Skip to content

Trip Planning with Harvest Hosts

    We’ve already shared 10 reasons why we really love Harvest Hosts, but how do you plan a trip around these kind of overnight stays? When do you choose to stop at a Harvest Host and when do you prefer to stop somewhere like Cabela’s or Cracker Barrel? Why should I book a Harvest Host instead of a campground for a single night stay on the way to your destination? Here’s how we plan overnight stops using our Harvest Host membership as part of a bigger RV road trip.

    Affiliate links are used in this post.

    Planning Our Stopovers

    When we’re looking for stopovers between destinations, here are a few questions we ask while trip planning: Do we want to stick close to the highway? Are we planning to drive during the day or in the evening? Will we want to get moving quickly the next morning? Do we also need to stop that day and take care of laundry or groceries? How long are we planning to drive that day?

    A quick way to know that we want to look for a Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel, casino, or other similar stopover location when trip planning is if we are planning to drive in the evening and also planning to continue our drive the next morning. We’re most likely to choose a Cabela’s stopover for a 4 hour drive on a Friday night after work or for a long Saturday when we plan to spend most of the day on the road. Basically, if we’re pulling in after 7 pm, we’re looking for a Cabela’s or a casino. If we expect to arrive earlier in the day, we’re looking for a Harvest Host.

    Why Harvest Host instead of a campground? The only time we’ll book a single night stay in a campground as a stopover during our trip is if we need one of the amenities. If it’s summer, we might prefer to have electric so we can run our AC. (This is important to me, so we pay a lot of attention to weather when trip planning!) Or we might need to dump and refill our water tanks. Otherwise, it’s not personally worth it to us to book a campground because the check in and parking process take so much longer than a Harvest Host stay.

    Once I have an idea of what our plans are, I look to see what’s available in the areas we’re driving through during our trip.

    Here are some examples of what Harvest Host stopovers might look like:

    • If we’re thinking about driving in the evening but not first the next morning, we look for a Harvest Host with later check in hours. Restaurants, breweries, farms, and churches are all good candidates for later hours, but of course it’s up to each location to decide. Museums and wineries tend to close at or around 5.
    • A short mid-week drive during our lunch break to get us just a bit closer to our final destination. We love to find Harvest Hosts that are very close to our route to minimize extra driving time. We do not like to sleep on the side of the highway, but we also don’t want to add 30 minutes or more to the day’s drive. When searching for a Harvest Host, I always plug the location into our route to see how much time it adds as well as look at their specific location to see if it’s in a more rural quiet place. That’s a big plus for us.
    • We started off our trip with a 4 hour drive on Friday night to a Cabela’s and spend most of Saturday on the road, stopping at a casino. After Sunday night, we’ll need to stay put for a few days and get some work done, so it’s the perfect night for a Harvest Host stay an hour from Monday night’s campground.

    Bridging Reservations

    Harvest Host stays aren’t just for stopovers! If we have trouble booking a highly sought after or last minute reservation, we might find ourselves with a couple days to fill in. Here are a couple examples:

    • You booked a little last minute and the popular RV resort only had availability through Saturday morning but your next reservation at a campground 2 hours away starts on Monday. Book two nearby Harvest Hosts for Saturday and Sunday night.
    • You have reservations at a state park ending on Thursday morning and an RV park booked 5 hours away for Sunday night. Drive Split your drive between Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. You can choose stops a little farther off your route if you want because each day’s drive is pretty short and you’ll stay hitched up at each location, enjoying what the Harvest Host has to offer.
    • You have National Park reservations for the weekend when you can unplug and be out of cell signal, but you have 6 hours to drive mid-week over your lunch breaks, so you plan a string of Harvest Hosts. (And alternative solution here would be to stay put at a campground for a few days and plan an evening drive to a Cracker Barrel on Thursday night.)

    Exploring an Area

    You can also string together a few Harvest Host stays to explore a particular area. Staying at farms, museums, or restaurants can also give you a taste of the local cuisine and culture right where you’re parked.

    • When we booked our New England trip, I planned our entire Vermont route around 1 night Harvest Host stays. Some of our drives were very short and we were able to really enjoy several parts of the state.

    When You Need to Pivot

    A Harvest Host membership is a great backup plan, because everyone knows that RV life throws you curveballs sometimes. Here are some ways we’ve used Harvest Hosts to help us pivot in stressful situations:

    • Snow delayed the start of our trip by a day, so it was no longer worth going out of our way to visit a particular area on the way to our destination. Instead we booked a couple of Harvest Host stopovers to minimize driving time as much as we could.
    • The place we had arranged to stay didn’t work out, so we made a same-day Harvest Host reservation and drove a little farther before stopping for the night.

    A Couple Tips

    • Use the Harvest Host route planner to plot our your trip. You can also tailor your preferences to only see hosts within a certain number of miles from your route.
    • Be open to different types of hosts. We love farm hosts, but we’re happy to stay in a museum parking lot too.
    • Don’t just read the profile, check out the reviews and photos too. If the profile leaves you with any questions, you’ll likely find several of the answers in other members’ reviews.
    • Plan ahead a little bit. While Harvest Hosts can work well as a last minute scramble, many locations only have room for 1-2 rigs each night, so planning ahead will serve you well.

    Whether you use Harvest Hosts mostly as a stopover, to bridge the gap between reservations, or when you need to pivot, hopefully these tips will help you as you plan your RV travels. It’s a fun little puzzle to piece together different types of stays for an adventurous RV life. And if you’d like to become a Harvest Hosts member, use our referral link to save 15% on your yearly membership.

    When you buy something using the links in our posts, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

    Trip Planning

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *