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RVing in a Group: Pros and Cons of Traveling with Friends vs. Paid Caravans

Published on June 22nd, 2023 by Lucinda Belden

RVing in a group isn’t something most people consider during their early adventures in RVing. You are more focused on getting your new home all set up than traveling with a caravan.

This applies whether you will be full-time RVing, going out on weekends, or doing extended stays. Always on your mind is “Where will we go?”

But have you thought about RVing in a group, like with a paid caravan? Should you go camping with friends instead? Here’s why you might want to consider both types of adventure.

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What are the Pros and Cons of RVing in a Group, versus Alone or with Friends?

To generate a list of pros and cons of RV group camping, you should know what type of RV group you will travel with on this adventure.

Will you be traveling with friends you already know?
Or, will you travel in a paid caravan with future potential friends? 

Here is a list of things to think about before you finalize your decision on what group is right for you.

RV travel with a caravan means you don’t have to think about the details.

Traveling with a paid caravan like RVing to Mexico for the 2024 eclipse, certainly has its perks, such as:

  • You know that when you arrive all your reservations have been taken care of.
  • In some cases, you are even provided maps and assistance getting you to your location that provides the best RV access.
  • Recommended fuel stops and best places to stop along the way are included.
  • All the trip information is provided in advance. This is probably the most stressful aspect for most RVers.

If you RV travel with friends, your plans, schedule, and stops may be less organized (or not organized at all).

You may all determine a location to meet up and you all show up at a designated date and time. This can provide you with more freedom and flexibility. You may even have several days of friends arriving and departing at different times.

RV stuck on side of road
RV caravans can help when things go wrong.

Things can and do go sideways with any RV adventure. If that happens to you while trying out group RV travel, you have someone who can help. For example:

  •  If you have a mechanical issue with your RV, the caravan wagonmaster can help you take care of it.
  • If you have a personal or health need, they will have the resources to assist.
  • There is also a representative to assist and direct you to activities in the area you might now know about.
  • And, there are regular gatherings with the professionals to update you on the events and with tips.

When you RV travel alone with friends, communication takes more effort.

For example, there may not be a designated leader of your friends RV group. For ease of communication and RV trip planning, you may set up a Facebook page or a chat group and individuals in the group post tips and suggestions on activities in your area.

The nice thing about RVing with friends is there is probably someone in the group who has experience in the area (which is why the location was chosen). Or, maybe someone has expertise in a certain area, and all this comes together organically resulting in a great fluid knowledge base.

Sightseeing is Easier with Paid RV Group Caravans

Paying for organized RV tours and travel means you don’t have to plan where to go and what to see once you arrive at your destination with a paid caravan.

  • Every adventure is arranged, the locations are ready for your arrival and sometimes transportation is provided to the events.
  • You get a break from driving and don’t have to drive in unfamiliar areas.
  • Sometimes your meals are included with your activities as a bonus.

RVing with friends means loosey-goosey sightseeing.

You won’t have everything planned when you RV with friends. However, sometimes it is great to not have everything planned out in detail. For example, what happens if a last-minute concert or festival pops up while you are going to be at your destination? 

Also, you may be in smaller RV groups, and have access to more local excursions and events that large groups cannot get into.

Having a flexible schedule may give you opportunities for unexpected adventures.

RV Group Camping Builds More Connections with Other RVers

Paid caravans instantly put you into a group of like-minded RVers who share your interest in whatever the highlight of the trip is. RVing with a group in a caravan gives you a jumping off point for making new friends. There are also prearranged social events that help you get connected.

When RVing with friends, the social connections are already there.

You can move right into enjoying activities with the group without the extra need to reach out and create new conversations. And nobody will think poorly if you want a day off on your own and don’t feel like socializing at all.

If you sign up with a paid RV caravans, you usually get an all-inclusive price (sometimes meals are not included).

  • You can budget ahead of time and plan for your expenses.
  • And, you are not nickel and dimed with unexpected costs along the way.
  • Usually, you receive good bags or appreciation gifts as well as discounts on your meals and extra excursions.

RV travel with friends makes budgeting a little more spontaneous.

You pay as you go when you try RV travel with friends. This lets you pick and choose what activities you can participate in depending on your budget or time constraints. But as a group, you can work together and select inexpensive or even free RV adventure experiences too.

What About Group RV Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is important, especially if you are RVing outside of the U.S. This is not standard RV insurance you should already carry. This type of travel insurance is easily acquired through paid caravans, or they at least offer easy access to agency information who provide insurance related to their services.

group of women in the outdoors
RVing and camping with friends or a paid caravan can be awesome no matter what!

Summary of Pros and Cons of RVing in a Group

The three main differences between traveling with a paid caravan or a group of friends:

  1. A paid RV caravan will cost you more. But everything is already prepared for you while traveling with friends you can control individual costs but more of the planning and preparation will be on you.
  2. With a paid caravan you may not know your fellow RVers, but it does open the door to creating new long-lasting friendships. If you are already traveling with friends, you already have that comfort, security, and satisfaction as well as support no matter what you might run in to on your trip.
  3. Traveling with friends there is less organization and scheduling than with paid caravans. You need to be flexible and ‘go with the flow’ if you are with a group of friends versus an organized paid caravan but you are the decision makers in the experiences.

The wonderful thing about RVing in a group is you have so many choices of organizations. There is a group that will fit your needs as an RVer.

Best of all, your choice is not permanent. You can move between the different options each time you RV. This is a great way to ‘test’ which one you think works best for you. Or you may find you love all the options, and you just expand your RV lifestyle experiences by choosing a different group travel based on your future RV goals. It’s a win-win, all the time!

This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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