Thursday, February 2, 2023


Use the off-season wisely to get ready for next season’s trips

When is the best time to think about camping? When the temp drops, winter winds howl, and the thought of another dreary day is making you stir crazy! The “off-season” can be the perfect time to prepare for the upcoming camping months. After all, there are trips to plan, an RV to organize, recipes to research, and more!

Plan that trip

  • Even if you are a full-timer, you may want to think about traveling to a new-to-you place this year. Never been to the mountains? Maybe this is the year to go! Haven’t seen the East Coast or Maine? Put it on your “To-Do list.” Want to attend this year’s family reunion or see the old home place in the Midwest? Now is the time to plan.
  • Use your favorite app to plan your trip. Many apps offer not only preferred routes to take but also provide information about campgrounds, scenic views, and special places along your way. Here’s an in-depth article about the best RV trip planner apps and tools.
  • We like to camp in state parks. Every state sets its own unique window for making camping reservations in its state parks. For example, in Minnesota you can make a reservation up to four months before your arrival date. In New York, state park reservations may be made up to nine months ahead of time. Once you figure out your destination and time frame, check out the campgrounds. When the reservations are made, that cup of hot cocoa will taste so much better!

RV organization

  • Try to hit the after-Christmas sales for storage totes. The plastic storage containers might feature a bright red or green lid, but they are lightweight and can help you better organize your RV’s basement. (The wreath keeper tote may help corral your electric or water hoses, just as an example.)
  • Talk about or think back to your set up/tear down routines when camping. Is there a way to organize hoses, tools, and other necessities to make the processes easier or faster? Note your ideas inside a notebook and plan to try out your ideas on your first trip of the season.
  • Take time to investigate a variety of organizational websites, forums, or other camping groups. Who knows? You might discover some RV gadgets or tools that can make your trip safer or more enjoyable. It’s worth taking a look!
  • Now is the time to order any new linens for your RV. Many stores feature their annual “White Sale” in January. You may be able to purchase new sheets or towels at a reduced price.
  • Research RV maintenance chores online. Use your phone calendar or a paper calendar to plot each chore for the coming year. It may help prevent mishaps from neglected RV maintenance.

Food prep appliances

  • Many stores offer greatly reduced prices for kitchen appliances before and just after Christmas. If you’ve been considering a purchase of, say, an Instant Pot, coffee maker, or ice maker, this just might be the best time to do it.
  • Take a few minutes to look through your cookware. Have those pots and pans seen better days? Do you need to replace any grilling equipment like tongs, food thermometers, or spatulas? These items, too, may be priced right at this time of year.


  • Think back to the family’s favorite camping recipes. Use these cold winter months to organize and categorize the favorites into a notebook or a designated file on your computer.
  • Search online for camping recipes to try. Or check out some cookbooks from your local library and collect some new recipes to try. You could even organize a family taste-testing night to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Talk to friends who camp and exchange recipes with them.

And more…

  • Check the tires, windshield wipers, and other RV components. Look for items that need to be replaced and plan to address these needs well before your first trip.
  • If you’ve always wanted to take friends or family members along with you on a camping weekend or an extended trip, talk about it with them now. Many workers must designate their 2022 vacation days at the beginning of the New Year, so now is the time to set the dates for your trip together.
  • Look online at photos of national parks, historic sites, theme park destinations, or other sites to get excited about your potential trips. Revise your bucket list with places you’d like to go in the years to come.

How do you use the camping off-season to prepare for seasonal fun? Let us know in the comments below.



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1 month ago

We’ve always been planners, but once the SW got “discovered” back in the 90s, we started to make reservations for most of our stops. We plotted out all of ’23 on Christmas, making best use of my husband’s work schedule, and are making reservations when they open. Means we actually take more trips, with less stress in finding a spot. If necessary, we make changes as time goes on.

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