. I think either option sounds like an epic adventure!
If your budget allows, click here to go to AllStar Coaches website to learn about ultimate RV Vacations.
RV Tour Planning Tips For Trips That Are Not Customized
- If possible, bring a tow vehicle or plan on using UBER to explore during downtime.
- Feel free to bring your pets.
- Make sure your RV is mechanically sound before starting your adventure.
- Join an RV club (Like Good Sam or the Family Motor Coach Association) to secure additional discounts and look for those tour operators that are endorsed by those clubs.
Here are the links to go to Good Sam and the Family Motor Coach Association websites
- PLAN and BOOK in advance! These tours can fill up as much as a year in advance.
- Read online reviews and ask for recommendations from people who have already used the tour companies’ services.
Where Can I Travel With an RV?
You can travel pretty much anywhere in the USA, Mexico, Canada and, once getting there, most of Europe- even Australia and New Zealand.
How Do I Plan an RV Vacation?
If you own your RV, consider hiring an RV tour planner to do the planning for you. Otherwise, investigate using a luxury motorcoach rental company to rent the RV from and assist you in planning your ultimate RV vacation.