Why make your own mistakes if you can learn from the errors of others? If you’re new to RVing, you may be a little overwhelmed by the abundance of information available online, as well as the seemingly massive lifestyle change you’ll be undertaking. Although it is exciting, it can also be a bit intimidating. An experienced RVer who has lived through many of the trials and triumphs of a life on the road is a valuable source of information and inspiration. The following tidbits can help make your first—or next—journey a successful one.Then, take a few preliminary drives before your first major excursion. Check for acceleration, braking distances, how wide the turns need to be, practice backing up. If there will be any vertical challenges, try to take it up a few steep hills to get a feel for how it performs. This is particularly important if you’ll be towing anything.Equip Tour Rig with Tools
First, Get to Know Your RV
The first thing any experienced RVer would express is the importance of getting to know your RV. Even if you’ve driven one in the past, you aren’t familiar with how this one handles. Read the manual. Search for specific limitations like amp limits, height requirements, and load recommendations, as well as where the breakers are located, etc.
Experienced RVers know that mechanical issues on the road are a given and any tool you don’t have is likely the one you need. Keep a full set of those most commonly used. These include, but are not limited to:
- Cordless drill and bits
- Crow bar
- Duct tape
- Fuses (various)
- Hydraulic jack
- Jumper cables
- Pliers (various)
- Screwdrivers (various)
- Socket wrench
- Wire cutters
It’s also a good idea to keep a few parts that are specific to your RV, especially if those parts tend to require replacing often. This could be ascertained by asking experienced RVers who have the same motorhome as you.Carefully Consider Your Supplies
Filling your RV is a bit of a challenge. You want to have enough that you aren’t constantly running out on the road, without carrying around a lot of extra weight. Things like comestibles, first aid, pharmaceuticals, and toiletries are good things to keep stocked.
Bringing everything from your brick or stick home, however, would be overkill especially if you are making the move to the tinier lifestyle of fulltime RV living. In this case, you may need to sell, donate, give away, or store many of your possessions.Organize Your Space
There are so many fantastic organizational caddies and spacers at RV and camping supply stores that it’s easy to spend a lot of money. Some of my best organizational advice came from an experienced RVer who pointed out that most of these items—or reasonable substitutes—can be found for much less at Walmart or the Dollar General.
Drawer, closet, and cabinet organizers not only help make the most of your limited space, they also keep items from rattling around while you’re driving.Stay Social
Enthusiastic about the travel aspect of the lifestyle, new RVers often forget to establish and maintain their social network on the road. This is essential to learning tricks and tips from others. There are several ways that an experienced full-timer builds relationships.
When choosing a campground, look for one with an active community, a specified meeting place like a clubhouse, and scheduled events. Another option is to spend time outside. You’re more likely to meet your neighbors. This makes interacting with other campers entirely natural.
Don’t stop there; invite them over for a drink or some snacks to get to know them. Basically, the only place you won’t meet new people is inside your RV. It sounds obvious, but get outside!
Research RV Clubs
Joining an RV club is a great way to increase your network of friends. Many provide camping and RV info, education and support, along with opportunities to meet new people and engage in planned activities and caravans.
Although RV clubs usually have membership fees, they offer discounts on supported campgrounds, RV and camping supply outlets, fueling stations, as well as insurance and extended warranties. This can lead to big savings over time.
These are just a few of the pieces of helpful advice an experienced driver can provide. As a newer RVer, it’s a good idea to learn from the wisdom of others and then pass it on. In a few years, you may be offering the same tips to others.