Whether you’re a seasoned workamper or a recreational RV traveler, being prepared with alternative plans is crucial for a smoother journey. Embracing flexibility while maintaining control is key to any RV itinerary.

Having a Plan B can save you from unexpected hiccups, leaving you free to enjoy your journey without worry.

The Importance of a Backup Plan: A Real-life Tale

I was reminded of the critical need for backup plans when new workampers arrived at our neighboring site in a haze of smoke, their truck’s transmission fluid creating a disconcerting spectacle. After they had settled in, I introduced myself and learned the distressing news.

They’d used up their last funds driving 1200 miles to get here. If the transmission was indeed toast, they had no money for repairs.

This got me pondering: What if you drove that same distance, only to discover the place just wasn’t right for you? Always having a Plan B provides the necessary options to avoid feeling trapped in a less-than-ideal situation.

Preparing Your Plan B

When planning trips, we usually break up our total distance by a factor of 350 – roughly the number of miles we’re comfortable traveling in a day. The resulting number gives us an idea of our road days. We then add two extra days as a buffer for potential issues that might require us to pause for repairs.

Another strategy we’ve found useful is identifying more than one possible stop for the night. This idea was born from an experience on our maiden voyage when we discovered our chosen stop had closed. Unprepared with a Plan B, we ended up driving an extra 200 miles before finding a campground.

A similar predicament arose when we didn’t plan our fuel stops carefully. Once, we found ourselves nearly out of gas in a station that couldn’t accommodate our large rig. That day, we had to physically carry gas from the pump to our vehicle. Since then, we’ve made it a point to plan our fuel stops, preferably at truck stations. While we have favorite spots, we’re always ready with alternative options should the need arise.

Plan B Pays Off

In the end, our new workamping neighbor’s transmission wasn’t doomed. It turned out that the fluid was simply low, causing overheating and spewing, much like an overworked radiator.

Once the transmission cooled and was refilled, they were back in business. That was a stroke of luck, but it served as a lesson. As an RV traveler, thinking ahead and being prepared with a Plan B isn’t just smart—it’s essential for a stress-free adventure.