The RV Weekend Warrior: 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Short Weekend Getaways

The RV Weekend Warrior: 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Short Weekend Getaways

So many RV owners want to squeeze in more camping trips…but it sure is tough to figure out how to do that! Between work responsibilities and busy activity calendars, finding time to get away can feel like an impossible feat. Becoming an RV weekend warrior is the key to getting the most out of your RV.

Plus, let’s face it: not many of us can find an extra week each year where we can say bye-bye to the boss and head out on the open road.

Don’t despair! There is a way to achieve that campground mojo more often. The secret is in becoming a RV Weekend Warrior.

What’s that, you say? Weekend trips are too short and too stressful? We feel you on that one. If they aren’t done correctly, weekend trips can leave you feeling exhausted and unprepared for the week ahead.

However, if you follow our Weekend Warrior training, you should return from the campground rested and refreshed. Here are our tips for getting the most out of weekend RV trips…

(Watch the Facebook Live post from Jayco’s page to see us talk about more indepth about these tips!)

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #1 Take a Friday or Monday off of work.

Yeah, we know it’s hard to take time off of work. But more than 50% of Americans don’t use up all their vacations days, and a lot of doctors are telling us that’s no good for our health. Can’t take a full day? Try for a half day at least. This will get you to the campground early and the cares of the week will melt away by the warmth of the campfire.

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #2 Reduce the driving distance.

The more time you spend in the car, the less time you spend at the campground, so keep the driving distance under two hours. Pay attention to traffic patterns, and try to avoid heavily trafficked areas to maximize relaxation and minimize stress.

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #3 Camp close to home on busy weekends.

Can’t find a free weekend between sports games, baby showers, and birthday parties? Find a campground that is close to home, and head there even when a prior commitment is on the calendar. We found a nice county park just 20 minutes from our home where we camp even if the boys have a baseball game on Saturday. Why waste an entire weekend because of a 2-hour event?

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #4 Reserve a seasonal RV site.

Seasonal camping is becoming more popular every year, and it’s easy to see why. When your fully-stocked RV is all set up and ready to enjoy at a campground, short weekend getaways are a breeze. Prices vary tremendously depending on location and amenities, so don’t assume a seasonal is out of your price range.

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #5 Prepare incrementally throughout the week.

If you try to pack for your weekend getaway at the last minute, stress might be high by the time you hitch up and head out. We spend about 20 minutes every weeknight leading up to the trip, packing just one thing at a time: clothing, toiletries, bedding, food. On Friday you are all ready to go and your blood pressure hasn’t spiked. Win/win.

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #6 Splurge for a late checkout on Sunday.

Many campgrounds will offer you a late check out if no one is coming into your site later that day. Sometimes it won’t cost you anything, but we have paid between $5-$20 to stay until late Sunday. It never hurts to ask, and having that whole extra day of downtime is might sweet.

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #7 Enforce SWAT team Sunday.

We have a system in place where everyone (kids, too!!!!) helps unpack the RV when we get home on Sunday. No one sits in front of the TV until the camper is unloaded, laundry is running, and the food is restocked in the fridge. When we all pitch in, it really takes no time at all. Plus, we feel ready for the busy week ahead.

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #8 Have a set weekend menu and shopping list.

Don’t feel like you have to be the king or queen of campfire cooking on a short weekend trip. A set weekend menu will mean that you spend zero brain power on food prep the week before your getaway. We do bagels and oatmeal for breakfast, PB&J or cold cuts for lunch, and a classic weenie roast on Saturday night. I could shop in my sleep for our weekend camping food, and you should be able to also.

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #9 Grocery shop on Thursday for the weekend AND week ahead.

The worst thing ever is to come back from a weekend RV vacation and have to run out to the grocery store for the work week ahead. Plan in advance and shop for the whole week when you stock up for the weekend trip. Keep it simple for yourself, also. A post-camping trip week means tacos, pasta, and hamburgers around our house.

RV Weekend Warrior Tip #10 Order out for Friday supper at the campground.

Getting to the campground, setting up, and then preparing dinner can set some folks over the edge…especially if you have kids that act like they haven’t eaten in seven days. Take that stress off the table by ordering something to go for Friday’s dinner. We like to pick up sub sandwiches from our local deli on Friday afternoon. Another option is getting pizza delivered to the campground. Call the campground office and ask who delivers directly to campsites. Place your order when you are just 15 or 20 minutes away.

It took us a few camping seasons to figure out how to make weekend RV trips relaxing and fun, instead of stressful and overwhelming. Now that we have been through our weekend warrior training, we look forward to escaping to the campground…even if it’s for just a few precious days.

Are you a seasoned weekend warrior? We would love to hear your tips in the comments below. And for more advice on making weekend trips worth it, check out our RVFTA Facebook Group!

You can also listen to our podcast episodes Becoming a Weekend Warrior, Part One and Becoming a Weekend Warrior, Part Two.

See you at the campground!



  1. Sara

    These are great tips! The grocery store on Thursday nights, take out the night you arrive, and simple weekend menus are game changers. We did all three of these a couple weeks ago and it helped make the weekend so much more enjoyable!

  2. Tiffany

    This is a great list! Most of our camping is weekends only. Of all these items, I think ordering the take out on Friday night is the most significant one. It has saved our family from many arguments and meltdowns
    One additional tip I have is to store shelf stable camping food essentials in a container that you can easily transfer back to your RV. For example, I keep a cardboard box that has items such as oatmeal, peanut butter, smore ingredients, canned baked beans etc. on a shelf in the basement. When prepping for a weekend trip, all I need to do is carry this box to the RV rather than run around the kitchen collecting the items. Similarly, I keep a bag in my refrigerator that has items such as butter, ketchup, syrup, etc.

    • RVFamilyTravelAtlas

      So true! We have done takeout on many a Friday night. When we had a pop up, I was that organized with the pantry items. I need to get back to that routine…it works great

  3. Laura

    Those packing cubes look great. Where did you get them?

  4. Amber

    We did mostly weekend trips this season & are leaving for one tomorrow-yay! This is also our first year owning a camper so it did take a few trips to figure out what we were doing. A few things that help me with both my husband & I working full time jobs:

    1. A laundry bag that you fill back up after you do the laundry when you return from a trip. I have “camper towels, wash cloths, dish cloths”, etc. We have a laundry bag that I collect all dirty laundry in & as I’m washing it when we get home, it goes right back into the laundry bag folded for the next trip. Grab & go!

    2. Keeping all the necessities in the camper. I decided early on that I would not be packing toothbrushes, body wash, medicine, shampoo every trip so we have “camper supplies” that stay in. It’s nice to just have to grab my makeup bag & go. The travel item section at target was helpful for buying these items.

    I love your tip about grocery shopping for the whole week ahead. That does seem overwhelming since that shopping trip is usually around 8pm Thursday evening….. but I may give it a try!

  5. Shaun

    Picking up pizza on the way out of town is one of the best new traditions our family’s started for weekend trips. Friday afternoon departures always end up being busy no matter how well we seem to plan, and the ready food really helps make for a quicker, relaxed transition in to camping mode.

    • Stephanie

      So true! Our boys beg for Jersey Mike’s Subs:-)

  6. Maleigha

    Thank you for all the great tips. My husband, Mike, and I just bought our first bgg 5th wheel. Mostly with the idea of long weekend trips for the next year. Your advice on how to make those trips easier is a welcome. Have a great day.



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