Sunday, May 28, 2023


Robots take the wheel. Is ChatGPT the future of RV road trip planning?

It was reported this week that recent updates to Microsoft’s AI-powered ChatGPT now enable it to surf the Web, find airline flights, and much, much more! Prior to this update, ChatGPT was limited to the information that had been included in its “training,” which concluded in 2021.

The artificial intelligence company OpenAI announced that they’ve planned periodic upgrades to their original chatbot. The upgrades will come in the form of plugins which will greatly improve the bot’s functionality. With this latest update, ChatGPT can retrieve live data from the Web, including sources like Kayak, Expedia, and more. It’s a game-changer!

Is ChatGPT a road trip planner now, too? We put this robot to the test in planning an RV trip.

Reader tip

Reader Jay M. recently sent us this tip: I thought this would assist folks in finding camping spots. I asked the new Open AI chatbot ( “Showplaces to camp near Bridgeville, PA, and include website.” ChatGPT immediately provided a list of five campgrounds along with their websites. Thanks, Jay for the great tip. It got me to thinking…

My challenge

I wondered if ChatGPT might be able to plan my RV trip for me. So, I asked. Here’s the reply I received (within seven seconds!):

Of course, I can provide you with some guidance and suggestions to plan your RV trip! However, I’ll need some more information from you to provide you with a more customized and detailed plan.

Here are some questions to get started:
Where are you located, and where would you like to start your RV trip?
How long are you planning to be on the road?
What are your interests? (e.g., nature, history, food, adventure activities)
Are you traveling solo or with others? If you’re with others, how many people are in your group and what are their ages?
What is your budget for the trip?

Once I have this information, I can provide you with a more tailored plan for your RV trip.

AI-planned trip

Wow! Okay, I thought. This is better than I expected. I answered the bot’s queries and included my interests (hiking, history). I also informed ChatGPT that I did not like to drive longer than 350 miles per day. Less than one minute later, ChatGPT spit out a more detailed travel itinerary. It looked like this:

Great, thank you for providing that information! Based on your interests and travel preferences, here’s a suggested itinerary for your RV trip:

Day 1: Start at your home in MO, and drive approximately 350 miles to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Spend the afternoon exploring the cave and hiking some of the park’s trails.

Day 2: Drive approximately 350 miles to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. Spend the day hiking in the park and taking in the stunning mountain views.

Day 3: Drive approximately 350 miles to Savannah, Georgia. Take a trolley tour of the historic district to learn about the city’s rich history and architecture.

Day 4: Spend the day exploring the city of Savannah, including its many museums, historic homes, and beautiful parks.

Day 5: Drive approximately 350 miles to St. Augustine, Florida. Visit the historic Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and explore the city’s charming old town.

Day 6: Spend the day in St. Augustine, visiting the city’s many museums and historic sites, such as the Lightner Museum and the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.

Day 7: Drive approximately 150 miles to Sebring, Florida, where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful lakes and parks in the area.

Of course, you can adjust this itinerary as needed to fit your own schedule and interests. I hope this gives you a good starting point for planning your RV trip!

My omission

Drat! I forgot to tell the bot that we’d need overnight RV parks during our trip. So I added that information and asked it to regenerate a response. Here’s what I received. (Again, this took less than 15 seconds!)

Certainly! Here are some suggested RV parks for each night of your trip:

Day 1: Mammoth Cave National Park – Camping is available within the park at the Mammoth Cave Campground.

Day 2: Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Camping is available within the park at the Smokemont Campground or the Elkmont Campground.

Day 3: Savannah, Georgia – There are several RV parks in the area, including the Red Gate Campground and RV Resort or the Skidaway Island State Park.

Day 4: Savannah, Georgia – You can stay at the same RV park as the previous night or switch to another one in the area.

Day 5: St. Augustine, Florida – There are several RV parks in the area, including the Compass RV Park or the Bryn Mawr Ocean Resort.

Day 6: St. Augustine, Florida – You can stay at the same RV park as the previous night or switch to another one in the area.

Day 7: Sebring, Florida – There are several RV parks in the area, including the Sebring Grove RV Resort or the Highland Oaks RV Resort.

Be sure to check availability and make reservations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. I hope this helps with your planning! 

Huh. I guess my job here is done. Thanks, ChatGPT. That was way easier than I thought!


Of course, ChatGPT did not make actual campground reservations for me. That job is still my own.

The miles driven each day was a broad approximation, with some travel days amounting to quite a bit fewer driving miles than my maximum. However, ChatGPT did stay within my less than 350 miles per day requirement.

If I don’t like the bot’s campground recommendations, or if the park is already booked full, I can ask the bot to provide a list of all campgrounds in the area where I’ll be overnighting. Maybe I’ll get lucky!

The biggest disappointment is that ChatGPT did not give specific details about the best highways I should take. Or any highways, in fact! If I would have asked for specific highways, ChatGPT would have provided them (I think). In fact, if I wanted to see a completely different route, I could ask the bot to regenerate a new one. It can do that! Amazing, right?

