If you’re new to RVing, it’s only a matter of time before you fall in love with the RV lifestyle. The people are wonderful, the views are spectacular, and the options are endless!
You’ve got a little bit to learn before you’re ready to take on the open road, though.
RV beginners, don’t worry. With these pro tips, you’ll be an expert in no time.
1: Read the Manual
Every RV is a little different. Get to know your rig so that you don’t make expensive rookie mistakes like blowing your main breaker.
If you purchase your camper from a dealership, ask them to walk you through the most important things you should know. They’ll tell you the specifications and procedures that are specific to your model.
Odds are, your RV will have a few quirks of its own, too. That’s why it’s important to do this:
2: Take a Local Test Drive
You’ve got a great new rig and you’re eager to get some road under your wheels.
Before you pack up the family and trek out to the campground, it’s a really good idea to take a shorter test run where you know you’re not going to be in trouble if something goes wrong.
The test drive will let you determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed before undertaking a long trip, and you’ll get to know the little things that require special handling on your RV.
Maybe your drawers pop open while you’re on the road, so you need to get something to secure them.
Perhaps your RV doesn’t corner as tightly as you thought or it struggles to get up steep hills, so you need to plan a slightly different route to avoid those kinds of obstacles.
These are the kinds of things you want to know before you’re 100 miles from home in the middle of nowhere.
With your test drive completed and your RV ready to roll, it’s time to make your itinerary.
3: Plan Your Whole Trip
It’s tempting to just jump in the driver’s seat, throw some food in the fridge, and drive off into the sunset to see where life takes you. After all, freedom is one of the best things about the RV lifestyle.
As a new RVer, though, trying to figure it out as you go is a bad idea.
Getting stranded away from home and trying to figure out how to get your RV and your stressed out family back to home base is a worst case scenario. Avoid those kinds of situations by planning out your entire trip in advance, including:
- The campgrounds where you’ll hook up
- The route you’ll take to get there and the stops you’ll take along the way
- Alternative routes in case of road closures or height restrictions
- What and where you’re going to eat
- Your budget for fun and souvenirs
Find or create a checklist to help you remember everything you’re supposed to do once you get to your campsite, and keep emergency information on hand where you can find it quickly.
Don’t worry – you’ll catch on quickly.
Welcome to the RV life. We’re so glad you’re part of the family!