Tips for first time RVers from RV veterans
B and I are hoping to do our first RV vacation in the coming months. There is lots about RVing that intrigues me, and a lot of unknowns that I fear. We reached out to our friends at Rover Pass to ask some RV veterans what advice they have for a first time RVer. Here is their advice. I’ll keep you posted on our plans.
Your first time driving and traveling in an RV is a big deal, and being prepared is the best way to ensure that your first experience is a good one. Knowing how to pack for a journey, how to adjust to your new vehicle and where to go your first few times out gives you a starting point as you plan your first trips. These tips will help you during your first experiences as an RVer, from simply becoming comfortable with driving your vehicle, to learning to find the best RV parks and campgrounds anywhere you go.
1. Get to know your RV
Before leaving on your first trip, get to know your RV and all of its parts. Practice hooking up disconnecting your RV from your vehicle. Drive your RV around town and through the nearby countryside to get used to the way it handles.
Make a meal in the kitchen, hook the RV up to power, test the air conditioner, and spend a night in your driveway. If you’ll be traveling with children, have them spend some time in the RV with you, and ask them to do all the same activities they would do on your upcoming trips.
2. Get organized before your trips
Make a list of everything you’re going to need on your trip. Having spent time testing your RV will help you create a list that is accurate and thorough. Break your list down into categories, like by room. Categorizing helps you think through your list in an organized way, and can prevent you from forgetting anything.
3. Plan ahead
Knowing where you plan to go, routes you want to drive and where you’ll be staying when you arrive can reduce stress on your first several journeys. For example, if you’re traveling to Seattle in your RV, know which freeways you plan to drive. Look up in advance which RV parks and campgrounds near Seattle will have space for your vehicle. Call ahead if possible.
4. Start small
Traveling short distances and staying near home in your first several trips simplifies everything. Knowing that you can go home if you forget something or if something goes wrong with your RV can help reduce pressure and encourage relaxation.
5. Avoid problematic roadways
Changing lanes and navigating an RV on a crowded roadway is a special kind of challenge, especially for new RV drivers. Avoiding crowded highways, freeways and interstate roads makes driving easier and reduces the chances of an accident.
Many first-time RVers also avoid driving on winding mountainous roads. If possible, stick to relatively uncrowded highways and major roads for your first few trips. It helps to know the roads from personal driving experience, because you can’t always tell from a map what it will be like to drive on a roadway.
Following these tips can help you have great adventures in your new RV.