Since you are reading an Rv blog it is no secret Rv owners love to share their travels. There are many ways that Rvers share their stories with friends and family. These include things such as blogging, sharing stories and pictures on Social Media, and YouTube channels. However, the simplest way to share one’s travel story is the iconic Rv state sticker map.
Anyone who has spent any time around an Rv park, or seen an Rv on the road, has more than likely seen one of these maps. These maps are an inexpensive way to share where you have been with other campers and travelers. They are also a great discussion starter with others in the Rv park.
If you have recently purchased an Rv then a state map will no doubt be on the shopping list. For a list of things needed to make the Rv experience enjoyable check out our blog post Must-Have Rv Accessories.
Rv State Sticker Map | What are the Rules?
In the Rv world, there is a lot of debate regarding the rules regarding when to apply a sticker to your map, and where does the map go? If you visit any Rv forums or social media groups you undoubtedly will run into this hot topic discussion.
Here we will help go through all the different sticker map “rules”, and help you decide how to use the map on your own Rv.
1. When Do You Get to Claim a New State Sticker?
This is by and far the most debated topic when addressing the great sticker map debate. There is no consensus throughout the Rving community as to when the new state may be applied.
Below are 7 of the most common “rules” for when a new state can be added, and how we feel about each one.
Some Common Map Rules
- You drove through the state without your RV. For example, simply traveling in your car. This we disagree with…..simply because you’re not in the. Isn’t that the purpose?
- Stayed in the state without your RV. You stay in a hotel or with relatives at their home. Although this may explain how some get the Hawaii sticker on their map, still not in the Rv!
- Simply driving through a particular state in your RV while on the way to your destination. We feel the state sticker represents the states we have “seen” amongst other things. We could easily drive through entire states and our kids sleep through it. Therefore never really seeing the state!
- Drive through a particular state in your RV while on the way to your destination AND get out of the Rv placing your foot on the ground. For example, stopping at a rest stop, or gas station. Again the point of the Rv, in our opinion, is to see and enjoy other states. Stopping at a truck stop for a few minutes off the highway doesn’t really bring thoughts of enjoying your stay.
- Visited at least one unique thing in that state while on the way to somewhere else and still not staying a night in the state. Here we could go either way. Yes, you are not staying in the state. However, you are experiencing something unique to the state.
- Spent at least one-night camping in the state in your RV while on the way to somewhere else.
- Stayed in the state as the state was the destination (e.g., visited a National Park for a week).
Who gets to apply the new sticker?
This is not something we have put a lot of thought into. However, when searching online for this topic it apparently is something people discuss, and try to figure out.
In our case, Shane usually applies the state sticker. Simply because he is the only one to drive the Rv, and since he is the one getting us to each state he gets the honor of placing the sticker.
Unfortunately, we have seen many states by now and it is becoming more difficult to add new stickers to the map. We haven’t seen all 48 continental states yet so we still have some work to do. As far as Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska is certainly a bucket list, retirement trip. We still haven’t figured out how to drive our Rv to Hawaii.
Where Does the Map Go?
Some campers put the sticker map on the back of their RV so it can be seen from behind on the road. Some choose to put it on the inside side of a slide-out so that it is protected from the weather when not camping. There are others who choose not to put the map on the body of their RV at all. Some may put it on plexiglass or some other similar board and then display it on the dashboard of their motorhome while in a campsite.
We just use the suction cups provided with the map and stick the map in a window where it can be seen by other campers. This way we can take the map with us, and it’s not stuck on the Rv which leads us into our next discussion.
Is the map yours? Or does it belong to the Rv?
Another question that arises among the Rv community is what to do with the Rv State Sticker Map if you get rid of the Rv?
Does it stay with the Rv to show where the Rv has traveled? Or, do you put it on the new Rv although the new one hasn’t been to those states? If you get a new Rv do you have to start a new map?
The CapeRvTravelers Rv State Sticker Map Rules
Like many other Rv owners, we haven’t agreed 100% on when the state sticker should be applied.
Our family is split amongst the idea of staying at least one-night camping is good enough, or just stepping foot in a different state is enough,
Although there are a few different thoughts amongst us we have come to the compromise that a new state is added to the map after we set up camp, and spend at least one-night camping in the state.
We all agree that the point of the Rv is to campout, and spend a night or more at different locations. Therefore, this is when the sticker is added.
As mentioned previously Shane does all the driving. Therefore, he is most often given the privilege of adding the newsticker.
Of course, for us adding new stickers is becoming more and more difficult. Of course, this is because we are blessed to have visited so many states.
States We Have Stayed One Night In and Have Earned a Spot on Our Map
Arizona Arkansas Colorado Connecticut
Florida Georgia Indiana Iowa
Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Mass. Michigan Missouri Nebraska
N.H. N.J. N.M. New York
N.C. Ohio Oklahoma Pennsylvania
S.C. S.D. Tennessee Texas
Utah Vermont Virginia West Virginia
There is No Sticker Map Police | So Make Your Own Rules
Although often debated in the Rv world there are no concrete rules for the sticker map. As a matter of fact, in all of our travels, we have never questioned a map or had our map questioned. You see them at every Rv park, and they often help start a conversation.
This is a great way to record your travels, and share them with our travel enthusiasts. We have found it also adds a sense of accomplishment. As the map starts to fill up it takes some work to visit new, and exciting places. Making those trips, and adding those long missing states is a great feeling.
If you have other rules, or thoughts leave a comment below we would love to hear from you. Also, feel free to share pictures of your map and travel adventures!