The call of the open road is strong. It’s where you can roam free and untethered to your everyday, brick-and-mortar life. And if you’re bitten by the RV bug, there’s usually no going back. But it’s that first time you hop into an RV for a trip that can be a little unnerving. Will you be able to maneuver that travel trailer? Have you packed enough food? How on earth does that slide-out work?
These are all valid questions and figuring out the answers to them are all part of the RV experience. Luckily, many people before you have already been through the many ups and downs of first-time RV travel and living, so there are plenty of experiences you can learn from.
Here are some tips for anyone about to own or rent and travel in a RV for the first time:
1) Get to know your rig – This may be one of the most important things you can do before embarking on your maiden voyage. Take time to walk through and around the RV – whether it’s a truck camper or luxury Class A – and explore the various systems and how they work, making sure you understand how to use everything. And of course, learn how to operate the vehicle safely. Most RVs don’t require a special license to drive (especially those that are towed behind a truck or SUV), but not all RVs are as easy to operate like your family sedan. Take a few practice drives – or even a short overnight or weekend camping trip – before your big adventure to ensure you’re comfortable with the rig in its entirety.
2) Less is more – Packing for an RV road trip can feel like you’re preparing to move to another planet. The good news is you’re not. And that means you don’t have to bring your treasured family heirlooms, all your small kitchen appliances, and your entire tool shed. You won’t use most of the stuff you thought you couldn’t live without. So think about packing lightly and smartly, and only worry about bringing necessities.
3) Be flexible – It’s a great idea to have an itinerary and plan for any trip (including what route you want to take, a budget to stick to, a decent supply of food, etc.), but when you’re traveling in an RV, things can happen. You might see a roadside attraction that you didn’t originally plan on visiting but you spend half a day there. Or, inclement weather could delay your day’s driving or your rig may need repairs – all of these things can “interrupt” your carefully laid out plans, so just learn to be flexible and adjust your schedule accordingly. It’s more important to experience the world around you than it is to stick to a strict routine.
4) Don’t be afraid to ask questions – Every RV enthusiast had to start somewhere, so you’re not alone. If you have questions about emptying your black water tank or how to properly open and set your awning, don’t hesitate to reach out to your fellow campers. The RV community is one of incredibly friendly people and most everyone is willing to help out a first timer.
Traveling in an RV is one of the great ways to experience traveling the country, and once you get the hang of a few things, you’ll be traveling like an old pro.
Have questions? Contact us today!