chairs in front of parked camper van rental

Four Tips for a Long-Term Road Trip

There’s nothing like the sense of freedom and adventure that comes with heading out on a long road trip. And covering more miles means more places to see, people to meet, and songs to sing with your fellow van mates. Booking a long-term camper van rental is a great way give yourself a true taste of vanlife and a lovely extended vacation at the same time.

For many in the GoCamp community, long stints on the road are the norm. One of GoCamp’s vanlife community members, Leanna, rented out a Ford E-250 custom camper van for 31 days. She picked up her van in San Diego and then hit the road with her two best canine friends by her side.

“I rented for 31 days. It felt like a perfect length of time to really settle into a routine of doing everyday life on the road with two dogs while experiencing the full range of joy and challenges of it all. It was more of a long-term vacation, but I often imagined what I’d need to run my business in that setting. Not needing a reliable connection or structure to my day was a real treat, but those elements would be very doable also.”

A GoCamp camper van travels on dirt roads through a red rock canyon

Renting a camper van for your big adventure offers a level of comfort that a standard vehicle doesn’t. We’re talking expanded gear storage, a comfortable bed wherever you park, and a full kitchen setup to whip up your favorite meals. 

Whether you’re planning a week-long trip or a month-long road trip across the country, make sure you’re prepared before you hit the road. Here are four tips on what to pack, and how to stay clean, healthy, and safe during a long-term camper van trip.

Packing Tips

GoCamp’s fleet of curated camper vans offers a wide variety of amenities like modern tech, reliable power systems, and cozy areas where you can relax.

With all our vans, one thing you can always count on is plenty of storage space. You can bring along all those extra outfits, snacks, comfort items, and your favorite outdoor gear. Throw it all in. 

As Leanna traveled across the Southwest, she appreciated how her camper van was the ultimate experience in transitional living. She’d pick a place, stretch out, enjoy a snack, and head somewhere new. 

“Sedona was a last-minute addition. The hikes, people and magical energy vortexes kept me there a week! My mom joined our circus from Salt Lake City to Denver. We experienced sleeping in single-digit temps in Wyoming and white-knuckling whiteouts in the Rockies.”

Leanna was able to take it easy throughout her trip, even during stressful moments, because she was ready with all the essentials. As you’re stocking up for your long-term camper van trip, don’t leave these items off your list:

  • A paper map. You’ll appreciate having one of these when you hit remote spots or lose service when your GPS map isn’t fully downloaded.
  • First aid kit. All GoCamp vans have basic first aid kits but you’ll likely want to bring a few additional items if you are traveling for an extended period of time. Not having what you need for even the smallest nick can sour a day.
  • Car phone charger. You’d be hard-pressed to find a camper van that doesn’t have ports to plug into.
  • Books. Surely this is the vacation when you’ll have time to read those books!
  • Cans of bug spray. There is nothing worse than getting bit by bugs while you’re trying to relax outdoors.
  • Reusable water bottle and travel mug. Make it easy to stay hydrated or caffeinated. 
  • Extra layer of clothing. Weather can be tricky and high altitudes can get chilly. Bring a fleece or sweater for when the temps drop.
  • Back-up water. The further out your venture, the more important it will be to have extra water.

If your time on the road calls for a bit of the digital nomad life, camper vans such as Lady Luna offer optional add-ons like hotspots and cell phone signal boosters. Create a mobile office space and don’t miss a beat while you travel. You could enjoy some pretty rad views while you wrap up your work day.

Hygiene Tips

Spending extended time on the road or camping requires some sacrifices. But unlike traditional camping, renting a van for a road trip means you can stay relatively clean during your adventures.

Many GoCamp vans include awesome amenities like FlexSpace™ Wet Baths, HALO™ Hidden Shower Systems, portable toilets and other innovative shower systems. And many of our camper van rentals also have outdoor showers built in for a quick rinse after a dip in the ocean or a hot day on the trails. 

Other things you can do to stay fresh while on the road include:

  • Pack extra underwear, socks, and t-shirts. Even if you have to skip a shower, fresh undergarments and shirts will help you feel fresh.
  • Bring your toiletries. Whether it’s deodorant, face wash, a razor, or dry shampoo, bring the things that make you feel comfortable.
  • Travel with an extra towel. Towels can get dingy rather quickly!
  • Use cleaning wipes. Cleaning wipes are great for those times where you are in-between showers. 

Staying clean while you travel helps keep you in a positive mood and makes your time on the road more enjoyable. Your fellow travel mates will thank you, too.

Photo of Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border in the Southwest United States

Health Tips

Cruising the open road with the wind in your hair and your favorite snacks within reach is one of the many highlights to look forward to during your long-term camper van trip. But between all the fun, it’s important to make time for the foods and activities that keep you healthy and functioning at your best. 

  • Pack healthy snacks. Veggies, fruits, and foods packed with protein and good fats will keep your mind sharp while behind the wheel.
  • Prepare nutritious meals when you’re camping. Thanks to the spectacular kitchens in each of our vans, you have everything you need to whip up delicious and nourishing meals. Vans like Van Luca are stacked with things like extra counter space, convection ovens, spice racks, and plates and utensils.
  • Get some exercise. Try to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Find a trail near your campsite to explore, swim some laps in the lake, or explore a new town by foot or bike.
  • Take driving breaks. Sitting for too long can negatively impact your health by increasing your blood pressure, weakening your muscles, and putting pressure on your spine. Give your body a break and stretch out to keep your circulation flowing and your muscles from cramping up.
  • Pack extra sunscreen. Your skin health is important, too! 

Sleep well. Getting enough rest while you’re traveling is also super important. While it’s exciting to be on the move, you can’t fully enjoy yourself if you’re constantly feeling worn down.

Maintenance Tips

When you rent a camper from GoCamp, each owner takes extra steps to ensure that you’re pulling out of their driveway in a reliable vehicle. But once those keys are in your hands, it’s up to you to keep an eye on the upkeep while you’re traveling.

While many GoCamp vans are fully equipped and road trip ready, there are some things you’ll want to either ask about or bring along, just in case:

  • Ask about an extra key. Things happen, and you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere. Keep the extra key in the glove compartment or somewhere safe.
  • Bring a jug of coolant. If you’re traveling in hot temperatures, this could come in handy.
  • Store a quart of oil. This is likely something you wouldn’t need, but if you do, it’s best to have it handy.
  • Have wiper fluid on hand. Windshields get dirty very quickly when you’re traveling long distances at a time. Have this on hand just in case you run out.
  • Cover yourself with roadside assistance. If you don’t have your own, GoCamp will provide you with 24-hour support.

By taking care of your rental camper van, your trip will be much more enjoyable, and the owners of the van will appreciate you being such a respectful renter.

Do you offer discounts for long-term rentals?

Yes. The discount varies by van, but if your trip is 7 days or more, discounts will be automatically applied at checkout.

If you're booking a trip over 30 days, we can often provide increased discounts. To learn more, call anytime and talk to a real human at 503-327-8512.

5 comments on “Four Tips for a Long-Term Road Trip

  1. Candace Vassalluzzo on

    I am considering a month long adventure for the month of June 2021 and wanted to find out more specifics. I would most likely be getting the van in either Portland or Denver.

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