Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Why it’s a good idea to keep an RV logbook

Do you keep a log in your RV? Before you respond, “Yeah, several, in the basement storage for when we want a nice campfire”—Beware, we’re talking paper, not wood, here. But enough beating around the tree. Many RVers have found keeping a travel and RV logbook is not only fun, but it can be beneficial when you “come back this way again.” There have been some places in our travels where we’ve seen some wondrous beauty; but, alas, the memory sometimes fails when we try to make our way back there. Having a note in writing as to “just where and what” can help as the old gray matter begins to slow down.

Keeping an RV log can be useful in so many ways.

An example of a RV logbook

If you keep track of the miles you’ve driven pulling your trailer, you’ll have a better handle on how long your tires last; and if you service your axle bearings by “miles driven,” you’ll know when the maintenance interval has rolled around.

Keeping track of the RV parks you’ve stayed in, listing site numbers for particularly loved (or level) spots and dollar costs for staying there can really help when trip planning and making reservations. On the other hand, you may find having the information on that “RV park from hell” handy when sitting around the campfire and chatting with others who may be headed back where you’ve been.

So what works for an RV log book?

There are commercial log books available that have preprinted forms (like this one to help keep maintenance records) that make it easy to post your data. Other folks print and photocopy their own forms and use a three-ring binder to keep the pages in place. Still others have found that just keeping a spiral-bound steno pad on the flight deck can provide them with just what they need on an inexpensive and easy basis.

Regardless of what you decide to use for keeping a record of your travels, what might you find useful to keep track of? Here’s a list of possibilities—and from your own needs you can probably develop even more:

• Miles: Odometer readings for both tow vehicle and trailer.

• Expenses: Fuel costs, station where purchased (could be an indicator of where to go next time), oil, maintenance, even unexpected repairs. Fuel economy notes are really helpful, both from a planning perspective but also recognizing that your rig may need mechanical attention.

• Campground data: Name, address, site number, things you liked (or hated) and costs.

• Weather: Combined with a date, this may give you a good idea for trip planning next time. Maybe that snowfall you encountered when towing your fifth wheel was memorable – but not something you want to do again!

• Restaurants and attractions: Your new “favorite greasy spoon” and “that place where we bought Grandma all those neat knickknacks” could be repeat trip items.

• Friends met: You could log their names and contact information here, as a backup for when you lose your address book.

And be sure to keep your logbook handy. A side pocket or glove box near the “navigator’s” seat, complete with a pen, makes the process easy to do every day.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



5 3 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Lorelei (@guest_258022)
1 month ago

Always have done the journal. Dates, miles, campground, space, when bearings were repacked, brake pads, etc.

Neal Davis (@guest_256820)
1 month ago

I think that we have 3 different log books and all three are pristine inside the cover. Our intention of keeping a log has fallen a bit short. Perhaps this article will prompt us to open one of them and put ink to paper. I guess we’ll see. The beginning of our next planned trip is just over a week away. 🙂

Glenda Alexander (@guest_256444)
1 month ago

Since 2006 I’ve been keeping a digital trip journal, which I publish on MyTripJournal.com, including photographs. In it I describe when/where/what… and at the end I enter the statistics like this example:

Route: I-25 N => Toll Road E-470 around Denver => I-25 N => US 34 W to Estes Park => CO 7 S => Peak View Dr.
Total Miles Driven: 177
Weather Conditions: Sunny and dry
Road Conditions: Mostly good but with many sections of road work
Gasoline Price: $2.499 at Colorado Springs and $2.769 at Estes Park
RV Park: Mary’s Lake Campground, Estes Park, CO
Park Conditions: So-so. Rough dirt interior roads and clumps of tall grass.

Christine (@guest_256435)
1 month ago

I keep a travel diary. I note the campground name and town where it’s located. I indicate what we like and dislike about the campground. Then I talk about the highlights of our time at that location. I really enjoy going back a year or two to re-live the places we stayed and the things we enjoyed most.

Cheryl Robinson (@guest_256434)
1 month ago

I got an RV log book from Journals.com. Small company out of Michigan. Has places for you to write the parks you stayed in. How you liked them or disliked them. Surrounding places to explore. Miles traveled, fuel/gas expenses. Hard covered spiral bound. Love mine!!!

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.