The RV 3/3/3 Rule Will Save Your Travel Day

The RV 3/3/3 Rule Will Save Your Travel Day 

Travel days can get long and arduous. The kids will get restless as the miles keep ticking on roads that seem monotonous and endless. Thankfully, RVers have come up with a good rule of thumb to help with these tough days. Let’s look at how the RV 3/3/3 rule can save the day.

Couple using the 3/3/3 rule on their road trip.

What Is the RV 3/3/3 Rule? 

It’s a set of guidelines that help make travel days more productive and tolerable. By adhering to this simple rule of thumb, you can make traveling easier for your whole family.

First, limit your travel to no more than 300 miles in one day. Second, arrive no later than 3 p.m. Finally, stay at your destination for at least three days.

How Long Will It Take You to Drive 300 Miles? 

If you’re going down the highway at 75 mph, driving 300 miles will only take four hours. However, real-life can quickly turn a four-hour drive into five or six hours. You may need to stop for fuel or bathroom breaks. Plus, RVs typically aren’t cruising at 75 mph. 

Realistically, it will take you about five to six hours to drive 300 miles. Keeping this in mind, you can now make an educated guess as to how late you can leave in the morning to arrive by 3 p.m.  Don’t forget to account for packing, taking in your slides, and other chores.

Why Don’t You Want to Arrive Later than 3 p.m.? 

Arriving later than 3 p.m. can invite unwanted inconveniences as well as possible hazards.  Many RV parks and campgrounds only have attendants from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. And while most will also have after-hour check-in procedures, who do you call in the event of faulty hookups, double bookings, or locked gates? It’s much simpler to deal with the unknowns of a new campsite when there’s a person on-site to handle those.

You might think that if you leave at 10 a.m., you’ll have plenty of time to get to your campground by 3. But we all know that life on the road is almost always more unpredictable than that. You could have a tire blow out. Or you might want to stop at an attraction along your way. Before you know it, the sun is setting, and you’re now pulling into an unfamiliar place in the dark.

Arriving before 3 gives you ample time to pull in safely and get level. It gives you time to properly set up and hook up, minimizing chances of human errors and extra stress. You can relax, make dinner, and explore the neighborhood.  

A group of friends having fun on their roadtrip.

What’s the Advantage of Staying at Least 3 Nights Somewhere? 

Wouldn’t it be nice to sleep in the next day and not have to pack up and do it all over again immediately? That’s one advantage of staying at least three nights. The first night is all about getting set up and familiarizing yourself with your new site. You can spend the next two days either exploring the surrounding area or enjoying the campground.  

With two full days, your stress level decreases, and you can actually have fun being in your RV instead of just driving it around. You’ll even have a full night of not thinking about packing or unpacking. Sit around a campfire with friends to refresh so that when it’s time to travel again, you aren’t dreading it.

Use the 3/3/3 Rule to Map Out Your Road Trip 

If you follow the 3/3/3 rule, it’s quite simple to map out your road trip and know where you want to be and when. If you’re pretty good at doing 300 miles every three days, grab your trip planner map or app. Start with your beginning location and your final destination to determine your total mileage. Divide up the mileage either by 300 miles per day or by sightseeing along the way. 

If you’re someone who loves to plan and sticks to a plan, this can be a brilliant way to map out any road trip. If you’re not a fan of driving six hours or you’re less likely to plan and love veering off in different directions, then an alternative RV guideline may be better suited to your traveling style. 

Alternative Guidelines: 2/2/2 and 4/4/4

The RV 2/2/2 and 4/4/4 rules are similar to the 3/3/3 rule. The 2/2/2 rule is driving fewer than 200 miles, arriving at your campsite no later than 2 p.m., and staying for two nights. This gives you time to drive less during the day while still allowing time to relax without having to pack up immediately the next day. If you want to stop at more places along your route, this guideline might be better for you.

The RV 4/4/4 rule is a bit different from the other two in that the first four is for driving less than four hours. The rest follows suit: Arrive no later than 4 p.m. and stay four nights or less. By driving less and staying in one spot longer, you may not get to all the places you want to see, but you can make the most of the destinations you do reach.

Do You Follow a Version of the 3/3/3 Rule? 

Whatever RV rules you choose to follow, just keep in mind that they’re guidelines meant to keep RVers safe and happy. You don’t have to go everywhere and see everything. It can be tempting to try to do it all, but by trimming down your expectations, you might have more worthwhile experiences on the road. Have you ever tried the 3/3/3 rule? How did it work out for you?

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