It’s up to me

ChatGPT has a lot to offer for RVers. However, I need to remember that this is not a perfect system. At least not yet. It’s up to me to verify the bot’s information.

In order to get the AI bot to better fit my expectations, it’s up to me to ask more specific questions or provide more detailed information. I need to think like ChatGPT. Hmmm. Think like a chatbot. Now there’s a deep thought!

Have you used ChatGPT to help you plan an upcoming RV trip? Would you in the future? Let us know your thoughts about it in the comments below.


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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Neal Davis
1 month ago

Well, that certainly went better than I expected when I began your article. Thank you, Gail!

Last edited 1 month ago by Neal Davis
Gary Blackburn
1 month ago

Finding RV campgrounds and information about them was easy using the Good Sam Campground Guide. During recent years, while there are more campgrounds than before, the guide’s page count has been declining, fewer campgrounds are listed than previously, and information about campgrounds has been reduced. Apparently Marcus Lemonis has saved a fair number of small businesses. I don’t know how he became owner and CEO of Good Sam, which includes Camping World. His motto is “If you’re not happy, I’m not happy.” He must be a very unhappy man. Even though we have always had class-A motorhomes, he discontinued Motorhome and Trailer Life magazine and replaced them with a dumbed-down RV fits all magazine. My subscription continued the new magazine for about six months, time enough to learn it was not worth maintaining a subscription even though very affordable.

Gary Blackburn
1 month ago

While it is old, obsolete, and has not been supported for years, I still plan trips using Microsoft Streets and Trips. It was designed for an older operating system but works on my Windows 10 computer. It can’t find addresses that didn’t exist more than 15 years ago but I work around that. It has an impressive data base of point of interest that I can access by categories within a predetermined circular radius around a given point or along the entire route. I have saved my collection of AAA club tour books and they are useful for learning of what towns have to offer and things that are interesting. Unfortunately, AAA has discontinued the printing of their very useful tour books and put them on-line. I need something in my hand where I can easily search; not so easy on the computer. Print is very tiny on a phone. When expanded, one must constantly move the page around to read it. Not acceptable! The Good Sam and AAA on-line trip planning programs have their faults.

1 month ago

Please Stay “Away” From All AI (Artificial Intelligence)… Its a “Carrot” To Draw The Masses Into A VERY Unrealistic Future… Its All About “Control”

Donna Polizio
1 month ago

Thanks. I would like to use this functionality for when I need to go a long distance and need to break the trip up into reasonable intervals. I drive alone and haven’t figured out the best way to do that with the other apps. I work full time and need to limit to 5 hours of driving per day to get somewhere. I just tried it for NY to Denver and impressed with results.

1 month ago
Reply to  Donna Polizio

I’m happy it worked for you, Donna. Thanks for chiming in.

1 month ago

I find planning an RV travel and camping trip leads to the anticipation of going on it. To plan a good trip, large or small, takes research. Learning about the location to be traveled to and/or stayed at. The activities that can be enjoyed on the way and at a destination. Travel routes to get where going because the the shortest path is not always the best or offers the most enjoyment. It seems to me that by the time a person has input enough data into an computer AI program, they have already essentially planed their travel and activities. At my age, let the younger generations enjoy our wonderful nation and all it has to offer on AI planned experiences. I’ll keep planning using my own intelligence.

1 month ago

Perhaps you can ask that OZ box for full hook ups, 50 amp, level sights, wide roads, clear view of southern sky and see if OZ can come up with 70 foot pull throughs all the way, back in is fine.

Probably can’t do it yet but another year or two, yes.

AI is bad for humanity, not for RV living. End of the world stuff. What could possibly go wrong subcontracting research, (Wuhan ring a bell?) and especially subcontracting personal research to a billionaire’s algorithm. His/her/they/them motives are surely altruistic.

1 month ago
Reply to  Cancelproof


1 month ago

Drive 350 miles and then spend the remainder of the day hiking and sightseeing before moving another 350 miles the next day? No thanks!

Darla Baker
1 month ago

Correction. ChatGPT is the product of OpenAI, a nonprofit organization funded, in part, by Microsoft. It is definitely not a a Microsoft product.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

Interesting article, Gail. However, I still prefer to get my Gazateer out and plan routes myself so I can see if there are side trips to be considered. I refuse to let more and more technology to take over my life. I think it’s scary!

1 month ago

Hmmmm….doesn’t seem like it did anything more than what Trip Wizard has done for some time…except Trip Wizard lays it out on a map for me and provides very detailed campground info with reviews and pictures! Even Google Maps lays out specific attractions to visit from chosen categories vs the more generic references ChatGPT regurgitated. It gave a few specifics, but not many or in any usable detail.

Maybe in the future this new tool will earn “game changer” status, but not so much now.

mark cieslikowski
1 month ago

I would really like to try it. The more tools for trip planning the better

Jay Merritt
1 month ago

Great article

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